The Week 12 NFL schedule is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Fantasy‘s Kyle Soppe and ESPN Chalk‘s Dave Bearman hand out helpful nuggets as well. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 61.1 | Spread: ARI -2 (49.5)
What to watch for: The Cardinals lead the NFL in accepted penalties (79), while the Patriots have the fewest in the league (36). But the Patriots are coming off a rare seven-penalty game in a loss to Houston, which could be a sign that things are headed in the wrong direction for them. How much does the penalty discrepancy show up on Sunday? — Mike Reiss
Bold prediction: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will make up for his injured right shoulder with his feet. He’ll run for 125 yards — a career high — as the defense-minded Bill Belichick will be forced to pull out all the stops while trying to slow the young phenom. — Josh Weinfuss
Stat to know: Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL with 912 receiving yards. He is seeking to become just the fifth Cardinals player in the Super Bowl era with at least 1,000 receiving yards through 11 team games and the first since Larry Fitzgerald did it in 2008.
What to know for fantasy: Feeling lucky? Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk has as many 20-point fantasy games this season as he does games with eight or fewer fantasy points (three). See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Arizona is 5-2 against the spread (ATS) in games starting at 1 p.m. ET in the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray era. Read more.
Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 34, Patriots 17
Reiss’ pick: Patriots 27, Cardinals 24
FPI prediction: ARI, 51.8% (by an average of 0.7 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 59.5 | Spread: IND -3 (51.5)
What to watch for: It will be all about the Colts’ defense vs. Titans running back Derrick Henry. Henry has individual bragging rights against the Colts’ stingy defense because he has topped 100 yards rushing in each of the past two meetings. That’s not easy to do. — Mike Wells
Bold prediction: Henry will rush for 125 yards against a Colts defense that is allowing only 89.2 yards on the ground per game (third in the NFL). Henry is the only back to gain 100 or more rushing yards against the Colts in the past two seasons, and he’ll get his third consecutive 100-yard day this week. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Colts could become the first team to win three straight games against opponents with a .700 or better win percentage this late in the season (Week 10 or later) since the 1970 Lions. A win also would give them their best record through 11 games since starting 14-0 in 2009.
What to know for fantasy: Tennessee wide receiver Corey Davis is coming off his third 100-yard performance of the season and has quietly scored at least 11.7 points in seven of eight games this season. See Week 12 rankings.
Davenport’s pick: Colts 27, Titans 24
Wells’ pick: Colts 31, Titans 27
FPI prediction: IND, 52.3% (by an average of 0.8 points)
Field Yates says as Michael Pittman Jr. continues to trend up, you should add the Colts WR if he is a free agent in your fantasy league.
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 51.4 | Spread: LV -3 (54)
What to watch for: The Raiders proved once again that they can hang with the reigning Super Bowl champs in a thrilling 35-31 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night. But it was still a loss, and now Las Vegas can’t afford many more of them in a tight race for the AFC wild-card spots. The Raiders need to take advantage of a matchup against the Falcons, who have been much more competitive than their record suggests. — Mike Triplett
Bold prediction: The Raiders’ pass rush will get to Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan for at least three sacks. Las Vegas’ lack of a pass rush has been an issue (11 sacks rank 31st in the NFL), but Ryan took eight of them last week. Recent signees Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley — both former Falcons — will provide much-needed scouting reports on Atlanta. — Paul Gutierrez
Stat to know: Ryan’s 82 Total QBR since Week 6 is third best in the NFL over that span. He began the season with a 61 Total QBR over the first five weeks, which ranked 21st in the NFL.
What to know for fantasy: Raiders tight end Darren Waller is adding upside to his stable fantasy base. Over the past two weeks, he is averaging 12.5 yards per catch, up from 7.9. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Las Vegas has covered six of its past seven road games (4-1 ATS this season). Read more.
Gutierrez’s pick: Raiders 31, Falcons 30
Triplett’s pick: Raiders 27, Falcons 23
FPI prediction: LV, 52.3% (by an average of 0.8 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 48.6 | Spread: BUF -5.5 (53)
What to watch for: The Chargers rank third in the NFL in total offense and will be the fifth team in the top five in that area to play the Bills this season. Buffalo has allowed, on average, 454 yards of offense and 31 points in its games against the other four teams, going 2-2. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will have another huge day, passing for more than 300 yards and establishing himself as the player to beat for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He already has five days of 300-plus-yards passing this season, and the Bills are allowing a middle-of-the-pack 238.7 per game. — Shelley Smith
Stat to know: The Bills enter this game coming off a bye week. They have won five straight games following a bye, tied with Titans for the longest active streak in the NFL.
