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#411506 - 11/21/18 08:01 PM NFL Week 12
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Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

Mitchell Trubisky has been providing plenty of correct answers for the Chicago Bears this season, but the availability of the quarterback is now in question for their Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday. Trubisky did not practice on Tuesday, two days removed after injuring his throwing shoulder on a late hit in a 25-20 win over Minnesota.

"I'm saying cautiously optimistic but I can't make any promises," Chicago coach Matt Nagy said of Trubisky's potential involvement against Detroit. "I hope he does. But it's a day-to-day thing for us, like I said. He wants to play. I know that. And for us, we got to make sure in these situations that we're doing the right thing." Trubisky threw for a career-high 355 yards with three passing touchdowns to go along with a rushing score in the Bears' 34-22 win over the Lions on Nov. 11. While Chicago has won four straight to ascend to the top of the NFC North, the Lions snapped a three-game skid by holding on for a 20-19 victory over Carolina on Sunday. Kerryon Johnson scored in his second straight game and rushed for 87 yards against the Panthers before sustaining a knee injury that has prevented the promising rookie from practicing this week.

TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bears -3.5. O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE BEARS (7-3): Veteran backup Chase Daniel would get the nod if Trubisky is sidelined, with the former having spent time under Nagy in Kansas City before shuffling over to Chicago. "I haven't gotten any reps with the first team this year, but it's the same offense that I was in for five years, so for me, it's mostly the same plays," said the 32-year-old Daniel, who hasn't started an NFL game since the 2014 season. Allen Robinson reeled in six catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns versus the Vikings while fellow wideout Anthony Miller has found the end zone in back-to-back contests. Jordan Howard, however, was limited to just 21 yards on 11 carries against the Lions' 24th-ranked rush defense (125.0 yards per game).

ABOUT THE LIONS (4-6): Coach Matt Patricia likely will use a running back-by-committee approach in place of Johnson, with the bruising LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner expected to handle specific tasks out of the backfield. "It's not cookie-cutter. Football is not that way," Patricia said. "When you have a different player that is in and in the same position, it doesn't mean they can do the same thing. So you have to be able to adjust with that and do a good job of handling that whatever the situation is, whoever those guys are." Matthew Stafford has thrown for 220 yards for fewer in two of his last three outings and faces a Bears defense that leads the NFL with 18 interceptions, although wide receiver Kenny Golladay set a season high in catches (eight) for 113 yards versus the Panthers last week.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Detroit WR Marvin Jones Jr., who did not practice on Tuesday, is trending toward missing his second straight game with a knee injury.

2. Bears LB Khalil Mack returned from a month's absence due to an ankle injury and collected two of his team-leading eight sacks against the Lions.

3. Detroit CB Darius Slay, who missed this month's meeting with Chicago, had a pair of interceptions in his last encounter with the club on Dec. 16.

PREDICTION: Bears 20, Lions 19
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#411507 - 11/21/18 08:01 PM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys

In a short week, the Washington Redskins not only have to rebound from a narrow defeat but also move forward after losing their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Alex Smith suffered a gruesome injury in Sunday's loss to Houston, leaving Colt McCoy to take over entering Thursday's crucial matchup against the division-rival Dallas Cowboys.

Washington was in firm control of the NFC East following a three-game winning streak that included a 20-17 victory over visiting Dallas, but coach Jay Gruden is confident McCoy can steady the team after two losses in three games. "I'm a big, firm believer in Colt McCoy's ability to play," Gruden said. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime for him. I know he would like it in different circumstances, but things happen for a reason. He'll take advantage of it." The Cowboys appeared ready to drop out of contention before posting consecutive back-to-back road wins at Philadelphia and Atlanta to draw within one game of the Redskins. "You know what Thanksgiving means to the Cowboys and to our tradition," Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. "We're so proud to have done what we've done for the NFL on Thanksgiving Day. To have it boil down to a game of this substance, that will be a treat for us on Thanksgiving Day."

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cowboys -7.5. O/U: 40.5

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (6-4): No matter who is under center, Washington's game plan will remain the same -- control the clock by feeding veteran running back Adrian Peterson and lean on a defense that ranks fifth in points allowed (19.8). Peterson scored twice in Sunday's 23-21 loss to Houston and rushed for 99 yards on 24 carries against Dallas last month, a game in which Smith was limited to 178 yards passing and one touchdown. McCoy, who was 6 of 12 for 54 yards and a TD on Sunday, has made 25 career starts but has not seen substantial duty since appearing in five games with the Redskins in 2014. Washington's No. 6-ranked run defense held Ezekiel Elliott to a season-low 33 yards in Week 7.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (5-5): Elliott has been [censored] in Dallas' last two victories, rushing for 273 yards and a pair of touchdowns while hauling in 13 receptions for 115 yards and another score. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, acquired from Oakland at the trade deadline, has 14 catches for 169 yards and a TD in three games with the Cowboys, but quarterback Dak Prescott has benefited from his presence in the lineup by posting his three top completion percentages during that time. Prescott lost two fumbles in the first matchup, one of which was returned for a TD, and will be without starting tight end Geoff Swaim (wrist). The Cowboys have allowed more than 20 points once in the past six games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Elliott joined Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the only players with at least 4,500 scrimmage yards and 30 TDs in his first 35 games.

