After giving us three crazy games on Thanksgiving, the NFL might have topped itself on Sunday with several wild games that went down to the wire.
In Cleveland, Tom Brady suffered a loss for the first time in his career in a game where his team was leading by seven or more points in the final two minutes of regulation. Before Sunday, Brady had been 218-0 in those situations, but that streak is now over after Brady watched his team blow a 17-10 lead in a 23-17 overtime loss to the Browns.
In Jacksonville, the Jaguars pulled off the most surprising comeback of the day and that's because the Jaguars aren't really known for coming back on anyone. Before Sunday, the Jags had lost 162 straight games since 2000 when trailing by seven in the final two minutes of regulation, but that streak ended after Trevor Lawrence led the Jags to a wild 28-27 win over the Ravens.
Overall, four teams (Browns, Jaguars, Chargers, Raiders) won on Sunday despite trailing by seven or more points in the final two minutes of regulation, which marks the first time that's ever happened in NFL history.
So did any of those four teams earn an 'A' for their performance? Let's get to the grades for Week 12 and find out. Note: If want to see the grades from the three Thanksgiving games,.
Pittsburgh 24-17 over Indianapolis (Monday)
|When the Steelers gave the starting job to Kenny Pickett, this was the kind of game they wanted to see from him. Picket was accurate, he played mistake-free football, and he hit nine different receivers on the night. He also got some serious help from Benny Snell, who averaged more than five yards per carry while filling in for an injured Najee Harris. Defensively, the Steelers did a solid job of slowing down Jonathan Taylor and getting after Matt Ryan. The unit forced two turnovers, including a pivotal fumble recovery in the second half after Indy had driven down to Pittsburgh's one-yard line. At 4-7, Mike Tomlin still has an outside chance to finish .500 or better for the 16th straight season.
|If the Colts offense didn't sleepwalk through the first half, Indy might have been able to win. The Colts had ZERO yards in the first quarter, and by the time the Colts got their first first down of the game, they were already trailing 13-0. Although the offense woke up in the second half, it still made way too many mistakes, from a Jonathan Taylor fumble at the Steelers' one-yard line to botched clock management in the final minute. Whatever faint playoff hopes the Colts had definitely seem like they're gone now.
Steelers-Colts grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cincinnati 20-16 over Tennessee
|It wasn't perfect, but the Bengals found a way to win on Sunday. Samaje Perine was impressive in Joe Mixon's place, rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown, and he also caught four passes for 35 yards. Tennessee native Tee Higgins dominated the Titans' secondary, as he caught seven passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. You also have to credit the Bengals defense, who never allowed Derrick Henry to get going on the ground. Don't look now, but the Bengals have won a season-best three straight games, and are 7-2 in their last nine games after starting the season 0-2.
|Not much went right for the Titans (7-4) on Sunday. The secondary was abused by Tee Higgins while Derrick Henry averaged just 2.2 yards per carry. It looked like Tennessee was going to have an opportunity to attempt a game-tying drive down seven points with just over a minute left, but Kevin Strong roughed the long-snapper on the Bengals' extra point, and a usually-disciplined team lost because of an undisciplined error. Todd Downing had another uninspiring outing as the offensive play-caller, but he wasn't the only reason the Titans dropped to 7-4.
Bengals-Titans grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Miami 30-15 over Houston
|The Texans benched Davis Mills this week in hopes that Kyle Allen might be able to provide an offensive spark, but instead, the opposite happened. With Allen running the show, the offense somehow took a step back. Allen threw two interceptions and got sacked five times in a game where the Texans totaled barely 200 yards of offense. The only reason the Texans did anything in this game is because the Dolphins pulled their starters in the second half in what can only be described as an act of pity. The only upside in this loss for the Texans (1-9-1) is that they took one step closer toward earning the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
|If Mike McDaniel learned one thing from this game, it's that you can't show mercy in the NFL. The Dolphins (8-3) jumped out to a 30-0 lead, but instead of keeping their foot on the gas, McDaniel decided to pull his starters, which allowed the Texans to creep back into the game. The Dolphins defense absolutely throttled the Texans. Not only did the unit pick up five sacks, but it also forced three turnovers, including a fumble return for a touchdown by Xavien Howard. The Dolphins offense has been impressive for most of the season and now, it seems that the defense is catching up. If the defense can replicate this performance going forward, this team is going to be tough to beat.
Texans-Dolphins grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Carolina 23-10 over Denver
|Every week, we tell ourselves that the Broncos offense can't get any worse, and every week, it somehow gets worse. In Carolina, things might have actually reached rock-bottom as Russell Wilson threw for a season-low 142 yards. In one of the few times where the Broncos' offense was able to move the ball, Wilson ended up losing a fumble inside Carolina's 25-yard line. Jalen Virgil also lost a fumble on a kickoff in the third quarter and this 3-8 team just isn't good enough to win games when they're giving the ball away like that.
|The Panthers QB situation has been a game of musical chairs this year, and this week it was Sam Darnold's turn under center. In his first start of the season, Darnold didn't put up eye-popping numbers (11 of 19 for 164, 1 TD), but he did make several clutch throws with most of those going to D.J. Moore, who caught four passes for 104 yards. More importantly, Darnold didn't make any mistakes that could have help spark a bad Broncos team. Darnold also didn't have to carry the offense and that's because that job went to D'Onta Foreman, who carried the ball 24 times for 113 yards. This was a solid all-around performance by a Panthers team that suddenly finds itself 4-8 and just 1.5 games out of first place in the NFC South.
Broncos-Panthers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Jacksonville 28-27 over Baltimore
|The Ravens are going to be kicking themselves all week for this loss and that's because they let this one slip away. Offensively, the Ravens (7-4) did a good job of moving the ball, but the problem is that Baltimore lost two fumbles and the Jaguars were able to convert those turnovers into 10 points. The Ravens' defense then had a fourth quarter meltdown as the Jags' were able to score on all three of their possessions in the quarter, including a 75-yard drive that culminated with the game-winning TD being scored with just 14 seconds left to play. The Ravens were playing with fire in this game and they got burnt in a loss that drops them into a tie with the Bengals for first-place in the AFC North.
|If Trevor Lawrence turns into a superstar, this might be the game that we end up pointing to as proof that it was going to happen. The Jags' QB came up clutch during a fourth quarter where he threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns as Jacksonville erased a 19-10 deficit. Overall, Lawrence threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns while completing 29 of 37 passes. If Lawrence plays like this going forward, the Jaguars (4-7) could be a dangerous team over the final stretch of the season. The Jags offense kept the Ravens guessing with five difference players catching at least three passes, including Zay Jones, who caught 11 passes for 145 yards. The Jags' defense also played a key role in this win by coming up with two huge turnovers and holding the Ravens to just two touchdowns on five trips to the red zone. Doug Pederson also deserves some props by making the call to go for the win with a two-point conversion after the Jaguars' scored a TD with just 14 seconds left to play.
Ravens-Jaguars grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Cleveland 23-17 over Tampa Bay (OT)
|Tampa Bay (5-6) was unable to put Cleveland away when it had the chance. Despite dominating the third quarter (Cleveland had just 11 total yards during the quarter), the Buccaneers found themselves in a one-possession game late in regulation. Leaky pass protection and a lack of run support (Rachaad White ran for 64 yards, but 35 of that was on one run on Tampa Bay's opening drive) contributed to the Buccaneers' offensive plight. They were stellar for most of the game, but the Buccaneers' defense was unable to seal the deal at the end of both regulation and overtime. They allowed plays of 12, 15, 17 and 46 yards on the Browns' last two scoring drives.
|Cleveland's defense kept the home team in the game when its offense went into a lull for most of the second half. Led by Myles Garrett, the Browns sacked Tom Brady three times after halftime after not getting to him in the first half. The pass rush contributed to the Buccaneers going just 4 of 15 on third down. The Browns (4-7) got just enough clutch plays from their offensive quartet of Jacoby Brissett, Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper and David Njoku. Brissett withstood heavy pressure (particularly in the second half) to go 23 of 27 for 210 yards. Chubb rumbled for 116 yards, including his 28-yard run to set up Njoku's touchdown. Cooper caught seven passes, none bigger than his 46-yard grab in overtime.
Buccaneers-Browns grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
N.Y. Jets 31-10 over Chicago
|Without Justin Fields, not much could have been expected of the Bears offense, and they lived down to low expectations. But the defense was absolutely torched by Mike White, which is pretty embarrassing. The Bears (3-9) also lost multiple players to injury, which will hurt in future weeks. And they're now on a five-game losing streak. They need Fields back in the fold next week if they're going to have any chance against Green Bay.
|When you make a switch to the backup quarterback and then that quarterback goes 22-28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns, you get an A+. Those are the rules, folks. Plus, Mike White got Garrett Wilson in the end zone twice, Elijah Moore there once, and got all the ancillary pieces of the offense involved as well. Oh, and Zonovan Knight looked terrific in his first NFL action. And the defense was dominant for most of the afternoon for a Jets (7-4) team that got a much-needed win.
Bears-Jets grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Washington 19-13 over Atlanta
|The Falcons (5-7) had the game won, reaching the Commanders' 4-yard line with 1:03 to play trailing by six, but Marcus Mariota's tipped-pass interception spoiled what was another strong performance for Atlanta's ground game, as they ran for 167 yards on 29 carries (5.8 yards per rush). Mariota threw for under 200 yards, which is something he's done in six of their seven losses this season. Not enough clutch plays in the passing game undid what was a good enough performance by their defense. It may be time to give rookie third round pick Desmond Ridder a chance since Atlanta has a clear ceiling with Mariota.
|The Washington defense was the definition of bend but don't break. They allowed 332 total yards to the Falcons, Atlanta's fifth-highest total of the season, but they only gave up one touchdown and intercepted Marcus Mariota in the end zone with just over a minute left in the game. Taylor Heinicke made just enough plays, throwing two touchdowns to only one interception, while Brian Robinson's career day (105 rushing yards) allowed Washington (7-5) to win the time of possession battle by about seven minutes: 33:09 to 26:51. The formula of a strong defense mixed with a ball-control offense is exactly what Commanders head coach Ron Rivera loves to see from his team. It results in playing some close games, but with their sixth win in seven weeks, his plan is coming to fruition in the nation's capital.
