Some back-up ballers, some delightful upsets and a seriously shocking scoreline highlights (and lowlights) Week 13 of the 2023/24 NFL season.
Seahawks 35 - 41 Cowboys
As good as the Cowboys have been, this was actually their first time beating a team with a winning record all season, and it wasn’t pretty.
The Hawks were clearly out for redemption after being held to just 6 points last week, and despite losing, I still think they earned our respect. Against the third ranked defense in the league, Seattle put up 5 touchdowns and just under 400 yards on the night.
Sure, the gameplan was simply ‘throw the ball to DK Metcalf and pray’. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
DK Metcalf takes it 7⃣3⃣ yards to the house on a three-touchdown night for the Seahawks receiver 💪 pic.twitter.com/KbXbruq6tQ— Sky Sports NFL (@SkySportsNFL) December 1, 2023
And while the Dallas defense struggled, Dak Prescott & Co. were firing on all cylinders. Ceedee Lamb passed the century mark in receiving yards and found the endzone once again, while the rest of the cohort balled out too.
Giving up 35 points may seem like cause for concern, but don’t worry Cowboys fans… Your defense has only allowed more than twenty points twice this year, they’ll be fine. Plus, it doesn’t really matter if your offense can score 40+ with ease.
Colts 31 - 28 Titans (OT)
Well, I never thought this would be the game of the week, but both offenses played great, clutching up to make sure they stayed in the contest. And both defenses forced multiple turnovers at key points in the game.
But when it went down to the wire, Minshew mania came out on top.
Minshew mania is a real thing pic.twitter.com/brond5VfzP— Bussin' With The Boys (@BussinWTB) December 3, 2023
With this win, the Colts have a shot at topping the AFC South, especially after the injuries Jacksonville added to the list this week.
Falcons 13 - 8 Jets
I don’t really want to talk about it, but just so you know how bad the game really was - there were a total of 7 fumbles, 16 punts, 3 field goals, one touchdown and a safety. Props to anyone who managed to stay awake through this disaster.
Anyway, a win is a win, but beating this Jets roster by 5 points is nothing Arthur Smith should brag about. The Falcons may be leading the NFC South at 6-6, but this team could become the worst division champs of all time.
No highlights here.
Broncos 17 - 22 Texans
I feel like a broken record at this point, but I have to say it again - C.J. Stroud is seriously special.
The Texans rookie QB lost his favourite target Tank Dell early in the matchup, and still threw for 274 and a touchdown, in yet another game with zero turnovers. Stroud now leads the league in passing yards with over 3,500 on the season, and it’s largely thanks to plays like this… Houston could have a future Hall of Famer on their hands.
NICO COLLINS HAVING A MONSTER DAY! pic.twitter.com/v4jGJcSCsr— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 3, 2023
Meanwhile, the Broncos have finally lost their 5-game win streak and as much as Russell Wilson has been on fire in recent weeks, he threw this one away - literally.
Chargers 6 - 0 Patriots
Forget the fact that the Bolts left with a win, this scoreline spells disaster for Bradon Staley.
After a three game slide, this was supposed to be a get-right game for Justin Herbert. The Patriots are 2-8 for the first time since 2000, with every part of their roster in complete shambles. It should have been a breeze, but something is seriously wrong in LA.
Now, I still don’t question Herbets ability, but the team is falling apart around him. Austin Ekeler is well beyond his prime and his receivers couldn’t catch a cold at this point… this has been happening for weeks.
In any case, I suspect Brandon Staley could be looking for work very soon.
Cardinals 24 - 10 Steelers
Following last week’s performance from Pittsburgh, I was fully convinced that Matt Canada was the issue, but now I’m not too sure. I know Kenny Pickett left with an injury just before the half, but he’d only put up a single field goal at that point. Even the Steelers' top-ranked defense was falling apart against the Cardinals of all people.
The Arizona Cardinals and James Conner just stiff armed Patrick Peterson’s “revenge game” into the dirt 🤣— Joanna Cards Fan (@cardsfanjoanna) December 3, 2023
I’d like to blame this one on the weather delays, but I don’t think we can bail them out. Whether it’s Pickett or Trubisky, Canada or anyone else, it’s not looking good for Tomlin’s playoff run.
Dolphins 45 - 15 Commanders
Surprise, surprise. The Dolphins completely destroyed the worst pass defense in the league. I could show you the two Tyreek Hill touchdowns, but instead I’ll leave this here.
Receiving Yards this season— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 4, 2023
Tyreek Hill 1,481
Every Cardinals WR 1,412
Every Patriots WR 1,359
Every Giants WR 1,327
Every Jets WR 1,253
Every Falcons WR 1,155 pic.twitter.com/r2QuzHoc0l
The Cheetah is currently on track to put up the most receiving yards in a single season in the history of the NFL.
If the Dolphins can improve their defense by the postseason, they could have a real shot.
Panthers 18 - 21 Buccaneers
It may be another loss for Carolina, but at least we’re not seeing any more 4th down screens from the Panthers offense. Frank Reich’s firing may not have solved all their issues, but it’s nice to know Bryce Young can throw the ball when he’s actually given a chance.
Bryce Young made a few fun throws in Week 13 pic.twitter.com/NP6kU1fz3o— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 5, 2023
Meanwhile, Mike Evans is still lighting up secondaries at 30 years old.
Evans just logged his 10th straight season with 1000+ receiving yards. That’s every single year since he entered the league and it puts him second only to Jerry Rice. In a wide open NFC South, Evans could be the Bucs’ key to the playoffs.
Browns 19 - 36 Rams
I said it last week and I’ll happily say it again. The Rams are dangerous when they’re healthy.
Stafford threw three touchdowns in this matchup to take LA to their third straight win as Kyren Williams led a reliable run game and Puka Nacua couldn’t be stopped. With plenty of 6-6 teams in the NFC, they have a shot at the Wild Card, but facing the Ravens next week will be their toughest test yet.
Probably not what Joe Flacco hoped for in his return to the NFL. He didn’t play too poorly, but in a competitive AFC, Cleveland will need a smooth run for the next few weeks if they hope to remain in the playoff picture.
49ers 42 - 19 Eagles
We all know that the 9ers have a truly star studded roster, but Brock Purdy has just risen to the top of the MVP odds and for good reason. This guy is a baller.
Brock Purdy in the second half vs. the Eagles:— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) December 4, 2023
3 TDs / 0 INTs
Perfect 158.3 passer rating
The former Mr. Irrelevant just strolled into Philly’s house and put up 42 on one of the top Super Bowl contenders. With the Bills and KC struggling, it looks like the only real competition is Dallas, but if the Hawks can almost beat them, who knows what San Fran can do.
Chiefs 19 - 27 Packers
Jordan Love might be that guy.
The Packers QB has 4 games this season with 3+ Pass TD and 0 INT. No one in the NFL has more. With this win over the reigning champs, Love may have just secured his spot as the starter heading into next season.
It wasn’t a terrible game from KC, but with the likes of San Fran, Philly and Dallas, I’m counting them out for a 2024 title.
Bengals 34 - 31 Jaguars (OT)
Is Jake Browning good…? Whatever the answer, he balled out on Monday Night Football.
The Bengals back-up threw 32/37 for 354 yards, a touchdown and zero turnovers in this overtime win. That’s a starting QB statline if I’ve ever seen one. He was making throws like this all night.
JAMARR CHASE 76 YARD TOUCHDOWN— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 5, 2023
JAKE BROWNING IS DEALINGpic.twitter.com/fJdoTNTLyR
And speaking of back-ups, CJ Beathard came on for an injured Trevor Lawrence and led a 53 yards field goal drive to tie the game with 26 seconds left. The Jags couldn’t get it done in OT, but that wasn’t on Beathard at all…
This might be the most painful holding call of the year.
A crucial holding call wiped away a potential game winning play by Calvin Ridley…— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) December 5, 2023
Do you agree with the call?
(Header Image Credit: Jeremy Reper - USA TODAY Sports)