NFL Week 12: Thanksgiving adds to football fare
21 Nov, 2018
21 Nov, 2018
21 Nov, 2018
The NFL couldn’t have asked for a better lead-in for the regular season’s biggest week of national TV exposure.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, a pair of one-loss teams, capped Week 11 of the 2018 season by playing the highest-scoring game in the history of “Monday Night Football.” Talk about whetting the holiday appetite for football, with the NFL all set to deliver five nationally televised games in Week 12, including a Thanksgiving tripleheader. Only one problem: Roger Goodell forgot to stuff the turkey. None of the 15 games on the Week 12 schedule matches teams with winning records.
Leftovers already. Only 11 of the NFL's 32 teams have winning records. Nine of them are in action this week, with the Rams and Chiefs taking their byes, and they're all in different games. But that doesn't necessarily mean the contests won't be competitive (although six have a point spread greater than one touchdown), and they'll still impact the playoff race. Only two of the games seem to have no chance to impact the postseason picture as the regular season enters its final 39 days. Seven NFL teams have 5-5 records. If the season had ended after Monday's thriller, one of those teams -- the Baltimore Ravens -- would be in the AFC playoff field.
One of the current 5-5 teams could be tied for first place in its division by Thursday night. The Dallas Cowboys have a.500 record, but they're only one game behind NFC East leader Washington, and they face the Redskins on Thursday afternoon as Dallas hosts a Thanksgiving Day game for the 41st consecutive season. “My whole family’s Cowboys fans,” said Ryan Anderson, a Washington outside linebacker who starred at Daphne High School and Alabama. “So on Thanksgiving, we always sat around and watched the Cowboys play.
This game is as big as it gets.” Washington defeated Dallas 20-17 on Oct. 21, and Anderson knows what to expect playing four days after the Redskins lost a 23-21 game to the Houston Texans and their quarterback to a broken leg. “This is about being a football player this week,” Anderson said. “You know you’re going to have to strike the man in front of you, you’re going to have to dominate your box and win your individual battles to get this game won. … We’re just going to have to show up and outman them if we want to get done what we want done.” The Cowboys have added wide receiver Amari Cooper through a trade with the Oakland Raiders since their previous game with Washington. While Cooper’s stats have been pedestrian, Dallas is coming off a pair of road wins.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who had 33 rushing yards in the loss to Washington, has 273 in the past two games, and he said opposing defenses have had to spread out to account for the former Alabama standout. “It seems like he kind of was the missing piece, just because when he got here this offense started rolling,” Elliott said. “It’s great having him. He’s a phenomenal player. He’s going to have a great future here.” The Thanksgiving football starts with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions at 11:30 a.m. on CBS, with the Redskins-Cowboys game at 3:30 p.m. on FOX and the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints squaring off in the nightcap at 7:20 on NBC. The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings meet in the Sunday night game at 7:20 on NBC. The Monday night game on ESPN features the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans at 7:15. On Sunday, Alabama's FOX affiliates will broadcast the Seattle Seahawks-Carolina Panthers game at noon, and the state's CBS affiliates will broadcast the New England Patriots-New York Jets game at noon. The second half of the CBS doubleheader will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers-Denver Broncos game at 3:25 p.m. Sunday, except for viewers served by WKRG in Mobile, which will carry the Miami Dolphins-Indianapolis Colts game.
The Alabama Game of the Week features the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The teams have 13 players from state high schools and colleges on their active rosters. Marlon Humphrey makes the play the Baltimore Ravens didn't make last year
The complete Week 12 schedule (with all times central and with point spreads from vegasinsider.com ):
Chicago Bears (-3) at Detroit Lions, 11:30 a.m. (CBS) ·
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5), 3:30 p.m. (FOX) ·
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13), 7:20 p.m. (NBC)
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-3), noon ·
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Buffalo Bills, noon ·
New England Patriots (-9.5) at New York Jets, noon ·
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-6), noon ·
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens (-10.5), noon ·
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5), noon ·
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3.5), noon ·
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Chargers (-12), 3:05 p.m. ·
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-9), 3:25 p.m. ·
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Denver Broncos, 3:25 p.m. ·
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5), 7:20 p.m. (NBC)
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-6), 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Bye: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams