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NFL Week 12 Preview

Posted Nov 20, 2013

NFL Week 12 Preview



23 TEAMS EITHER IN OR WITHIN ONE GAME OF PLAYOFF SPOT

AS NFL ENTERS WEEK 12

 

The standings are close as NFL teams begin their playoff push. Through the first 11 weeks, there are 23 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot. Two others sit just one-and-a-half games out.

 

“We have talked about how the playoffs have already started,” says Arizona head coach BRUCE ARIANS, whose team has won three games in a row to improve to 6-4. “We have to keep winning. We have to take a playoff attitude every week that this is a playoff game and we have to win to catch up. The guys have done it.”

 

Week 12 kicks off on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, NFL Network) when the New Orleans Saints visit the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South divisional contest. The Saints lead the division and own the second-best record in the NFC at 8-2. 

 

The Saints, who won seven games last year, are one of seven teams that have already matched or surpassed their win total from 2012 – Arizona, Carolina, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, Oakland and Philadelphia. Additionally, three other teams can join that list this week – Cleveland, Jacksonville and the New York Jets.

 

Week 12 concludes with a Monday night contest (ESPN, 8:40 PM ET) featuring two playoff teams from a season ago as the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers. Some of the key games this week:

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-3) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-5) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

The Panthers have won six in a row – tied with Seattle for the longest active streak in the NFL – and enter the week just one game behind New Orleans for the top spot in the NFC South. Carolina defeated New England 24-20 on Monday night behind CAM NEWTON’s three touchdown passes. The Panthers have allowed an NFL-low 135 points (13.5 per game) and are the only team to rank in the top five in total (third), run (third) and pass defense (fifth).

 

“I’m excited for our players,” says Carolina head coach RON RIVERA. “They won the kind of game that a lot of people don’t think we can win. I think we proved a lot.”

 

Miami is in the thick of the AFC playoff race at 5-5 and last week knocked off San Diego 20-16. Dolphins quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL passed for 268 yards and his 38-yard touchdown pass to CHARLES CLAY in the third quarter put Miami up for good.

 

“Someone’s got to get that last Wild Card spot,” says Dolphins tackle TYSON CLABO. “Why not us?”

 

CHICAGO BEARS (6-4) at ST. LOUIS RAMS (4-6) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

The Bears moved back into a tie for first place in the NFC North with a 23-20 overtime win over Baltimore last week. Chicago running back MATT FORTÉ had 125 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in the victory. He has 1,148 scrimmage yards this season and is the only player in franchise history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first six seasons.

 

“It’s an awesome win,” says Bears kicker ROBBIE GOULD, who converted the game-winning 38-yard field goal in overtime. “To get to 6-4 and be at the top of our division is pretty big at this point. You spend the first couple months trying to get in the race and now you’re trying to finish the race.”

 

St. Louis is coming off a bye and looks to build off the team’s 38-8 win at Indianapolis in Week 10. Rams rookie TAVON AUSTIN returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown and had receiving touchdowns of 81 and 57 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history with a 95 yard punt-return touchdown and two 55 yard receiving touchdowns in a single game.

 

The game will also feature a pair of brothers on opposite sides as Bears rookie guard KYLE LONG, who has started all 10 games, faces Rams defensive end CHRIS LONG, who has 6.5 sacks this season and scored on a 45-yard fumble-return touchdown in Week 10.

 

“It’s a dream come true for me to be able to look across the line of scrimmage and think my older brother and I are two of the few people on this earth to play in the NFL,” says Kyle Long. “We’re privileged and blessed.”

 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-3) at ARIZONA CARDINALS (6-4) (Sunday, CBS, 4:05 PM ET)

 

Last season, interim head coach BRUCE ARIANS guided the Colts to a playoff berth and was named the 2012 AP NFL Coach of the Year. Now with Arizona, Arians has led the Cardinals to a 6-4 start, the most wins by a head coach in his first 10 games with the team since CHARLEY WINNER in 1966. Arians is the first person to be named NFL Coach of the Year and then face that team the following season as the head coach of a different team.

 

Both clubs are coming off wins in Week 11 and find themselves right in the mix for the playoffs. The Colts, who lead the AFC South, erased a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to defeat Tennessee 30-27.

 

“At the end of the day, winning is what matters,” says Indianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK. “We were fortunate to be in this game to survive our mistakes and have a chance to win. We know that’s got to be fixed.”