2. Redskins TE Jordan Reed has a season high-tying seven catches last week and 10 receptions for two scores in his last game at Dallas.

3. Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence has 3.0 sacks and six tackles for loss in the last three meetings versus Washington.

PREDICTION: Cowboys 23, Redskins 19
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#411508 - 11/21/18 08:02 PM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

When they met in Week 3, the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints both were sitting at 1-1 and in need of a win to propel them in the right direction. The Saints eked out a 43-37 overtime victory and haven't stopped since, as they aim for a 10th consecutive victory when they host the Falcons on Thursday night.


The Saints ran their winning streak to nine games with a 48-7 romp over Philadelphia last week, completing a difficult stretch of their schedule in impressive fashion. New Orleans has scored at least 45 points and rolled up 487 or more yards in three straight games, and the defense has forced eight turnovers in the last four contests. The loss to the Saints in Week 3 began a three-game skid for the Falcons. They then won three straight, including a 24-point triumph at Washington, but back-to-back losses have put Atlanta's playoff hopes in peril.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Saints -13. O/U: 60


ABOUT THE FALCONS (4-6): The first meeting with the Saints encapsulates Atlanta's entire season - the team has one of the league's top offenses and one of its worst defenses. Although the offense ranks sixth in total yards and ninth in the scoring, the ground game has been almost non-existent, so the Falcons have relied on Matt Ryan (3,306 yards, 22 touchdowns, four interceptions) and the passing attack. Ironically, the defense turned in its best effort since Week 1 last time out, holding Dallas to 323 total yards, but the offense fell flat in a 22-19 loss.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (9-1): New Orleans possesses the league's top scoring offense and one of its most balanced, as complementary running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram have given the team a ground attack to go along with the prolific Drew Brees. The superstar quarterback has been especially good in five home games, completing 78.9 percent of his passes for 1,754 yards with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Saints' defensive stats are somewhat skewed by their opponents often playing catch-up, but they've been tough against the run while giving up substantial passing yardage, including a season-high 391 yards at Atlanta.


EXTRA POINTS

1. Brees threw four touchdown passes without an interception last week, his NFL-record 23rd such game - one more than Tom Brady.

2. Atlanta WR Julio Jones has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games after being kept out of the end zone in the first seven contests.

3. New Orleans WR Michael Thomas has recorded at least 10 receptions and 115 yards in three of his last four games against Atlanta.


PREDICTION: Saints 34, Falcons 23
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#411982 - 11/25/18 11:46 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills


The Buffalo Bills will have their rookie quarterback on the field as they seek their second straight victory when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Josh Allen is expected to be back under center after missing Buffalo's last four games with a right elbow injury.

The Bills, who enjoyed a bye last week, hope to post back-to-back wins for the first time this season after rolling to a 41-10 road triumph over the New York Jets on Nov. 11 with Matt Barkley at quarterback. Jacksonville is aiming for its first win since Week 4 as it has lost six consecutive games following a 3-1 start to the year. The Jaguars hope to erase last week's home loss to Pittsburgh from memory as they owned a 16-point lead late in the third quarter but squandered it and dropped a 20-16 decision (as a +4 point underdog at intertops). Buffalo has won three of the last four meetings between the teams, including the most recent matchup on Nov. 27, 2016 in which it registered a 28-21 home victory.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Jaguars -3 O/U: 37

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-7): Jacksonville is hoping Jalen Ramsey is ready for Sunday's contest as the 24-year-old cornerback was limited in Wednesday's practice with a groin ailment. Ramsey, who made a pair of interceptions against the Steelers to raise his season total to a team-leading three, could be targeted by Allen on Sunday after calling the quarterback "trash" during an interview with GQ magazine over the summer. Defensive end Calais Campbell is one of two AFC players (Denver's Von Miller) with at least 20 sacks (20.5) and 25 tackles for loss (26) since the start of the 2017 season.

