It’d be laborious to blueprint up a more fresh Sunday than one in which the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals all won, whereas the Sleek England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers lost. The lovely victories by the league’s lesser teams supplied masses of leisure, however Week 13 used to be all relating to the aptitude Tidy Bowl preview between the Baltimore Ravens and the 49ers, a pair of heavyweight teams that fought their technique to a 20-17 traditional.
Here’s what we discovered:
A 49ers-Ravens Tidy Bowl could maybe well be intense. Observing these teams if truth be told feel every diversified out used to be captivating. It used to be 17-14 in desire of Baltimore at halftime, with every side shifting the ball continuously. But a series of defensive adjustments ended in every offenses disappearing. The second 1/2 consisted of factual seven drives, which resulted in two punts, two turnovers on downs, a fumble and two field targets. While the sport didn’t match the scoring of final yr’s Fifty four-fifty one thriller between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams, it had every bit as exceptional depth, and for some distance of the second 1/2 there used to be a feeling that whichever crew ended up with the ball final would salvage. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens made that a truth by grinding out the closing 6 minutes 28 seconds with a pressure that took 12 performs to head factual 34 yards sooner than Justin Tucker’s sport-successful forty 9-yard field aim.
Baltimore and San Francisco are two of the three in all likelihood teams to safe the Tidy Bowl, essentially based on The Upshot, with Sleek England being the 1/three. Getting a possibility to stumble on the 49ers and Ravens face off all some other time — after their offenses safe a possibility to notion the movie and test what they had been doing rotten — could maybe well be an absolute treat.
Lamar Jackson is having the abundant speeding season for a quarterback — ever. Towards San Francisco’s terrific defense, Jackson used to be left to largely fend for himself. Operating backs Build Ingram II and Gus Edwards had been wrapped up and Baltimore’s receivers found no determine. But Jackson, in what’s asking fancy an M.V.P. season, used to be up for the problem of running his crew to victory. With sixteen carries for 101 yards, he surpassed One hundred yards for a fourth time this season, surroundings a checklist for a quarterback. He is up to 977 speeding yards, which leaves him factual Sixty two in want of Michael Vick’s single-season checklist with four games left to play. The abundant essential speeding checklist for a quarterback that can seemingly elude Jackson is speeding touchdowns, as Cam Newton had 14 in 2011, whereas Jackson has factual seven.
The Patriots’ offensive woes are more than factual a blip. Sleek England’s offense topped 20 aspects for the first time in three weeks, however it absolutely wasn’t enough as its defense fell apart in a 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans. The Patriots scored three offensive touchdowns in a sport for the first since Week 7, however two got right here with the sport in actuality out of hand in the fourth quarter. And furious about how without complications every Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson carved up Sleek England’s defense, the Patriots no longer being a undeniable thing on offense could maybe very properly be a predominant mutter in the playoffs.
It used to be a gargantuan week to be an unpleasant crew. The Dolphins, the Redskins and the Bengals had all been accused of tanking for draft put of living, however every of them — even previously-winless Cincinnati — went out and won in impressive model. The Dolphins and the Redskins confirmed grit by having their defenses stay final-minute drives that could maybe even possess tied or won the sport for the opposition, and the Bengals merely destroyed the previously-hot Jets, 22-6. It used to be no longer a factual day for the entire bottom-feeders, however, because the Giants bought blown out by Green Bay, incomes their eighth straight loss and shedding to the second-worst checklist in the N.F.L. (2-10). The Bengals’ closing four games encompass one in opposition to the Dolphins and two in opposition to the wildly inconsistent Cleveland Browns, so the likelihood exists of the Giants ending up with the No. 1 bewitch in the draft, which could maybe well be a drastic tumble from the (two-sport) heyday of Daniel Jones Mania.
The Titans could maybe very properly be unpleasant in the playoffs — if they safe there. Tennessee is on the open air looking out in as some distance because the playoff describe is concerned, however since promoting Ryan Tannehill to starting quarterback, the Titans were clicking offensively, and possess gone 5-1. They run Pittsburgh for the second A.F.C. wild-card put of living by factual a tiebreaker, and on Sunday, Tennessee’s defense bought into the act, exhibiting some lovely firepower in a wild fourth quarter. In a span of factual three minutes of sport clock, the Titans blocked a field-aim attempt (returning the ball sixty three yards for a touchdown), intercepted a trot by Jacoby Brissett (giving their offense a immediate field for one other touchdown), and recovered a fumble that in actuality ended the sport. If the Texans aren’t cautious, the Titans could maybe sneak into the A.F.C. South division title in put of living of a wild-card put of living.
The Rams and the Chiefs can gathered occasion fancy it’s … 2018. This hasn’t been an extremely fairly season for both crew, however on Sunday, Los Angeles and Kansas Metropolis reminded all people what they’re in a position to when the entire lot is clicking. The Rams, who had been obliterated at dwelling final week in the nadir of a three-5 stretch, bought loads of key offensive contributors support for this sport and it confirmed in a 34-7 blowout over Arizona. The Chiefs, who went three-four after a four-Zero launch to the yr, looked energized coming out of a bye week — a staple of Coach Andy Reid’s profession — demolishing the Oakland Raiders, Forty-9.
