NFL Week 12 Takeaways

Denver broncos
"Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks" by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Week 12 is usually one of the most important on the NFL schedule, as teams look to gauge how their season is going around the Thanksgiving holiday. Certain franchises are hoping to step up their play in order to make a playoff push, while others are starting to understand that this may not be their year.

Let’s take a closer look at three main takeaways from the contests played in Week 12.

Denver’s Season Is A Train Wreck

As if the Broncos haven’t endured enough turmoil during the 2022 season, their campaign hit a new low point with their loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The cruel juxtaposition of the Panthers’ situation compared to the now dire scenario playing out in Denver was pretty poetic.

Carolina was team who desperately searched under every rock to find answers at the quarterback position. They didn’t necessarily swing for the fences at that position, and have had a rotating cast of characters themselves. On Sunday, the Panthers decided to start Sam Darnold, whose NFL career has not panned out the way many thought it would.

The Broncos moved heaven and Earth to try and get an established quarterback this offseason, and they found themselves losing to Carolina, a team whose signal caller room was supposed to be a lot worse. With a boatload of guaranteed money heading Russell Wilson’s way, and a relatively bare draft chest, Denver’s outlook is not looking great.

Are The Jets Sneaky Good Again?

The days leading up to New York’s Week 12 contest with the Chicago Bears featured a lot of frustration and concern about starter Zach Wilson’s performance against the New England Patriots. Supporters of the Jets opined that the talent on the roster was playoff caliber, and that the lack of production they were receiving from the quarterback was holding them back.

Head coach Robert Saleh decided to bench Wilson, and elected to start Mike White instead. White’s career numbers are nothing to write home about, but he’s shown the ability to push the ball down the field in prior starts with the Jets. In a game which was largely played in inclement weather, White showed out, throwing for 315 yards and three touchdowns, while completing passes at nearly an 80% clip.

The upgrade that White represented over Wilson was noticeably stark, and if he’s able to play at a similar level down the stretch, the Jets might be a team no one wants to play in January.

Tennessee Is Solid, But…

Perhaps the best matchup of Week 12 featured a rematch of a playoff game last year between the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans. Both teams have similar dreams of advancing deep into this year’s postseason, and the tilt would figure to be a good litmus test for where they stood.

It was a close game throughout, but the Bengals were able to outlast Tennessee in a 20-16 victory. The script of Sunday’s game was reminiscent of the one that played out last January.

If someone told the Titans that they were going to limit Cincinnati to 20 points, they probably would’ve signed up for it. However, they can’t seem to overcome deficits against good teams, as their offense can only sustain being even or ahead with their power running game. Tennessee won’t beat themselves, but it’s hard to imagine them making enough plays to come back against playoff level competition.