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The Week 12 NFL schedule for the 2022 season begins with three Thanksgiving Day games, and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game and a bold prediction for every game.
Plus, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes into the numbers with a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe also dispenses useful fantasy football information. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us final results for all three contests. Everything you want to know is here in one place to help you get ready for a packed afternoon of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Thanksgiving Day slate, including Josh Allen against the Lions and an NFC East matchup between the Giants and Cowboys. The football-packed holiday culminates with a match between the Patriots and the Vikings. Who will take another step closer to the postseason with a win on Thursday?
Jump to a matchup:
BUF-DET | NYG VALLEY | NE-MIN
12:30 PM ET | CBS | Dispersion: BUF -9 (54)
What to look out for: After a 1-6 start, the red-hot Lions look to extend a rare three-game winning streak in their first nationally televised game of the season. But the Bills are one of the toughest teams in the league and are already familiar with Ford Field, having just played in the Motor City after a blizzard forced them to switch sites in Week 11. The holiday showdown could be a shootout with both top-ranked teams six in points per game, yards per game and yards per play through 10 competitions. –Eric Woodyard
Cool forecast: Bills quarterback Josh Allen will have a full get-right game, throwing for 300-plus yards and rushing for at least 50 more. After a rough first half against the Browns, he had a strong second half performance in the win, completing 81.8% of his passes and throwing for 10.3 yards per carry. attempt. The Lions’ defense has allowed the most yards per game. match (415.9) and per pass attempts (8.1) in the NFL. The Bills’ offense started moving in the right direction over the final two quarters on Sunday, and playing the Lions will be a big opportunity for a complete performance. –Alaina Getzenberg
State to know: The Lions are looking for their third straight game with 30 points, which would be their longest single-season streak since 1997. A big reason they’re picking up points is running back Jamaal Williams, whose 12 rushing TDs this year are the most in the NFL and the sixth-most in a single season in franchise history. Williams now has five games with multiple rushing touchdowns in 2022, tied for the most in a season by a Lions player since 1950.
damages: Bills | Lions
What you need to know about fantasy: Buffalo running back Devin Singletary has reached 15 fantasy points three times this season, with two of those instances coming in the last two weeks. He has totaled 133 rushing yards (66.5 per game) and three rushing TDs over his last two games. See rankings in week 12.
Game block: Since 2004, Detroit is 3-11 against the spread and 0-14 straight up as an underdog on Thanksgiving. Detroit’s last upset win on Thanksgiving came in 2003 against Green Bay (+7). Read more.
Thanksgiving Day Return: On Thanksgiving in 1997, Detroit running back Barry Sanders rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears in a 55-20 Lions victory. Read more.
Moody’s Choice: Bills 31, Lions 20
Walder’s choice: Bills 34, Lions 17
FPI forecast: BUF, 82.7% (with an average of 11.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Bills credit Buffalo community after win: ‘It was for you’ … Williams starred during Lions’ streak
4:30 PM ET | FOX | Dispersion: DAL -9 (44.5)
What to look out for: The Cowboys have won five straight against New York at AT&T Stadium and 11 of 12 overall against their NFC East rivals. This will be the two teams’ first Thanksgiving meeting since 1992, a 30-3 Dallas victory. But the holidays haven’t been kind to the Cowboys lately. They have lost three straight Thanksgiving Day games, their longest such streak since dropping four in a row from 1986 to 1989. –Todd Archer
Cool forecast: Giants running back Saquon Barkley will rush for over 140 yards to keep the game close. The shorthanded Giants have no choice but to rely on Barkley even more than usual. That could work against a Dallas defense whose weakness stops the run. The Cowboys rank 26th in rushing defense (136.1 yards against per game), and Barkley already has two games with 30 or more carries and 140-plus yards. Make it three. — Jordan Raanan
State to know: No quarterback is throwing touchdowns at a higher rate against the blitz since the start of last season than the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott (11.4%). He has thrown 25 such touchdowns in that time frame, most in the NFL. That could be a problem for New York on Thursday. The Giants blitz at the NFL’s highest rate (43%).
damages: Fighting | cowboys
What you need to know about fantasy: Dallas running back Tony Pollard has gained 464 yards on his 61 touches over the past three games, while backfield mate Ezekiel Elliott has picked up 241 yards on his last 61 touches. Pollard also has six scrimmage touchdowns since Week 8, tied for the most in the NFL over that span with Jamaal Williams. His four straight games with 100 yards from scrimmage is also the longest active streak in the league. See rankings in week 12.
