Week 12 of the NFL season started on Thanksgiving, as the underdog Green Bay Packers went wire to wire in a 29-22 victory over the Detroit Lions. The Dallas Cowboys followed that up by beating the Washington Commanders 45-10 behind four Dak Prescott touchdown passes. In the holiday nightcap, the San Francisco 49ers ran away from the Seattle Seahawks 31-13, as Christian McCaffrey tallied a pair of TDs.
On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans went head-to-head for the AFC South lead, the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense came alive just days after the team made a change at offensive coordinator and the New England Patriots benched quarterback Mac Jones ... again.
Our NFL Nation reporters reacted to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game and picking out who -- or what -- is rising and falling for every team. Let's get to it.
How does Justin Fields' winning drive factor into his evaluation? Fields averaged the fewest air yards per attempt (2.4) and per completion (1.9) of his career while throwing 21 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. The Bears combatted the Vikings' aggressive blitz (52% of Fields' dropbacks) by turning the passing game horizontal, which hindered the offense's ability to capitalize off the defense's four takeaways. Fields put two fourth-quarter fumbles behind him and led the Bears down the field for a winning field goal that was set up by a 36-yard pass to DJ Moore, one of a few deep shots Monday. Fields stepped up with the game on the line and helped deliver the Bears their first NFC North win of the Matt Eberflus era.
Stock up after the win: Roschon Johnson. The rookie running back earned his way into a season-high 51 snaps, thanks in part to his strengths in pass protection. Johnson turned in 10 rushes for 35 yards and five catches for 40 yards.
Stock down after the win: Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. The Bears' offense only scored three points off four interceptions and struggled to move the ball when relying on the screen game (13 screen passes, which is tied for the most in the NFL this season). -- Courtney Cronin
Next game: vs. Lions (1 p.m. ET, Dec. 10)
Will Joshua Dobbs be the Vikings' starting quarterback after the bye? Coach Kevin O'Connell said after Monday night's game that "we're going to take a look" at all of Dobbs' plays since joining the Vikings and decide whether he should continue in the role, or if it makes sense to turn toward veteran back Nick Mullens or rookie Jaren Hall. Both Mullens and Hall were injured when Dobbs was forced onto the field four weeks ago. Dobbs has committed eight turnovers since joining the team, including four interceptions Monday night, and was an emergency option when the Vikings first turned to him. Now they'll take two weeks to decide if they have a better option for the remainder of the season.
Stock up after the loss: LB Danielle Hunter. Hunter recorded 1.5 sacks, a total of three quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and forced a Justin Fields fumble in continuing arguably the most dominant season of his career. Hunter now is tied for the NFL lead with 13.5 sacks this season.
Stock down after the loss: O'Connell. The Vikings' offense couldn't get in rhythm against the Bears, and as Dobbs continued to struggle, O'Connell declined to turn forcefully to his running game. Despite never trailing by more than three points, the Vikings finished the game with 36 dropbacks and only 15 designed running plays. -- Kevin Seifert
Next game: at Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET, Dec. 10)
Why do the Ravens play down to the level of competition? The Ravens head into their bye with the No. 1 seed in the AFC and hold a 1½-game lead in the AFC North. But it wasn't easy Sunday night, because Baltimore struggles to put away inferior teams. The Ravens lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3 and nearly got upset by the Arizona Cardinals last month. It's a strange situation, as Baltimore has crushed top teams like the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks, beating them by a combined score of 75-9. Four of Baltimore's five remaining opponents have winning records, which might be a positive considering how the season has gone for the Ravens.
Stock up after the win: WR Zay Flowers. After tallying one touchdown in his first 11 contests, the rookie first-round pick accounted for both of the Ravens' touchdowns. He became the first Ravens wide receiver to score a rushing touchdown and a receiving TD in the same game.
