The New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears are thankful for victories. The Saints picked up their tenth consecutive win, the Cowboys now own a share of first place in the NFC East, and the NFC North-leading Bears have their first five-game winning streak in five years.
Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes and the Saints moved to 10-1 by slamming the Falcons, 31-17. Tommylee Lewis and Austin Carr each caught their second career touchdown pass, and rookie tight end Dan Arnold grabbed his first, as did rookie receiver Keith Kirkwood. All four entered the NFL as undrafted free agents within the past three years and had combined for zero touchdowns this season until last Sunday.
The Saints' defense surrendered just 26 yards rushing, had a season-high six sacks and was helped out by three Atlanta fumbles inside the New Orleans 20.
Matt Ryan finished 35 of 47 for 377 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Ryan also lost a fumble on the opening drive as the Falcons fell to 4-7, eliminating themselves from the NFC South race.
Dallas has pulled even with Washington at 6-5 after Amari Cooper's electrifying performance led the Cowboys to a 31-23 win over the Redskins. Cooper scored two touchdowns and set a Cowboys Thanksgiving Day record with 180 yards receiving.
Cooper had a 90-yard touchdown grab, the longest of his career and the longest in quarterback Dak Prescott's three NFL seasons. Cooper also provided a 40-yard scoring reception from Prescott, who was 22 of 31 for 289 yards and no interceptions.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 121 yards and a touchdown to help the Cowboys earn their third straight win.
The Redskins lost for the third time in four games in Colt McCoy's first start in four years coming off Alex Smith's season-ending leg injury. The former Texas Longhorns star threw for 268 yards and two TDs but had three interceptions.
It took a backup quarterback and a big interception for the Bears to run their winning streak to five games.
Chase Daniel set single-game career highs in all major passing categories and Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown for the second straight game to lead the 8-3 Bears to a win over the Lions in Detroit, 23-16.
Daniel was 27 of 37 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions to lead Chicago's offense while No. 1 QB Mitchell Trubisky sat out the game with a shoulder injury. The 32-year-old Daniel looked very sharp despite making his first NFL start since 2014 for Kansas City.
But the game was tied at 16 until Jackson brought back an interception 41 yards for a touchdown with six minutes left. The second-year safety has scored five TDs in 27 games since being taken in the fourth round of last year's NFL draft.
Matthew Stafford was 28 of 38 for 236 yards, but he had no touchdown passes and was intercepted twice over the final six minutes. His last pass was picked off by Kyle Fuller with about a minute remaining.
LeGarrette Blount ran for 88 yards and two scores on 19 carries for the 4-7 Lions.
Jets' Darnold sits out again, appears unlikely vs. Patriots:
Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold sat out team drills for a second straight day, increasing the likelihood he will sit out Sunday's game against the Patriots.
Darnold strained his right foot against Miami on Nov. 4 and sat out the following week against Buffalo.
In Sunday’s NFL Action:
The Buffalo Bills host Jacksonville at 1 p.m.
The New England Patriots take on the New York Jets 1 p.m.
The New York Giants go against Philadelphia at 1 p.m.
The Egg Bowl turned into the Egg Brawl as four players were ejected before No. 22 Mississippi State completed a 35-3 rout of Mississippi.
Tempers erupted after Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown appeared to score a touchdown at the end of the third quarter. Players immediately started shoving, and the fight spilled into the end zone while both benches emptied onto the field.
Mississippi State's Cameron Dantzler, Jamal Peters and Willie Gay Jr. were ejected, along with Ole Miss' C.J. Moore. The touchdown was waved off after it was ruled the quarter had expired before the play began.
Bulldogs running backs Nick Fitzgerald and Kylin Hill combined for 225 yards rushing. Fitzgerald ran for 117 yards two touchdowns and threw for another score as Mississippi State improved to 8-4.
Minnesota takes on the Brooklyn Nets 12 p.m.
The Boston Celtics take on Atlanta at 7:30 p.m.
The New York Knicks host New Orleans at 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland goes against Philadelphia at 7:30 p.m.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Fourth-ranked Virginia and No. 25 Wisconsin have advanced to Friday's Battle 4 Atlantis championship game.
DeAndre Hunter matched his career high with 23 points, including a big 3-pointer with 53.1 seconds left in the Cavaliers' 66-59 victory over Dayton. Ty Jerome finished with 15 points and Kyle Guy added 14 for the Cavaliers, who shot 50 percent in the second half.
The Flyers shot 55 percent in the second half to keep the margin within single digits.
