NFL Week 13– 32 Thoughts
With Week 13 over and done with, let us look around the league and see where things are.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals dream of having Drew Stanton lead them to the playoffs may end in the next couple of weeks with games against KC, St Louis, Seattle and San Francisco. In a matter of a few weeks, the Cardinals may go from the NFC’s number one seed, to missing the playoffs entirely. Stat of Futility: The Cardinals have scored one offensive touchdown in their last 10 quarters of play.
Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons kept pace with the Saints by lighting up the normally stingy Cardinals secondary to the tune of 361 passing yards.
Baltimore Ravens: Another team with a winning record? Another loss for the Ravens. A combination of horrible pass defense and 14 penalties allowed the Chargers to blow past Baltimore in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo Bills: A great defensive effort bailed out an unimpressive offensive effort that saw the Bills offense go 2 for 15 on third down. The Bills have matched their best start since 2000.
Carolina Panthers: With 8 losses in their last 10 games, the Panthers look like they have already packed it in for the season. This was exemplified by the two punt blocks returned for touchdowns on Sunday.
Chicago Bears: Another poor performance by Jay Cutler and the Bears offense landed Chicago back in the loss column.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals won their third straight by barely beating the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Andy Dalton delivered another terrible performance with three first half interceptions and were lucky that they were facing the offensively challenged Buccaneers. Series Note: Sunday’s game was the first time that the Bengals had beaten Tampa Bay since 1989.
Cleveland Browns: Turnovers and poor pass protection killed the Browns in Buffalo. However, it looks like the Johnny Manziel era may have begun in Cleveland.
Dallas Cowboys: Looks like Dallas’ offensive line ate too much turkey, fell asleep during the game, and allowed Tony Romo to get sacked 4 times. Stats are Stats: Since starting the season 6-1, the Cowboys have gone 2-3 since.
Denver Broncos: For two weeks in a row, the Broncos used the ground game to muscle past an AFC opponent. Surprising Stat: Peyton Manning’s yardage output of 179 yards was his lowest output with the Broncos since the 2013 Week 12 loss against the Patriots (150 yards).
Detroit Lions: After spotting the Bears a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, the Lions outscored Chicago 31-3 down the stretch. Detroit outgained the Bears 474 yards to 269.
Green Bay Packers: Despite being sacked three times, Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to 23 first half points on Sunday and then did just enough to keep the ball out of New England’s hands in the second half. Historic Note: Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb became the first duo in franchise history to have at least 10 touchdowns each.
Houston Texans: Behind six touchdown passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick (yes…that Ryan Fitzpatrick) the Texans upended the Titans 45 to 21. DeAndre Hopkins appeared unstoppable with 9 catches, 238 yards and two touchdowns. Watt Watch: JJ Watt caught another touchdown pass on Sunday. He is the first defensive line man, in NFL History, to catch a touchdown, return an interception for a touchdown, and return a fumble recovery for a touchdown in a single season.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck threw 5 touchdown passes and blew past the Redskins on Sunday. The Colts defense surrendered 425 yards but the Offense averaged almost 10 yards a play against the Redskins. Historical Stat: The Colts became the first team since the 1966 Washington Redskins to have 6 touchdowns of 30 yards or more in a single game.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Falling behind by 21, the Jaguars’ defense scored two touchdowns on fumble returns and muscled by the Giants 25-24. Defensive Stats: Jacksonville’s defense has had nine sacks, eight forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries in the last two games.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs inability to throw to downfield and the lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position limited any chance Kansas City had to keep up with Denver’s offense. Grim Reality: After winning 7 of their last 8, the Chiefs have lost two division games in a row.
Miami Dolphins: An unimpressive win against the Jets where the Dolphins soft defensive line was exposed for 277 rushing yards. Miami was fortunate that the Jets had no faith in their quarterback otherwise it could have been a sad day in the Jersey Swamps for them. Team Note: Miami won their first road game, where they were trailing in the 4th quarter for the first time in 10 years.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were out gained by 138 yards and had the ball 10 minutes less than Carolina….but thanks to great special teams play, that netted 14 points off of two blocked punts, Minnesota was able to snap a two game losing streak. Stats are Stats: The Vikings are the first team since 1990 to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game.
New England Patriots: The Patriots seven game winning streak was snapped by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday when New England’s defense could not find a way to slow Aaron Rodgers down in the first half and could not make timely defensive stops in the second half. Stats are Stats: The Patriots were held to their lowest points total since scoring 14 points against Kansas City in Week 4.
New Orleans Saints: The Saints snapped their three game losing streak thanks to an aging Pittsburgh defense and a mistake prone Ben Roethlisberger.
New York Giants: Despite dominating in almost every statistical category, the Giants committed huge turnovers which led directly to two Jaguars defensive touchdowns. Stats are stats: Since starting the season 3-2, the Giant have lost 7 straight. Additionally, the Giants have now missed the playoffs in 5 of the last 6 seasons.
New York Jets: “Ground and Pound” was alive on Monday night…unfortunately the game came down to Geno Smith making plays and it turned quickly into “Crash and Burn”.
Oakland Raiders: After getting their first win of the season last week, the Raiders backed up that performance by getting shellacked 52-0 by the Rams.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles put up 256 rushing yards, including 159 by LeSean McCoy, on their way to routing the Cowboys to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Much to everyone’s shock, on the two year anniversary of the infamous “Butt Fumble”, Mark Sanchez played a relatively efficient game by throwing for 217 yards while going 20 for 29 with a single touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers outgained the Saints 538 yards to 393. However, missed defensive assignments in key situations led to long Saints’ touchdown passes. Add in the mistake-prone play of Ben Roethlisberger and you have another loss at home by a sub.500 team. Roethlisberger had a game that fantasy owners love but was probably the most misleading stat line of the season.
St Louis Rams: After a tumultuous week in the St. Louis area, The Rams came to play and dismantled the Raiders in every phase of the game. History Lesson: The last time the Rams scored 50 or more points in the regular season was Week 5….of the 2000 season.
San Diego Chargers: San Diego went into “Super Chargers” mode and scored 21 points in the 4th quarter to rally past the overmatched Ravens on Sunday. Since losing three straight games going into their bye week, the Chargers have won three in a row by a combine 11 points.
San Francisco 49ers: Happy Thanksgiving 49ers fans…an over-cooked turkey named Colin Kaepernick plays quarterback for your team.
Seattle Seahawks: In a defensive battle between the Seahawks and the 49ers, Seattle’s defense came up with the biggest play, a Richard Sherman interception of Colin Kaepernick, which led to the game’s only touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Though picking off Andy Dalton three times in the first half, Tampa Bay’s anemic offence was only able to muster 3 points off those turnovers. Once again, in typical Lovie Smith fashion, the Buccaneers took a slim lead into half time, made zero impactful adjustments, and lost the lead in the second half. Having 12 men on offense in the waning seconds of the game exemplified Lovie’s cluelessness of offensive football.
Tennessee Titans: About an ugly of a defensive performance as the Titan have had all season long. They are in a free fall at this point and have lost 10 of their last 11.
Washington Redskins: Colt McCoy looked good in place of the benched RG3. However, the Redskins defense played terribly. Downward Spiral: The Redskins have lost 4 in a row and 8 of their last 10.