The Giants will take part in the inaugural "John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration" as one of six teams in action this Thursday.
In addition to logos on the fields and helmet decals for players, each network will select a "Madden Player of the Game." The winner will receive a $10,000 donation in their name from the NFL Foundation to the youth or high school football program of their choice, as the topic of youth football was important to Madden.
Madden called 21 Thanksgiving Day games in his broadcasting career, including two that involved the Giants. In 1982, Lawrence Taylor intercepted Lions quarterback Gary Danielson on third-and-goal and returned it 97 yards for a game-winning touchdown. Madden also called the 1992 holiday meeting of the Giants and Cowboys, who rolled to a 30-3 victory.
"It's great. It's a great tribute. You remember when you're a kid, sitting down and watching television and the games and Madden and turducken and all those type of things," said coach Brian Daboll, who will play in his sixth Thanksgiving game – third against Dallas. "Again, we've got a big challenge ahead of us in Dallas and that's where we've got to keep it."
Here are three things the Giants must do on Thursday to get a turkey leg before their flight home:
As we embark on the season of giving, the Giants need to do more taking. They didn't have to dig deep to find out why they lost last week as they turned over the ball three times and didn't force any on defense. NFL teams are 1-23 when they have a turnover differential of minus-3 or worse this season. The Giants are still positive on the season, but the Cowboys enter at plus-7, tied with the Vikings for third-best in the league.
Stay on schedule
Entering last week as the league's leading rusher, Saquon Barkley was held to a season-low 22 yards on 15 carries (1.5 yards per rush). The Giants' formula to success has been no secret this year. When they get unbalanced, they run into trouble. In the three games that Daniel Jones had to throw more than 30 times, the Giants are 1-3 and have been outscored, 97-66. The Giants will look to avoid falling into obvious passing downs against Micah Parsons and the Cowboys, who lead the NFL in sacks.
Next men up
The major story line coming out of Sunday was the Giants' injury report. They lost six players during Week 11 alone: cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson (knee) and Fabian Moreau (oblique), center Jon Feliciano (neck), tackle Tyre Phillips (neck), safety Jason Pinnock (jaw), and wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Daboll already ruled out Jackson and tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye), while the rest will be game-time decisions. The Giants have found a way more often than not this season, but everyone will have to help fill the void this week.
"When you're losing starters to injuries, that's going to be tough on any team," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. "We have confidence in the guys who are going to step up in those positions, and we're going to do our best to let them know that we're confident in them so that they're confident on game day."
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