NFL Week 12 – Interesting Matchup Statistics, News and Notes


There are plenty of interesting games as we head toward the playoff stretch.  Find out some interesting morsels to be read below with a Week 12 game-by-game match-up breakdown of NFL statistics, news and notes.

Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Bills: The Bills lost to New England on Monday night 20-13, and it marked the 11th loss in 15 games by Buffalo head coach Rex Ryan to the Patriots. For all the hype that usually surrounds the meeting between Ryan and Bill Belichick it would appear the head-to-head match-up was a lot closer than the reality of it.  

Chiefs: Jamaal Charles is a rare specimen of physical ability, but the current groups of back-up running backs in Kansas City are making his efforts look human. Charcandrick West replaced Charles and helped turn around the Chiefs season. West left the game against the Chargers in Week 11 and Spencer Ware stepped in and rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.


St. Louis Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Rams: Case Keenum played a solid game against the Baltimore Ravens, but four fumbles (by the team) crippled their chances of winning on the road the second time this season. Keenum made plays with both his arm and legs, but without question the Rams will be in the market for a quarterback upgrade next season.

Bengals: Jeremy Hill is having a ‘sophomore slump’ in his second-year with Cincinnati. Last season he averaged 5.1 yards per carry and became the workhorse of the offense and took carries away from playmaker Giovani Bernard. This season the roles have changed with Bernard being the more productive of the two running backs and Hill averaging just 3.1 yards per carry with a season-high 63 yards in Week 1.


New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans 

Saints: The Saints will have a new defensive coordinator in Week 12 after the team let Rob Ryan go. Dennis Allen inherits the job Ryan was dismissed from and the team currently ranks last in the NFL in total defense. The defense allowed 120 points over their last three games (40 points per game) with a 1-2 record.

Texans: Bill O’Brien tried to get away from a quarterback controversy, but T.J. Yates is making it hard on him. Yates came in Week 11 and helped the Texans preserve a win over the previously unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals team. He then led them to a comeback win over the New York Jets in Week 12. The quarterback who won the first playoff game in franchise history also is the winner of the last two.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Tampa Bay’s five wins is the most the team’s had since 2012 when the team finished 7-9. The Buccaneers aim to win their third-straight game, something the Buccaneers have not witnessed since 2012. Jameis Winston became the first ‘rookie’ quarterback in NFL history to throw five touchdown passes.

Colts: Matt Hasselbeck may be walking the streets of Indianapolis being called ‘Magic Matt’ with his perfect 3-0 record as the starting quarterback of the Colts this season. He helped lead the Colts past the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.

San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Chargers: Melvin Gordon was one of the most electric running backs in college football last season. His rookie year has not exactly been what most envisioned when he was selected with the 15th-overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. He set a single-game rushing record (FBS) with 408 yards and after 10 games in the NFL he has 437.

Jaguars: The AFC South may not boast the best teams in the league, but is does have a fantastic chase going on for the division title. The Colts and Texans are 5-5 with the Jaguars standing at 4-6  to make this one of the more interesting division races in the entire NFL.


Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets

Dolphins: Miami has their issues and winning at home is one of them. Winning a total of four games all year, only one has been accomplished in the not-so-friendly confines of Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins are 1-3 at home and 3-3 on the road.

Jets: New York was once 4-1 and the miscues by Ryan Fitzpatrick could be tolerated, but now the team is 4-6 and losers of four of their last five games and Fitzpatrick has thrown four interceptions in the last two and 11 on the season. Fitzpatrick brought the Jets within a touchdown against the Texans in Week 11, but was intercepted on the team’s next two drives.


Minnesota Vikings vs. Atlanta Falcons

Vikings: Minnesota is facing their worst nightmare – A team with a winning record. The Vikings were 7-2 prior to losing to the Green Bay Packers, 30-13. All seven of the teams wins this season are against teams without a winning record. While the Falcons are struggling, they do own a 6-4 overall record.

Falcons: It’s hard to explain the collapse of the Falcons after a 5-0 start to the season under new head coach Dan Quinn. Atlanta is 6-4 and losers of three of their last four games that have been decided by a total of 10 points.


New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins

Giants: New York is atop the standings in the NFC East (5-5) and rank last in the league in quarterback sacks (12). The last time Jason Pierre-Paul made the Pro Bowl was in 2012 and he’ll be counted on more than ever to help carry a defense while learning to adapt to his football life with his injured hand.

Redskins: “It was a tough day,” said Jay Gruden, the head coach of the Washington Redskins. After being dismantled, 44-16 by the Carolina Panthers, the team had a combined zero rushing yards on seven carries by both Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones. Morris has failed to get into the end zone so far this season after averaging 9.3 touchdowns per season since 2012.


Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans

Raiders: Rookie Amari Cooper is currently in the midst of his longest drought without a touchdown reception – two games. Not exactly a bad thing, but this weekend marked the first time he has gone two consecutive games without a touchdown.

Titans: The Titans can be called many different things and you can add ‘inconsistent’ to the list. Especially when looking at their points per game, when considering in three games they have scored 33 points or more and in the other seven they have scored less than 14 points. It is truly feast or famine in Tennessee surrounding their offense ability to put points on the scoreboard.


Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers


Cardinals: Arizona finally got over the hump with their win over the Seattle Seahawks and doubled-down by beating the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Cards are finally looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender as they have the second-best point differential in the NFC (Carolina).   

49ers: The 49ers placed Colin Kaepernick on IR and it is rumored to be his last season by the Bay. If this is the end in San Francisco, he’ll be traded or released with a 35-21-1 overall record as the team starting quarterback. The 28-year old veteran will draw the interest of potential suitors with his ability and athleticism.


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks


Steelers: This is a match-up of the two scariest teams that likely will not win their division.  Although they’ll have to go on the road, these would be the last two rosters contenders would like to face when post-season play begins. Pittsburgh is 6-4 and is looking to make back-to-back trips to the postseason, something that has not happened since 2010-11.

Seahawks: There is an upside and downside to the immense production undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls has produced. Rawls signed a three-year $1.59 million dollar contract that included a $15,000 signing bonus. He’ll make $525,000 next season and the man who starts in front of him (Marshawn Lynch) will make $9 million next season. Rawls is averaging 5.6 yards per carry on his 71 rushing attempts for 395 yards. Meanwhile, Lynch has 417 rushing yards for 3.8 yards per carry on 111 carries.


New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos


Patriots: It should be very interesting to see how the absence of Julian Edelman will change the passing attack by the New England Patriots. Edelman has been targeted 88 times which is ten more than the next two receivers (Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell) who have combined for 78 targets.  Amendola will also miss Sunday’s game against the best secondary in the NFL.

Broncos: The Brock Osweiler era might have begun with a victory over the Bears on the road in Chicago. Osweiler faced a Bears defense that ranked fourth-overall against the pass. Now he faces the mastermind known as Bill Belichick in his second start, and if he can pull out a victory for the Broncos against the Patriots, it should be easy from there.


Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns


Ravens: Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl MVP, has never missed a start in his eight-year career and played in 122 consecutive games since his rookie season (2008). Flacco suffered a torn ACL against the Rams on the Ravens game-winning drive. He showed his toughness by not leaving the game and took snaps until Justin Tucker won the game on a field goal, 16-13.

Browns: The Cleveland Browns will face a Ravens team without Flacco or their starting running back Justin Forsett, who suffered a broken arm also against St. Louis. The Browns will face Matt Schaub who is 1-2 lifetime as a starter versus Cleveland. This will be the first time Schaub starts a game with Baltimore and the first time since 2013 he’s thrown a pass as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.