Key takeaways from Week 12 in the NFL

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Week 12 in the NFL was possibly the final matchup between Mahomes and Brady – with the better ending for Mahomes. But why did it get so tight again? Also: The complete quarterback madness in Denver, a tough reality check for the Cardinals, new balance of power in the AFC South – and who are the Raiders really? SPOX editor Adrian Franke brings you up to date on Monday with his ten most important points and assessments for the past NFL Sunday, all recaps from Sunday are here.

Top 10 – die Takeaways zu Week 12 in der NFL

1. All the madness in Denver

Even under the undeniable premise that it is an unusual season in every respect – what happened there in Denver on Sunday tops it all off so far. On Saturday night it became known that the Broncos would have to do without their four quarterbacks Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles against the Saints. Driskel had tested positive for Corona on Thursday, the other three were identified as high-risk contacts on Saturday and isolated according to NFL protocols.

An operation on Sunday was impossible, and Denver would have had no chance to sign another quarterback at short notice and then use him. For this, too, appropriate protocols must be followed and several negative corona tests completed, there was simply not enough time until the game on Sunday.

Above all, however, in the course of the latest developments, various sides were only too quick to fire uninformed takes into the social media stratosphere: The league would be the Ravens – their game against Pittsburgh because of 20 players on the Covid-19 list was postponed for the second time – prefer; Denver, on the other hand, would have to compete without quarterbacks.

You can criticize the league’s protocols, but you cannot accuse the league of preferential treatment: the NFL is constant in its own protocols. The Ravens (meanwhile also the Steelers) had new positive tests themselves until the day of the game – Driskel’s positive test in Denver came on Thursday. Information from The Athletic According to Denver’s quarterbacks in the talks to disclose the contacts with Driskel, initially but not honest. Only later did it emerge – according to the reports – that Denver’s quarterbacks had been together for a long time without masks and without the tracking devices. That would also explain the delay in the whole process.

If this is confirmed, the Broncos will be severely punished for it – and rightly so. And the Ravens will also be punished, the outbreak in Baltimore apparently also goes back to a violation of the mask requirement. The league just got the saints and patriots fined. The Broncos had to play on Sunday because the positive test was three days before kickoff, while the Ravens had positive tests on Thursday and Sunday.

It’s not about giving Baltimore respite because Lamar Jackson tested positive – he couldn’t play on Tuesday either. It’s about halfway making sure that the Ravens can travel as an away team without contagious players traveling with the rest of the team. In Denver, the contact verification showed that while the quarterbacks needed isolation, the rest of the team wasn’t at risk. This is in stark contrast to the situation in Baltimore, which is long out of control. It is still unclear when the Ravens can travel “safely” again.

In the end, the Broncos are – as the reports agree – completely responsible for having to play this game without one of their regular quarterbacks. From a team perspective, because they didn’t isolate any of the four (!) Quarterbacks from the rest – and of course the players, because they obviously thought that the whole mask and contact tracing thing wasn’t that important to them. All the more important that Vic Fangio made a clear statement after the gamethat can only be signed.



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