Ranking Dak Prescott and the Rest of the Starting QBs Playing on Thanksgiving Day
For the second time in three years, football fans will get to enjoy Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen take the field on Thanksgiving. They’ll also get to enjoy the likes of Jared Goff and Trevor Siemian.
Welcome to Thanksgiving Day 2021, which features three games, only two of which really matter. We’d apologize to Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions fans, but such is life. There will be three games and six starting quarterbacks on Thursday, Nov. 22, and we’re here to decide who’s the best of the best … and who will make you want to have a pre-dinner nap.
When ranking the following six quarterbacks, we looked at overall performance to what’s happened in recent weeks. Based on consideration of the aforementioned prerequisites, the six quarterbacks in question stack up as follows:
6. Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Goff is back after missing a Week 11 loss to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns with an oblique injury. The 2016 No. 1 overall pick has continued from his fall from grace on the winless Lions, completing 66.1% of his passes for 2,109 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions.
If things go wrong against the Bears, maybe Roary the Lion can jump behind center.
5. Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears
As of now, it’s looking like Andy Dalton will start against the woeful Lions on Thursday afternoon. The three-time Pro Bowler has completed 65.8% of his passes for 471 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception thus far this year. Please direct your sincere thanks to the NFL schedule-makers for making us sit through yet another meaningless Bears-Lions matchup.
If Fields were healthy, the only thing that would push him to No. 4 is the excitement factor of a rookie quarterback playing a nationally-televised game. It’s too bad the NFL will seemingly never give us an early-window Thanksgiving game involving a team other than the Lions.
4. Trevor Siemian, New Orleans Saints
Despite the Saints’ recent struggles, Siemian is at least putting himself in a position to earn a nice pay increase in 2022. After only throwing six passes from 2018-20, the Northwestern product completed 56.9% of his passes over the last four weeks from 920 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions.
However, the Saints have lost three straight games and are in freefall mode. Unfortunately for Saints fans, Drew Brees — who will call the Bills-Saints game for NBC Sports — won’t be able to leave the broadcast booth and take the field on Thursday night.
3. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Although Carr is apace to throw for a career-high 5,182 yards (he’s only topped 4,100 yards once) and 27 touchdowns, he’s already thrown nine interceptions. Remember, we’re talking about a quarterback who hasn’t thrown double-digit interceptions since 2018.
The Raiders have lost three straight, and we’re not exactly optimistic they’ll break the streak against Prescott and the Cowboys. Viewers should expect young linebacker Micah Parsons to feast on Carr, who has thrown four interceptions and lost two fumbles during the losing streak.
2. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Alright, now we’re really digging into the meat of the turkey. Allen has taken a slight step back after an impressive Pro Bowl campaign in 2020, completing 65.7% of his passes for 2,811 yards, 21 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in the Bills’ first 10 games. The mobile quarterback also rushed for 340 yards and three touchdowns during Buffalo’s 6-4 start.
So why are we going with Prescott over Allen? Well, the latter has been inconsistent all season despite having a relatively healthy offense around him. Maybe we’re too harsh in holding his recent performances in losses against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts against him … but we’re doing it anyway.
1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Barring anything unexpected in the 2021 season’s final seven weeks, Prescott should walk away with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, and he may very well do so with the MVP Award. The sixth-year quarterback has rebounded from last year’s horrific ankle injury to complete 69.6% of his passes for 2,557 yards, 20 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
If recent losses to the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are a harbinger of what’s to come, then Prescott and teammates will have serious issues going forward. But for our money, he’s the best quarterback playing on Thanksgiving, and nothing — not even grandma’s sweet potato pie — is going to change our mind.
Actually, can you send some pie, though? We’ll need everything you have to make it through the Bears-Lions game.