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Sustainable Excellence Initiative
Buffs In The NFL: Thanksgiving Edition
Release: November 21, 2012
By: Lauren Van Pelt, Student Assistant SID
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Two former Buffs will be playing for their respective NFL teams on Thursday during the league's Thanksgiving games. Nate Solder's Patriots will play the New York Jets while Lawrence Vickers' Cowboys face the Redskins.

Last Sunday, Solder helped the Patriots roll over the Indianapolis Colts in a 59-24 victory in a game that tied the Pats' franchise single-game scoring record.

The Patriots ended the Colts' four-game winning streak and have now won four consecutive games, extending their lead in the AFC East to three games.

The offensive line set the stage for the Patriots, allowing them to accumulate 446 yards on the day. They did a fantastic job of protecting quarterback Tom Brady, allowing zero sacks while having him only hit twice en route to a 331-yard passing day.

New England's offense continues to be ranked as one of the best in the NFL, and the offensive line can't go unrecognized. In his second season in the league, Solder continues to be a critical part of the Patriots' offensive line. Protecting Tom Brady's blind-side is no easy job, but Solder is proving he has what it takes as he has started in every game this season and saw action in every game as a rookie.

Solder and the 7-4 Patriots are now preparing for their Thanksgiving night match up against the New York Jets (6:20 p.m. MT, NBC), who improved to 4-6 with their win over the St. Louis Rams last week.

In Dallas, it was a different kind of win for Vickers and the Cowboys. Despite suffering a 13-0 deficit at halftime, the Cowboys were able to rally back and prevail in overtime against the two-win Cleveland Browns, edging them 23-20.

It was an especially meaningful game for Vickers, who spent his first five years in the league with Cleveland. Vickers was a key to the Cowboys' victory, catching a 3-yard pass on a fourth-and-1 to extend the drive that gave Dallas their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter.

"I had to have that one. That was personal," Vickers told the Fort Worth Star Telegram after the game. "That was a gut punch, right there. This was a personal game. It was special."

Dallas is also preparing for their annual Thanksgiving Day showdown, this year against the Washington Redskins (2:15 p.m. MT, FOX). The two teams are fighting for second place in the NFC East.

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