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NFL Week 13 Game Recaps

Graphics By: Robert Robinson @RobRobGraphics

New Orleans Saints (10-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

Final Score: Cowboys 13, Saints 10

Recap: The Saints’ winning streak came to an end at the hands of the red-hot Dallas Cowboys, who won their fourth straight game and kept their chances of advancing to January alive. Dak Prescott played decently throughout the contest, but it was once again the defense and Ezekiel Elliott that made the game as close as it was. New Orleans, however, came out incredibly flat, with their dominant offense being shut down in the “Big D”. Drew Brees may have fallen out of the lead in the MVP race with this performance, but can regain it with a dominant December. However, their chances of home field advantage have been reduced with the Rams continuing to win.

New Orleans’ first drive was wildly inconsistent with their play this year, with the first three plays all being incomplete passes, including a possible early interception that was dropped. Sean Payton also failed with his two challenges in the first half, and Dallas would capitalize. The Saints were shut out in the first half for the first time in 71 straight games, ending an NFL record streak. Their defense was impressive though, sacking Dak Prescott seven times, including one fumble which potentially gave Brees a chance to win the game; but he would be intercepted by the Cowboys on a terribly mistimed play. Dallas would capitalize and ran out the clock by forcing a Saints pass interference penalty in the end zone.

Notable Performances:

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees, QB: 18/27, 127 yds, TD, INT

Alvin Kamara, RB: 11 rush, 36 yds, 3.6 ypc

Michael Thomas, WR: 5 rec, 40 yds

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott, QB: 24/28, 248 yds, TD

Ezekiel Elliott, RB: 23 rush, 76 yds, 3.3 ypc; 6 rec, 60 yds, TD

Amari Cooper, WR: 8 rec, 75 yds

Written by: Joe Carlino

Carolina Panthers (6-6) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

Final Score: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 17

Recap: The Buccaneers extended their winning streak to two straight games with a convincing defensive performance against the division rival Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay had four interceptions of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was consistently under pressure all throughout the game. Jameis Winston, for the second straight game, played turnover-free football, which is exactly what Buccaneers fans want from their quarterback. It still remains to be seen if the team will be keeping him and Dirk Koetter after the season, but after these last two games, there might be just enough evidence. A win against New Orleans this Sunday could be enough. And with the Bucs now being one game out of the final NFC wild card spot, this might be a crazy next couple of weeks.

The opening drive by the Bucs saw the home team drive down the field and score a touchdown, a rare occasion of late. However, they would get their first turnover on the Panthers’ opening drive, with Cam being intercepted on a dropped pass. Carolina would force a field goal, keeping their hopes alive. The other three interceptions, all of which came in the second half, came with Newton having someone in his face, whether it was Jason Pierre-Paul or Gerald McCoy. Tampa would attempt to ice the game, but couldn’t and were forced to punt. While it looked like the ball went out at the 2, replay showed that the defender was just barely on the line, resulting in a touchback. Carolina would drive to their own 49, and getting two plays to win (one on a defensive penalty forcing an untimed down), a Taylor Heineke heave into the endzone was deflected, and the Bucs would win their second straight and first in the Color Rush jerseys.

Notable Performances:

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton, QB: 28/41, 300 yds, 2 TDs, 4 INTs

Christian McCaffrey, RB: 10 rush, 106 yds, 10.6 ypc; 9 rec, 55 yds, TD

Curtis Samuel, WR: 6 rec, 88 yds

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston, QB: 20/30, 249 yds, 2 TDs

Peyton Barber, RB: 16 rush, 45 yds, TD

Chris Godwin, WR: 5 rec, 101 yds, TD

Adam Humphries, WR: 7 rec, 61 yds, TD

Andrew Adams, S: 3 INT

Written by: Joe Carlino

Chicago Bears (8-4) vs. New York Giants (4-8)

Final Score: Giants 30, Bears 27

Recap: Wow. this was about as much of a nail-biter of a game as it can get in the NFL. First it was a back and forth matchup, with both sides of the ball on both sidelines making big plays. Both defenses were getting after the opposing QB, forcing bad throws that led to interceptions. Each offense had success on the ground, while Odell Beckham Jr. and Allen Robinson traded off highlight real catches. Eventually, the Giants would ALL BUT lock this game up with a 10-point lead and 1:49 left on the clock, or so we thought! The Bears somehow rallied offensively, and with a little help from their special teams were able to tie it up and send the game into overtime.

