2021 NFL Week Twelve
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

2021 NFL Week Twelve: Biggest Storylines and Takeaways

2021 NFL Week Twelve is in the books and we finally have some clarity in one of the most unpredictable NFL seasons ever. The Packers look like Super Bowl favorites, teams like the Chargers and Steelers came back to Earth and the Patriots keep on winning. With six weeks left in the regular season, the wild card race is starting to heat up. Check out other storylines and takeaways from week twelve right here!

2021 NFL Week Twelve- Packers Are The Best Team In The League

The Packers continue to earn impressive victories despite having key injuries to some of their most important players. I thought the Packers’ win over Arizona a couple of weeks ago was the most impressive win of the season. They did it while missing Davante Adams, Jaire Alexander, and a number of key contributors. The Packers got another win this weekend as they dismantled the Rams, I know the game finished with a Packer’s eight-point win but that game never really felt close. Aaron Rodgers should win another MVP and barring any major injuries or COVID issues, the Packers should be on their way to the Super Bowl.

As for the Rams, it is starting to get weird. I still think they are going to make the playoffs because in this league as long as you have an elite coach and an above-average quarterback, you always have a shot. But I think it is fair to raise some concern for the Rams, they have lost three straight games and Matt Stafford is not playing well. For a Rams team that made the Super Bowl in 2018 relying on a strong rushing attack and defense, this 2021 team has lost some of its toughness. This is the second game this season where the Rams have been pushed around all game and felt like they weren’t physical enough to hang with their opponent, the first game being against San Francisco. Again, they will still make the playoffs and probably win 10 games but things have gotten weird over the last couple of weeks.

2021 NFL Week Twelve- Time To Hang It Up Big Ben

All good things come to an end, unfortunately for the Steelers Big Ben’s time should have already come. The best way I can describe how Big Ben looks is pre-historic. He threw two bad interceptions including a pick-six where the ball was in the air for what felt like 10 seconds giving the defender a nice easy catch. To make matters worse, the Bengals completed the sweep of the Steelers capping off their season series with a 41-10 stomping. I don’t think it’s debatable at this point but the Steelers have easily the worst QB in the division and probably a bottom-five quarterback in the league. Time to retire Big Ben.

I have to give Zach Taylor, Joe Burrow, and company credit. They are one win away from doubling their 2020 win total and have a real shot at not only making the playoffs but winning the AFC North. They sit at 7-4 and currently hold the five seed if the playoffs started today. For a team that I thought was going to win 5 or 6 games, I did not see this coming. We are going to learn a lot about this team as they finish the season with a gauntlet. Their final six opponents include the Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs, Ravens, Browns, and 49ers. If they can go 3-3 or even 4-2 in that final stretch, they should be in the driver’s seat for a playoff birth.

2021 NFL Week Twelve- Miami Getting Hot

After starting 1-7, the Miami Dolphins have won four straight. Their most recent victory came this weekend as they throttled the Carolina Panthers 33-10. Tua is playing some of his best football and his connection with Jaylen Waddle is finally starting to come to fruition. Waddle had his best game as a pro catching five balls for 137 yards and a touchdown. The story for the Dolphins is their defense. Rookies like Jevon Holland and Jaelan Phillips are stepping up and have infused some youth on that side of the ball while guys like Xavien Howard and Jerome Baker are playing well.

Sitting at 5-7, the Dolphins control their own destiny. Their next two games should be wins against the Jets and Giants but with how this season has unfolded you never know. In the AFC, it might take nine wins to sneak into the last wild card spot and the Dolphins just might get there.

2021 NFL Week Twelve- Hey Seattle, Time To Blow It Up

The Seattle Seahawks are 3-8 and just lost to the Washington Football Team. These are the same Seattle Seahawks who won the NFC West last year by multiple games and then went on to host a playoff game. I don’t know where those Seahawks went and most importantly I don’t know where Russell Wilson has gone. Since coming back from his injury he has been awful, his arm looks fine but it looks like he isn’t playing with nearly as much energy. Last night he was skipping balls, missing open receivers, and looked noticeably slower in the pocket. I said last week that I fundamentally disagree with trading an elite-level quarterback but after these past couple of weeks, Wilson does not look like the same guy.

If I were Seattle I am restarting the whole thing, that starts with firing Pete Carroll and trading Russell Wilson for a number of first-round picks. Seattle’s 2021 season feels even worse than 3-8 because they do not have their first-round pick, the Jamal Adams deal looks better and better each day for the Jets. The only downside to trading Russell is finding his replacement and in a year where the draft is weak for QBs and the free-agent QB market remains ambiguous, 2022 is not the year to find your franchise QB. Seattle is in a tough spot.

2021 NFL Week Twelve- OROY Race Heating Up

Ja’Marr Chase looked like he was going to run away with this award at the beginning of the season and while I still think he is going to win, Mac Jones is putting on some heat. This award has a ton of great candidates this year as guys like Jaylen Waddle, Creed Humphrey, and Najee Harris all deserve recognition but similar to 2020 I think it is going to come down to a wide receiver and a quarterback. We all know Justin Herbert took home the award over Justin Jefferson in 2020 but could we see a switch in 2021 with a wide receiver winning it over a quarterback?

Ja’Marr Chase’s stats are some of the league’s best at the wide receiver position, he has 50 receptions for 904 yards and eight touchdowns. Mac Jones on the other hand has thrown for 2850 yards, 70% completion with 16TDs and 8 interceptions. Awards in the NFL usually favor the QB position and if Mac continues to play well and the Patriots end up with a top-four seed in the playoffs, he will most likely win the award. Even if Mac does not bring home the award, I owe him an apology for saying he could be a disaster in New England. He has vastly exceeded my expectations.

Check out week eleven here, come back for week thirteen!

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