Home » NFL Week 13 takeaways – Lessons, big questions for every game

NFL Week 13 takeaways – Lessons, big questions for every game

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Welcome to Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season. The Buffalo Payments kicked off the week on Thursday evening with their first division win this season, beating the Patriots in New England.

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles stored on rolling with a win over the Tennessee Titans, the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders took their divisional battle to additional time, and the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets duked it out in a wild fourth quarter.

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson returned from an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s private conduct coverage by committing sexual assault, as outlined by the league — but it surely was the protection and particular groups that held the highlight in opposition to the Houston Texans. And the Baltimore Ravens secured a win over the Broncos regardless of shedding QB Lamar Jackson to harm.

The late-afternoon window noticed the Cincinnati Bengals defeat the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs once more, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Miami Dolphins however lose their quarterback, and the Seattle Seahawks keep within the playoff hunt with a late landing to beat the Los Angeles Rams.

The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers are on a bye and can return to motion in Week 14.

Our NFL Nation reporters react with the most important takeaways and lingering questions off this week’s matchups and sit up for what’s subsequent. Let’s get to it.

Soar to a matchup:

BUF-NE | TEN-PHI | GB-CHI
NYJ-MIN | WSH-NYG | DEN-BAL
PIT-ATL | CLE-HOU | JAX-DET
MIA-SF | SEA-LAR | KC-CIN
LAC-LV

Raiders

What to know: Chandler Jones confirmed he may nonetheless be a game-changer on protection. Having regarded like one of many greatest busts within the NFL with a three-year, $51 million free agent deal and simply half a sack getting into Sunday, the Eleventh-year veteran edge rusher had three sacks within the first half alone, beating rookie left sort out Jamaree Salyer. And Jones’ dominance stored the Chargers, who held a 10-0 lead, from blowing it open early and allowed the Raiders’ offense to seek out its footing later.

Can the Raiders, now using a three-game profitable streak after that ugly 2-7 begin, maintain this up? Why not? Look, the Broncos and Seahawks basically handed the Raiders wins on silver (and black?) platters the earlier two weeks. However on Sunday, Las Vegas basically took what it wished from the Chargers. RB Josh Jacobs rushed for 144 yards and a TD, and WR Davante Adams had eight catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns. A brief week on the battered Rams (3-9) ensues. So it is greater than doable. — Paul Gutierrez

Subsequent recreation: at Rams (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Chargers

What to know: Chargers gamers stated they face a must-win scenario each recreation to safe their first playoff berth in 4 seasons. On Sunday in opposition to the division-rival Raiders, and presently sitting exterior the playoff image, they squandered a possibility to bolster their possibilities. These possibilities may take one other hit over the following two weeks because the Chargers put together to host the Dolphins and Titans, who each boast profitable data. The Chargers are 6-2 in opposition to groups with a shedding document and 0-4 in opposition to groups with a profitable document.

When will the Chargers return injured gamers? The Chargers have handled an inordinate variety of accidents — on Sunday they performed with a backup left sort out, proper sort out and middle — however coach Brandon Staley has remained optimistic they may achieve energy when gamers return to well being. However time is operating out. There is not any clear timetable for the return of edge rusher Joey Bosa, who stays on injured reserve, and it is unclear when large receiver Mike Williams will return from a excessive ankle sprain. — Lindsey Thiry

Subsequent recreation: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Bengals

What to know: The Bengals cemented their standing as Tremendous Bowl contenders. After final season’s run, many puzzled if Cincinnati may proceed its success. In a rematch of final 12 months’s AFC Championship Sport, the Bengals beat the Chiefs, who had the very best document within the convention getting into Sunday. A 3rd straight victory over Okay.C. — and a second consecutive win over a 2021 division winner in as many weeks — proves the Bengals are able to making it again to the Tremendous Bowl.

Ought to Joe Burrow be within the MVP dialog? Sure. Sunday’s efficiency in opposition to Kansas Metropolis cemented that. He has been probably the greatest quarterbacks within the fourth quarter all through the season, posting the third-best QBR within the ultimate interval this season. Burrow was elegant in opposition to the Chiefs, main the Bengals in a recreation that includes two of the league’s finest groups. On the very least, Burrow matched Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 MVP. Burrow now leads the NFL in fourth-quarter landing passes (9) and is firmly within the dialog as one of many league’s finest. — Ben Child

Subsequent recreation: vs. Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Chiefs

What to know: The Chiefs now want some assist in the event that they’re to get the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. They’re tied with the Payments at 9-3 for the very best document within the convention, however the Payments have the tiebreaker courtesy of their win over the Chiefs. The Chiefs have the better remaining schedule, however their margin for error is gone after the loss to the Bengals. They may should win every of their ultimate 5 video games to get the highest spot. However even that will not be adequate if the Payments win out, too.

