Here's what you missed from NFL Week 13: Key nuggets on every team, race for the No. 1 pick, playoff peek
It's time to get all caught up on everything you missed in Week 13 as we turn the page toward Week 14
There's so much that happens every week in the NFL that you could be forgiven for not necessarily having a handle on all the major developments. Lucky for you, that's why we're here.
From now until the end of the season, we'll spend every Tuesday updating you on the current state of both the playoff picture and the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft; as well as making sure to provide some stats and notes and tidbits from that shed light on what happened and what mattered in the prior week's games.
Russell Wilson's Seahawks won again in primetime while Kirk Cousins and the Vikings fell short, and there's a lot to go over. Luckily, Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends are here to break everything down, size up the top five coaches and more. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
There are now six teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention: Cincinnati, Miami, Giants, Atlanta, Arizona, and Detroit.
We saw a bit of a shakeup in the AFC on Sunday, with the Patriots' loss to the Texans moving New England down to the No. 1 seed and Houston up to the No. 3. Accordingly, the Ravens took over the top spot due to holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Patriots, and the Chiefs dropped to No. 4 due to the Texans holding that head-to-head tiebreaker. The Bills maintained a sizable lead for the No. 5 seed in the AFC, while the Steelers jumped to No. 6 after they beat the Browns the Raiders and Colts both lost. Tennessee is the No. 7 seed by virtue of the Steelers holding a tiebreaker edge.
The Monday night game shook things up quite a bit in the NFC. Seattle's victory elevated the Seahawks to the No. 2 seed, while the 49ers dropped down to No. 5. Those two teams still have one more game remaining against each other, so the NFC West race is not over just yet. The Packers now have a one-game lead over the Vikings, plus the tiebreaker, so Minnesota is going to need to win that game against Green Bay later this year. The Cowboys still hold a one-game lead on the Eagles in the NFC East even after losing to the Bills on Thanksgiving, because Philly then came out and lost to the Dolphins.
Race for the bottom
Here's how the top 10 in the 2020 NFL Draft would shake out at this moment:
- Bengals (1-11)
- Giants (2-10)
- Redskins (3-9)
- Dolphins (3-9)
- Falcons (3-9)
- Cardinals (3-8-1)
- Lions (3-8-1)
- Jets (4-8)
- Chargers (4-8)
- Broncos (4-8)
Even after securing its first win of the season, Cincinnati still has a one-game "lead" in the race for the No. 1 overall pick. The Giants have a leg up on the Dolphins, Washington, and the Falcons as they all jockey for the No. 1 selection. The back half of the top 10 received a bit of a shakeup with the Jets and Chargers losing while the Broncos secured a win. It's worth noting that the Jaguars' 4-8 record matches that of the Jets, Chargers, and Broncos, but they currently have the No. 11 pick due to tiebreakers.
The Week in Review
We'll use this space to give you one stat, one note, one nugget, one piece of information from each of this week's games. It won't necessarily explain the game's outcome, but the hope is it will make you a smarter, more-informed football fan for having read it.
Bills 26, Cowboys 15: Josh Allen began this season by completing only 60.3 percent of his passes at an average of 6.9 yards per attempt during the Bills' first four games of the year, while throwing only three touchdowns against six interceptions. In eight games since, Allen is only up to 62.1 percent completions and 7.2 yards per attempt, but he's completely reversed his touchdown-to-interception ratio, tossing 13 scores, running for five more, and throwing only two picks. He just played arguably his best game of the season against Dallas, completing 19 of 24 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown, adding 10 carries for 43 yards and another score on the ground. His reward for a job well done: A game against Lamar Jackson and the scorching-hot Ravens.
Saints 26, Falcons 18: Michael Thomas' six catches for 48 yards against the Falcons broke a seven-game streak where he recorded at least eight catches and 89 yards in every game. If he'd done it again, he would have tied an NFL record for such a streak. That's too bad.
Titans 31, Colts 17: Derrick Henry's track record of monster December's is fairly well-documented, but after he tore up the Colts for 149 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, it's worth running through it again. In 14 career December games (and one Jan. 1 game), Henry has carried 225 times for 1,176 yards (5.22 per carry) and 14 touchdowns. In 44 games played in September, October, and November, Henry has carried 508 times for 2,257 yards (4.4 per carry) and 19 touchdowns. Derrick December, folks!
Ravens 20, 49ers 17: The Ravens' win and the Patriots' loss combined to make Baltimore the new favorite in the AFC, according to projections from Sportsline's Stephen Oh. The Ravens now win the AFC in 46.9 percent of simulations and the Super Bowl in 29.8 percent. The latter figure is the highest in the NFL by more than 10 percentage points. In other words, the Ravens are now your clear Super Bowl favorites.
