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Sports

Week 12 NFL Preview: Clash of the Colts and Titans, Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady, Steelers Can Clinch

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Week 12 NFL Preview: Clash of the Colts and Titans, Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady, Steelers Can Clinch

2020-11-28 14:18:43

 

-Posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Indianapolis defender Denico Autry puts pressure on Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill. (Image Source: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)

Week 12 preview in the NFL: 

FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE IN INDY: The TENNESSEE TITANS and INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, both 7-3 and tied atop the AFC South, meet in a key showdown on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). It’s the teams’ second meeting in three weeks. In Week 10 on Thursday Night Football, Indianapolis defeated Tennessee, 34-17, as running back NYHEIM HINES totaled two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). Last week, each team won an overtime thriller.

  • In that win last week, the Colts overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Green Bay, 34-31, in overtime. This season in the NFL, there have been 12 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 14 points to win, tied with the 1996 and 1979 seasons for the third-most such games through Week 11 in NFL history. Only the 1987 (15 games) and 2011 (14) seasons had more.
  • The Titans, meanwhile, overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat Baltimore, 30-24, in overtime. This season, there have been 33 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win, the most through Week 11 in NFL history.
  • Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for 133 yards, including the game-winning 29-yard touchdown in overtime, last week. He leads the NFL with 1,079 rushing yards this season.
  • Henry, who also registered a 5-yard overtime touchdown run in Week 6, is the first player with multiple overtime rushing touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.
  • This season, the Titans have won an NFL-high five games in which they’ve scored the game-deciding points in either overtime or the last two minutes of regulation. Through the season’s first 11 weeks, the league has produced 28 games – or 2.54 per week – in which the winning team earned the deciding points in either the final two minutes of regulation or overtime.

The games in which the deciding points were scored in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime this season:

WEEK

RESULT

PLAY

TIME

QTR

 

WEEK

RESULT

PLAY

TIME

QTR

1

Chi 27, Det 23

TD pass

1:54

4

 

6

Ten 42, Hou 36

TD run

6:30

OT

1

Ten 16, Den 14

FG

0:17

4

 

7

Ari 37, Sea 34

FG

0:15

OT

2

Dal 40, Atl 39

FG

0:00

4

 

7

Cle 37, Cin 34

TD pass

0:11

4

2

KC 23, LAC 20

FG

1:55

OT

 

7

Det 23, Atl 22

TD pass

0:00

4

2

Ten 33, Jax 30

FG

1:36

4

 

7

Phi 22, NYG 21

TD pass

0:40

4

3

Buf 35, LAR 32

TD pass

0:15

4

 

8

Den 31, LAC 30

TD pass

0:00

4

3

Chi 30, Atl 26

TD pass

1:53

4

 

8

NO 26, Chi 23

FG

1:36

OT

3

Det 26, Ari 23

FG

0:00

4

 

9

NE 30, NYJ 27

FG

0:00

4

3

Sea 38, Dal 31

TD pass

1:47

4

 

10

Ari 32, Buf 30

TD pass

0:02

4

3

Ten 31, Min 30

FG

1:44

4

 

10

Det 30, Was 27

FG

0:00

4

5

Chi 20, TB 19

FG

1:13

4

 

11

Dal 31, Min 28

TD pass

1:37

4

5

Dal 37, NYG 34

FG

0:00

4

 

11

Ind 34, GB 31

FG

7:10

OT

5

NO 30, LAC 27

FG

5:08

OT

 

11

KC 35, LV 31

TD pass

0:28

4

5

Sea 27, Min 26

TD pass

0:15

4

 

11

Ten 30, Bal 24

TD run

5:21

OT

STRIKING DISTANCE: Through 11 weeks, 23 of 32 teams are either in first place or within three games of first place.

  • In five of eight divisions – the AFC East, AFC South, NFC East, NFC South and NFC West – the gap between first and second place is no more than a game and a half.

BRADY-MAHOMES IV: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES leads the Chiefs against TOM BRADY and the Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Including their 2018 AFC Championship contest, Mahomes and Brady are meeting for the fourth time, with Brady having won two of the three previous games, all with his former team, the Patriots.

  • The Buccaneers are allowing the NFL’s fifth-fewest yards per game (310.5), while the Chiefs on offense are averaging 414.1 yards per game, second in the league.
  • Kansas City is 5-0 in road games this season, tied with Pittsburgh for the best road record in the NFL. Chiefs head coach ANDY REID has the fifth-most wins (110) on the road in NFL history, including postseason.

The head coaches with the most wins on the road, including postseason, in NFL history:

COACH

ROAD WINS

Don ShulaHOF

148

George HalasHOF

138

Bill Belichick

128

Tom LandryHOF

119

Andy Reid

110

MEN OF STEEL: The PITTSBURGH STEELERS can clinch the first NFL playoff berth this week, needing a win plus a Miami loss or tie and a Las Vegas loss or tie (and assuming both the Dolphins and Raiders don’t tie). The 16th team since the 1970 league merger to begin a season 10-0, Pittsburgh hosts the BALTIMORE RAVENS on Thanksgiving night (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Over the past 50 seasons, only 11 teams have opened 11-0. Nine of those teams reached the Super Bowl, and five brought home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.​

The teams that began a season 11-0 since 1970:

YEAR

TEAM

RECORD

SEASON RESULT

2015

Carolina

15-1

Advanced to Super Bowl 50

2011

Green Bay

15-1

Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs

2009

Indianapolis

14-2

Advanced to Super Bowl XLIV

2009

New Orleans

13-3

Won Super Bowl XLIV

2007

New England

16-0

Advanced to Super Bowl XLII

2005

Indianapolis

14-2

Advanced to AFC Divisional playoffs

1998

Denver

14-2

Won Super Bowl XXXIII

1991

Washington

14-2

Won Super Bowl XXVI

1985

Chicago

15-1

Won Super Bowl XX

1984

Miami

14-2

Advanced to Super Bowl XIX

1972

Miami

14-0

Won Super Bowl VII

THE CLOSE-GAMES BAROMETER: Good teams win close games, and the data proves it. The CLEVELAND BROWNS, who travel to play Jacksonville on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), are off to their best start since 1994, when they opened 8-2. One of the hallmarks of their overall success in 2020 has been winning close games. The Browns (4-0, 1.000) are one of seven teams this season with a winning percentage of at least .700 in games decided by seven points or less. The PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-0, 1.000), KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0, 1.000), TENNESSEE TITANS (6-1, .857), NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-1, .800), BUFFALO BILLS (4-1, .800) and LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-1, .750) are the others.

  • Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, 86 of 103 teams (83.5 percent) that finished with a .700-or-better winning percentage in games decided by seven points or less have made the playoffs.​

In Week 11, Cleveland defensive end OLIVIER VERNON registered three sacks and a safety, while linebacker SIONE TAKITAKI returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in the Browns’ 22-17 win. Cleveland, which also recorded a safety and an interception return for a touchdown in Week 5, is the fourth team in NFL history to produce two games in the same season with both a safety and an interception-touchdown, joining the 1997 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1996 NEW YORK GIANTS and 1947 PITTSBURGH STEELERS.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville rookie running back JAMES ROBINSON has 1,011 scrimmage yards this season and is the fifth undrafted rookie with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in the common-draft era, joining DOMINIC RHODES (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001), PHILLIP LINDSAY (1,278 in 2018), CLARK GAINES (1,124 in 1976) and LEGARRETTE BLOUNT (1,021 in 2010).

STELLAR YOUNG QUARTERBACKS FACE OFF IN BUFFALO: The LOS ANGELES CHARGERS and BUFFALO BILLS renew a rivalry that dates back to their AFL roots on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS).

  • Last week, Chargers rookie quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for a career-high 366 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 116.5 rating. Meanwhile, Chargers wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN had a career-high 16 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown.
  • With at least 300 yards passing on Sunday, Herbert can match ANDREW LUCK (six games in 2012) for the most 300-yard passing games by a rookie in NFL history. His five such games this year are tied with JOE BURROW (2020), DANIEL JONES (2019) and KYLER MURRAY (2019) for the second-most in league annals.
  • Herbert has five games with at least three touchdown passes this season, the most by a rookie in NFL history. Herbert, who has 22 touchdown passes this season, is also the first rookie quarterback with at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games in NFL history. He can make it eight straight on Sunday.
  • Allen, who leads the NFL with 81 receptions this season, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 15 catches in two career games, joining ANTONIO BROWNBRANDON MARSHALLWES WELKER and JASON WITTEN. Allen has six career games with at least 13 receptions, surpassing ANTONIO BROWN (five games) and WES WELKER (five) for the most in NFL history.
  • Buffalo is coming off a bye. In the Bills’ Week 10 game at Arizona, quarterback JOSH ALLEN passed for 284 yards with two touchdowns and had a touchdown reception. Allen, who had 20 touchdown passes and nine rushing touchdowns in 2019, has 21 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns this season and joins DAK PRESCOTT (2016-18) and DESHAUN WATSON (2018-19) as the only players with at least 20 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history.

BOSTON COMMON: Two of the premier rushing quarterbacks in the NFL face off when the ARIZONA CARDINALS meet the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • Arizona’s KYLER MURRAY leads all quarterbacks and ranks second in the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns, trailing only DALVIN COOK (13). From Weeks 6-10, Murray became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era and fourth quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in five consecutive games. Plus, his 10 rushing touchdowns through Week 10 tied JOHNNY LUJACK (1950) for the most by a quarterback in his team's first nine games of a season in league annals.
  • Among quarterbacks this season, New England’s CAM NEWTON ranks second behind Murray with nine rushing touchdowns. Newton has 67 career rushing touchdowns, the most by a quarterback in NFL history. In 2020, Murray and Newton have established a historic pace through 10 games.

The most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

QUARTERBACK

TEAM

YEAR

RUSH TD

Johnny Lujack

Chicago Bears

1950

10

Kyler Murray

Arizona

2020

10

Cam Newton

New England

2020

9

Cam Newton

Carolina

2011

9

Tobin Rote

Green Bay

1956

9

Kordell Stewart

Pittsburgh

1997

8

Steve Grogan

New England

1976

8

  • Arizona wide receiver DEANDRE HOPKINS leads the NFL with 912 receiving yards this season. Last week, he became the youngest player to reach 700 career receptions and the fifth player in NFL history with 700 receptions in his first eight seasons. Earlier this season, he became the third player in NFL history with at least 800 receiving yards in each of his first eight seasons, joining GARY CLARK and Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE.
 
 

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