Any holiday that requires John Madden to provide a six-legged turkey for the players of the game has to be good. And this year’s contests, unlike many Turkey Day games, were actually entertaining, at least in the end.

There was a lot to be thankful for. There was Brett Favre, getting a head butt from a Lion defensive lineman, and then improving.

There were throwback jerseys, which made Denver dress in their hideous uniforms of yesteryear.

There was Ryan Leaf, playing like Ryan Leaf and then almost winning. There was Dave Campo, coaching like Ryan Leaf, and therefore losing.

And of course, there were the Detroit Lions, finding a new way to lose.

You have to give them credit, they tried really hard to win this one.

After falling behind 29-13, the Lions came back. Rookie Mike McMahon, playing for a now psychologically crippled Charlie Batch, was amazing. They recovered an onside kick. They even bounced back from what seemed a devastating non-review on the part of the instant replay booth to score with 10 seconds left. They were on the cusp of victory, ready to send the game into overtime, when it happened again.

Lightning struck, the ground shook, McMahon threw the two-point conversion attempt out the back of the end zone, and the Lions lost. Detroit is now 0-10, needing only one more loss to tie the all-time franchise low of 0-11. The Lion’s best chance looks to come against Dallas, who fell in a similar fashion to Denver on Turkey Day, in week 16.

Week 11 Highlights:

Washington at Philadelphia: The Redskins have done it. With their 13-3 victory over the Eagles on Sunday, Washington reached .500. Not so impressive, you say? Where have you been? Just six weeks ago the Redskins were 0-5 and everyone’s pick for the worst team in the NFL. Marty Schottenheimer was being lined up in front of a firing squad. Now they control their own destiny. That’s right, if they Skins win out, they win the division. Holding Philadelphia to just 3 points in Veterans Stadium is almost unthinkable considering they had scored 84 points in the two games prior to Sunday. I swore I’d never say it, but: Hail to the Redskins, Hail victory–

Oakland at N.Y. Giants: Jim Fassel has to pull something out of his hat, and it better be more than a guarantee. The Giants were completely outclassed by Oakland on Sunday, as the Raiders smacked them to the tune of 28-10. It might just have been the rain in his eyes, but Jon Gruden was smiling like Chucky smelling blood. Giant blood. Somewhere in his crypt, Al Davis is smiling.

Random Thoughts:

Cleveland 18, Cincinnati 0 — Kitna, Mitchell and Smith create a Bungling three headed monster.

Pittsburgh 34, Tennessee 24 — Slash throws for 254 yards and two scores? What is this, 1997?

Kansas City 19, Seattle 7 — Holmgren’s face turning Arrowhead red.

San Francisco 40, Indianapolis 21 — Garcia, Owens and Hearst show Indy how a real big three performs.

Atlanta 10, Carolina 7 — Falcons and Panthers? The basement really is the pits in the NFC West.

Miami 34, Buffalo 27 — Alex throws for 309 and 3 touches, yet the Bills still get Van Pelt-ed.

Arizona 20, San Diego 17 — Now that’s the Chargers I remember. Anybody seen Stan Humphries?

New England 34, New Orleans 17 — In battle of nouveau’s, Saints prove passe.

Baltimore 24, Jacksonville 21 — Elvis sighting in Florida. Controversy quelled. For now.