The Seahawks Need to Win & Other Things to Watch During NFL Week 12
As the NFL heads into the final six weeks of the 2014 season, the hottest teams will try to keep their win streaks alive. Here are the most interesting storylines for Week 12:
Thursday, Nov. 20
The Raiders Could Go 0-16
Kansas City at Oakland | O.co Coliseum; 8:25 p.m (ET) on NFL Network
The Raiders finally get a home game on national TV this week. Unfortunately, about the only chance Oakland (0-10) has of beating Kansas City (7-3) is if the Chiefs think the game is on Sunday, not Thursday. The Raiders best shot at avoiding 0-16 in 2014 comes next week in St. Louis. Ugh.
Not everything has been bad for Oakland in 2014. Rookie QB Derek Carr shows promise (not in the photo above, though) and young linebackers Sio Moore and Khalil Mack have bright futures ahead of them…just maybe not this week against Jamaal Charles and KC's fourth-ranked rushing offense. Likely the darlings of everyone's Week 12 survivor pools, the Chiefs should victimize the Raiders' shoddy run defense and win their sixth straight game.
Sunday, Nov. 23
Jonas Gray Probably Won't Score 4 TDs Against Detroit
Detroit at New England | Gillette Stadium; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
New England (8-2) carries a six-game win streak into Week 12. Last week, the previously anonymous Jonas Gray ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns against the clueless Colts. Gray is less likely to repeat his feat against the Lions — the NFL's best run defense. It's more likely that Gray will join the legion of Pats' running backs who have become one-week legends on fantasy football waiver wires.
Remember last week when Detroit (7-3) was one of the best teams in the NFC? Hopefully they enjoyed it. If the Lions lose to the red-hot Patriots on the road on Sunday, Detroit could soon wind up on the outside of the competitive NFC playoff field. Dallas and Philadelphia could pass Jim Caldwell's team with victories in their respective contests, and Seattle and San Francisco seem like locks to catch the Lions in the standings.
The Seahawks Need To Win
Arizona at Seattle | CenturyLink Field; 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Despite entering the season as reigning champs, Seattle (6-4) hasn't been anywhere near dominant in 2014 and now needs to fight to get into the playoffs. Considering they are on the road at San Francisco and Philadelphia the next two weeks, the Seahawks must beat the surprising NFC West-leading Cardinals this Sunday to jump-start their run.
Before Arizona (9-1) can start thinking about home-field advantage through the Super Bowl, they have to face a gauntlet of impressive teams, including two games against Seattle. If quarterback Drew Stanton can continue the Cardinals' magic run through the Legion of Boom, no one will be asking the 'Are they for real?' question anymore.
The Cowboys Need To Be Road Warriors
Dallas at N.Y. Giants | MetLife Stadium; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Locked in a first-place tie with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead, Dallas (7-3) has to feel good about seeing the lowly Giants, Bears and Redskins left on the schedule. Problem: all three games are on the road, where anything can happen.
The Cowboys play four of their last six games away from AT&T Stadium, so Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant must prove that they are indeed road warriors if Dallas is to return to the playoffs. New York (3-7) has little left to play for in 2014, and it showed during the loss to the Niners last week.
Monday, Nov. 24
The Ravens Wish They Were In The Saints' Division
Baltimore at New Orleans | Mercedes-Benz Superdome; 8:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Baltimore (6-4) has played winning football and still finds itself tied for last in the tough AFC North. If only the Ravens were in the NFC South, where every team sucks. Speaking of which…despite two straight home losses, New Orleans (4-6) still has the best team in its dreadful division. The Saints are tied with Atlanta for the NFC South lead, but Drew Brees and Co. need to start playing like a playoff team if they want to actually make the playoffs.
Sunday, Nov. 23
Cleveland at Atlanta | Georgia Dome; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Tennessee at Philadelphia | Lincoln Financial Field; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Green Bay at Minnesota | TCF Bank Stadium; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Jacksonville at Indianapolis | Lucas Oil Stadium; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Cincinnati at Houston | NRG Stadium; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo | Ralph Wilson Stadium; 1 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Tampa Bay at Chicago | Soldier Field; 1 p.m. (ET) on Fox
St. Louis at San Diego | Qualcomm Stadium; 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Miami at Denver | Sports Authority Field at Mile High; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Washington at San Francisco | Levi's Stadium; 4:25 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Bye: Pittsburgh, Carolina