Philip Rivers slings Chargers to Thanksgiving win, relevance

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Home is where the heart is, where Thanksgiving is held and where teams secure wins. This was all true in Week 12.

Road teams went 6-10 for the week. Of those road victories, two came on Thanksgiving. Two more came by six points or less. Unlike your Thursday spread, the pickings here are fairly slim.

You might still have some leftovers to polish off in the next day, so grab a microwaved plate of your favorites (mine is my aunt’s green bean casserole, which was delicious yet again) and take in these extra treats.

These are your greatest on the road from Week 12.

Greatest on the Road

 

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

 

You know, if the Chargers hadn’t lost their first four games in mostly heartbreaking fashion, they’d be a much hotter topic than they are right now. No matter, though. Philip Rivers is here to throw his team into your hearts, regardless of your current stance.

While Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott runs into some second-season struggles, the seasoned veteran Rivers is ballin’. The quarterback has posted a 7-1 TD-to-INT ratio in his last three games with all three performances cracking 82 or better in passer rating. His best came on the holiday, when Rivers made a close game at halftime a blowout by the final whistle.

Rivers completed 27 of 33 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-6 win over the Cowboys. Eleven of those 27 completions went to Keenan Allen, an important piece in the Chargers‘ suddenly resurgent offense. The quarterback also spread the scores among Allen, tight end Hunter Henry and fellow wideout Tyrell Williams in an emphatic win on national TV.

The Chargers are 5-6, but 5-2 in their last seven. Thanks to the faltering Chiefs, they’re right back in the playoff conversation. With wins like Thursday’, performances like Rivers’ and a favorable remaining schedule (including games against the New York Jets and the winless Cleveland Browns), expect to see plenty more of Rivers and the Chargers on your televisions in the near future.

 

Also considered …

 

Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers

 

Luke Kuechly is a very good football player. We all know this. And on Sunday, he had a good game.

Statistically, he recorded nine total tackles (four solo, five assisted) in a win over the Jets. Decent day at the office. But his most important play came in what we who love this game affectionately refer to as a scoop and score.

Click that video. Look at that closing speed. That graceful scoop. And yes, oh yes, the score.

That’s why he’s in this piece. That’s also a big part of why the Panthers won on Sunday.

 

Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings

 

I’ve had to defend Case Keenum to the #haters on Twitter on multiple occasions, but the criticism is starting to quiet, and for good reason. Keenum is doing his job, and doing it well for the NFC North leaders. He did it again on Thursday, just four days after Minnesota’s most emphatic win of the season.

Keenum continued to feed Mr. Reliable, Adam Thielen, connecting eight times for 89 yards, and hooked up with Stefon Diggs five times for 66 yards. His catalyst on Turkey Day, though, was tight end Kyle Rudolph, who caught four passes for 63 yards and two scores. As a passer, Keenum completed 21 of 30 passes for 282 yards and those two scores to Rudolph.

But then, there were Keenum’s legs. The quarterback scrambled seven times for 20 yards, with a longest carry of nine yards that was also long enough to put the quarterback in the end zone. To recap: Keenum scored three times and led the Vikings past a scrappy Lions team to a 30-23 win on Thanksgiving. Celebrate, Minnesotans.

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