For many around the country, Thanksgiving is an amazing time of family, friends and food. For some athletes, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year to balance their jobs, their passions and their familial responsibilities. November and December is when you make your money in the NFL, and for the NBA and NHL it is when teams show whether or not they are early title contenders.
Here at TDT Media, we try and cover a little bit of everything. With that in mind, I am going to return my weekly column "Hurley Happenings" to the TDT Media Network in both written and video form. I will, each week, take a look at some of the best individual and team performances, check out the Hurley Hot Seat, and break down the biggest games, injuries and highlights from the week. The column will be longer than the video, so if you have a short attention span head to YouTube every Monday at 5PM CT.
As always, a huge shoutout to our team at TDT Media who encouraged me to return to writing, and a specific shoutout to Brayden Conrad who will be helping me out with making all the magic happen every week.
With that out of the way, let's get into the wild Thanksgiving week of sports we had!
Games of the Week (11/20-11/26)
1. Warriors vs. Suns, Phoenix Defeats Golden State 123-115
I wrote about this game individually when I finished watching it, but it absolutely needs to be discussed more. Scott Foster was handing out technical fouls like Oprah hands out free cars, and that was just the "normal" first half of the NBA's most exciting matchup of the week.
Once Chris Paul was ejected and the Warriors starters were benched, Dario Saric and the young Warriors led an improbable comeback that had Frank Vogel putting Kevin Durant and Devin Booker back into the game after they had already put their warm-up jackets back on. With plenty of questions surrounding Andrew Wiggins' offense, the sanity of Draymond Green, and the health of their veterans long term, it will be good to have some late game experience for the younger guys on Golden State's bench.
2. Bills vs. Eagles, Philly wins OT thriller 37-34
Josh Allen is 0-6 in his career in overtime, which may be why Brandon Graham said "it doesn't matter" when Buffalo won the OT coin toss and elected to receive. The game should not have even made it to overtime if it wasn't for the powerful right leg of Jake Elliott who made a burning line drive 59 yard field goal through the rain in the final moments of regulation.
Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts both rushed for 2 touchdowns apiece, something that we all definitely had on our NFL Week 12 bingo card. Once again, Josh Allen makes plenty of magic on offense, but the Buffalo defense fails Allen in crunch time. Buffalo falls to 6-6 on the season and 2-6 in one-score games for the 2023 season, which does not bode well for a late season playoff run.
Philadelphia moves to 10-1, completes another 10 point comeback and cements themselves atop the NFC, and the NFL. Jalen Hurts should not be in the MVP conversation, but the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with, no matter the elements.
3. Michigan vs. Ohio State, Michigan overcomes loss of Harbaugh to win "The Game" 30-24
All due respect to TDT Media's Coach Kenny, but Ohio State never had a chance in this one. Ohio State was down 14-3 early, and Michigan never looked back. There were late game theatrics and all of the good stuff you want in your Michigan vs. Ohio State matchups, but the boys in blue proved that Harbaugh, or no Harbaugh, they are going to throttle Ryan Day when it matters most.
Ohio State needs some upgrades next season: Coach, QB, and WR with Marvin Harrison Jr. exiting to be the highest drafted WR since Ja'Marr Chase in 2021.
MVP of the Week (11/20-11/26)
Jayden Daniels, 355 total yards, 4 TDs, 42-30 Win over Texas A&M
This will not only be a discussion of Daniels' performance this week, but taking a look at his year long campaign that has cemented Daniels as the QB3 in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Daniels 2023 season has been absolutely ridiculous. Daniels has had 3,812 yards and 40 TD's through the air, which would be amazing on it's own. Then add in another 1,134 yards on the ground and 10 more touchdowns? Welcome to the Heisman race, Mr. Daniels. Not only is Daniels putting up better numbers than 2019 Joe Burrow, he's doing it with an objectively worse roster around him. While Caleb Williams and Drake Maye should be QB1 and QB2, don't sleep on Daniels come April.
Rookie of the Week (11/20-11/26)
Bijan Robinson and Bijan Robinson fantasy managers: 16 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD rushing, 3 catches, 32 receiving yards and 1 TD receiving
THE FALCONS FINALLY REMEMBERED THAT BIJAN EXISTS! Praise Jesus and pass the biscuits, Arthur Smith finally let Bijan Robinson free. After weeks of Robinson's fantasy managers crying, and Falcons' fans crying, Smith finally made the right call. Robinson looked dynamic in the passing game and the rushing game, and he was key to a division leading win for Atlanta on Sunday.
Although I doubt this trend will continue, it was nice to see a Top 10 pick be utilized like a Top 10 pick for once.
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami Dolphins: Torn Achilles
The turf at MetLife Stadium needs to be fired into the face of the sun. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, notable injuries at MetLife included but are not limited to:
Nick Bosa (ACL tear)
Solomon Thomas (ACL tear)
Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain)
Raheem Mostert (MCL tear)
Sterling Shepard (Achilles tear)
Sterling Shepard (ACL tear)
Wan'Dale Robinson (ACL tear)
Blake Martinez (Achilles tear)
Shane Lemieux (PT tear)
Jabrill Peppers (ACL tear)
Kyle Fuller (ACL tear)
Aaron Rodgers (Achilles tear)
Al Woods (Achilles tear)
Kyle Shanahan and plenty of opposing players and coaches have absolutely ripped on this turf. I know the NFL hates admitting when they are wrong, but preaching player safety and allowing this turf to be played on every week paints a very confusing picture for those of us sitting at home.
Zak Zinter, OL University of Michigan: Broken Tibia and Fibula vs. Ohio State
First of all, you never like to see an All-American player go down with an injury. But when they suffer such a gruesome injury that Fox would not even show the injury, that makes it even worse.
After the game, Jim Harbaugh called for NCAA athletes to get paid, again, due to the risky nature of playing such a physical sport. For players that have not yet received their big NFL pay day, Harbaugh even proposed coaches taking pay cuts to distribute money back into NCAA programs for the players.
While I wouldn't advise taking moral advice from Harbaugh at the moment, the sentiment is still nice and it's absolutely something to discuss.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB Cleveland Browns: Concussion
You have to feel for Browns fans. Not only was that hit on DTR definitely targeting and roughing the passer, but the Browns could be one of the best teams in the NFL if not for injuries. First Nick Chubb, then Watson, now DTR and possibly Myles Garrett. As much chaos as there has been surrounding Cleveland for the last few years, these loyal fans deserve some success, dang it.
Hurley's Hot Seat
Where do I even start? Not only has the NCAA made silly trouble for themselves by not allowing a green dot helmet on offense and defense, causing a Top 3 team to be without their head coach in the most important game of the year, but they continue to make ridiculous rulings.
The NCAA wasn't going to allow James Madison to be bowl eligible, which ESPN and College GameDay proved was silly. I continually try and get more involved in college sports, and the NCAA makes stupid money, people and sports decisions and drives me right back towards professional sports.
I know my voice may not be loud enough yet, but when Pat McAfee, Stephen A. Smith and other notable sports pundits are yelling from the top of their lungs for you to go?
YOU are on the Hurley Hot Seat.
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