ABOUT THE BILLS (3-7): Trent Murphy expects to see action Sunday after missing three games with a knee injury. His return could not come at a better time as fellow defensive end Shaq Lawson suffered an elbow injury during Tuesday's practice and was inactive the following day. Linebacker Matt Milano also should be in the lineup against Jacksonville after clearing the concussion protocol on Wednesday.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde has rushed for five touchdowns in his last five road games.

2. Buffalo added LB Corey Thompson from the practice squad on Monday.

3. Jacksonville signed OL Corey Robinson on Monday and released QB Landry Jones, who did not see any action after being signed on Oct. 31.

PREDICTION: Jaguars 27, Bills 13
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#411983 - 11/25/18 11:47 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Oakland Raiders vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have an extremely loose hold on a wild-card spot in the AFC and hope to strengthen it when they host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Baltimore currently owns the second wild card via tiebreaker, as it shares a 5-5 record with four other teams in the conference.

The Ravens again will turn to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson to help produce a victory as veteran Joe Flacco is expected to miss his second straight contest due to a right hip injury. Jackson performed well in his first career start last week as Baltimore recorded a 24-21 triumph over Cincinnati (as a -6.5 point favorite at intertops). Oakland is coming off just its second win of the season, a 23-21 victory at Arizona that halted its five-game slide. Both of the Raiders' triumphs have come by way of field goals on the final play of the game, as they got past Cleveland 45-42 in overtime on Sept. 30 thanks to Matt McCrane's 29-yard kick.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -10.5 O/U: 43

ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-8): McCrane was a participant in last week's victory, although he was a member of the Cardinals as Daniel Carlson - who replaced him on Oakland's roster in late October - booted a 35-yard game-winning field goal. Carlson was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after going 3-for-3 on field goals and converting both of his extra-point attempts. Derek Carr threw eight interceptions in his first five games of the season but has gone five straight contests without being picked off.

ABOUT THE RAVENS (5-5): Jackson, who was the 32nd overall pick in this year's draft, threw for 150 yards against the Bengals and ran for 119 while fellow rookie Gus Edwards rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. The youngsters became the first rookie quarterback and rookie running back teammates to gain at least 100 yards on the ground in the same game in NFL history. Alex Collins' 7-yard touchdown run on Sunday capped an opening drive that consisted of 11 rushes, making Baltimore the third team since 1999 to score a TD on a first possession that featured at least 10 running plays and no pass attempts.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Collins has rushed for a TD in three straight contests overall and has recorded eight scores on the ground in has last nine home games.

2. Oakland placed WR Brandon LaFell (Achilles) on injured reserve, promoted WR Johnny Holton from the practice squad and signed WR Keon Hatcher from Green Bay's practice squad.

3. Jackson's 117 rushing yards last week were the most by a quarterback in franchise history.

PREDICTION: Ravens 33, Raiders 17
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#411984 - 11/25/18 11:47 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston is back at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' prolific passing game, which he will try to guide to a win over the visiting San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Each team has lost seven of its last eight contests.

Winston replaced a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick during last week's 38-35 road loss to the New York Giants (as a +3 point underdog at intertops) and on Monday was named the starter once again, as coach Dirk Koetter continues to search for consistency under center. "Our quarterback play in general has been spectacular at times and not good enough at times," Koetter told reporters. "Almost every game, we get some beautiful, beautiful play at quarterback, some tremendous throws, some great decision-making, some beautiful adjustments. But at other times, we've had some bad decision-making that has resulted in turnovers, and that's hurting our team." The 49ers can relate, as they've used three different starting quarterbacks due to Jimmy Garoppolo's injury and C.J. Beathard's ineffectiveness, eventually handing the job to the 23-year-old Nick Mullens. San Francisco is 1-1 since Mullens took over, posting a blowout victory over Oakland before suffering a 27-23 loss to the Giants prior to last week's bye.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Buccaneers -3 O/U: 54.5
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ABOUT THE 49ERS (2-8): Mullens has breathed new life in the passing attack since taking the reins, giving the 49ers another element to complement an effective ground game led by Matt Breida. Mullens doesn't have much of a receiving corps with which to work, but tight end George Kittle has been a favorite target, catching 13 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in the last two games. The defense has been strong, especially in recent weeks, and ranks 10th in total defense, but the 49ers need more takeaways - they've forced an NFL-worst five turnovers in 10 contests.

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (3-7): Tampa Bay leads the league in passing and total offense but is eighth in scoring offense and last in scoring defense. The prime reason is the fact that Winston and Fitzpatrick have combined to throw 23 interceptions, contributing to the Bucs' league-worst minus-23 turnover ratio. The secondary has improved after being torched early in the season, but the run defense is sliding in the wrong direction as it gave up 163 rushing yards to the Giants.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Bucs have posted more than 500 total yards in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history and have topped 500 five times this season.