This game started off with an Alec Ogletree pick-6 that Chase Daniels practically gifted (bow and all) to the Giants defense on the second play of the game. Defensively, each team held their own in the 1st half, as there were nine combined 3-and-outs between the two teams. The Bears got after Eli, giving Manning no time to set his feet and never allowing him to get into a rhythm, while the G-men’s front seven forced Chicago’s backup QB to run for his life and make several ill-advised throws. The game was sloppy to say the least. A reverse/end around, 55-yard pass TD from OBK to Sterling Shepard sparked the game into somewhat of a 2nd half shootout. A fumble inside on Chicago’s 9-yard line should have sealed the deal, as New York went up two scores with under two minutes to go. Yet, SOMEHOW, the Bears marched down 72 yards, kicked a FG, and brought the game to within 7 points. They then proceeded to recover an onside kick attempt that left many wondering if Beckham’s lackluster effort on the play showed his commitment to the team. Regardless of the outcome of the onside, Chicago still had to score a TD, and they did just that with an end around/RB pass play of their own. Once in OT, the Giants were able to pull off the victory with a FG and a strip sack to seal the game.

Notable Performances:

Chicago Bears

Chase Daniel, QB: 26/39, 285 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT, 4 FUM

Jordan Howard, RB: 16 rush, 76 yds, 4.8 ypc

Tarik Cohen, RB: 12 rec, 156 yds; 8 rush, 30 yds; 1/1, 1 yd, 1 TD

New York Giants

Eli Manning, QB: 19/35, 170 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Saquon Barkley, RB: 24 rush, 125 yds, 5.2 ypc

Odell Beckham Jr., WR: 3 rec, 35 yds, 1 TD; 1/1, 49 yds, 1 TD

Alec Ogletree, LB: 10 Tackles, 0.5 TFL, 2 INT, 1 TD

Written by: Jack Bourgeois

Buffalo Bills (4-8) vs. Miami Dolphins (6-6)

Final Score: Dolphins 21, Bills 17

Recap: Being that both fan bases expected a bore-fest in this one, I’d say this matchup was a pleasant surprise. The Bills put forth one of their best offensive efforts of the year with 415 net yards, 366 of which can be directly attributed to rookie Josh Allen. The young signal caller completed 18 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 135 yards on 9 carries but it was not enough to take down the Miami Dolphins. Tannehill came out firing to start the game, and actually threw for all three of the Dolphins scores on the day, but only accounted for 137 passing yards with the Buffalo defense putting forward a solid outing. The same goes for the Dolphins defense, who had Xavien Howard intercept two passes on the day.

The game started off hot with a 10-play 75-yard drive that was capped off by a DeVante Parker touchdown to go up 7-0. The games next score was not until the second quarter after a Minkah Fitzpatrick pass interference led to a Zay Jones touchdown that was sadly finished of by a missed PAT to bring the score to 7-6. The Dolphins scored next after a muffed punt return put them in great position for a Kenyan Drake touchdown. But out came Josh Allen in the second half, finding Patrick Dimarco on a 38 yard pass, but the drive ultimately stalled and a ended with a Hauschka field goal, 14-9. The Bills finally took their first lead on a Zay Jones touchdown, and converted a two-point conversion the Jones to take a 17-14 lead. The game was finished on the next touchdown though. With 3:18 minutes to-go and after a myriad of penalties, Tannehill found Kenny Stills for the go-ahead score and the Dolphins took this win in Miami.

Notable Performances:

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen, QB: 18/33, 231 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT; 9 rush, 135 yds,

LeSean McCoy, RB: 15 rush, 52 yds, 3.5 ypc

Zay Jones, WR: 4, 67 yds, 2 TD

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill, QB: 16/24, 137 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT

Xavien Howard, CB: 4 tackles, 2 INT

Devante Parker, WR: 4 rec, 43 yds, 1 TD

Written by: George Haraktsis

Indianapolis Colts (6-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)

Final Score: Jaguars 6, Colts 0

Recap: The Colts and Jaguars got themselves into a low-scoring defensive affair in Jacksonville. Indianapolis struggled on the offensive side of the ball as they weren’t able to put any points on the board despite getting in scoring territory multiple times. Jacksonville’s defense made the plays when they were needed and continued to get pressure on Andrew Luck all afternoon. Luck not only saw his 3+ touchdown streak come to an end, but nobody found the endzone at all. The Jags offense wasn’t great but in the end, the two field goals that they got was enough to help get the win.

