If anything NFL Week 13 told us, it’s that the better teams are much better than the other teams. Starting on last Thursday, Nov. 30, the Dallas Cowboys showed that they’re not ready to pack it in just yet. The Boys dominated Washington.
That Sunday, the New Orleans Saints, fresh off their first loss in 8 games, pummeled the rival Carolina Panthers. Also this past Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks handed the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss since Week 2. Check out a recap of a fantastic 2017 NFL Week 13!
2017 NFL Week 13 Recap
Thursday, Nov. 30
Washington Redskins +1.5 at Dallas Cowboys -1.5
There were high hopes in betting circles that Washington might put a dagger into the hearts of the Dallas Cowboys. That didn’t happen. The opposite happened.
The Cowboys defense, without LB Sean Lee, held Washington to a measly 56 rushing yards on 19 carries. Dallas’ pass defense was also spectacular. It kept QB Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense to 224 net passing yards. Cousins threw 2 interceptions to go along with his 2 TD passes.
The Cowboys, without Ezekiel Elliott, went back to rushing the football. The Boys acquired 182 total rushing yards. Former Washington RB Alfred Morris accounted for 127 of those 182 rushing yards.
Result: Cowboys 38, Redskins 14
Sunday, Dec. 3
Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 at New York Jets +3.5
At first, it sure appeared the Chiefs might break their insane losing streak. QB Alex Smith bounced back with a brilliant game. He threw for 366 yards. He threw 4 TD passes. Tyreek Hill caught 6 of 9 targets for 185 yards and 2 TDs.
But, the Week 13 Kansas City Chiefs simply don’t represent the same team that had won 5 straight when the season started. KC’s best cornerback, Marcus Peters, committed some crazy fouls. The Jets rallied behind Josh McCown’s 331 passing yards and passing TD. NYJ also rushed for 157 yards.
Result: Jets 38, Chiefs 31
Denver Broncos -1 at Miami Dolphins +1
So, it turns out that the Denver Broncos are much more of a mess than the Miami Dolphins. Although Dolphins’ QB Jay Cutler threw 2 interceptions, Broncos’ QB Trevor Siemian threw 3. The Broncos defense is playing like the Broncos offense.
The Broncos D appears to have given up on the season. How else do we explain Denver’s D allowing Kenyan Drake to rush for 120 yards from 23 carries? Drake also scored a rushing TD. GM John Elway must provide mass changes, starting with the Broncos coaching staff, for Denver to get close to the team it used to be.
Result: Dolphins 35, Broncos 9
New England Patriots -8 at Buffalo Bills +8
On the surface, Buffalo’s defense holding Tom Brady to 0 TD passes and an interception appears like a mini-win. Terrific Tom was supposed to dominate Buffalo this past Sunday. Then again, Buffalo’s defense yielded an awful 191 rushing yards to the Patriots.
The Patriots average 120.6 rushing yards per game. That’s 71 yards above the average. Almost as important is the fact that Buffalo’s offense is dreadful. QB Tyrod Taylor got hurt in this one. Before getting hurt, he had thrown 18 passes. He completed 9. He had also thrown a pick.
Result: Patriots 23, Bills 3
Houston Texans +7 at Tennessee Titans -7
Who would have thought that by NFL Week 13 there’d be a log jam at the top of the AFC South between the Titans and Jaguars? Tennessee, like Jacksonville, is an excellent 8 and 4. The Titans kept winning this past Sunday.
Tennessee’s defense was again spectacular. It held Houston to 53 rushing yards. Tom Savage did throw for 365 yards. It didn’t matter. The Titans rushed for an incredible 198 yards from 25 carries. Houston’s playoff dreams are done while Tennessee is in line to win the division.
Result: Titans 24, Texans 13
Minnesota Vikings +3 at Atlanta Falcons -3
Atlanta ended up the -2 favorite versus the Minnesota Vikings in a game they pretty much had to win. The Falcons played the Vikings tough. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s more efficient offense ruled the day. Case Keenum proved that he deserves to be Minnesota’s QB of the future. He completed 25 of 30 passes for an effective 227 yards. He also threw 2 TD passes.
The Falcons offense faced a talented defense. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan had trouble getting in sync with any of his wide receivers, though. Matty Ice only completed 16 of 29 passes for 173 yards.
Result: Vikings 14, Falcons 9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers pk at Green Bay Packers pk
There’s good news and bad news for the Buccaneers. The bad news is that the Buccaneers lost in overtime to the Green Bay Packers. The good news is that Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston looked great when throwing for 270 yards and 2 TD passes. The Bucs also rushed for 165 yards.
What happened? Tampa’s defense allowed the Packers to beat them with QB Brett Hundley throwing for 84 yards. The Pack rushed for 199 yards from 29 carries. That’s what happened.