2. Breida averages 5.59 yards per carry, the most in the league among players with at least 100 carries.

3. Tampa Bay placed TE O.J. Howard on injured reserve after he suffered an ankle injury against the Giants. Howard ranks third on the team in receiving yards (565) and is tied with Mike Evans with a team-high five touchdown receptions.

PREDICTION: Buccaneers 30, 49ers 27
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#411985 - 11/25/18 11:48 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles found themselves on the business end of a beat-down so severe that it was the most lopsided loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion. The Eagles aim to shake off the effects of a 41-point demolition on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field when they bid for their ninth win in 10 outings against the New York Giants.

"The product we're putting out there is not up to our standards. I'm not playing to my standards, but we know the talent we have and the chemistry we have," said Carson Wentz, who completed 19 of 33 passes for 156 yards and three interceptions in Sunday's 48-7 shellacking in New Orleans (as a +7 point underdog at intertops). The 25-year-old Wentz fared significantly better in his last encounter versus the Giants, throwing for three touchdowns with a pick in Philadelphia's 34-13 road win on Oct. 11. Rookie Saquon Barkley ripped off a 50-yard scoring run in that contest and found the end zone on three occasions (two rushing, one receiving) to highlight a career-high 142-yard rushing performance in Sunday's 38-35 victory over Tampa Bay. "We're finishing games and we're finishing drives, and that's what we weren't doing in the first half of the season," said Barkley, who was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -5.5 O/U: 46.5

ABOUT THE GIANTS (3-7): Eli Manning completed all but one of his 18 pass attempts versus the Buccaneers and has five touchdown passes in his last two contests -- after mustering just eight in the first eight games. Odell Beckham Jr. has been on the receiving end of three of those scoring strikes over the last two weeks, although he was not as fortunate in his last outing against Philadelphia as his six receptions went for just 44 yards. "The goal is to win every game. So six games left, it's really only crazy until you do it," the 26-year-old Beckham said. Fellow wideout Sterling Shepard has struggled to capitalize on a strong start to the season, as he has been limited to 37 receiving yards of fewer in four of his last five outings.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (4-6): Alshon Jeffery gouged the Giants for a season high-tying eight receptions for 74 yards with two touchdowns in the last encounter. Zach Ertz also found the end zone in that contest, but he was limited to season-low totals in catches (two) and receiving yards (15) against the Saints. The locker room talk after that debacle centered around safety Malcolm Jenkins pointing out a lack of fight of some of his teammates, although there's even more concern about the health of the team's secondary. Cornerbacks Jalen Mills (foot), Sidney Jones (hamstring), Rasul Douglas (knee) and Avonte Maddox (knee) were all absent from Wednesday's practice.

EXTRA POINTS

1. New York's Landon Collins leads all NFL safeties with 82 tackles.

2. Philadelphia has scored a league-worst 21 points in the first quarter this season.

3. The Giants have registered just 11.0 sacks this season, which is 31st in the league.

PREDICTION: Eagles 24, Giants 21
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#411987 - 11/25/18 11:49 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals


The Cincinnati Bengals are losers of four of their last five games to sink back to .500 but could be on the verge of getting an offensive weapon back. The Bengals hope to have star wide receiver A.J. Green available when they host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Cincinnati's hopes of an AFC North title took a big hit with a 24-21 loss at Baltimore last week (as a +6.5 point underdog at intertops), but Green's potential return could provide a significant boost down the stretch. "A.J. has worked hard and is ready to get back to work," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told reporters of Green, who has been out since suffering a toe injury on Oct. 28. "If he feels good enough to go and we judge him good to go by our eyes, he'll be good to go." The Bengals have an inside source in assistant coach Hue Jackson, who was hired in Cincinnati after being fired as the head coach of the Browns earlier this month. "I learned a long time ago: It's more important that we know what we're doing than somebody else," Cleveland interim coach Gregg Williams told reporters. "That was pounded down my throat when I worked with Buddy Ryan many years ago. I brought up something just like (that) and he ripped me pretty good."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Bengals -3 O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE BROWNS (3-6-1): Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak in Williams' second game by knocking off the Atlanta Falcons 28-16 at home on Nov. 11 prior to the bye. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield played his most efficient game in the win, completing 17-of-20 passes for 216 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. "I think that him saying to cut it loose to me meant letting my personality go," Mayfield told reporters of Williams' message to him. "The reason that I was brought here is because of that stuff - the infectious energy, the passion for the game that I try to bring every day. I think it was more than just the on-field play."

