Sunday introduced success for groups that went for do-or-die two-point conversions (Jaguars, Chargers) and the one which performed for time beyond regulation (Raiders). The Bengals additionally picked up a key AFC win throughout per week wherein a number of contenders went down. Here are the Week 12 grades from across the league. 

 

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Steelers WR manufacturing unit churning out one other gem

Jenna Watson/USA Today Images

Unrivaled on the draft-and-develop extensive receiver scene, the Steelers (4-7) confirmed off their newest prize Monday. George Pickens appears set to maneuver Diontae Johnson to WR2 standing. Pickens solely caught three passes for 57 yards (plus a two-point conversion), however his slick sideline seize and diving third-down conversion moved chains on landing drives. The Georgia product, who fell too far within the draft (No. 52) as a consequence of an ACL tear and character questions, retains progressing. Pittsburgh’s monitor report right here — the group will in all probability add one other Round 2 wideout to its receiving corps subsequent yr after their Chase Claypool commerce added an additional decide — makes Pickens projections tantalizing.

STEELERS GRADE: B-plus | NEXT: at Falcons (Sun.)

 

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Puzzling last drive boots Colts off ‘In the hunt’ line

Puzzling final drive boots Colts off 'In the hunt' line

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

On an evening wherein Joe Buck and Troy Aikman took aim at the NFL’s term for the wild-card fringe, the Colts (4-7-1) slipped off that tier. After Jonathan Taylor’s fumble and Matt Ryan’s misplaced restoration duel stalled the Colts’ comeback, Jeff Saturday raised the diploma of issue for his group. A Colts offense quick on aerial weaponry let the clock tick to 33 seconds with out calling a timeout, regardless of the ex-ESPNer holding three clock stoppages in his pocket. This might need been superb for the Chiefs, however the Colts’ Thirty first-ranked offense wanted extra time — particularly after Alex Highsmith’s sack/strip — to function than Saturday allotted. This was not on the Nathaniel Hackett 64-yard subject aim stage of Monday-night mismanagement, nevertheless it hijacked a top quality alternative. 

COLTS GRADE: C | NEXT: at Cowboys (Sun.)

 

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KO’d Packers in uncommon place at QB

KO'd Packers in unusual place at QB

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Although the 2008 and 2021 offseasons generated quarterback controversies, this franchise has strung collectively an unmatched run of years with a Hall of Fame passer working the present. As Year 31 of Green Bay soccer that includes Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers winds down, the latter is now battling thumb and indirect accidents. Rodgers went blow-for-blow with Jalen Hurts within the first half of Sunday evening’s shootout, however the Packers (4-8) are actually (one way or the other) ready wherein sitting the league’s solely $50 million-per-year participant is sensible. The group wants extra intel on Jordan Love, to date a misuse of a first-round decide. Rodgers nonetheless holds the playing cards right here as a consequence of his megadeal, however it’s time for the Pack to borrow an NBA tactic and sit him.

PACKERS GRADE: C-minus | NEXT: at Bears (Sun.)

 

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Jalen Hurts leads historic floor effort

Jalen Hurts leads historic ground effort

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The franchise that rostered Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick hast historically positioned itself for monster dashing performances however Hurts pushed the Eagles’ floor assault onto the next aircraft Sunday. The Eagles (10-1) rushed for 363 yards — second-most in group historical past. (A Steve Van Buren-led 376-yard outing through the group’s 1948 title season is No. 1.) Hurts turned within the NFL’s solely 125-125 first half. Miles Sanders’ 143-yard outing and the group’s short-yardage victories confirmed how a lot a well-built O-line — nonetheless that includes three Super Bowl cogs — issues. This bounce-back efficiency lined for a Philly protection that struggled to include Rodgers for a lot of his evening. 

EAGLES GRADE: A | NEXT: vs. Titans (Sun.)

