Jake Morgan’s NFL Weekly Rundown: Week Twelve

Jake Morgan, Sports Editor


Thursday Games:


Texans vs Lions: Thanksgiving started out well for the Texans, as they were able to beat the lowly Lions 41-25 to kick off the holiday. Deshaun Watson looked like the 2019 version of himself as he threw for 318 yards and four scores. Will Fuller was the leading receiver, helping Watson with 171 receiving yards to go along with two touchdowns. A lot of commotion was caused due to this game, however. On Saturday, Detroit had finally had enough of head coach Matt Patricia, as he was let go after a 4-7 season. Then, on Monday, Will Fuller (yes the same one that had 171 receiving yards) tested positive for PED’s. This doesn’t really come as a surprise for some, as Fuller, who has a history of shortened seasons due to injuries, was having the best season of his career. 


Washington vs Cowboys: Just like the Lions, the Cowboys, who host a Thanksgiving game every year, were beaten 41-16 on Thursday. Washington, who was a mediocre 3-7 coming into the game, absolutely dominated the Cowboys. A three-touchdown performance by rookie running back Antonio Gibson was just a piece of the pie, as Washington dominated in every facet of the game. The Cowboys offense couldn’t get anything going, as it’s hard to do so when your star running back only rushes for 32 yards. Washington’s defense was suffocating, forcing Ezekiel Elliot to fumble as well as picking off Andy Dalton for a touchdown. All in all, the NFC East gets weirder every week because it seems like anybody can beat anybody in that division. 


Noon Games:


Chargers vs Bills: Although the Chargers are 3-8, I expected a high-scoring shootout against the Bills on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Neither offenses were able to get much going as both teams combined for four turnovers. Nonetheless, it was a win for the Bills 27-17. Nobody really shined on the offensive side for the Bills, as gun-slinger Josh Allen was only able to throw for 157 yards. It was mainly the defense from Buffalo that was able to keep Los Angeles from scoring. Only being up by seven with about six minutes left, the Bills needed a stop. It didn’t even take them three plays to do that, as they were able to pick off a Justin Herbert deep ball to seal the deal. 


Cardinals vs Patriots: A cross-conference battle took place in Foxborough on Sunday, as the Patriots were able to pull off the upset over the Cardinals 20-17. It seemed more so a bad showing from the Cardinals than a good showing for the Patriots. Cam Newton only completed nine (!) passes while throwing only 18 times. With that gameplan, it was clear that the Patriots were going to lean on the run. The only problem with that is New England’s backfield is like a box of chocolates: you never know who you’re going to get. Against the Cardinals it was Damien Harris, rushing 14 times for an abysmal 47 yards. It was a last-second Nick Folk field goal to win it for the Patriots as they creep back into the AFC playoff picture. As for the Cardinals, this loss pushes them further down the playoff picture, as the Vikings and Bears are now both one game away from stealing that second wild-card spot. 


Dolphins vs Jets: The Dolphins beat the Jets 20-3 on Sunday, and obviously no one was surprised. This isn’t going to be a super detailed breakdown like you’re used to, mostly because the Jets should never be covered just due to how bad they are. Although Miami should’ve just rolled them, they surprisingly didn’t. The Dolphins didn’t score a touchdown until midway through the second quarter, but that was all they needed. A Jason Meyers field goal and an Adam Shaheen touchdown in the second half was enough to put the Jets to bed.  


Giants vs Bengals: The Burrow-less Bengals fought hard against the Giants on Sunday, but were not able to get it down as they lost 19-17. No offense was able to get it going, mainly becausethe Bengals rolled with their second-string quarterback and the Giants lost their starter, Daniel Jones, for some of the game as well (he would return). Running back Wayne Gallman would see a majority of the touches, as he carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards and a score. Tight end Evan Engram finally looked good again, as he caught six passes for 129 yards, his highest this year. 


Titans vs Colts: The Titans were looking for revenge after a Thursday night beatdown a couple of weeks ago, and this time they were the ones who couldn’t be stopped. The theory of “Derrick Henry is the best running back in the league in the months of November and December” is becoming more true as the weeks go on. Henry rushed for three(!!!) touchdowns in the first half alone! He ended the game with 178 yards on the ground as he made sure the Colts defense felt his presence. On the receiving end, AJ Brown continues to display a fantastic breakout season, as he caught four passes for 98 yards and a score to help the Titans win comfortably 45-26. 


Browns vs Jaguars: The Jaguars played host to the Browns on Sunday, as Cleveland was able to squeak out a 27-25 victory. The Browns, coming into the game at 7-3, looked like they would roll into Jacksonville and stomp out the Jags. Third-string quarterback Mike Glennon did not make that easy on the Browns, however. Down by eight with four minutes left, Jacksonville was able to march down the field thanks to some penalties on Cleveland’s defense and score with just over two minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the two-point conversion to tie the game was unsuccessful. The Browns now move to 8-3 on the year and look like a legitimate playoff team… that feels weird to say.