Stephania Bell and Field Yates break down the fantasy output of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott.
Game block: Since 2020, New York is 7-0 against the spread in short-rest games — and all have been with Daniel Jones as its starting quarterback. Read more.
Thanksgiving Day Return: In 1982, Giants defensive end Lawrence Taylor intercepted Lions quarterback Gary Danielson in the fourth quarter and returned it 97 yards to the house for the go-ahead — and ultimately game-winning — touchdown. Read more.
Moody’s Choice: Cowboys 28, Giants 21
Walder’s choice: Cowboys 24, Giants 20
FPI forecast: DAL, 87.2% (with an average of 13.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: What does Jones need to prove to be a part of the Giants’ future? … Where do Cowboys’ Elliott, Pollard rank among elite RB duos? … Were the Giants exposed in Week 11? … Giants WR Robinson out for season with torn ACL … What Chef Hoppie cooks up for Cowboys’ stars on Thanksgiving
8:20 PM ET | nbc | Dispersion: MIN -2.5 (42)
What to look out for: The Patriots have had their way with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in two matchups against him, beating his team both times and holding him to an average of 5.0 yards per carry. tries – his lowest against any team he has faced in multiple games. This season, the Patriots field the kind of defense that also gives him trouble. They create pressure on 34% of opponents’ dropbacks, the third-highest rate in the NFL. The Vikings will be without standout left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion), and Cousins’ QBR is down 60 points when under pressure in 2022. –Kevin Seifert
Cool forecast: Quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots’ struggling red-zone offense — which ranks 31st in the NFL in TD percentage (12 of 28 drives, 42.9%) — will break out of a slump and score twice inside from the 20-yard line. line. It’s an area where the Vikings have struggled to defend, as they rank last in the NFL in opposing touchdown percentage (20 TDs against in 28 drives, 71.4%). –Mike Reiss
State to know: The Patriots have allowed 17 or fewer points in all six of their wins this season (0-4 when allowing more than 17 points) and have now gone two straight games without allowing a touchdown. New England has gone three straight without a TD against once before in franchise history (2018-2019), and the Vikings failed to score a touchdown in Week 11 for the first time in their last 93 games.
damages: Patriots | Vikings
What you need to know about fantasy: Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson averaged just 6.3 fantasy points last week in the blowout loss to the Cowboys after clearing 15 in each of his previous six games. The last time he failed to catch five passes in a game was Week 3, and he followed that dud up with consecutive double-digit catching efforts. See rankings in week 12.
Betting nugget: Minnesota (4-5-1 ATS) and Kansas City (4-6 ATS) are the third and fourth teams in the past 20 seasons to start 8-2 or better straight up but have losing records against the spread (2018 Rams, 2012 Ravens ). Read more.
Thanksgiving Day Return: In 1998, Vikings receiver Randy Moss caught three passes for 163 yards against the Cowboys — and all three went for touchdowns. Read more.
Moody’s Choice: Vikings 24, Patriots 14
Walder’s choice: Vikings 27, Patriots 19
FPI forecast: MIN, 62.6% (with an average of 3.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Patriots’ punt return TD with seconds left silences Jets … After one of the worst losses ever for an 8-1 team, the Vikings’ narrative changes again … Patriots hope to ‘flip the switch’ in the red zone and score more TDs . .. Jefferson, Vikings look to regroup after ’embarrassing’ loss