 

The Cardinals have won three games in a row, including last week’s 27-14 win at Jacksonville. Arizona quarterback CARSON PALMER passed for 419 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown to wide receiver MICHAEL FLOYD, who finished with six catches for 193 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals, who had an 80-yard touchdown run by running back ANDRE ELLINGTON in Week 8, are the first team since the 1962 Denver Broncos to have a 90-yard touchdown reception and 80-yard touchdown run in the first 10 games of a season.

 

DALLAS COWBOYS (5-5) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (4-6) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

 

Entering Week 12, the Philadelphia Eagles (6-5), Dallas Cowboys (5-5) and New York Giants (4-6) are separated by just one-and-a-half games for the top spot in the NFC East.

 

Dallas, who is coming off a bye, defeated New York 36-31 on Kickoff Weekend. In his past four starts against the Giants, Cowboys quarterback TONY ROMO has 12 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 117.7 passer rating. Dallas tight end JASON WITTEN has 26 catches (13 per game) for 237 yards (118.5 per game) and two touchdowns in the past two meetings between the two rivals. 

 

After an 0-6 start, the Giants have won four in a row. Last week, New York defeated Green Bay 27-13. Giants wide receiver RUEBEN RANDLE had a touchdown catch – his sixth in the past six games – and defensive end JASON PIERRE-PAUL had a 24-yard interception-return touchdown in the fourth quarter to expand the lead to 14 points. 

 

“We knew we were going to have a tough challenge getting back into the mix, but the only thing we could do is to start getting one win at a time,” says Giants quarterback ELI MANNING. “We’ve done that these last four weeks. Obviously we’ve still got some room to go. We’ve got four in a row and that’s a good feeling. We’re going to keep fighting, keep getting better and see if we can keep winning.”

 

DENVER BRONCOS (9-1) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-3) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)

 

For the 14th time in their careers, including the postseason, quarterbacks TOM BRADY (New England) and PEYTON MANNING (Denver) will meet. Brady has guided the Patriots to nine wins in those meetings over Manning’s Colts and Broncos.

 

This game will be the first in NFL history in which both starting quarterbacks are at least 90 games over .500 in the regular season. In their careers, Brady is 101 (143-42) and Manning is 92 (163-71).

 

The Broncos defeated Kansas City last week, handing the Chiefs their first loss of the season. With the win, Denver is now tied with Kansas City for the best record in the AFC at 9-1. The Broncos lead the NFL with 398 points scored – the third-most ever by a team through the first 10 games of a season – and Manning has passed for a league-best 3,572 yards and 34 touchdowns.

 

New England leads the AFC East by two games and the Patriots are 5-0 at home. In last week’s 24-20 loss at Carolina on Monday night, Brady made his 185th career NFL start with BILL BELICHICK as his head coach, the most starts by a quarterback under one head coach in NFL history. Miami’s DAN MARINO started 184 games for head coach DON SHULA; both Marino and Shula are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


2013 NFL STANDINGS

                   