Stock down after the win: K Justin Tucker. He's not perfect, after all. The NFL's most accurate kicker had made all 20 of his field goals under 50 yards this season until his miss from 44 yards in the fourth quarter. -- Jamison Hensley
Next game: vs. Rams (Dec. 10, 1 p.m. ET)
Will the Chargers keep coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco? Over 11 years as the Chargers' general manager, Telesco has two playoff wins in three appearances. Telesco traded cornerback J.C. Jackson after signing him to an $82.5 million deal a season ago and acknowledged to players he made a mistake. On Sunday, the Chargers benched cornerback Michael Davis, a player they signed to a three-year, $25.2 million extension in 2021. Staley, meanwhile, hired for his defensive pedigree, has fielded a defense that consistently ranks among the worst in the league under his three seasons.
Stock up after the loss: WR Keenan Allen. Allen finished with 14 catches for 106 yards. It was his third straight game with 10 receptions, the second time he has done that in his career and the first since 2017. He is the only player to have done so in franchise history. Allen's 97 receptions are the third most by a player through a team's first 11 games in NFL history.
Stock down after the loss: RB Austin Ekeler. He hasn't been the same player since returning from a high right ankle sprain in Week 6. Ekeler lost a fumble for the second straight game, the first time he has done so in consecutive contests in his career. -- Kris Rhim
Next game: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What do the Eagles need to clean up to stay on top? Philadelphia's defense allowed over 500 yards, and the offense was stuck in neutral for two and a half quarters. QB Jalen Hurts looked like an MVP for part of the night but also turned the ball over twice. Granted, the Eagles were playing without right tackle Lane Johnson (groin) and were coming off an emotional Monday night win over the Chiefs. The Eagles are arguably the best team in the NFL, but they have some areas to work on ahead of Sunday's home game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Stock up after the win: K Jake Elliott. His clutch 59-yard field goal with 20 seconds left sent the game to overtime. He has never missed a game-tying or go-ahead field goal attempt in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime (8-for-8).
Stock down after the win: Rush defense. The top-ranked unit yielded more than 150 yards on the ground, including a pair of rushing TDs to Bills QB Josh Allen. The Bills leaned on the run during their late go-ahead scoring drive in regulation. -- Tim McManus
Next game: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Is this version of Josh Allen back for good and is it too late to get into the playoffs? Sean McDermott fired OC Ken Dorsey in part to find a spark for the offense. Allen's fire is clearly been lit by interim OC Joe Brady. What the Bills have to find out now is if it's too little too late at 6-6. Despite the overtime loss, the progress by Allen is a good sign. He made impressive throws, including on a second-quarter touchdown to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and rushed for a season-high 81 yards, including two TDs. Allen is 0-6 in overtime games.
Stock up after the loss: Third-down defense. The Bills limited the Eagles to converting just 4-of-11 third-down attempts, and that was one of the big bright spots on defense after a tough second-half performance. The Bills allowed the Eagles to score a touchdown on three straight drives in the second half, then Philadelphia's drive to kick the game-tying 59-yard field goal near the end of regulation and the winning drive in overtime.
Stock down after the loss: K Tyler Bass. After making all of his field goals and point-after attempts through the first five games of the season, Bass is going through a rough stretch with 9 of 14 field goals made since, including one blocked and one wide right vs. the Eagles. Even though he made a kick in overtime, his reliability is in question of late. -- Alaina Getzenberg
Next game: at Chiefs (Sunday, Dec 10, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Are the Broncos legitimate playoff contenders? What was once a 1-5 team has won five consecutive games and is now 6-5 after clawing its way back to the fringes of the AFC playoff race. With Sunday's win, the Broncos also have head-to-head victories against the Browns and Bills during the streak, with a visit to the 6-5 Texans ahead. Denver has done it with an opportunistic defense that has 15 takeaways in the past four games and has surrendered fewer touchdowns in the past six games combined (nine) than it did in a 70-20 loss to Miami in Week 3.
Stock up after the win: RB Samaje Perine. He rushed for 55 yards on seven carries while emerging as a reliable option in the passing game. He has also consistently been the best back the Broncos have in pass protection.
