It is now the 12th Sunday with NFL football and will feature several key matchups that will determine the outcome of the game. Paxton Lynch will be starting because of the unsettled quarterback situation in Denver and Darrelle Revis will be back in uniform since being cut by the Jets a season ago. The Saints and Eagles will look to win their 9th straight game against NFC opponents while the Patriots will look to dismantle the Dolphins in an AFC East showdown. Here’s what to watch for in Week 12.
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs; 1:00pm
1. Darrelle Revis’ Debut With Chiefs
Darrell Revis has a new team in the Kansas City Chiefs. It is still unknown as to how much game time he’ll be getting in his first game but many will be pleased to see that he is back in an NFL uniform since being released back in March by the New York Jets. He won’t take over as the #1 cornerback because Marcus Peters is currently their #1 so he’ll be rotating in and out of the lineup to get used to the Chiefs defensive style.
UPDATE: Revis will not play
2. LeSean McCoy Vs Chiefs Run Defense
Shady McCoy is coming off a game in which he ran for 114 yards on 13 carries and notched a TD as well. He’ll be going up against a Chiefs run defense that ranks 29th in rush yards per game allowed (129.2). The Chiefs will need to load the box in order to make the Bills offense one-dimensional and to prevent Shady from running all over them.
3. Alex Smith Vs Bills Defense
Alex Smith is coming off his worst performance of the season against the New York Giants throwing 2 interceptions and no touchdowns for only 230 yards. Smith will look to try and bounce back against a Bills defense that ranks 24th in passing yards per game (246.9) and has been struggling mightily as a unit in recent weeks. Put two and two together and Smith should have a much better outing this week.
Bold Prediction: Shady runs wild for 150 yards and 2 TDs.
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles; 1:00pm
1. Mitch Trubisky Vs Eagles Defense
Trubisky only threw for 179 yards and a TD a week ago against the Lions as Jordan Howard ran for 125 yards. This week he’ll be facing a tougher defense in the Eagles that picked off Dak Prescott 3 times and sacked him 4 times as well. This unit knows how to get to the quarterback and Trubisky knows he’ll need to release the ball quickly to avoid getting sacked.
2. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen Vs Eagles Run Defense
This will be a very intriguing matchup to watch as Jordan Howard is coming off a game in which he ran for more than 100 yards against the Lions and currently ranks 3rd in total rushing yards this season. These two running backs will be going up against the #1 ranked defense against the run allowing 71.0 yards per game. If Philly can shut down the run, Trubisky and the Bears will have a long game ahead of them.
3. Carson Wentz Vs Bears Defense
Carson Wentz is coming off a game in which he threw for 2 TDs but less than 200 yards in a blowout victory over the Dallas Cowboys. This week he’ll be facing a Bears defense that ranks 12th in passing yards per game allowed (213.0) and a defense that knows how to get after the quarterback. However, the Bears will have sustained multiple injuries on both offense and defense which could make it more diffcitult to contain Wentz and co.
Bold Prediction: Carson Wentz throws 3 TD passes and throws for 300 yards.
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals; 1:00pm
1. Bengals Run Game
The Bengals are one of the worst teams when it comes to running the ball. Their offensive line can’t block and struggles to create holes for Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard to run through. Don’t expect things to change against a Browns defense that ranks 6th in rushing yards per game allowed (91.7). It seems like the Browns will force Andy Dalton to throw the ball at least 35 times.
2. DeShone Kizer Vs Bengals Defense
The last time Kizer played against the Bengals, he threw an interception and only completed 16 of 34 passes for 118 yards. He’ll look to have a better performance but considering the Bengals rank 6th in passing yards per game allowed (200.6), it seems unlikely that he’ll do much better than the first outing. A tough task is ahead for Kizer and the offense this Sunday.
3. Andy Dalton Vs Browns Defense
The last time these two teams met, Dalton threw 4 TD passes and only had 5 incompletions on 30 throws. It seems likely that he’ll out up similar numbers against a Browns defense that ranks 15th in pass yards per game allowed (222.0). Also, since the Bengals run game has been nonexistent throughout the season, Dalton will be forced to throw at least 25 times.
Bold Prediction: Andy Dalton throws 4 TDs just like the first encounter this past season and throws for 350 yards as well.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets; 1:00pm
1. Panthers Run Game
Last time the Panthers played, they ran for nearly 300 yards against the Miami Dolphins and will look to have similar production against the lowly New York Jets. This Jets defense ranks 23rd in rushing yards per game (117.9). The Jets should be especially worried about Cam Newton’s mobility because he can rack up lots of chunk yardage plays with his legs so they’ll need to have a contain or spy on him.
2. Josh McCown Vs Panthers Pass Defense
Josh McCown and the Jets are coming off a bye and will look to try and pick apart this stingy Panthers defense that ranks 4th in passing yards per game allowed (197.4). McCown and the offense could struggle to muster out any points or yardage if the run game doesn’t take pressure off McCown. We’ll see how this matchup unfolds come Sunday.