We haven’t seen the final of Gardner Minshew’s aviators and jorts. The Jaguars had been happy to give the ball support to Slash Foles when he returned from harm three games ago, however after two lackluster starts — every of which resulted in losses — the frequent quarterback bottomed out on Sunday in opposition to the unpleasant secondary of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He accomplished factual 7 of 14 passes for 93 yards and turned the ball over on every of his crew’s first three possessions. He used to be pulled at halftime for Minshew, a sixth-spherical draft bewitch who proved to be a fan current — in all likelihood folk hero? — at some level of an eight-sport stint as a have-in starter. Minshew moved the ball some distance better than Foles had — whereas additionally throwing the biggest interception — and at this level there is an argument to be made that the rookie could maybe give Coach Doug Marrone the abundant shot at saving his job in a wildly disappointing season.
High Passer: Deshaun Watson
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the snow, and Ryan Tannehill continued to be ruthlessly efficient, however Watson’s performance, especially in the context of it coming in opposition to Sleek England, stood out above the the rest. Coming into the sport, Sleek England had allowed four passing touchdowns all season. Houston matched that total by itself, with Watson throwing three — regarded as one of which used to be a 35-yard bullet to Kenny Stills in the tip zone — sooner than being credited as a receiver on the fourth when DeAndre Hopkins took a handoff, ran the ball to the threshold after which flipped the ball support to Watson who dove into the tip zone.
High Runner: Derrius Guice
Guice, who got right here into the sport with factual Seventy four speeding yards in a two-yr profession that has been hampered by knee accidents, bought nearly double that on factual 10 carries in a breakout performance. He and the frequent Adrian Peterson combined for 228 yards on the floor.
High Receiver: DeVante Parker
Robert Woods of the Rams had more receiving yards, however Parker absolutely dominated Philadelphia, making a pair of terrific touchdown catches in the large upset.
One* Sentence About Sunday’s Games
*With the exception of when it takes more.
Chiefs Forty, Raiders 9 It does no longer seem in particular glorious for Kansas Metropolis to speed up Forty aspects in a sport in which Patrick Mahomes handiest threw one touchdown trot.
Texans 28, Patriots 22 Sleek England made up for a unhurried start some with a push toward the tip, however their first seven possessions had been brutal: Discipline aim, interception, four straight punts and a turnover on downs.
Ravens 20, 49ers 17 Even in a loss, San Francisco’s trot defense looked terrific, maintaining Baltimore to 100 and five yards thru the air — the tenth time in 12 games that the 49ers possess held an opponent to 200 passing yards or less.
Packers 31, Giants 13 “I loved the stipulations,” Aaron Rodgers rapid newshounds of the snowy day at MetLife Stadium in which he threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns.
Titans 31, Colts 17 “It’s nearly looking out fancy a weapon for us,” Coach Mike Vrabel stated of his crew blocking a Third field aim attempt in a span of three weeks.
Steelers 20, Browns 13 After falling gradual by 10-Zero, Pittsburgh outscored Cleveland by 20-three the the rest of the formulation, getting some revenge for an stupid (and controversy-filled) loss in Week Eleven.
Rams 34, Cardinals 7 Jared Goff threw for 424 yards, Todd Gurley had A hundred and fifteen yards from scrimmage, Robert Woods had 172 receiving yards, Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks every contributed and the Los Angeles defense bought a bewitch-6 from Taylor Rapp. The put has this crew been all yr?
Buccaneers 28, Jaguars Eleven “It’s powerful,” Slash Foles stated of a sport in which he committed a turnovers on every of his crew’s first three possessions. “But you understand what, I’m going to notion on the shiny things and again my head held excessive.”
Broncos 23, Chargers 20 Whilst you’re Coach Anthony Lynn of the Chargers, and the Broncos speed a final-second play that is reasonably obviously designed to blueprint a trot interference penalty in opposition to your crew, it had to sting to notion regarded as one of your avid gamers if truth be told commit the penalty, organising Denver’s sport-successful field aim.
Dolphins 37, Eagles 31 Particular, DeVante Parker had two touchdown receptions, however Jason Sanders caught a touchdown trot, then kicked his gain extra-level, and he chipped in with a fifty one-yard field aim in the fourth quarter for factual measure. Per Skilled Soccer Reference, Sanders is the first participant to kick an extra-level and possess a receiving touchdown in the identical sport since 1977.
Redskins 29, Panthers 21 Whilst you thought Carolina’s failed aim line strive in the closing seconds of a loss to Green Bay in Week 10 used to be mistaken, have faith in this: Trailing Washington by factual 8 aspects with Forty seconds left to play on Sunday, the Panthers had a 1st-and-aim at Washington’s 1-yard line. They proceeded to speed the ball for antagonistic yardage twice, throw an incomplete trot after which turn the ball over on downs on a sack, successfully ending the sport.
Bengals 22, Jets 6 Andy Dalton bought into a sport for the first time since Week 8, and proceeded to change into Cincinnati’s profession leader in passing touchdowns, its profession leader in completions, and he ended what had been a 13-sport losing run for his crew going support to final season. No longer mistaken.