Stock down after the win: Run defense. While the defense as a whole has been tough and forced piles of turnovers, a team was eventually going to succeed against the nickel, the personnel grouping the Broncos are in the majority of the time. The Browns had carries of 19, 11, 9, 17 and 6 yards in the first half alone against the nickel. -- Jeff Legwold
Next game: at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What do the Browns do if QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson misses time? Following a rather sharp performance through three quarters, Thompson-Robinson left after taking a big shot high. P.J. Walker replaced the rookie, who was ruled out with a head injury. Cleveland signed former Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco last week. If Thompson-Robinson isn't cleared by next weekend (and even if he is) Cleveland could take a hard look at turning to the 38-year-old Flacco to keep its playoff push intact.
Stock up after the loss: WR Cedric Tillman. The rookie wideout had his best performance to date with four catches on five targets for 55 yards. With receiver Amari Cooper leaving Sunday with a rib injury, Tillman might need to carry a bigger load in the passing attack.
Stock down after the loss: Run defense. The Broncos came into Sunday with one rushing touchdown all year but doubled that against the Browns and averaged almost five yards per carry. -- Jake Trotter
Next game: at Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Can the Chiefs continue this offensive resurgence next week against the Packers? They can and most likely will if they play as clean a game as they did in Las Vegas. They dropped one pass and didn't have any fumbles or interceptions. Those are the things the Chiefs' offense has had difficulty overcoming this season. The Chiefs can be productive when they don't cost themselves possessions and plays.
Stock up after the win: RB Isiah Pacheco. The second-year running back rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns. He was also a factor as a receiver, catching five passes for 34 yards.
Stock down after the win: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He had one catch for minus-one yard and was targeted once. This follows his rough game last week against the Eagles when he had no catches and dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown late. -- Adam Teicher
Next game: at Packers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Do the Raiders go as Maxx Crosby goes? And then some. Crosby is more than the face of the franchise, he is also the team's spiritual leader. Being the first of 67 players in the NFL this season to play despite being listed as doubtful on the injury report, Crosby gave the Raiders' defense an early lift while playing on an injured knee, as Las Vegas built a 14-0 lead. He also got a second-half sack, but Crosby needs help because his intensity will carry the Raiders only so far.
Stock up after the loss: RB Josh Jacobs. The Raiders' All-Pro running back broke off a 63-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, gaining 37 yards after contact on the run, the second-longest YAC of his career. It was also the second-longest run of his career, following the 86-yard walk-off at Seattle last season. He finished with 110 rushing yards on 20 carries, his second 100-yard game in three weeks.
Stock down after the loss: K Daniel Carlson. Carlson's shank on a 30-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter was the second-shortest missed field goal of his career and the third-shortest miss in the NFL this season. It also prevented the Raiders from taking an early 10-0 lead. -- Paul Gutierrez
Next game: vs. Vikings (Sunday, Dec. 10, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Does Kyren Williams' return make the Rams a playoff team? It sure looked like Williams' return from injured reserve jump-started this Rams offense, which averaged 14.25 points in his absence. Although it was against a Cardinals team allowing 132.1 rushing yards per game, Williams showed how much the Rams missed him with 16 carries for 143 yards and six catches for 61 yards with two touchdowns. At 5-6, the Rams are just one game out of the final NFC playoff spot and look like a team that could make a push, especially with the return of their starting running back.
Stock up after the win: TE Tyler Higbee. Higbee had gone 12 straight games without a receiving touchdown but had his biggest game of the season with five catches for 29 yards and two touchdowns.
Stock down after the win: K Lucas Havrisik. He missed an extra point in the second half and a 50-yard field goal in the first half. -- Sarah Barshop
Next game: vs. Browns (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Why aren't the Cardinals consistent on offense? After a great first drive that led to a touchdown and included the coveted explosive plays, the Cardinals' offense went dormant. Between shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and a lack of execution, Arizona couldn't string together consistent drives. The Cardinals haven't been connecting on easy passes, and the run game was continually stuffed Sunday.
Stock up after the loss: S Jalen Thompson. He added another interception to his stat sheet a week after having a sack and a pick against the Texans.