ABOUT THE BENGALS (5-5): Cincinnati fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin prior to the loss at Baltimore and looked more confident on defense with Lewis calling the plays. "Coach Lewis, he's always out there on the field and you feel like he's in the fight with you," linebacker Vinny Rey told reporters. "We feel like we're fighting for Coach. Even though we're professionals and we're all grown men, you still go out there and you play for somebody. I do. I wanted to go out there and win this one for him. I wish we did. We came up short, but it's a long season." The Bengals sit 31st in the NFL in scoring defense (31.2 points allowed) and rank last while yielding an average of 449.4 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Bengals placed LB Preston Brown (knee) on injured reserve Tuesday.

2. Browns rookie RB Nick Chubb rushed for a season-high 176 yards against Atlanta.

3. Cincinnati is enjoying a seven-game winning streak in the series.

PREDICTION: Bengals 31, Browns 20
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#411989 - 11/25/18 11:49 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

The New England Patriots had two weeks off to reassess after suffering a 34-10 loss at the Tennessee Titans (as a -6.5 point favorite at intertops) and they are ready to move on. The Patriots will try to get back to the business of dominating the AFC East when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday.

"We're playing the Jets here," New England coach Bill Belichick told reporters. "We're not playing Tennessee. So, we'll have to deal with what the Jets do, what their keys are and who their players are. Whatever else has happened this year has happened. We've corrected those, talked about those situations, corrected them, but we're focused on the Jets now." One thing that could be corrected is the injury situation, with tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle) among those expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. The Jets went into the bye with a sour taste as well after getting crushed at home 41-10 by the Buffalo Bills to extend their losing streak to four straight. "It was good," New York coach Todd Bowles told reporters of the bye week. "We got some guys back that were banged up - it happened late in the week. But everybody in the AFC East had a bye so it came at a good time, and it's always good to step back and study yourselves and then try to go from there."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -9.5 O/U: 46

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (7-3): New England is used to residing at or near the top of the NFL in most offensive categories but comes out of the bye seventh in the league in scoring (28 points) and 10th in yards per game (377.2). "I think we're definitely trying to find things that - this is the first really chance we've had to evaluate that," quarterback Tom Brady told reporters during the by week. "There's been a lot of moving parts this year for one reason or another with the receivers, tight ends, running backs, a little bit with the O-line, not so much with the quarterback position. But I think that's all part of what we're trying to do." Brady, 41, is 11th in yards (2,748) and tied for 15th in TD passes (17).

ABOUT THE JETS (3-7): Bowles is not offering any clue as to who his starting quarterback will be on Sunday, with rookie Sam Darnold (foot) questionable. "I think the idea of going up against (Tom Brady) and the Patriots, coach Belichick and all those guys, it's a cool thing, especially with me growing up in the era where they really controlled the whole NFL, for the most part," Darnold told reporters. "It would be really cool if I have the opportunity." If Darnold can't go, New York will again turn to veteran Josh McCown, who completed 17-of-34 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions in the loss to Buffalo.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Patriots OG Shaq Mason (calf) practiced Wednesday and could return after missing the last two games.

2. New York WR Robby Anderson (ankle) sat out the loss to Buffalo and is in danger of missing a second straight contest.

3. New England took the last four meetings and seven of eight in the series.

PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Jets 17
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#411990 - 11/25/18 11:50 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers


Two teams in the thick of the NFC wild-card battle square off on Sunday, when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Carolina Panthers. Carolina leads the competition entering Week 12 despite a blown opportunity last weekend while Seattle is just one game behind the Panthers.

Carolina suffered a 20-19 loss to Detroit (as a -4 point favorite at intertops) when coach Ron Rivera opted to go for a late two-point conversion and came up empty, and now will look for happier times against the Seahawks. "I wouldn't call it fun," Rivera told reporters of playing the Seahawks, "but there is a certain challenge to it that I enjoy. (Coach Pete Carroll) has been a staple there. They've had a lot of success, and the challenge obviously is competing against their football team." Seattle made the playoffs five straight seasons before missing out last year, and the reloading squad finds itself in must-win mode every week the rest of the season. "This is a championship matchup for us - it wouldn't matter about any of that stuff," Carroll told reporters. "That's a long ways down the road. We don't change anything. We've just got to try to put together a great plan and execute and play like it's the only game we've got in the whole world - which it is."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Panthers -3.5 O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (5-5): Russell Wilson has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six consecutive games and has 23 overall against just five interceptions. But Seattle continues to rely more on a running attack that leads the NFL at 154.3 yards per game as Chris Carson (580) leads the way while receiving help from Mike Davis (372) and first-round draft pick Rashaad Penny (300). Stellar defensive end Frank Clark recorded two sacks in last week's win over Green Bay to raise his season total to 10 and give him 29 since the beginning of the 2016 season.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (6-4): Carolina has dropped back-to-back games to Pittsburgh and Detroit to all but fall out of the NFC South race with New Orleans running away with the division. Cam Newton (20 touchdowns, six interceptions) summed up the situation as "there's no cheat codes here, you've just got to knuckle up and get ready to play," as the team doesn't want to lose sight of the division race but also knows it needs to worry about notching victories. Mario Addison has recorded a team-best 7.5 sacks but is dealing with an ailing shoulder, while middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is 17 tackles away from reaching 100 for the seventh straight season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Seahawks have won five of the last six meetings, including a 40-7 rout during the 2016 season.

