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Panthers still undefeated
The Panthers improved to 11-0 with a 33-14 win in Dallas in which they intercepted Tony Romo three times, returning two for touchdowns. Carolina is the third team in NFL history to extend a perfect (undefeated and untied) season with a Thanksgiving Day victory, joining the 1934 Bears (12-0) and 2011 Packers (11-0). The Panthers' only other game in team history with two pick-6s came in their division-winning week 17 win over the Falcons last season.
Luke Kuechly intercepted a Tony Romo pass and returned it 32 yards for a score and then, following the kickoff, he intercepted Romo again on the next play from scrimmage to highlight the Panthers' victory. Kuechly became the first NFL player in 28 years to intercept an opponent on the first play from scrimmage after victimizing the same player with a pick-six. The last to do it was none other than Clay Matthews -- no, not the star linebacker of today's Packers, but his father, the star linebacker of the 1980s Browns. On September 20, 1987, Matthews picked the Steelers' Mark Malone on two consecutive plays from scrimmage, the first of which Matthews returned 26 yards for a touchdown, in Cleveland's 34-10 victory.
Stafford and Lions treat Eagles like turkeys
Matthew Stafford threw five touchdown passes, including three to Calvin Johnson, in Detroit's 45-14 win over Philadelphia on Thursday. That's after Jameis Winston threw five TD passes against the Eagles on Sunday. The Eagles are the sixth team in NFL history to allow five or more TD passes in consecutive games; the only other team to do that in the last 48 seasons was the Bears, against the Patriots and Packers last November.
The Eagles have allowed as many five TD-pass games in their last two games as they did in their last 666 games before Sunday, dating back to 1972.
Stafford is the fifth player to throw five TD passes on Thanksgiving, and his total of 337 passing yards is the highest among that group of players. The others with five Turkey Day TD passes were Johnny Green (1962 New York Titans), Bob Griese (six, 1977 Dolphins), Peyton Manning (six, 2004 Colts) and Tony Romo (2006 Cowboys).
Cutler and Bears ruin Packers' Thanksgiving ceremony
The Bears defeated the Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday night, 17-13, with Jay Cutler winning a start against Aaron Rodgers for only the second time in 12 regular-season games and one postseason meeting. The Packers, who also lost their previous home game, to the Lions on November 15, had not lost consecutive home games with Rodgers starting since weeks 13 and 14 of the 2008 season. It was the second-fewest points that the Packers have scored in any of Rodgers' home starts; they won a 10-3 decision over the Bears in the final regular-season game of the 2010 season.