The NFL actually had an interesting Week 13, with six matchups featuring two teams with winning records. After all, these matchups altered the playoff races in each conferences, starting with the Cincinnati Bengals establishing themselves as a Super Bowl contender once more.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a convincing win over the Tennessee Titans, while the Minnesota Vikings earned one other one-score victory to get to 10 wins. Each teams are on the verge of a playoff spot after Week 13, with the Vikings in a position to wrap up the NFC North next week. The Recent York Giants and Washington Commanders played to a tie, also altering the state of the NFC playoff picture.
While the playoff races are getting interesting, here’s one thing we learned about each team within the Week 13 slate of games.
Is likely to be time to see what Desmond Ridder can do: The talk of Marcus Mariota being replaced by Ridder has been benched for a number of weeks (no pun intended), yet it could have to be revisited. Mariota went 13 of 24 for 167 yards with a touchdown and an interception within the loss to the Steelers, with only 17 yards rushing.
Not only did the Falcons offense fail to attain 20 points for the fourth time within the last five games, Mariota helped that situation with a missed throw to Drake London that ought to have resulted in a touchdown. The Falcons are a running team, but are Thirty first in pass attempts due to Mariota’s limitations through the air.
With playoff hopes fading, it could be time to present Ridder a shot.
Running game struggled, despite opponent: The Ravens are still a run-based offense — and the most effective within the league at getting yards on the bottom. Yet, all season Baltimore hasn’t been dominant in that department, which made Sunday’s game against Denver a possibility to rack of yards against the seventeenth ranked run defense.
The Ravens put up a pedestrian 103 yards, which was affected by Lamar Jackson leaving after the primary quarter. Baltimore proved it could run with Tyler Huntley at quarterback last yr, but had just 3.7 yards per carry Sunday.
Perhaps it’s the dearth of wide receivers, making teams stack the box. Perhaps it’s J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards being out with injuries a lot of the yr, but this team is not running the ball prefer it is able to. Be mindful: Baltimore continues to be third within the league in rushing and yards per attempt.
Josh Allen cleans up red zone woes: Allen has not been great within the red zone as of late, having 4 interceptions contained in the red zone in his last five games before Thursday. The Bills quarterback finished together with his first 100-plus passer rating within the red zone since Week 6, going 4 of 5 for 29 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Allen has only a 52.3% completion rate within the red zone this yr, with 17 touchdowns and 4 interceptions for a 76.2 rating. While Allen still has to repair his turnover woes within the red one, getting back to his pre-2022 ways in Thursday’s win was a very good start.
Bears offensive line leads Justin Fields to his best day: The Bears aren’t making the playoffs, so the only real purpose of this season is to develop Fields. Not surprisingly, the offensive line having their best performance of the yr Sunday led to Fields having his best week as a passer.
Fields finished 20 of 25 for 254 yards, because the 80% completion rate is the very best of his profession. Yes, Fields did throw two interceptions — but he had a season-high in passing yards and completion rate. No coincidence this was the primary time the Bears have not allowed a sack in over two years.
Good protection goes to make Fields as dangerous as a passer as he’s as a runner. That can bode thoroughly for the Bears, who’ve to deal with the offensive line this offseason.
Samaje Perine is a playmaker in an offense stuffed with them: It was one other week where Perine stepped up within the absence of Joe Mixon, giving the Bengals excellent balance on the bottom in Sunday’s win over the Chiefs. Perine’s physicality was on display in Week 13, as he rushed for 106 yards on 21 carries while adding six catches for 49 yards.
Perine already is a wonderful pass blocker and provides excellent pass catching out of the backfield. He generally is a featured back on this league, and is a player defenses must account for in Cincinnati’s offense.
Remember about Perine when discussing Bengals playmakers.
Deshaun Watson looked like he hasn’t played in 700 days: Poor off-target throws and passes that hit the bottom well before reaching the receiver were a major a part of Watson’s debut with the Browns, as he finished 12 of twenty-two for 131 yards with an interception (53.4 rating). The Browns didn’t even have an offensive touchdown in Watson’s first game with the team.
Watson looked like he only had per week taking reps with the primary team offense before going out onto the sector, because the Browns were fortunate his play didn’t cost them against the worst team within the NFL. The impact of Watson at quarterback wasn’t going to return straight away, but Jacoby Brissett might have been a significantly higher option last week. Luckily for the Browns, their defense got them a win.
Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn’t be needed: The Cowboys wide receivers showcased Sunday night why Beckham is a luxury slightly than a necessity. CeeDee Lamb had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, which gave Dallas its first lead of the sport in the primary quarter.