2. Seattle OLB K.J. Wright (knee) could miss his second straight game and eighth overall this year.

3. Carolina WR Torrey Smith (knee) is aiming to return after missing the last four contests.

PREDICTION: Panthers 33, Seahawks 31
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#411991 - 11/25/18 11:50 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts


Ryan Tannehill would love to be as fortunate as Andrew Luck, who has silenced any talk about the shoulder injury that sidelined him for all of the 2017 season by tossing at least three touchdown passes in each of his last seven games. Luck and the Colts vie for their fifth straight win on Sunday when they host the returning Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins, who skidded into their bye with losses in five of their last seven outings.

"I was not in a good spot a year ago. I remember that. I am in a good spot now," said Luck, who is enjoying a career-best completion percentage (67.3) and quarterback rating (101.8) while tossing an NFL second-best 29 touchdown passes this season. The 29-year-old earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after connecting with trusted target T.Y. Hilton for two of his three touchdown passes in Sunday's 38-10 romp over Tennessee. Tannehill, who has been sidelined since Miami's 27-17 setback to Cincinnati on Oct. 7, takes the helm of an offense that has failed to score a touchdown in its last nine quarters. "It's been a hard five weeks of sitting out, sitting back, itching and biting at the bit," the 30-year-old Tannehill said. "To finally be healthy enough to go and be with my guys, I'm really excited and looking forward to the opportunity."

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts -7.5 O/U: 51

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (5-5): Ageless Frank Gore faces the team with which he averaged 984 yards rushing per season during his three years in Indianapolis. Gore rushed for 90 yards on just 13 carries in Miami's 31-12 setback at Green Bay (as the Dolphins were +12 point underdog at intertops) on Nov. 11 to move within 151 of surpassing Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson for fifth place in NFL history. Fellow running back Kenyan Drake has rushed for 75 or more scrimmage yards in four of his last six, although Indianapolis is allowing a league sixth-best 3.9 yards per carry. Danny Amendola recorded a team-high seven catches in his last outing to boost his total to 31 in his last five games.

ABOUT THE COLTS (5-5): Luck is tied with Miami legend Dan Marino for the third longest streak of consecutive games with three or more touchdown passes, trailing only Tom Brady (10) and Peyton Manning (eight). The offensive line has done its part in protecting Luck, who has not been sacked in five straight games. Evan Boehm, however, will start at center for the first time since he was in college at Missouri with Ryan Kelly (knee) ruled out for Sunday's contest. Hilton has found the end zone five times in his last five home games while running back Marlon Mack also had a touchdown on Sunday, giving him five scores (four rushing, one receiving) in his past four contests overall.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Indianapolis rookie LB Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 104 tackles while Miami's LB Kiko Alonso is tied for third with 89.

2. The Dolphins' first drive has failed to produce any points in 13 consecutive games.

3. Indianapolis' Eric Ebron, who leads all NFL tight ends with nine receiving touchdowns, was not even targeted in his last contest.

PREDICTION: Colts 34, Dolphins 16
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#411994 - 11/25/18 11:51 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Chargers


The Los Angeles Chargers look to bounce back from their first setback in nearly two months when they host the lowly Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Chargers had their six-game winning streak snapped with last week's 23-22 loss to Denver (as a -7 point favorite at intertops) but still remain two games ahead of the pack for the first spot in the AFC wild-card race.

The Chargers played a sluggish contest against the Broncos and quarterback Philip Rivers saw a good opportunity evaporate with his team's performance. "We've had a good run," Rivers told reporters. "We're still sitting at 7-3. There's no satisfaction, no settling. But we've got a lot to look ahead to, and it's right in front of us with Arizona." The Cardinals have been dreadful and are coming off a 23-21 loss to equally impotent Oakland. "It's tough," Arizona first-year coach Steve Wilks told reporters. "You've got to learn how to hit the reset button and not linger on things. I try to pull out the positive and learn from the negative stuff. It is a hard process, and I knew it would be hard coming in. Did I expect to be where we are? No."