3. Greg Olsen’s Return
Greg Olsen will be returning to the field after suffering a foot injury that kept him out for 8 weeks. Olsen will be a huge part of the Panthers offense this week especially since wide receiver Curtis Samuel is out for the season and Kelvin Benjamin was traded to Buffalo a few weeks ago. Also, before he was injured, Olsen was Cam Newton’s favorite target and will feel more secure having him back in the lineup.
Bold Prediction: Greg Olsen picks up where he left off scoring 2 TDs and racking up 100+ receiving yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons; 1:00pm
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick Vs Falcons Defense
Ryan Fitzpatrick comes into this game with a big win over the Miami Dolphins as their offense put up 30 points in their victory last week. Fitzpatrick will face a much better defense in the Falcons that ranks 7th in passing yards per game (200.8). Don’t be surprised if Fitzpatrick turns the ball over a few times against the Falcons.
2. Matt Ryan Vs Bucs Defense
Matty Ice is coming off a game in which he did just enough to come away with a victory against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. He’ll most likely have a better performance against a Bucs defense that ranks 31st in passing yards per game allowed (276.3). This Bucs defense simply hasn’t been as good against the pass as many thought they would be.
3. Falcons Run Game
The Falcons may be without Devonta Freeman again as he was limited in practice on Thursday since suffering a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys. They’ll have to rely on Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward again if Freeman doesn’t suit up. These two could have a solid performance against a Bucs defense that ranks 13th in rushing yards per game allowed (107.2).
Bold Prediction: Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward combine for 175 yards and 3 TDs.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts; 1:00pm
1. Marcus Mariota Vs Colts Defense
Mariota is hoping he doesn’t have a repeat performance of last week as he threw 4 interceptions against the Steelers on Thursday Night Football. All signs are pointing towards a big bounce performance as the Colts defense ranks 30th in pass yards per game allowed (274.5). Lucky for Mariota and the Titans, they’re still very much in the playoff hunt and a win in this game would mean only boost there chances of making the postseason.
2. Jacoby Brissett Vs Titans Defense
Really I should’ve put “Colts Quarterback Vs Titans Defense” since Brissett may not okay since suffering a concussion two weeks ago. However, it seems likely that he’s playing and lucky for his team, they had a bye just a week ago. Brissett and the offense will face a Titans defense that ranks 21st in passing yards game allowed (241.2). Brissett could have a solid stat line at the end of this game if all goes well.
3. Titans Running Game
The Titans run game was a non-factor in their brutal loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers racking up 42 yards on 15 carries. The run game will need to pick up the slack as they face a Colts defense that ranks 15th in rush yards per game allowed (111.3). Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray have been disappointing this season and have not lived up to the expectations this season.
Bold Prediction: Titans run game racks up 200 yards and 4 TDs.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots; 1:00pm
1. Dolphins Defense Vs Tom Brady
Notice how I put Dolphins defense first because this unit is going to struggle mightily against Brady and the offense. This Dolphins defense ranks 17th against the pass (229.3 yards/game allowed), however Brady has too many weapons on offense that will overwhelm the Dolphins defense.
2. Matt Moore Vs Patriots Defense
Matt Moore will be starting once again after Jay Cutler suffered a concussion last week against the Bucs. This Patriots defense ranks dead last in passing yards per game allowed (282.0) but has been making up for horrid performances in the first 5 weeks. Matt Moore will need to carry the team on his back in order to pull off a huge upset over the Pats.
3. Dolphins Run Game
The Dolphins run game racked up 83 yards against the Bucs and will look to try and rack up more yardage against a Patriots defense that ranks 24th in rushing yards per game allowed (119.9). The Patriots defense has been performing much better as of the last 5 games compared to the first 5. The Patriots know they have to shut the run game down in order to make Miami’s offense one-dimensional.
Bold Prediction: Tom Brady throws for 4 TDs and 400 yards.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers; 4:05pm
1. Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson is coming off a tough loss against the Atlanta Falcons and completed 26 passes for 258 yards 2 TDs and an interception. He could perform much better against a 49ers defense that ranks 23rd in passing yards per game allowed (246.3). The 49ers defense will look to try and pressure Wilson as much as possible to force him into some turnovers.
2. C.J. Beathard Vs Legion of Boom
C.J. Beathard and the Niners are coming off a nice bye week and will look to put a gash in Seattle’s playoff hopes. Beathard will be facing the Legion of Boom that has a depleted secondary but still ranks 13th in passing yards per game allowed (215.1). Maybe the Niners receivers will play very well with all of the injuries the Seahawks defense has sustained.
