NFL Week 13 Recap

Bills 24, Patriots 10

If there’s any doubt as to the fact that the Patriots are doing things wrong, I present this game as evidence: it was one of the worst games of the year for the Pats. I knew delegating playcalling to Patricia and Judge was a colossal mistake, and this game proves it. Against a Bills defense that has looked highly mortal these past few weeks, they looked very…deflated. The Bills could sit back, run the ball down the Pats’ throats, and secure the win to go to 9-3. New England isn’t dead yet, but next week’s tilt with the Cardinals is a must-win at this point. So much for all eight eastern teams making it in.

Unfortunately, Buffalo received their hard blow later this week. Von Miller was carted off the field during the Detroit game and was diagnosed with a torn meniscus that, if the recovery went well, could have him back by week 17 or 18. Unfortunately, their worst fears were confirmed when they opened up his knee for exploratory surgery. Von Miller did tear his ACL. He’ll be out for the rest of the year at minimum, and the Bills’ defense just took a huge blow. It is imperative that the offense gets back up to speed, especially with a tough couple of games coming up against the Jets and Miami. Heal up soon, Von. Bills Mafia is counting on you.

Packers 28, Bears 19

Two teams are circling the drains. The only thing either is suitable for anymore is TANK BOWL! Aaron Rodgers is making his first appearance in a Tank Bowl today. Something tells me he’s unfamiliar with the rules. Remember, the goal of Tank Bowl is to lose the game to secure a higher draft pick. Rodgers didn’t get the memo- or it could be because facing the Bears unlocks the Genghis Khan mode we haven’t seen out of him in a good few years. It doesn’t matter what weapons he has; it doesn’t matter how big of a lead Chicago jumps out to; he will forever subjugate Soldier Field to be his glorified second home. Justin Fields tried to keep up, but the Packers’ defense adjusted to stop him, and Green Bay surged for 18 points in the 2nd half to maintain a faint pulse in the season. Chicago wins the tank bowl, and they also win another dubious prize. They are the first team eliminated!

Eliminated from playoff contention: Chicago Bears

If there’s any silver lining for these guys, they finally have something resembling an offense, and they’ll have a high draft pick next April to bolster their ranks for another go-around. I trust this new management group to manage these assets to keep the wheels of the rebuild moving.


Steelers 19, Falcons 16

You thought you got a break from terrible football, didn’t you? Prepare yourselves for the next event. ANOTHER TANK BOWL!

Pittsburgh traveled to Atlanta in a battle of mediocre football teams. Pittsburgh would maintain a distance from their adversary throughout the game, but it still felt dangerous. Despite the Falcons clawing back in the end, Pittsburgh has now won two straight against bad teams, and the false hope has returned to the Yinzer faithful. It’s crazy to think, but they’re only two games below .500. Kenny Pickett is developing, and Tomlin still has a shot at avoiding a losing season. Atlanta, meanwhile, wins both the tank bowl and the right to maintain playoff contention thanks to playing in the NFL’s tank division. You’ve gotta love it.


Jets 22, Vikings 27

Minnesota has flaws, but they mask them very well by playing great situational football. This game against a scrappy Jets team looking for a true statement win under Mike White. White himself played a solid game and deserves little criticism. What won the game for Minnesota wasn’t the Jets’ mistakes but their defense clamping down and making six red zone stops in the 2nd half. They have flaws that might bite them come playoff time, but they’re 10-2. If it weren’t for a certain team from Philly, they’d have a first-round bye. Who saw this at the beginning of the year?


Jaguars 14, Lions 40

The Lions continue their remarkable run of form with one of their best wins over the past few weeks. A bunch of battered, fatigued Jaguars marched out onto Ford Field and ritually sacrificed for 60 minutes. It was destruction on both sides of the line of scrimmage as Detroit hung 40 points on the Jags’ defense. It got so bad that Detroit mercifully injured Trevor Lawrence to ensure they would be lorded over. This is legitimately the most excited Detroit has been about this team in half a decade. I hope they can ride this momentum to the playoffs. It’ll be a slim shot, but never say never with this team.