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Chargers -12.5 O/U: 44.5

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (2-8): Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen is struggling with the intelligence of NFL defensive backs as nine of his 10 interceptions have come in the last five games. "He is going to go through those ups and downs as a rookie," Wilks told reporters. "We understand and know that. You want to try to eliminate those, of course. Those interceptions put you behind the eight-ball." Arizona's defense allows an average of 24.8 points and defensive end Chandler Jones has been a force, recording two sacks in each of the last two contests as he ranks third in the NFL with 10.5.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (7-3): Defensive end Joey Bosa returned from a foot injury to play for the first time this season against Denver, and he was pleased that he was able to play 31 snaps. "Thirty (one) plays in an NFL game is - well, obviously you can have more - but it's about as high stress of a situation as you can put yourself in," Bosa told reporters regarding his first game. "Now I know my foot can withstand it. I know my body can withstand it. I was pretty conditioned out there, so this week will be much more about getting back to my technique and worrying about playing and more of the football aspect of it than the health aspect of it." Rivers is enjoying a stellar campaign with 23 touchdown passes against six interceptions while running back Melvin Gordon has recorded 741 yards and seven scores.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Chargers hold a 9-4 series advantage, but the Cardinals won the last meeting 18-17 during the 2014 season.

2. Arizona has committed 21 turnovers and is tied for 28th in the NFL with a minus-9 turnover margin.

3. The Chargers placed DT Corey Liguet (knee) on injured reserve due to the season-ending injury he suffered against Denver.

PREDICTION: Chargers 44, Cardinals 20
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#411996 - 11/25/18 11:51 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos


The Pittsburgh Steelers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last week and will carry a six-game winning streak into Denver for a matchup with the Broncos on Sunday. After falling behind 16-0 at Jacksonville, the Steelers scored 20 unanswered points -- a rally capped by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's dive to the goal line in the closing seconds -- to steal a monumental road win.

The six-game streak is the third-longest in the NFL and has Pittsburgh on a rather comfortable perch atop the AFC North, but nobody with the team is looking too far ahead. "We try to be good enough to win on Sundays. We acknowledge on Mondays we better get back to work because you better be good enough to win the following Sunday," coach Mike Tomlin told reporters of the need to focus on the task at hand. "We take that approach and work hard to live it out and stay singularly focused on the things that are important to us." The Broncos emerged from a bye week to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 23-22 on the road last Sunday (as the Broncos were +7 point underdog at intertops). A 34-yard field goal by Brandon McManus as time expired sent Denver to just its second win in the last eight games.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -3 O/U: 46.5

ABOUT THE STEELERS (7-2-1): Antonio Brown has been Pittsburgh's leading receiver for five straight years but could pass that mantle to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who tallied 10 catches for 104 yards to lead the comeback against the Jaguars and draw comparisons to another franchise great at the position. "He's Hines Ward-like," Tomlin said at his weekly news conference of Smith-Schuster. "I realize what I said when I said that. But this guy enjoys it. He's embracing it, and I think it helps us. I don't know that we've had a guy that I can even make that loose comparison to." Brown, Smith-Schuster and others have helped Roethlisberger put together one of his best seasons at the age of 36, as he is on pace for a career-high 37 touchdowns and to eclipse 5,000 yards for the first time.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (4-6): Quarterback Case Keenum threw for 205 yards against the Chargers and went without an interception for the second straight game after starting the year with eight consecutive contests with at least one pick, and he continued to display a calm demeanor in crunch time. "I think he likes the challenge of bringing our team back," Broncos coach Vance Joseph told reporters Monday. "He's always been that way, from college to his NFL career." Last week's victory has Denver still hoping to be in the playoff mix and a win over the Steelers would give the team loads of momentum heading into a four-game stretch against teams with a combined record of 12-27-1.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Broncos waived veteran CB/KR Adam Jones.

2. Brown has 10 TD catches over the last eight weeks and is tied for the NFL lead with 11 overall.

3. This is the first meeting since Jan. 17, 2016, when Denver defeated Pittsburgh 23-16 at home in the divisional round of the playoffs.

PREDICTION: Broncos 24, Steelers 23
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#411998 - 11/25/18 11:52 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers were expected to battle for the NFC North title, but both clubs are looking up at the Chicago Bears with six games to play. Although both teams are coming off losses, Green Bay is in the more desperate position, sitting one game behind the second-place Vikings and winless in five road games entering Sunday night's matchup at Minnesota.

