Week 12 of the NFL season has come and gone, and as we enter the final stretch of the season, every game becomes all the more crucial. Here’s a look at some of the biggest storylines from this past week.
Football on Thanksgiving (and now Black Friday?) is always a delight, and we all got to enjoy a full day of action surrounded by family, great food, and Cowboymania. The Cowboys routed division rival Washington 45-10 in what was the most-watched Thanksgiving game of all time, with 41.4 million viewers tuning in according to CBS.
The score was 20-10 at the start of the 4th quarter, and the Cowboys put their foot on the gas the rest of the way, scoring 25 unanswered points to end the game. Daron Bland made history, becoming the first player in NFL history to record five pick-sixes in a season; which also gives him more touchdowns than any player on the Patriots this season. The Cowboys now look ahead towards a big NFC matchup this Thursday night against Seattle.
The most exciting game of the week, and in all likelihood the season so far, took place at the Linc on Sunday. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles found themselves down 17-7 at halftime to the Bills after an overall lousy first half.
Jalen and Co. turned things up though, scoring 24 points in the second half. This included a drive with less than a minute to go at the end of regulation resulting in a Jake Elliot 59-yard field goal to tie the game in a driving rainstorm. The Eagles then held Buffalo to a field goal on their opening drive in overtime and went right back down the field to score the game-winning touchdown on a designed quarterback run for Hurts.
The Eagles won their fourth straight game that they trailed at halftime, moving to 10-1 on the year and comfortably in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Buffalo, on the other hand, falls to 6-6 and is currently out of the playoff picture in the AFC. Josh Allen played a phenomenal game, completing 29 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns, as well as rushing for 81 yards and two more touchdowns.
Despite a great game from their signal caller, Buffalo’s playoff chances are closing rapidly, and they have to play the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Dolphins down the stretch. The Eagles, meanwhile, have a huge matchup with the 49ers this weekend, a rematch of the 2022 NFC Championship Game that could very well be a preview of the upcoming one.
Should the Niners beat Philly this week, and the Cowboys beat Seattle, that means when the Eagles and Cowboys meet up in two weeks in Arlington, the division lead will be on the line.
The AFC playoff picture is a whole lot more open than the NFC. The Ravens currently hold the No. 1 seed at 9-3, followed by the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Dolphins all at 8-3. The Ravens won a pivotal game against the Chargers last week by a score of 20-10. Kansas City, Jacksonville, and Miami all beat divisional opponents in the Raiders, Texans, and Jets this past week to keep ground with Baltimore. They’ll all have a chance to catch The Ravens, who are on a bye this week.
The wildcard spots are currently held by the Steelers (7-4), Browns (7-4), and Colts (6-5). The Texans (6-5), Broncos (6-5), and Bills (6-6) all threaten from the outside looking in. It’s going to be very interesting who falls whereas we get closer to the postseason, and who misses out entirely.