In NFL Week 12, 3 games took place on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. The Minnesota Vikings traveled to Detroit to battle the Lions, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the L.A. Chargers, and the New York Giants threw down against Washington. Minnesota and the Bolts came up huge. The rest of the teams didn’t look that great.
Read my recap on the 3 Thanksgiving Day games as well as all the other NFL action that took place in Week 12!
2017 NFL Week 12 Recap
Thursday, Nov. 23
Minnesota Vikings -3 at Detroit Lions +3
Minnesota might be the envy of every other team in the NFL. The Vikings have not 1, not 2, but 3 starting quarterbacks on the roster. This year’s starter, Case Keenum, has played admirably since Sam Bradford went down to an injury in Week 1’s victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Thursday’s 30 to 23 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field was no exception. Keenum completed 21 of 30 for 282 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed for a TD versus Detroit. The Vikings’ rushing attack was great with Latavius Murray rushing for 84 yards from 20 carries and a TD. Tight-end Kyle Rudolph caught 4 of 4 targets for 63 yards. He also caught 2 TD passes.
Result: Vikings 30, Lions 23
L.A. Chargers pk at Dallas Cowboys pk
Dallas has a couple of big issues, which is why the Boys lost 6 to 28 to the L.A. Chargers on Thanksgiving Day. The first big issue is that LB Sean Lee is hurt until late December. Without Lee, the Cowboys can’t do the things that they want to do on defense.
The second biggest issue is play-calling. The Cowboys are without RB Ezekiel Elliott, but that shouldn’t have affected the play-calling. It has. The Cowboys rushed the ball only 20 times. The problem is that the Cowboys didn’t start rushing the ball until the second half.
By then, Bolts’ QB Philip Rivers had gotten into a groove. Because the Boys’ defense is a mess, Dallas can’t afford to lose time of possession to their opponents. That’s exactly what happened. LAC controlled the clock while rushing the football 33 times for 81 yards.
Until Dallas switches things up, Cowboys’ opponents should continue to add misery to what’s turning into a terrible season.
Result: Chargers 28, Cowboys 6
New York Giants +7.5 at Washington Redskins -7.5
The Giants’ defense played exceptionally well in Week 11. The Giants’ defense played so well that NYG manged to upset Kansas City 12 to 9 in overtime. The same can’t be written for the Giants’ D versus the rival Washington Redskins last Thursday.
Don’t get me wrong. The Giants’ D held out for as long as it could. Unfortunately, Washington’s defense battled one of the worst offenses I’ve ever seen. The problem with NYG is that without WR Sterling Shepard, who was playing well before getting hurt, the Giants can do nothing on offense.
Eli Manning threw for 113 yards and a pick. After yards loss via sacks is counted, Manning threw for 86 net yards versus Washington’s defense. This is true even though Washington ranks 28th versus opposing tight-ends and the Giants are supposed to have a good one in Evan Engram.
What a disaster.
Result: Redskins 20, Giants 10
Sunday, Nov. 26
Tennessee Titans -3.5 at Indianapolis Colts +3.5
Both defenses stepped it up in this AFC South matchup in Week 12. The Titans’ offense was held to 184 passing yards and 92 rushing yards. QB Marcus Mariota threw 2 interceptions to go along with a TD pass. The vaunted Tennessee rushing attack averaged less than 3.3 yards per carry.
Indianapolis didn’t perform any better versus Tennessee’s defense. The Colts rushed for 89 yards from 24 carries. Indianapolis QB Jacoby Brissett completed 17 of 29 for 196 yards. Titans vs Colts didn’t break any ratings records, I can guarantee you that.
Result: Titans 20, Colts 16
Carolina Panthers -4.5 at New York Jets +4.5
Neither team could stop the other from scoring when the Panthers visited the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 26. The Jets allowed the Panthers to rush for 145 yards from 33 carries. That’s how the Panthers beat the Jets 35 to 27. It certainly wasn’t Carolina’s passing attack that did in the New York Jets.
Cam Newton completed 11 of 28 for 168 yards without a TD passe. That’s terrible compared to Jets’ QB Josh McCown who passed for 307 yards and threw 3 TD passes. How did the Panthers beat the Jets this past Sunday?
A 60-yard punt return by Kaetlin Clay in the fourth quarter and 3 Graham Gano field goals. That’s the real reason.
Result: Panthers 35, Jets 27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8.5 at Atlanta Falcons -8.5
The biggest stat to come out of Atlanta’s victory over NFC South rival Tampa Bay in Week 12 was the Falcons’ rushing yards. Atlanta rushed for a fantastic 148 yards from 28 carries. Finally, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian put some effort into the rushing game. Look what happened?
RB Tevin Coleman rushed 19 times for 97 yards and 2 TDs. Look at what also happened? Because the Falcons rushed the ball so well in this game, they managed to open up the passing attack to Julio Jones. Julio saw 15 targets. He caught 12 passes for 253 yards. He caught 2 TD passes.
