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NFL Week 12 Trench Matchups: The NFC North showdown between the Bears and Packers is the matchup of the week

Nov 15, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass under pressure from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With the kickoff to Thanksgiving football just hours away, it's time for us to analyze every contest's trench matchups by predicting the survival curves for the offensive line and projecting how often a quarterback will be pressured at a given time after the snap.

Going into each game, a machine-learning model incorporates several features in order to come up with a prediction:

  • The survival curve of the offensive line in previous games (or from last year)
  • The survival curve of the defensive line in previous games (or from last year)
  • The PFF pass-blocking grades of the five offensive linemen
  • The PFF pass-rush grades of the pass-rushers and the positions they are projected to line up in
  • How the blend of individual grades and team-level survival curves from the past are weighted toward predicting the cervical curve depends on continuity and how far in the past the information lies. Less continuity means the individual grades are weighted more heavily.
  • Schematic factors such as how often the defense is projected to blitz and how often the offense is projected to use play action, designed rollouts or six-plus-man protections.

[Editor's Note: PFF's advanced statistics and player grades are powered by AWS machine learning capabilities.]

Each week, we will use our projections to highlight the biggest mismatches in the trenches. We will also identify an interesting matchup to watch.

Last week, Aaron Rodgers was protected as well as we expected him to be, as the Indianapolis Colts‘ pass rush was only able to generate quick pressure (pressure within 2.5 seconds of the snap) on 9% of their snaps.

However, the Denver Broncos‘ offensive line fared better than expected against the Miami Dolphins’ pass rush. While the 24% quick-pressure rate they applied on Drew Lock is slightly above average, we expected even more from Miami.

Here are our mismatches for Week 12.

Favoring the offensive line: Cleveland Browns OL vs. Jacksonville Jaguars DL

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