The NFL season rolls into week 12 with an AFC West showdown on Thursday Night Football. The Kansas City Chiefs head to Oakland to take on the Raiders in the first of 15 total games during the week. The only two teams not in action are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers who are the last two teams to have a bye this season.
This is a critical game for the Chiefs who sit at 7-3 and tied with the Denver Broncos atop the AFC West. The Raiders on the other hand are the only team in the NFL without a win and lead the fight for the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Broncos as well as the San Diego Chargers are also both in action during the late games on Sunday.
Peyton Manning leads the Broncos into Miami to take on a very solid Dolphins team. This should be one of the more competitive games of the weekend based on statistic’s but it could get ugly. Manning and company will look to bounce back after last week’s loss at St. Louis. The Chargers sit a game behind the Chiefs and Broncos as they prepare to take on the Rams at home. This game will come down to how well Philip Rivers plays against a very good Rams defense. Rivers has struggled over the past three games throwing four touchdowns and five total interceptions.
Here is the rest of the action around the NFL during week 12.
Cleveland Browns @ Atlanta Falcons: This game features the first place Falcons at 4-6 hosting a much improved Browns team at 6-4. Josh Gordon will make his much anticipated return to the lineup for the Browns as well as his fantasy owners. The Falcons on the other hand will need to establish a running game against a Browns defense allowing 142.1 yards per game.
Tennessee Titans @ Philadelphia Eagles: The Titans looked to be on their way to a third win on the season before allowing 14 points to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter on Monday Night Football. This game hast the making to be a high scoring contest on both ends making it a perfect fantasy matchup for players like Gordon, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots: The top ranked Lions scoring defense squares off against a Patriots offense ranked second in scoring. This game has the potential to be a low scoring game as we have seen the Patriots limit both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck this season while the Lions have yet to allow a team to score 25 or more points. It could also go the other direction as it features some of the NFL’s top play makers in Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Calvin Johnson.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings: After the 1-2 start, the Packers have rebounded nicely winning six of their next seven games to land themselves atop to the NFC North with the Lions. The Vikings on the other hand received word that Adrian Peterson will be suspended for the remainder of the season and will face reinstatement in April of 2015. For fantasy owners all eyes will be on Aaron Rodgers who has a chance to continue his run of games with 20 plus fantasy points.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts: The Colts will look to get back in the win column after their week 11 loss at New England against the 1-9 Jaguars. Andrew Luck turned in another 300 plus performance but the defense could not find a way to slow down Jonas Gray on the ground. This week Denard Robinson will have an opportunity to be a big time role player and a fantasy star.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans: J.J. Watt and company will have their hands full with another first place team in the AFC North. This week the test will come against Andy Dalton and the Bengals after finding a way to pick up a big win against the Browns in week 11. The deciding factor in this contest will come down to how well Ryan Mallett plays in his second start of the season.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills: Can Rex Ryan find a way to save his job this season? More than likely no but winning the team’s final eight games could present the owner a difficult decision to make at the end of the season. That job starts this week as they travel to take on the 5-5 Bills in Buffalo after losing to them at home in week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears: Lovie Smith makes his first trip to the city he spent nine seasons with as head coach of the Bears. The good news for him and the Buccaneers fans is rookie wide receiver Mike Evans is starting to heat up after dealing with some injuries early on. Evans has posted three straight games with 120 plus yards and at least one touchdown. For the Bears and Jay Cutler this game could make or break their chances of making the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Arians leads his first place Cardinals into Century Link field to battle the Seahawks in first of two games that will take place over the remaining of the season. These are two of the top defenses in the NFL as the Seahawks have allowed the third fewest yards in the NFL. The Cardinals enter this game ranked third in the NFL allowing only 17.6 points per game.
Washington Redskins @ San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have gotten back on track after back to back losses heading home to take on the 3-7 Redskins. The frustrations are amounting in Washington as the team has failed to produce with Robert Griffin III under center causing some to wonder if he has the ability to be a franchise quarterback. This should be a good test for him to prove those critics wrong against a 49ers defense that ranks fourth against the pass and sixth against the run.
Sunday Night Football:
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants: Entering the season both Tom Coughlin and Jason Garrett found their names on the hot seat. Garrett and the Cowboys have responded jumping out to a division leading 7-3 record behind the stellar play of the NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray. The Giants on the other hand have been bugged by injuries all season including losing star wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Monday Night Football:
Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints: Week 12 wraps up as Joe Flacco will look to lead his Ravens to a big win on the road. Each of these teams need a win this week as the Saints sit tied with the Falcons at 4-6 while the Ravens trail the Pittsburgh Steelers in the win column by one game. Just a few weeks back this looked like a sure win for the Saints but after back to back losses at home this is anyone’s game on prime time.