NFL Week Thirteen Recap

NFL Week Thirteen Recap

Dallas 27 (8-4), New Orleans 17 (5-7): Saints QB Taysom Hill looks great throwing a 70-yard TD pass with 2:32 left in the game; however, the play was made meaningless after Hill tossed a pick-six two plays earlier, sealing the Cowboys’ win.  The reported injury to Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott continues to hurt his production, with the former Ohio State standout tallying just 45 yards as Tony Pollard ran for a TD and 71 yards on just seven carries.  The win does keep the ‘Boys two games ahead of Washington in the loss column for the NFC East lead while the losing streak is now five games for the Saints as they are in a tie for third in the NFC South and going nowhere fast in 2021.

Arizona 33 (10-2), Chicago 22 (4-8):  The return of Kyler Murray proved important for the Cardinals in this game as the QB tossed for two TDs and ran for two more in a game Arizona fans were happy to see their team win from the warm desert.  Bears’ QB Andy Dalton and RB David Montgomery did their part in combining for the team’s three TDs; but with the Chicago defense unable to stop the Arizona offense, once the birds took flight and the lead, Bears’ fans were unable to see a path to victory since their offense is not built to come from behind against many teams.  The Cardinals are the NFL’s first 10-win team of 2021 as the Bears are officially an also ran this season as they look to get an injured Justin Fields back behind center whenever he is ready to return to help build the team for 2022 and beyond. 

Indianapolis 31 (7-6), Houston 0 (2-10):  The Colts did what they needed to do in this game, dominated a bad Texans team, get over .500 and keep themselves in the playoff conversation.  Indy QB Carson Wentz tossed a TD pass as part of a modest 158-yard day with RB Jonathan Taylor nearly matching him, running for 143 yards on 32 carries and twice finding the end zone.  The Indianapolis Colts are trending in the right direction and have all the makings of being a postseason force in the AFC with their solid defense and balanced offensive attack.

LA Chargers 41 (7-5), Cincinnati 22 (7-5):  In a battle broken down by quarters, it was the visiting Chargers who jumped out to a 16-0 first quarter lead and posted another eight points in the second but watched as the Bengals put their first 13 points on the scoreboard to draw closer by halftime.  Cincy then shutout LA in the third quarter and closed to within two points at 24-22.  From there the LA Chargers pour it one, scoring the game’s final 17 points, all in the fourth quarter, to head back to thew west coast with a much-needed win.  Justin Herbert threw for 317 yards and three TDS for the Chargers while Joe Burrow did have 300 yards of his own, but no scoring passes.  With both of these teams now tied record wise, having the tiebreaker could prove huge for the Chargers in the AFC Playoff chase as both of these teams are not likely to win their divisions.

Detroit 29 (1-10-1). Minnesota 27 (5-7):  The never-say-die Lions fell behind 27-23 just after the 2:00 minute warning in this game; but the used the time remaining on the field to mount a game-winning TD drive to overcome their entire season and post their first victory.  Detroit fans had not seen their team score only three points since the second quarter when they posted 20 unanswered to take a 14-point halftime advantage.  Jared Goff led his team down the field in the final two minutes and tossed his third TD pass of the game as part of his 296-yard afternoon to stun the Vikings and steal a victory from their NFC North rivals.  Minnesota had taken the lead late on a TD drive of their own, just to watch Goff and the Lions match it.

Miami 20 (6-7), NY Giants 9 (4-8):  The Dolphins had the best unit on the field in their defense in this contest, aided by a franchise that has regressed in recent years on offense while the rest of the NFL had taken leaps forward in finding ways to score.  True the Giants were playing with Mike Glennon at QB, subbing for the injured Daniel Jones; however, the same lack of execution and creativity is scaring their fans and even the team’s own announcers into thinking this is a throwback team to the 1950’s when it comes to scoring.  Saquon Barkley, thanks in large part to his injury-prone career, has been a bust at RB, and with or without Jones running the passing game, the talent is just not there for Big Blue, with changes on the horizon in 2022.  Miami, however, has now won five straight and is slowly rising in the AFC Playoff Picture despite not having reached .500 yet.  If only Tua Tagovailoa had not missed those games earlier in the season, who knows where Miami would be in the standings now after this win … but the Dolphins are doing their best to make up for it now, and they are doing so in a big way over the last month.


Philadelphia 33 (6-7), NY Jets 18 (3-9):  The Jets’ offense looked good early, posting two first quarter TDs, but two missed PATs had them head only by five points as the switch end zones with the Eagles.  The Philly fans to invaded MetLife Stadium saw their team post a 17-6 second quarter to take a 24-18 lead into the halftime locker room.  From there, their defense pitched a shutout and tacked on a few more points to keep the Jets at arm’s length the rest of the afternoon.  With talk to Jalen Hurts being replaceable in the minds of some in the Eagles organization, it was Garner Minshew who lead the team to victory Sunday, bringing them one game close to .500 and keeping them in the mix for an NFC Wild-Card berth.  Have we seen the last of Hurts in Philadelphia?

Tampa Bay 30 (9-3), Atlanta 17 (5-7):  Tom Brady needed to play for four quarters in this NFC South battle with the Falcons hanging close to the reigning Super Bowl champs over the first 30:00, with Tampa Bay only being ahead 20-17.  The Buccaneers’ defense showed up in the second half and shutout Atlanta in their home stadium with Tampa’s offense adding ten more points to make both their defensive and many bettors happy as they watched this game come to an end.  Brady ended his day with 368 yards and four TDs, completely smothering Matt Ryan, who did throw for 297 yards for Atlanta, but without a score.  It appears, even without Antonio Brown, the Bucs’ offense can still be a force, and having an angry Brown at WR come late December and into the postseason may be too much for the NFC to handle come playoff time.

LA Rams 37 (8-4), Jacksonville 7 (2-10):  You won’t hear too much about if, or how Rams QB Matthew Stafford is playing hurt after this week’s win over the Jaguars.  On the same day his former Lions team recorded their first win of 2021, Stafford threw for 295 yards and three TDs against a Jacksonville team almost as bad as the Lions are this year.  RB Sony Michel posted 121 yards and a TD on 24 carries for the Rams in game whose outcome was never in much doubt all afternoon or game week.  The win keeps LA two games behind the Cardinals in the NFC West as the prospects of being a Wild-Card team continue to become a reality for the all-in Rams, meaning that Stafford, very much unproven in the playoffs, will need to reach the Super Bowl to play a postseason game in his home stadium.

Washington 17 (6-6), Las Vegas 15 (6-6):  These two teams were going in opposite directions before their game Sunday and their trends continued during the game.  The Raiders offense was able to take a 15-14 lead with a fourth quarter FG in this game, but then watched as their offense gave up the lead to Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, who set up the visitors for a game-winning 48-yard FG in the game’s final minute.  Washington joins Philadelphia as winners this week, keeping the pressure on Dallas atop the NFC West with the capital district squad still having a pair of games left with the Cowboys and Eagles left this season.  As for the Raiders … what started off as a good season has, once again, come apart by early December, with teams likely to call in early January to find out the asking price for QB Derek Carr as he is the only one left standing during this recent run of disappointing seasons once GM Mike Mayock is shown the door by owner Mark Davis.

Pittsburgh 20 (6-5-1), Baltimore 19 (8-4):  It wasn’t a pretty game that CBS’ A-Team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo were able to call, but it sure ended with a lot of drama.  The game entered the fourth quarter with the visiting Ravens ahead 10-3, with the Steelers posting a TD in the first minute; a missed PAT leaving Baltimore with a 10-9 advantage.  After trading FGs midway into the fourth, Pittsburgh mounted another TD drive, scoring and posting the two-point conversation just after the 2:00 warning, giving them a 20-13 lead.  The Ravens matched the TD by going 65 yards in 96 second; but choose to play for the win by going for two-points rather than a tie by kicking the extra point.  QB Lamar Jackson soft tossed a pass that was just out of the reach of his receiver in the flat, falling incomplete, just as their attempt to win the game did.  The win gives new life to the Steelers season while the loss put the winner of the Monday night game between the Patriots and Bills in a strong position to surpass the Ravens and take over the AFC’s top playoff spot over the final weeks of the NFL season.

Seattle 30 (4-8), San Francisco 23 (6-6):  A safety in the third quarter followed by a tie breaking TD put the Seahawks ahead in this NFC West game with the 49ers unable to find what they had in the first half that propelled them to an early lead.  The ‘Niners’ troubles began when late in the first half they missed an extra point after scoring a TD and then watched Seattle score before the half, turning what could have been a 10-point halftime advantage into just two at the break.  San Francisco’s offense was shutout in the second half with Seattle doing just enough to get ahead and stay there, spoiling the game for the team ahead of them in the NFC West standings, even if the Seahawks don’t catch up with them over the season’s final five games.  The loss is a painful one for San Francisco, who had hoped of climbing back into the NFC’s playoff picture, proving that when it comes to rivalries, playing spoiler as Seattle did can be just enough motivation to win. 


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NFL Week Thirteen Recap |

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