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NFL

Previewing Key Matchups in Each NFL Week 12 Game

Muhammad Wilkerson

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 will see many teams fight for playoff seeding or fading hopes, which typically produces some Herculean efforts. Below are the key matchups in deciding each victor on the coming NFL schedule.

Week 12 1 p.m. ET Schedule

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens: DE Muhammad Wilkerson vs. RG Marshall Yanda

Yanda finally regained his form last week in plowing the way for Ray Rice’s signs of life. Muhammad Wilkerson would be the league’s best 3-4 left end in a world where JJ Watt didn’t exist.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns: WR Antonio Brown vs. CB Joe Haden

Fresh off shutting down the No. 2 leading receiver in AJ Green, Haden gets the No. 5 WR and might very well track him across the field.

Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins: RT Byron Bell vs. edge rusher Cameron Wake

Wake has resumed pre-injury form this month and typically rushes off the side protected by Bell, the much lesser of the two Panther starting OTs. Wake must go nuts for Miami to slow down Cam Newton.

Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams: LT Jermon Bushrod vs. DE Robert Quinn

The offseason signing of Bushrod has improved blindside protection and his matchup with the second-leading sacker could show the ceiling of his value.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions: CB Darrelle Revis vs. Calvin Johnson

The league’s best corner of recent years against the best receiver of recent years. Revis won the last duel. Popcorn.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: Adrian Peterson vs. Packers LBs

All Day had his way with Green Bay LBs last year, but he’s dealing with an injury and this unit has looked infinitely better in slowing opposing backs in 2013. Even with Clay Matthews slowly regaining use of his club-hand.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans: QB Chad Henne vs. DE JJ Watt

For all of Henne’s flaws — and there are a lot of them — Pro Football Focus rates his accuracy percentage under pressure as top-10 and even with Aaron Rodgers. Watt will certainly test that.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: WR Keenan Allen vs. CB Brandon Flowers

Allen’s cooled off dramatically in recent weeks, as has the Chargers offense. Allen will want to avoid Flowers as he’s not one to bust slumps against.

Week 12 4-4:30 p.m. ET Schedule

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals: WR TY Hilton vs. CB Patrick Peterson

All the speed in the world plus Andrew Luck’s arm. Will be fun to watch every deep ball.

Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders: DT Jurrell Casey vs. C Stefen Wisniewski

Two of the very best U-25 interior players. Should be elite players at their respective position in the near future.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: Dez Bryant vs. half the Giants secondary

Usually a Giant killer, Big Blue paid acute attention to Bryant in limiting him to a season-low 22 yards back in Week 1.

Week 12 Sunday Night Game

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots: Peyton Manning vs. S Devin McCourty

It will be a chess match with Bill Belichick but the most pivotal pawn is his best and most versatile defensive back.

Week 12 Monday Night Game

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins: Bruce Miller vs. London Fletcher

One of the league’s best run-blocking fullbacks hitting the hole against an aging linebacker who’s struggled mightily.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google