 

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Short-staffed Bengals lean on Tee Higgins

Short-staffed Bengals lean on Tee Higgins

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals’ stretch-run schedule is vicious. Games towards the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Patriots, Bills, and Ravens are on faucet in December and January. That raised the stakes for Week 12’s Titans outing. In a recreation with out Joe Mixon or Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati’s AFC title protection wanted a giant Higgins displaying; the third-year wideout got here by. Higgins’ seven-catch, the 114-yard day included three 20-plus-yard fourth-quarter catches to carry off the Titans. The Clemson product has 16 receptions for 262 yards over the previous two video games. With a monster Joe Burrow extension looming, it is going to be attention-grabbing how the Bengals (7-4) deal with Higgins’ second contract come 2023. But he has actually been a discover for a Bengals group that has thrived with second-round picks.

BENGALS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Chiefs (Sun.)

 

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Too many quick subject objectives for Titans

Too many short field goals for Titans

George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Viewers of CBS’s marquee Week 12 recreation noticed quite a lot of undrafted rookie Caleb Shudak, Tennessee’s second Randy Bullock fill-in possibility in two weeks. The Iowa product solely tried one additional level throughout a recreation that includes 4 subject aim tries (one miss) within 38 yards. Down dependable middle, Ben Jones for a second straight week, the Titans (7-4) couldn’t maintain a lot on the bottom. Derrick Henry’s 38 dashing yards had been his second-fewest since his All-Pro run started in 2019, along with his fumble-turned-Treylon Burks TD epitomizing an up-and-down day. The Titans additionally adopted their nine-sack outing towards the Bengals in January with only one Sunday. Fortunately for Tennessee, the AFC South is in any other case affected by disappointments.

TITANS GRADE: C | NEXT: at Eagles (Sun.)

 

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Josh Jacobs ventures into rarefied RB air

Josh Jacobs ventures into rarefied RB air

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Only 11 gamers have totaled 300 scrimmage yards in a recreation. Hall of Famers be part of the likes of Flipper Anderson and Stephone Paige on this unique membership, however solely two working backs previously 60 years (Priest Holmes, Adrian Peterson) have achieved what Jacobs did Sunday. Totaling 303 scrimmage yards (tied for-eighth all-time), the fourth-year again tore aside the Seahawks and delivered one of many higher time beyond regulation closers you will see. Jacobs amassed a career-high 74 receiving yards, and he now leads the NFL with 1,159 on the bottom. Despite the brand new Las Vegas regime passing on Jacobs’ fifth-year possibility, he has made a powerful sufficient case to the Raiders (4-7) to be saved off a crowded 2023 working again market.

RAIDERS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Chargers (Sun.)

 

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Seahawks protection fading after midseason surge

Seahawks defense fading after midseason surge

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After following horrid defensive begins with midseason enhancements over the previous two seasons, the Seahawks reenacted that routine this yr to calm extra considerations. Worries concerning the state of Seattle’s protection are once more warranted. The Seahawks ceded 576 yards — a Pete Carroll-era excessive and the third-most in group historical past — towards a Raiders group lacking Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. Mack Hollins’ flea-flicker TD reminded of Julio Jones’ wide-open Germany scamper, and … Jacobs did some injury as properly. The Seahawks (6-5) drew their two Rams video games on the proper time, and a Panthers tilt stays as properly. It shouldn’t be time to solid off Seattle simply but, however we do have some respectable turbulence right here.

SEAHAWKS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: at Rams (Sun.)

 

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Ravens secondary provides early-season reprise

Ravens secondary offers early-season reprise

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

All-decade-teamers, Super Bowl standouts, turnover fiends and commerce investments line a Ravens protection that had seemingly turned a nook since a run of early-season collapses. But their previous two shutdown efforts got here towards low-end QBs. Trevor Lawrence confirmed he’s not in that class, main two 75-yard drives in a fourth-quarter comeback. The Ravens (7-4) had each Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters out there. Lawrence picked on Peters and Brandon Stephens throughout his comeback — one not precisely together with elite extensive receiver opposition. This loss might shut down any outdoors hopes of home-field benefit Baltimore might have harbored, even with a simple schedule. And it invitations extra concern about Mike Macdonald’s protection. 

RAVENS GRADE: D | NEXT: vs. Broncos (Sun.)

 

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Lawrence provides early defining second

Lawrence offers early defining moment

Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

His NFL ascent was successfully delayed by one of many worst coaching hires in league history, Trevor Lawrence had proven glimpses of the shape that made him the No. 1 general decide this season. He delivered a breakthrough Sunday, shredding the Ravens with an array of influence throws in a two-score comeback. Lawrence (321 yards, three TDs) set this in movement with a slick fourth-and-8 toss to Zay Jones, who lived as much as his scrutinized contract (three years, $24 million) with 11 catches for a career-high 145 yards and rewarded Doug Pederson’s religion on the Jags’ do-or-die two-pointer. Lacking Travis Etienne and taking part in with a middling-at-best receiving corps, Lawrence’s newest salvo — and the 4-7 Jags’ stretch run — deserves big-picture consideration. 

JAGUARS GRADE: A | NEXT: at Lions (Sun.)

 

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Bucs offense goes chilly in Cleveland

Bucs offense goes cold in Cleveland

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Needing only one rating to place the Browns away, the Buccaneers ended their last 5 regulation drives with no factors. They adopted that lackluster sequence with two time beyond regulation punts. Tampa Bay (5-6) has the luxurious of taking part in in what could possibly be one of many worst divisions in NFL historical past, making a margin for error that could be new territory even for Tom Brady. But the group scoring 17 factors towards a foul Browns protection shouldn’t be a superb message for late-season legitimacy. Todd Bowles nonetheless ought to have given Brady a greater shot by calling a timeout earlier on the Bucs’ last drive of regulation, however once more, the group continues to be in good condition for the NFC’s No. 4 seed. The Bucs’ inconsistency doesn’t recommend they might do a lot with it, nonetheless.

BUCCANEERS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: vs. Saints (Mon.)

 

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Brissett gives strong end to newest spot-starter run

Brissett provides solid finish to latest spot-starter run

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Asked to be a brief starter for the third time in six years, Jacoby Brissett didn’t preserve the Browns (4-7) in playoff rivalry. Cleveland’s protection surprisingly noticed to that being unimaginable. But the participant previously recognized for receiving late-summer notifications he can be changing Andrew Luck accounted himself properly throughout his 11-start Browns bid. Brissett didn’t gentle up the Bucs protection in a 210-yard efficiency — one highlighted by David Njoku’s one-handed TD seize on fourth-and-10 — however he noticed the guests’ Amari Cooper protection bust to arrange the Browns’ win. Brissett, whom QBR charges seventh, will step apart because the Deshaun Watson awkwardness takes middle stage. 

BROWNS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: at Texans (Sun.)

 

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Falcons unable to capitalize on Browns’ favor

Falcons unable to capitalize on Browns' favor

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As the Bucs didn’t topple the Browns, the Falcons couldn’t end off what grew to become a winnable Commanders matchup. In addition to Marcus Mariota’s tipped interception and the game-sealing particular groups penalty, the Falcons misplaced a recreation wherein the opposing quarterback (Taylor Heinicke) threw for 138 yards. Atlanta (5-7) allowed 176 Commanders dashing yards, and Brian Robinson dispatched Darren Hall en path to a swing-pass rating. The Falcons additionally hit Heinicke simply twice, persevering with their low-voltage pass-rushing season (17 sacks). The Falcons-Bucs rematch shouldn’t be till Week 18; will the group have morphed into its anticipated Desmond Ridder-quarterbacked rebuilding type by then?

FALCONS GRADE: C | NEXT: vs. Steelers (Sun.)

 

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Washington’s Kendall Fuller reinvestment paying off

Washington's Kendall Fuller reinvestment paying off

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Initially despatched away within the Alex Smith commerce, Fuller is in his third season again with the group that drafted him. The versatile cornerback has provided sporadic manufacturing however has confirmed helpful for a group that admitted a mistake on William Jackson. Fuller adopted his Houston pick-six with an finish zone INT that held off an Atlanta group carrying some momentum. Daron Payne’s tip made up for his failure to the touch down Mariota for a sack earlier within the drive, a mistake that led to a 45-yard Olamide Zaccheaus catch. Fuller, who additionally deflected two passes, has been the important thing piece to the Commanders’ puzzle at nook. Ahead of its most pivotal Giants matchup in a few years, Washington (7-5) has totally crossed the contender threshold.

COMMANDERS GRADE: B | NEXT: at Giants (Sun.)

 

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Amid Sean Payton rumors, Brandon Staley comes by

Amid Sean Payton rumors, Brandon Staley comes through

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Staley has drawn some unhealthy playing cards whereas concurrently underachieving because the coach of a group with a top-five quarterback. This state of affairs has led to a run of rumors the Chargers might commerce for Payton subsequent yr. While a one-point win over the Cardinals won’t cease Payton-Bolts speak, Staley helped pause this storyline. Bolstered by two Derwin James turnovers, the Chargers (6-5) held off a Cardinals group taking part in to remain related. Staley’s two-point determination performed into his all-or-nothing status, which has not produced as many headlines as his brigade of fourth-down gambles did in 2021. But the Justin Herbert-to-Austin Ekeler two-pointer saved an injury-plagued group on respectable footing within the AFC playoff race. 

CHARGERS GRADE: B | NEXT: at Raiders (Sun.)

 

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Late-season ‘Hard Knocks’ content material could be missing

Late-season 'Hard Knocks' content might be lacking

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While final yr’s debut of in-season “Hard Knocks” didn’t result in eventful episodes, it a minimum of profiled a gifted Colts group surging towards a playoff spot. A collapse intervened on postseason episodes. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see what the Cardinals (4-8) allow to air going ahead, as they’re set to play out the string. Fortunately for the Cards, groups just like the Broncos, Rams and Colts exist. Those disappointments have overshadowed Arizona’s. The newest Cards providing included a mixed seven QB hits from Zach Allen and J.J. Watt and 120 James Conner dashing yards. The Bolts’ solely sack — on a possible Cardinals closeout drive — arrange the most recent letdown, one that won’t fan the flames on Kliff Kingsbury’s scorching seat.

CARDINALS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: vs. Patriots (Dec. 12)

 

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Alvin Kamara quietly submitting dud

Alvin Kamara quietly submitting dud

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Rocky Mountain area’s fumble-fueled ire towards Melvin Gordon should still diminish every other participant’s fumbling points, however Kamara’s ball-security issues reached a regarding stage in San Francisco. The perennial Pro Bowler misplaced two fumbles towards the 49ers, one on the aim line, within the Saints’ first shutout loss since a 38-0 blemish towards the 49ers in 2001. Kamara now has 4 misplaced fumbles, outpacing Gordon, who nonetheless leads all backs with 5 whole. This would possibly find yourself Kamara’s first non-Pro Bowl season. He has simply three TDs and sits seventeenth in scrimmage yards (946). The departures of Drew Brees and Sean Payton have damage New Orleans’ high playmaker. The Saints (4-8) have taken a significant step again beneath Dennis Allen.

SAINTS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: at Buccaneers (Mon.)

 

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Saints don’t have any reply for 49ers’ defensive lockdown

Saints have no answer for 49ers' defensive lockdown

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A quick-emerging protection keyed the 2019 49ers’ Super Bowl journey. While this group nonetheless options necessary items from that group — Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Jimmie Ward — a lot of its components are new. As San Francisco’s starters are steadily returning (sans its defensive tackles), this protection has taken extra steps. The 49ers (7-4) blanking the Saints prolonged their run of second-half shutouts to 4; they’re solely the eighth protection because the 1970 merger to perform that. The group might have one other gear to succeed in quickly when Arik Armstead returns. Week 13’s Mike McDaniel reunion will present a strong gauge for DeMeco Ryans’ protection, which continues to be powering a group that rosters 4 All-Pros on offense.

