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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Week 12 Takeaways: Coaching the Issue in Cincy, Bills in trouble, Eagles are the best team, Here come the Broncos and much more

NFL Week 12 Takeaways: Coaching the Issue in Cincy, Bills in trouble, Eagles are the best team, Here come the Broncos and much more

Publish Date: 11/27/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Week 12 Takeaways

1) The Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now!

Last week the Eagles beat the Chiefs; this week, is was the Bills who fell at the feet of the eagles. Philadelphia is a resilient bunch who doesn’t have to play their best football to win; they find ways to win. On Sunday, it was a 59-yard field goal kicked into the wind at rain in Philadelphia that sent the game to overtime. In Overtime, the Bills kicked a field goal to put the pressure squarely on the eagles. The Eagles responded with a touchdown drive that clinched the game for them.

2) The Bills playoff hopes are disappearing

The Bills, mainly Josh Allen, played well on Sunday but still came up short. That leads us to look at the Bills’ schedule, and we conclude that the Bills’ next game is a must-win, and it will be against the Chiefs. Josh Allen has played well but still turns the ball over too much; I don’t think the Bills are dead yet, but they will be if they lose another game.

3) The Bengals real issue is with the Head Coach

Zac Taylor gets way too much credit for the culture shift in Cincinnati. That culture shift began when Joe Burrow arrived, not when Zac Taylor got the job, and that was painfully clear on Sunday as the Bengals were out-coached and out-played on Sunday in a devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I know Joe Burrow is not playing, but you would have thought he was, as the Bengals ran the ball precisely eight times the entire game. What teams losing a starting quarterback would then ignore the run game? The playcalling, as always, was atrocious, and there was no Joe Burrow to save the day. The Bengals were physically manhandled at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

To make matters even worse, they had no timeouts left at the end of the game, the game management was horrible in Cincinnati, and the defense is not what it was for the last two years. Losing both safeties in the off-season is killing this team, and Myles Murphy had a sack and a tackle, which means he finally did something, but it would not have taken much for some improvement. This team has been destroyed by lousy drafting, especially up front, in the last few years.

The Bengals chances of winning a Super Bowl with Zac Taylor as the head coach is not good.

Video: Zac Taylor Postgame News Conference

Zac Taylor Postgame News Conference

4) Mike Tomlin can coach

Tomlin fired his Offensive Coordinator on Tuesday and installed Joe Brady in that capacity, and the play-calling was stellar as the Steelers continued in the playoff hunt. The Steelers are a hard-nosed, physical team and they impose their will on you, and they did it again on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Kenny Pickett played his best game of the season, showing how vital play-calling is in the NFL. The Steelers are a threat to make the playoffs, at least, and it’s all because of Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

5) Bill Belichick has no answers

The best thing that came out of the Giants/Patriots game on Sunday was that there was no overtime. For some reason, Bill Belichick started Mac Jones again, and Jones as always was awful. Bailey Zappe replaced him in the second half and did not play any better, but it’s time to see what Zappe can do. He did play well in a couple of starts last season, and Mac Jones has proven he could do well in the XFL, but this starter experiment in the NFL should be put to bed.

6) Here come the Broncos

Starting the season 0-3 and giving up 70 points in one game in September, now, after winning four consecutive games in November, they boast the league’s longest active winning streak at five wins!

Indeed, the Denver Broncos are the league’s hottest team, just as no one predicted. The running game is stout and Russell Wilson looks like the Russell Wilson from five years ago.

Denver, now 6-5 and part of an AFC pack vying for postseason eligibility, will make for an intriguing team to watch as we head down the stretch of this season.

Sean Payton has done a fantastic job in Denver this season.

7) Does Kyren William’s return make the Rams a playoff team

At first glance, Williams’ return from injured reserve seemed to rev up this Rams offense, which averaged 14.25 points in his absence. Even against a Cardinals team allowing 132.1 rushing yards per game, he proved how much they missed him with 16 carries for 143 yards and six receptions for 61 yards with two touchdowns scored against them. At 5-6-1 overall and with their starting running back on board again, this team may make a run at the NFC playoffs this season.

8) The Colts have a realistic shot at the playoffs

The Indianapolis Colts saw their playoff hopes skyrocket following Sunday’s victory, increasing from 31% to 40% with their chances of making the postseason after only four wins this season. Furthermore, according to ESPN Analytics, they now boast one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NFL and reversed an earlier three-game losing streak by winning three straight. Their offense posted 395 total yards following two underwhelming performances by their offense.

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