What to know for fantasy: Week 3 was the last time Herbert failed to finish a game as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. The potential of the rookie gets the attention, but for fantasy managers, his high floor is just as appealing. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: The over is 8-2 in Buffalo games this season, tied for the highest mark in the league. Read more.
Smith’s pick: Chargers 34, Bills 24
Louis-Jacques’ pick: Bills 30, Chargers 24
FPI prediction: BUF, 73.4% (by an average of 8.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Herbert has career day as Chargers hold off Jets late … Bills assistant Chad Hall brings energy, dancing, results to dynamic WR unit … ‘I could only go backwards’: Chargers’ Ekeler speaks about hamstring tear
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 44.4 | Spread: MIN -3.5 (51)
What to watch for: Will Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen suit up for Week 12? The Pro Bowler was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, though it’s unclear whether he tested positive for the coronavirus or was deemed a close contact, the latter of which would increase the likelihood of him playing against Carolina. Thielen is coming off his best game of the season (8 catches, 123 yards, 2 TDs) and leads the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns. He would be sorely missed if he’s unavailable on Sunday. — Courtney Cronin
Bold prediction: Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will pass for 300 yards and two touchdowns in his return to Minnesota as a starter for the first time since he suffered a horrific left knee injury during the Vikings’ 2016 training camp. Minnesota ranks 26th in the NFL in pass defense, giving up 260.7 yards per game, but has allowed no quarterback to top 300 yards in the past four games and only three all season. — David Newton
Stat to know: Vikings running back Dalvin Cook‘s 13 rushing touchdowns this season are tied for the most in a team’s first 10 games in the past 10 seasons (Todd Gurley in 2018). The last player with 14-plus through 11 games was LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (21).
What to know for fantasy: After going over 17.5 fantasy points in four of five games to open the season, Panthers receiver Robby Anderson has been held under 15.5 in every game since. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: All five Minnesota home games have gone over the total this season. Read more.
Newton’s pick: Vikings 27, Panthers 24
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 26, Panthers 24
FPI prediction: MIN, 68.9% (by an average of 6.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Big payday celebration might be coming for Samuel … What does a path to the playoffs look like for the 4-6 Vikings? … Walker good enough to beat Lions … Zimmer calls out issues with Vikings’ young defense
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 16.2 | Spread: MIA -7 (44)
What to watch for: The Jets will face a rookie quarterback for the second week in a row. It can’t go any worse than it did last week against the Chargers’ Justin Herbert, who passed for a season-high 366 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have as many playmakers as Herbert has at his disposal. Then again, the Jets are so young and bereft of talent that it wouldn’t be a surprise if they struggle again. — Rich Cimini
Bold prediction: The Dolphins won’t allow the Jets to score a touchdown. The Jets are averaging an NFL-low 15 points per game but have scored at least three touchdowns in each of their past two games. The Dolphins showed their defensive prowess in their first meeting in Miami, getting a shutout, and they’ll duplicate it with another strong performance in a bounce-back game this Sunday. — Cameron Wolfe
Stat to know: Miami has forced a turnover in 16 straight games dating to last season, the longest active streak in the NFL. A 17th consecutive game would match the longest such streak by the Dolphins since 2000-01.
What to know for fantasy: Jets receiver Breshad Perriman has turned 20 Joe Flacco targets into 50.7 fantasy points. In a small sample size, that rate (2.54) ranks in the same breath as DK Metcalf from Russell Wilson (2.41) and Davante Adams from Aaron Rodgers (2.34) this season. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Miami is 16-6 ATS since its Week 5 bye last season, the best mark in the league. Read more.
Wolfe’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 9
Cimini’s pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 13
FPI prediction: MIA, 66.6% (by an average of 5.8 points)
1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 14.0 | Spread: NYG -6 (44)
What to watch for: Cincinnati is playing its first game of the season without rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, and the other options on the depth chart — Ryan Finley and Brandon Allen, who is getting start — are not nearly as potent as the 2020 top overall draft pick. The Giants are looking to win their third straight game and stay in the mix to win a woeful NFC East. — Ben Baby
Bold prediction: The Giants will win despite two turnovers from quarterback Daniel Jones. It doesn’t matter that they are 0-5 this year when he commits two or more turnovers. This time the Giants are the better team. They will be able to overcome the miscues (coming off two clean games) for the first time this season. — Jordan Raanan
Stat to know: The Giants are seeking their first three-game winning streak since 2016. They are the only NFL team without a three-game winning streak in past four seasons.
