NFL Week 12 Recap: Top Performers, Injury Updates, and more
There was no shortage of entertainment in week twelve of the NFL season, as every team was in action. Including three games on Thanksgiving. We saw multiple dramatic finishes; including several Overtime games, and some that came down to a potential game-winning two-point conversion. In less exciting news, there was also a plethora of injuries to address. With the Bills and the Patriots starting off week thirteen tonight, let's take one more look at week twelve in the NFL.
Top Game of the Week:
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week twelve’s edition of ‘Sunday Night Football’ featured two NFC foes: the NFC East Philadelphia Eagles, and Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers. Many assumed the game would be fairly one-sided, as the Packers went into the game at 4-7 and have struggled thus far. On the other hand, the Eagles have been one of the most dominant teams in the NFL this season, with just one loss on their record before Sunday’s matchup. However, both teams came out swinging and lined up for what was one of the more entertaining games of the season. On Philadelphia’s opening drive they ran the ball right at the Packers’ defense–a theme that would remain throughout the game–and took an early lead after a Kenneth Gainwell touchdown. Philadelphia was given another early scoring opportunity after their defense picked off Aaron Rodgers on the third play of their opening drive. After the turnover, the Eagles found the endzone again, taking a 13-0 lead in just over six minutes after the opening kick. But perhaps the Packers needed the large deficit to wake them up. Green Bay was given a spark on the ensuing kickoff, as returner Keisean Nixon was able to set the offense up at their forty-one-yard line after a thirty-eight-yard return. In just four plays, the Packers were able to cut into the deficit due to a twenty-yard scoring run from AJ Dillon. The Packers' defense then stepped up and forced a turnover on downs, giving the ball back to Rodgers and the offense in Philadelphia territory. After a key fourth-down conversion, the Packers were set up inside the RedZone. They took their first lead of the game a play later after Rodgers found Randall Cobb for an eleven-yard touchdown. But the action didn’t slow down in the second quarter. The Eagles finished off their drive–which started late in the first quarter–and went back on top 20-14, after Miles Sanders found the endzone for the second time, from just two yards out. After turnovers from both teams on their next two possessions, the Packers were back on offense inside the RedZone. After a holding penalty on first-down, Green Bay bounced back just two plays later when Rodgers and Running Back, Aaron Jones, linked up for a twenty-three-yard touchdown, tying the game at 20-20. Both teams were forced to punt on their next drives, but the Eagles were able to get back on offense in time for a two-minute drill. After a nine-play drive that took just over two minutes (2:03), Hurts connected with Quez Watkins from thirty yards out for a go-ahead score. The two teams went into the half with the Eagles holding a 27-20 lead. Green Bay received the kickoff for the second half but was unable to get anything going, giving Hurts and the Eagles the ball after a three-and-out. Powered by their run game all night, the Eagles went back to the ground game again, as they rumbled down the field. They capped off the drive with a six-yard pitch-and-catch from Hurts to star wideout, A.J. Brown. The Eagles now led 34-20 midway through the third quarter. On the ensuing drive for Matt LaFleur’s team, they trimmed the lead down to 34-23 after Green Bay legend Mason Crosby put in a twenty-nine-yard field goal. The Eagles opened up the fourth quarter scoring by matching the Packers with a field goal of their own. After a fourteen-play drive, Jake Elliot put the ball through the uprights from thirty-one yards putting the Eagles back on top by fourteen. However, LaFleur and the Pack would have an uphill battle for the rest of the game, as Aaron Rodgers left early in the fourth quarter with an oblique injury and did not return. But, Green Bay wasn’t dead yet. Jordan Love took over and was able to make big plays for the offense. Just four plays into his first drive, hit rookie Christian Watson for a sixty-three-yard touchdown, putting his team right back in the game. Philly took over once again with a 37-30 lead and was able to drain nearly seven minutes of the clock (6:44) before adding another field goal. They then lead 40-30 with just over two minutes to play (2:16). Upon another explosive return from Keisean Nixon, the offense was set up near midfield. Jordan Love came back out onto the field in desperate need of points to keep his team alive. He responded to the pressure well, leading his squad to a field goal. The Packers would then need an onside kick recovery, as they trailed 40-33 with just 1:08 remaining. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful and after one first down, the Eagles kneeled the game out. After their victory, the Eagles remain atop the NFC. While the Packers will have to “run the table” as Aaron Rodgers once famously said, to make the playoffs.
