With the flip to Week 12, it means that Thanksgiving is upon us. We’ll have three mid-week games this week on Thursday followed by a weekend of action. Let’s set aside the Turkey Day games and examine the best five games for Sunday.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
The Titans are the top team in the AFC but that might not last long. They’re 8-3 but the Patriots – and a slew of other teams – are hot on their heels. The Patriots are 7-4 and are riding a five-game winning streak. They shut out the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday, so that means that they have a mini bye week as they’ve had 10 days to prepare for the Titans. Tennessee is banged up and will be without Derrick Henry and Julio Jones. Can they win on the road and maintain their top spot?
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are both battling for the second spot in the AFC North. A win here will give one of these two teams a leg up in the crowded race for a Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Bengals are just 2-2 at home this season, so they haven’t had a clear-cut home-field advantage. We’ll see if they can protect it against the Steelers, who have traditionally dominated this series.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos
The Chargers are fresh off a Monday Night Football win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, that was a narrow escape as they blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead. Now they find themselves as a road favorite in Denver, facing a division rival who is fresh off a bye week. The Chargers have the worst run defense in the NFL. Can the Broncos get their ground game going and improve to 6-5?
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers
The Rams and Packers match up in the marquee game of the week. The Rams are 7-3 on the season while the Packers are 8-3. Green Bay is coming off a loss at Minnesota, though, and has now dropped two of their last three games. They’re rarely a home underdog, so it’s surprising to see them in this spot. They haven’t been a home dog in any of the last three seasons. The Rams are rested after coming off a bye, so that might partially explain why.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The Browns are banged up and bruised, and appear to be a fading commodity. They were 3-1 at one point this season but then dropped four of their next six before barely beating the Detroit Lions last week. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to play but he has a laundry list of injuries and is toughing it out.
Speaking of quarterbacks battling ailments, Lamar Jackson missed last week’s game against the Chicago Bears but the Ravens still managed to eke out a win. The challenge is the Ravens are only at 7-4, so a loss to the Browns could actually put Cleveland in first place in the division.