just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving in the National Football League without Pro
Football Hall of Famer JOHN MADDEN.
iconic coach, broadcaster and entertainment pioneer passed away late last year,
the league determined that Thanksgiving was the best way to truly honor one of
its most impactful individuals and preserve his legacy in perpetuity.
“John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration” this week will feature special broadcast
tributes during respective Thanksgiving games on CBS, FOX and NBC. Additionally,
each network will select a “Madden Player of the Game,” who will receive a
$10,000 donation in their name from the NFL Foundation to the youth or high
school football program of their choice.
And to honor
Madden in this week’s Starting 11, the league remembers the pro football legend
through 11 of his most memorable quotes…
ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: “Since 1981, I've spent every
Thanksgiving Day broadcasting a game, and it is one of my favorite days. You
can say, 'Woe is me, I never get to be part of the tradition,' or you can say,
'Heck, we've got our own tradition, and it's pretty good.'”
were important to Madden. Whether honoring the game, family, the turducken dish
he discovered in New Orleans and shared with his bus drivers, colleagues and
friends, or the NFL’s long history of playing on Thanksgiving, time-honored
celebrations were held in high regard by the Pro Football Hall of Famer.
another tradition that surely would’ve made Madden proud is the NFL’s long
trend of teams overcoming down years and rebounding to make the playoffs. Two
teams in that category will meet on Thanksgiving Day at AT&T Stadium (4:30
PM ET, FOX), when the NEW YORK GIANTS
(7-3) visit the DALLAS COWBOYS (7-3).
In each of the last 32 seasons (1990-2021), at least four teams annually have reached
the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the previous year. In 2021,
Dallas was one of seven teams that earned playoff berths after missing the
postseason the year before. This season, the Giants have put themselves in
prime position to join that group.
and longtime broadcast partner Pat Summerall were in the Texas Stadium booth for
CBS the last time the Giants met the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 1992.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 99: “Sometimes we think video games are
just games for kids, and then once they get out of grammar school or high
school, they never play again. But that's when they really start playing.”
helped create one of the most exclusive groups in sports: The 99 Club, made up
of those players with a 99 rating in the Madden NFL video game.
current member of that club, defensive end MYLES
GARRETT, will meet a recent 99 overall member, quarterback TOM BRADY, when TAMPA BAY (5-5) travels to CLEVELAND
(3-7). Sunday’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium (1:00 PM ET, FOX) also features
Browns running back NICK CHUBB, who
currently carries a 98 Madden rating. In real life, Chubb has the
second-highest career rushing average (5.3 yards per carry) in NFL history
(minimum 1,000 attempts).
current members of the 99 Club are Raiders wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS, Rams defensive lineman AARON DONALD and 49ers tackle TRENT
CONVICTION AND HUMILITY: “Self-praise is for losers. Be a
winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”
players that epitomize those qualities and certainly would’ve impressed Madden in
2022 will meet on Sunday when BALTIMORE
(7-3) squares off with JACKSONVILLE
(3-7) at TIAA Bank Field (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Quarterback LAMAR JACKSON has first-place Baltimore in position to reach the
playoffs for the third time in his four seasons as the Ravens’ starter. Meanwhile,
the Jaguars’ TREVOR LAWRENCE has
shown remarkable improvement, having already passed for more touchdowns than
his rookie season. Additionally, in four of his past five games, Lawrence has
not thrown an interception. Jacksonville running back TRAVIS ETIENNE has averaged 120.0 scrimmage yards per game since
Week 7. Only TONY POLLARD and DERRICK HENRY have higher averages over
the past five weeks in the NFL.
MADDEN SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: “Football isn't nuclear physics,
but it's not so simple that you can make it simple. It takes some explaining to
get it across.”
as one of the best teachers in football history, Madden became the first
American sports broadcaster to use a telestrator during the Super Bowl XVI
broadcast on CBS, as the 49ers defeated the Bengals, 26-21. He certainly
would’ve used that telestrator this week to explain the chess match at Levi’s
Stadium on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX) when SAN
FRANCISCO (6-4) hosts NEW ORLEANS
wide receiver CHRIS OLAVE has 51
receptions for 760 yards, both first among NFL rookies.
Francisco safety TALANOA HUFANGA, a
big reason the 49ers have shut out opponents in the second half of each of
their past three games, has emerged as a leader in the San Francisco secondary.
MADDEN SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: “Discipline is knowing what you're
supposed to do and doing it as best you can.”
expect a lot of laundry on the field when the LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-7) visit the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-2) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX). The Rams rank
second in the league with just 4.3 penalties per game while the Chiefs (5.1)
are tied for the fourth fewest.
the last meeting between the clubs (Week 11, 2018), the Rams defeated the
Chiefs, 54-51, the first game in NFL history in which each team reached 50
points. In the third-highest-scoring game (105 combined points) of all-time,
the two clubs combined for 1,001 total yards of offense.
