As the NFL heads into Week 12, the playoff picture is coming into sharper focus. In the AFC, the Pats and Ravens would get first round byes, while the Chiefs would host the Texans and the Colts would host the Bills. Meanwhile, in the NFC, the Niners and Packers would get an extra week off, the Saints would host the Vikings and the Cowboys would host the Seahawks, which seems absurd given that Seattle has two more wins than Dallas (but whatever). The only team to have been mathematically eliminated thus far? The winless Bengals, who have the inside track on the #1 draft pick next year, though the 1-9 Redskins are nipping at their heels and have a much tougher schedule down the stretch.
Thursday, Nov. 21
8:20pm on FOX
Indianapolis Colts (6-4) vs Houston Texans (6-4)
The Colts are coming off a 33-13 beatdown of the Jaguars, with Jonathan Williams and Marlon Mack each rushing for 100+ yards. The Texans came off a bye week last Sunday, only to be fed into the shredder that is the Ravens, losing 41-7, with DeShaun Watson getting sacked 6 times, and Lamar Jackson victimizing the Houston secondary to the tune of 4 TDs. This matchup could have huge playoff implications, as the Colts and Texans are currently tied for first in the AFC South and the Texans are looking to avenge their 30-23 loss to the Colts in Week 7.
Sunday, Nov. 24
1pm on FOX
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) vs Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
QB Jameis Winston had a very Jameis Winston day in last week’s 34-17 loss to the Saints. Winston had 51 pass attempts, 4 interceptions and 2 sacks to put himself atop the NFL leaderboard in all three categories. After losing 6 in a row, the Falcons are suddenly the most dangerous 3-7 team in the league. Matt Ryan had another fine day, completing 21 of 31 passes for 311 yards to pass Warren Moon for 10th place all-time in passing yards and leading his team to a 29-3 flogging of the Panthers.
New York Giants (2-8) vs Chicago Bears (4-6)
The G-men dropped their sixth straight two weeks ago, falling 34-27 to the lowly Jets, as Daniel Jones completed 26 of 40 for 308 yards and 4 TDs, but also fumbled 3 times, one of which was returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The Bears lost both the game and maybe their quarterback as they fell 17-7 to the Rams and Mitch Trubisky injured his hip, though there are those who suspect his removal from the game was actually a benching.
Miami Dolphins (2-8) vs Cleveland Browns (4-6)
The Fish quickly found themselves in a 16-point hole they couldn’t climb out of, eventually losing to the Bills 37-20 on a day when Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked 7 times for 43 yards. The Browns defense will be shorthanded this week as Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi are serving suspensions in the aftermath of the ugly brawl at the end of the Browns’ 21-7 victory over the Steelers last Thursday.
Seattle Seahawks (8-2) vs Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
The Seahawks pulled off a big upset two weeks ago, defeating the previously unbeaten 49ers, 27-24 for their second straight overtime win. Despite Russell Wilson being in the MVP conversation and their gaudy record, the Seahawks have outscored their opponents by only 21 points this season. The Patriots’ pass rush proved too much for the Eagles, as Carson Wentz was sacked 5 times in Philly’s 17-10 loss to New England.
Detroit Lions (3-6-1) vs Washington Redskins (1-9)
Jeff Driskel performed admirably filling in for Matthew Stafford, completing 15 of 26 for 209 yards and a pair of TDs. Unfortunately, the Detroit secondary got picked clean by Dak Prescott, who went for 444 yards in the Lions 35-27 loss to the Cowboys. Washington’s quest for the #1 pick got a boost with their 34-17 loss last weekend to the Jets, with Washington QB Dwayne Haskins going just 19 of 35 for 214 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception, on top of taking 6 sacks.
4:25pm on FOX
Dallas Cowboys (6-4) vs New England Patriots (9-1)
Dak Prescott went 29 of 46 for 444 yards and 3 TDs, with Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb both having 100+ yards receiving in the ‘Boys’ 35-27 win over Detroit. The Pats are well on their way to once again securing a first-round bye, but the offense has been shaky of late; Tom Brady has completed just 76 of 129 (58.9%) for 760 yards, 3 TDs and an interception over his last 3 games.
8:20pm on NBC
Green Bay Packers (8-2) vs San Francisco 49ers (9-1)
Aaron Jones carried the ball 13 times for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns two weeks ago in the Packers 24-16 win over Carolina, which moved Green Bay into a tie for the second-best record in the NFC. The good news: The Niners rebounded from their first loss of the season by beating the Cardinals 36-26, as Jimmy Garoppolo connected on 34 of 45 for 424 yards and 4 TDs. The bad news: Jimmy G was also picked off twice and sacked twice and SF managed just 34 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Monday, Nov. 25
8:15pm on ESPN
Baltimore Ravens (8-2) vs Los Angeles Rams (6-4)
The Ravens are starting to look like the team to beat, as Lamar Jackson had another big game in Baltimore’s win over Houston. LJ completed 17 of 24 passes for 222 yards and 4 touchdowns, while rushing for another 86 yards on 9 carries. With 788 yards rushing, Jackson is now just 251 yards short of RG3’s QB rushing record of 1,039 — with 6 games left on the schedule, it feels like a safe bet he’ll pass that. The Rams had an easy go of it last weekend, beating the Bears 17-7 with Todd Gurley going for 97 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
Stats courtesy Pro-Football-Reference.com