Stock down after the loss: Run defense. The Cardinals gave up 228 rushing yards, including runs of 56, 24 and 23 yards. -- Josh Weinfuss
Next game: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Has Trevor Lawrence found his groove? The third-year quarterback threw for 364 yards -- four shy of his career high -- and a touchdown and ran for another, giving him six TDs in his past two games. He got hot in the second half of last season, helping carry the Jaguars to the AFC South title and into the divisional round. This is the seventh time in his past eight games that Lawrence has had a quarterback rating of 90 or better. Lawrence and the Jaguars have a two-game cushion in the AFC South with this pivotal win.
Stock up after the win: WR Calvin Ridley. He had five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. That was his third touchdown catch in the past two games, and it's no coincidence the pass offense has had two of its most productive weeks when he has gotten more involved.
Stock down after the win: The run game. The Texans' run defense ranked seventh (92.3 yards per game) coming in, so it wasn't going to be easy for Jacksonville. Still, the Jaguars averaged 2.8 yards per carry, with their short-yardage woes highlighted by a risky attempt to score from the 1-yard line with one second left in the first half. -- Mike DiRocco
Next game: vs. Bengals (Monday, Dec. 4, 8:15 p.m. ET)
What implications does this game have on the AFC South race? Anything can happen, but the Texans didn't do themselves any favors. The Jaguars are two games clear of the Texans in the AFC South and hold the edge in two tie-breakers (divisional and conference records). The good news for Houston? They're still in the mix for a wild-card spot as well as the division race, but the next game against the Denver Broncos could have playoff implications as we head down the stretch.
Stock up after the loss: CB Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley didn't have an interception in the first two weeks before missing seven games, but he returned last week and recorded one and did the same Sunday.
Stock down after the loss: CB Tavierre Thomas. He had a rough day and Lawrence kept targeting him -- doing so seven times. Thomas allowed six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, and he also had multiple critical penalties called against him around the goal line that gave the Jags extra opportunities. -- DJ Bien-Aime
Next game: vs. Broncos (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Can success at home save the Titans' season? The Titans are now undefeated in their four home games after beating the Panthers, pushing their record to 4-7. All of Tennessee's losses have come on the road. The Titans are averaging 24.7 points per game when playing at home but only 11 points per game on the road. With four of their final six games at home, including a matchup with the Colts next week, Tennessee can make a push toward compiling a respectful season.
Stock up after the win: RB Derrick Henry. He had two rushing touchdowns Sunday, making it his first game this season with multiple scores on the ground, and he moved up to 17th on the NFL career rushing touchdowns list.
Stock down after the win: OT Dillon Radunz. The tackle allowed multiple pressures and a sack to Brian Burns, which was promptly followed by a false start penalty to kill a drive early in the game. -- Turron Davenport
Next game: vs. Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Can coach Frank Reich survive this season? Three Carolina coaches -- Dom Capers (4-12 in 1998), George Seifert (1-15 in 2001) and John Fox (2-14 in 2010) -- had seasons with 13 or more losses. All were fired. At 1-10, Reich is headed in that direction. Also working against him is rookie quarterback Bryce Young's lack of notable improvement and the offense's inability to produce. Reich was hired for his offensive prowess, but the Panthers have averaged 12.2 points over their past five games.
Stock up after the loss: DE Derrick Brown. He didn't make many tackles (five), but his ability to push the Titans' pocket, along with a tackle for a loss and a deflected pass, helped Carolina's defense keep this one close.
Stock down after the loss: The interior offensive line. This group was a mess before Sunday, allowing pressure because of poor play and injuries. Against the Titans, the pressure up the middle on Young got worse after guards Chandler Zavala and Cade Mays were injured during the game. -- David Newton
Next game: at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
How realistic are the Colts' chances of making the postseason? The Colts' playoff hopes gained significant steam with Sunday's win. They entered the weekend with a 31% chance of making the postseason, but their odds increased to 40% with the victory. What's more, the Colts -- according to ESPN Analytics -- have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. The Colts have reversed an earlier three-game losing streak with three straight victories. And their offense bounced back with 395 total yards after two underwhelming performances.