The game could have had a different outcome if the Colts settled for field goals over 4th down conversions. Even so, Indy still had an opportunity to win it during the final minute. On the last play, Luck checked it down to Erik Swoope so he could get out of bounds to stop the clock. He did that, but the refs made a crucial mistake and let the clock roll, which ended the game. Indianapolis falls to .500 and faces a big game against the division leading Texans next week. The Jaguars will hope to build upon this win and try to finish the season strong after falling on their faces early.

Notable Performances:

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck, QB: 33/52, 248 yds, INT, 2 rush, 16 yds

Marlon Mack, RB: 8 rush, 27 yds, 3.4 ypc, 1 rec, 6 yds

Eric Ebron, TE: 10 rec, 81 yds

Jacksonville Jaguars

Cody Kessler, QB: 18/24, 150 yds, 5 rush, 28 yds

Carlos Hyde, RB: 13 rush, 36 yds, 2.8 ypc, 1 rec, 1 yds

T.J. Yeldon, RB: 8 rush, 16 yds, 2.0 ypc, 7 rec, 49 yds

Written by: Cody Manning

Cleveland Browns (4-7-1) vs. Houston Texans (9-3)

Final Score: Texans 29, Browns 13

Recap: This game felt like it was over after the first quarter. The Houston Texans’ offense came out and ran the ball right down Cleveland’s throat. The Browns started off the game with two deep safeties, and the Texans exploited the defensive scheme often. Every time it looked like the Browns defense would get off the field, DeShaun Watson made an incredible play to keep the drives going. At the end of the day, the Texans’ offense was hitting on all cylinders.

Defensively, the Texans didn’t let Baker Mayfield get comfortable early. The Browns tried to establish a short, quick passing game to offset the Texans pass rush, but it only caused Baker and his wide receivers to be off on their timing. Baker looked like a rookie in the first half, throwing 3 interceptions, one of which was taken back for a touchdown. By the time the Browns got Baker going, it was all but over. The Texans ran out the clock for most of the second half.

Notable Performances:

Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield, QB: 29/43, 397 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT

Nick Chubb, RB: 9 rush, 31 yds, TD, 3.4 ypc; 3 rec, 41 yds

Jarvis Landry, WR: 6 rec, 103 yds

Houston Texans

DeShaun Watson, QB: 22/31, 224 yds, TD; 7 rush, 30 yds

Lamar Miller, RB: 19 rush, 103 yds, 5.4 ypc; 1 rec, 12 yds

DeAndre Hopkins, WR: 7 rec, 91 yds

Written by: Jake Leicht

Denver Broncos (6-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7)

Final Score: Broncos 24, Bengals 10

Recap: The second half of the NFL season has not been pleasant for Bengals fans this year. That feeling continued on Sunday as they suffered another tough loss to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos dominated the Bengals with their ground game, as undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay led the way with 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Cincinnati was led by backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who has taken over for the injured Andy Dalton. Driskel threw for 236 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough as the Broncos walked away with this one 24-10. With this win, the Broncos improve to 6-6 and are very much alive in the AFC playoff race.

Things were pretty quiet early in this game, as the first score didn’t come until just under two minutes left in the half on a 6-yard touchdown run by Lindsay. The Bengals answered with 12 seconds left in the half on a 35-yard Randy Bullock field goal to cut it to 7-3 at the half. Denver would open up their lead in the third quarter with two unanswered touchdowns on a 30-yard pass from Case Keenum to rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton and a 65-yard run by Lindsay. Driskel would throw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cody Core before the end of the third. Unfortunately, the Bengals were shut out in the fourth as the Broncos secured the 24-10 victory.