How can the Chiefs beat the Bengals? The Chiefs have been shut of their previous three video games in opposition to the Bengals. But when they are going to lastly end the deal, job No. 1 is getting extra stress on Burrow. They did not get a sack till the ultimate moments, when the Bengals had been extra excited by burning clock. They did not get a lot stress on him this time, although they did not blitz a lot. As an alternative, they allowed Burrow to flee the pocket too typically and run for 48 yards. — Adam Teicher

Subsequent recreation: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Seahawks

What to know: Geno Smith has just about finished all of it throughout his resurgent 2022 season. He has been one of many NFL’s most correct quarterbacks, and has made sound selections and loads of performs along with his legs. Smith checked another field Sunday, main the Seahawks to a late win by going 70 yards on 10 performs and capping it along with his third landing cross. The extra sobering takeaway is that the Seahawks wanted that drive to flee SoFi Stadium with a four-point victory. With the Rams beginning a backup quarterback and likewise lacking their two different finest gamers in defensive sort out Aaron Donald and large receiver Cooper Kupp, this recreation was a lot nearer than it ought to have been. It did not assist that Seattle misplaced beginning operating again Kenneth Walker III to an ankle harm early within the recreation.

Can the Seahawks’ run recreation stand up to Walker lacking time? It was already struggling, managing solely 104 yards mixed over the earlier two video games. And whereas Walker lacking a number of reads was a part of the issue, he is nonetheless far and away their finest backfield choice — particularly with Rashaad Penny on IR for the remainder of the 12 months. Tony Jones Jr. crammed in admirably Sunday with Walker damage, DeeJay Dallas banged up and Travis Homer (knee/sickness) inactive, however any operating recreation goes to have a tough time when it is all the way down to its No. 5 choice. Even when Homer returns subsequent week, he and Dallas are extra change-of-pace runners than backs that the Seahawks like to make use of on early downs. — Brady Henderson

Subsequent recreation: vs. Panthers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Rams

What to know: Bobby Wagner has been a shiny spot in an in any other case dangerous season for the Rams. Wagner has quietly put collectively a strong season in his first 12 months in Los Angeles, and that dominance was totally on show Sunday in opposition to his former crew. Within the week main as much as his first recreation in opposition to the Seahawks since he was launched in March, Wagner stated this was simply one other recreation for him. The stat sheet indicated in any other case: He completed the sport with two sacks, an interception and three tackles for a loss.

Which of those younger receivers will the Rams have the ability to depend on subsequent season? With out Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II on Sunday, quarterback John Wolford unfold the ball round, with completions to receivers Brandon Powell, Ben Skowronek, Tutu Atwell, Van Jefferson and Austin Trammell and tight finish Tyler Higbee. Though it is more durable to evaluate the contributions with out Matthew Stafford throwing them the ball, it can be crucial for Sean McVay and the teaching employees to make use of these video games to seek out affect gamers for subsequent season. Powell led the way in which in opposition to Seattle with 4 catches for 39 yards and 45 dashing yards on three carries. — Sarah Barshop

Subsequent recreation: vs. Raiders (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

49ers

What to know: The 49ers acquired their finest win of the season to increase their profitable streak to 5 straight however misplaced beginning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to what’s anticipated to be a season-ending broken left foot within the course of. There’s a variety of credit score to go round, particularly to the protection, kicker Robbie Gould and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy for getting the job finished, but it surely’s honest to marvel what this implies for the remainder of the season if Garoppolo has to overlook prolonged time.

The place do the Niners go from right here at quarterback? In robust circumstances, Purdy did a strong job Sunday, and he shall be requested to maintain that degree with Garoppolo anticipated to be out for the season. However Purdy can be a seventh-round rookie with rather a lot to study, and the Niners have solely Jacob Eason, lately signed to the follow squad, behind him. — Nick Wagoner

Subsequent recreation: vs. Buccaneers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Dolphins

What to know: Tua Tagovailoa has taken a serious step ahead in his third season, however the subsequent one he should take is the power to create exterior the construction of the Dolphins’ offense. His skill to anticipate openings has been accentuated by Mike McDaniel’s rhythmic offense, however the 49ers took that away for probably the most half Sunday. After his first cross of the day went for a 75-yard landing, Tagovailoa accomplished solely 10 of his subsequent 22 passes for 122 yards and two interceptions earlier than sharpening up within the fourth quarter. There have been performs to be made, however he was uncharacteristically off beam all through the sport — notably when his first reads weren’t there.