Stock up after the win: WR Michael Pittman Jr. Pittman had an impressive day, making a season-high 10 catches for 107 yards, often under tight coverage from the Tampa Bay defense. Pittman is on track to be one of the offseason's more intriguing free agents and continues to build a case for being among the more in-demand players at his position.
Stock down after the win: The third-down offense. The Colts' 2-for-11 performance on third down is startling, especially since it came against a Tampa Bay defense that has been abysmal on third downs. Tampa Bay was 30th in the NFL in third-down defense entering Sunday (46.7%). -- Stephen Holder
Next game: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Is hope fading for the Bucs in the NFC South race? Even at 4-7, the Bucs are in the hunt, as the Falcons' win on Sunday over the Saints places Tampa Bay one game out of first place, with the Carolina Panthers up next. But the Bucs have been far too inconsistent. A rash of injuries, blown coverages and missed tackles on defense and offensive scoring struggles don't evoke confidence in another late-season turnaround.
Stock up after the loss: WR Mike Evans. Evans caught a one-yard touchdown pass that was set up by an interception by CB Carlton Davis at the 19-yard line in the second quarter. He later had a 23-yard touchdown catch -- the 91st of Evans' career -- in the fourth quarter to make it 20-17.
Stock down after the loss: LB Devin White. After missing Christian McCaffrey in the flat on a touchdown last week, White was juked by quarterback Gardner Minshew on a two-yard touchdown run and missed a tackle on running back Jonathan Taylor on a four-yard touchdown run. Taylor also slipped by him on an 11-yard run. White has been dealing with foot and groin injuries this season. -- Jenna Laine
Next game: vs. Panthers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
Do the Giants stick with quarterback Tommy DeVito after the bye week? DeVito did some good things and won for the second time in his three starts. As coach Brian Daboll has said repeatedly, "he's improving." It could serve the Giants well to continue developing DeVito, an undrafted rookie, given the way he has played (six touchdown passes to one interception in the three starts) despite the fact Tyrod Taylor will be eligible to come off injured reserve in Week 14. Taylor told ESPN recently he has been throwing and feels good following a rib cage injury in Week 8.
Stock up after the win: WR Jalin Hyatt. The speedy rookie notched his first career 100-yard game and seems to have developed a nice chemistry with DeVito. Hyatt became the first Giants receiver to reach 100 yards this season.
Stock down after the win: The coaching staff. It's not a good sign when a report emerges about Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale being in a "bad place," and the marriage not likely to last much longer, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. It's particularly interesting given the defense is coming off two dominant performances entering the bye week. -- Jordan Raanan
Next game: vs. Packers (Monday, Dec. 11, 8:15 p.m. ET)
How much does a switch to QB Bailey Zappe change the team's fortunes? For a short stretch Sunday, the idea of the offense showing improvement under Zappe seemed real. After replacing ineffective starter Mac Jones, Zappe led a 60-yard touchdown drive in his first series and was effective with a short passing game. But once Zappe settled into the game, the momentum slowed considerably; his INT into heavy coverage was costly. At this point, the Patriots can only hope that if Zappe gets more practice repetitions during the week, it might yield better results.
Stock up after the loss: RB Rhamondre Stevenson. The third-year running back totaled 98 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown.
Stock down after the loss: Mac Jones and kicker Chad Ryland. Jones was pulled from the game at halftime -- the fourth time that has happened this season -- after throwing two picks, and he fumbled but was fortunate it was recovered by teammate Cole Strange. Meanwhile, Ryland missed a 35-yard field goal attempt that could have tied the game at the end of regulation. -- Mike Reiss
Next game: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Has Jessie Bates III been Atlanta's most impactful free agent signing in recent years? One of the biggest moves the Falcons made early in free agency was signing Bates to a four-year, $64 million contract. The safety was a critical reason the Falcons beat the Saints on Sunday and took the NFC South lead. Bates intercepted a Derek Carr pass for a 92-yard touchdown (Atlanta's first pick-six this season), had a team-high 12 tackles and forced and recovered a fumble in the red zone to help keep the Saints without a touchdown. It's his second straight game with 12 or more tackles. The 26-year-old has been the catalyst for two division wins this season: Sunday and the season opener against Carolina, when he had two interceptions, a forced fumble and two passes defended.