Notable Performances:

Denver Broncos

Case Keenum, QB: 12/21, 151 yds, 1 TD

Phillip Lindsay, RB: 19 rush, 157 yds, 2 TD, 8.3 ypc

Courtland Sutton, WR: 4 rec, 85 yds, 1 TD

Cincinnati Bengals

Jeff Driskel, QB: 25/38, 236 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Joe Mixon, RB: 12 rush, 82 yds, 6.8 ypc

Tyler Boyd, WR: 6 rec, 97 yds

Written by: Ryan Lippert

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) vs. Detroit Lions (4-8)

Final Score: Rams 30, Lions 16

Recap: This game was, for the first 3 ½ quarters, a close one marked by the performance of both teams’ defenses. Perhaps most impressive, however, was Detroit’s disruption of the Rams potent offense. The Rams offense had previously averaged about 35 points during its first 11 games, but was held to only 16 points before a Todd Gurley rushing touchdown with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Lions forced an interception from the normally accurate Jared Goff (and nearly had another one returned for a touchdown), as well as a fumble recovery. However, the Lions largely could not capitalize on this defense performance, allowing four sacks and constant pressure on Matthew Stafford, as well as a forced fumble recovery. Stafford also had a rather average performance, throwing a pick and just one interception. Overall, it was the Rams defense and the 165-total yard, 2 touchdown performance from Todd Gurley that won this game for the Rams.

It was clear from the first quarter that this would not be the typical Rams thrashing of a sub-.500 team. The Rams were held to a single field goal in the first quarter, and Goff then threw a very questionable pass into triple coverage with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter that was intercepted by Quandre Diggs. The Lions also had their fair share of flubs. This included Matthew Stafford backpedaling and losing a fumble with 8 minutes left in the game. However, easily the worst of them was the failed surprise onside kick attempt in third quarter that looked as though Matt Prater had barely hit the ball. The Rams were finally able to break through in the fourth quarter, with two key rushing touchdowns by Gurley to seal the victory. This was certainly not a pretty win for the Rams, but it was one that they won by properly closing out the fourth quarter, clinching the NFC West for the second season in a row.

Notable Performances:

Los Angeles Rams

Jared Goff, QB: 17/33, 207 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Todd Gurley II, RB: 23 rush, 132 yds, 2 TD, 5.7 ypc; 3 rec, 33 yds

Robert Woods, WR: 5 rec, 67 yds, TD

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford, QB: 20/33, 245 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

LeGarrette Blount, RB: 16 rush, 61 yds, 3.8 ypc

Levine Toilolo, TE: 4 rec, 90 yds

Written by: Phillip Salmo

Arizona Cardinals (3-9) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-7-1)

Final Score: Cardinals 20, Packers 17

Recap: As bad as the Packers have looked this year, nobody expected them to lose to the lowly Arizona Cardinals. This was a close game with middling performances by both quarterbacks, combining for just 360 passing yards. The ground game was where both teams lived for much of the day, as the Cardinals ran for 182 yards and the Packers for 98. Backup running back Chase Edmonds hit paydirt twice and Davante Adams had another quality performance with 93 yards and a score. The difference makers for this game were the kickers, as Zane Gonzalez hit the game winner and Mason Crosby could not equalize. This loss marks a low point for Green Bay, one that was exemplified by the team’s firing of long-time head coach Mike McCarthy the day after the game. Both teams will now look towards next year with brighter hopes.

Green Bay got on the board first, with Davante Adams getting in the end zone with 11:29 to go in the first half. The team would take a 10-7 lead into halftime. Through a myriad of punts, Arizona would eventually take the lead at 17-10 and Green Bay equalized with 5:26 to go. The two struggling teams did not produce much excitement until the end of the game, however, when Zane Gonzalez’ 44-yard field goal gave Arizona the lead with 1:41 left. Mason Crosby had a chance at the end, missing a 49-yard field goal, wide right, as time expired.

