NFL

NFL Week 12 preview: Breaking down every game in 3 stats

A Thanksgiving triple header gets the Week 12 slate rolling, and we’re blessed with a great game Sunday between the Buccaneers and Chiefs.

Matchup
Houston Texans
3-7
Detroit Lions
4-6
Thursday, Nov. 26
12:30 p.m. ET
CBS
HOU -3

Best mismatch for Texans: Big day for Deshaun. Detroit’s coverage issues are well-chronicled, and it ranks 31st with 41 quarterback hits. Deshaun Watson should have ample time to find a target.

Best mismatch for Lions: Ball security. The Lions rank T-6th in turnovers with only 10 this season, while Houston is dead last in takeaways (5).

Stat to know: Detroit has allowed 253 first downs, only better than Seattle.

Matchup
Washington Football Team
3-7
Dallas Cowboys
3-7
Thursday, Nov. 26
4:30 p.m. ET
FOX
DAL -3

Best mismatch for Football Team: Crash the party. Dallas’ offensive line is decimated, and Washington ranks T-2nd in sack percentage (9.4%).

Best mismatch for Cowboys: Take a stand. Washington is 29th in scoring percentage per drive (33.0%) and yards per play (5.0). Dallas’ defense has been awful, but this is a chance to get right.

Stat to know: The Cowboys rank second with 250 first downs, while Washington is second-best defensively in allowing only 187 first downs against.

Matchup
Baltimore Ravens
6-4
Pittsburgh Steelers
10-0
Thursday, Nov. 26
8:20 p.m. ET
NBC
PIT -4

Best mismatch for Ravens: Limit the damage. Pittsburgh rans 31st in yards per completion (9.9) while Baltimore is T-3rd defensively in the statistic (10.2).

Best mismatch for Steelers: Hit Lamar Jackson. Baltimore ranks 27th in sack percentage against (7.9%). Pittsburgh leads the league in sacks (38), pressure rate (34.3%) and quarterback knockdowns (41).

Stat to know: The Ravens 44.8%) and Steelers (41.9%) blitz the most of any NFL teams.

Matchup
Arizona Cardinals
6-4
New England Patriots
4-6
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
FOX
AZ -2.5

Best mismatch for Cardinals: Throw it around. The Patriots allow the most yards per attempt (8.7) and per completion (12.6) in football. Could be a big day for Kyler Murray.

Best mismatch for Patriots: Create pressure. New England can get home, evidenced by its league-best hurry (15.7%) and second-ranked pressure (26.5%) rates.

Stat to know: The Cardinals have taken the most penalties (79) in football while New England has been whistled for the fewest (36).

Matchup
Carolina Panthers
4-7
Minnesota Vikings
4-6
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
FOX
MIN -4

Best mismatch for Panthers: Force the issue. Minnesota is sixth-worst in football with 16 turnovers. Carolina’s defense will have chances to make the big play.

Best mismatch for Vikings: Move those sticks. Minnesota averages 6.5 yards per play, best in the NFL. Carolina is a middling 18th defensively (5.7) din the metric.

Stat to know: The Vikings and Panthers allow drives to end in scores 49.1 percent of the time, tied for worst in football.

Matchup
Cleveland Browns
7-3
Jacksonville Jaguars
1-9
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
CBS
CLE -6.5

Best mismatch for Browns: Take a breath. Baker Mayfield has struggled under pressure this season, but Jacksonville has a league-low nine sacks. He’ll have time.

Best mismatch for Jaguars: Protect the house. Cleveland ranks last in quarterback knockdown rate (4.0%) T-25th in pressure rate (19.7%) and will be without Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward. Jacksonville will have a chance to hit some big plays

Stat to know: The Jaguars allow 2.66 points per drive, ranking 31st in the NFL.

Matchup
Los Angeles Chargers
3-7
Buffalo Bills
7-3
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
CBS
BUF -5.5

Best mismatch for Chargers: Stay on the field. Los Angeles’ offense is seventh on third down (47.5%) while Buffalo’s defense is 26th (46.5%) in the statistic.

Best mismatch for Bills: Launch it. Los Angeles ranks 29th in air yards against (1,700). Josh Allen could have a big day hitting go routes with Stefon Diggs.

Stat to know: Los Angeles blitzes less (15.7%) than any team this season.

Matchup
Las Vegas Raiders
6-4
Atlanta Falcons
3-7
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
CBS
LV -3

Best mismatch for Raiders: Go for broke. Henry Ruggs and Nelson Agholor could have big days. Atlanta ranks 31st in air yardage allowed (1,854) and 30th in yards after catch (1,396).

Best mismatch for Falcons: Score those points. Las Vegas ranks last in allowing 2.78 points per drive. Atlanta has the offensive firepower to score early and often.

Stat to know: The Raiders have the best third-down offense in football, converting 51.6 percent of attempts into first downs.