Stock up after the win: RB Cordarrelle Patterson. One of the main post-bye changes for Atlanta appears to be the reemergence of Patterson in the running back rotation. He had eight carries for 43 yards Sunday, marking the only time he has put up those kind of numbers this season with Bijan Robinson (91 yards rushing) and Tyler Allgeier (60) healthy.
Stock down after the win: S Richie Grant. The Falcons appeared to platoon Grant, who had been one of Atlanta's two starting safeties the past season and a half. Rookie DeMarcco Hellams had seven tackles and was playing in critical situations in the fourth quarter. -- Michael Rothstein
Next game: at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
Are the Saints capable of solving their red zone woes? The Saints generated more than 400 yards of offense, but things came to a screeching halt in the red zone. Derek Carr threw a pick-six, Taysom Hill fumbled and the Saints seemed incapable of advancing the ball once they got near the end zone. With the season starting to wind down, the Saints haven't shown any signs of being able to fix the scoring issues, and they're running out of time to do so.
Stock up after the loss: S Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu had two interceptions, including one that saved a score at the end of the first half, and was the lone bright spot in a game full of mistakes and injuries.
Stock down after the loss: Carr. The quarterback threw a game-changing pick-six and didn't seem to be on the same page as his receivers at times, which has been a recurring problem. -- Katherine Terrell
Next game: vs. Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What did we learn from the Steelers' new-look offense? Turns out quarterback Kenny Pickett isn't allergic to the middle of the field, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are capable of moving the ball, following their first 400-yard offensive output in more than three years. Pickett -- and playcaller Mike Sullivan -- showed as much when Pickett confidently connected with tight end Pat Freiermuth for a 24-yard gain on the very first play on a play-action pass. It was the Steelers' first of a season-high six explosive plays (gains of at least 20 yards) Sunday. Pickett (24-for-33 for 278 yards) was far from flawless, and the yards didn't translate to points with frequently poor red zone execution, but he and the offense moved the ball more fluidly, converting a season-high seven third downs. They also outgained an opponent for the first time this season (424-222). Firing Matt Canada wasn't an instant fix, but Sunday's performance was a step in the right direction.
Stock up after the win: Pat Freiermuth. Nobody benefited more from the offensive coordinator change than the Steelers tight end, who had his first career 100-yard game, finishing with a team-high nine catches for 120 yards -- doubling his season total entering Sunday's game.
Stock down after the win: WR Diontae Johnson. One play after his potential touchdown grab was ruled incomplete, Johnson showed a concerning lack of effort when Jaylen Warren's fumble bounced by him and he didn't react to the live ball. Instead, Cincinnati recovered it while Johnson (four catches on eight targets for 50 yards) watched the play unfold. -- Brooke Pryor
Next game: vs. Cardinals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
What can the offense do to help QB Jake Browning? Running the ball effectively would be a massive improvement. Coming into the game, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said a more consistent rushing attack mixed in with splash runs could help the offense. Cincinnati had neither against the Steelers. The Bengals averaged 2.3 yards per carry, which put the onus on the passing attack to move the ball. That's not an ideal scenario for a team looking to win games with a backup quarterback.
Stock up after the loss: WR Ja'Marr Chase. Chase turned a couple of deflected passes into big plays and was the lone bright spot on offense with four catches for 81 yards.