Notable Performances:

Arizona Cardinals

Josh Rosen, QB: 11/26, 149 yds; 2 rush, 32 yds

David Johnson, RB: 20 rush, 69 yds, 3.5 ypc; 1 rec, 3 yds

Chase Edmonds, RB: 5 rush, 53 yds, 10.6 ypc, 2 TD; 2 rec, 13 yds

Christian Kirk, WR: 3 rec, 54 yds

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers, QB: 31/50, 233 yds, 1 TD; 3 rush, 20 yds

Aaron Jones, RB: 11 rush, 36 yds, 3.3 ypc, 1 TD; 4 rec, 16 yds

Davante Adams, WR: 8 rec, 93 yds, 1 TD

Jimmy Graham, TE: 8 rec, 50 yds

Written by: Rusty Miller

Kansas City Chiefs (10-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (2-10)

Final Score: Chiefs 40, Raiders 33

Recap: A lot of people, including myself, had this game marked down as an easy win for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders came out to prove everyone wrong and came up just short of a huge upset. The Chiefs were dealing with a tragic situation in which they were forced to release star running back Kareem Hunt due to a disturbing video released just a couple days ago. The loss of Hunt and lack of starting reps for Spencer Ware was felt as Ware was held to just 47 yards and a touchdown. Fortunately, quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a solid performance as he threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns. He benefited from an incredible game from tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with 12 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns. For the Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr has arguably his best game of the season, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as the Raiders now drop to 2-10 on the season.

The Chiefs mostly dominated the first half. Mahomes connected with Kelce on two touchdown passes to help give Kansas City a 19-7 lead going into the half. Kansas City scored on a 1-yard run by Ware in the third to go up 26-10 but were quickly answered by the Raiders on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Carr to tight end Jared Cook. Mahomes threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Harris to end the third, giving the Chiefs a 33-16 lead. Oakland came out firing in the fourth. scoring on two unanswered touchdown passes from Carr to Lee Smith and Marcell Ateman to get within three points. The Chiefs were able to answer on a 2-yard pass from Mahomes to Chris Conley to take a ten-point lead. Oakland kicker Daniel Carlson connected on a 44-yard field goal with 30 seconds left but it was too little, too late as the Chiefs held on to win 40-33.

Notable Performances:

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes, QB: 23/38, 295 yds, 4 TD, 52 rush yds

Spencer Ware, RB: 14 rush, 47 yds, 1 TD, 3.4 ypc

Travis Kelce, TE: 12 rec, 168 yds, 2 TD

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr, QB: 29/38, 285 yds, 3 TD

Jalen Richard, RB: 6 rush, 95 yds, 15.8 ypc

Jared Cook, TE: 7 rec, 100 yds, 1 TD

Written by: Ryan Lippert

New York Jets (3-9) vs. Tennessee Titans (6-6)

Final Score: Titans 26, Jets 22

Recap: The Jets were in position to snap their five game losing streak in this one after taking an early 10-0 lead, but New York could not get it done. They dropped their sixth straight and helped Tennessee snap their own two game skid. The game was predicated on good defense, with the Titans turning the ball over 3 times and the Jets passing for under 130 yards on the day. This was expected from the Jets who had to start Josh McCown again at quarterback, but was a bit surprising from Marcus Mariota who was coming off of one of the best games of his career. Mariota rebounded in the second half and ultimately led the Titans to a last second win with a little help from the Jets, but this was an ugly battle with terrible play from both sides.

Mariota’s first quarter pick-six put the Jets up by 10 in this long battle, and immediately set the tone for such a sloppy day. The Jets mustered 2 more field goals with 3 minutes to go in the 1st half to secure a 16-0 lead. The Titans managed to finally get on the board with an Anthony Fisker touchdown, but kept the sloppy theme of the game going with a Ryan Succop blocked PAT that made the game 16-6 going into the half. The third quarter opened up with a 61-yard kick return the led to a Jason Myers field goal that brought the score to a 19-6 New York lead. But the Titans began fighting on the back of a Derrick Henry 1 yard touchdown to make it a one score game at 19-13. After Myers kicked a 39 yarder to close out the third, the Titans stalled on back-to-back drives and settled for a pair of Succop field goals that brought the game within three. With only 1:46 left to go, the Jets were forced to punt and pinned the Titans on their own fourteen. Mariota, through fumbles and facemask penalties, eventually found Corey Davis for the go-ahead touchdown to complete the ugly comeback and win 26-22.

