Two-time Super Bowl champion Von Miller is expected to undergo an MRI after exiting Thursday's 28-25 Buffalo Bills win over the Detroit Lions with a knee injury.

Miller appeared to bend his knee awkwardly after he had his foot stepped on as he tried to get to Lions quarterback Jared Goff.

The Pro Bowl outside linebacker was able to limp off but spent time in the medical tent before being carted to the locker room.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was unclear about the extent of Miller's knee issue, which forced him out of the game with less than three minutes left in the first half.

"I don't know," McDermott told reporters when asked about Miller's status. "I only connected with [head athletic trainer] Nate [Breske] at half-time, so I don't have anything to give you on that."

Miller was spotted leaving the X-ray room at Ford Field but was not wearing a moon boot nor using crutches.

The 33-year-old, who joined the Bills in the offseason from the Los Angeles Rams, has a team-high eight sacks this season. He entered Week 12 ranked second in the NFL with 37 pressures.

The Buffalo Bills took a number of punches in their 28-25 Thanksgiving win against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, but continued to get off the canvas to tough out a gutsy win.

Despite coming out on the losing side, the Lions took the lead in the first quarter, re-took the lead in the fourth quarter, and after the Bills were able to pull back in front, they clawed their way down the field to tie it with 23 seconds remaining.

But every time the Lions thought they had the visiting Bills on the ropes, Josh Allen and company were always able to find the answer, using those final 23 seconds to make their way into field goal range and escape with the win in regulation.

Coming into the game without two key starters on defense with linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and pass-rusher Greg Rousseau out hurt, their injury list received another unfortunate edition in the second quarter when future Hall-of-Famer Von Miller was carted off with a knee sprain.

Touching on how the Bills continued to push through all the adversity they faced, top wide receiver Stefon Diggs said it comes from everybody's belief in the next-man-up to get the job done.

"That next-man mindset is real," he said. "I hate to preach it, sound like a broken record, but guys came in and played at a high level. 

"We just preach it to everybody to do the job. You don't need to do more than your job and you do your one 11th, we'll find a way.

"I tried to tell the guys everything in the past is the past. We didn't get off to the best start, but you keep rolling with the punches. 

"Things aren't gonna be perfect; I'm riding with my guy [Allen]. We just had to try to get on the same page, every week is different… things didn't happen perfectly, but we figured it out."

Allen echoed that sentiment, and highlighted the mental fortitude of kicker Tyler Bass to come out and nail the game-winner shortly after missing an extra-point.

"Guys are resilient, the ups and downs of an NFL game, that's a good team playing very well, playing good football right now," he said. 

"But again, guys just continuing to grind, guys going down and stepping up finding a way. I'm proud of our guys for doing that.

"I don't think you understand how big it is for a guy to do that in this league, for [Bass] just to feel that rollercoaster of emotions, to go step up for our team and nail it."

Head coach Sean McDermott also made sure to praise his kicker, saying he knew he could trust him despite the previous miss.

"You're going to have some [misses]," he said. "But to be able to let a player reset after making a mistake and come out, that's how you earn trust when you do that, right? 

"When you can give a player that second chance right there. I didn't have to mess with him. I knew he's so mentally tough, and he showed it again today."

The Bills are now 8-3 and atop the AFC East, with a Thursday fixture on the road against the New England Patriots up next.

The Detroit Lions played tough, but another last-minute, game-winning drive from star quarterback Josh Allen lifted the Buffalo Bills to a 28-25 win on Thanksgiving.

Playing at home and entering the contest on a three-game winning streak, the Lions struck first with a close-range Jamaal Williams touchdown in the first quarter.

The Bills would answer straight back with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Isaiah McKenzie on the next drive, and after trading touchdowns again in the second quarter, a Tyler Bass field goal as time expired gave Buffalo a 17-14 lead at half-time.

Defensive lineman Ed Oliver tacked on two more points for the Bills early in the third quarter when he sacked Lions quarterback Jared Goff in the endzone for a safety, but the hosts would not go away, taking the lead 22-19 to begin the fourth period after a D.J. Chark touchdown catch.

