NFL Week 12 takeaways – what we learned, big questions for every game, and the team’s future prospects – .

NFL Week 12 takeaways – what we learned, big questions for every game, and the team’s future prospects – .

Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season began Thursday with the victory of the Chicago Bears and beleaguered coach Matt Nagy in the final game of the game against the Detroit Lions without a win.

The afternoon saw the Las Vegas Raiders shatter a three-game losing streak and stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race with an overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys, who suddenly lost three of the four after a 6-1 start. The Buffalo Bills returned to the winning track in a nightcap with a dominant victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Our NFL Nation reporters respond with take out and lingering questions. Plus, they each look at the big picture with their current team confidence rating – a score from 0 to 10 on how they feel about each team’s prospects at the end of the week. Let’s go.

Go to a match:


What there is to know: The Bills had another dominant win without playing their best football. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two interceptions, including the first of his career in the red zone, but also ended the game with a career-high 82.1% completion rate. In a way, he’s representative of a season for the Bills that featured inconsistent play but, at 7-4, still prepared them for an AFC East fight with the New England Patriots down the home stretch. . Much of that success has come from the Bills’ defense which has now limited five opponents to 12 points or less. All three phases were successful, with coach Sean McDermott even giving special recognition to the post-match kickoff coverage. When the tickets roll like this, they’re hard to beat. Doing it consistently is the key. –Alaina Getzenberg

What is the impact on that defense if cornerback Tre’Davious White misses a considerable amount of time? White left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. McDermott said they would know more about the injury in the coming days. Substitute Dane Jackson has replaced the Whites and has played well overall, but there’s no one on the roster who can replace the All-Pro corner, which is in the league’s top five cover corners this season. , according to the statistics of the next generation. ” [White’s] such a great teammate, ”Allen said. “He talks to everyone the right way. He just does the little things well that not many people see, but that’s why he’s so good. least in the league) – will take a hit, but should be able to adjust to some extent under coordinator Leslie Frazier. –Getzenberg

Getzenberg Confidence Index (0-10): 7.9, against 7.2. The roller coaster continues, but the Bills achieved an all-round dominant victory – albeit against a stoned team – in a short week and showed an ability to continue to bounce back from tough losses, albeit stacking up wins will be needed to stretch that odds.

Next game: vs Patriots (Monday, December 6, 8:15 p.m. ET)


What there is to know: It gets uglier and uglier week by week for the Saints and their offense worn out – now 0-4 since Trevor Siemian replaced injured Jameis Winston in QB. They were also without RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II and RT Ryan Ramczyk on Thanksgiving night, and the replacements weren’t good enough. They could all be back next Thursday against Dallas – and the Saints could consider a quarterback change at Taysom Hill. But at 5-6, they are dangerously close to “too little, too late”. –Mike Triplet

New week, same question: will they consider a move to Hill at QB? Siemian’s performance has faltered every week after a promising start. And while Sean Payton made it clear that he was one of the many issues on a night that the Saints also couldn’t run, pass protect or return kicks, Payton admitted, “We’re going to do it all. examine now. Obviously, we have to do it. But Hill has been limited by a foot injury since week 10 (which is why he was relegated to the emergency backup role for the past two weeks). But he has practiced fully this week, so his role needs to expand as soon as possible in one form or another. – Triplet

Triplett Trust Score (0-10): 4.5, against 5.5. A complete drop in points for the second week in a row. We know a better version of this team exists after they left 5-2. But even a Week 8 win over the Buccaneers, when Winston left in the second quarter, seems like a distant memory.

Next game: vs. Cowboys (Thursday, December 2, 8:20 p.m. ET)


What there is to know: The Raiders haven’t finished. Not yet anyway. As receiver Hunter Renfrow said, “I feel like we showed the hearts of the team today. Indeed, it was as close to an inescapable situation as you could get, and by ending a three-game losing streak, the Raiders improved to 6-5. “But I think we felt it a bit [because] 5-6 is much worse than 6-5, ”added Renfrow. “And, to beat a good Cowboys team, at Thanksgiving, prime time, that gives us a lot of confidence for the future… we have a long road ahead of us, but we took a step in the right direction today.” . ” –Paul Gutierrez

