If a team can get to a Week 12 bye with some sort of health among their players, it can really help. That’s the case for three of the four teams and those three teams find themselves right in the thick of a playoff chase. Here’s some analysis about what could happen after the Week 12 bye:
The Bills head into a bye week after a big win. They were able to hang 37 points against the New York Jets on Sunday. To be fair, that had a lot to do with Geno Smith turning the ball over four times. E.J. Manuel was efficient in his win with 245 yards and two scores on 20-of-28 passing. He also didn’t turn the ball over.
Manuel did this without his top two receivers in that game with Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods both sidelined due to injuries. The bye week comes at a great time and their receiving corps is actually somewhat solid.
Marquise Goodwin was the fastest player at the combine with a 40 time of 4.27 seconds and he’s getting better at running routes. He had 98 yards on Sunday, including a 43-yard score. T.J. Graham is also getting a lot better in his second season and could help stretch the field. The Bills do need some more possession-type receivers, but the big-play ability is there.
The Bengals have been a Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team lately. Back in Week 8, Marvin Jones caught four TDs, Andy Dalton threw for five and they put up 49 points against a nice Jets defense. They were on a four-game winning streak following that game and were looking like a lock to win the division.
Then Week 9 and 10 happened. They had back-to-back overtime losses and scored just 18.5 points per game. Dalton couldn’t get the ball to A.J. Green and they really had some issues in the red zone.
On Sunday, they got it going with 41 points against the Browns. It wasn’t due to their offense though, with Dalton only throwing for 93 yards through the air.
Hopefully, they can get their issues sorted out in the passing game over the bye. They have some favorable matchups with the San Diego Chargers in Week 13, the finishing up against the Colts, Steelers and Vikings.
The Eagles are flying high these days and are leading their division. Simply put, their bye week comes at almost the perfect time. It was only a matter of time before running back LeSean McCoy had a bad wheel, and he pulled his hammy on Sunday. The stud back was able to return to the lineup in Sunday’s game, so it’s not a serious injury. All signs point to him being ready for Week 12.
Nick Foles still hasn’t thrown a pick in his NFL career and coach Chip Kelly almost has to play Foles upon his return from the bye. Fantasy owners might want to take a look and see if Michael Vick is floating around on the wire because he has a chance to put up some numbers should Kelly get a little crazy.
The Seahawks are going to be one of the most talked about teams as the NFL playoffs come around. They got all-world receiver Percy Harvin back on Sunday and he looked great in his limited action. Surprisingly, they put him in the lineup as a punt-return man, so that should be a sign that they’re going to completely unleash him after the bye.
It’s boom-or-bust matchups for the Seahawks the rest of the way. They get the Saints on Monday Night Football in Week 13, then they’ll get the 49ers in San Francisco -- a game that could be flexed into Sunday Night Football -- then will go to New Jersey to play the Giants before finishing up against Arizona at home.