Panthers vs Vikings: With talent missing on both rosters, the Vikings were able to get it done over the Panthers 28-27. One of the weirdest second half starts I’ve ever witnessed unfolded in this game. The Vikings, up 10-7 going into the third quarter, received the second half kick. Kirk Cousins, on the first play from scrimmage, loses the football and is returned by cornerback Jeremy Chinn (remember that name) for a touchdown. Now the Panthers are up 14-10 with essentially the whole second half to play. The kickoff proceeds and the Minnesota offense returns to the field. Kirk Cousins hands the ball off to Dalvin Cook who, you guessed it, fumbles! Jeremy Chinn again picks it up and trots in for another score! All it took was ten seconds of game time to make it 21-10 Panthers. Luckily, the Vikings were able to hold Carolina to only one touchdown the rest of the way. Cousins and the Vikings drove down the field in the final minute to secure the victory, but not without the help of Carolina’s kicker, Joey Slye, who shanked this field goal in the final seconds. 


Raiders vs Falcons: The Falcons played against a fifth-grade football team on Sunday. Hold on, I’m being told that the fifth-grade team was actually the Raiders, sorry about that. In my defense, Oakland did play like they were all taking a nap as the Falcons breezed by them 43-6. Atlanta, as underdogs, absolutely dominated the Raiders both on offense and defense. With only 185 passing yards, Matt Ryan didn’t really have to throw a lot. Instead, it was the normally mediocre Atlanta defense that was able to play extremely well. It was like the Oprah show, but instead of Oprah, it was Dereck Carr shouting “You get a fumble! And you get a fumble! And you get a fumble!” Coughing up the ball three times led to Carr being benched—Sunday was not his best performance. 


Afternoon Games:


Saints vs Broncos: One of the wildest storylines came out of Denver this week, as no quarterback on the team was able to play. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Broncos started a wide receiver—yes, a wide receiver—at quarterback and it went as bad as one could imagine. Kendall Hinton had more interceptions than completions as the former Wake Forest part-time quarterback went 1/9 threw for 13 yards and had two picks in a 31-3 loss to the Saints. Although expected, it was pretty cool to follow. Unfortunately, it didn’t make for a great game. New Orleans dominated Denver in almost every statistical category as nobody on the Broncos could stop the high-flying Saints offense. 


49ers vs Rams: We now head to Los Angeles where two NFC west opponents duked it out. The 49ers, without some of their best players, were able to secure a last-second win thanks to the leg of Robbie Gould on this 42-yard field goal. San Fran receiver Deebo Samuel had his best game of the season, catching 11 passes for 133 yards. Both Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson secured double digit carries: Mostert running for 43 yards and Wilson running for 40. San Francisco’s defense was what kept them in the game however. Forcing four turnovers, including to interceptions and two fumbles, was the key to the 49ers victory. 


Chiefs vs Buccaneers: After what was an amazing offseason for the Bucs, expectations were high for this year. Unfortunately, they now drop to 7-5 after a loss this week to the Chiefs 27-24. The score is a little misleading, though. Kansas City dominated the entire game, going up 27-10 midway through the third quarter. Tyreek Hill was literally unstoppable in this one, as he had over 200 receiving yards in the first quarter! He finished the game with 13 catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns, one of the most unreal stat lines you’ll ever see. Two garbage time touchdowns made it closer than it actually was, as the Buccaneers have now lost two in a row. 


Sunday Night Game: 


Bears vs Packers: As Bears fans rejoiced in glee that Mitch Trubisky would be starting again against the Packers, he gave them what Mitch usually gives Bears fans: a loss. As much as a savior people think that he is, he couldn’t do anything against the Packers defense. Throwing for two interceptions as well as coughing up a fumble, Trubisky and the Bears continued their fall from grace. The Packers came out ready to play, even being up 41-10 at one point. Aaron Rodgers looked as good as ever, throwing for 211 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, just another Sunday night blowout, as that trend has continued to ring true over the past couple of weeks. 


Monday Night Game: 


Seahawks vs Eagles: A dominant Seahawks team took on a weak Eagles team, as the Seahawks, to no one’s surprise, won 23-17. If you didn’t watch the game (why are you reading this if you did?), let me summarize it for you in four words: Carson Wentz is bad. The Eagles quarterback, who led the team to the playoffs before getting hurt in 2017, has looked absolutely atrocious this year and that continued on Monday. The league-leader in interceptions (by a fair margin) once again looked flustered under center. Once noted for his mobility, he looked stiff in the pocket. Wentz threw one interception, as well as taking six(!)sacks in the loss. 


Wednesday Night Game(?): 

Ravens vs Steelers: Wednesday night football? Yes, please! What was originally supposed to cap off the Thanksgiving games was moved to Wednesday afternoon due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests. A repercussion to those tests meant that Ravens would be without former MVP and starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, and when you play a 10-0 team like the Steelers, it’s not going to end well. Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III (yes, he’s still in the league), could not get anything going against Pittsburgh’s defense. Griffin threw for an interception that went for a score as well as losing a fumble early in the game. No one really shined on offense for the Steelers as it went about as mediocre as a 2:40 Wednesday afternoon game would go. Nonetheless, the Steelers now move to 11-0 with the 19-14 win.