17. Cleveland Browns (5-6, Last Week: 23)
Week 12 Result: Defeated Miami, 41-24
Baker Mayfield is on fire, throwing seven touchdowns and just one interception during the Browns’ three-game winning streak. This was exactly the game the Browns needed after what happened in Week 11. It would be foolish to count the Browns out in the playoff race. Three of their final five games are against teams with losing records, including two against the 0-11 Bengals. The other two are against the Steelers and Ravens, whom the Browns have already beaten this season.
18. Carolina Panthers (5-6, Last Week: 18)
Week 12 Result: Lost to New Orleans, 34-31
That was actually one of the better performances the Panthers have put on in a few weeks. Kyle Allen took care of the football and moved the ball very well. The Panthers nearly made a great comeback but ultimately fell short. It didn’t help that kicker Joey Slye missed a field goal and two extra points. In the end, it’s a killer loss that all but ends Carolina’s hopes at the playoffs, and now questions will bounce around about the future of head coach Ron Rivera.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6, Last Week: 17)
Week 12 Result: Lost to Seattle, 17-9
Remember back before the season when we wrote how Carson Wentz would be a huge factor in deciding the NFC East? Well, he has been, but not the way he wanted to be. Wentz has struggled badly over the last few weeks. Yes, the Eagles have been without some of their top offensive weapons, but that doesn’t excuse the poor play of Wentz or the poor efforts of the coaching staff, and that’s why the Eagles are 5-6. They’re very fortunate the Cowboys have coaching issues of their own and sit at just 6-5, giving the Eagles hope in the NFC East.
20. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7, Last Week: 19)
Week 12 Result: Bye
The Chargers didn’t play this week, but they weren’t out of the news, with the rumblings on the future of soon-to-be free-agent quarterback Philip Rivers and his potential future team, namely the Tennessee Titans. Not exactly what the Chargers needed this week, though it’s pretty clear they need to start looking toward the future of their own organization.
21. Chicago Bears (5-6, Last Week: 22)
Week 12 Result: Defeated New York Giants, 19-14
Mitchell Trubisky returned as the Bears’ quarterback after he was pulled due to an injury in Week 11. He wasn’t the smoothest, but he did just enough, along with the defense, to push the Bears past the Giants. Chicago now has a short week before heading to Detroit on Thanksgiving with a chance to get back to a .500 record.
22. Atlanta Falcons (3-8, Last Week: 20)
Week 12 Result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 35-22
Such are the Falcons to beat up on the top of the NFC South, dominating the Saints and Panthers, only to disappoint at home against the Buccaneers. After compiling 11 sacks on Drew Brees and Kyle Allen combined, they got to Jameis Winston a total of zero times, while their offense allowed Matt Ryan to be sacked six times. Just an ugly day in Atlanta.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7, Last Week: 21)
Week 12 Result: Lost to Tennessee, 42-20
Nick Foles hasn’t been terrible since returning from injury two weeks ago. However, the Jaguars are 0-2 since Foles rejoined the starting lineup, and some might be wondering if they will go back to Gardner Minshew. But it’s the defense, which was the staple of the Jaguars just two seasons ago when they nearly made it to the Super Bowl, that has crumbled, allowing 75 points in the last two games.
24. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1, Last Week: 25)
Week 12 Result: Bye
We had a week without the Cardinals and a week to think about how good this offense has been. The results obviously aren’t there, but a few improvements and this team can really grow with Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray.