20 Storylines to Follow in NFL Week 12

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20 NFL Storylines to Follow in Week 12

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Week 12 of the NFL season is officially underway. The action started on Thursday Night Football with a battle between two NFC South rivals. After an unusually low-scoring game for the Saints, they were still able to come out on top. The Falcons have now fallen completely apart in 2013 and will just have to hope a few tweaks can get them jumpstarted in 2014.

You can now make a solid argument for the Saints being the class of the NFC. They're only one game behind the Seahawks and there's a ton of football still to be played in the regular season.

We'll touch on much of the action that's scheduled to go down on Sunday in this slideshow, but here a couple of other things to keep in mind.

The MVP race is still being headed up by Petyon Manning at this point in the season. The veteran QB has battled through ankle injuries and other various ailments to stay on a record pace so far in 2013. Manning is still in great shape to break both the single-season touchdown and passing yards marks. If he ends up with even one of the records, there's no way you can't give him the award.

Drew Brees and Calvin Johnson are also in the MVP discussion, but they'll need to have tremendous finishes to outshine Manning. It's no doubt possible, but the safe bet is that Peyton will hold on to win the award for a record fifth time.

So with all the big games and crucial battles set to take place this weekend in mind, let's take a look at the top 20 storylines to follow. Enjoy:

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Will the Jets Continue Jekyll and Hyde Act?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Jets have won and lost in consecutive games all season long. But one of these weeks, that trend is going to break. If it breaks in the loss column this weekend in Baltimore, the Jets could be in danger of missing out on the playoffs.

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Can the Ravens Keep Their Hopes of Defending Alive?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Ravens are about out of time this season. They've been unable to string several wins together and a loss in week 12 will all but doom their chances of making it back to the postseason to defend their crown.

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Will the Steelers Continue Their Resurgence?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

After winning two straight games, the Steelers have proved that they're not dead yet in 2013. Can they make it three in a row against the Browns in week 12?

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Go For Third Straight Win

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

A few weeks back we were wondering if the Bucs would even win a game this season. Now, they're going for three straight in week 12.

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Can the Lions Stay Atop the NFC North?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

After falling flat on their faces in week 11, the Lions need to bounce back with a win over the Bucs. If they can't beat a two-win team, they don't deserve to win the NFC North.

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Can the Vikings Beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers Team?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Vikings have been terrible this season, but the Packers are also reeling following the loss of Aaron Rodgers. If ever the Vikings have a chance to go into Green Bay and steal a win, it's this Sunday.

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Green Bay Trying To Keep Its Season Alive

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

After losing three straight games without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers' season is spiraling out of control. If they can beat the lowly Vikings, they'll at least buy themselves another week while their franchise QB recuperates.

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Will the Texans Continue to Fall Apart?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Texans have lost eight straight games and things got ugly on the sidelines in week 11. Can Gary Kubiak's team rebound, or are they headed for an all-time bad finish?

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Can the Chiefs Rebound After First Loss of the Season?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Chiefs are back at home following their first loss of the season. Can they get back on track and stay in contention for the top spot in the AFC?

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Chargers Trying to Remain in AFC Playoff Picture

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Chargers' season is on life support, but they're not completely out of the AFC Wild Card picture. If they can somehow upset the Chiefs on the road, it could jumpstart their season.

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Can the Panthers Win Their Seventh Straight Game?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

No one had the Panthers winning six straight games this season, but that's where they're at heading into week 12. They have a real good chance to make it seven in a row on the road in Miami on Sunday.

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Can Josh McCown and the Bears Keep Pace in NFC North?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Bears haven't really skipped a beat without Jay Cuter. Can the McCown-led Bears keep pace in the NFC North with a win on the road in St. Louis?

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Brother vs. Brother - Chris and Kyle Long

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Brother versus Brother matchups don't happen all that often in the NFL, but we have a good one on Sunday. Rookie Kyle Long will matched up against his brother Chris Long at times during Sunday's Bears/Rams game. Their father, Howie Long, has been granted his first day off in 20 years to watch in St. Louis.

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Bruce Arians Will Face Former Team in Dessert

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Colts and Cardinals are set to square off in a key battle for both teams, but the main storyline is no doubt Bruce Arians facing his former team. Can Arizona pull the upset?

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Is Matt McGloin the Man for the Job in Oakland?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

If Matt McGloin can win in his second career start, the Raiders may have a quarterback controversy on their hands.

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Cowboys and Giants Battle For Position in NFC East

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USA Today Sports

The Giants have come back from the dead and the Cowboys are .500 like normal. The winner of this game will be in solid position to make a run at the first place Eagles.

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Manning vs. Brady XIV

Rant Sports
Rant Sports

It's crazy to think that these two QBs will be facing off for the fourteenth time on Sunday. It's a 'pick em' type of game between the Broncos and Patriots, so it very well could come down to a big play from Brady or Manning.

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Wes Welker Returns to New England, Maybe

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It looks like Welker will be able to play in his return to New England following a concussion in week 11. You know that he wants to show up his former team and as long as he's medically cleared, you can bet he'll be out there.

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Will the Redskins Implode?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Things are falling apart in DC at a rapid rate. Will the team's eighth loss cause a complete implosion?

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Can the 49ers Get Back On Track After Two Straight Losses?

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It's been a rough season for the 49ers, but they're still at 6-4 and in the thick of the NFC playoff race. A win over the Redskins on MNF would be absolutely huge for Jim Harbaugh's bunch.

 

 


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