The see-sawing battle would see the Bills retake the ascendancy with under three minutes remaining through a five-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown reception, but the Lions looked destined to take it to overtime when Michael Badgley tied it up at 25-25 with a clutch 51-yard field goal, with only 23 seconds on the clock.

That proved to be enough time for Allen to win it, delivering a 36-yard strike to Diggs to move within field goal range, setting up Bass for another big kick, and another big make to take the Bills to 8-3.

Allen completed 24 of 42 passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while top receiver Diggs snagged eight receptions for 77 yards and a score.

This Thursday marks Thanksgiving in the United States.

That means several things. Food, family and lots and lots of football, with the traditional three games on the schedule for the holiday.

With the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings all playing, there will be plenty of fantasy relevant players in action, meaning there's no time to waste in terms of getting a winning line-up set.

Thanksgiving is, as the name makes obvious, a time to say what you're grateful for, and Stats Perform hopes you will be appreciative of the fantasy help we're here to provide with our picks of four offensive players and a defense for Week 12.
 

Quarterback: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Chargers may not be feeling too grateful after having their heart broken again by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

But they must be appreciative of getting to face the Cardinals' defense in Week 12, especially with Herbert's top receiver, Keenan Allen, back in the fold.

The Cardinals have allowed 118 pass plays of 10 yards or more, the fourth-most in the NFL. Coming off a game in which he averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, Herbert is well-positioned to get the Chargers' playoff push back on track against opposition that should facilitate one of his best performances of the season.

Running Back: Jeff Wilson Jr, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans

When Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel sits down to eat his turkey on Thursday, he may express thanks for the trade with his former employers, the San Francisco 49ers, that landed Wilson's services for Miami.

Wilson has quickly established himself as the top runner in a Dolphins backfield that was not firing on all cylinders prior to his arrival.

He averaged seven yards per carry against the Cleveland Browns' dreadful run defense last time out and now gets to face a Houston defense that has allowed 57 runs of at least 10 yards, which is 12 more than anyone else in the league.

Wide Receiver: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills

Detroit's leading receiver may not be happy to go against the Buffalo defense in Week 12, but Jameson Williams' debut is likely to bring a smile to his face.

Williams, Detroit's second first-round pick in 2022, is practising after recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in his final college game, and will give the Lions a tremendous deep threat who can stretch the field and open underneath areas for St. Brown to exploit.

In a game where the chances of the Lions falling behind and being forced to throw the ball consistently are high, that is a recipe for St. Brown racking up completions and yardage in the Thanksgiving opener.

Tight End: T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots

There is likely to be gratitude in Vikings circles that they get the chance to quickly wash the stink off from their blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11.

Having been shellacked by the Cowboy defense, the Minnesota offense will face a different challenge in the form of the Patriots, who consistently drop eight players into coverage.

New England will almost certainly look to take Justin Jefferson away with double teams, meaning quarterback Kirk Cousins will likely have to frequently look to Hockenson over the middle of the field.

Targeted 28 times in three games since his arrival in a trade with Detroit, Hockenson appears primed for massive fantasy performance in the Thanksgiving nightcap, especially in points per reception leagues.

Defense/Special Teams: San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints' coaching staff may have a stressful Thanksgiving game planning for the 49ers, who appear to be rounding into form on both sides of the ball.

San Francisco's defense has not allowed a second-half point in any of the Niners' last three games and is giving up just 4.67 yards per play this season, the second-fewest in the NFL.

Facing a Saints offense that has committed the most giveaways (19) in the NFL, the San Francisco defense should dominate once more and deliver a crucial contribution for its fantasy owners.

There are no more perfect teams in the NFL, just some very good ones.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost their 100 per cent record against the Washington Commanders on Monday, and will look to bounce back in Indianapolis in Week 11.

The New York Jets return from their bye week looking to continue to surprise, though they have a tough trip to the New England Patriots to contend with, while the Minnesota Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys in another enticing clash.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the more interesting numbers ahead of these and other big games on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

Philadelphia possessed the ball for just 19 minutes and 36 seconds of game time in the loss to the Commanders. It was their lowest time of possession in a game since another loss to Washington in Week 4 of the 2015 season (18:52).