Result: Packers 26, Buccaneers 20
San Francisco 49’ers +3.5 at Chicago Bears -2.5
San Francisco secured their second win of the season. The real reason why the 49’ers won is more due to Chicago’s deplorable offense than it is due to the 49’ers playing incredibly well. Niners’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards. That’s the positive. The negative is that Jimmy G. didn’t throw a TD pass. He did throw a pick.
At least the 49’ers allowed Garoppolo to throw the football. Chicago allowed their prized Round 1 draft pick QB, Mitch Trubisky, to toss it 15 times. Trubisky completed 12 of 15. Mitch even threw a TD. His efforts weren’t nearly enough for the win because, well, these are the Chicago Bears.
Result: 49’ers 15, Bears 14
Indianapolis Colts +9.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars -9.5
Believe it or not, a lot of football handicappers liked the Colts at 9.5 points. When the line went up to Colts +10, some handicappers jumped for joy. That was a bad move because the Jaguars dominated the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13.
Jacksonville’s D sacked Colts’ QB Jacoby Brissett 4 times. They picked him off twice. Jaguars’ QB Blake Bortles was fantastic. He threw for 309 yards and 2 TD passes. Bortles passed the Jaguars to an easy win over the in the tank Colts.
Result: Jaguars 30, Colts 10
Detroit Lions +3 at Baltimore Ravens -3
There are few NFL fans that saw this coming. I know that I didn’t. Detroit appeared to be at least on par with the Baltimore Ravens. Not so. The Ravens, who have now won 4 of their last 5, dominated the Lions in Week 13.
Baltimore QB Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and 2 TDs. The Ravens defense intercepted Matthew Stafford. It held Stafford to only a single TD pass before Detroit’s franchise QB got hurt. The Lions’ chances at a wildcard took a huge hit while the Ravens have a shot to make up ground on the AFC North leading Steelers in Week 14.
Result: Ravens 44, Lions 20
Cleveland Browns +13.5 at L.A. Chargers -13.5
Every week, it becomes apparent that the Cleveland Browns are one of the worst professional football teams ever. Cleveland loves to find ways to be terrible.
For the Chargers, the win over the Browns put L.A. into a first place tie with the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. The Bolts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. QB Philip Rivers, one of those ageless wonders, threw for 344 yards and a TD.
Result: Chargers 19, Browns 10
Carolina Panthers +4 at New Orleans Saints -4
One of Week 13’s marquee games had the Carolina Panthers traveling to the Superdome in New Orleans to battle the rival Saints. Once again, the game came down to a single, all-important, battle. Could the Panthers’ defense stop the Saints’ rushing attack?
The answer was a definitive no. New Orleans pounded the Panthers with 148 rushing yards from 28 carries. The Panthers also yielded 269 passing yards to Drew Brees. Carolina’s final TD occurred with less than 4 minutes left in the game. By that time, the Saints had built a 17 point lead.
Result: Saints 31, Panthers 21
New York Giants +7 at Oakland Raiders -7
I must hand it to the Raiders. Oakland played efficiently on offense. Derek Carr threw for 267 yards. He tossed a TD. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 101 yards and a TD. Oakland did enough on defense to hold the Giants to only 17 points.
There’s not much to write about NYG. The Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo a day after Sunday’s loss. McAdoo knew it was coming. What nobody knew was coming is how the Giants fired GM Jeremy Reese. Steve Spagnuolo, the current defensive coordinator, will become the Giants interim head coach.
Result: Raiders 24, Giants 17
L.A. Rams -7 at Arizona Cardinals +7
For a time, the Arizona Cardinals hung with the L.A. Rams. The Cards scored 13 points in the second quarter to make it 13 to 19 at halftime. The second half became a different story when the Rams outscored the Cardinals 13 to 3.
L.A.’s got a huge matchup this Sunday versus the Philadelphia Eagles. The game takes place at the L.A. Coliseum.
Result: Rams 32, Cardinals 16
Philadelphia Eagles -5 at Seattle Seahawks +5
Philadelphia faced its first better than .500 opponent since the Carolina Panthers on October 2 this past Sunday night in Seattle. That might be one of the reasons the Eagles lost by 2 touchdowns.
The other reason is Seattle QB Russell Wilson. I believe he’s the most valuable player in the NFL. The way Russell single-handedly beat Philly’s defense was something to behold.
Result: Seahawks 24, Eagles 10
Monday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 at Cincinnati Bengals +6
Cincinnati has no excuses for losing to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers this past Monday night. The Bengals took a 17 to 3 lead into halftime. But, like what almost always happens when the Steelers face the Bengals, Pitt rallied for the non-cover win.
Cincinnati needed to beat Pittsburgh to remain in the AFC Wildcard chase. Pitt didn’t look good at all. Not that it matters. With the win, Pitt remains in the hunt for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Result: Steelers 23, Bengals 20