As we enter Thanksgiving, not everyone in the NFL is feeling thankful. In fact, following week 12, there are plenty of teams not feeling good about themselves. Although some teams showed up on Sunday, others didn’t. There are three teams in particular who suffered big losses on Sunday. These losses have both short and long term implications. In this article, we will be looking at the three teams not feeling thankful as we enter the final push of the year.
Three Teams Not Feeling Thankful After Week 12
Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
On a rainy and dreary day at home, the Eagles were unable to get past the Seattle Seahawks. In what was more of the same for the Eagles, the offense played poorly while the defense did what they could to keep the game close. Due to injuries to Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, the Eagles trotted out JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins, Greg Ward, and Jordan Matthews at wideout. All season long, the Eagles have been banged up and injured on offense which has effected Carson Wentz. Wentz has struggled with accuracy and ball placement with these replacement pass catchers in 2019. Coming into the season as an MVP candidate, Wentz has been average at best. He ranks 21st in completion percentage through 11 games and has shown a lack of chemistry with his weapons.
It is hard to blame Wentz entirely, however, as his wide receivers have been among the least productive in the league. The Eagles rank 26th in yards per pass completion. The two leading wideouts Jeffery and Agholor have combined for 675 yards, while tight end Zach Ertz has 712 yards. That stat shows how little Philly has gotten from their outside playmakers. Dropped passes have also plagued this team, especially on third downs and in key moments. Even though the defense is finally healthy and has come on strong lately, the offense has and will keep holding this team back. Even though they’re only one game behind in the division, they’re not feeling thankful for their 2019 season so far.
Oakland Raiders (6-5)
A telling tale of the Raiders is their record at home vs their record away. On the road, they are 1-4 and have struggled massively. Most of the road losses have been blowouts, losing by 20, 18, three, and 31 in those games. Against the New York Jets on Sunday, this was no different. Rookie of the year candidate Josh Jacobs was bottled up by the league’s best statistical run defense (10 runs for 34 yards). Derek Carr had one of his worst games under head coach Jon Gruden. And the defense gave up chunk play after chunk play. After a questionable pass interference call on a Maxx Crosby sack extended the Jets drive that ended in a touchdown, the game was blown open.
Although the rookie class for the Raiders has provided building blocks for the future the Raiders needed to beat the Jets to stay in contention for this postseason. The Buffalo Bills are now 8-3 and look to have one wild card spot all but locked up. Now the Raiders must fight off a resurgent Cleveland Browns (5-6), Tennesee Titans (6-5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) for the final spot. The Browns and Steelers have the benefit of having two of the easiest remaining schedules in the league. The Raiders travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs next week and host the Titans after that. The Raiders blew a chance to have a one-game cushion over their competition and be 7-4. Instead, Gruden’s team is going to have to play even harder than they have this year and hope for help.
Green Bay Packers (8-3)
Last week, we brought up the struggles the Packers defense has gone through since the early part of the season. They responded with a horrific performance against the now 10-1 San Fransisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Despite winning the time of possession battle by over ten minutes, the Packers were outgained by 141 yards. On the ground, the 49ers averaged 5.1 yards per rush. This continues the trend of Green Bay being ineffective at stopping the run. On offense, there was no running game for Green Bay to lean on, as the 49ers front seven had their way with Green Bay’s line. This made the Packers have to rely on their passing attack which was as bad as we’ve ever seen with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. For proof of that, look no further than this stat. In 34 pass attempts, Aaron Rodgers threw for 104 yards.
Whether or not those struggles on both sides of the ball continue or not will be important to track. That said, this very well could just be a one-game blip in the Packers armor. Four of the five remaining games on the schedule are against teams with losing records with a decisive game against the Minnesota Vikings (8-3) on the road in week 16 left. So it’s true that they can feel thankful for an easy schedule. But they aren’t feeling thankful that they embarrassed themselves on national TV. With the loss, they also fall three games behind the 49ers for the one seed and one game behind the New Orleans Saints (9-2) for the two seed.
They’re Not Feeling Thankful Now, But They Can Be.
Now that Thanksgiving is here, it signifies that the regular season is entering the final stretch. The good news for all three teams is that they are going to be playing meaningful football in December. No matter what happens in the final week of November, all three teams will still be in the hunt come December. For a team like the Raiders, that in itself is something the organization can hang their hat on. The Eagles will continue to be alive for the division title so long as the Dallas Cowboys struggle to extend their lead. And the Packers could easily figure out their problems and be a serious threat come January. All three teams will be fun to track the rest of this 2019 campaign.
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