Matchup
Miami Dolphins
6-4
New York Jets
0-10
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
CBS
MIA -7

Best mismatch for Dolphins: Being on defense. The Jets are league-worst in the red zone (38.1%), in points per drive (1.35), yards per play (4.6) and net yards gained per pass attempt (4.8).

Best mismatch for Jets: Inexperience. This will be Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth start, and he was benched last week. New York defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is known for bringing heat. He’ll need to force errors.

Stat to know: New York has missed a league-high 100 tackles this season.

Matchup
New York Giants
3-7
Cincinnati Bengals
2-7-1
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
FOX
NYG -5.5

Best mismatch for Giants: Get after the quarterback. New York ranks 11th in sack rate (6.5%) and 12th in sacks (25). Only the Eagles have allowed more sacks than Cincinnati (36).

Best mismatch for Bengals: Force the big mistake. Without Joe Burrow, Cincinnati needs errors. New York has allowed 31 sacks, fifth-most in the NFL. The Giants are also T-9th in interception rate (2.7%).

Stat to know: The red zone. New York is T-30th at 48.1 percent inside the 20-yard line, while Cincinnati’s defense is 29th (71.1%).

Matchup
Tennessee Titans
7-3
Indianapolis Colts
7-3
Sunday, Nov. 29
1 p.m. ET
CBS
IND -3.5

Best mismatch for Titans: Indianapolis has feasted on turnovers, creating the third-most in football (17). However, Tennessee only turns the ball over on 4.9 percent of drives, best in the league.

Best mismatch for Colts: Stand and fire. Tennessee has the worst pressure rate (17.5%) in football, and is without Jadeveon Clowney. Indianapolis is second-best in sack rate (2.9%), giving Philip Rivers great protection.

Stat to know: Tennessee has the league’s worst third-down defense at 54.0 percent of conversions allowed.

Matchup
New Orleans Saints
8-2
Denver Broncos
4-6
Sunday, Nov. 29
4 p.m. ET
FOX
NO -5.5

Best mismatch for Saints: No connection. Denver’s completion rate (56.7) ranks 32nd, while Nw Orleans holds opponents to a 63.6 completion percentage, 11th-best.

Best mismatch for Broncos: Bring the heat. Facing Taysom Hill in his second-career start, the Broncos’ best chance is their third-ranked pressure rate (26.0%).

Stat to know: Denver turns the ball over on 19 percent of its drives, worst in the NFL.

Matchup
San Francisco 49ers
4-6
Los Angeles Rams
7-3
Sunday, Nov. 29
4 p.m. ET
FOX
LAR -7

Best mismatch for 49ers: No easy yards. San Francisco is T-6th defensive in yards per carry (3.9) while Los Angeles is a middling T-15th at 4.2 YPC.

Best mismatch for Rams: Don’t try it. The Rams rank first in yards per attempt (6.1) and completions. against (9.7). Nick Mullens will be in for a long day.

Stat to know: Los Angeles allows touchdowns on only three percent of pass attempts, the best mark in football.

Matchup
Kansas City Chiefs
9-1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7-4
Sunday, Nov. 29
4:25 p.m. ET
CBS
KC -3.5

Best mismatch for Chiefs: No deep shots. Kansas City ranks second in air yards allowed (1,067) while Tom Brady is 3-of-36 since Week 5 throwing passes 20+ yards downfield.

Best mismatch for Buccaneers: Punch it in. The Chiefs have the worst red zone defense (75.1%) in football while Tampa Bay ranks fifth offensively (72.1%) in the metric.

Stat to know: Kansas City averages 42.2 yards per drive, on pace to be an NFL record.

Matchup
Chicago Bears
5-5
Green Bay Packers
7-3
Sunday, Nov. 29
8:20 p.m. ET
NBC
GB -8.5

Best mismatch for Bears: Time to be had. Nick Foles will have a few seconds to throw. Green Bay is 30th in quarterback hits (43), 31st in QB knockdowns (5.9%) and 29th in pressure rate (29.5%).

Best mismatch for Packers: Make Foles win. Chicago has the worst yards per attempt (3.6) in football. Green Bay is T-18th (4.4) defensively in the metric. Stop the run, force the pass.

Stat to know: Who wins the red zone? Chicago is tops defensively (44.1%) while Green Bay’s offense is fourth (73.7%).

Matchup
Seattle Seahawks
7-3
Philadelphia Eagles
3-6-1
Monday, Nov. 30
8:15 p.m. ET
ESPN
SEA -5.5

Best mismatch for Seahawks: Wentz in trouble. The Seahawks rank fourth in yards per rush against (3.6). Seattle must stuff the run and force Carson Wentz, who leads the league with 18 turnovers, to beat them in passing situations.

Best mismatch for Eagles: Hit them deep. Seattle has allowed 2,167 air yards, a full 313 yards more than any other team. Wentz has to stand tall and launch.

Stat to know: Philadelphia has allowed 40 sacks, most in the NFL.