Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a little cranberry sauce used to be enough for all of us. Not anymore.
With fantasy football's popularity at an all-time high, Thanksgiving can't be a success without a cornucopia of fantasy points. Luckily, Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III and plenty of others were able to fill up the stat sheet while the rest of us were filling our stomachs.
The points came fast and furious in Thursday's opener, a matchup between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions. Mikel Leshoure kicked off the scoring with a two-yard dash into the end zone with 9:58 remaining in the first quarter. It was Leshoure's second touchdown in as many games and the fifth time he has scored in his last four games.
Neither team had trouble putting up points in the second quarter as the Texans and Lions traded touchdowns for a total of 28 points in the 15-minute period. The highlights included a six-yard score from Houston running back Arian Foster and a 22-yard touchdown grab for Lions wideout Calvin Johnson.
Foster pushed his league-leading touchdown total to 14 with two scores on Thursday. He also upped his season rushing total to 1,064 yards. This is the third season in a row Foster has recorded at least 1,000 yards rushing.
Megatron's day for Detroit (eight catches, 140 yards) may have been even more impressive. He has now caught for at least 129 yards in four straight games while averaging 154.8 ypg during that span. He's projected to finish the season with 1,828 yards, just 20 yards shy of Jerry Rice's NFL single-season record set back in 1995.
Andre Johnson (nine grabs, 188 yards on Thursday) has been on a similar tear for the Texans, hauling in a monstrous 461 receiving yards in his last two games. Johnson clinched his sixth 1,000-yard season during Thursday's 34-31 overtime win.
The second game of the day was just as high-scoring, as the Washington Redskins captured a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Most of Washington's points came during an incredible touchdown barrage in the second quarter which featured three Robert Griffin III touchdown passes and an Alfred Morris rushing score.
Thursday ended a mini-slump for Morris, who was able to notch his fourth 100- yard rushing game of the season in the victory. The second-quarter touchdown was his first since October 14th against Minnesota.
Griffin III jumped past Andrew Luck in the race for Rookie of the Year with another magnificent performance on Thursday (four TD passes, 311 yds). Over his last two games, RG3 has thrown eight TDs for a quarterback rating of 146.1.
For Dallas, the star of the game was Dez Bryant. The unpredictable wide receiver came down with two touchdown catches for 145 yards, the third week in a row he's gone for over 85 yards receiving. He has scored at least once in each of those games.
Bryant actually had his finger tips on a third touchdown but a bone-jarring hit from safety Madieu Williams knocked the ball loose.
Tony Romo threw for 441 yards in the losing effort, the same total Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford amassed earlier in the day. Both players came within striking distance of Troy Aikman's Thanksgiving record (455 yards).
The first two games of the day both went down to the wire but the nightcap's outcome was never in doubt. New England's 49-19 blowout win over the New York Jets was fueled by a jaw-dropping 35-point burst in the second quarter. Three of the five Patriots touchdowns in the quarter came within 52 seconds of each other.
Tom Brady accounted for three of the touchdowns with each going to a different receiver. Shane Vereen's score went for 83 yards, Brady's longest completion of the season. Brady (14 TD, 0 INT during New England's current five-game winning streak) also matched a career-high with his third rushing touchdown of the season later in the game.
Julian Edelman delivered another strong effort on Thursday. He and Brady hooked up on a 56-yard score just minutes after Edelman had recovered a fumble for a touchdown on special teams. The fourth-year receiver has visited the end zone four times over the last two weeks.
Running back Stevan Ridley also scored in the win. He's on pace for 1,380 rushing yards this season, the most by a Patriot since Corey Dillon racked up 1,635 yards on the ground during the 2004 campaign.
The Patriots are now averaging 37 ppg for the season, which is actually slightly higher than the 36.8 they averaged during their undefeated 2007 regular season. They are also averaging more yards per game (435.8 ypg compared to 411.3 in 2007). New England has now outscored its last two opponents by a score of 108-43.
Overall, Thursday's games produced 184 total points, the most we've ever seen on Turkey Day. Even more amazingly, all six starting quarterbacks threw for at least 300 yards.
Grab a plate and get ready for a second helping. With 12 more games happening on Sunday and another on Monday night, the feast is just getting started.