Upsets? Yes. Quarterback controversies? Yes. Last second wins? Of course. Week 13 in the NFL had all of that and more. Here are the five storylines you need to know from last week?
A GIANT Upset
Without quarterback Daniel Jones in the game, the New York Giants travelled to Seattle and took down the Seahawks 17-12. The Giants on the game rushed for 190 yards and capitalized on two Russell Wilson turnovers to increase their lead over the NFC East.
Whenever the Giants looked to close out the game, they relied on their pass rush to pressure Wilson and throw off his timing. While the Seahawks faced a 4th and 18, Tyler Lockett popped free over the middle, but Wilson was unable to see him due to the pass rush’s presence.
With the loss, Seattle has opened the door for the Los Angeles Rams to slide into first place in the NFC West. As a wildcard, the Seahawks would find themselves on the road and have to travel across the country in order to advance in the playoffs.
Packers Cruise to Win
Aaron Rodgers has placed himself firmly in the race for MVP and has the Green Bay Packers sitting as the second seed as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 30-16 at Lambeau Field.
With his third touchdown on the night, Rodgers became the fastest quarterback to record 400 career touchdowns. On the other sideline however, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz was benched in favour of rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts. While Hurts threw for a touchdown, he also threw the game sealing interception to Darnell Savage.
The two teams are headed in opposite directions and will have to face different questions about their quarterbacks. In Green Bay it will be, “why did we draft Jordan Love again?” In Philly, the questions will be “what do we have in Jalen Hurts?” as he will make his first career start.
Raiders Walk Off Win
The Las Vegas Raiders avoided a scare from the winless New York Jets as Derek Carr threw a 46 yard touchdown to Henry Ruggs to steal the win. Ruggs, the fastest rookie, was left in man to man coverage as former Jets defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams called an all out blitz to finish the game.
While Ruggs scored the game winner, tight end Darren Waller was unstoppable during the game as he hauled in 13 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the loss of running back Josh Jacobs, Carr and the offence were still efficient with almost six yards per play.
As for New York, they still hold the first overall draft pick and the potential to draft Trevor Lawrence. In order to maximize the prospect’s talent the first order of action will have to be finding a new coaching staff, something they have started with the firing of Gregg Williams.
Rams Race to First
Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams continued their dominance over the Arizona Cardinals with a 38-28 win that elevates them to first in the division. Goff threw for 351 yards on 37 completions and two total touchdowns on the day.
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals continued their recent stretch of struggles despite putting up 28 points. The offence which has been explosive for the majority of the year has built on a scary trend which relies on Murray as a runner. For all his successes as a thrower, the team has not won a game where he has run for less than 31 yards. Coach Kliff Kingsbury needs to scheme up ways to get Murray involved in the running attack to help Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds get some relief.
Both teams are currently in position to make the playoffs, and will be reliant on their young quarterbacks to continue the push for the postseason.
Tuesday Night Football saw the Baltimore Ravens regain their footing after a massive COVID outbreak with a 34-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. One of the returning players was reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson who came out on fire.
In a game which saw the Ravens rush for nearly 300 yards, Dallas seemed lost in defending the rushing attack as running backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins recorded multiple big runs allowing the play action game to take shots deep.
Dallas, who had a week and a half to prepare for the match up looked out of sorts and displayed their poor coaching against a team who had less than a week to prepare while still missing a lot of key starters. Owner Jerry Jones will have a decision to make about his new coaching staff, but for Mike McCarthy and Mike Nolan, it is clear that there are issues.
Want to look back even further. Check out week 12’s storylines here.