American Football Conference

East Division

Team

   W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

New England Patriots

     7

3

0

.700

254

199

5-0-0

2-3-0

4-2-0

3-1-0

Lost 1

New York Jets

     5

5

0

.500

183

268

4-1-0

1-4-0

2-5-0

2-2-0

Lost 1

Miami Dolphins

     5

5

0

.500

213

225

3-2-0

2-3-0

4-3-0

0-2-0

Won 1

Buffalo Bills

     4

7

0

.364

236

273

3-3-0

1-4-0

3-6-0

2-2-0

Won 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Cincinnati Bengals

7

4

0

.636

275

206

5-0-0

2-4-0

5-3-0

2-2-0

Won 1

Pittsburgh Steelers

4

6

0

.400

216

245

3-2-0

1-4-0

3-4-0

1-1-0

Won 2

Baltimore Ravens

4

6

0

.400

208

212

3-1-0

1-5-0

4-4-0

2-2-0

Lost 1

Cleveland Browns

4

6

0

.400

192

238

3-2-0

1-4-0

3-4-0

2-2-0

Lost 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Indianapolis Colts

7

3

0

.700

252

220

3-2-0

4-1-0

5-2-0

3-0-0

Won 1

Tennessee Titans

4

6

0

.400

227

226

2-4-0

2-2-0

3-4-0

0-3-0

Lost 2

Houston Texans

2

8

0

.200

193

276

1-4-0

1-4-0

2-4-0

1-1-0

Lost 8

Jacksonville Jaguars

1

9

0

.100

129

318

0-5-0

1-4-0

1-5-0

1-1-0

Lost 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Denver Broncos

9

1

0

.900

398

255

6-0-0

3-1-0

5-1-0

3-0-0

Won 3

Kansas City Chiefs

9

1

0

.900

232

138

5-0-0

4-1-0

6-1-0

1-1-0

Lost 1

Oakland Raiders

4

6

0

.400

194

246

3-2-0

1-4-0

4-3-0

1-2-0

Won 1

San Diego Chargers

4

6

0

.400

228

222

2-2-0

2-4-0

2-5-0

0-2-0

Lost 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Football Conference

East Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Philadelphia Eagles

6

5

0

.545

276

260

1-4-0

5-1-0

5-2-0

3-2-0

Won 3

Dallas Cowboys

5

5

0

.500

274

258

4-1-0

1-4-0

5-2-0

3-0-0

Lost 1

New York Giants

4

6

0

.400

192

256

3-2-0

1-4-0

3-4-0

1-2-0

Won 4

Washington Redskins

3

7

0

.300

246

311

2-2-0

1-5-0

1-6-0

0-3-0

Lost 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Detroit Lions

6

4

0

.600

265

253

3-1-0

3-3-0

5-2-0

3-1-0

Lost 1

Chicago Bears

6

4

0

.600

282

267

4-2-0

2-2-0

3-4-0

2-2-0

Won 1

Green Bay Packers

5

5

0

.500

258

239

3-2-0

2-3-0

3-4-0

2-1-0

Lost 3

Minnesota Vikings

2

8

0

.200

240

320

2-3-0

0-5-0

1-7-0

0-3-0

Lost 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

New Orleans Saints

8

2

0

.800

288

183

6-0-0

2-2-0

6-0-0

2-0-0

Won 2

Carolina Panthers

7

3

0

.700

238

135

4-1-0

3-2-0

6-2-0

2-0-0

Won 6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2

8

0

.200

187

237

2-4-0

0-4-0

1-6-0

1-3-0

Won 2

Atlanta Falcons

2

8

0

.200

214

292

2-3-0

0-5-0

2-5-0

1-3-0

Lost 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Division

Team

W

L

T

Pct

PF

PA

Home

Away

Conf

Div

Streak

Seattle Seahawks

10

1

0

.909

306

179

5-0-0

5-1-0

7-0-0

3-0-0

Won 6

San Francisco 49ers

6

4

0

.600

247

178

3-2-0

3-2-0

3-3-0

2-1-0

Lost 2

Arizona Cardinals

6

4

0

.600

214

212

4-1-0

2-3-0

4-4-0

0-3-0

Won 3

St. Louis Rams

4

6

0

.400

224

234

2-3-0

2-3-0

1-5-0

1-2-0

Won 1


LAST WEEK’S RESULTS NOVEMBER 14, 17-18

Byes: Dallas, St. Louis 

 

Thursday, November 14

Sunday, November 17 (cont’d)

Indianapolis 30, TENNESSEE 27

BUFFALO 37, NY Jets 14

MIAMI 20, San Diego 16

Sunday, November 17

NY GIANTS 27, Green Bay 13

Oakland 28, HOUSTON 23

NEW ORLEANS 23, San Francisco 20

Arizona 27, JACKSONVILLE 14

SEATTLE 41, Minnesota 20

CHICAGO 23, Baltimore 20 (OT)

DENVER 27, Kansas City 17

CINCINNATI 41, Cleveland 20

 

PHILADELPHIA 24, Washington 16

 

TAMPA BAY 41, Atlanta 28

Monday, November 18

PITTSBURGH 37, Detroit 27

CAROLINA 24, New England 20

 

2013 WEEK 12 SCHEDULE (NOVEMBER 21, 24-25)

(All times local)

Byes: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle 

 

Thursday, November 21

Sunday, November 24 (cont’d)

New Orleans at Atlanta 8:25 PM (NFLN)

Carolina at Miami 1:00 PM

Chicago at St. Louis 12:00 PM

Sunday, November 24

Indianapolis at Arizona 2:05 PM

NY Jets at Baltimore 1:00 PM

Tennessee at Oakland 1:05 PM

Pittsburgh at Cleveland 1:00 PM

Dallas at NY Giants 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay at Detroit 1:00 PM

Denver at New England 8:30 (NBC)

Minnesota at Green Bay 12:00 PM

 

Jacksonville at Houston 12:00 PM

Monday, November 25

San Diego at Kansas City 12:00 PM

San Francisco at Washington 8:40 PM (ESPN)

 

 


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