Turkey and football went back and forth as NFL fans kicked off Week 12 of the 2022 season, as three games were played on Thanksgiving Day before another Sunday brings some big matchups with playoff implications. in Game.
There have also been some changes to the quarterback position for two teams. The New York Jets announced they are inactive Zach Wilson after a horrendous performance against the New England Patriots last week, where he went 9-of-22 for 77 yards and didn’t take responsibility for the offense’s struggles despite the defense kept them in the game until a punt return for a Pats touchdown sealed the win.
It will be Mike White, the man who stunned the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium last season, starting with veteran Joe Flacco as a backup.
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With the problems continuing for the Houston Texans, head coach Lovie Smith will reportedly give Davis Mills-backed Kyle Allen first-team representatives this week. And while it’s not yet official that Allen will start, reports say he’ll be the one under center against the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.
With that in mind, here are the five best matchups to watch.
Browns (3-7) vs. Buccaneers (5-5) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to continue their winning streak on the road against the Cleveland Browns as the AFC North team looks to end a two-game losing streak.
Tom Brady is coming off a close win over the Seattle Seahawks in Germany. Through all the drama on and off the field he’s dealt with this season, the star quarterback seems to have righted the ship. He has a touchdown pass in three straight games and has passed for over 250 yards in those games.
The Bucs defense will look to finish off Nick Chub and the Browns offense. Chubb is on his way to at least another Pro Bowl. He has 923 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns this season.
Commanders (6-5) vs. Falcons (5-6) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX
You wouldn’t have thought about the playoffs with these two teams at the start of the season, but both are vying for a wild card spot right now, and the Falcons still have a chance to win the NFC South title (Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 5 -5 right in front of them).
Taylor Heinicke has been named the starter despite Carson Wentz being designated for practice. He deserves that designation from head coach Ron Rivera, as he led the then-undefeated Philadelphia Eagles to a loss and is 4-1 as a starter this year. They’re a hot team that matches the energy the NFC East has been displaying this season (only division with all teams above .500).
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The Falcons, however, are dealing with some tough injuries, especially dynamic tight end Kyle Pitts, who just hit the disabled list. While the Falcons are the second-worst team in terms of average passing yards this season, Pitts’ presence in an offense is a game changer, one that Marcus Mariota will have to deal without in the coming weeks.
Titans (7-3) vs. Bengals (6-4) — 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Joe Burrow has won two straight, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers last week to split their AFC North series on the year. Meanwhile, the return of Ryan Tannehill under center has also sparked back-to-back wins for the Titans.
Tennessee is running away with the AFC South, but it still has something to play for: That No. 1 seed in the conference heading into the playoffs, which they got last season. But the team that upset them was the Bengals, whose passing attack was too difficult to handle in their run to the Super Bowl.
Both teams are hot, playing their best ball on both sides and creating a great matchup to watch at the early slate on Sunday.
Bears (3-8) vs. Jets (6-4) — 1 p.m. ET, FOX
As mentioned, Wilson is in the background and White will be the starter for New York, the first of the season. But the Bears could possibly have their own quarterback problems, as Justin Fields was injured late in their loss to the Falcons, even though he was practicing Wednesday. That’s a good sign as he deals with his left shoulder injury.
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Fields has been a shining light for Chicago, but the losses continue on their way, losing four in a row. But this game is one to watch because the Jets remain a playoff contender that has seen the Patriots win three straight, and the Dolphins and Bills won’t slow down.
They have to keep up if they want to play games after Week 18, and they have questions about the quarterback at this point in the season. Does White have another solid home start in him?
Packers (4-7) vs. Eagles (9-1) – 8:20 p.m., NBC
The “Sunday Night Football” matchup of the week is between back-to-back MVP Aaron Rodgers and this year’s MVP hopeful Jalen Hurts.
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After losing to the Commanders, the Indianapolis Colts had them on the ropes in Jeff Saturday’s home opener last week, but Hurts’ late rushing touchdown led to a getaway win for Philly.
The Packers got back on track after beating the Cowboys two weeks ago, but the Titans dominated them in the running game and had Rodgers running the entire game. Philadelphia’s solid defensive line can do the same.
Rodgers’ prime time is different, but Hurts has proven himself with the best team in the league thus far.
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Philadelphia wants to maintain its status at the top of the tough NFC East, while the Packers want to see if they can salvage their season.
Here’s how the rest of Sunday unfolds.
1:00 p.m.: Dolphins vs. Texans (CBS)
1:00 p.m.: Panthers vs. Broncos (FOX)
1:00 p.m.: Jaguars vs. Ravens (CBS)
4:05 p.m.: Cardinals vs. Chargers (CBS)
4:05 p.m.: Seahawks vs. Raiders (CBS)
4:25 p.m.: Chiefs vs. Rams (FOX)
4:25 p.m.: 49ers vs. Saints (FOX)