Week 12 in the NFL started off with three Thursday games on Thanksgiving Day. The season is entering crunch time, as many teams try to secure– or sneak their way into — a playoff spot. No teams had a bye this week.
The Thanksgiving games were great to watch. The Detroit Lions defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16-13 after a late interception thrown by Sam Bradford to put the Lions in field goal range. This loss continued the Vikings’ downfall, as they’ve lost 6 of their last 7 games. The Washington Redskins put up a fight against a very good Dallas Cowboys team but fell just short, losing 31-26. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins’ 449 yards and 3 touchdowns were not enough to hold off the Cowboys. The Redskins are now out of a playoff spot by half a game. The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the Indianapolis Colts 28-7, with Steelers WR Antonio Brown catching for 97 yards and 3 touchdowns. The win kept the Steelers’ playoffs hopes alive, but may have been the final nail in the coffin for the Colts.
A major division game for second place and a wild card spot in the AFC was between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs won 30-27 in OT to jump ahead of the Broncos in the AFC West by 1 game. In the primetime Monday night game, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-13 to bring their record to 6-6 and keep a playoff spot within reach. In a must-win, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 14-5, showing they can compete with superior teams and keep fighting for their divisional title with the Atlanta Falcons.
Some standout players from week 12 included Saints RB Mark Ingram, who rushed for 146 yards and 1 TD and received for 21 yards and 1TD; 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, who threw for 296 yards and 3 TDs and rushed for 113 yards; and Bills RB Lesean McCoy who rushed for 103 yards and 2 TDs.