"I definitely didn't expect to be sitting where we're sitting but our record is what it is," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "Obviously, Minnesota has a strong team. They're probably surprised where they're sitting as well. So I don't think either of us are out of (it)." Rodgers was hobbled by a knee injury during the team's first matchup, when the Vikings scored 22 fourth-quarter points in Week 2 in a game that ended in a 29-29 tie. Minnesota, which reached the NFC title game last season, had a chance to move atop the division last weekend but dropped a 25-20 decision in Chicago (as the Vikings +3 point underdog at intertops) to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Bears. "We're a good team. We know that," Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks said. "It's just about going out there and doing it. Quit talking about it. ... We've got to point the finger at ourselves, so we've just got to get the job done, period."

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Vikings -3 O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-5-1): Rodgers keeps putting up big numbers -- 19 touchdowns against only one interception -- and threw for 332 yards and two scores last week in a 27-24 loss at Seattle, but again was unable to end the road skid. Running back Aaron Jones was held to 40 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries but set season highs with five receptions for 63 yards and a score against the Seahawks. Tight end Jimmy Graham did not practice due to a broken thumb sustained against Seattle, but Rodgers has been locked in on Davante Adams, who set a season high with 166 yards on 10 catches last week. The Packers are No. 5 against the pass (223.0 yards) but are dealing with multiple injuries in the secondary.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (5-4-1): Minnesota has struggled offensively for the past three games as Kirk Cousins has five touchdowns passes and four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in losses to New Orleans and Chicago. Wide receiver Adam Thielen failed to score for the first time in seven games last week but still went over 1,000 yards while Stefon Diggs had a season-high 13 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. The running game, however, was non-existent against the Bears as Dalvin Cook was limited to 12 yards on nine carries. The Vikings' defense ranks sixth against the pass (226.0 yards), will get a boost with the expected return of linebacker Anthony Barr after a three-game absence.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Rodgers had 26 TDs and zero interceptions in his past 10 division games.

2. Thielen had 12 catches for 131 yards and a TD in the Week 2 matchup.

3. Adams has a TD catch in his last three against Minnesota.

PREDICTION: Vikings 26, Packers 24
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#412001 - 11/25/18 11:52 AM Re: NFL Week 12 [Re: FREAK]
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Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans


Their ugly start to the season now a distant memory, the Houston Texans can set a franchise record when they host the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. The Texans own a two-game lead atop the AFC South and will go for their eighth consecutive victory after opening the campaign with three straight losses, including a 20-17 setback at Tennessee in Week 2.

Surging Houston is coming off consecutive two-point triumphs at Washington and Denver, giving the team four victories by three points or fewer during its winning streak. "We just try to keep on stacking wins and put us in position for later on down the season," Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson told reporters. "It's a very important game. It's a home game. We want to win those. It's a division game. We have to make sure we prepare well and get ready for it." The Titans squandered a chance to make Monday's matchup a showdown for division supremacy, following a pair of decisive wins over Dallas and New England with a 38-10 loss to Indianapolis last week (as the Titans were +2 point underdog at intertops). Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota was knocked out of that game with a stinger, but he practiced fully on Friday and Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur pronounced him "ready to roll."

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Texans -6 O/U: 41.5

ABOUT THE TITANS (5-5): Mariota had his two best games in the wins over the Cowboys and Patriots, and it was feared that last week's injury was related to the elbow issues that have plagued him for most of the season and forced him to miss the Week 2 matchup versus Houston. Running back Derrick Henry, who was used out of the wildcat in the first meeting, could be in line for a heavier workload as part of a backfield tandem with Dion Lewis, LaFleur said after Friday's practice. Corey Davis is Mariota's top target with 45 receptions, but it's unclear if fellow wideout Taywan Taylor will return after a two-game absence. Tennessee had the NFL's top-ranked scoring defense until it was shredded by the Colts.

ABOUT THE TEXANS (7-3): Watson had his NFL coming-out party against Tennessee last season in his third career start, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another as Houston set a franchise record for points in a 57-14 rout. He has not thrown for more than 239 yards in his last five starts and the Texans have scored more than 23 points just twice, but wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has at least one TD catch in five straight games and eight overall after posting an NFL-high 13 receiving scores last season. Running back Lamar Miller is providing balance to the offense with at least 18 carries and 86 yards rushing in three of the last four games. The Texans are fifth in scoring defense (20.5 points).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Hopkins has at least 100 yards in three of his last four versus Tennessee, including 110 and a TD in Week 2.

2. Mariota had a passing and rushing touchdown in his last matchup against Houston.

3. Texans DE J.J. Watt has registered 10 sacks on the season, including one in each of his last three games.

PREDICTION: Texans 23, Titans 20
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