This week is always a fun one. Three games will be on Thanksgiving. Two of the matchups on Thanksgiving consist of teams with everything to play for. On Sunday, a few key games are scheduled between teams in the same conference who are neck-and-neck in the race. Below is a look into the crucial parts of each matchup on the schedule for this week.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
If the Lions are going to win a game, this could be their best chance. The Bears are hurting with injuries to key contributors such as Khalil Mack. Even though the trip is not a long one, being the road team on a short week is always a challenge. Justin Fields will not play in this game. For the Lions, Jared Goff is back after missing a week, it seems. As usual, D’Andre Swift will have to be special for the Lions. This game will be a close one, but the Bears are the better team and will win by one possession.
Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Each team enters this one on a cold streak. The Cowboys have lost two of their last three and will be without Amari Cooper and possibly CeeDee Lamb for this one. The Raiders have lost three in a row and fallen off. Expect Micah Parsons to continue his fantastic play. Dak Prescott should bounce back in this game against a weak Raiders secondary. Fourth-year pass-catchers Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz should make big plays in this one. At home, the Cowboys will get back in the win column, taking this one by 10.
Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints
Similar to the matchup above, these two contending teams have been cold as of late. The Bills are a talented team and need to perform like it in this matchup. They must rely more on running the football to help Josh Allen. The Saints run defense struggled mightily a week ago. Sustaining it would likely help Allen and the offensive line in the passing attack. Expect their defense to bounce back and be motivated especially going against a struggling Saints offense. Getting Alvin Kamara back for the Saints would be huge. The Bills will win this game by a touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts
This is arguably the best matchup of the week. The Buccaneers got back to their winning ways on Monday night. It was a needed victory for them. For the Colts, they are as hot as any team in football right now. They are led by their ultra-talented running back, Jonathan Taylor. Anticipate another tremendous game from him. For the Buccaneers, their offense building on their last performance will be key for them. The Colts’ defense could make it tough. The Buccaneers will have to force the Colts to throw the football at times. At home, the Buccaneers will win a close one by three.
New York Jets at Houston Texans
With this week filled with competitive matchups, two of the league’s worst teams also happen to be on the schedule. The Texans are coming off a shocking road win. For the Jets, Zach Wilson should be back. Unfortunately, Michael Carter will not be able to go in this one. Expect Elijah Moore to continue his great play. The Texans could move the ball themselves in this one against the Jet defense. Tyrod Taylor and Brandin Cooks could make some big plays throughout this game. The Texans will win by one possession.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
This NFC East matchup looks to be an interesting one. How the Giants bounce back from a terrible loss will be important. For the Eagles, can they build on their winning ways as of late and prove consistency as a team. Expect Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith to keep up their strong play. The Giants’ offense against the Eagles’ defense could go back and forth. For the Giants, their offensive line will have to step up and hold their own against a talented Eagles defensive front. If not, big plays could be tough to come by. The Eagles will win this one by a touchdown.
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins enter this one as winners of three straight. Going against this Panthers’ defense could be tough for Tua Tagovailoa. Still, expect Jaylen Waddle to have his productive impact on the Dolphins offense. How the Panthers’ offense matches up against the Dolphins’ defense will be interesting. The Panthers should have success running the football and have to feature Christian McCaffrey in this one. This game will be a close one the Panthers win by a field goal.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots
This game is one of the best on the slate for Week 12. The Titans had a disappointing loss at home last week. This is a perfect opportunity for them to get back on the right track on the road against a great opponent. All year, the Titans have played their best against the top teams. They will have to limit turnovers in this one. Their defensive front could wreck this game. For the Patriots, establishing a running game will be crucial in this one. Look for Matt Judon and Christian Barmore to be impactful in this matchup. This game will be a close one the Titans win by a field goal.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Another great AFC battle between these two contending teams in the north. The Bengals did a stellar job of getting back in the win column on the road a week ago against the Raiders. Big plays in the passing game from Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase should continue in this one. For the Steelers, getting a healthy T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick back will be crucial. The Bengals’ defense can slow down the Steeler offense in this matchup. Upfront, the Bengals defense should win a good chunk of battles. At home, the Bengals will win this game by one possession.
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars
Expect the Falcons to get back in the win column after this one. Having a healthy Cordarrelle Patterson for this game would make a substantial difference. It would be great for Trevor Lawrence if he could have a big game. Young, talented skill position players such as Kyle Pitts and James Robinson could impact the outcome of this game. Trench play will be crucial as well. The Falcons will win this game by a touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
This is an interesting spot for a young Chargers team coming off an emotional prime-time victory. The Broncos had their bye a week ago. The Chargers’ talented offense should continue to move the football and score points in this game. It will be important for their defense to play better against a Broncos offense that has struggled at times. Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams will ultimately be too much for the Broncos in this one. The Chargers will win by one score.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers
One of the many great battles on the schedule for the week. Two of the best NFC teams will meet up as both enter relatively cold. The Rams have lost two in a row and need to rebound. The Packers have lost two of their last three. Getting Darrell Henderson going in this game for the Rams will be key. Expect Cooper Kupp to make his usual big plays. The Packers’ offense could be too much here. Aaron Rodgers led his unit to an impressive outing a week ago. The matchup between Davante Adams and Jalen Ramsey will be a must-see. At home, the Packers will win by a field goal.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers
A fascinating Week 12 game is scheduled here. Each team enters on hot streaks. Both teams have had tremendous offensive success. That should continue in this game. Deebo Samuel will have another big game. For the Vikings, their talented offense should score a ton of points here. The 49ers’ defense enters this one as the better of the two. Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and Jimmie Ward will have to make impact plays. The 49ers will win by a field goal.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
There is another fun battle this week between two contending AFC North teams. Each team enters following a win. The health of each quarterback in this game is key. It does not seem like Baker Mayfield will be able to get back to his fullest health. The Browns will be relying on Nick Chubb and the offensive line to win this one. For the Ravens, getting Lamar Jackson back makes all the difference. They should score points offensively. Their defense will have to cause a few turnovers if they get out to a lead. The Ravens will win a close one here by a score.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team
Washington enters this one on a hot streak. Taylor Heinicke has played well. Big plays from Terry McLaurin should be expected against the Seahawks’ secondary. Washington should score more than enough to win this one. For the Seahawks offense, Russell Wilson making plays essentially gives them their only chance to win. Their team has been a disappointment and is running into a team playing solid. Washington will win this game by one possession.
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