Updated:Dec 6, 2022
Week 13 in the NFL. 0 divisional titles have been won yet, but they could be this week. So, what happened in the NFL this week?
Burrows vs Mahomes: The next great battle
Some people are saying that the next great quarterback battle will be between Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. So far, Burrow has a 2-0 lead over Mahomes. Can he make it 3 in a row?
From the opening drive, it felt like the Bengals were on a mission. Their 11-play opening drive brought their offense down to the Chiefs 4- yard line. From then, a 4-yard rushing touchdown from Joe Burrow gave Cincinnati the first blow in this contest. The Chiefs would try to respond with a touchdown of their own. Mahomes and company arrived at the Bengals 8-yard line, but never move any further. This stalled drive ended with a 26-yard Harrison Butker field goal.Embed from Getty Images
The Bengals would continue their scoring on their next drive. In a drive of similar length and time to their first, the Bengals moved the ball down the field (aided by a 10-yard penalty) until they reached the 12-yard line. Then, a Burrow pass to Higgins found the endzone for a 12-yard touchdown, which increased the Bengals lead to 11 points.
After two drives that ended in punts, it would be the Chiefs turn to score. A 2-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Jerick McKinnon reduced the Bengals lead. Cincinnati tried to score on their next drive, which took them down deep into the Chiefs red zone. But, their 4th down attempt from the Chiefs 4-yard line actually took them backwards, ending any hope of a chance to increase their lead before halftime. Halftime came, with the Bengals 14-10 up.
Straight after the break, the Chiefs would come out all guns blazing. In a very quick opening drive that was mostly aided by a 42-yard pass from Mahomes, an 8-yard rushing touchdown from Isaiah Pacheco gave the Chiefs a 4-point lead. This lead would be reduced to one point shortly after, as Bengals kicker Evan McPherson’s 36-yard field goal was good.
We would then see a repeat of what we saw begin the second half. Another quick Kansas City drive, which this time ended in a 3-yard rushing touchdown from Mahomes on 4th down to increase the lead, then a Bengals field goal (this time from 41 yards) to slightly cut the lead.Embed from Getty Images
Then, it all went wrong for Kansas City. A standard Mahomes to Travis Kelce pass was caught by the tight end, who then fumbled the ball, which was scooped up by the Bengals. From an advantageous field position, Burrow and company drove the ball down to the Chiefs 8-yard line. Then, an 8-yard pass from Burrow to Evans found the endzone, to give the Bengals a 3-point lead with 8 minutes to play.
The Chiefs had the ball and knew what was needed from them. A drive that mostly consisted of passes from Mahomes stalled at the Cincinnati 37-yard line. So, Harrison Butker, the reliable kicker for the Chiefs stepped up, knowing that scoring the 55-yard field goal would keep them in the game. Butker kicked. Butker missed. The Cincinnati Bengals had beaten the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24.
With this win, the Bengals improve to 8-4 on the season, while the Chiefs fall to 9-3. Both of these teams should make the playoffs this year, but this win was very important for Cincinnati, as they are in a tight divisional race with the Baltimore Ravens. Next week, Kansas City go to Denver to face the Broncos, while Cincinnati faces divisional and state rivals the Cleveland Browns.
And on the subject of the Cleveland Browns.
Deshaun Watson is finally back. Unfortunately. After missing the first 11 games of the season after being suspended for allegations of sexual misconduct, Watson returned to the NFL field. Conveniently enough, his first game back was against his old team, the struggling Houston Texans. I do think that we were all Texans fans in this game.
The game started in the worst possible way for the Texans. On the opening play of the game, Texans quarterback Kyle Allen was intercepted by the Browns. This allowed the NFL to quickly see the return to Deshaun Watson. On his first drive in a long time, he did nothing. Think this is going to be a long game.
On their next drive, the Browns fumbled the ball, which was then scooped up by the Texans. They then moved the ball approximately 13 yards. but it was enough for a 44-yard field goal to be successful to give them the lead. Things got better for everyone on the next drive, as Watson was then intercepted.Embed from Getty Images
From gaining possession, the Texans drove the ball down to the Browns 1-yard line. then, on 4th and one, Allens’ pass was incomplete, handing possession over to the Browns. This did not last long, as the Texans defense recorded a safety to go 5-0 up.
We then had a selection of poor drives that did not go anywhere and that all ended in punts. But there was one punt that needed to be talked about. After a Texans punt, Donovon Peoples-Jones then ran the ball into the endzone for a 76-yard punt return. This means that so far, we have had a field goal, a safety and a punt return, but no touchdowns. At halftime, the Browns had a 7-5 lead. Let’s hope the second half would be better.