THAT’S A LOUD DEFENSE: “You got one guy going BOOM, one
guy going WHACK, and one guy not getting in the end zone.”
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (6-5) have won
five of their last six games heading into Sunday’s matchup with the ATLANTA FALCONS (5-6) at FedExField
(1:00 PM ET, FOX). Over that stretch, since Week 6, the Commanders rank second
in the league in goal-to-go defense, allowing touchdowns on just 45.5 percent
of opponents’ goal-to-go possessions. Washington linebacker JAMIN DAVIS is tied for second in the
NFL with six goal-to-go tackles this season.
DRESSING FOR SUCCESS: “It's a lot easier to get a suit
than it is to get a coach.”
Pro Football Hall of Famer AL DAVIS
hired Madden as Raiders head coach in 1969, Madden was just 32 years old. So, naturally,
he would’ve been impressed with the effort of another rookie head coach,
Minnesota’s KEVIN O’CONNELL.
week, O’Connell and the MINNESOTA
VIKINGS (8-2) host BILL BELICHICK
and the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-4)
on Thanksgiving night (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Belichick earlier this season
surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer GEORGE
HALAS for the second-most wins in NFL history, including the postseason.
has an opportunity to join a significant group of rookie head coaches. In the
NFL’s previous 102 seasons, only 22 individuals have won at least nine of their
first 11 games as an NFL head coach, a list that includes Madden (nine in 1969)
and Halas (nine in 1920).
GOODS & PROVISIONS READY TO GO: “Don’t worry about the horse being
blind; just load the wagon.”
DETROIT LIONS (4-6) have won three
straight and enter Thanksgiving against the BUFFALO BILLS (7-3) in second place in the NFC North. Running back JAMAAL WILLIAMS leads the NFL with 12
rushing touchdowns, the most by a Lions player since Pro Football Hall of Famer
BARRY SANDERS had 16 in 1991. Head
coach DAN CAMPBELL and his club are
bidding for the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2016.
MUSIC CITY, MEADOWLANDS PATIOS COULD BE
CROWDED: “If you
can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”
DERRICK HENRY leads the NFL in both
carries (230) and rushing yards (1,010) this season. In last week’s win, he
became the fifth running back all-time with at least 10 rushing touchdowns in
five consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (nine consecutive
seasons) as well as ADRIAN PETERSON
(seven), SHAUN ALEXANDER (five) and MICHAEL TURNER (five). TENNESSEE (7-3) hosts CINCINNATI (6-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET,
CBS) in a rematch of a thrilling 2021 AFC Divisional playoff game.
CHICAGO (3-8) visits the NEW YORK JETS (6-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM
ET, FOX). Since Madden led the Raiders to a Super Bowl title in 1976, only two
teams have averaged more than 200 rushing yards per game: The 2019 BALTIMORE RAVENS (206.0) and the 1977 CHICAGO BEARS (200.8). The 2022 CHICAGO BEARS (197.9) have a chance to
join that group, led by quarterback JUSTIN
FIELDS, who last week became the second player in the Super Bowl era with
at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown in five consecutive
games, joining KYLER MURRAY (five
consecutive games in 2020).
WEEK IN MADDEN HISTORY:
Nov. 28, 1976 (46 years ago) – Future Pro Football Hall of Famers KEN STABLER and CLIFF BRANCH connect on a 35-yard touchdown as the Raiders dominate
Tampa Bay in a 49-16 victory. The Raiders go on to win their next five games,
including Super Bowl XI over Minnesota. From the start of that ’76 season
through Oct. 9, 1977, Madden and Stabler would lead the Raiders to wins in 20
of 21 games, including the postseason … “I've often said, 'If I had one
drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick
Kenny.' Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a
perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders, you think about Ken Stabler.”
only things that smell good are fat and sugar. Tofu being boiled doesn't smell
good. Anything that smells good is fattening.”
franchise that drafted Madden in 1958, the Philadelphia Eagles, certainly
would’ve impressed him this season, especially with the team’s play on the
offensive line. Philadelphia has started the same five offensive linemen – LANDON DICKERSON, LANE JOHNSON, JASON KELCE,
JORDAN MAILATA and ISAAC SEUMALO – in nine of its 10
games, losing just one start due to injury.
week, PHILADELPHIA (9-1) hosts GREEN BAY (4-7) on Sunday Night
Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC).
WEEK 12 NFL SCHEDULE
Thursday, November 24
Buffalo at Detroit (Thanksgiving)
New York Giants at Dallas (Thanksgiving)
New England at Minnesota (Thanksgiving)
Sunday, November 27
Denver at Carolina
Tampa Bay at Cleveland
Baltimore at Jacksonville
Houston at Miami
Chicago at New York Jets
Cincinnati at Tennessee
Atlanta at Washington
Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona
Las Vegas at Seattle
Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City
New Orleans at San Francisco
Green Bay at Philadelphia
Monday, November 28
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis