2018 NFL Week 12: Every Game in 100 Words or Less
Teams getting back in the race.
By 2018 NFL Week 12, the season is heading towards a conclusion — at least, it feels that way after Thanksgiving — but we can condense the action of each contest for you in 100 words or less.
We are also tracking the 2018 NFL playoff picture. As the playoffs come more into focus each week, we will throw a playoff stature analysis into every game we present. This all costs you the bargain basement price of nothing. You can’t beat a deal like that during the holiday season.
2018 NFL Week 12: Chicago 23, Detroit 16
Thanksgiving traditions: Turkey, time with family, and the Lions losing. Detroit’s record on Thanksgiving is 37-40-2, but in the here and now, it’s 4-7 while Chicago is 8-3. The Bears won this game without Mitchell Trubisky, and at this point, they may not need him next week, either. Chase Daniel had a better day than seasoned veteran Matthew Stafford. Playoff Outlook: Chicago is the odds-on favorite to win the division. Detroit is not out of the sagging NFC wild card race, but ask yourself if this looks like a playoff team. I didn’t think so.
2018 NFL Week 12: Dallas 31, Washington 23
If the Redskins wanted to know how life is after the Alex Smith injury, so far, it’s not good. Colt McCoy threw three picks in the Thanksgiving loss at Jerry World. Washington also had no run game of which to speak, while Zeke Elliott racked up 121. Dak Prescott tossed two touchdowns and no interceptions. Playoff Outlook: Both teams are tied at 6-5 to lead the NFC East, but Dallas is on an upward trajectory while Washington’s is aimed straight down. Skins aren’t out of it, however.
2018 NFL Week 12: New Orleans 31, Atlanta 17
Another four touchdown passes by Drew Brees. It’s so commonplace that one doesn’t even bat an eye to hear that. While the Rams and Chiefs would argue they are the most exciting offensive teams, New Orleans says hello as well. 31 was not a huge point total, but it more than got the job done against hapless Atlanta. Playoff Outlook: New Orleans is going to get a bye; it’s just a matter of first or second NFC seed. Atlanta mathematically has a chance but they are dreadful on the road and not making any waves in general.
2018 NFL Week 12: Buffalo 24, Jacksonville 21
I bet Jaguars fans are grateful that Jalen Ramsey ran his mouth about Josh Allen before the game that Jacksonville lost. (Link: SB Nation) He walked it back a little after a helping of humble pie, but the net takeaway is that the Jags defense is a shell of what it used to be. Neither one of these teams is worth a damn but at least the Bills are seeing glimpses of something out of their quarterback. Playoff Outlook: Both of these teams are out of it, though at 4-7 Buffalo has a very slim chance.
2018 NFL Week 12: Cleveland 35, Cincinnati 20
Baker Mayfield torched the Bengals for four touchdown passes as Hue Jackson, now a special assistant with the Bengals, watched his former team drop trou on his new one. Say what you will about the Browns being a doormat, but they have shown a lot of promise despite what appears to be another losing season. Playoff Outlook: Cleveland realistically is not making any moves, but this is a big hit to Cincinnati. They could have kept pace with a win, but are slipping behind the pack now at 5-6.
2018 NFL Week 12: New England 27, New York Jets 13
Father Time is catching up with Tom Brady, but playing the Jets cures all ills, I suppose. He beat the Jets yet again as the Pats took a chokehold on the AFC East. Josh McCown was okay in the place of Sam Darnold, but Darnold wouldn’t have prevented the defense from coughing up almost 500 yards, except by maybe helping with time of possession. Playoff Outlook: Nobody in this lousy division is going to beat the Pats and they never were.
2018 NFL Week 12: Philadelphia 25, New York Giants 22
Fans that did not like the Pat Shurmur hire in New York were probably conflicted in that they wanted the Giants to win but they also want to run the guy out of town. This was a gag by the Giants and the coach, who had a 16-point lead at one stage and gave it away. (Link: NJ.com) As for the Eagles, they are back in the race, but this team is a far cry from the Super Bowl champion edition. Playoff Outlook: Giants ended their chances, while Philadelphia retains some hope in the division.
