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Sports: USA TODAY Sports' Week 12 NFL picks: Do Los Angeles Rams or Green Bay Packers prevail in battle of NFC powers?

NFL midseason winners, losers: Who's made the most of first months of 2021 season?

  NFL midseason winners, losers: Who's made the most of first months of 2021 season? With every NFL team at least halfway through its regular-season schedule, it's time to take stock of the first few months of the 2021 campaign.Every club has at least two losses, yet 19 check in at .500 or better, and just five are more than 1½ games removed from holding a playoff spot – only the Lions completely out of the running in the NFC. And the field is compressing, division-leading teams suffering eight losses over the past two weeks to opponents that did not have winning records.

At a time to give thanks, the NFL serves up quite the smorgasbord of football on Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe you'll pass on that Bears-Lions relish, the first offering on the table Thursday. But Raiders-Cowboys and Bills-Saints later in the day should be more filling than appetizers, if not Week 12's main courses.

Sunday, we get to nosh on Buccaneers-Colts, Titans-Patriots, Steelers-Bengals, Chargers-Broncos, Vikings-49ers and Browns-Ravens, all matchups with potentially significant playoff implications.

But the most delightful entree will be served at Lambeau Field on Sunday, when the Green Bay Packers host the Los Angeles Rams in a battle of NFC powerhouses. Both clubs appear destined for postseason, yet have issues. The Rams lost two in a row before their bye and have heard plenty about getting beaten up by more physical teams lately.

Packers lose Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins for season to torn ACL, per report

  Packers lose Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins for season to torn ACL, per report Left tackle Elgton Jenkins suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the Packers' 34-31 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings.Elgton Jenkins, the third-year star offensive lineman who has protected Aaron Rodgers' blindside all season, tore his ACL on Sunday in Minnesota, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. An MRI on Monday confirmed the Packers' initial fears, Schefter reported.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the Rams' Matthew Stafford will lock horns Sunday in Green Bay. © Evan Russell, USA TODAY Sports Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and the Rams' Matthew Stafford will lock horns Sunday in Green Bay.

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Meanwhile, the Packers have lost two of three themselves – fumbling the conference's No. 1 seed twice in the process – and Aaron Rodgers has revealed he's playing on a fractured toe, which he must do behind a new left tackle after Elgton Jenkins' season-ending knee injury. Not ideal with legendary defenders Aaron Donald and Von Miller coming to town.

Hurricanes' Ethan Bear enters COVID protocol

  Hurricanes' Ethan Bear enters COVID protocol In the second season of a two-year, $4 million deal signed in 2020, Bear will be looking for another raise this offseason when he hits arbitration-eligible restricted free agency. His current back-loaded deal means he’ll be owed a $2.4 million qualifying offer, and strong play could even have him in line for a multi-year extension.With that in mind, any absence from the lineup is a notable one, as the Hurricanes will have to look elsewhere for Bear’s minutes on the back end. Because he is a confirmed positive case, if he experiences any symptoms, he’ll miss a minimum of 10 days.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USA TODAY Sports' Week 12 NFL picks: Do Los Angeles Rams or Green Bay Packers prevail in battle of NFC powers?

Colts coach Frank Reich: Few regrets over not running the ball in loss to Buccaneers .
The Colts ran 26 passing plays in a row, despite having the NFL's leading rusher Jonathan Taylor, in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.Twenty-six or twenty-seven passing plays in a row, depending on whether or not a Carson Wentz scramble that was nullified by a holding penalty is included in the total.

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