NFL Week 12: 5 Teams on Upset Alert

Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) calls a play against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Take a look at these five teams on upset alert heading into NFL Week 12 of the 2016 season.

After another exciting weekend of football, it’s time to take a look at the top five teams on upset alert heading into NFL Week 12 as very win is important moving forward with the playoffs right around the corner.

Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs were the unfortunate victim of being one of the top teams on upset alert after falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17. For a team that was considered one of the hottest teams in football thanks to a five-game winning streak, it’s tough to determine what to think of this football team as the offense drew plenty of concerns.

On top of the Chiefs losing, the Miami Dolphins received quite the scare after rallying late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams to pull through with the 14-10 win in Week 11. When considering the Dolphins failed to score their first points until the final five minutes of the game, this team should consider themselves lucky for avoiding an upset in this one.

So what should football fans expect in the upcoming week? Well, without wasting any more time, here’s a look at the top five teams on upset alert heading into NFL Week 12, beginning with the New York Giants.

Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

5. New York Giants

Who would have thought after a 2-3 start to the 2016 season, the New York Giants would turn their season around and enter Week 12 as one of the hottest teams in football? Thanks to five wins in a row, the Giants are in good position to make a run for a playoff spot. But first they need to make sure they avoid Sunday’s trap game against the Cleveland Browns.

When seeing how these two teams have been playing, this seems like the type of game New York should have no problem with as Cleveland is still searching for their first win under head coach Hue Jackson. This season may have turned into a complete disaster for the Browns, but there’s a good chance this team will be playing with a little extra motivation over their final five games to avoid finishing on the wrong side of history with an 0-16 record.

Even if Cleveland has only scored 26 points over their previous three games, all it takes is that one game against a team like New York to finally get the ball rolling on offense. Not to mention, Browns fans have a history of making it tough for opponents playing in that hostile environment, which will be another tough challenge for Eli Manning and company.

Nov 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up passing the ball before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans have been one of the toughest teams to figure out during the 2016 season as they look like playoff contenders one week, only to end up struggling the next. One week after crushing the Green Bay Packers 47-25, the Titans failed to take advantage of a key AFC South matchup against the Indianapolis Colts after falling just short, 24-17, in Week 12.

Up next, Tennessee faces another tough task on the road when they take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. This doesn’t seem like much of a matchup on paper. However, John Fox‘s squad may only have two wins on the season, but every player knows the field conditions of Soldier Field can make it difficult at times for opponents to play on.

When taking this into consideration, along with the inconsistent play of the Titans throughout the regular season, it’s easy to see why they find themselves in the No. 4 spot on this list for Week 12. With that being said, let’s hope Marcus Mariota can continue playing at an elite level after his rough start to the year to at least keep Tennessee’s slim playoff hopes alive in the AFC South.

Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

3. Baltimore Ravens

Just like the Titans, the Baltimore Ravens have been one of the most difficult teams to figure out this year when looking at how back and forth the team has been all season. When the Ravens seemed to be a pretender after a four-game losing streak, they quickly got back on track with back-to-back wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.

For the most part, Baltimore’s performance against the Dallas Cowboys last weekend was enough proof that this team is capable of being a strong contender as they prepare for their showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately, this season hasn’t gone according to plan for the Bengals as they head into Sunday’s game with a disappointing record of 3-6-1.

Despite everything that’s gone wrong for Cincinnati this season, there’s nothing this team would love more than to play the spoiler role of impacting Baltimore in the division standings. These AFC North rivals have provided fans with plenty of epic showdowns over the last few years. And there’s a good chance that could happen again on Sunday, especially with Marvin Lewis desperate for a win to cool his hot seat down as the head coach seems to be fighting for his job.

Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) after Mitchell

2. New England Patriots

If the New England Patriots received a bit of a scare against the San Francisco 49ers, there’s every reason to believe the same could happen against the New York Jets in Week 12. Even if this season has been a complete failure for the Jets when looking at the lack of wins along with the amount of money wasted on Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, they always find a way to make it interesting when they face the Patriots.

One of the best things about rivalries in the NFL is even struggling teams seem to kick it up a notch as New York hopes to show some signs of life against New England in this key AFC East rivalry. As crazy as it sounds, the Jets may actually have a shot in this one if the Patriots get off to a struggling start like they did against the 49ers.

New England may be considered the current favorites in the AFC with an 8-2 record, but the last two weeks have proven they’re more beatable than originally expected. Playoffs may be out of the picture for New York, but that doesn’t mean they can’t at least receive some sort of enjoyment in cause problems for the rest of the division.

Keep in mind, the Patriots are feeling more pressure with only a two-game lead thanks to the recent hot streak of the Miami Dolphins, which the Jets hope to use to their advantage when these teams square off.

Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; (EDITORS NOTE: CAPTION CORRECTION) Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) avoids a tackle by Houston Texans nose tackle D.J. Reader (98) to score the winning touchdown at Estadio Azteca. Oakland beat Houston 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oakland Raiders

After years of frustration with losing records, the Oakland Raiders have finally emerged as one of the top contenders in the AFC with an 8-2 record heading into Week 12, which nobody could have predicted at the beginning of the season. Everybody knew the potential was always there for the Raiders to be a sleeper team in the AFC to make a run at the postseason, but to become one of the top teams to beat in the conference seemed unimaginable.

Over the last few weeks, Oakland has pulled off some impressive wins against playoff caliber teams like the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. But they’ll face another tough test at home when they take on the defending NFC champions in the Carolina Panthers. It’s easy to select the Raiders as the favorites in this one when comparing each season for both teams. However, the Panthers aren’t a team to take lightly as they’ve won three of their last four games.

Even if Carolina is on a hot streak as of late, Ron Rivera’s squad still has a lot to overcome thanks to a disastrous 1-5 start to the season. If anything, the Panthers are more desperate for wins this late in the season, which means the Raiders better be cautious when they take the football field on Sunday.

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