What to know for fantasy: Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins led the team in targets from Finley last week after the Burrow injury, but it is Tyler Boyd who has more experience with the backup, as he saw 21 targets in three games with Finley last season. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Giants have covered eight straight road games, including all five under coach Joe Judge this season. Read more.
Raanan’s pick: Giants 22, Bengals 13
Baby’s pick: Giants 24, Bengals 10
FPI prediction: NYG, 54.8% (by an average of 1.7 points)
Field Yates says Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins will be boom or bust in fantasy as the Bengals’ offense finds its way without Joe Burrow at the helm.
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 13.0 | Spread: CLE -6 (49.5)
What to watch for: The Jaguars’ best chance for success is to get running back James Robinson going. He is on pace to break Dominic Rhodes’ record for most yards from scrimmage by an undrafted rookie and has been the Jaguars’ lone bright spot on offense. If the Browns, who rank eighth in run defense, can limit Robinson, they should be able to tee off on Mike Glennon — who gets the start at quarterback for Jacksonville this week — even though they won’t have edge rusher Myles Garrett. It could be another long day for the Jaguars’ QBs. — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: After failing to throw a TD pass over three games for the first time in his career, in large part due to inclement weather, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will bounce back with three touchdown throws in Jacksonville. — Jake Trotter
Stat to know: The Jaguars are the only team in danger of being eliminated from playoff contention in Week 12 (the Jets are already eliminated), which can happen with a loss. A 10th straight loss would mark the longest losing streak within a single season in franchise history. The Browns, meanwhile, are seeking to match their best 11-game start to a season in the past 30 seasons (8-3 in 1994).
What to know for fantasy: Robinson leads the league in carry share this season and is coming off his first game with both a 15-plus-yard rush and a 15-plus-yard catch. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Mayfield is 1-5 ATS in his career as a road favorite (2-4 straight up). Read more.
Trotter’s pick: Browns 28, Jaguars 14
DiRocco’s pick: Browns 27, Jaguars 21
FPI prediction: CLE, 65.7% (by an average of 5.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Winning ugly? Who cares? All that matters is Browns are winning … Who is Jaguars’ starting QB? … Minus Garrett, Browns’ defense delivers win over Eagles … Jaguars defensive coaches working remotely amid COVID-19 protocols
1:15 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 90.1 | Spread: PIT -4.5 (45)
What to watch for: The Ravens were able to run all over Pittsburgh earlier this month, but Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins are both going to miss the rematch, as they are both on the reserve/COVID-19 list. And the Steelers’ pressure and ability to make Robert Griffin — who will start in place of Lamar Jackson (also on the list) — uncomfortable are very effective. Look for them to dial it up. — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will throw four touchdown passes. Since 2013, he is 4-1 against the Ravens at Heinz Field, throwing 13 touchdowns and three interceptions (104.0 passer rating). And in Baltimore’s four losses this season, the defense has given up 10 touchdown passes and recorded one interception. — Jamison Hensley
Stat to know: The Steelers are the 14th team since the 16-game schedule was introduced (1978) to start with a 10-0 record, and only one of those teams finished with fewer than 13 wins (the 2015 Patriots went 12-4). Pittsburgh can clinch a playoff spot in Week 12 with a victory and losses by the Raiders and Dolphins on Sunday. It would match the earliest clinching since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990 (now 14 teams), but only one of the six teams that clinched a postseason spot in Week 12 has gone on to win the Super Bowl (Washington in 1991).
Betting nugget: Pittsburgh is 8-2 ATS this season, the best mark in the NFL. Read more.
Hensley’s pick: Steelers 31, Ravens 23
Pryor’s pick: Steelers 34, Ravens 31
FPI prediction: PIT, 53.8% (by an average of 1.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Ravens reeling after another painful and embarrassing collapse to Titans … Comeback player of year? Steelers’ Roethlisberger also making push for first MVP … From scary to simple: Jackson and the Ravens’ offense’s free fall … How good are the Steelers? Ranking Pittsburgh against other 10-0 teams
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 81.3 | Spread: LAR -6.5 (45)
What to watch for: The Rams have lost three straight to Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers, who effectively shut down the Los Angeles offense in a 24-16 Week 6 win this season. The Rams’ defense has been stout, but their offense must find a way to execute against a short-handed 49ers defense that has not only kept the pressure on quarterback Jared Goff but has also slowed the Rams’ ability to run in their most recent three matchups. — Lindsey Thiry
Bold prediction: Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will have at least two sacks. The Niners neutralized Donald in the first matchup with a strong outside running game and quick-hitting pass game, but the Rams will be better prepared for that approach this time, and the 49ers are still working with moving parts on the interior of the offensive line. Donald hasn’t had a sack in the past two games, but he’ll make up for it here. — Nick Wagoner
Stat to know: The Rams have allowed 4.74 yards per play when sending four or fewer pass-rushers, the third-lowest average in the past 15 seasons (2008 Steelers and 2019 Patriots). Opposing quarterbacks have a 34.6 QBR when the Rams send four or fewer, lowest in the NFL.
Betting nugget: San Francisco is coming off a bye, while Los Angeles is coming off a Monday night game. Since 2017, teams coming off a bye are 2-9 ATS against teams coming off a Monday game. Read more.
Wagoner’s pick: Rams 30, 49ers 24
Thiry’s pick: Rams 28, 49ers 17
FPI prediction: LAR, 53.9% (by an average of 1.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: 49ers’ Kinlaw remains a work in progress to replace Buckner … Ex-Bucs kicker Gay lifts Rams: ‘You can’t write it’ … 49ers left tackle Williams tests positive for coronavirus … How ‘Dawgwork’ has taken Rams’ defensive line to new heights
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 57.2 | Spread: NO -7 (42.5)
What to watch for: With his injury-ravaged defense, how will Broncos coach Vic Fangio keep Saints quarterback Taysom Hill in the pocket and make him at least a little uncomfortable when he is going through his progressions? Fangio has made life somewhat difficult for young quarterbacks in the first time they face his defense, and while Hill is no rookie as a player, he still has just 41 career pass attempts, with 23 of those coming last week. — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: Hill and running back Alvin Kamara will each throw their first career TD passes. Why not? The Saints used Kamara in some Wildcat formations last week while getting creative during QB Drew Brees‘ absence, and he is 1-for-1 in his career throwing the ball. Hill, meanwhile, had two rushing touchdowns but no passing TDs in his first career start at quarterback last week. — Mike Triplett
Stat to know: The Saints are one of four teams with five or more games of 15-plus quarterback pressures (Buccaneers, Chiefs and Rams). They had 18 last week against the Falcons.
What to know for fantasy: Kamara only has one game this season with 15-plus carries, making the first zero-catch performance of his NFL career last week with Hill under center that much more concerning in terms of sustaining fantasy excellence. Kamara was a top-10 RB in each of his first nine games this season. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Since the start of last season, New Orleans is 6-0 ATS and straight up without Brees — Teddy Bridgewater and Hill were the fill-ins — despite being an underdog in four of the six games. Read more.
Triplett’s pick: Saints 26, Broncos 20
Legwold’s pick: Saints 23, Broncos 21
FPI prediction: NO, 69% (by an average of 6.6 points)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 98.1 | Spread: KC -3 (56)
What to watch for: The Chiefs’ pass defense may be looking suspect in recent weeks, but the Bucs’ defense just gave up a season-high 376 passing yards to the Rams, mainly due to missed tackles and coverage breakdowns. The Buccaneers are also allowing a 69.2% completion percentage against the blitz — fourth worst in the league — and getting picked apart in their zone coverages. It could be a long day against the defending Super Bowl champs, although Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady has shown that he can bounce back after tough losses. — Jenna Laine
Bold prediction: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will combine with Brady for at least six touchdown passes. The two — despite playing in some high-scoring head-to-head battles — have never combined for more than five in a game. But the Chiefs are playing poor pass defense of late; they allowed five touchdown throws in the past two games. Mahomes has 11 TD passes in the past three games. — Adam Teicher
Stat to know: Mahomes has a 98 QBR when blitzed, the highest of any quarterback in a season since QBR was first tracked in 2006, and has thrown 10 touchdowns to zero interceptions when facing the blitz. He has been blitzed at the second-lowest rate in the league (20%), but Tampa Bay sends extra pass-rushers at the second-highest rate (42%) and has forced the most interceptions (seven) with their blitz.
