We’ve reached Monday night, which is typically the end of the NFL week, but in this case we have another game Tuesday. Such is the world of COVID, which has had a huge impact on Week 12 of the NFL season. Instead of three games on Thanksgiving, we got two. And now we get that Thanksgiving night game on Tuesday, and no Thursday night game in Week 13. It’s all a lot to keep track of as fantasy managers.
You might also need some kind of miracle to salvage Week 12, especially if you lined up opposite Tyreek Hill, Antonio Gibson or Patrick Mahomes. We’ll weigh the options for a miracle with tonight’s matchup in a minute. First, let’s consider what we learned from the rest of Week 12.
The Broncos Offense Was Pitiful
On Saturday, the Broncos found out all three of their healthy quarterbacks were ruled out for close contact in the COVID protocol after backup Jeff Driskel tested positive on Thursday. That didn’t leave a lot of options. The Broncos tried, unsuccessfully, to move one of their coaches to the roster to start the game. Instead, they called up a rookie receiver from their practice squad, Kendall Hinton, to “play” the position. Hinton attempted nine passes, completing one for 13 yards and two interceptions. The Broncos also used the Wildcat with Philip Lindsay, before he got injured, and Royce Freeman. It was an ugly exhibition, and one that was painful to watch. Hinton did great considering the situation, but the fact the game proceeded in that fashion felt like something of a joke. The Broncos became the first time in nine seasons to go without a completed pass in the first half, and the first team since Ryan Leaf led the Chargers to have more interceptions than completions. Let’s hope we see one of the team’s four quarterbacks on Sunday Night Football against the Chiefs.
The Giants Are In First in the NFC East
But don’t expect it to last. They beat the Brandon Allen-led Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but lost quarterback Daniel Jones in the process. His hamstring injury is suspected to be somewhat serious, meaning he could miss some time. The Giants were in great position having swept Washington to earn a tie-breaker, but this figures to be something of a setback as Colt McCoy likely takes over on the field. With the next three at the Seahawks, home for the Cardinals and home for the Browns, it figures to be a tough path to winning the NFC East.
The Chiefs Have the League’s Best Offense
I know, others might want to quibble. But against a Tampa Bay team with Tom Brady that was at home in a must win game, Tyreek Hill caught more than 200 yards worth of passes in the first quarter. Patrick Mahomes went for more than 450 yards, threw for three touchdowns and helped the Chiefs to their 10th win of the season. This coming a week after a solid come-from-behind win in Las Vegas against the Raiders. Mahomes is humming, and Hill and Travis Kelce give him a great pair of receivers. The Steelers might still be unbeaten and technically the top seed in the AFC, but it’s starting to look like the defending champs are THE team to beat.
Now on to Monday Night Football.
Seattle Seahawks (7-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)
Tonight’s battle between the Seahawks and the Eagles has massive playoff implications. Two weeks ago the Seahawks were in a three-way tie atop the NFC West with the Rams and Cardinals at 6-3. Thanks to some division losses, the Seahawks were actually third in that group. The Cardinals have since lost two straight, dropping to 6-5 on the season. The Rams, meanwhile, lost to the 49ers yesterday, falling to 7-4. So with a win Monday, the Seahawks will again be on top in the NFC West, sitting at 8-3, alone in first and chasing the Saints for the top seed in the NFC.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have had a pitiful season, going 3-6-1. But up until this week, they’ve been perched atop the NFC East. They could be again, too, if they can manage a win tonight. If not, the questions that have emerged about Carson Wentz will continue to pile up, especially as rumors leaked that Jalen Hurts has been taking first team reps. So what are we expecting tonight?
For the visiting Seahawks, Russell Wilson is a QB1, D.K. Metcalf is a WR1 and Tyler Lockett is a high-end WR2. Chris Carson is due back, and should be a borderline RB1 as well. In short, roll out your Seahawk stars with confidence, and hope for big performances to help close the gap in matchups where you need a boost.
For the Eagles, I’m less bullish. Based on talent and opportunity for touches, Miles Sanders is a solid play at RB. Zach Ertz is unlikely to play, so that means Dallas Goedert is a strong play at tight end. Among receivers, Travis Fulgham has cooled, but Jalen Reagor is back, and he’s the receiver I prefer if pressed. The real question is Wentz. Can he bounce back? Will he bounce back? I’m hesitant to start him this week until we get some answers to this question.
Prediction: I think the Seahawks win and move back into the race at the top of the NFC.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.