Falcons-Commanders grades by Garrett Podell (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 25-24 over Arizona
|Maybe they deserve more credit for getting a much-needed win on the road. They did come through in the clutch; Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Brandon Staley all delivered in big-time spots, with the latter boldly dialing up a two-point conversion to seal the win. And Derwin James buoyed the "D" with a hand in two turnovers. But there's a lot to clean up. The banged-up line is still shoddy enough that Joe Lombardi refuses to let Herbert push the ball with any consistency, and their run "D" was especially vulnerable.
|Kyler Murray started hot, DeAndre Hopkins reminded everyone he can still create on his own, and James Conner ate up. But once again, the Kliff Kingsbury offense folded when it mattered most. Murray and Co. failed to get even a single first down on the four drives following their final scoring series. And while the defense prevented Justin Herbert from breaking out early, it was suspect against all passes for many of the waning minutes.
Chargers-Cardinals grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 40-34 over Seattle (OT)
|Josh Jacobs was a game-time decision for Sunday and it's a good thing he played, because he ended up carrying the Raiders to the win. The running back rushed for a franchise-record 229 yards along with two touchdowns with the biggest one coming on an 84-yard burst in overtime that won the game. With Jacobs steamrolling the Seahawks, that opened things up for Derek Carr, who threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns. When this offense is clicking, it's one of the most dangerous units in the NFL and it was clicking in Seattle. At 4-7, it's probably too little too late for this team, but if the offense continues to play like this, the Raiders could be a fun team to watch down the stretch.
|Over the past five weeks, it looked like the Seahawks (6-5) had fixed their early-season defensive problems, but apparently that wasn't the case. The Seahawks lost this game because their defense had no idea how to stop the Raiders. Las Vegas piled up 576 yards of total offense, which is the third-most the Seahawks have ever surrendered in franchise history and the most they've given up since 2000. Going into Week 11, this team looked like a contender to win the NFC West, but after two straight losses, the division feels out of reach and this team seems more likely to compete for a wild card spot.
Raiders-Seahawks grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 13-0 over New Orleans
|The NFL is pretty simple: If you can't score points, you can't win games. The Saints fumbled on their opening possession Sunday and things only got uglier from there. If the offense could have done anything, the Saints could have potentially pulled off an upset, but the unit just couldn't make any clutch plays. During the fourth quarter alone, the Saints drove inside San Francisco's 6-yard line on two separate occasions and they came away with zero points on both drives. The only upside about this loss is that the Saints play in the NFC South, which means they're still alive in the division title race despite having a 4-8 record.
|The 49ers have had one of the best defenses in the NFL this year and they showed the Saints why. Not only did the 49ers pitch their first shutout since 2019, but they also force two big turnovers in a low-scoring game where every big play was amplified. Offensively, the 49ers weren't overly impressive, but when your defense plays as well as San Francisco's did on Sunday, you can get away with a few mistakes. With four straight wins, the 49ers (7-4) look like one of the top contenders in the NFC.
Saints-49ers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Kansas City 26-10 over L.A. Rams
|With no Matthew Stafford and no Cooper Kupp, the Rams had no hope of winning this game. The offense totaled just 198 yards, which was the second-lowest number since Sean McVay was hired as coach in 2017. Bryce Perkins did the Rams no favors by throwing two interceptions in his first career start. At 3-8, the reigning Super Bowl champions are officially a lost cause.
|The result of this game was never in doubt and that's because the Chiefs defense absolutely dominated the Rams. The Chiefs held the Rams to just 198 yards of total offense, which is the fewest they've surrendered in a game since 2013. The defense also forced two turnovers while sacking Bryce Perkins three times. The Chiefs (9-2) were somewhat sloppy with the ball in this game -- Patrick Mahomes threw an interception and they lost a muffed punt -- but the good news for Kansas City is that you can play sloppy football against these Rams and still win handily.
Rams-Chiefs grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 40-33 over Green Bay
|Going into Week 12, NFL teams were 0-21 in league history when surrendering more than 360 rushing yards in a game and you can now make that 0-22 after the Eagles rushing attack plowed through the Packers. Green Bay's defense got run over to the tune of 363 yards, which was the third-most the Packers have ever surrendered in franchise history. When your defense is playing that bad, you can't afford any mistakes on offense, but that Packers did that too with two interceptions from Aaron Rodgers, who left the game in the second half with an oblique injury. At 4-8, the Packers' season isn't over, but it kind of feels that way.
|After only scoring 38 points total over the past two weeks combined, the Eagles broke out of their offensive rut by running over the Packers. Literally. The Eagles totaled 363 yards on the ground, which was the second-highest total in franchise history and the second-highest total in the NFL since 2015. The Packers had no answers for Jalen Hurts (157 rushing yards) or Miles Sanders (143 yards, two touchdowns). With this win, the Eagles continue to make the case that they're the best team in the NFL.
Packers-Eagles grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)