Notable Performances:

New York Jets

Josh McCown, QB: 17/30, 128 yds, 1 INT

Isaiah Crowell, RB: 21 rush, 98 yds, TD, 4.7 ypc

Jamal Adams, S: 11 tackles, 1 Sack

Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota, QB: 20/35, 128 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

Taywan Taylor, WR: 3 rec, 104 yds

Corey Davis, WR: 3 rec, 42 yards, 1 TD

Written by: George Haraktsis

San Francisco 49ers (2-10) vs. Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

Final Score: Seahawks 43, 49ers 16

Recap: Seattle is turning on the jets with their sights set on the postseason. This past Sunday was’t the same NFC West showdown we were accustomed to seeing. Neither team flashed high-end production and the anticipated return of Richard Sherman never reached the limelight. The highlight of the blowout came with a Seattle touchdown celebration, in which they paid tribute to Sherman’s game-sealing interception against the 49ers in the 2013 NFC Championship game. It was a day where Russell Wilson threw the ball just 17 times for 185 yards. The Seahawks controlled the clock for the majority of the game, gaining a sizeable lead and never handing over the reigns continuously turning out hard yards to amss 168 yards on the ground. It was a typical afternoon for San Fran fans as they fell again, capturing their seat at the top of the draft board... for now.

This was a game that featured three touchdown passes on Russell Wilson’s first four attempts. The 49ers didn’t know what hit them. However, there was a bright spot in San Francisco, as Dante Pettis, the team’s 2018 second round selection, finally got involved. He caught both of Mullens’ TD passes while accruing 129 yards in the process. With this win, Seattle has taken control of the fifth seed in the playoff picture with just 5 games left on their schedule. This is the time to get hot, and Seattle has won three straight with the Vikings and Chiefs on the horizon.

Notable Performances:

San Francisco 49ers

Nick Mullens, QB: 30/48, 414 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

Jeffery Wilson, RB: 16 rush, 61 yds, 4.1 ypc

Dante Pettis, WR: 5 rec, 129 yds, 2 TD

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson, QB: 11/17, 185 yds, 4 TD, 4 rush, 14 yds

Rashaad Penny, RB: 7 rush, 65 yds, 1 TD, 9.3 ypc

Jaron Brown, WR: 3 rec, 67 yds, 2 TD

Written by: Jason Feiner

Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) vs. New England Patriots (9-3)

Final Score: Patriots 24, Vikings 10

Recap: It’s officially the month of December, and the Patriots winning, especially at home, are like death and taxes — it’s guaranteed. Although the Vikings put up a fight, the plethora of now healthy New England weapons was just too much to handle in Foxboro. As much as we’ve all talked about the stout defense that Minnesota has, it was the Patriots D that seemed to shine on Sunday. Brady now has 1,000 career rushing yards and Belichick has his 250th win as the Patriots Head Coach. The Vikings were held to just 278 total yards and 16 1st downs, while Brady and company were just shy of 500 yards offensively. They drove up and down the field at will, but the Vikings D held firm with their backs to their own endzone.

Although Dalvin Cook finally looked like the rookie version we’ve all been waiting to see, averaging 9.3 yards per carry against the Patriots, for some strange reason the Vikings only fed him the ball 9 times. The new trio of Patriots running backs featuring James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead thrived throughout the game, totaling 229 yards of yards from scrimmage. Josh Gordon also made his impact felt, totaling 3 catches on 3 targets, for 58 yards and a TD in the 3rd quarter. The majority of the credit for the Patriots win should clearly go to their defense though. They sacked Cousins on multiple occasions, picked him off twice, and held him to his lowest Passer Rating (70.4) and 2nd lowest QBR (43.4) all season long. Neither of these teams are to be reckoned with at home, and with New England finally healthy and rolling in the final month of the season, it’ll be hard for any team to beat ‘em.

