Thanksgiving NFL /NCAA-Giants/Redskins and OleMiss/Mississippi State

Giants versus Redskins

The Washington Redskins have only four days to pick themselves up after a late collapse and a crushing defeat that dealt a jarring blow to their postseason hopes. Losers of two in a row and four of their last five, Washington faces what basically amounts to a must-win scenario when it hosts the New York Giants on Thanksgiving night. The Giants versus Redskins will be broadcast at 8:30 pm on NBC. Play this game as part of Thanksgiving GoW cross sports contest starting at 7:30pm ET.

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The Redskins blew a 15-point lead in the final six minutes of an eventual 34-31 overtime loss to New Orleans and dropped to 11th place in the NFC — two games out of the final playoff slot. New York has been relegated to spoiler since opening the season with five consecutive losses, but it halted a three-game skid with a 12-9 overtime victory over AFC West-leading Kansas City on Sunday.

ABOUT THE GIANTS (2-8)

New York put forth a strong defensive effort, limiting Kansas City to three field goals after surrendering a staggering 106 points during its three-game slide. The Giants won despite Eli Manning completing 54.3 percent of his passes and throwing for only 205 yards while failing to toss a touchdown pass for the first time since the season opener. Running back Orleans Darkwa rushed for at least 70 yards for the third consecutive week and added a touchdown on 20 carries, but none of the team’s receivers had more than three catches on Sunday. Safety Landon Collins led to strong defensive effort by intercepting a pass and recording a career-best 14 tackles.

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (4-6)

Washington wasted a superb effort by Kirk Cousins, who threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions against the Saints. Cousins will be without some of his best weapons as Chris Thompson, who leads the team in touchdowns, rushing and receptions, was lost for the season after suffering a broken fibula on Sunday. Wideout Terrelle Pryor was placed on injured reserve, tight end Jordan Reed remains a question mark and the offensive line could be without three starters and the top two centers. Rookie Samaje Perine ran for a season-high 117 yards, but the defense has allowed at least 33 points in the past four losses.

Ole Miss versus Mississippi State

Although Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald had already emerged as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country well prior to last season’s Egg Bowl, his record-breaking rushing performance in that contest pretty much cemented that label. The dangerous junior signal-caller looks to maintain the 17th-ranked Bulldogs’ recent dominance in their Thanksgiving Day rivalry game with Ole Miss when they host the Rebels. Ole Miss versus Mississippi State will be broadcast at 7:30 pm on ESPN. Play this game as part of Thanksgiving GoW cross sports contest starting at 7:30pm ET.

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Fitzgerald accounted for 367 total yards – including a school-record 258 yards on the ground – and five total touchdowns (two rushing) in last year’s 55-20 thrashing of Ole Miss, allowing Mississippi State to avenge a defeat in 2015 and take home the Golden Egg Trophy for the fifth time in eight tries under coach Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs reached the eight-win mark for the fifth time under Mullen following last weekend’s 28-21 thrilling victory at Arkansas, getting two touchdown passes from Fitzgerald over the final 3:57 to pull it out. Win or lose, the Rebels will be playing their final game of the season as a result of a self-imposed postseason ban, which came in February after the NCAA found the program committed multiple violations under former coach Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss guaranteed itself its second straight non-winning season after losing at home to Texas A&M 31-24 over the weekend.

ABOUT OLE MISS (5-6, 2-5 SEC)

A.J. Brown finished with seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Aggies; the 6-2, 225-pound sophomore wideout leads the conference in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,085) and receiving TDs (10). Senior running back Jordan Wilkins, who rushed for a season-high 147 yards on a career-high 19 carries last weekend and is averaging 108.2 yards on the ground over his last four outings, is 99 yards shy of becoming the Rebels’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Dexter McCluster in 2009. Gary Wunderlich is on the verge of breaking multiple school records, needing one more field goal, two more points and one more successful point-after try to break Jonathan Nichols’ career marks in each category.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (8-3, 4-3)

Fitzgerald extended his own SEC record for 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback to 14 after rushing for 101 against the Razorbacks and needs only 52 more yards to move past ex-Bulldog Dak Prescott (2,521) and into third place on the conference’s all-time rushing list from a quarterback. Since totaling 73 yards on the ground in back-to-back losses to Georgia and Auburn at the end of September, Aeris Williams is averaging 89.2 yards rushing over his last six outings and needs 56 more to reach 1,000 for the season. Despite giving up two sacks versus Arkansas, the Bulldogs have allowed a league-low eight – tied for the fourth-best mark in the country.

Happy Thanksgiving

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