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4 winners and 2 losers from Vikings’ 30-23 Thanksgiving Day win over the Lions

The Lions almost pulled off a late-game comeback, but the Vikings held them off.

The Lions hadn’t lost a Thanksgiving Day matchup since 2012. That changed on Thursday when they fell 30-23 to the Vikings.

The Lions closed the gap on a 17-point lead the Vikings had early in the third quarter and made it a game late. It looked like they might pull off one of those classic fourth-quarter comebacks that Matthew Stafford’s so well known for. But Stafford’s only interception of the day came when the Vikings were pushing to score on their last drive, and it killed their chances.

The Lions fall to 6-5 with the loss, which hurts their postseason chances. The Vikings improved to 9-2 and shored up their stronghold on the NFC North.

Winner: This Thanksgiving dinner touchdown celebration

You never know what the Vikings are going to do when they score a touchdown. They’ve played duck, duck, goose and leapfrog in the end zone. But there’s no more perfect celebration for Thanksgiving Day than sitting down after a score for a nice, big Thanksgiving dinner.

Winner: Everson Griffen, who had a baby boy and a big game

Griffen’s wife gave birth to the couple’s brand new baby son shortly before the game kicked off. And Griffen was instrumental in the Vikings’ defensive effort. He had two of the Vikings’ three sacks.

Griffen even asked America what he should name their new baby.


Winner: Matthew Stafford

No, he didn’t win the game. But Stafford almost pulled off one of his trademark fourth-quarter comeback attempts. He also broke Tony Romo’s record for the most passing yards all-time in Thanksgiving games with this 6-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones.

Stafford finished the game 20-of-35 for 236 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick. The pick didn’t come until the fourth quarter

Loser: This snap from Vikings center Pat Elflein

Oh, dear.

Winner: Adam Thielen

Thielen passed an important milestone for himself and the Vikings.

Thielen’s rapport with Case Keenum has been a tremendous factor for the Vikings offense this season. He caught eight of 11 targets for 89 yards against the Lions.

Loser: The refs

The NFL rules define taunting, in part, as participating in a celebration on the ground. But Case Keenum wasn’t celebrating when he tossed the ball in Ezekiel Ansah’s general direction after being sacked.

The refs became the story of the day.

There were plenty of blown calls, bad spots, and just plain questionable flags in this one. A lot of the bad calls in the second half went in the Lions’ favor, but it didn’t help them enough to pull off the win.

Things we're thankful for this NFL season