Notable Performances:

Minnesota Vikings

Kirk Cousins, QB, 32/44, 201 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT

Dalvin Cook, RB: 9 rush, 84 yds, 9.3 ypc

Stefon Diggs, WR: 5 rec, 49 yds

New England Patriots

Tom Brady, QB: 24/32, 311 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT

Sony Michel, RB: 17 rush, 63 yds, 3.7 ypc

James White, RB: 7 rec, 92 yds

Josh Gordon, WR: 3 rec, 58 yds, 1 TD

Written by: Jack Bourgeois

Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1)

Final Score: Chargers 33, Steelers 30

Recap: This week’s Sunday Night Football matchup featured two of the hottest teams in the AFC squaring off and had all the makings of a close game. They did not disappoint, as it came down to the very final possession. Quarterback Philip Rivers led the Chargers to victory, finishing with 299 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He benefited from a huge game from Keenan Allen who finished with 14 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers had a big game as well, throwing for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. His go-to receiver Antonio Brown had an outstanding game, finishing with 10 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Ben-AB connection wasn’t enough, as the Steelers fell short.

The first half was mostly dominated by the Steelers, as they started off with two unanswered touchdown runs by James Conner. That was followed by a controversial 46-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Travis Benjamin after what looked to be an obvious missed false start. The Steelers got the ball back for one more drive to end the half and capitalized with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Brown to give the Steelers a 23-7 lead at the half. Los Angeles started the second half on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Allen and a 73-yard punt return touchdown by Desmond King. After showing the replay, the Chargers may have gotten away with that one as well, with a seemingly clear block in the back on the punt return. The Chargers took a 30-23 lead on a 18-yard run by Justin Jackson, which was matched by Pittsburgh with a 10-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Jaylen Samuels. The Chargers got the ball back and drove down the field to set up a game-winning field goal attempt for Mike Badgley. After two missed attempts were called back due to offsides penalties on the Steelers, Badgley connected on the third try to send the Chargers home with a 33-30 win.

Notable Performances:

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers, QB: 26/36, 299 yds, 2 TD

Justin Jackson, RB: 8 rush, 63 yds, 1 TD, 7.9 ypc

Keenan Allen, WR: 14 rec, 148 yds, 1 TD

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger, QB: 29/45, 281 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

James Conner, RB: 15 rush, 60 yds, 2 TD, 4 ypc

Antonio Brown, WR: 10 rec, 154 yds, 1 TD

Written by: Ryan Lippert

Washington Redskins (6-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (6-6)

Final Score: Eagles 28, Redskins 13

Recap: Dallas may be the hottest team in the NFC East right now, but don’t count the Eagles out just yet. They won this game because they played to their strengths — their running backs got 33 total carries, Zach Ertz and slot receiver Golden Tate had a combined 16 catches, and they held the Washington running game virtually ineffective aside from a 90-yard run by Adrian Peterson. The Redskins lost QB Colt McCoy to a bad leg injury early in the game, and replaced him with Mark Sanchez. Mr. Butt Fumble was only able to muster 100 yards on 21 attempts, and tossed an interception too. The Eagles overtake the Redskins in the NFC Wild Card race, while Washington is likely staring at a lost season despite a scorching hot start.

The Eagles put together an outstanding 12 play, 75 yard drive to start the game, which ended in a 6 yard Golden Tate touchdown reception that featured Carson Wentz buying time with his legs. Washington’s defense buckled down, however, holding the Eagles scoreless on 3 straight drives. Adrian Peterson’s one impressive moment of the day was a big one, a 90 yard touchdown run. Philly answered back with a bit over 2 minutes left in the 1st half, scoring a Darren Sproles touchdown on just 3 plays. Washington was able to tack on a field goal before going into the locker room, but the 2nd half was all Eagles. They held the Redskins scoreless, and while Wentz threw an early interception to Josh Norman just 5 yards away from the end zone, he and the offense redeemed themselves with points on the three ensuing possessions. Washington will go nowhere with Mark Sanchez at the helm, but Philly has some momentum nearing the home stretch of the season.

Notable Performances:

Washington Redskins

Mark Sanchez, QB: 13/21, 100 yds, 1 INT

Adrian Peterson, RB: 9 rush, 98 yds, 1 TD, 10.9 ypc (90 yard TD run)

Josh Doctson, WR: 3 rec, 51 yds

Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz, QB: 27/39, 306 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT

Josh Adams, RB: 20 rush, 85 yds, 4.3 ypc

Golden Tate, WR: 7 rec, 85 yds, 1 TD

Zach Ertz, TE: 9 rec, 83 yds

Written by: Alexander Amir

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