NFL Week 12 Recap: Biggest Winners, Losers and Standouts
The teams, players and coaches that had notable results in Week 12 of the 2021-22 NFL season.
By Stone Lexington
Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 • 9:55 AM ET
Derek Carr - Wikimedia Commons
Week 12 of the NFL season has concluded, and several teams shined over the weekend. Others didn’t fare so well. Below are the biggest winners, biggest losers and standouts from Week 12 of the 2021-22 NFL season.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders kept their playoff hopes alive with an overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Daniel Carlson’s game-winning field snapped the Raiders’ three-game losing streak, despite Las Vegas having season highs in penalties (14) and penalty yards (110) against Dallas. Las Vegas also produced a season-high 509 yards of total offense. The Raiders’ first win on Thanksgiving since 1968 allowed them to keep pace in the competitive AFC West, and they’ll host Washington on Sunday.
After losing three of their previous five games, the Buffalo Bills responded with a dominating 31-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes against the Saints, but Buffalo also lost star cornerback Tre’Davious White for the season due to a torn ACL. A big test awaits the Bills in Week 13, as they’ll host division-leading New England on Monday Night Football without White’s services.
Winners of two straight games, the 7-4 Cincinnati Bengals are moving up the AFC standings. The Bengals dominated the Steelers 41-10 on Sunday, completely shutting down Pittsburgh’s offense. Joe Burrow is having a bounce-back season after suffering a torn ACL and MCL a season ago, running back Joe Mixon is having a solid season, and the Bengals defense is inching closer to becoming one of the top units in the league. Cincinnati will seek its eighth win this season when they host the Chargers on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After losing two straight games to struggling opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have bounced back with back-to-back wins. The Bucs defeated the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday and are keeping pace with the top teams in the NFC in hopes of securing the conference’s only bye in the postseason. Tom Brady is once again in MVP conversations, as he leads the league in touchdown passes and is second in yards. The Bucs will face the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday.
New England Patriots
After starting the season with a 2-4 record, the New England Patriots have won a league-high six straight games. New England has blown out four straight opponents, the most recent coming in a 36-13 beatdown of the Tennessee Titans. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones has been steady this season, while the Patriots also allow the fewest points per game (15.8) in the league. The Patriots will look for their seventh straight victory when they play the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night.
Winners of three of their last four games following a four-game losing skid, the Denver Broncos are keeping their postseason hopes alive. The Broncos handed the Chargers a lopsided 28-13 loss on Sunday and sit only a game back of AFC West leaders Kansas City. However, every team in the AFC West has at least six wins, as the division is shaping up to finish the season as one of the league’s toughest to win. The Broncos will travel to Kansas City for a matchup with the Chiefs on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are attempting to keep pace with the Arizona Cardinals in hopes of securing a first-round bye in the playoffs. On Sunday, Green Bay kept that goal alive with a 36-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Aaron Rodgers has played very well, again, this season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Packers reach a third straight NFC Championship game. Green Bay has a bye coming up n Week 13.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers seem to be getting hot at the right time after a 2-4 start to the season. San Francisco has won four of its last five games, including three straight. Their latest victory came against the Vikings on Sunday, and they’ll meet a struggling Seattle Seahawks team in Week 13.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Baltimore Ravens held on to secure a 16-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night. Despite Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throwing four interceptions against Cleveland, Baltimore’s win over the Browns allowed them to stay at the top of the AFC. The Ravens certainly don’t look like a team that has it all figured out, but they’ll have an opportunity to put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the division when they travel to Pittsburgh for a matchup with the Steelers on Sunday.
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In a season that seemed promising for the Cowboys, it suddenly seems to be headed on a downward spiral. The Cowboys have lost three of their last four games after starting the season 6-1, the latest loss coming at home to the Raiders in overtime. If the Cowboys fail to come up on the winning end against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, significant concern for the rest of the season would be understandable.
New Orleans Saints
After starting the season with a 5-2 record, the New Orleans Saints have lost four straight games and fallen to the middle of the pack in the NFC. The Saints’ latest loss came in a home blowout to the Buffalo Bills, which was also New Orleans’ second straight loss by double digits. Since losing quarterback Jameis Winston for the season due to a knee injury in October, the Saints have completely plummeted down the NFC standings. They’ll attempt to get back on track against the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football.
After winning four straight games, the Pittsburgh Steelers have begun to sink in the AFC standings. In their last three games, the Steelers tied the winless Detroit Lions, allowed 41 points in a loss to the Chargers and another 41 points in a blowout loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. It’s plausible to think that this could be longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last season in Pittsburgh.
Since naming the recently returned Cam Newton starting quarterback, the Carolina Panthers have lost two straight games and fallen in the NFC standings. Both losses also came to teams with worse records, starting with Washington last week and a blowout loss to Miami on Sunday. The Panthers started the season at 3-0, but their season has completely gone the other direction since. A looming bye in Week 13 could help the Panthers regroup.
