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Lessons, great questions for every game

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Welcome to Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season, which opened on Thanksgiving Day with three games.

The Detroit Lions have hosted Thanksgiving games for 88 years but haven’t had much success lately. The Buffalo Bills completed a late comeback to defeat the Lions, who have won just six Thanksgiving games since 2000.

The Dallas Cowboys, who like the Lions host a Thanksgiving game every season, ended a three-game losing streak at the holiday with a win over NFC East rivals the New York Giants.

In a late Thanksgiving game, the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots battled back and forth from the get-go until the Vikings pulled away late for the victory.

Our NFL Nation reporters react to the biggest takeaways and lingering questions from this week’s games and look forward to what’s next. Let’s go to her.

Jump to match:

BUF-DET | NYG Valley | inaccurate

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Vikings

what do you know: The Vikings reversed the bad karma of their historic Week 11 loss to the Cowboys by defeating the Patriots, their second victory over a winning team in the past three weeks. At 9-2, closing in on the NFC North title and still within range of the #1 seed in the NFC, the Vikings are back in the discussion as one of the NFL’s best teams. They have now won all eight games they have played decided by one possession, tying the longest single-season such-game winning streak in league history.

Is there anything the Vikings can’t do Justin Jefferson? At this point, it’s hard to think of anything! Thursday night, he caught nine of 11 passes thrown his way for 139 yards and a touchdown against a defense that has mixed coverage against him as well as against any opponent this season. quarterback Kirk Cousins He said the Patriots change up the kind of double teams they used against him and only occasionally let him in on true one-on-one coverage. – Kevin Seifert

Next match: vs. the Jets (Dec. 4, 1 p.m. ET)


Patriots

what do you know: The Patriots were 0-for-3 in the red zone, 3-of-10 in the third down, and committed five penalties that put the Vikings down first. This is not the formula for winning football. The Patriots entered the game as the NFL’s 31st-ranked red zone offense and were facing the league’s red zone defense. The red zone remains a major concern.

If the Patriots couldn’t stop Justin Jefferson, what would they do against him? Stephen Diggs next week? as such Devin McCourty After the game, “We play this way against the No. 1 players, it’s going to be a long year.” The Patriots defense stepped up the line, facing quarterbacks Kirk Cousins ​​and Jefferson, and the results looked a lot different than in previous weeks against less threatening offenses. They’ll face plenty of offensive firepower the rest of the way – starting in Buffalo next week. – Mike Reese

Next match: Against the Bills (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Invoices

what do you know: The Bills offense has some issues, but their stars perform when they need to and it’s an important step. Coming into the game, Buffalo has been 1-9 when trailing in the fourth quarter for the past two years. But quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stephen Diggs He led the unit down on consecutive drives, connecting on five targets for 65 yards and a score on the last two touchdowns to win the game. But optimization in the red remains a priority for the offense.

What’s next at Cornerback? noon corner Tre’Davious White He was active for the first time since tearing his ACL on Thanksgiving Day last year, but he only played the first two series (15 catches). After that, Buffalo played mostly rookie Christian Binford And the Dean Jackson. Coach Sean McDermott said White played in the range of shots they expected. With a big game facing the Patriots, White’s availability could be key as the defense continues to allow No. 1 opposing receivers to go over 100 yards in games. – Alaina Getzenberg

Next match: at the Patriots (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


black

what do you know: The Detroit Lions proved they can compete with the league’s MVP after a close loss to the Buffalo Bills. Now they have to figure out a way to win those tight games by managing the clock and making better decisions. The Lions are 2-7 against teams currently .500 or better. All of their games against teams that are currently .500 or better have been except for wins over the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.

is full back James HoustonFor the first time in a real performance? To some extent, but let’s not get carried away. He isn’t expected to put up two sacks with a fumble recovery per game, but the Lions can find a role for him. He became the first player to carry two sacks in his NFL debut since 2017 (Miles Garrett And the TJ Watt). Nobody is asking him to become that player, but the Lions defense, which ranks last in win rate in pass speed (29.1%), could use a defensive playmaker alongside a fellow rookie. Aidan Hutchinson. – Eric Woodyard

Next match: vs. Jaguar (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Cowboys

what do you know: This may be the 12 days that make up cowboy season. After losing to Green Bay in overtime on November 13, the Cowboys responded with two wins in four days with wins over the Minnesota and New York Giants. They were nearly perfect against the Vikings and less so against the Giants, but went 8-3 and swept their divisional rivals. “It was a victory,” he said. Duck Prescott, who bounced back from two interceptions in the first half with two goals in the second period. “It was a win over an opponent in the division and sometimes all that matters is the win.”

Do cowboys need to sign Odell Beckham Jr.? Maybe they don’t. Sir Lamb He has two 100-yard receiving games in the last three games. Michael Gallup He is showing signs that his surgically repaired knee is no longer an issue. and the narrow end group of Dalton SchultzAnd the Jake FergusonAnd the Peyton Hendershot And the Sean McCune It shows that he can be a distinct part of the crime. Beckham might be a Cowboy, but they wouldn’t need him to be their main receiver. He can come in, after a long hiatus from a torn ACL, and be a contributor. – Todd Archer

Next match: vs. the Colts (Dec. 4, 8:20 p.m. ET)


giants

what do you know: So maybe making the playoffs can be a struggle for this Giants team, especially with all the injuries. They are not talented or deep enough and it shows when they play better opponents. New York (7-4) outscored the milestone in the first half of the season but that’s a losing streak now, and the schedule isn’t about to get any easier. The contrasts with Washington would be enormous. They appear to be the Giants’ biggest threat to the NFC’s recent wild card spot.

Will the Giants be healthy for the extended run? After Thursday’s loss, coach Brian Dabul indicated that he doesn’t think any of the recent injuries will be long-term. The Giants were already expecting to start outside linebacker Dear OgollariGuard left Ben Bredison The right tackle Evan Neil They return for their next game against Washington. Daboll’s comments seem to be referring to the corner back Fabian Moreau It can come back as well. Those are four very important players who should return relatively soon for the Giants’ extended running back. Jordan Raanan

Next match: Against the Leaders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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