Jalen Hurts rushed for a touchdown last week, giving him 20 in his career. At 24 years and 99 days old, he became the second-youngest quarterback in NFL history to reach 20 rushing touchdowns, trailing only Cam Newton (23 years, 199 days).

Matt Ryan had a 39-yard rush in last week's win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the longest run of his career. It was the longest rushing play by a Colts quarterback since Jim Harbaugh ran for 41 yards in Week 4 of the 1994 season.

With a win, Jeff Saturday would join Jim Caldwell (2009) as the only Colts head coaches to win the first two games of their careers.

New York Jets (6-3) @ New England Patriots (5-4)

The Patriots have won 13 consecutive games against the Jets, winning every meeting since the beginning of the 2016 season. That is tied for the longest active win streak against a single opponent for any team (the Chiefs over the Broncos).

The Jets entered their bye week with a 20-17 win over the Bills in which they had 136 net passing yards. They are 5-0 this season when having 250 or fewer passing yards in a game compared to 1-3 when they have more than 250.

Players aged 23 and younger have gained 2002 yards from scrimmage for the Jets this season, the most in the NFL (next most is the Colts with 1336). That is already the most scrimmage yards for the Jets by players 23 and under since the 1990 season (2452).

Jakobi Meyers leads the Patriots with 457 receiving yards this season, one of five New England players with 200+ receiving yards this season. Only the Green Bay Packers (six) have more players with at least 200 receiving yards in 2022.

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (8-1)

Last week was the Vikings' third win this season after trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, tying the 1980 Dolphins, 2000 Jets, 2003 Colts and 2011 Lions for the most such wins in a campaign in NFL history.

Justin Jefferson has 814 receiving yards over his last six games, the most in a six-game span in Vikings history and the most by any NFL player over a six-game span in a single season since Antonio Brown recorded 868 in 2015.

With his 81-yard rushing touchdown last week, Dalvin Cook has now had a rush of at least 65 yards in five straight seasons, level with Derrick Henry (2017-21) for the longest streak by any player since the 1970 merger.

Last week's loss to Green Bay snapped the Cowboys' streak of 195 consecutive wins when leading by 14 or more points entering the fourth quarter (including postseason), which had been the longest streak in NFL history.

Elsewhere...

The Buffalo Bills take on the Cleveland Browns having had at least 100 rushing yards and 300 total yards in 16 straight games, including postseason, the third-longest streak in the Super Bowl era behind the Seattle Seahawks (19, 2014-15) and the Vikings (18, 2002-03).

The Detroit Lions will need to stop Saquon Barkley, who had a career-high 35 rushing attempts for 152 yards in the New York Giants' 24-16 win over the Houston Texans last week. His 35 rushes were the most in a game by any NFL running back this season and the most by a Giant since Joe Montgomery had 38 against the Jets in 1999. 

Ahead of facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has completed 76.8 per cent of his passes over his last four games, the fourth-highest by any QB over a four-game span in a single season in NFL history (minimum 140 attempts, excluding overlapping spans) behind Peyton Manning (78.8) and Philip Rivers in 2013 (78.3), and Sam Bradford in 2016 (77.9).

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2, 27-24. Since 2018, six of the nine games between the Chiefs and Chargers have been decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the third most of any matchup since then (Bears-Lions and Texans-Colts, seven each).

The NFL season has reached the point where the playoff picture truly starts to take shape.

Many players have proven themselves in an unpredictable 2022 campaign while others have fallen below expectations.

Stats Perform has focused on the former, selecting a pick for every position in Week 11, including the defense/special teams slot, for players that deserve to be in your consideration.

If you have any of these rostered, or they are somehow available on the waiver wire, now is the time to make your move!

Quarterback – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns

Questionable for the entire week leading up to Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings, Allen was not at his best as he threw two interceptions and had a critical late fumble in the fourth quarter, but still racked up the points.

A tally of 29 completions was Allen's highest since Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans (42), with a total of 330 yards his third-highest of the season. Cause for concern, however, is the fact Allen has thrown more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (three) over the past three weeks.

The Browns' defense has struggled to defend the pass, though, conceding 11.91 yards per completion on average, the sixth-worst in the NFL. Look for Allen to bounce back here.