Josh Jacobs RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Jacobs had another monster performance in the Raiders’ overtime victory in Seattle on Sunday. Setting a new career high on the ground and through the air, while also finishing with two touchdowns. The former Alabama Running Back finished with two hundred and twenty-nine rushing yards and a team-high seventy-four receiving yards. Seattle’s defense had no answer for Jacobs throughout regulation or overtime. This was exemplified as Jacobs took off for a game-winning eighty-six-yard scoring run on the first play of the Raiders’ second drive in OT.
Mike White (QB) and Garrett Wilson (WR) New York Jets
Mike White got the start on Sunday in place of the struggling Zach Wilson and he made the most of his opportunity. White completed twenty-two of twenty-eight passes for three hundred and fifteen yards, good for second-highest in his young career. Rookie wideout Garrett Wilson was White’s go-to guy all game, leading the team in both targets and receptions. White connected with his favorite target for two of his three touchdown passes and ninety-five yards against the Bears. It was Wilson’s fourth game this season with ninety receiving yards or more and White’s second game of his career with at least three hundred passing yards. The Jets may have found a spark at QB as they look to push for an AFC East title.
Trevor Lawrence QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The 2021 number-one pick shined in a late come-from-behind win against the Ravens. Lawrence recorded the second most passing yards of his career with three hundred and twenty-one on twenty-nine completions. He also added three touchdown passes to his numbers and threw the game-winning two-point conversion score to lift his team over Baltimore. Lawrence showed great poise on the game-winning drive, bouncing back nicely after being sacked for a loss of eleven yards on the second play of the possession. Lawrence continued to show the strides he’s made in year two of his career.
Miles Sanders RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Sanders contributed to a committee of dominant runners in Sunday night’s victory over the Packers. The Eagles finished with three hundred and sixty-three rushing yards and three touchdowns as a team. Sanders ran for the second most on the team with a new season-high of one hundred and forty-three yards and added two touchdowns to his stats. The Penn State product also tallied three receptions for seventeen yards. It was a great bounce-back game for Sanders who was quiet in the previous two games for the Eagles.
Chris Godwin WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin finally had the breakout game that the Buccaneers (and fantasy managers) have been waiting for. Godwin has had an injury-riddled season thus far but shined in a tough defeat Sunday to the Browns. Godwin posted a new season-high of one hundred and ten receiving yards and hauled in his second touchdown of the season on twelve receptions. Godwin has now logged back-to-back games with at least seventy yards and a touchdown. He may be back to 100% and could be hitting his stride as the Bucs get down the stretch.
Zay Jones WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones was Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target on Sunday, bringing in eleven receptions on a team-high fourteen targets. Although Jones wasn’t able to record a touchdown reception, he was able to set a new career-high in yards; finishing with one hundred and forty-five. He also caught the game-winning two-point conversion score with just fourteen seconds left, which sealed the deal for the Jaguars at home. With at least ten targets and eight receptions in back-to-back games, Jones looks like a reliable option for Lawrence alongside Christian Kirk.
Injuries and News:
Damien Harris RB, New England Patriots
Harris left Thursday night’s game versus the Vikings with a thigh injury and did not play much in the second half of the game. Harris was reportedly spotted on crutches after the game and is considered to be “week-to-week” with the injury. With the Patriots having a short week, Harris has already been ruled out of Thursday night’s matchup against the Bills.
Aaron Rodgers QB, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers left Sunday night’s game against the Eagles with an Oblique injury and was unable to return to the game. There was much uncertainty around Rodgers’ injury, but Rodgers reportedly received “good news” after undergoing further evaluation. Rodgers stated on the Pat McAfee Show that he expects to play in Sunday’s divisional face-off with the Bears.