Titans 10, Eagles 35

You thought last week was rough, Titans fans? Meet the Eagles. They will peck you apart for 60 minutes in front of a rabid crowd at the Linc, as this game was no contest. There’s nothing more I need to say about this game than Philly regained their form, and Tennessee reinforced their candidacy for the traditional AFC south one-and-done in the playoffs.


Browns 27, Texans 14

The return of Deshaun to Houston can only mean one thing. TANK BOWL!

How many of these are we going to have this week? Two is enough for a week, goodness. The storylines surrounding this game were all around Deshaun and his return. He was as rusty as everyone thought he would be as he played horribly all game against the worst team in the league. Fortunately, the Texans’ offense sucked as well. The Brownies scored most of their points with two defensive touchdowns and a special-teams touchdown. Houston’s Cleveland pick gets a little worse, and the Texans also receive an inevitable reward.

Eliminated from playoff contention: Houston Texans

A deliberately tanking team out of the playoffs? Shocking. I’m more surprised it took this long for them to be finished. Long live the tank, I guess.


Commanders 20, Giants 20 (Super tie)

This game had a bit of everything: efficient offenses in the first half, clutch plays in the second half, and utter boredom and defensive lockdowns in overtime. All this leads to a profoundly embarrassing… tie. Can’t the league get rid of these? Make them play sudden death or a kicker shootout like the NHL. Now we can watch them do it again in two weeks. Wonderful.

Do you know what else is wonderful? Dan Snyder was found complicit by the Feds of partaking in a toxic work environment within the Commanders’ organization for the last 14 years and counting. In simpler terms, his days as Commies’ owner are numbered. Hallelujah.


Broncos 9, Ravens 10

Baltimore is falling hard. The inability to produce any offense should be a cause for great concern. Even worse, Lamar Jackson got injured in the 2nd quarter, leading to the imitation of Lamar in Tyler Huntley seeing his first action of the season… to poor results. Fortunately for the Ravens, they are playing the Broncos. They will score no more than 9 points on offense, so all Baltimore needs to do is maintain a pulse, and they will win this game. Even then, they did it incredibly unconvincingly at the last minute. That Lamar injury could be devastating to the team, though. Isn’t nearly losing to the Broncos enough pain and frustration? To gauge the Baltimore Faithful’s rage, we go to a corresponding Ravens fan for his take on this great match. Let’s give him a few words.


Dolphins 17, 49ers 33

If things couldn’t get worse for the Niners on the injury front, Jimmy Garropolo was carted off the field midway through the second quarter with a foot injury. This means that San Francisco was forced to play 7th-round pick Brock Purdy for the majority of this game. He was fine, but what would win the day for San Fran, just like last week, was the defense. They were a brick wall of scarlet and gold all game long, holding one of the most potent offenses in the league in check for 60 minutes. It also helped that Tua couldn’t get off a throw due to sustained pressure, and Purdy was able to keep their offense moving just enough. A hard-fought win is the result. Miami, tough luck, but this loss could be critical for playoff seeding.

So they’re saying it’s a broken foot for Garropolo, and he’ll be out for the season. Man, this team can’t catch any breaks, can they?


Seahawks 27, Rams 23

Seattle has had a rough go these past few weeks. With the Germany game and last week’s barnburner loss to the Raiders, their playoff contention status has been called into question these past few weeks. Fortunately, they had the perfect antidote to their woes. The Rams. They may be the defending champs, but they just put Matt Stafford on IR, effectively shutting him down for the season. This means the Seahawks get to face John Wolford at quarterback. Seahawks, enjoy your free win. It may have come at the last minute, thanks to a Geno Smith bailout drive, but a win is a win, especially in the NFC. With this win, they also end a 4-game losing streak to the Rams in LA. This is how you know things are messed up this season.


Chargers 20, Raiders 27

Don’t look now, but Las Vegas is starting to creep back into the playoff mix. Ever since Derek Carr cried in the press conference after the Colts game, they have been on a tear and taking no prisoners. After winning two straight in overtime, it’s time for them to ascend back into the AFC playoff picture. Next up? The Chargers. They have been dancing through the raindrops this season, winning despite their shortcomings, but this is Vegas’s time now. The score is deceiving. The Chargers got owned on both the scoreboard and time of possession. Maybe Josh McDaniels is turning a corner. Who knows? As for now, though, they’ve won three in a row. It might be time for Raider Nation to hop back on the bandwagon.


Chiefs 24, Bengals 27

Patrick Mahomes may seem immortal, but he has one significant shortcoming; he can’t beat the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincy seems to have Mahomes’s number every time they play him. Their defense played lights out today and did their job to keep the Bengals offense on the field long enough to control time of possession and burn out the clock. The Bengals get the statement win they’ve been looking for this year, and KC gets their third loss. Do you know what that means? With this and the Dolphins’ loss, we have a new #1 seed in the AFC. THE BUFFALO BILLS, BABY! BRING ON THE TABLE-SMASHING AND DRUNK TAILGATES! THE BILLS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL! DO NOT DENY IT! THIS IS A TEAM OF DESTINY! Cincy has experience helping the Bills with playoff positioning. This wouldn’t be the first time Buffalo has been Bengals fans.


Colts 19, Cowboys 54

I’ll admit, it was looking iffy at the start. Indianapolis was playing hard, and Dallas’s offense was stifled for the first part of this game. It took roughly until halftime, though, for the Cowboys to realize that they were playing the Colts and not a legit opponent. It quickly got ugly after that. 33 points in the 4th quarter put this game out of reach and then some, and Indianapolis had its season given a death blow in the form of the smugness of Cowboys fans across the country. I feel for anyone that had to deal with them that night. Think of the poor children.


Saints 16, Buccaneers 17

Tampa sucks so much this year. I don’t know if it’s Brady being rickety and old, the pieces around him being replacement-level, or the coaching being terrible. I think it’s a mix of the three. Father time takes no prisoners, and he’s catching up with the Buccaneers fast. With enough said, they were letting the Saints, yes, New Orleans, utterly dominate them for 55 minutes. A 16-3 lead with the ball and 5 minutes to play should be game over. Unsurprisingly, the Saints were revealed to be hacks, and Tampa returned to win. Since they’ve been so predictable this year, I should get a checklist together on what to expect from the TB12 comeback drive. Step one is the opposing team self-destructing on offense: Conservative play calling, lousy luck and situational awareness, the odd turnover, and just general ineptitude. The second component is a dubious call or two by the refs to ignite a spark underneath the Bucs’ offense. Once that kettle’s heated up, then it starts to hum. The opposing defense will help with that by going into soft zone prevent when Brady has been eating it for breakfast his entire career. They can only watch as Tom dinks and dunks his way down the field, picking the defense apart. And finally, the kill shot. A pass three yards past the line of scrimmage leads to the wide-open receiver who does all the work and scores. Everyone hails Brady as a hero and a savant as the losing team is left scratching their heads, wondering how the reaper got them yet again. It sucks to suck, New Orleans. I’m mad we got robbed of the ultimate tank division thanks to Tampa being back to .500.


Laughingstock of the week

It’s the end of the week, so I think it’s time I crown this edition of Laughingstock of the Week! (trademark pending).

This week, we had four nominees. They are:

The New England Patriots, for trusting Matt Patricia and Joe Judge to run the offense.

Dan Snyder. There isn’t much else that needs to be said on this front.

The Tennessee Titans, for firing their GM in a power-play maneuver and giving Mike Vrabel total autonomy over roster moves.

And the Saints’ defense, for clocking out 5 minutes early and allowing Brady to come back on them in a game New Orleans was dominating.

And the winner, by order of my uneducated decision, is none other than Dan Snyder! Covering up and partaking in workplace harassment for 14 years and dodging a subpoena: that’s a surefire way to get the Feds to crack down on you. Maybe the next owner will stop strong-arming Landover for a new stadium.


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