Running back – Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs Detroit Lions

No player has more rushing yards in the NFL this season than Barkley (931), who had 152 against the Houston Texans in Week 10, his highest return since 164 yards in Week 1 against the Titans.

With rushing touchdowns in seven of his nine games this season, including four in his last five, Barkley is almost guaranteed to yield a strong return of fantasy points – especially against a vulnerable Lions defense.

Only the Texans (1,636) have allowed more rushing yards this season than the Lions (1,448), while an average of 5.34 yards allowed per carry is third worst in the league – both numbers that will encourage Barkley to run riot.

Wide receiver – CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings

The Cowboys' trip to Minnesota is a matchup where elite receivers will be the focus, with Justin Jefferson of the Vikings and the Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb top of the agenda – the latter being our pick for the week.

In the Week 10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Lamb caught 11 of 15 targets and racked up 150 yards, reaching three figures for the first time this season, with two receiving plays of 25 or more yards.

Opponents against the Vikings have racked up a total of 2,537 yards, giving the Minnesota defense the sixth-worst record in that regard. The Vikings are also allowing 32 plays of at least 20 yards – with only five teams in the NFL conceding more.

Tight end – George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

Utilised predominantly as a blocker in Week 10, George Kittle should see more of the ball against a Cardinals defense that has allowed a total of 2,619 passing yards this season, behind only the Atlanta Falcons and the Titans, and 17 passing touchdowns, the fourth-most across the NFL.

When targeted, Kittle is a reliable option to get the ball moving downfield, catching 29 of 41 targets and securing a first down on over half of them (15). A total of 340 yards this season has seen 165 yards after catch, illustrating his power when he gets moving.

Kittle boasts a burn rate, which is when a receiver wins his matchup against a defender on a play where he is targeted, of 65.9 per cent – ranking seventh among tight ends who have been targeted at least 30 times.

Defense/Special teams – Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts

Defeat to the Washington Commanders in Week 10 brought an end to the Eagles' eight-game winning streak but the 4-5 Colts should be an easier proposition for the NFC favourites to deal with.

The Eagles defense has allowed just 1,813 passing yards overall, the second-best record behind the Denver Broncos (1,769). Philadelphia's 13 interceptions is the joint-best tally in the NFL along with the Bills – intercepting 4.1 per cent of passing attempts they have faced.

Only three teams have recorded more sacks than the Eagles (29) this season, with opponents losing a total of 214 yards in the process – only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (217) and Cowboys (225) have seen opponents lose more yards on sacks.

Aaron Rodgers urged the Green Bay Packers to embrace their new-found status as underdogs following a fifth loss in a row.

The Packers' troubles deepened in an upset defeat to NFC North rivals the Detroit Lions, who triumphed 15-9 on Sunday.

Green Bay had not lost five on the bounce since 2008 – Rodgers' first year as a starter – but they are a team devoid of confidence at present.

Rodgers' own display summed up the fortunes of his team as he threw three interceptions in a game for only the fifth time in his career and for the first time against NFC North opponents.

Two of those came with the game still scoreless, giving the lowly Lions a foothold they fought hard to protect.

"I had some s***** throws, for sure," said Rodgers. "I played s*****, but I never gave up.

"We moved the ball well in the first half, and I threw a couple picks in the end zone, took points off the board. That, obviously, came back to hurt us down the stretch.

"I've been counted out many times in my life as have many of my team-mates, and I hope we just dig deep and find a way.

"We will truly be underdogs for many games moving forward. Hopefully we can embrace that. We have two games at home. We've got to go win those two games in a week, and then this thing looks a little different."

Packers coach Matt LaFleur conceded the going was tough but wants to see Rodgers and his team-mates channel their frustration more productively.

"I'm sure he's extremely frustrated, as we all are," LaFleur said.

"I don't think we've been in this [situation]. I know in my time here, we haven't been in this situation and I don't think he's been in this situation too many times in his career, obviously.

"It's disappointing and frustrating. But I think that we all probably need to do a little bit better job of controlling that frustration."

Aaron Rodgers lost a fifth straight game for just the second time in his NFL career as the Green Bay Packers were upset again by NFC North rivals the Detroit Lions.

The Packers are enduring a torrid season and fell to 3-6 with this latest 15-9 defeat on Sunday.