49ERS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Dolphins (Sun.)

 

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Bears protection following rebuild’s mission

Bears defense following rebuild's mission

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a protection that has allowed a minimum of 27 factors in 5 straight video games, the Bears have climbed into the No. 2 general draft slot. Although that placement is clearly not solidified, it could give Chicago (3-9) both the draft’s finest non-quarterback — with Houston set to be linked to passers at No. 1 — or a bounty of picks from a group eager on buying and selling up for a QB. Down rookie DBs Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, the Bears allowed the Jets to amass 466 yards. Even if Justin Fields had been out there as a substitute of the unusual will-he/received’t-he pregame subplot involving alternative Trevor Siemian, Chicago’s post-Robert Quinn/Roquan Smith protection would have given the starter little likelihood. 

BEARS GRADE: F | NEXT: vs. Packers (Sun.)

 

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Jets passing assault returns to relevance, for now

Jets passing attack returns to relevance, for now

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Facing maybe the NFL’s largest cupcake matchup for aerial deterrence, Mike White capitalized. The benched-and-deactivated Zach Wilson absolutely considered this as a missed alternative, however the former No. 2 general decide gave the Jets (7-4) no selection. White, who has bounced from the observe squad to first-string throughout his four-year Jets run, sliced up a weakened Bears secondary for 315 yards and three scores in a game-long rainstorm. The former Cowboys draftee confirmed capabilities final yr in his 400-yard day towards the Bengals earlier than crashing to earth, however he made a gifted Jets receiving corps related once more. This won’t final, however the veteran raises a defensively geared Jets group’s flooring from its beforehand unacceptable place.

JETS GRADE: A | NEXT: at Vikings (Sun.)

 

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Rams freefall stays astonishing to look at

Rams freefall remains astonishing to observe

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Showing no regard for FOX’s Week 12 lineup, the Rams fielded a preseason-caliber offense. They are trudging by what is going to nearly actually be the worst Super Bowl title protection ever. Former QB3 Bryce Perkins totaled 100 passing yards and threw two INTs, and Sean McVay couldn’t dodge hassle even on his own sideline. But nonetheless. This Rams protection homes two first-ballot Hall of Famers (Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner), and Jalen Ramsey might have a Canton case sometime. Donald and Leonard Floyd mixed for one QB hit, whereas Ramsey — per week after permitting a deep Chris Olave TD — yielded a Travis Kelce rating. The Rams (3-8) pressured some pink zone subject objectives, however the Donald-Wagner-Ramsey trio’s place on this lifeless group is unusual.

RAMS GRADE: D-plus | NEXT: vs. Seahawks (Sun.)

 

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Nick Bolton piecing collectively Pro Bowl resume

Nick Bolton piecing together Pro Bowl resume

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

While (fortunately) the precise Pro Bowl now not exists, the invite ought to a minimum of stay necessary. After a rookie season wherein Micah Parsons eclipsed each different rookie linebacker’s work, Bolton is on his solution to an invitation to February’s numerous expertise competitions. The 2021 second-round decide was a fast research final season; he has constructed on that in Year 2. Bolton’s 11-tackle efficiency included a sort out for loss, a go deflection and an INT, serving to the Chiefs (9-2) preserve Perkins from altering their standing atop the AFC. Kansas City’s back-seven anchor post-Tyrann Mathieu, Bolton (106 tackles, 9 TFLs) has almost matched his rookie-year work (112, 11). The Chiefs are actually 26-0 in Patrick Mahomes November or December begins. 

CHIEFS GRADE: B-plus | NEXT: at Bengals (Sun.)

 

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Will Texans make Lovie Smith a one-and-done, too?

