Week 12 watch guide
Week 12 features a full slate of games with no teams on a bye week. As a result, there will be no shortage of football from Thanksgiving Day to Monday night when the Packers take on the Eagles.
To get you geared up for a solid weekend of NFL action, we put together a preview for every game on Sunday and Monday night.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. FOX (Sunday Ticket channel 709)
Key matchup: Patrick Peterson vs. Julio Jones
Jones certainly got the best of Peterson the last time they met, going off for 10 catches and 189 yards. That was back in 2014, and while he’s improved as a receiver, Peterson also has gotten better as a corner. You may not see a better matchup this season.
Fun fact: The Falcons have won seven straight at home against the Cardinals dating to 1994.
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Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. CBS (705)
Key matchup: Jeremy Hill vs. Baltimore’s run defense
Giovani Bernard is out for the year, giving way to Hill as the Bengals' unquestioned starting running back. He’ll have his hands full against the Ravens’ stout run defense. He’ll have to show that fatigue won’t be an issue because he figures to get a hefty amount of carries.
Fun fact: The Ravens and Bengals have split their all-time series 20-20 with the Bengals winning the past five.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. CBS (706)
Key matchup: Jaguars secondary vs. Bills receivers
Sammy Watkins declared he’s 100 percent, but there will be questions about his availability and fatigue. The Bills are dangerously thin at wide receiver, which favors Jalen Ramsey (20) and the Jaguars. Jacksonville is fifth against the pass this season, allowing 210 yards per game.
Fun fact: Blake Bortles has thrown an interception in 31 of his 40 career games.
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. CBS (707)
Key matchup: Tennessee’s tackles vs. Chicago’s pass rush
The Titans have two of the best tackles in football with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin (78) anchoring the line. The Bears are likely to be without Leonard Floyd, hurting their pass rush. If they can’t get home against the Titans, Marcus Mariota will have a field day.
Fun fact: Conklin and Lewan allowed their first sacks of the season on Sunday against the Colts.
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. FOX (710)
Key matchup: Olivier Vernon vs. Joe Thomas
Vernon hasn’t had the most productive season when you look at his stats, but he’s generated a boatload of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Thomas will be a challenge for him, but with his speed and quickness, Vernon should be able to get around the edge.
Fun fact: The Browns are eliminated from playoff contention at 0-11. The last team to be knocked out by Week 11 was the Raiders in 2014.
San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. CBS (708)
Key matchup: King Dunlap vs. Jadeveon Clowney
Clowney (90) moves all over the defensive formation, so he won’t be stuck on one side of the line. However, he primarily plays right defensive end/outside linebacker, which is where Dunlap roams the O-line. Clowney has been dominant this season, and he’ll need to continue to play with a high motor on Sunday.
Fun fact: The Texans are the only team above .500 with a negative point differential (minus-34). Only six teams are worse in that department.
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San Francisco 49ers at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. FOX (711)
Key matchup: Carlos Hyde vs. Miami’s front four
The Dolphins have been terrible against the run, allowing 1,261 yards on 291 attempts. Hyde has played well for a bad 49ers team, providing a spark on offense. He’ll need to get going early as he did against the Patriots for the 49ers to have a chance.
Fun fact: The 49ers and Dolphins have split their 12 meetings 6-6.
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Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. FOX (712)
Key matchup: Jared Goff vs. New Orleans’ defense
Goff had a boring, unspectacular debut in rainy Los Angeles. He’ll be indoors and out of the rain, but it won’t be any easier in New Orleans. The game plan likely will be conservative again, and he’ll have to continue protecting the ball and avoid mistakes against the Saints.
Fun fact: Four of the Saints’ six losses have come by three points or fewer.
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Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:05 p.m. FOX (713)
Key matchup: Mike Evans vs. Richard Sherman
Evans has been Jameis Winston’s favorite target this season, but Sherman has the ability to take him away on Sunday. If Sherman is stuck on Evans, Winston will have to go to his lesser receivers, especially in the red zone where the big wideout is so dangerous.
Fun fact: The Buccaneers had won three straight against the Seahawks before losing in overtime in 2013. They’re 4-8 against Seattle all-time.
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New England Patriots at New York Jets 4:25 p.m. CBS (714)
Key matchup: Brandon Marshall vs. Patriots secondary
With Eric Decker out, Marshall is undoubtedly Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target. He’s also the Jets’ best weapon. Look for Bill Belichick to focus a great deal of attention on Marshall.
Fun fact: With a win, the Patriots would tie the NFL record for the most consecutive winning seasons (16 straight).
Getty ImagesRich Schultz
Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m. CBS (715)
Key matchup: Panthers D-line vs. Oakland’s O-line
The Panthers’ pass rush hasn’t been what it was last season, and it will continue to struggle against the Raiders’ front five. They’re probably second as far as the best offensive lines go, behind only the Cowboys'.
Fun fact: With a win, the Raiders would clinch their first winning season since 2002.
USA TODAY SportsReinhold Matay
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Key matchup: Chiefs secondary vs. Broncos receivers
Marcus Peters returned to practice this week, which is a good sign for the Chiefs, who will take on one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Being physical at the line will be key against Demaryius Thomas (88) and Emmanuel Sanders.
Fun fact: Andy Reid is 2-6 in his career when coaching in Denver.
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Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Key matchup: Packers RBs vs. Eagles run defense
The Packers have had a hard time running the ball this season due to Eddie Lacy’s injury, and it won’t get any easier for James Starks (44) and the Packers on Monday night. The Eagles are stout against the run led by Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan.
Fun fact: This is the 24th consecutive year the Packers are playing on “Monday Night Football”, the second-longest streak in the NFL.
USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell