4 Potential NFL Upsets in Week 12

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There has only been one game played so far in Week 12, and there has already been one shocking upset. The Oakland Raiders stunned the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night putting a major damper on the Chiefs’ plans to contend for the AFC West crown in 2014. Kansas City’s AFC West counterpart, the Denver Broncos, suffered the biggest upset of Week 11 when they lost to the St. Louis Rams 22-7. There will likely be another shocking upset coming this weekend, and with that, here is a look at four games with upset potential in Week 12.

All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

1.  St. Louis Rams (4-6) over San Diego Chargers (6-4)

Point Spread: Chargers favored by 4.5 points

The Rams are coming off of a huge upset win over the Denver Broncos in Week 11, and will be facing a slumping Chargers team in Week 12. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is banged up, and the Rams have one of the best pass rushes in the league. Expect St. Louis to try and pressure Rivers early and often given his health, and if they are successful, the Chargers will have a very hard time moving the ball. Rams quarterback Shaun Hill provided a spark in Week 11, but remains a relative unknown in 2014. If Hill replicates his performance he had against the Broncos, it will only increase the Rams’ chances of beating AFC West teams in back to back weeks.

Rams Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 313 total yards per game (29th)
  • 212 passing yards per game (26th)
  • 101 rushing yards per game (20th)
  • 18.5 points per game (27th)

Rams Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 362 total yards allowed per game (18th)
  • 248 net passing yards allowed per game (19th)
  • 115 rushing yards allowed per game (18th)
  • 25.8 points allowed per game (25th)

Chargers Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 330 total yards per game (22nd)
  • 245 passing yards per game (13th)
  • 86 rushing yards per game (29th)
  • 21.8 points per game (17th)

Chargers Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 331 total yards allowed per game (9th)
  • 222 net passing yards allowed per game (6th)
  • 109 rushing yards allowed per game (12th)
  • 19.2 points allowed per game (6th)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

2.  Arizona Cardinals (9-1) over Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

Point Spread: Seahawks favored by 7.0 points

People around the league and in the media keep doubting the Cardinals, and the Cardinals keep proving them wrong. The Seahawks have an excellent – and well-documented — home-field advantage, but the Cardinals have been one of the few teams in the league that have found success at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Arizona remains one of the hottest teams in the league, while Seattle has been inconsistent for most of 2014. The Cardinals will have an excellent chance at winning this game if their defense, which ranks third in the league against the run, can shut down Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks’ rushing attack, which is the best in the league, and force the game into quarterback Russell Wilson’s hands. 

Cardinals Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 333 total yards per game (20th)
  • 253 passing yards per game (11th)
  • 80 rushing yards per game (30th)
  • 23.7 points per game (14th)

Cardinals Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 344 total yards allowed per game (14th)
  • 263 net passing yards allowed per game (29th)
  • 81 rushing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 17.6 points allowed per game (2nd)

Seahawks Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 366 total yards per game (11th)
  • 192 passing yards per game (30th)
  • 174 rushing yards per game (1st)
  • 16 points per game (10th)

Seahawks Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 306 total yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 215 net passing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 91 rushing yards allowed per game (7th)
  • 21.5 points allowed per game (12th)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rob Carr/Getty Images

3.  Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) over Houston Texans (5-5)

Point Spread: Texans favored by 2.5 points

The Bengals got embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, and responded by going into New Orleans and beating the Saints in Week 11. All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green looks like he is fully recovered from an early season toe injury, and running back Gio Bernard will likely be returning to the Bengals this week against the Texans. Houston has one of the worst pass defenses in the league, which bodes well for the Bengals’ one-two wide receiver punch of Green and Mohammed Sanu. Ryan Mallett, who will be making his second career start in this game, will again lead the Texans’ offense, and Arian Foster should be back in the Houston backfield after missing last week’s game with a groin injury. Expect the Bengals to force the game into the inexperienced hands of Ryan Mallet, and also expect to see A.J. Green and the Bengals offense put up big numbers through the air. If the Texans can’t keep up offensively, Cincinnati could very well leave Houston with an upset win in Week 12. 

Bengals Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 346 total yards per game (17th)
  • 222 passing yards per game (21st)
  • 124 rushing yards per game (9th)
  • 22.4 points per game (16th)

Bengals Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 386 total yards allowed per game (28th)
  • 250 net passing yards allowed per game (20th)
  • 136 rushing yards allowed per game (28th)
  • 22.1 points allowed per game (15th)

Texans Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 354 total yards per game (15th)
  • 210 passing yards per game (27th)
  • 145 rushing yards per game (3rd)
  • 22.9 points per game (15th)

Texans Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 390 total yards allowed per game (30th)
  • 278 net passing yards allowed per game (31st)
  • 111 rushing yards allowed per game (16th)
  • 20.4 points allowed per game (8th)
John Grieshop/Getty Images
John Grieshop/Getty Images

4.  Cleveland Browns (6-4) over Atlanta Falcons (4-6)

Point Spread: Falcons favored by 3 points

This game has major playoff implications for both teams. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Josh Gordon will be returning to the Browns lineup for this matchup. The Falcons are giving up more yards per game than any other team in the league, and have the worst pass defense in the NFL. If Gordon is in shape, and all reports are saying that he is, the Falcons will be in trouble. They will have a hard time slowing the Browns down, and the Browns’ defense is one of the best in the league. If Joe Haden can slow down Atlanta wideout Julio Jones, the Falcons will have a rough day offensively. All signs point to an upset win for the Browns in Week 12.

Browns Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 356 total yards per game (14th)
  • 244 passing yards per game (14th)
  • 112 rushing yards per game (15th)
  • 21.6 points per game (18th)

Browns Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 372 total yards allowed per game (22nd)
  • 230 net passing yards allowed per game (11th)
  • 142 rushing yards allowed per game (30th)
  • 19.5 points allowed per game (7th)

Falcons Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 367 total yards per game (10th)
  • 271 passing yards per game (6th)
  • 96 rushing yards per game (24th)
  • 23.8 points per game (12th)

Falcons Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 403 total yards allowed per game (32nd)
  • 281 net passing yards allowed per game (32nd)
  • 122 rushing yards allowed per game (24th)
  • 25.5 points allowed per game (23rd)