While Lamb is making acrobatic plays for scores, Michael Gallup had two touchdowns of his own — his first scores since Week 4. Noah Brown is been reliable and James Washington may very well be returning for the top of the yr. Why do they need Beckham at this rate?
Would Beckham even be able to play a daily season game in time for the Eagles showdown in three weeks? That is the game that matters for the Cowboys.
Greg Dulcich provides actual hope for this offense: Dulcich has been discussed before as a vivid spot for Denver — and had one other good game for the Broncos. He finished with six catches for 85 yards (eight targets), including a 30-yard catch late in the sport that got Denver to midfield in a 10-9 contest.
Dulcich had a 22-yard catch earlier in the sport that led to a field goal, the one points the Broncos can generate lately. The rookie tight end has 25 catches for 319 yards and a touchdown in seven games, already displaying the skill set to be a very good pass catcher within the league.
The Broncos should goal Dulcich more.
D.J. Chark significantly opened up the passing game: The Lions got the version of Chark they thought they were signing this offseason, as he finished with five catches for 98 yards within the blowout victory over the Jaguars. Chark was slowly playing his way back into the lineup after recovering from an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve.
Due to Chark, Amon-Ra St. Brown was in a position to have a simple day against Jacksonville — 11 catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns — and Jameson Williams got his feet wet in his debut.
The Lions pass catchers are much more dangerous with Chark healthy. He showed the worth he brings to the passing game.
Christian Watson would be the best rookie wideout in NFL: Give Watson eight touchdowns in his last 4 games, the primary rookie wide receiver to have eight touchdowns in a four-game stretch since Randy Moss in 1998. Watson has been sensible in his last 4 games, having 15 catches for 313 yards and 7 touchdowns — including a 46-yard rushing touchdown Sunday.
For those keeping track, Watson is averaging 20.9 yards per catch and 22.4 yards per touch over his last 4 games. He’s the most effective playmaking wideouts within the NFL already, even when this is barely a four-game stretch.
The Packers season could also be lost, but Watson has figured things out. If Aaron Rodgers desires to stick around, him and Watson may very well be a lethal duo.
No. 1 wide receiver is needed: The Texans do imagine Brandin Cooks is that player, but Cooks hasn’t been the identical since he asked for a trade in October. A frustrated and injured Cooks has left Houston with a major void at wide receiver.
Take Sunday’s loss to the Browns. Nico Collins had three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets while Chris Moore finished with three catches for 46 yards. Neither of those guys are starting wideouts going forward.
Houston needs a franchise quarterback, but no elite quarterback can succeed without good wideouts in today’s NFL. The Texans must prioritize each within the draft.
Matt Ryan deserves to lose his job (again): Ryan clearly is not the long-term answer in Indianapolis, proving it once more in an embarrassing loss to the Cowboys. Not only did Ryan throw three interceptions, he lost one other fumble.
Ryan finished with a 59.9 passer rating, the fourth straight game since he’s returned because the starting quarterback the passer rating has declined. Ryan has accomplished 66.4% of his passes for 867 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions since his return (82.5 rating)– with two fumbles lost.
Ryan leads the league in interceptions (13) and fumbles (14) and the Colts are out of the playoff race. After Sunday’s embarrassing performance, why start him again?
Defense has worst performance of the yr: That is the most important understatement of the week, because the Jaguars were embarrassed by the Lions offense. Detroit scored on all eight possessions (not counting a kneeldown at the top of the sport) in running Jacksonville out of the constructing.
The defense gave up 5.9 yards per play because the Lions carved them up through the air. Jacksonville allowed a season-high 40 points and has allowed a mean of 446 yards during the last three weeks. The Jaguars defense has been getting worse because the season enters the house stretch, not a very good sign for defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell in Yr One.
Kansas City Chiefs
Rare lack of aggressiveness for Andy Reid and training staff: In a game where 27 points was needed to beat the Bengals, Reid was conservative on offense. Reid decided to take three points on the road on Kansas City’s opening drive as a substitute of going for it on fourth-and-3 from the Bengals’ 8-yard line in a 7-0 game — it was interesting to see the Chiefs pass on that red zone opportunity.
After a Patrick Mahomes sack on third-and-4, the Chiefs quarterback was taken off the sector on fourth-and-7 on the Bengals’ 37-yard line with 3:24 to play in a 27-24 game. Harrison Butker missed the 55-yard field goal and Kansas City never got the ball back.
The Chiefs coaching staff wasn’t aggressive enough in a game where they needed to interact in a shootout with the Bengals. Reid was surprisingly conservative when he didn’t must be in two situations, giving up more opportunities for points.