Bengals 22, Jets 6: The Jets became the first team in NFL history to lose to two teams with an 0-7 record or worse in the same season. They have now been outscored by 76 points this season, the seventh-worst mark in the NFL. Adam Gase's 2018 Dolphins team had the league's third-worst point differential, his 2017 Dolphins ranked fourth-worst, and even his 2016 Dolphins team that went 10-6 and made the playoffs had a negative-17 point differential, ninth-worst in the league.
Steelers 20, Browns 13: The Steelers defense is on a pretty incredible run of forcing turnovers. They coaxed the Browns into two giveaways on Sunday, the 10th game this season in which Pittsburgh has recorded multiple takeaways. Steeler opponents have actually seen 20.3 percent of their drives end in a turnover, which is even higher than the Bears' sky-high 19.5 percent turnover rate last season. The last teams to force a turnover on a greater percentage of opponent possessions were the 2012 Patriots and Bears, who did so on 20.4 and 20.5 percent of their opponent tries, respectively.
Dolphins 37, Eagles 31: The improvement made by the Dolphins over the past several weeks is pretty spectacular. During the team's 0-7 start, the Dolphins were outscored by an average of 23 points per game. They gave up at least 27 points in six of seven losses and scored more than 16 only once. In their five games since, the Dolphins are 3-2. Their point differential is still minus-16 in that stretch, but even though going 3-0 in close games is not sustainable, actually playing close games is a welcome development for the Dolphins after they lost by double-digits in six of their first seven contests.
Washington 29, Panthers 21: The results on the Kyle Allen experiment are in, and they are not good. Allen's down to a 38.3 QBR on the season, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio is just 11-to-10 since that sparkling first game against the Cardinals. Allen seemingly cannot deal with pressure at all, with a 65.7 passer rating when under duress, per Pro Football Focus. Allen also can't escape from pressure despite his mobility; his 25.2 percent sack rate on pressure plays is sixth-highest among 40 quarterbacks with at least 100 drop backs this season.
Packers 31, Giants 13: Do you know the last time Aaron Rodgers threw double-digit interceptions in a season? It was 2010, when he threw 11 of them! Rodgers hasn't been picked since Week 6, and his 0.5 percent interception rate this season is the lowest among qualified quarterbacks. Rodgers also led the NFL in interception rate last season, as well as in both 2009 and 2014. Rodgers is one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time, but he doesn't get enough credit for his skill at avoiding turnovers.
Buccaneers 28, Jaguars 11: Nick Foles has $76 million in total cap hits remaining on his four-year, $88 million contract. The Jaguars would have to take on $33.875 million in dead money to cut him after this season, or $21.375 million next year and $12.5 million the following year to designate him a post-June 1 release. It's tempting to say they could trade him, but who's taking on his base salary of $15.125 million for next season, even if it's non-guaranteed? Yikes.
Rams 34, Cardinals 7: The Rams are now 7-5, but they have only a 25.6 percent chance of making the playoffs in our Sportsline simulations. The success of the 49ers and Seahawks puts the division nearly out of reach, and so long as the Vikings or Packers don't falter down the stretch, it's difficult to see the Rams nabbing themselves a wild card spot. If you'd been told before the season that the Rams wouldn't be able to get into the dance, it would have been shocking. Given the way they have played for much of this season, though, it is decidedly not.
Chiefs 40, Raiders 9: The Raiders have now lost consecutive games by 30-plus points for the first time since 1961. If you've been watching this space over the past few weeks, you'd know that we were skeptical of the Raiders' bona fides given that they had a negative point differential with a 6-4 record. Oakland now has the fifth-worst scoring margin in the league. This is still a team badly in need of a talent infusion on both sides of the ball before it moves to Vegas.
Broncos 23, Chargers 20: Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Chargers lost another close game. This is old hat for this team, which has played 125 one-score games in Philip Rivers' career as the starter, which began in 2006. (Every team in the league has played at least 90 such games.) The Chargers' 54-67 record in those games works out to a 0.446 winning percentage, which is seventh-worst in the NFL. The issue is also getting worse. Over the past five seasons, no team has played more one-score games than the Chargers' 50, and only three teams (the Browns, Jaguars, and Bengals) have a worse record in those games.
Texans 28, Patriots 22: Bill O'Brien is now 1-5 against his former boss, Bill Belichick. That ups the record of former Belichick assistants Nick Saban, Al Groh, Jim Schwartz, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Bill O'Brien, Matt Patricia, and Brian Flores to a combined 10-15 record in games against the Belichick-led Patriots. They've still got a long way to go.
Seahawks 37, Vikings 30: The Seahawks moved into a nearly-even time share between Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny in the backfield. There's no telling if that's how it would have played out had Carson not been leveled and shaken up three plays into the game, but it worked pretty well for them. The two players split the snaps just about evenly, and Carson had 24 touches for 109 yards and a touchdown while Penny logged 107 yards and two scores on his 19 touches.
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