The NFL season remains a tale of two divisions.
The NFC is loaded, with the Eagles showing no signs of slowing down, the Saints bringing their win streak to eight games, and the Vikings, Rams, Panthers, Lions, Falcons, and Seahawks locked in a death race that will leave at least one good team out of the postseason.
The AFC, meanwhile, appears to be the Patriots and the Steelers – and then everyone else. The Chiefs are sliding, and we’re still waiting for the Jaguars to prove they’re a true threat in the postseason.
See where each team stands as we head into Week 12:
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: Lost to the Jaguars, 19-7
This week: at Cincinnati Bengals
One thing to know:The Browns’ Week 11 loss was their 35th loss in 37 games. Time is running out to get win No. 1 this year.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. Seattle Seahawks
One thing to know: C.J. Beathard led the Niners to their first win of the year against the Giants in their last game before their bye week, but newly acquired Jimmy Garoppolo has now had an extra week of practice to get up to speed on the San Francisco offence. Will this be the day we finally see Jimmy G make his debut?
30. Chicago Bears
Last week: Lost to the Lions, 27-24
This week: at Philadelphia Eagles
One thing to know:The Bears cut kicker Connor Barth after he missed the game-tying field goal attempt with eight seconds left on Sunday. “It wasn’t going great,” said head coach John Fox after the team cut Barth.
29. New York Giants
Last week: Beat the Chiefs, 12-9
This week: at Washington Redskins
One thing to know: The Giants’ win against the Chiefs might have made Ben McAdoo’s continued employment a bit easier to swallow for New York fans, but it also hurt the team’s chances in the race for the top of the 2018 NFL Draft.
28. Denver Broncos
Last week: Lost to the Bengals, 20-17
This week: at Oakland Raiders
One thing to know:Six straight losses and seven in eight games have left the Broncos a mess. The team fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy after just ten games, and GM John Elway called the team “soft,” a comment with which some players did not agree.
27. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. Tennessee Titans
One thing to know: Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is still expected to start on Sunday despite currently being in concussion protocol, a reality that begs the question: what ever happened to Andrew Luck?
26. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: Beat the Broncos, 20-17
This week: vs. Cleveland Browns
One thing to know: After cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick failed to return an interception for a touchdown in the thin Denver air, his teammates gave him an oxygen tank as a gift.
25. Miami Dolphins
Last week: Lost to the Buccaneers, 30-20
This week: at New England Patriots
One thing to know: The Dolphins have lost four straight but remain in the playoff hunt in the weak AFC. Jay Cutler left Week 11 after three interceptions and was placed in concussion protocol, meaning it may be Matt Moore’s show in Week 12.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: Beat the Dolphins, 30-20
This week: at Atlanta Falcons
One thing to know: With their second straight win with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, there’s an argument to be made that the Buccaneers have looked stronger this year under his leadership than that of Jameis Winston.
23. Houston Texans
Last week: Beat the Cardinals, 31-21
This week: at Baltimore Ravens
One thing to know: Last weekend gave the Texans their first win since rookie sensation Deshaun Watson went down with a season-ending injury. It was a solid win, but Tom Savage and company will have a tougher go at it this weekend against a Ravens defence that has already recorded three shut outs on the year.
22. New York Jets
Last week: Bye
This week: vs. Carolina Panthers
One thing to know: The Jets remain in the playoff hunt, but it won’t be easy. They still have to play the 7-3 Panthers, 6-4 Chiefs, 8-2 Saints, and 8-2 Patriots.
21. Buffalo Bills
Last week: Lost to the Chargers, 54-24
This week: at Kansas City Chiefs
One thing to know: The Bills’ decision to bench Tyrod Taylor for rookie Nathan Peterman backfired immediately, with Peterman throwing five interceptions in just two quarters of action before being pulled. Will the Buffalo coaching staff stick to their guns or put Taylor back under center to try and save their push for the playoffs?
20. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: Lost to the Texans, 31-21
This week: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
One thing to know:After catching a touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert, Larry Fitzgerald has now caught TDs from 14 quarterbacks, the most of any active receiver, per ESPN.
19. Green Bay Packers
Last week: Lost to the Ravens, 23-0
This week: at Pittsburgh Steelers
One thing to know: At 5-5, the Packers are somehow still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC, but Green Bay will still need to put together some wins without Aaron Rodgers before it’s worth it for him to make his return even if he isn’t back at 100%.
18. Washington Redskins
Last week: Lost to the Saints, 34-31
This week: vs. New York Giants
One thing to know: The Redskins’ season has been marked by falling short in tight games. That was the case in Week 11 when they blew a 15-point lead to the Saints in the fourth quarter to lose in overtime, likely ending their playoff hopes.
17. Oakland Raiders
Last week: Lost to the Patriots, 33-8
This week: vs. Denver Broncos
One thing to know: The Raiders fired their defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. after Oakland’s pitiful performance against the Patriots in Mexico City. Facing a struggling Broncos offence, the Silver and Black will have a good chance to regroup.
16. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: Lost to the Eagles, 37-9
This week: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
One thing to know: The Cowboys have been a mess without Ezekiel Elliott. During the two games Elliott has missed, the Cowboys have scored just 16 total points. Injuries to the offensive line haven’t helped, either, as Dak Prescott has been sacked 12 times and thrown three interceptions.
15. Los Angeles Chargers
Last week: Beat the Bills, 54-24
This week: at Dallas Cowboys
One thing to know: The Chargers’ defence hauled in five interceptions from rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, but will have to keep the energy up on short rest to play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: Beat the Packers, 23-0
This week: vs. Houston Texans
One thing to know:Joe Flacco has had one of the worst seasons of his career, but ESPN still gives the Ravens a 73% chance of making the playoffs. Flacco should be helped by the return of Danny Woodhead to the Ravens’ backfield.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: Lost to the Falcons, 34-31
This week: at San Francisco 49ers
One thing to know: The Seahawks fell just inches short of another impressive last-second comeback when Blair Walsh’s kick failed to reach the uprights. While the kick earned the headlines, Pete Carroll’s decision to go for a fake field goal before halftime might’ve cost the Seahawks a crucial victory as they fight to secure a playoff spot.
12. Tennessee Titans
Last week: Lost to the Steelers, 40-17
This week: at Indianapolis Colts
One thing to know:The Titans still have a good chance to make the playoffs, but many members of the team are upset with the lack of growth on offence. Despite all of their weapons, the Titans rank 16th in offensive DVOA and have scored over 25 points just three times
11. Detroit Lions
Last week: Beat the Bears, 27-24
This week: vs. Minnesota Vikings
One thing to know: Matthew Stafford and the Lions took down the Vikings last year on Thanksgiving with the help of a last-second field goal from Matt Prater. This year, the victory will be all the more crucial to Detroit’s chances of making the postseason.
10. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: Lost to the Giants, 12-9
This week: vs. Buffalo Bills
One thing to know: The Chiefs have lost four of their last five games after a 5-0 start. Alex Smith didn’t throw an interception through September and October but has now thrown three interceptions and just two touchdowns in November.
9. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: Beat the Seahawks, 34-31
This week: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One thing to know: The Falcons’ offence looked strong against a deflated Seattle secondary, but their defence gave up two quick drives in the final minutes of the game that surely gave Atlanta fans Super Bowl flashbacks.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: Beat the Browns, 19-7
This week: at Arizona Cardinals
One thing to know:As ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote, the Jaguars’ two big free-agent signings are paying off. Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye have terrorised opposing offenses, with Campbell racking up 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles while Bouye has three interceptions. Name an offence that would be excited to face this group in the postseason.
7. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: Lost to the Vikings, 24-7
This week: vs. New Orleans Saints
One thing to know: After the Rams scored 84 points in their previous two games, they looked surprisingly human against the Vikings, with a first quarter Todd Gurley touchdown as their only score on the day. Los Angeles has proven they can roll over the mediocre defences across the league, but they will have to figure out a way to put up points against stronger units if they hope to make a postseason run.
6. Carolina Panthers
Last week: Bye
This week: at New York Jets
One thing to know:The Panthers are happy to get tight end Greg Olsen and Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil back for the stretch run. Cam Newton won’t complain about more protection and better receiving options
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: Beat the Titans, 40-17
This week: vs. Green Bay Packers
One thing to know: The Steelers have now relatively quietly rattled off five straight wins and could easily run through three more games before a potential powerhouse matchup against the Patriots in Week 15 that could determine which team gets home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
4. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: Beat the Rams, 24-7
This week: at Detroit Lions
One thing to know:The Vikings had a convincing win over the Rams in Week 11, helped by their dominant defence and a steady performance from Case Keenum. Even with Teddy Bridgewater lurking, Keenum has been too good for the Vikings to pull.
3. New England Patriots
Last week: Beat the Raiders, 33-8
This week: vs. Miami Dolphins
One thing to know: The Patriots have punted just three times in the past two games, while amassing 74 points. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s offence once again feels unstoppable.
2. New Orleans Saints
Last week: Beat the Redskins, 34-31
This week: at Los Angeles Rams
One thing to know: The Saints kept their win streak alive with a stunning comeback late in the 4th quarter to beat the Redskins. Behind their eight-game win streak has been a suddenly dominant defence that has done a 180 from being ranked 31st and 32nd in DVOA the last three years.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: Beat the Cowboys, 37-9
This week: vs. Chicago Bears
One thing to know: The Eagles were down 9-7 at halftime of their “Sunday Night Football” matchup against the Cowboys, before coming back to throttle Dallas in the second half. Even the loss of their kicker Jake Elliott couldn’t stop the team, with linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill stepping into kickoff duties and the team converting three of four two-point conversion attempts.
Now, check out how many star players have been lost for the season…
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