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The Starting 11 - John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration, Inaugural Black Friday Game Highlight Week 1

The Week 12 festivities in the NFL are set to kick off with the much-anticipated John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration, featuring an inaugural Black Friday game. As we reflect on the immortalized busts in Canton, John Madden's words echo, suggesting that when the lights dim, those bronze representations engage in conversation.

In a season filled with unpredictable outcomes, only four teams—Cleveland (7-3), Detroit (8-2), Houston (6-4), and Jacksonville (7-3)—have never graced a Super Bowl. Strikingly, each of these teams currently sits in either first or second place in their divisions. The Browns and Lions, both on a three-decade quest for division titles, have staged thrilling comebacks, leaving them poised for a playoff bracket convergence.

The NFL, in collaboration with networks, pays homage to Madden's legacy through the second annual John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration. Merging football, family, food, tradition, and fun, this day honors Madden's profound impact on the game. The celebration includes tributes during Thanksgiving Day games, starting with a distinctive Madden hallmark, and networks selecting a player of the game. The NFL Foundation will donate $10,000 to youth or high-school football programs in the players' names, underscoring Madden's commitment to football at all levels.

On the field, the six Thanksgiving teams will wear Madden silhouette patches, and his iconic profile will grace the coin at each toss. As the celebration unfolds, fans can expect to see commemorative stencils at Ford Field, AT&T Stadium, and Lumen Field.

The Thanksgiving tripleheader commences with the Detroit Lions (8-2) hosting the Green Bay Packers (4-6) at Ford Field. Detroit, rallying from a 12-point deficit in the final minutes last week, seeks to extend its winning streak over the Packers to five, marking a historic achievement. Emerging stars Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs headline a potent Lions offense. Meanwhile, Green Bay, led by Jordan Love's impressive performance last week, aims to disrupt Detroit's Thanksgiving tradition.

The second matchup features the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) hosting the Washington Commanders (4-7). Cowboys' wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards, faces off against Commanders' cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, with 15 passes defensed. Dallas seeks its 13th consecutive home win, while Washington aims to build on the talents of quarterback Sam Howell and disrupt the Cowboys' home streak.

The Sunday Night Football spectacle showcases the Baltimore Ravens (8-3) and the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6). Turnovers will be pivotal as both teams excel at converting them into points. Ravens' Justin Madubuike spearheads the league-leading sack total, while Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert and wide receiver Keenan Allen continue to set records.

These are just a few of the exciting storylines and matchups awaiting fans in Week 12. As we embark on the Thanksgiving football tradition, the spirit of Madden lives on, reminding us of the unpredictable nature and enduring excitement of the game.

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a new writer on the MTMV Sports platform. I am a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, dog mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow my writings as I dive into the latest sports news! You can find me on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.


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