Result: Falcons 34, Buccaneers 20
Chicago Bears +13.5 at Philadelphia Eagles -13.5
Philadelphia was a -14 favorite. So, it’s not like this was unexpected. The score was 24 to 0 by halftime. The Eagles trounced a team that they were supposed to trounce. Bottom line on this one? Chicago didn’t match up well with Philadelphia at all. That’s really all I can write about it.
Result: Eagles 31, Bears 3
Buffalo Bills +10 at Kansas City Chiefs -10
Man, this was a bad football game! Neither team played all that well. Buffalo’s defense appeared to step it up. Not really. This is 2 weeks in a row where Kansas City’s offense has been ridiculously bad. Alex Smith once again threw an interception. Kareem Hunt rushed for 17 yards from 11 carries.
KC lost their third in a row.
Result: Bills 16, Chiefs 10
Miami Dolphins +16.5 at New England Patriots -16.5
New England’s offense is like a well-oiled machine. The Patriots rushed for 196 yards from 38 carries. QB Tom Brady threw for 277 yards. Terrific Tom threw 4 TD passes. It’s difficult to find things to write about in a game where one NFL team is -16.5 and manages to cover the spread. The Patriots were expected to blowout the Dolphins. That’s what they did in Week 12.
Result: Patriots 35, Dolphins 17
Cleveland Browns +8 at Cincinnati Bengals -8
Maybe, I’m a sadist because I keep taking the points on the woeful Cleveland Browns. The Browns continually prove me wrong to have any faith in them. This time, Cleveland’s defense allowed the Bengals to rush for 152 yards from 30 carries. Cleveland allowed less than 90 rushing yards on average before this game. I don’t know if the Browns are sandbagging it so that they can draft either quarterback Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.
Whatever it is, Cleveland appears intent on getting blown out in every game this season.
Result: Bengals 30, Browns 16
Seattle Seahawks -7 at San Francisco 49’ers -7
San Francisco was forced to play QB Jimmy Garoppolo because starter C.J. Beathard got hurt. That’s the biggest surprise in this game. What happened? Garoppolo completed 2 of 2 for 18 yards. One of his 2 passes went for a TD. Beathard is listed as questionable. That means Garropolo might get the call when San Francisco battles the Chicago Bears in NFL Week 13.
Result: Seahawks 24, 49’ers 13
Denver Broncos +5 at Oakland Raiders -5
I guess, the Broncos suck more than the Raiders suck. If there’s any saving grace for the Broncos in their 14 to 21 loss to Oakland, it’s that coach Vance Joseph is likely to stick with QB Trevor Siemian. Siemian completed 11 of 21 for 149 yards and 2 TDs. Siemian didn’t throw a pick. Before leaving the game, starter Paxton Lynch completed 9 of 14 for 41 yards and an interception.
Oh, there was also a fight in this game. Does anybody outside of Denver and Oakland care? I know I don’t.
Result: Raiders 21, Broncos 14
Jacksonville Jaguars -4.5 at Arizona Cardinals +4.5
Two stars emerged in this game. The first star is Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles. Sure, from a passing perspective, Bortles was garbage. He completed 19 of 33 for 160 yards. He threw an interception. But, from a leadership perspective, Bortles was great. Blake rushed for 62 yards from 6 attempts. He rushed for 2 TDs.
The other star was Arizona’s entire offense. The Cardinals, amazingly, rushed for 108 yards from 31 carries. Arizona also passed for 236 net yards versus the best pass defense in the NFL. Blaine Gabbert completed passes to 10 different receivers.
Result: Cardinals 27, Jaguars 24
New Orleans Saints +2.5 at L.A. Rams -2.5
Incredibly, the New Orleans Saints defense, without it’s 2 starting cornerbacks, played well enough to keep the Saints in the game. The Saints offense blew it versus the Rams’ defense. What were the two elements of the Saints’ offense that blew it on Sunday? Coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees.
Brees was off all day until the 4th quarter. By then, it didn’t matter. Sean Payton called bad play after bad play up until the fourth quarter. Again, by then, it didn’t matter. The lone saving grace for New Orleans is that their defense didn’t lose it for them and they were without their 2 starting corners.
The Rams’ defense showed signs that it’s starting to gel. LAR could be a force by the time the playoffs come around.
Result: Rams 26, Saints 20
Green Bay Packers +14 at Pittsburgh Steelers -14
Packers’ back-up QB Brett Hundley got something of a moral victory in Pittsburgh’s win over Green Bay in Week 12. Hundley threw for 245 yards and 3 TDs. He didn’t throw an interception. I thought it was a great performance versus a defense that has been playing well lately.
Pittsburgh’s offense did what it’s supposed to do. The fact that Pitt didn’t come close to losing to Green Bay should worry their fans.
Result: Steelers 31, Packers 28
Monday, Nov. 27
Houston Texans +7 at Baltimore Ravens -7
Houston’s throw down versus the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night turned out to be way more exciting than I thought it would be. The game was back and forth up until the Ravens stripped Houston QB Tom Savage, the outcome was in doubt.
The Ravens rushed for 139 yards. That’s the biggest takeway. The other takeaway is that Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins can’t be stopped. Hopkins caught 7 of 10 targets for 125 yards.
Result: Ravens 23, Texans 16