Chandler Jones can still play at a high level: The Raiders brought in Jones to assist out Maxx Crosby within the pass rush, but he arguably was essentially the most disappointing free agent signing this past yr. Jones had just half a sack and five quarterback hits in 11 starts leading as much as Week 13.
Against the Chargers, Jones dominated. He finished with three sacks and five quarterback hits in playing 88% of the snaps, being the difference-maker the Raiders were hoping for after they signed him. Las Vegas stayed alive within the playoff race due to its pass rush, and want Jones to play at a high level down the stretch to have a shot.
Los Angeles Chargers
Run defense continues to be Achilles heel: The Chargers run defense was the rationale why they missed the playoffs last yr and would be the perpetrator in 2022 as well. Los Angeles hasn’t allowed an offense to rush for under 100 yards since Week 6, as Las Vegas had 154 yards Sunday — which is definitely the Chargers’ lowest amount allowed in that span.
That is not ideal. The Chargers have allowed 178.2 rushing yards per game over their last six games — and are 2-4 in consequence. This team is not making the playoffs without shoring up the run defense.
Hey look, the Rams can run the ball: Sean McVay called a balanced offense within the loss to the Seahawks, which was surprising, given how much he likes to pass — regardless of who’s at quarterback. The Rams ran the ball 33 times for 171 yards (5.2 yards per carry), with six different players getting carries.
Cam Akers averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, however the Rams were creative in generating touches with wide receiver Brandon Powell (three carries for 45 yards) and Tutu Atwell (4 carries for 23 yards). The Rams still need to enhance at running back this offseason, nevertheless it’s clear McVay can still find creative ways to get yards on the bottom.
Why wasn’t Los Angeles doing this all year long?
Don’t fret about Tua: The Dolphins have essentially the most accurate quarterback within the NFL in Tua Tagovailoa, but he wasn’t essentially the most accurate against a 49ers defense that is arguably one of the best within the league. Tagovailoa accomplished just 54.5% of his passes in Sunday’s loss, his lowest completion rate of the yr.
The Dolphins quarterback also threw two interceptions, the primary ones since he returned from his concussion. Tagovailoa still has accomplished 68.1% of his passes this yr while leading the league in yards per attempt (9.0) and passer rating (112.0).
Tagovailoa’s deep ball continues to be there too. This is only one average game against an important defense (with a skinny offensive line) that resulted in a loss. No reason to panic.
Red zone defense stands tall: The Vikings’ pass defense had one other subpar performance Sunday, but greater than made up for it within the red zone. The Jets were just 1 of 6 in red zone opportunities, kicking field goals on their first five trips contained in the 20.
The performance was typical “bend but don’t break,” ending with Mike White throwing an interception on the 19-yard line in the ultimate seconds. Heading into Sunday, Minnesota allowed 64.5%of red zone attempts into touchdowns — twenty sixth within the NFL.
The Vikings needed a performance like that to stay within the race for home-field advantage.
Jon Jones is superb within the slot, but not against No. 1 receivers: The Patriots have used Jones on the surface and covering the No. 1 wide receiver slightly than keeping him within the slot where he’s thrived. Jones has been targeted 22 times during the last two games, allowing 17 passes to be caught for 195 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
The Patriots cornerback has been covering Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs during that span, and the outcomes have not been what Recent England expected. He’s allowed a 124.1 passer rating, which is abysmal for any cornerback. Jones is a excellent one, so why take him out of his element?
Recent England has to try one other strategy within the secondary. Leaving Jones out to get beat every week is not working.
Defense still proves to be a paper tiger: The Saints allowed just 350 yards Monday night, but 130 of them got here in the ultimate 5:21 — leading to 14 points and blowing a 16-3 lead late within the fourth quarter. Recent Orleans allowed 6.1 yards per play and allowed Tampa Bay to go down the sector easily.
The Buccaneers had just two third down attempts in those 21 plays, converting each. The ultimate one was Tom Brady’s winning touchdown pass to Rachaad White with three seconds left.
For a team that is eleventh in yards allowed in tenth in pass yards allowed, the unit is not that great. Perhaps that is why Recent Orleans will likely be missing the playoffs once more, which falls on Dennis Allen this time.
The inside offensive line is a significant problem: The Giants offensive line — a minimum of the inside of it — was the perpetrator within the Commanders getting seven pressures and three sacks in Sunday’s tie. Mark Glowinski gave up two sacks within the loss while Nick Gates gave up two pressures in his first game back from a serious leg injury.
Gates may replace Jon Feliciano at center sooner or later, while Ben Bredeson and Joshua Ezeudu could return later within the yr. That is what the Giants have for now, which goes to struggle against good interior defensive fronts — especially within the NFC East.
The 189 pressures Recent York allows is third most within the NFL.
Recent York Jets
Bam Knight deserves more carries: Zonovan “Bam” Knight made an impact in his first NFL start, because the undrafted rookie had 15 carries for 90 yards and five catches for 28 yards against a Vikings run defense that held the Patriots to 45 yards in its last outing — and had 10 days off.
Knight has 29 carries for 159 yards (5.5 yards per carry) in his two games with the Jets, showcasing why he deserves an even bigger role within the running back room. There is a reason why James Robinson hasn’t been playing — Knight has overtaken him on the depth chart.
Two No. 1 WRs on the roster: The Eagles have one of the best deep ball receiver in A.J. Brown, who’s second within the league in yards per catch and yards per goal since his rookie season (2019), and in addition they have DeVonta Smith — who’s just 28 catches away from breaking the franchise record for many receptions in his first two seasons.
Smith set the tone for the Eagles in Sunday’s win over the Titans, catching three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown on the primary drive — en path to 102 yards on the afternoon. On pace for a 1,000-yard season (and 86 catches), Smith showcased why he may be just as dangerous within the passing game as Brown.
The Eagles can kill you with 1,000 cuts with Smith — or go for the jugular with Brown. They’ve two receivers which are equally dangerous, which makes the offense so explosive.
The wide receivers must be higher: George Pickens and Diontae Johnson are too talented to mix for six catches for 62 yards and nil touchdowns, especially with Kenny Pickett improving by the week. Pickens’ attitude is an issue, having to be calmed down by Cam Hayward after yelling — at a rookie quarterback — to present him the ball.
While Pickens has to earn those demands, Johnson had a drop that was costly for Pittsburgh and a fumble that was overturned. Johnson only has three drops this yr and has improved in that category over time, but needs to be more reliable going forward.
For Pickett to grow, his receivers must develop as well.
San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy is sweet enough: The 49ers could attempt to get Baker Mayfield or accept the No. 3 quarterback on their roster going forward. Purdy made a wonderful case to be the quarterback in San Francisco, because the 49ers scored on five of the drives he was in with only committing one turnover (and that was an interception on fourth down that was essentially a punt).
The 49ers offense was stabilized with Purdy, as he accomplished 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns for an 88.8 rating. Whether the 49ers can win the Super Bowl with Purdy stays to be seen, but San Francisco can win games with him so long as they permit him to administer the sport.
Offensive line had a subpar performance: Without Aaron Donald playing for the Rams, this matchup seemed to be one the Seahawks would win within the trenches. As a substitute, the Rams generated pressure throughout the afternoon — forcing Geno Smith to eliminate the ball quick.
The Seahawks allowed 4 sacks and 11 pressures, uncharacteristic of a unit that has been solid all yr. Smith was hit eight times, so he took a beating in a game where he probably figured he’d be upright a lot of the day.
The offensive line is something to observe, but Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallas getting injured didn’t help matters either.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady can still come back with one of the best of them: Brady was incredible within the fourth quarter of Monday night’s comeback, ending 15 of twenty-two for 125 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 118.2. On the ultimate drive, Brady went 9 of 11 for 61 yards and the winning six-yard touchdown pass to Rachaad White with three seconds left to present the Buccaneers full control of the division.
The Buccaneers offense hasn’t been good, but Brady will all the time make this team dangerous. He still plays his best football late in the sport, having essentially the most fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives in NFL history.
A.J. Brown made sure they missed him: If the Thirty first-ranked pass defense wasn’t enough for Tennessee to miss Brown (who had eight catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns against his former team), the Titans had a nonexistent passing game once Treylon Burks left Sunday’s game with a concussion.
The Titans wide receivers had 4 catches for 41 yards combined in Brown’s revenge game — and Ryan Tannehill was just 1 of 4 for six yards targeting wide receivers when Burks exited the sport. Tennessee could have used a player like Brown Sunday — especially if the Titans want to compete for a Super Bowl.
Taylor Heinicke is superb within the two-minute offense: Heinicke almost threw two interceptions in a wacky game-tying touchdown drive within the fourth quarter, but there is not any denying his ability to get essentially the most out of his team after they needed it.
Heinicke was 6 of 8 for 86 yards and a touchdown on that tying drive, completing consecutive passes of 25 and 28 yards for the rating. He was 27 of 41 for 275 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, yet the sport was defined based on the tying touchdown drive.
Washington did lose ground within the playoff race, but that tie may be immensely helpful going forward.