After winning three of their previous four games, it looked like the Eagles were making a push to earn a playoff spot. Then, a deplorable loss to the New York Giants happened on Sunday, and it’s difficult to figure out how Philadelphia will fare down the stretch of the season. With five games left on their regular season schedule, four of them coming within the division, the Eagles still have a chance to return to the postseason.
Los Angeles Chargers
After starting the season with a 4-1 record, it looked like the Chargers were ready to take the next step to becoming postseason contenders. With four losses in their last six games, it’s murky whether the Chargers will even make the postseason. Residing in a stacked division, the Chargers don’t have much room for error down the stretch of the regular season. They’ll attempt to get back to winning in Cincinnati against the Bengals on Sunday.
Los Angeles Rams
After starting the season with a 7-1 record, the Los Angeles Rams have lost three straight games, the latest coming in Green Bay on Sunday. Part of the reason for the losing skid has been the play of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has six turnovers in the last three games. If the Rams aren’t able to defeat Jacksonville at home on Sunday, serious questions will arise regarding the team.
The 5-6 Minnesota Vikings might be the most competitive team in the NFL. All six of their losses this season have come by eight points or fewer, the latest coming in San Francisco to the 49ers on Sunday. The Vikings are still in the playoff picture, but they’ll likely need to win against the Lions on Sunday if they want to achieve their goals this season.
The Cleveland Browns’ season seems to be spiraling down the drain, as the team has lost five of its last eight games. Despite intercepting Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson four times on Sunday, the Browns offense couldn’t produce enough points to get the win. This season began with plenty of promise for the Browns, and they may now be wondering if they have the right signal-caller behind center. The Browns have a bye in Week 13 before facing Baltimore again in Week 14.
(note: These are players or units from teams that won over the weekend.)
Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton - 317 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception in the Bears’ 16-14 victory over Detroit
Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney - 5 receptions, 123 receiving yards in the Bears’ 16-14 victory over Detroit
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr - 373 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions in the Raiders’ 36-33 victory over Dallas
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs - 22 carries, 87 rushing yards, 1 touchdown; 2 receptions, 25 receiving yards in the Raiders’ 36-33 victory over Dallas
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow - 22 carries, 87 rushing yards, 1 touchdown; 8 receptions, 134 receiving yards in the Raiders’ 36-33 victory over Dallas\
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver DeSean Jackson - 3 receptions, 102 receiving yards, 1 touchdown in the Raiders’ 36-33 victory over Dallas
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen - 260 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions; 8 carries, 43 rushing yards in the Bills’ 31-6 victory over New Orleans
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs - 7 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown in the Bills’ 31-6 victory over New Orleans
Buffalo Bills defense - 63 total tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, 3 pass defections, 1 interception in the Bills’ 31-6 victory over New Orleans
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon - 28 carries, 165 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns in the Bengals’ 41-10 victory over Pittsburgh
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins - 6 receptions, 114 receiving yards, 1 touchdown in the Bengals’ 41-10 victory over Pittsburgh
Cincinnati Bengals defense - 57 total tackles, 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 5 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 1 touchdown in the Bengals’ 41-10 victory over Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette - 17 carries, 100 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns; 7 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 38-31 victory over Indianapolis
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski - 7 receptions, 123 receiving yards in the Buccaneers’ 38-31 victory over Indianapolis
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle - 9 receptions, 137 receiving yards, 1 touchdown in the Dolphins’ 33-10 victory over Carolina
Miami Dolphins defense - 46 total tackles, 5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 10 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown in the Dolphins’ 33-10 victory over Carolina
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones - 310 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions in the Patriots’ 36-13 victory over Tennessee
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers - 5 receptions, 98 receiving yards in the Patriots’ 36-13 victory over Tennessee
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones - 5 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns in the Patriots’ 36-13 victory over Tennessee
New York Giants defense - 74 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 10 pass deflections, 3 interceptions in the Giants’ 13-7 victory over Philadelphia
Atlanta Flacons running back/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson - 16 carries, 108 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns; 2 receptions, 27 receiving yards in the Falcons’ 21-14 victory over Jacksonville
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams - 14 carries, 54 rushing yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 57 receiving yards in the Broncos’ 28-13 victory over the Chargers
Denver Broncos defense - 56 total tackles, 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 8 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown in the Broncos’ 28-13 victory over the Chargers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers - 307 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions; 2 carries, 1 rushing touchdown in the Packers’ 36-28 victory over the Rams
Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon - 20 carries, 69 rushing yards; 5 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown in the Packers’ 36-28 victory over the Rams
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams - 8 receptions, 104 receiving yards in the Packers’ 36-28 victory over the Rams
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb - 4 receptions, 95 receiving yards, 1 touchdown in the Packers’ 36-28 victory over the Rams
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell - 27 carries, 133 rushing yards, 1 touchdown; 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards in the 49ers’ 34-26 victory over Minnesota
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel - 6 carries, 66 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns; 1 reception, 12 receiving yards in the 49ers’ 34-26 victory over Minnesota
Washington running back Antonio Gibson - 29 carries, 111 rushing yards; 7 receptions, 35 receiving yards in Washington’s 17-15 victory over Seattle