Green Bay had not previously lost five in a row since 2008 – Rodgers' first year as a starter – but there is no sign of their misery ending any time soon.

Rodgers, previously so dominant in division matchups, threw three interceptions in a game for only the fifth time in his career and for the first time against NFC North opponents.

Two of those came with the game still scoreless, giving the lowly Lions a foothold they fought hard to protect.

Detroit had traded T.J. Hockenson within the division to the Minnesota Vikings at the deadline, but that void was filled by a pair of career-first touchdown catches from tight ends.

Shane Zylstra – elevated from the practice squad on Saturday alongside wide receiver brother Brandon – got the Lions on the board with his first catch of the year, while rookie James Mitchell's score at the start of the fourth quarter ultimately proved decisive.

Bills loss leaves AFC East in the balance

The fourth of Rodgers' five successive defeats had come against the Buffalo Bills last week, but Josh Allen was also on the end of a shock loss on Sunday as the New York Jets blew the AFC wide open. Despite two rushing TDs, Allen was every bit as hapless as Rodgers through the air as he threw two interceptions in the Jets' tense 20-17 win.

With the Bills 6-2 and the Jets 6-3, the AFC East is among the year's closest fought divisions, with the Miami Dolphins just about improving to 6-3 by fending off the Chicago Bears 35-32. Justin Fields kept the Bears in touch, throwing three TD passes and rushing for 178 yards – a Super Bowl era record among quarterbacks. His stunning 61-yard TD run was the longest of his career.

Mixon makes hay with Bengals' first five-TD game

There was no late drama in the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Carolina Panthers, which was dominated by running back Joe Mixon. He rushed for four TDs and had five total scores – also catching a Joe Burrow pass. It was just the ninth five-plus-TD game of the Super Bowl era – and the first by a Bengal – and set up a 42-21 victory.

The 2022 trade deadline day proved a historic one for the NFL.

Teams struck 10 deals on Tuesday prior to the 16:00 EST deadline, with a total of 12 players traded, the most ever on deadline day.

None were of the level of the San Francisco 49ers' blockbuster trade for Christian McCaffrey on October 20.

However, there were still several deals that will have significant short and long-term impacts for some of the franchises involved.

So what can we glean from the hive of activity at the deadline? Stats Perform dug into the advanced data around the trades to answer that question.
 

Dolphins crank up pressure on opponents, and Tua

The Miami Dolphins made the headline move of trade deadline day, sending a package that included the 2023 first-round pick they acquired from the 49ers to the Denver Broncos for edge rusher Bradley Chubb.

It is a move aimed at improving the Dolphin defense's ability to better complement an offense that fired on all cylinders in their Week 8 win over the Detroit Lions.

Miami recovered from 14 points down to beat the lowly Lions 31-27, Tua Tagovailoa producing five passing plays of at least 20 yards in a single game for the third time this season.

Yet the Dolphins might not have needed such heroics from their quarterback had the defense been better equipped to keep the Lions at bay in the first two quarters.

The Dolphins are allowing successful plays on 47.7 per cent of passing downs, well above the league average of 41.1, and have tallied just 14 sacks for negative yardage this season, tied for 20th in the NFL.

Chubb's arrival brings the Dolphins a high-ceiling pass rusher who already has 5.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 2022.

His 32 pressures are more than every other Dolphins defender save for Jaelan Phillips, who has racked up 41, the fourth-most in the NFL, in a strong second season.

The hope will be that pairing Phillips and Chubb will greatly improve the defense's capacity to create negative plays and remove some of the onus from a high-powered offense.

That offense has a new name in the backfield for the second half of the season. The Dolphins traded running back Chase Edmonds to the Broncos, before sending a fifth-round pick to the 49ers for Jeff Wilson Jr, who reunites with former team-mate Raheem Mostert in Miami.

Wilson's departure was always a possibility after the 49ers struck their blockbuster trade for McCaffrey, but he should prove an excellent complement to Mostert.

He can excel at both zone and gap-scheme runs and has proven effective at picking up yards with less than ideal blocking. Among backs with at least 50 carries, Wilson is 11th with 3.37 yards per rush on runs where there is a disruption by a defender.

With a strengthened pass rush and an apparent upgrade in the backfield, Tagovailoa's support system looks to be improved following the trade deadline, but that will only heighten the scrutiny on him if he cannot turn a 5-3 start into a playoff berth.
 

Lions have long way to go

If their 1-6 record didn't already make it obvious, Detroit's decision to trade tight end T.J. Hockenson to NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings hammered home the point that the Lions still have a lot of rebuilding to do.

Detroit received a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-rounder in exchange for Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-rounder.

It is a move that sees them part with a tight end that was a Pro Bowler as recently as 2020 and who has been an efficient receiver in 2022.

Hockenson is averaging 15.2 yards per reception, the most among tight ends, with Detroit's willingness to part with him reflective of how much they value acquiring draft capital for a team that appears further away from competing than many thought heading into the season.

While the struggles on the field may put them in position to land their quarterback of the future, the Lions are clearly in need of more resources to improve a defense that has allowed a play success rate of 46.1 per cent, the second worst in the NFL, and continues to struggle to create pressure or cover in the secondary.

The beneficiaries of the Lions' need to amass picks are the 6-1 Vikings, who can work in Hockenson as a replacement for Irv Smith Jr. after he was lost for eight to 10 weeks with an ankle injury.

It was not clear in which direction the Vikings were headed after a sea change in the front office and at head coach after missing the playoffs last season, but the Lions were thought to be on an upward trajectory following an impressive offseason.

That assessment has proven misguided, with these two teams' divergent paths enabling the Vikings to enjoy the advantages of having another offensive weapon as the Lions are left wondering how long it will take for them to be in a position to be buyers at the deadline.
 

Chicago has faith in Fields

The Chicago Bears were also a seller, sending linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday having also dealt pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Unlike the Lions, however, the Bears were in the business of adding to their roster, striking a deal that serves as an illustration of their belief in second-year quarterback Justin Fields.

After receiving a second and a fifth-round pick for Smith, the Bears parted with a second to acquire wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Claypool's worth was clearly not depreciated by a downturn in his production in terms of scoring from his rookie year. He scored 11 touchdowns (nine receiving, two rushing) in 2020 but has just three from scrimmage since.

Yet Claypool has excelled at winning his matchups with covering defenders this season, with his open percentage against man coverage of 42.42 prior well above the average for wide receivers of 36.32.

That points to the problem in recent years being the Steelers' offense, which has struggled to target him downfield amid its deficiencies at the quarterback position. Claypool's average depth of target of 9.8 yards this season is below the league average of 10.4.

But a partnership with Fields, who has been starved of receiving talent in Chicago, could be one that gets Claypool back on his previous trajectory.

Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Fields was accurate on 90.9 per cent of his throws while averaging 9.5 air yards per attempt. His season-long average of 9.64 is fourth among quarterbacks with at least 100 passes this season.

If Fields sustains that downfield accuracy, it could see Claypool re-emerge as the deep ball-winner he was in his rookie season.

Though they have traded other assets for picks, the Bears feel Fields has shown enough to be worthy of their faith he can blossom into Chicago's franchise quarterback and are backing him to revitalise Claypool while inspiring further strides for an offense that has made definitive progress in recent games.

The Minnesota Vikings acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson from the NFC North rival the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. 

Minnesota are sending a 2023 second-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round selection to Detroit, and the Vikings will also receive a 2023 fourth-round pick along with a 2024 conditional fourth-round selection. 

The Vikings lead the NFC North with a 6-1 record, while Detroit is in last place at 1-6. 

It is a move which comes hours before the trade deadline after Minnesota lost tight end Irv Smith Jr. to a high ankle sprain in last week's 34-26 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Smith is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. 

The Lions selected Hockenson with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has 186 catches for 2,068 yards and 15 touchdowns in 47 career games. 

Hockenson was leading the Lions with 395 receiving yards and had a team high-tying three TD grabs this season.

He is under contract through 2023 after the Lions picked up his fifth-year option.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw a career-high four touchdown passes in Sunday's big 35-13 home win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was also a career day for Hurts' top receiver, A.J. Brown, who caught three touchdown passes for the first time – and he did it all in the first half.

Brown's first score came on a 39-yard deep-ball into the endzone, coming down with it between two Steelers defensive backs in the first quarter. He then added two more scores in the second quarter –  a 27-yard touchdown and a 29-yard touchdown to open up a 21-10 lead.

He finished the game with six catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first Eagles receiver to total at least 150 yards and three touchdowns in a single game since 2007.

Hurts would start the second half with his fourth touchdown pass, this time to Zach Pascal, and a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown for Miles Sanders would complete the rout.

For the Steelers, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 25 of his 38 passes for 191 yards and one interception, getting sacked six times and fumbling twice.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson collected one of those six sacks for the Eagles, and he also had the game's only interception.

The Eagles have a great chance to move to 8-0 on Thursday when they travel to take on the Houston Texans.

Tagovailoa leads strong Dolphins comeback

The Miami Dolphins had to claw their way out of an early deficit to defeat the Detroit Lions 31-27 in a high-scoring shootout.

Detroit jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after touchdown runs to D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, and after Jaylen Waddle got on the end of a Tua Tagovailoa touchdown pass to trim the margin, Williams ran in his second score of the opening half to make it 21-7.

Tagovailoa then found his rhythm and delivered another touchdown to Waddle, with the talented young receiver going on to finish with eight catches for 106 yards and two scores. He was not alone as teammate Tyreek Hill gave the Lions' secondary headaches all game, catching 12 of his 14 targets for 188 yards.

A one-yard fullback dive from Alec Ingold and an 11-yard touchdown to Mike Gesicki would pull the Dolphins ahead 31-27 late in the third quarter, and their defense would rise to the challenge down the stretch to shut the door.

Cook carries the Vikings to impressive 6-1 start

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most surprising stories of the season and are likely playoff-bound after moving to 6-1 with a 34-26 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Star running back Dalvin Cook was at his best, shouldering 20 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Kirk Cousins and backup running back Alexander Mattison also collected rushing touchdowns.

Top Cardinals receiver De'Andre Hopkins enjoyed a big performance, catching 12 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, but it was not enough as the Minnesota defense stepped up and denied Arizona a potential game-tying score on their final three drives. 

Detroit Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams could make his NFL debut in "at least probably another month," head coach Dan Campbell said on Wednesday.

Williams, the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee the former Alabama All-American suffered in the College Football Playoff national championship game in January.

ACL injuries typically involve a recovery process of up to a year.

"I do feel like we're gonna get him before it's all said and done," Campbell said.

The Lions (1-5) were not deterred by the injury as they traded up 20 spots with NFC North rival Minnesota to choose Williams.

The 21-year-old established himself as an elite prospect during his lone season at Alabama, becoming one of college football's most explosive receivers after transferring from Ohio State.

His 15 touchdown receptions in 2021 tied for third in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and he led the Crimson Tide with 1,572 receiving yards on 79 catches.

Nine of Williams' 15 touchdown catches were from 40 or more yards, tops in the FBS last season, while his 11 receptions of 40 or more yards tied for second among major college players.

Dak Prescott made a slow start on his return to the Dallas Cowboys team, but "a win's a win", the quarterback says.

Prescott had been out of action since fracturing his thumb in the Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Cowboys had improved to 4-2 in his absence, led by Cooper Rush, and their fifth win followed in a 24-6 defeat of the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Prescott was back in the team, although he was far from the star of the show.

The Dallas defense produced five sacks and two interceptions, while Ezekiel Elliott ran in for two touchdowns.

Prescott did not throw a TD pass until the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, finishing with 207 yards on 19-of-25 passing.

The QB was never concerned about his own performance, though, suggesting he might have enjoyed overseeing a comfortable victory without contributing with a TD of his own.

"A win's a win," Prescott said. "I really don't care how it gets done; a win's a win.

"I thought it was going to be pretty cool to leave this game without a touchdown, honestly. That's kind of where my head is right now.

"I know how talented this team is. I know what we can be. It's not about me. It's about all of us, and I'm just trying to make sure I play my part and make sure I put this team in the right situation each and every play."

Crucially, he added: "The thumb feels pretty good."

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said of his QB's display: "I thought Dak performed better as the game went on. It's his first time he's been out there in quite some time.

"Start with the command of the huddle, the whole operation, I thought he was really on point there. He handled the adjustments that were going during the course of the game.

"Those are the big things that don't show up in the stat column."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' dismal season plumbed new depths as they remarkably lost 21-3 to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Tom Brady's Bucs had slipped to 3-3 with last week's unexpected defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the team now have a losing record for the first time since the legendary quarterback lost his 2020 debut. Only in 2002, when he missed the playoffs, had Brady previously had a losing record at the end of Week 7.

This reverse was perhaps even more surprising than the Steelers upset, as P.J. Walker, Carolina's third-choice QB, led a Panthers team who had traded away star running back Christian McCaffrey this week.

Following that trade with the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Wilks, the interim head coach since Matt Rhule's October 10 firing, insisted: "There's no such thing as tanking when it comes to myself and the guys in that locker room."

The Panthers backed up that statement by dominating Brady and the Bucs, who were held to three points or fewer for the third time in their three seasons together. A Brady offense had three points or fewer only twice in his entire New England Patriots career.

The Bucs were scoreless through three quarters, in which time Carolina scored two touchdowns – Walker with a 20-yard completion to DJ Moore, before Chuba Hubbard, with just six carries through six weeks alongside McCaffrey, ran in from 17 yards.

Ryan Succop's field goal at the start of the fourth quarter was not to set the stage for a dramatic turnaround, as Walker's 29-yard pass to Tommy Tremble completed the job.

Rodgers also loses once more

Brady's fellow veteran Aaron Rodgers also dropped to 3-4 as the Green Bay Packers lost for the third week running, beaten 23-21 by the Washington Commanders.

The Packers have suffered three straight defeats for the first time since 2018, with Rodgers unable to rally late on after a first half in which he had only 47 passing yards – his second-lowest career mark after 15 or more attempts before halftime.

Dak back but defense dominates

Dak Prescott returned from injury as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions 24-6, although the victory owed more to running back Ezekiel Elliott and the team's defense than their QB. Prescott threw for 207 yards and a TD, as Elliott ran in for a pair of scores while Jared Goff was sacked five times and picked off twice.

Joe Burrow, the Cincinnati Bengals' QB, was far more influential as he threw for 481 yards and three TDs in a 35-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons. That yardage ranks third in a regular season Bengals game all-time, although the 525-yard record already belongs to Burrow (v Ravens, 2021).

The Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry enjoyed a record-setting performance in victory over AFC South rivals the Indianapolis Colts, rushing for 128 yards. He has 1287 career rushing yards versus the Colts, the most of any Titan against any one team.

Christian McCaffrey is expected to make his debut for the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Former All-Pro running back McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers from the Carolina Panthers on Thursday for second, third and fourth-round picks in 2023 and a fifth-rounder in 2024.

The tight turnaround initially made it look unlikely McCaffrey would be overly involved in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV from the 2019 season.

However, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, McCaffrey will play and the 49ers will have a package of plays ready for him.

The Chiefs will have a new lead runner in their backfield, with rookie Isaiah Pacheco set to get the bulk of the carries over 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Kansas City's closest rivals in the AFC West, the 4-2 Los Angeles Chargers, face NFC West opponents themselves in the form of the Seattle Seahawks.

They had hoped to have wide receiver Keenan Allen back from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Week 1, but his status was still up in the air heading into Sunday.

Star Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett is set to play having been listed as questionable with a hamstring injury of his own.

The Baltimore Ravens, another prospective AFC contender, have been boosted with tight end Mark Andrews (ankle) and Rashod Bateman (knee) both active for their meeting with the Cleveland Browns. 

The Dallas Cowboys will not have to defend D'Andre Swift in Dak Prescott's return to action. Detroit Lions running back Swift is once again inactive because of ankle and shoulder injuries.

Detroit's division rivals the Green Bay Packers are looking to end a two-game losing run and get their offense back on track against the Washington Commanders.

Yet they will be without oft-injured left tackle David Bakhtiari because of a flare-up in his knee. The Packers have remodelled a struggling offensive line, shifting Elgton Jenkins from right tackle to left guard. Yosh Nijman takes over at right tackle, with rookie Zac Tom filling in for Bakhtiari.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins will return from a knee injury as Aaron Rodgers desperately searches for targets he can trust.

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