2018 NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay 27, San Francisco 9
The Buccaneers stuck with their quarterback this week and it worked out for them. Tampa Bay tripled up the San Francisco 49ers to continue their quest to salvage something from this lost 2018 season. Jameis Winston had a great game, going 29-for-38 with two touchdowns. Nick Mullens, on the other hand, got sacked four times. Eight different receivers caught a Winston pass, led by Mike Evans with 116 yards. Playoff Outlook: Neither has a realistic chance, Tampa Bay’s is above zero and San Francisco’s is not.
2018 NFL Week 12: Seattle 30, Carolina 27
One of the better games of the day saw the Seahawks come from behind late in the fourth quarter to beat the Panthers. Carolina led 27-20 with just a few minutes to go, but Russell Wilson tied it late and Sebastian Janikowski won it as time expired. Christian McCaffrey’s big day was wasted. Playoff Outlook: Carolina missed an opportunity to cement themselves in the playoff chase, but at 6-5 they are still more than alive. Meanwhile, Seattle is now a legitimate contender at that same record.
2018 NFL Week 12: Baltimore 34, Oakland 17
Another blow to Jon Gruden and his Raiders as they drop a stinker out in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson had a pedestrian game, as did Derek Carr, but Baltimore extended their drives and got more out of them. Oh, and they scored two non-offensive touchdowns: one on a punt return and the other on a defensive scoop and score. Playoff Outlook: The Ravens are for sure in the wild card hunt after checking into the right side of the playoff picture last week. Oakland never had a chance in the first place.
2018 NFL Week 12: Los Angeles Chargers 45, Arizona 10
This game actually started somewhat ugly for the Chargers, who were in a battle with Arizona. The Cardinals led 10-0 after the first quarter, and then the Bolts scored the next 45 straight to shut them up. Philip Rivers is the story here, tying an NFL record with 25 straight completions, and then going 28-for-29 overall on the day. Larry Fitzgerald scored the only Cardinals touchdown. Playoff Outlook: The Chargers look golden in the playoff hunt; if they do not best the Chiefs for the AFC West, they will get a wild card. Arizona was done a while ago.
2018 NFL Week 12: Denver 24, Pittsburgh 17
41 completions from Ben Roethlisberger was not enough as the Steelers let this one against Denver get away. Pittsburgh took a 17-10 lead after JuJu Smith-Schuster scored on the longest play from scrimmage in 2018 (97 yards), but Denver scored late in the third on a short field, and engineered the game-winning drive in the fourth. With the game on the line on the Denver 2, Big Ben threw a pick. Playoff Outlook: Pittsburgh is still very likely to make the playoffs and win the division, but this hurts their bye chances. Denver is back in the wild card chase.
2018 NFL Week 12: Indianapolis 27, Miami 24
Andrew Luck is your comeback player of the year, and the Colts might be the comeback team. They beat Miami at the buzzer to claim their fifth straight win. This one is going to hurt for Miami, as they had a 24-14 lead in the fourth quarter and could not get the stops they needed thereafter. Playoff Outlook: Indianapolis is also legitimately back in the chase at 6-5. Miami could have used this one, and they aren’t done at 5-6, but this is the kind of loss that could change their season trajectory.
2018 NFL Week 12: Minnesota 24, Green Bay 17
Minnesota and Kirk Cousins found a way as the Vikings beat their hated rivals. Cousins outplayed Aaron Rodgers and the Vikings outplayed the Packers, who are slipping out of the mix. Minnesota got surpassed by other NFC powers this season, but they are still making a case. The Packers offense was unimpressive, and the calls for Mike McCarthy’s ouster are growing. Playoff Outlook: Minnesota firmed up their wild card stature; they are not likely to catch the Bears, but you never know. Green Bay can at least say they’re in better shape than 4-7 teams, but otherwise have no shot.
2018 NFL Week 12: Houston 34, Tennessee 17
Houston busted a franchise record with their eighth win in a row, taking down their AFC South rivals who formerly played in Houston. Deshaun Watson tossed three touchdown passes in a game that Houston had in hand by halftime. Marcus Mariota was close to perfect on the stat sheet, but Tennessee turned the ball over and took more penalties; further, the Titans had trouble in the red zone. Playoff Outlook: Houston is in excellent shape to win the division. Tennessee slipped behind the Colts into third place and are becoming less of a factor in the chase.