Betting nugget: Brady is 10-1 ATS and 9-2 outright as a home underdog in his career. Read more.
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 33, Buccaneers 26
Laine’s pick: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 28
FPI prediction: KC, 56.4% (by an average of 2.2 points)
Field Yates and Stephania Bell explain why they don’t believe Tom Brady will perform poorly in back-to-back weeks.
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 57.7 | Spread: GB -7.5 (45)
What to watch for: It probably doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback for the Bears as long as Aaron Rodgers starts at QB for the Packers and finishes the game. Rodgers and Brett Favre have dominated the Bears. They have a combined 41-15 record against them as members of the Packers, and Rodgers comes in hot, having thrown 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his past five games. — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: The Bears’ beleaguered offense will score three touchdowns against the Packers. Trust me, forecasting even a modicum of offensive success for the Bears is the definition of a bold prediction. The Bears offense — ranked at or near the bottom in virtually every statistical category — last scored three touchdowns in a game in Week 3. To say the Bears are due is an understatement. They had an extra week to prepare for the Packers, too. If the offense can’t get its act together for this one, it never will. — Jeff Dickerson
Stat to know: Chicago’s defense is limiting opponents to an NFL-leading third-down conversion rate of 33.3% this season, its lowest mark since 2007 (32.7%). The Packers’ offense, meanwhile, ranks fourth in third-down conversion rate at 47.9%, its best mark since 2011 (48.1%).
What to know for fantasy: Rodgers rattled off his fifth straight game with more than 21 fantasy points in Week 11, but he has failed to reach even 14.5 fantasy points in each of his past three meetings with the Bears. See Week 12 rankings.
Betting nugget: Green Bay is 5-0 ATS after a loss under coach Matt LaFleur. Read more.
Dickerson’s pick: Packers 30, Bears 21
Demovsky’s pick: Packers 27, Bears 15
FPI prediction: GB, 68.9% (by an average of 6.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: What will it take to keep Robinson in Chicago? … If Packers want ‘complementary football,’ try more Jones, better run D … New playcaller, same results: Bears’ offense struggles as skid hits four … Packers’ Valdes-Scantling says he tweeted on threats to show players ‘human, too’
What to watch for: Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf erupted for seven catches, 160 yards and a touchdown in the wild-card playoff win over the Eagles in January. Philadelphia has since added cornerback Darius Slay, who will likely be assigned to Metcalf for much of Monday’s game. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz noted that Slay has had success in the past against bigger receivers but that handling Metcalf would be “a great challenge” for the defense. — Tim McManus
Bold prediction: The Seahawks will rush for 200 yards. They rediscovered their run game last week against Arizona, with Carlos Hyde returning from his three-game absence, and they expect to have starter Chris Carson back against Philadelphia after he missed four games. Coach Pete Carroll talked after their win over the Cardinals about how the Seahawks need to run the ball more than they did earlier in the season, when they were leaning on Russell Wilson and the passing game to carry their offense. Jumping out to an early lead will make that a viable game plan on Monday night. — Brady Henderson
Stat to know: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz leads the league in both interceptions (14) and fumbles (10). Only five players have finished the season as league leader in both categories since the 1970 merger (Blake Bortles in 2015, Jon Kitna in 2007, Daunte Culpepper in 2002, Dave Krieg in 1995 and Joe Ferguson in 1977).
What to know for fantasy: The Seahawks are allowing 24.2% more WR fantasy points per game than any other defense this season and could prove to be an elixir for a receiver like Travis Fulgham, who has nearly as many targets over the past two weeks (12) as he does yards (16). See Week 12 rankings.
Henderson’s pick: Seahawks 28, Eagles 20
McManus’ pick: Seahawks 30, Eagles 24
FPI prediction: SEA, 61.2% (by an average of 3.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Carroll believes embattled Seahawks’ defense has turned a corner … Eagles could bench Wentz, but move to Hurts is tricky … Show me the money: Hopkins, Wagner become their own agents … Metcalf closing in fast on football glory … Dunlap’s instant impact puts Clowney in Seahawks’ rearview mirror