Tristan Wirfs OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wirfs was carted off the field late in Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Browns, with what was characterized as an ankle or knee injury. After further testing, x-rays came back negative for Wirfs and it was reported that he avoided a knee injury. However, he is said to have a high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss three to four weeks according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This is another blow for a unit in Tampa that has already been very banged up.
Travis Etienne RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville’s young stud Running Back left week twelve's game against Baltimore in the first quarter and did not return to action. Etienne was said to have suffered a left foot injury, but both Etienne and Head Coach Doug Pederson said the injury was not serious. Pederson told the media that Etienne could have returned to the game, but the team decided to be precautionary with Etienne. The former first-round pick is expected to play in week thirteen when the Jags take on the Lions.
Darnell Mooney WR, Chicago Bears
Mooney sustained an ankle injury during Chicago’s week twelve loss to the Jets and will miss the remainder of the season, according to Head Coach Matt Eberflus. Mooney will undergo surgery on the injured ankle and will begin to prepare for the 2023 season. This is a tough blow for Chicago’s offense as Mooney leads the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Mooney finishes the season with forty receptions for four hundred and ninety-three yards and two touchdowns.
Terron Armstead OT, Miami Dolphins
Miami’s newly acquired Left Tackle was said to have a pectoral injury after their week twelve win versus the Texans. Armstead was later diagnosed with a pectoral strain. This is good news for Armstead and the Dolphins as pectoral injuries have a reputation of severity among linemen in the NFL. Armstead will not need surgery and he is expected to return this season, possibly soon.
Michael Carter RB, New York Jets
Carter exited week twelve’s matchup with the Bears early with an ankle injury and did not return to the game. Carter was later listed as having a low-ankle sprain and is considered “day-to-day.” Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh said that the 2021 fourth-round pick “has a chance” to be active for week thirteen. However, Carter did not practice on Wednesday. His practice availability will be something to monitor as we get closer to Sunday.
Allen Robinson WR, Los Angeles Rams
Robinson was held out of the game this past week for the Rams with a foot injury that had been giving him some issues. After undergoing further testing, it was revealed that Robinson had a stress fracture (ESPN). The Rams’ newly acquired receiver will have season-ending surgery, as the team has already placed him on the Injured Reserve. It was a tough season for Robinson–and the entire Rams offense–as he’ll finish the season with three hundred and thirty-nine yards and three touchdowns on thirty-three receptions.
Aaron Donald DT, Los Angeles Rams
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been ruled out for week thirteen with an ankle sprain. Donald is currently considered “week-to-week,” but has no current timetable to return. The injuries continue to pile up for the Rams, especially for their star players.
Elijah Mitchell RB, San Francisco 49ers
Mitchell just recently returned from an MCL sprain that he suffered during week one of the season. Unfortunately for Mitchell and the 49ers, his bad injury luck has continued. Mitchell sustained what was originally thought to be a knee sprain, but after further evaluation, Mitchell was diagnosed with a sprained MCL once again. Mitchell is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks and although he hasn’t been placed on the Injured Reserve yet, the belief is that he eventually will be.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson S, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles’ mid-season acquisition C.J. Gardner-Johnson is out indefinitely with a kidney injury from Sunday night’s game versus Green Bay. Gardner-Johnson is out with what has been diagnosed as a lacerated Kidney, but he is expected to return at some point this season. The injury will not require surgery.
Najee Harris RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh’s 2021 first-round pick left Monday night’s game in the second quarter with what was said to be an abdominal injury at the time. Harris did not return to the game. There was much fear around Harris’s long-term status, especially since the Steelers had no update on their star Running Back come Tuesday. However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Harris avoided a major injury, but his status for week thirteen against Atlanta is uncertain. The Alabama product did not practice on Wednesday, but his participation level as the week continues will be something to watch.
*Stats found from: ESPN, TeamRankings, and StatMuse