NFL 2023 Week 12: Biggest Questions, Risers, and Takeaways


In the thrilling kickoff to Week 12 of the NFL season, the underdog Green Bay Packers secured a wire-to-wire victory over the Detroit Lions, setting the stage for a weekend filled with excitement and unexpected turns. As we delve into the standout moments and pivotal questions arising from the matchups, let’s explore the implications for each team and what the future might hold.

1. NFC West Showdown: 49ers on the Verge

The burning question after the 49ers’ dominating win over the Seahawks is, when will they clinch the NFC West division? With a remarkable 10 straight division wins, the Niners seem poised to secure the crown, possibly as early as their December 10 clash with the Seahawks. A clear path lies ahead, with the Niners focusing on maintaining their winning streak and eyeing the NFC’s top seed.

Stock Up After the Win: The 49ers’ pass rush displayed newfound strength, recording 15 sacks in the last three games, including six in their latest victory.

Stock Down After the Win: Despite the triumph, kickoff coverage proved to be a weak link, with San Francisco conceding significant returns that need addressing.

2. Seahawks’ Struggles: Is the Season Doomed?

The Seahawks find themselves at a critical juncture, facing tough opponents in the coming weeks. The question looms: Is their season doomed? Despite a winning record, challenging matchups against the Cowboys, Eagles, and a rematch with the 49ers could potentially push them to 6-8 by late December. Jordyn Brooks emerged as a bright spot, but Geno Smith’s struggles raise concerns for the offense.

Stock Up After the Loss: Linebacker Jordyn Brooks injected life into the Seahawks with a pivotal interception returned for a touchdown.

Stock Down After the Loss: Quarterback Geno Smith faced effectiveness issues, completing only 18 of 27 attempts and struggling under pressure.

3. Cowboys’ Momentum: Ready for the Playoff Push?

Having rebounded from an earlier loss to the Eagles, the Cowboys seem to have found their stride. The question now is whether they are ready for the most crucial stretch of the season. With upcoming games against the Seahawks, Eagles, Dolphins, Bills, and Lions, Dallas has a chance to secure a playoff spot and potentially homefield advantage.

Stock Up After the Win: Quarterback Dak Prescott is on fire, with 18 touchdown passes and two interceptions in his last six games, making a strong case for MVP consideration.

Stock Down After the Win: Kicker Brandon Aubrey’s missed point-after attempt raises a minor concern, but the Cowboys’ overall performance overshadows this flaw.

4. Commanders’ Dilemma: Will Changes Be Made?

The Commanders, under new ownership, face uncertainty after another loss. The question arises: Will the owner make a move? While the new owner expresses reluctance for in-season coaching changes, the struggles, particularly on defense, might force reconsideration. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel shines amid the team’s challenges.

Stock Up After the Loss: Wide receiver Curtis Samuel’s standout performance, with nine catches for 100 yards, offers a glimmer of hope.

Stock Down After the Loss: The defense, coordinated by Jack Del Rio, continues to struggle, allowing significant yardage and touchdowns, raising questions about potential changes.

5. Packers’ Playoff Hopes: Still Alive?

Despite being under .500, the Packers’ playoff hopes have brightened after their recent win over the Lions. The question remains: Are the Packers genuine playoff contenders? With a 38% chance to make the playoffs, the outlook seems optimistic, especially with a favorable schedule ahead.

Stock Up After the Win: Safety Jonathan Owens had a standout performance, recording 12 tackles and returning a fumble for a touchdown.

Stock Down After the Win: Kicker Anders Carlson’s missed extra point is a concern, emphasizing the importance of capitalizing on scoring opportunities.


In conclusion, NFL Week 12 showcased exhilarating matchups, leaving us with burning questions and intriguing developments for each team. As teams jockey for playoff positions, the coming weeks promise more excitement, unexpected twists, and a clearer picture of the postseason landscape.

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