Despite not playing Sunday (because they played Monday), the Rams can clinch a playoff berth if the Seahawks lose to the Panthers. Plenty of other teams, though, need a win if they have any hope of making the playoffs.
Rodgers, Packers on the brink: His knee has healed, but somehow Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are on the cusp of seeing their season go down the drain. Rather than be in the mix for MVP honors, Rodgers has been passed by Drew Brees and others when that conversation comes up, despite his 19 touchdown passes (to one interception), 3,073 passing yards and 102.2 passer rating. Rodgers admits that a “galvanizing” moment has been lacking and he and the Packers will try to find one, setting aside their inability to execute plays and their issues with Coach Mike McCarthy’s play-calling, in the “Sunday Night Football” game against the Vikings. If the 4-5-1 Packers can’t pull off a miracle run to get into the playoffs, McCarthy’s days are probably numbered.
The Vikings, at 5-4-1, need to keep pace with the 8-2 Bears in the NFC North. Kirk Cousins is 0-3 this season and was 4-9 in his prime time starts with the Redskins. Rodgers and the Packers can’t win on the road, where they’re 0-5 this season. Something has to give.
A different Luck: Andrew Luck and the Colts are being smart this time. He’s no longer putting his body on the line the way he did in his first five years in the NFL and, for a refreshing change, the Colts have an offensive line dedicated to protecting him. Indianapolis, at 5-5, has designs on an AFC wild card, as do the Dolphins, their 5-5 opponents. Miami hasn’t scored a touchdown on offense since Oct. 25 (a span that included a bye week).
Bills settle on a QB: Josh Allen will start against the Jaguars after missing four games with an elbow injury. The rookie’s return stops a carousel in which Derek Anderson, Nathan Peterman and Matt Barkley have played for the 3-7 team.
Expect more of everything: There’s over a month of games left and one thing is certain: this has been a season of superlatives and excess. Take a look.
Texans owner dies: Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, died at the age of 81. (Read more.)
A helpful guide to playing defense: In 2018, the thought is to just make big plays rather than worry about giving them up. (Read more.)
M-V-P: It’s Drew Brees because he makes winning by two TDs look easy. (Read more.)
NFL power rankings: It’s the Saints, Rams, Steelers, Chiefs and everybody else. (Read more.)
The Rodgers family fracture: Aaron Rodgers’s $1 million donation to wildfire victims somehow restarted his family’s feud. (Read more.)
Who’s off: The Chiefs and Rams have byes this week after playing Monday night.
Of course, Brady will play: The Patriots return from their bye week with a 7-3 record and questions surrounding the health of 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady. He is listed as questionable after being limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday and missing practice Friday with what the team said was an “illness.” Of course, he’ll play against the Jets. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is described as “good to go.”
More Lamar Jackson: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco remains out with a hip injury, which means the 2016 Heisman winner will start again.
Gordon’s status up in the air: Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who is dealing with hamstring and knee issues, will be a game-time decision against the Cardinals. At 7-3, the Chargers are the wild-card leader, trailing AFC West leader Kansas City by only one game.
Darnold sits: Jets rookie Sam Darnold has been ruled out with a foot injury. He’ll be replaced by Josh McCown.
Daniels, Perry out: Packers defensive end Mike Daniels and linebacker Nick Perry have been ruled out with Daniels wearing a cast on his foot Friday, perhaps an indication that he will miss a significant amount of time. Perry will miss his second straight game with a knee injury.
The waiver wire: A dual-threat QB and pass-catching RB are quite enticing. (Read more.)
Week 12 cheat sheet: Dig in and dominate. (Read more.)
Start/Sit: The fantasy football players you need in your lineup. (Read more.)
Week 12 player rankings: Stay away from Titans quarterbacks this week. (Read more.)
The top trends and insights from Las Vegas. (Read more.)