Joe Murray

Joe Murray

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

NFL Week 12 is here and I already wrote about the Thanksgiving day matchups, so let’s take a look at the rest of the slate and the 4 games I’m most excited to watch.

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OHIO – NOVEMBER 12: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Houston Texans against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.0) @ Houston Texans

The first matchup I want to take a closer look at this week is an AFC South matchup between the 7-3 Jaguars and the 6-4 Texans. This may be my most anticipated game of the weekend as both of these teams have been playing some of their best football of the season and CJ StroudĀ has separated himself from the rest of his rookie QB class.

Jacksonville had been the hottest team in the league until they got steamrolled 34-3 coming out of their bye by the 49ers. The Jags did bounce back last weekend in another AFC South matchup dominating the Titans 34-14. This game has major playoff implications as both teams are jockeying for position in a loaded AFC.

Houston has been the best story in the NFL this season, led by Stroud’s remarkable play as a rookie winning 4 of their last 5. This will be another massive test for the rookie who has stepped up in every test that’s been thrown at him this season. I expect this to be a close game throughout, the Texans won the first matchup 37-17 in week 3. Jacksonville will be feeling the pressure in this one as they need to hold onto the number one seed and split the season series.

  • DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 08: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos attempts a pass during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on January 08, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    DENVER, COLORADO – JANUARY 08: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos attempts a pass during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on January 08, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Cleveland Browns (+1.5) @ Denver Broncos

    The next matchup I want to take a look at it the 7-3 Browns taking on the 5-5 Broncos at mile high. Early in the season I don’t think anyone would expect a Browns-Broncos game to be one of the more anticipated matchups of the week but Russell Wilson is managing games and not making the critical mistakes he was last year that cost his team games.

    While the Browns have one of the best defenses in the league and a huge question mark at quarterback. With Deshaun Watson out for the season I’m sure many Browns fans were expecting the team to lose last weekend to Pittsburgh but the defense played great and rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-RobinsonĀ made just enough plays late to help his team get the win.

    I don’t expect the Browns or Broncos to be serious playoff threats but this is a massive game for both teams looking to keep pace in a loaded AFC playoff race. This will most likely be a low scoring slug fest in Denver and if Wilson can keep his mistakes down he’ll have the Broncos above .500 heading into December, something that seemed impossible at times last season and early in this one.

  • Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Commanders

    LANDOVER, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on October 29, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    Buffalo Bills (+3.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles

    The third matchup I want to look at is a heavyweight battle between two teams who went into the season as Super Bowl hopefuls. The Eagles find themselves at 9-1 on top of the NFC after a massive road win in Arrowhead against the Chiefs, while the Bills are reeling a little bit. Yes they did win last week but it was against the Jets who are starting someone named Tim Boyle at quarterback this week. Prior to this win the Bills lost two straight and looked dysfunctional doing so.

    This is probably the game of the weekend in my opinion as the Eagles are coming off a massive road win in the Super Bowl rematch, and the Bills need a win as desperately as any team with hopes of making a deep playoff run in the league. Will the Eagles have a Super Bowl rematch hangover? Or will they continue to dominate and separate themselves even more atop the NFC?

    On the Bills side of things a loss would mean more question marks, more tweets about Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs relationship and a much harder hill to climb in the loaded AFC.

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