- Kansas City Chiefs 10-1 —
The Chiefs made it a little closer than they’d like but Mahomes was surgical through the first 3 quarters. Tyreek Hill was magical with 269 yards and 3 scores, while Kelce chipped in another 82 yards. After their game, Hill and Kelce stood atop the leaders for the most receiving yards:
Next: vs. DEN
- Pittsburgh Steelers 11-0 —
It wasn’t convincing but that also hasn’t been the Steelers memo so far. The game was sloppy on all fronts for Pittsburgh – allowing big plays on the ground, dropping the football, and turnovers. Head coach Mike Tomlin was not pleased with his team’s effort:
The Steelers still finished with a win and have a great chance to go 12-0 against Washington next Monday.
Next: vs. WASH
- New Orleans Saints 9-2 —
This game wasn’t exactly a fair barometer – the Saints came in and handled business against a team without an NFL-caliber QB. The best news the Saints could’ve gotten was attaining a stronghold on the NFC’s 1-seed.
Next: @ ATL
- Green Bay Packers 8-3 —
The Packers bounced back nicely cruising to an easy win over the Bears. Aaron Rodgers had his entire arsenal of weapons available for the first time since the beginning of the year. Adams and Jones did what they always do but it’s the guys like Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan that can elevate this team as the NFC favorite.
Next: vs. PHI
- Buffalo Bills 8-3 —
The Bills suffered a scare when Josh Allen left the game temporarily in the first half. Luckily, it wasn’t enough to keep Allen off the field and help solidify Buffalo in first place in the AFC East for another week. The Bills travel to Arizona to take on San Fran next Monday night.
Next: @ SF
- Seattle Seahawks 8-3 —
DK Metcalf gave Eagles fans more headaches after having a career-high 177 yards in their Monday Night showdown. The Eagles infamously selected JJ Arcega-Whiteside over DK in the 2019 NFL draft. The Seahawks get to go back home and take on the NFC East leading Giants.
Next: vs. NYG
- Tennessee Titans 8-3 +4
The Derrick Henry effect is very real:
Henry didn’t even need the cold weather as he ran all over the Colts depleted front. The Titans are now back into first place in the AFC South and thanks to their win over Buffalo that was moved due to COVID, the Titans hold the tiebreaker for the three-seed. The Titans enter week 13 in a potential first round wildcard matchup against the Browns.
Next: vs. CLE
- Los Angeles Rams 7-4 -1
Sean McVay hasn’t quite been able to figure out Kyle Shanahan the past 2 seasons. The Rams came into this one in first place in the NFC West as touchdown-favorites versus San Fran. However, after their last-second loss, McVay now falls to 0-4 against Shanahan in 2019 and 2020. The Rams enter a pivotal game against Arizona (6-5) next week.
Next: @ ARI
- Indianapolis Colts 7-4 -1
We learned just how valuable DeForest Buckner, Denico Autry, and Bobby Okereke are to this Colts defense. This has been one of the best fronts in all of football, but they struggled in a massive way allowing 140 yards and 3 touchdowns to Derrick Henry….by halftime. This may just be a “one-off” for the Colts who were extremely decimated on defense but now they’re in the thick of a very tight wildcard race and have to face one of the hottest QBs in Deshaun Watson.
Next: @ HOU
- Cleveland Browns 8-3 +3
The Browns still have a negative point differential, and things were much closer than they should’ve been against the lowly Jags, but it’s hard to scoff at an 8-3 record. It is the first time since 2007 that the Browns are guaranteed to have a non-losing record – a major feat for Stefanski in year one. They have a huge test at their disposal against the surging Titans next week.
Next: @ TENN
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-5 -2
The Buccaneers made things interesting in the end, but too much inconsistency has held them back from taking the next step as a real contender. Tampa Bay shows flashes but shoots themselves in the foot way too much. They have a perfect chance to regroup with their bye this upcoming week – they’re just about out of the running for the NFC South title but the 5 seed is still very much in play as they’ll finish with Atlanta 2x, Minnesota, and Detroit.
- Baltimore Ravens 6-5 -2
Tough to fault the Ravens in this one. They kept this one about as close as anyone could’ve expected with everything stacked against them. The Ravens are on the outside looking in terms of the playoff picture but they have a great chance to make up some ground in their incoming games.
Next: vs. DAL
- Miami Dolphins 7-4 +2
The Dolphins did what they had to do and they took care of the Jets in East Rutherford:
With Ryan Fitzpatrick being inserted back into the lineup, Devante Parker saw a season-high in targets (14) and yards (119). The Dolphins get another layup next week against the Burrow-less Bengals,
Next: vs. CIN
- Arizona Cardinals 6-5 —
A brutal loss to New England and the Cards have now dropped two in a row, on the verge of falling to .500 against the Rams next week. After averaging a sizzling 63 yards on the ground in their first nine games, Kyler Murray has only rushed for a combined 46 yards in their last 2 outings. Without that extra dimension, this offense becomes much more stale and less dynamic.
Next: vs. LAR
- Las Vegas Raiders 6-5 -3
Well, it seems like the Raiders had been reading their press clippings this past week. There are no moral victories in the NFL but they competed about as well as anyone could’ve asked for in their Sunday Night showdown versus KC in week 11. The emotional letdown was evident in this one; they were not ready to play and were exposed by the hungrier team in Atlanta. Even though it looked like a favorable matchup on offense, Carr committed a season-high 4 turnovers including this backbreaker of a pick-six:
Next: @ NYJ
- Minnesota Vikings 5-6 —
Chad Beebe went from seemingly ending their season to resurrecting it within a matter of minutes. Last week, I was ready to potentially give up on the Vikings playoff hopes altogether and they pull me right back in. Thanks to Arizona, Minnesota is once again just one game out of a wildcard berth in the NFC. And even more encouraging, Kirk Cousins didn’t need to be a beneficiary of Dalvin Cook’s run game as he was efficient independent of their run game.
Next: vs. JAX
- San Francisco 49ers 5-6 +1
Kyle Shanahan is an elite coach. The 49ers have been absolutely decimated by injury, but he found a way against the first-place Rams. It definitely wasn’t the cleanest game as they gave up a two-touchdown lead in the second half but the 49ers are now just 1 game out of a wildcard spot. The 49ers got huge contributions from Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel, and Richard Sherman who all either returned from the IR or COVID-list. San Fran gets Buffalo, Washington, @ Dallas, @ Arizona, and Seattle to close out the regular season.
Next: vs. BUF
- New England Patriots 5-6 +2
Cam Newton needed just 84 yards with 2 interceptions posting a 6.6 QBR to win this one. The Patriots special teams was a key difference maker as Gunner Olszewski and Donte Moncrief each had 50+ yard returns to set up multiple scores for New England. Cam Newton has been a force on the ground but he’s been a disaster throwing the football for most of the year.
Next: @ LAC
- Chicago Bears 5-6 -2
The Bears have now dropped five straight. Thank god we don’t have to see the Bears on any more primetime games for the rest of 2020 because this team is just so hard to watch. The OL is a mess, the WRs are under-utilized, and just when Mitch Trubisky gives you signs of life, he does something like this. They get a chance to get back to .500 against the new-look Lions next week where Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace have to be very concerned for their jobs.
Next: vs. DET
- Los Angeles Chargers 3-8 -1
Justin Herbert had his worst start in a very winnable game for LA; he fumbled twice (neither were lost) and threw an interception. Give credit to the Bills defense, they forced him into some tough throws but the story here is Anthony Lynn. After Sunday, you can’t help but think he’s coaching his last 6 games with the Chargers. The Chargers were competitive late in this game but uninspiring play-calling and his ultra-conservative approach have hampered their team in a big way:
Herbert needs to be molded with someone innovative and create an excitement with this explosive offense – Lynn has proven his approach is too cautious.
Next: vs. NE
- New York Giants 4-7 +1
It was closer than it should’ve been. The Giants had chances to put the Bengals away but they couldn’t after the offense completely stalled without Daniel Jones under the helm. Jones has vastly improved in the midst of their three-game winning streak but suffered a hamstring injury that may require him to sit out some time. It couldn’t come at a worse time as the Giants are in first place for the first time all year. They enter an absolute gauntlet for the few weeks going against Seattle, Arizona, Cleveland, and Baltimore
Next: @ SEA
- Denver Broncos 4-7 -1
It’s hard to fault the Broncos considering the circumstances. You can only imagine what Denver was going through, activating practice squad WR Kendall Hinton to be their starting QB the night before an NFL game. Hinton, who never logged a snap in the NFL before Sunday, should be commended for his effort no matter the statline – Hinton and the Broncos battled until the end.