Will Texans make Lovie Smith a one-and-done, too?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

David Culley didn’t have the prospect to educate a rookie first- or second-round draftee. Smith has 4 on his group, but the product is worse. The Texans (1-9-1) are cruising towards 2023’s No. 1 decide and can have one other excessive selection because of the Browns; will Smith be round to supply enter on these alternatives? The Texans have taken a step again even from the Culley yr. They fell behind 30-0 to the Dolphins, who yanked Tua Tagovaioa within the third quarter. GM Nick Caserio will look unhealthy for canning a second coach after one season, however might be afford to maintain Smith round? Either approach, this rebuild try — which differs from the Browns’ Hue Jackson arc when it comes to roster expertise — stands out in latest NFL historical past. Here comes Deshaun Watson once more.

TEXANS GRADE: F | NEXT: vs. Browns (Sun.)

 

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Dolphins D-line dominates hapless Texans

Dolphins D-line dominates hapless Texans

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins (8-3) ruined Kyle Allen’s first begin in two years and dealt one other blow to Damien Pierce’s Offensive Rookie of the Year candidacy. Pierce now has back-to-back eight-yard dashing performances, whereas the Texans’ determination to bench Davis Mills for Allen yielded related outcomes. Miami’s defensive position led the way in which on this predictable romp. Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb collected sacks throughout a five-sack Dolphins day, with Chubb forcing a fumble that preceded Xavien Howard’s landing. Melvin Ingram and Christian Wilkins added three pressures apiece for a D-line that also seems succesful — although, harder assessments clearly loom — following Emmanuel Ogbah’s season-ending damage.

DOLPHINS GRADE: A | NEXT: at 49ers (Sun.)

 

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Few NFLers will face extra 2023 strain than Russell Wilson

Few NFLers will face more 2023 pressure than Russell Wilson

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After Nathaniel Hackett is canned, we might study extra about what drove this one-time bandwagon group off a cliff. Wilson will likely be left standing, nonetheless, and should show this was a coaching- and injury-driven one-off as a result of this Broncos experiment retains getting worse. Denver (3-8) mustered 24 third-quarter yards; the group nonetheless has one third-period TD all yr. The group is with out high O-linemen, wideouts and its working again and its earlier working again’s fumbling downside might have led to 2 losses. As the Broncos crater in a surprising approach, Wilson’s inventory can have nosedived to the purpose he’ll face extra strain than simply about any NFLer subsequent season. The Broncos might want to do no matter it takes to justify what, as of now, appears like a horrible commerce.

BRONCOS GRADE: F | NEXT: at Ravens (Sun.)

 

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Sam Darnold-D.J. Moore connection resurfaces

Sam Darnold-D.J. Moore connection resurfaces

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater stays one of the best quarterback D.J. Moore has performed with, as Cam Newton’s accidents left him a shell of his Pro Bowler model by the point Moore arrived. Moore and Darnold didn’t click on for lengthy final season, however they confirmed indicators of life Sunday. The Panthers (4-8) didn’t want Darnold to do an excessive amount of towards a freefalling Broncos operation, however the reinserted starter made a number of high quality throws to Moore — a cross-field TD go and a strike that traveled 58.5 yards within the air — through the latter’s 103-yard day. Moore beat standout cornerback Patrick Surtain II on each performs. The Panthers are the primary group since Oct. 2 to attain greater than 20 factors on the Broncos in regulation. 

PANTHERS GRADE: A | NEXT: at Seahawks (Dec. 11)

 

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Mac Jones displaying glimpses of rookie-year self

Mac Jones showing glimpses of rookie-year self

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Through eight begins, Jones continues to be sitting on six landing passes and 7 interceptions. But he has made some progress over his previous two video games. Jones’ 382-yard, two-TD evening in Minnesota didn’t produce a win — and included a belated make-up name (for Steelers followers, a minimum of) for 2017’s Jesse James play/debacle by way of the Hunter Henry “what is a catch?” sequence — however the second-year passer a minimum of picked up the tempo after a principally dreadful sophomore slate. The Patriots (6-5) haven’t completed sufficient with personnel to assist Jones, whom Bill Belichick entrusted to Matt Patricia. But Thursday was a optimistic improvement on the quarterbacking entrance for the Pats.

PATRIOTS GRADE: B | NEXT: vs. Bills (Thu.)