D'Mitrik Trice nailed seven 3-pointers in eight attempts while scoring a career-high 25 points to highlight the Badgers' 78-58 rout of Oklahoma. Wisconsin made 8 of 9 3-pointers after halftime and 14 of 22 for the game to advance to the title game.
The Badgers shot 59 percent in the second half, using a 10-0 run to blow the game open.
In other Top 25 games:
Jordan Caroline's 25 points and 11 rebounds carried sixth-ranked Nevada to a 96-86 victory against Tulsa in the Las Vegas Invitational semifinals. Caleb Martin shot 10-for-10 from the line in scoring 21 points for the Wolf Pack, while Jazz Johnson had 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Nevada will carry a 5-0 record into the tournament title game tomorrow against Massachusetts.
Kerwin Roach II had a career-high 32 points with seven assists and six steals to lead Texas over No. 7 North Carolina 92-89 in the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Roach also had six rebounds and was 12 of 15 from the field, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. Freshman Coby White shot 7-for-10 from 3-point range while scoring a game-high 33 points, but he missed a 3-pointer that would have put the 5-1 Tar Heels ahead with 1:01 left.
No. 17 Michigan State were never threatened after taking a 51-26 halftime lead in an 87-67 rout of UCLA in the Las Vegas Invitational. Cassius Winston hit three of his six 3-point attempts and finished with team highs of 19 points and seven assists. Joshua Langford had 14 points and Kenny Goins grabbed 12 rebounds in helping the Spartans improve to 4-1.
Terance Mann scored 17 points and 14th-ranked Florida State advanced to the AdvoCare Invitational semifinals with an 81-63 victory over UAB. Christ Koumadje had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Seminoles.
Emmitt Williams had 14 points and nine rebounds to lift No. 19 LSU past College of Charleston, 67-55 in the Advocare Invitational semifinals. Skylar Mays added 12 points for the 5-0 Tigers. The Cougars got a season-high 27 points and nine rebounds from Jarrell Brantley.
UMass defeated Southern Illinois 84-62
UMass takes on Nevada Friday at 10 p.m.
UAlbany goes against Milwaukee Friday at 8 p.m.
Fairfield plays Longwood Friday at 6 p.m.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UConn topped Ole Miss 90-50
Syracuse defeated Kansas State 70-61
Syracuse faces off against Princeton Friday at 1:30 p.m.
UConn takes on St. John’s Friday at 7:30 p.m.
UMass goes against the Bucknell Bison Friday at 6 p.m.
Vermont takes on Wagner Friday at 4 p.m.
In Friday’s MAAC action:
Marist faces off against Stetson at 1 p.m.
Fairfield takes on Brown at 4 p.m.
Quinnipiac goes against Texas at 5 p.m.
Siena will take on Drexel at 7 p.m.
The struggling Pittsburgh Penguins will play their next few games without their No. 1 goaltender.
Matt Murray has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Coach Mike Sullivan said Murray had been dealing with the injury "for a couple weeks" before doctors prescribed rest for the 24-year-old netminder.
Murray is 4-5-1 with a 4.08 goals-against average and .877 save percentage in 11 games, spending most of the last six weeks splitting time with Casey DeSmith.
Pittsburgh recalled netminder Tristan Jarry from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.
The Pens had dropped nine of 10 before Wednesday's convincing 5-1 victory against Dallas. Pittsburgh takes on the Bruins in Boston on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Elsewhere in Friday’s NHL Action:
The New York Rangers take on the Flyers at 1 p.m.
The Buffalo Sabres host Montreal at 4 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils go against the New York Islanders at 4 p.m.
Also in the NHL:
The Edmonton Oilers have added to their blueline by acquiring Chris Wideman from the Ottawa Senators for a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft. The 28-year-old Wideman has two goals, three assists and 12 penalty minutes in 19 games this season. The St. Louis native and former Miami University star had 16 goals, 27 assists, 98 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of plus-7 over 175 games in four seasons with Ottawa.
The plan to bring thoroughbred horse racing back to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds next year is no longer on track, but organizers say they're not giving up.
Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC, parent company of Suffolk Downs in Boston, is waiting on the state Legislature to change racing laws so the company can extend its license and bring live horse racing to the western Massachusetts town.
Chip Tuttle, Sterling Suffolk's chief operating officer, tells The Berkshire Eagle the company sought the legislative changes in May 2018, but was not able to get it done by the time the session expired in July.
He says the plan is to bring it up again in the future.
The company in May agreed to a long-term lease with the nonprofit Great Barrington Fairgrounds.
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