Stock down after the loss: RB Joe Mixon. The veteran running back had eight carries for 16 yards on a lackluster day on the ground. -- Ben Baby
Next game: at Jaguars (Monday, Dec. 4, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Can the Dolphins' defense continue to ascend despite Jaelan Phillips' injury? The Dolphins' co-leader in sacks went to down with an Achilles injury late in Friday's game and was quickly ruled out. Phillips had formed a potent pass rush tandem with Bradley Chubb over the past several weeks and appeared to be hitting his stride before his injury. It's a gut punch, but the Dolphins do have a stable of pass-rushers led by Chubb and Andrew van Ginkel. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah signed a $65 million contract in 2022 and had fallen out of the rotation this season, playing just 21% of the team's defensive snaps. That number figures to significantly increase, and Miami needs him to recapture his form from his first two seasons with the team, during which he recorded a team-high 18 sacks.
Stock up after the win: RB Raheem Mostert. The NFL's leader in rushing touchdowns added two more to his season total, rushing for 94 yards on 20 carries; he has eclipsed 80 yards in each of his past three games.
Stock down after the win: QB Tua Tagovailoa. The Jets' pass defense presented a tough matchup, but Tagovailoa turned the ball over three times and has multiple turnovers in back-to-back games. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
Next game: at Commanders (Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
What do the Jets do now at quarterback? There's not much they can do, as they're stuck in quarterback no-man's land. Aaron Rodgers still is a few weeks away from returning -- and that's only if his ambitious timetable becomes a reality. Chances are, coach Robert Saleh will give Tim Boyle another start. He was underwhelming in his first NFL start since 2021, but it wasn't all his fault. He was under heavy pressure. The other options are Trevor Siemian or a return to Zach Wilson, which is a long shot. Perhaps the better question: Does it even matter anymore?
Stock up after the loss: CB Brandin Echols. Playing for injured nickel back Michael Carter II, Echols delivered a pick-6 with 50 seconds left in the second quarter. It looked like a potential game-changing play until seconds later, when Miami's Jevon Hollard outdid Echols with a pick-6 on a Hail Mary.
Stock down after the loss: The offensive line: Starting their eighth different line combination, the Jets failed to protect their quarterback (six sacks) and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry. Basically, it was LG Laken Tomlinson and a bunch of backups and rookies. -- Rich Cimini
Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
When will the 49ers clinch the NFC West division? The Niners have won 10 straight division games, including four in a row against Seattle. Once again it seems to be a matter of when, not if, they'll wear the division crown. There's a realistic path to that happening as soon as the Niners meet the Seahawks again on Dec. 10. That mostly requires the Niners winning their next two and getting some combination of losses for the Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in their games. The path is clear, and once again it seems like the Niners will spend December and early January chasing the NFC's top seed.
Stock up after the win: Pass rush. After posting just 18 sacks in the first eight games, the Niners have 15 in the past three, including six on Thursday night.
Stock down after the win: Kickoff coverage. San Francisco gave up a 66-yard return on its first kickoff and allowed Dee Eskridge to average 35 yards per return, which gives it something else to clean up before heading to Philadelphia. -- Nick Wagoner
Next game: at Eagles (Sunday, Dec. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET)
Is the Seahawks' season doomed? That may sound like an overreaction for a team that's still a game over .500, but consider what lies ahead. They play the 8-3 Cowboys, the 9-1 Eagles and have a rematch with a 49ers team that just smoked them sandwiched in between. They could easily be 6-8 entering the final week of December, and this kind of blowout loss doesn't leave any reason to think they can pull off an upset win. They could've given themselves some cushion by beating the Rams last Sunday, but they wasted that chance.
Stock up after the loss: Jordyn Brooks. The fourth-year inside linebacker gave the Seahawks some life in the third quarter when he came down with a tipped pass and returned his first career interception 12 yards for a touchdown. Brooks finished with a team-high 12 tackles.
Stock down after the loss: Geno Smith: The entire offense was out of sorts, but Smith was ineffective while completing 18 of 27 attempts for 180 yards and an interception. Two of his incompletions were DK Metcalf drops, though he threw another errant pass that was nearly picked off, and he took six sacks. He said the triceps contusion he suffered four days earlier didn't affect him "at all." -- Brady Henderson
Next game: at Cowboys (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Is Dallas ready for its most important stretch of the season? They've done what they needed to after losing to the Eagles on Nov. 5. They beat the Giants, Panthers and Commanders. Their next five games are against the Seahawks, Eagles, Dolphins, Bills and Lions. The Cowboys have lost their two matchups against teams with winning records, but they have obliterated everyone else. If they can continue to win, maybe they can catch the Eagles in the NFC East and get homefield advantage. With 13 straight home wins, that seems important.
