NFL Winners and Losers from Week 12: Steelers finally explode, Patriots reach crisis

The Week 12 NFL slate gave us plenty to celebrate and just as much to lament.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Week 12 NFL afternoon slate appeared relatively tepid at first glance, but several key games took place. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals battled for position in the AFC North. The Atlanta Falcons re-took first place in the NFC South with a win over the New Orleans Saints. And, in the AFC South, the Jacksonville Jaguars cushioned their division lead with a win over C.J. Stroud's Houston Texans.

Of course, we here at FanSided strive for balance. For all the positivity to be gleaned from the Week 12 NFL games, there is also negativity... winners, and losers.

So, as we enter the home stretch of the NFL regular season, here are the standouts (for better and for worse) from a busy week of football.

NFL Week 12 winner: Steelers offense

The Steelers' offense registered 421 yards on Sunday. The Bengals' offense registered 222 yards. For the first time all season, the Steelers outgained an opponent. And, for the first time since Matt Canada was hired in 2021, the Steelers' offense broke the 400-yard threshold.

A truly momentous afternoon in the aftermath of Canada's long-awaited departure.

Kenny Pickett put together one of his best games of the season, completing 24-of-33 passes for 278 yards. He was especially in tune with Pat Freiermuth, who vacuumed up nine of 11 targets for 120 yards — a connection the new offensive play-callers should continue to tap into.

Jaylen Warren was curiously out-carried by Najee Harris, 15 to 13, but the latter put together a tremendous 99-yard, one-touchdown performance. So, it's hard to complain.

The Steelers scored points, moved the ball in a variety of ways, and won the football game to advance to 7-4. Things are looking up in the City of Bridges.