Is DeSean Jackson really on the offensive now? He better be. Not only did he get the upper hand on defense with three catches for 102 yards, including a vintage 56-yard catch-and-run TD on the left sideline, Jackson’s mere presence opened things below for Renfrow. , who had eight catches for a high of 134 yards. And with another 10 days until the next Las Vegas game, Jackson, who turns 35 next week, has a lot more time to marinate in the Raiders’ system. “It’s really fun throwing the ball at him,” said quarterback Derek Carr. – Gutierrez

Gutierrez’s confidence rating (0-10): 7.5, compared to 5.5. A full two-point jump from last week’s nadir? Of course, when you factor in how the NFL really is a week-to-week season. Beating the heavily favored Cowboys on the road and in prime time should be a huge confidence boost. The Raiders also getting their running game to the tune of 143 yards is also auspicious, especially Josh Jacobs who totaled 87 yards on 22 carries. Stay tuned, however, for an update on the injured left knee of Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.

Next game: vs. Washington (Sunday, Dec.5, 4:05 p.m. ET)

les cow-boys

What there is to know: The Cowboys have lost three of four and two in a row after their overtime loss to the Raiders. The offensive could not start until the fourth quarter. The defense has allowed too many big plays. Complaining about officials is pointless. Simply put, the Cowboys need to play better. Ezekiel Elliott was asked if this team has lost its poise. “No,” he said, adding, “I just need to focus. We have to get better, we have to fix what happened today and become a better team by next week. ” — Todd Archer

How can the Cowboys limit penalties? The best hope is not to have Shawn Hochuli’s crew again the rest of the way, but penalties have been a problem all season. They have been reported at least seven times in eight games this season, including 14 for 166 yards against the Raiders. Micah Parsons has said he doesn’t want defense to change the way they play. There’s a fine line between being aggressive and being sloppy. Bill Parcells used to say he doesn’t incur penalties. No coach does, but it is a problem that needs to be rectified. “We have to think and keep the officials out of the game,” said Dak Prescott. “Somehow we have to be better. ” — Archer

Archer Confidence Index (0-10): 7.9, against 8.4. They can talk about Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory coming back whatever they want, but there is something wrong with the team right now. The offensive cannot start the running game. The defense can’t help but allow big plays. The Cowboys need to change this quickly.

Next game: at Saints (Thursday, December 2, 8:20 p.m. ET)

to play

Cairo Santos hit a 28-yard field goal in the last second of the game to give the Bears a 16-14 victory over the Lions.


What there is to know: Andy Dalton played well in relief for Justin Fields. The 34-year-old became the first Bears quarterback to pass over 300 yards (317 against the Lions) since Nick Foles in Week 9 of last year. Dalton led Chicago on an 18-game practice to set up Cairo Santos’ 28-yard game-winning goal. Dalton played with poise and poise – exactly what you would expect from a player with this level of experience. Fields is expected to get back to work when his ribs heal, but Dalton proved at Thanksgiving that he can still do the job. — Jeff Dickerson

Will the Bears fire coach Matt Nagy? No. Or rather, not yet. The Bears have never fired a head coach in a season in franchise history. The Bears let Marc Trestman finish his final season. Same thing with John Fox. Nagy was named coach of the year three years ago. He led the Bears to the playoffs in two of his three seasons. Nagy deserves better. Ultimately, he could be sacked after the season, but there is still a lot of football to play. Hopefully Thursday’s win over Detroit allows Nagy and the Bears to regroup ahead of a tough game against Arizona on December 5. — Dickerson

Dickerson Trust Score (0-10): 3.5, to 2. A win is a win, but the Lions are 0-10-1.

Next game: vs Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, December 5)

the Lions

What there is to know: The Lions suffered another heartbreaking loss, falling for the third time this season on a field goal. This happened in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, then again in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings and now in Thanksgiving against the Bears. — Eric Woodyard

Should the Lions be worried about coach Dan Campbell’s play? Certainly. The Lions got off to a good start Thursday with quarterback Jared Goff finding an early rhythm, completing his first five assists, but the conservative trend of short passes and short wins since Campbell took over from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn in the The course of week 10 continued in front of the nationwide audience, with some fans even booing inside Ford Field. Campbell could consider letting Lynn take over her playcall responsibilities if the team is to win a game. – Lumber yard

Woodyard Trust Rating (0-10): 2, against 2.3. As always, the Lions are playing hard, but the penalties and mistakes are too hard to overcome as they don’t have enough competent players to bail them out.

Next game: vs. Vikings (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, December 5)


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