Stock up after the win: QB Dak Prescott. Prescott is in the hottest stretch of his career. He has 18 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in his last six games. He had touchdown passes on a screen (Rico Dowdle), on a line (Brandin Cooks), on time (CeeDee Lamb) and on a rope (KaVontae Turpin). He also completed passes to 10 different receivers. Prescott's name has to be in the MVP conversation at some point.
Stock down after the win: K Brandon Aubrey. Let's nitpick because Aubrey does not miss field-goal attempts. With a 52-yarder Thursday, he has made 22 straight attempts to open his career. But he missed a point-after attempt against the Commanders, his second in the last two games and his third on the season. Let's be clear, though: This is not what happened to Brett Maher last year. -- Todd Archer
Next game: vs. Seahawks (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)
Will the Commanders' owner make a move? New owner Josh Harris did not want to make an in-season coaching change, especially with coach Ron Rivera. However, if Rivera wanted to make a change, Harris certainly would listen, a source said. So far, Rivera has been reluctant to make any sort of changes, especially on defense with coordinator Jack Del Rio. There's no obvious replacement, but the defense has regressed, entering the day ranked last in points and 29th in yards.
Stock up after the loss: WR Curtis Samuel. He was one of the few bright spots against the Cowboys, catching nine passes for his first 100-yard game (100 yards Thursday) since 2020. He was targeted a team-high 12 times.
Stock down after the loss: Defense. Jack Del Rio's defense allowed 431 yards -- including 331 yards passing and four touchdowns to Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. The secondary continues to give up big plays, and the front failed to get pressure on Prescott. -- John Keim
Next game: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
Are the Packers playoff contenders? They're still under .500, but the outlook is far from bleak. They entered the week with a 23% chance to make the playoffs. That number jumped to 38% as soon as the Packers beat the Lions, according to ESPN Analytics. That was independent of any other outcomes this weekend. Only two of the Packers' final six opponents have winning records (the Chiefs and Vikings) and after next Sunday's game against the Chiefs, it gets even easier with games against the Giants, Buccaneers, Panthers and Bears.
Stock up after the win: Safety Jonathan Owens. Owens had his best game since he signed with the Packers in the offseason. A week after missing a tackle that led to a touchdown last week against the Chargers, he recorded a season-high 12 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Stock down after the win: Anders Carlson. The rookie kicker can be forgiven for missing a long-shot, 63-yard field goal at the end of the first half, but more problematic was that he missed an extra point for the third straight game. -- Rob Demovsky
Next game: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, Dec. 3, 8:20 p.m. ET)
Was the protection of Jared Goff a one-week blip or evidence of a bigger problem? Goff was pressured on 45% of his dropbacks in the first half, going 9-of-20, and was sacked three times throughout the game. Detroit's offensive line has been among the strengths of this roster, but struggled against the Packers while missing offensive lineman Jonah Jackson (wrist) for the second straight game. Veteran guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai was also placed on the injured reserve list on Nov. 14. It's certainly something to watch as the team looks to get more out of linemen Kayode Awosika and rookie Colby Sorsdal.
Stock up after the loss: Jameson Williams. The second-year receiver continues to grow more comfortable in the Lions' offense as the trust level increases among teammates. Williams, the No. 12 overall pick in 2022, made two catches for 51 yards, including a 38-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
Stock down after the loss: Goff. For the second straight game, the veteran quarterback struggled with turnovers. Against Green Bay, he lost three fumbles for the first time in his career after throwing three picks on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Prior to Thursday, he went 12 straight games without a lost fumble. -- Eric Woodyard
Next game: at Saints (Sunday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. ET)