3. Carlos Hyde
Last time these two teams played, Hyde eclipsed 100 yards which was more than the amount of passing yards Brian Hoyer threw for. The Seahawks defense knows they’ll need to stop Hyde from reaching 100 yards again and they could do it as they rank 9th in rushing yards per game allowed (99.8).
Bold Prediction: Russell Wilson throws for 325 yards and accounts for 4 TDs.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders; 4:25pm
1. Paxton Lynch’s 1st Start
Lynch will be starting his first game this year and will get a chance to show Vance Joseph and the Broncos fan base that he belongs as the Broncos started for the long term. He could find himself having a solid day against a Raiders defense that 27th in passing yards per game allowed (253.2). We’ll find out how well he performs this Sunday and if he can keep this starting job for the rest of the season.
2. Derek Carr Vs “No Fly Zone”
Derek Carr will look to perform better against the Broncos defense but may have a tough outing again against a Broncos defense that ranks 5th in passing yards per game allowed (197.7). It is very likely that Carr will have to carry the team on his back since the run game has not been very successful this season.
3. Raiders Run Game
The Raiders actually managed to rack up more than 100 yards on the ground against the Patriots but it simply wasn’t enough to wear out their defense. This week they’ll face a Broncos defense that ranks 4th in rushing yards per game (85.5). It seems likely that the Broncos will shut Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard down and force Derek Carr to throw a lot.
Bold Prediction: Derek Carr throws for 300 yards and 3 TDs.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams; 4:25pm
1. Drew Brees
Brees is coming off his most clutch performance of the season scoring 2 TDs in the final 5 minutes of the game against the Washington Redskins a week ago. Now he’ll be facing Rams defense that ranks 10th in passing yards per game allowed (211.7). This game could turn out to be a shootout and Brees could have a big game come Sunday.
2. Jared Goff
Goff is coming off a tough loss against the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 225 yards no interceptions and no touchdowns. He’ll have another tough task ahead of him when he faces the Saints defense that ranks 9th in passing yards per game allowed (211.3). Maybe Goff will bounce back and have his best game of the season.
3. Saints Run Game Vs Rams Run Defense
The Saints are coming off a game in which they ran 160 yards on the ground against the Redskins and now face a Rams defense that ranks 28th in rushing yards per game allowed (123.3). This unit has struggled mightily against the run which could lead to big game from Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.
Bold Prediction: Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara rack up 250 yards and score 4 combined TDs
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Arizona Cardinals; 4:25pm
1. Blaine Gabbert Vs Sacksonville Defense
This matchup is no where near favorable especially since the Jaguars defense is very very good in about every defensive category. The Jaguars defense currently ranks 1st against the pass (162.0 yards/game) and leads the league in sacks. Gabbert’s offensive line will not give him any help as they are one of the most banged up units in the league. All signs point towards an ugly game for Gabbert and the offense.
2. Blake Bortles Vs Cardinals Defense
The can be said for Bortles who certainly has had his game share of turnovers throughout his whole career. The Cardinals defense ranks 22nd in passing yards per game allowed and is a blitz-happy team, which could spell trouble for Bortles. However, he’ll most likely look for Fournette to gays through the defense so he can stay mistake-free in this game.
3. Leonard Fournette Vs Cardinals Run Defense
Fournette didn’t miss a beat against the Cleveland Browns a week ago as he racked up 111 yards on 28 carries. However, this week he’ll have a tougher time running the ball as the Cardinals rank 10th in rush yards per game allowed (101.3). If Arizona shuts down Fournette, they’ll force Blake Bortles to throw more than he’s accustomed to which is what they want.
Bold Prediction: Blake Bortles and Blaine Gabbert turn the ball over a combined 8 times.
Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers; 8:30pm
1. Brett Hundley Vs Steelers Defense
Hundley is coming off his worst performance as a pro as he threw 3 interceptions and didn’t manage to score any points against the Ravens last week. He’ll have another tough opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers that ranks 3rd in passing yards per game allowed (190.0). It seems that Hundley will have to wait another week to have a bounce back performance.
2. Le’Veon Bell Vs Packers Run Defense
Bell only had 46 yards on 12 carries against the Titans last week and will really look to run for more yardage than last week. However, this Packers defense ranks 11th against the run but could be without Clay Matthews and DT Kenny Clark due to injuries. The Packers know they need to shut down Bell to force the Steelers offense to become one-dimensional.
3. Steelers Recievers Vs Packers Secondary
JuJu Smith Schuster will not be playing in this game against the Packers has he has sustained a hamstring injury and now Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, and other receivers will need to fill some big shoes while JuJu sits this game out. The Packers defense ranks 18th in passing yards per game allowed (234.4). The Packers will still have a tough task ahead of them trying to cover these dangerous Steelers receivers.
Bold Prediction: Le’Veon Bell finally runs for 100 yards again and scores 3 TDs.