The weird scoring plays continued into the second half. The Texans had the ball on their one-yard line, but Kyle Allen fumbled the ball, which was scooped up by the Browns defense for a touchdown. 2 conventional scores would follow, with both teams scoring one field goal each, to make the score 17-8 to the Browns.
Back to the odd scoring. The Texans were intercepted and the Browns defense ran it in for a pick 6. So, we have had every single was that you can practically score in the NFL in this game, except a touchdown. For Watson, he will win this game, but he would have done nothing to contribute to the score.
After another Brown’s field goal, we finally got what we all wanted. A 6-yard pass from Texans quarterback Kyle Allen to Nico Collins found the endzone and a touchdown was scored. It meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, as the Cleveland Browns beat the Houston Texans 27-14.
With this win, the Browns improve to 5-7. For Deshaun Watson, it was a not great returning game. Everyone did something of that Cleveland team to help score, except the offense. Houston falls to 1-10-1, and is officially out of playoff contention. Next week, Cleveland faces Baltimore while Houston plays state rivals the Dallas Cowboys.
The Tie Game
The New York Giants and the Washington Commanders are both 7 win teams. They are also both in contention for the playoffs. Going into this game, every NFC East team have a berth in the playoffs, meaning that this game has meaning. So, what would happen when these two teams met?
The game did not start well for the Giants. On their opening drive, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones fumbled the ball, which was scooped up by the Commanders. Washington then moved the ball down to the Giants 3-yard line. But the drive stalled there and ended with a 21-yard field goal.
Washington would increase their lead not soon after. A 19-yard touchdown pass from Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke to Terry McLaurin gave them a 10-point lead in the first quarter.
The Giants would then launch a mini-comeback. Their next drive ended in a 48-yard field goal from Graham Gano. A few plays later, the scores were level, after Saquon Barkley scored a 13-yard rushing touchdown.Embed from Getty Images
A pair of field goals (one for each team) meant that going into halftime, the scores were tied 13-13.
As the first half opened badly for the Giants, the second half opened badly for the Commanders. Heinicke fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Giants. From this, the Giants had a very good field position and quickly moved the ball deep into the Commanders red zone. Then a 6-yard pass from Jones to Isaiah Hodges found the endzone, to give the Giants the lead for the first time in this game.
For the majority of the fourth quarter, no offense really played well. The Commanders did have a field goal attempt, but importantly this field goal was missed.
The Commanders would tie things up late in the fourth quarter. A 28-yard pass from Heinicke to Dotson was run into the endzone. We now had a tied game, but the Giants had time left on the clock. Could we see another game winning drive from Daniel Jones?Embed from Getty Images
We could have. After Darius Slayton dropped his first catch, his second down attempt should have been penalized for Defensive Passing Interference. That didn’t happen, and Jones struggled on third down, resulting in a Giants punt and in turn over time.
How should I describe the overtime period of this game? Punts. Many many punts. However, the only kicked that mattered came at the end of overtime. Giants kicker Gano had to make a 58-yard field goal to win the game. His kick was short. The New York Giants and Washington Commanders tied 20-20. This is the first time the Giants have tied a game since 1997, funnily enough, that game was also against Washington.
With this tie, the Giants are 7-4-1, while the Commanders are 7-5-1. Both teams are technically still in playoff contention, but the tie would not help either team. Next week, the Giants face the Eagles, while the Commanders have their bye week, before facing the Giants in a now primetime game on Sunday Night
Bills beat the Pats
The Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. Two franchises that have had many Super Bowl appearances, but two completely different experiences of them. While the Patriots will struggle to make the playoffs this year, the Bills are favourites to win it all. How did these two team fare on Thursday night?
Thursday night games have a reputation for being bad games. With many kicks and field goals and if you see a touchdown you are lucky. This game began with a punt from the Patriots, and a 48-yard Bills field goal. Great start.
The action then got much better. A 48-yard touchdown pass from Patriots quarterback Mac Jones gave the Pats the lead. This did not last long. On the next drive of the game, Bills quarterback paired up with Steffon Diggs (how many times have we seen that this year) for an 8-yard touchdown to take the lead back. The Bills increased their lead on their next drive, through an 8-yard pass from Allen to Gabe Davis.Embed from Getty Images
Then, we got punts. We had another Josh Allen fumble that gave possession away to the Patriots. What could they do with it? A missed 48 yard field goal before halftime, which means that the Bills would have a 17-7 lead going into halftime.
The second half began just as the first ended. Punts. Not even the Bills are immune to the bad Thursday games. After a long 15-play drive, Buffalo did score again. A one-yard rushing touchdown from Devon Singletary put the game on ice for the Bills.Embed from Getty Images
The Patriots could not reply. All they could do in the second half was score a 39-yard field goal after a 17-play drive stalled. At the final whistle, the Buffalo Bills had beaten the New England Patriots 24-10.
With the win, the Bills move to 9-3 on the season, while the Patriots fall to 6-6. Next week, Buffalo face the New York Jets, and the Patriots play the Arizona Cardinals.
Could Mike White do it Again?
The New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings. Two teams that have surprised everyone this season with their good form. This week, these two teams faced each other. What would happen in this game?
The game did not start well for the Jets. On their opening drive, last week quarterback hero Mike White intercepted 4 plays into the drive at the Jets 33-yard line. The Vikings had excellent field position to launch an attack, but they could not move the ball at all. The Vikings had to settle with a 51-yard field goal.
White’s second drive was better. He was not intercepted, and moved the ball down to the Vikings 30-yard line, before the drive stalled. The Jets had to settle with a 48-yard field goal to tie things up 3-3.Embed from Getty Images
At the beginning of the second quarter, it would be the Vikings who would get the opening touchdown of the game. After a long drive that took them to the Jets 4-yard line, running back Dalvin Cook ran the ball in for a 4-yard rushing touchdown and the lead. The Vikings would score another touchdown on their next drive, through a 14-yard Alexander Mattison run. Two more field goals (one for each team) before halftime meant at the half, the Vikings had a 20-6 lead over the Jets.
The begging of the second half could be described as a kicking fest. But not the normal kind of one. While Minnesota had a few drives that ended in punts, 3 consecutive Jets drives ended in field goals. This meant that going into the fourth quarter, the Vikings lead would only be 5 points.
Then, the Vikings offense suddenly woke up. On the next drive, a 10-yard pass from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson went for a touchdown. The Vikings had this one in the bag right?Embed from Getty Images
It would not be that way. On the Jets next drive, a defensive Oasis Inference penalty against the Vikings moved the ball down the field very quickly for the Jets. Then, on 4th and 1, Mike White ran it in for a touchdown to make it a one-possession game. Could he do it again?
He nearly could. On their next drive, the Jets again drove the ball down to the Minnesota one-yard line. It was 4th and 1. Mike White threw to ball to Berrios. But there was no catch. The Vikings had recorded a game-winning turnover. A final White interception on his last drive of the game ended all hope for the Jets, and gave the Minnesota Vikings a 27-22 win over them.
This win gives Minnesota a 10-2 record, and while they could not win the NFC North this week, they can win it next week. The Jets fall to 7-5 with the defeat. Next week, the Vikings face the Detroit Lions, while the Jets visit Buffalo to play the Bills.
What happened in the other games this week?
In a game with only 2 touchdowns and a lot of field goals, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Atlanta Falcons 19-16.
In the second quarter of the Baltimore Ravens meeting with the Denver Broncos, star quarterback Lamarr Jackson was ruled out of the game (and potentially multiple games) with a knee injury. So backup quarterback Tyler Huntley stepped up and scored the only touchdown of the game very late in the final quarter, as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 10-9
The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears share a historic and strong rivalry. Normally, these games would be primetime material. However, with both teams underperforming this season, there seemed to be little attention on this rivalry game, which had more to play for this week, as the winner would become the winningest NFL team in history. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers won only their second game since their London collapse against the Giants as they beat the Bears 28-19 to become the winnest team in NFL history. Until the next Bears win and Packers lose (which might be next week)
The Detroit Lions are high scoring this year. In their 40-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Lions scored on every possession they had. This is the first time that this has happened in a regular season game since 2018, and the first time it has happened in an NFL game in general since the Bills did it against the Patriots in last season’s wildcard win.
The Philadelphia Eagles continued their amazing form as they trashed the Tennessee Titans. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scored 3 touchdowns in their 35-10 win
The Seattle Seahawks needed a last-minute touchdown from Geno Smith to neat the Los Angeles Rams 27-23
The San Francisco 49ers lost Jimmy Garoppollo early on in their game with the Miami Dolphins. This did not phase them, as backup quarterback Brock Purdy lead the 49ers to a 33-17 win
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 335 yards. His Chargers were defeated by the Las Vegas Raiders 20-27
The Dallas Cowboys scored 33 points in the final quarter as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 54-19 on Sunday Night Football. For some reason, this was the primetime game, not Joe Burrow vs Patrick Mahomes
Tom Brady scored last minute game-winning touchdown as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints 17-16
So, that was week 13 in the NFL.