Next: @ KC
- Atlanta Falcons 4-7 +1
Raheem Morris has elevated this Falcons defense in a huge way. After laying an egg last week against New Orleans, Atlanta followed it up with their best defensive performance of the year. Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller combined for a meager 67 yards, the Falcons forced Derek Carr, known for his ability to take care of the football, into 4 turnovers. The Falcons looked fast and played with a reckless abandon.
Next: vs. NO
- Washington Football Team 4-7 +2
Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin are going to be special. Both were third round picks in 2019 and 2020, respectively and each has made a storm this year:
The remarkable turnaround story of Alex Smith continues as he has catapulted them into the thick of the NFC East race.
Next: @ PITT
- Houston Texans 4-7 +2
It’s a shame that Deshaun Watson has quietly amassed his best season yet as a pro on his lowly Houston team:
Watson would certainly be in the MVP conversation if it wasn’t for Bill O’Brien’s major shortcomings as a GM.
Next: vs. IND
- Carolina Panthers 4-8 -3
Jeremy Chinn has been an absolute menace this season:
They’ve put so much on the young rookie’s plate and he has thrived. After his 13-tackle performance, he leads the Panthers with 87 total tackles and is one of the frontrunner for DROY. He seems to make a big play each week from every single different spot. The Panthers aren’t winning these close games yet, but they definitely have some enticing young pieces moving forward.
- Detroit Lions 4-7 -2
The Lions finally came to their senses. As I predicted on the Zero Technique Podcast, the Lions let go of Matt Patricia, as well as GM Bob Quinn. Patricia is the third coach to be fired during the course of the 2020 season; the rebuild is imminent in Detroit. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will assume the interim head coaching duties for the remainder of the season.
Next: @ CHI
- Dallas Cowboys 3-8 —
The Cowboys had a chance for their first winning streak of the year after their nice upset win over Minnesota the week before. Instead, the Cowboys lost both offensive tackles Cam Erving and Zack Martin on the first drive of the game. These injuries changed the trajectory of this game – the Washington Football Team dominated on the DL and wore them down on offense. Next up: Tuesday night football for America’s Team at Baltimore.
Next: @ BAL
- Philadelphia Eagles 3-7-1 —
Things continue to somehow get uglier for this Eagles offense each game. The defense has played admirably the last two outings against two of the more efficient offenses in all of football. It hasn’t mattered:
The Eagles opened the game with five straight three-and-outs. Doug Pederson elected to drop back one of the NFL’s most inefficient throwers in Wentz over 50+ times while only giving his best playmaker, Miles Sanders, six carries in a one-possession game. There are so many macro/micro issues in Philly, it’s hard to know where to start.
Next: @ GB
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1-10 +1
The Jaguars fired longtime GM Dave Caldwell. The Jaguars are still “evaluating” Doug Marrone but expect the Jaguars to hire an entire new regime by the end of this season. Caldwell missed on some critical picks like Bortles and Fournette early in his career but had a decent eye for talent in the mid rounds. The lesson here? It’s really hard to function without an NFL starting QB and when you pick as high as Jacksonville, you have to nail those first rounders.
Next: @ MINN
- Cincinnati Bengals 2-8-1 -1
The Bengals fell just short of a valiant comeback effort against the Giants but that’s about as close they might get to winning another game this season. Joe Burrow masked so many flaws for this offense and without him, the OL will be exploited even more. The only winnable game from here on out is Dallas in week 14.
Next: @ MIA
- New York Jets 0-11 —
Maybe Sam Darnold is the problem? Ok, he’s definitely not THE problem but it’s becoming more and more clear just how much he’s regressed under Gase. With a full arsenal of receivers, Darnold managed to put up 3 points against the Dolphins. Joe Flacco has been much more effective with the same cast of talent – you have to wonder if the Jets keep throwing Darnold out there after these kinds of performances, just how much are they hurting his trade value?
Next: vs. LV
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Deshaun Watson Still Wants Out of Houston. Let’s Rank Each Teams Likelihood of Going for the Superstar QB (as of 2/22/20)
Although all the trade rumors and talk have died down a bit, it doesn’t...