So much happens during one singular week in the NFL. How could one possibly cover everything thing that goes on from the NFC East to the AFC West, from Thursday to Monday, from injury wire to biggest fantasy implications?
Verge tries to wrap up each game and blanket the important storylines in only four sentences, or four quarters. Week twelve is over, let’s get to it.
Thursday Night Football
Indianapolis Colts 17 – Houston Texans 20
The Texans took control of the AFC South in a pivotal Thursday night game. The win was headlined by standout performances by Houston wideouts Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller.
Jacoby Brissett never looked particularly comfortable in his second start returning from an injury and was promptly outdueled by Deshaun Watson. Given everything Watson has been through this season as well as his impressive stat line, his name should be in the MVP conversation.
Seattle Seahawks 17 – Philadelphia Eagles 9
There is good news and bad news regarding the Philadelphia Eagles. The good news is their defence is healthy and one of the best in the league in recent weeks.
The bad news is the offence looks awful and Carson Wentz is getting no help from one of the least productive receiving groups in all of football. They look to get right against the bottom-feeding Dolphins.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35 – Atlanta Falcons 22
This part of the season can be hard for teams like the Bucs and Falcons. Both already out of playoff contention and also not bad enough to tank for a top 3 pick in the draft.
The closest thing to a winner in this matchup was Jameis Winston who is playing for his future with Tampa. He played well but it still is probably too little too late.
Denver Broncos 3 – Buffalo Bills 20
In a not so shocking turn of events, the Brandon Allen era in Denver is most likely over. After an impressive start to his career as a starter, things have gone from bad to worse and the Broncos have suffered back to back humiliating losses.
Drew Locks return from injury becoming official makes matters even worse for Allen’s career as Denver’s starter. John Elway and company will see what their rookie out of Missouri, who played very poorly in the preseason, can do in the final month of the season.
New York Giants 14 – Chicago Bears 19
Daniel Jones’ woes in his rookie season continue. The first-year QB from Duke has struggled quite a lot since the hot start to his NFL career.
Those struggles translated to keeping Chicago’s playoffs hopes alive in a 19-14 win for the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky is still on the hot seat for next year.
Pittsburgh Steelers 16 – Cincinnati Bengals 10
Mason Rudolph exits, Duck Hodges enters. It’s been a rollercoaster-like season for the Steelers and the recent QB carousel will only complicate things.
Mike Tomlin hopes Hodges will add a bit more stability than Rudolph has in recent weeks. Pittsburgh is right in the thick of things for a wild card spot and if the season ended right now they would find themselves in the postseason.
Miami Dolphins 24 – Cleveland Browns 41
Jarvis Landry caught two touchdown passes against his former team in the Browns blowout victory. Baker Mayfield had one of his best games of the season as well and Cleveland moved to 5-6.
The matchup against Miami couldn’t have come at a better time for Mayfield and company. The Browns will be primed for a playoff push down the stretch with one of the easiest remaining schedules to play.
Carolina Panthers 31 – New Orleans Saints 34
Kyle Allen bounce backed nicely following back to back brutal losses but still came up short in New Orleans. The Panthers, who are now 5-6, will have a very difficult time finding a way into the playoffs now even with an MVP like season from Christian McCafferty.
The Saints got their 9th win in dramatic fashion as they head into their Thanksgiving game in Atlanta. For yet another season, the New Orleans Saints appear to be real contenders for a Super Bowl heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Oakland Raiders 3 – New York Jets 34
It’s not easy being a west coast team and playing on the east coast with a 1 PM kickoff. That being said, the Raiders needed to do more in the middle of a playoff push.
Oakland looked awful against the Jets and made their lives so much harder than it needed to be if they wanted to find the postseason. Raiders fans might not see their beloved team in a playoff game before leaving for Las Vegas.
Detroit Lions 16 – Washington Redskins 19
Dwayne Haskins got his first win as a starting NFL QB. He did not end up taking the final kneel-down snaps due to him taking selfies with fans on the sidelines.
Detroit has fallen even further out of playoff contention heading into their thanksgiving matchup against the Bears. It’s most likely a bit too early to put Matt Patricia on the hot seat.
Jacksonville Jaguars 20 – Tennessee Titans 42
Derrick Henry really likes playing against the Jags. 159 yards, 2 touchdowns and a must needed a win to stay in the middle of the playoff race.
Nick Foles’ return continues to be underwhelming and is yet to produce a win for Jacksonville. He hasn’t gotten any production from a struggling defence, in all fairness.
Dallas Cowboys 13 – New England Patriots 19
The Cowboys continue to ruin every opportunity to run away with the NFC East. By falling to an injured Tom Brady and the Patriots, they allow the Eagles to stay in the hunt for the division.
Dak Prescott has turned into the sole highlight for Dallas. They’re going to need more than Dak when it comes to production if they want to hang on to the division lead.
Green Bay Packers 8 – San Francisco 49ers 37
The Green Bay Packers continue to struggle in games played in California. For the second time in four weeks, they’ve been blown out in the sunshine state, this time by the 49ers and coming off a bye week for good measure.
With the Minnesota Vikings playing their best football of the season, this is not the time to falter if you’re Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has to be better but so does the defence.
Monday Night Football
Baltimore Ravens 45 – Los Angeles Rams 6
So yes, Green Bay had a rough time in California but not as rough as the Rams who were embarrassed in their own stadium. The Los Angeles Rams might go from NFC champs in 2018 to not even seeing the 2019 NFL playoffs.
LA made Jarred Goff one of the highest-paid QBs in NFL history. It’s obviously far too early to know but at the moment, they must be feeling a little bit of buyers remorse, especially after another horrific game from Goff.
Chicago Bears 24 – Detroit Lions 20
Matt Stafford missed his first career Thanksgiving game and the Lions suffered more than anyone. They fell to the Bears and earned their 8th loss on the season.
Chicago gets back to .500 and pushes themselves further into the playoff hunt. Mitchell Trubisky picked the perfect time to improve his play.
Buffalo Bills 26 – Dallas Cowboys 15
At this point, the NFC East race has grown tiresome and everyone should face the truth that neither the Eagles nor the Cowboys are as good as most thought they’d be. The division will most likely come down to their matchup in Philadelphia in week 16.
Instead of discussing Dallas and their struggles and shortcomings, we should be welcoming the Bills into relevancy. The defence is one of the leagues best and if Josh Allen plays as he did on Thanksgiving, Buffalo should be in a position to win their first playoff game in over 20 years.
New Orleans Saints 26 – Atlanta Falcons 18
All three road teams won on Thanksgiving. It truly is the year of the road team, whatever happened to home-field advantage?
New Orleans reaches 10 wins and the Falcons move to 3-9. To think there were some who thought the Falcons might bounce back this season and reclaim NFC South dominance but this has been nowhere near the case for Atlanta.