 

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Two All-Pro WR spots seem spoken for

Two All-Pro WR spots appear spoken for

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

With all due respect to Kene Nwangwu’s kick-return rating, the Vikings (9-2) beat the Patriots as a result of they roster Justin Jefferson. The 6-foot-1 goal’s contested-catch present bedeviled a Patriots secondary, regardless of routine double-coverage efforts, and moved the Vikings (9-2) previous their Week 11 no-show. As a lot (earned) scrutiny as Kirk Cousins receives for big-game disappointments, Jefferson has turn out to be a cheat code for the oft-derided passer. The third-year wideout’s 1,232 yards are one behind Tyreek Hill. Those two seem near-locks for 2 of the three first-team All-Pro wideout/flex spots. 

VIKINGS GRADE: A-minus | NEXT: vs. Jets (Sun.)

 

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Giants in determined want of reinforcements

Giants in desperate need of reinforcements

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Were Thursday’s recreation televised on NBC, Amazon or ESPN, a graphic would have accompanied the Giants’ startling variety of backups wanted. The group performed with out three O-line starters, Azeez Ojulari, and nearly each first-string DB. And its receiver decimation is well-documented by this level. Brian Daboll’s membership was nonetheless a better-placed Daniel Jones-to-Saquon Barkley go from giving the Cowboys a severe scare. Barkley’s 61 dashing yards over the previous two video games mirror this personnel dip. With just one “In the hunt” group (Seattle) over .500, the Giants (7-4) stay in respectable place. But they’ll fall out of the race if pressured to deploy lineups like this for much longer. 

GIANTS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: vs. Commanders (Sun.)

 

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Cowboys’ OBJ wager carries some danger

Cowboys' OBJ bet carries some risk

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup did properly to cease the Giants’ hopes at a shocking — given the well being disparity between these groups — Thanksgiving upset, combining for 169 receiving yards. The Cowboys (8-3) are the clear favorites to signal Odell Beckham Jr., however they’re each betting the mercurial receiver is wholesome and might seamlessly match into this offense. Beckham did hit the bottom working in L.A., however his Cleveland routine — from well being and match standpoints — ought to a minimum of give Dallas pause. The Cowboys’ Lamb-Gallup match is beginning to work once more, and Gallup is already coming off an ACL tear. For a steadily questioned coach, Mike McCarthy might quickly be coping with a significant distraction if/when OBJ arrives.

COWBOYS GRADE: B | NEXT: vs. Colts (Sun.)

 

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Another KC journey seemingly in Bills’ future

Another KC trip likely in Bills' future

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo’s Von Miller-centric plan to alter the rivalry dynamic with Kansas City labored in October, and when at full energy, the Bills (8-3) are a greater group than the Chiefs. But Miller’s damage additional depletes a Buffalo squad already pressured to make use of intensive second-string expertise. While Miller not sustaining an ACL tear is sweet information, the long run Hall of Famer might now not be at full energy this season. The Chiefs have performed the Titans with Malik Willis and caught a a lot worse Rams group in comparison with the model the Bills performed in Week 1. They even have two Broncos video games left. Buffalo has only one recreation towards a sub-.500 group remaining, which actually factors to the AFC’s rivalry of the second being contested in Missouri once more.

BILLS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: at Patriots (Thu.)

 

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D’Andre Swift regression a blow to Lions’ long-term view

D'Andre Swift regression a blow to Lions' long-term view

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

D’Andre Swift has returned from the accidents that sidelined him through the Lions’ midseason stretch. But the group (4-7) has relegated the dynamic working again to order duties since his comeback. The 2020 second-round decide has not cleared the 35% snap barrier since Week 8 and has not surpassed 50 scrimmage yards since Week 2. Jamaal Williams has clearly exceeded expectations, however Swift not being near his 2020 stage (1,069 scrimmage yards in 13 video games) limits the Lions’ capabilities. This will likely be a Detroit subplot value following because the season winds down.

LIONS GRADE: B-minus | NEXT: vs. Jaguars (Sun.)



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