Was this end result a product of enjoying the very best protection within the NFL? The highest-ranked 49ers protection was completely geared up to comprise Miami’s offense. Not each crew within the NFL has a pass-rusher like Nick Bosa, rangy linebackers like Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, and as a lot expertise within the secondary as San Francisco. However the blueprint is on the market, that if a crew is able to disrupting the Dolphins’ rhythm, it’s going to be troublesome for them to get again on monitor. With video games in opposition to robust defenses just like the Payments and Jets nonetheless to play, it is one thing to keep watch over over the following month. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Subsequent recreation: at Chargers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Commanders

What to know: Washington had received six of seven video games by largely enjoying mistake-free soccer with few penalties. Neither was the case Sunday, however their resiliency did assist them handle a tie. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke fumbled twice on passing downs, shedding one. However he additionally directed a game-tying 90-yard drive with big-time throws. However the Commanders’ additionally dedicated seven penalties — their line and tight ends damage them on this space. A protection that had been stout allowed 4 consecutive scoring drives. If they’d contained Daniel Jones’ operating higher, it may have been a unique recreation.

How does a tie affect Washington’s playoff possibilities? A tie does not kill Washington in any respect. If the Giants lose subsequent week to Philadelphia, the Commanders can cross New York within the playoff race by profitable the rematch in Washington. 9-7-1 doubtless can be adequate to make the postseason. The Giants additionally do not have a win in NFC East play but; Washington does. That may matter if a tiebreaker is required. Nevertheless, accidents may damage the Commanders’ possibilities as they suffered two extra losses alongside the road, together with middle Tyler Larsen, with an undisclosed proper leg harm, and defensive finish Montez Sweat, who was evaluated for a concussion. — John Keim

Subsequent recreation: vs. Giants (Sunday, Dec. 18)


Giants

What to know: A tie? It kinda, sorta helped the Giants, however a lot of the goodwill that got here from that 7-2 begin has now evaporated. The Giants blew a fourth-quarter lead and are actually an underdog to make the playoffs after a three-game winless streak. They’re only a half-game forward of the Commanders within the NFC East. With their lack of expertise, this crew is operating out of steam, particularly the protection, which could not cease Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders late in regulation.

Will the Giants add Odell Beckham Jr. for a playoff push and past? Beckham visited with the Giants on Thursday and Friday. He went straight to Buffalo afterward, and the Cowboys are on deck Monday. It is understood that Beckham wish to return to New York, the place he started his profession and the place he nonetheless has some unfinished enterprise. However do the Giants wish to pay Beckham what he believes he is value? GM Joe Schoen has been extraordinarily disciplined financially this season. It is onerous to see that altering hastily. — Jordan Raanan

Subsequent recreation: vs. Eagles (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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Graham Gano cannot join on a 58-yard area objective try, leading to a Giants-Commanders tie.

Vikings

What to know: Ho-hum. One other week introduced one other shut, nail-biting victory for the Vikings. Sunday’s win over the Jets was their tenth of the season, and all however one have been determined by one rating. This recreation adopted a well-known sample. The margin of victory Sunday was Kirk Cousins’ 10-yard landing cross to Justin Jefferson halfway by means of the fourth quarter, but it surely wasn’t over till the Vikings’ protection stopped two separate Jets purple zone possessions within the ultimate two minutes. The Jets outgained the Vikings by 199 yards, an indication of how the Jets managed the sport within the second half, however as soon as once more the Vikings did sufficient to enhance to 10-2.

What ought to we make of Cousins’ recreation? Dealing with stress and onerous hits by the Jets’ protection, Cousins threw 35 passes however gained solely 173 yards. That features seven receptions by Jefferson — for 45 yards. It was a slog, and a higher-than-usual variety of off-target passes will generate loads of dialogue within the coming week. However on a very powerful drive of the sport, he accomplished all 5 of his makes an attempt for 62 yards en path to Jefferson’s profitable landing. That is what must be remembered. — Kevin Seifert

Subsequent recreation: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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Mike White’s cross is intercepted by Camryn Bynum to seal the win for the Vikings.


Jets

What to know: Mike White was terrific in his second begin — simply not terrific sufficient to tug off a miracle win. Down 20-3, White had two nice possibilities within the ultimate two minutes to attain the go-ahead landing, however he misfired persistently within the purple zone. It was an issue all day for the Jets, who went 1-for-6 on purple zone drives. White handed for 369 yards, however he began with an interception and ended with an interception. He earned at the very least one other begin, however he missed an opportunity to place a stranglehold on the beginning job.

What occurred to the Jets’ protection within the first half? It was an uncharacteristic begin for the Jets, who acquired creased within the run recreation and dedicated three penalties by their secondary. They made good changes at halftime however acquired torched on a seven-play, 75-yard TD drive within the fourth quarter. Once they wanted their vaunted protection to make a clutch cease, it failed. — Wealthy Cimini

Subsequent recreation: at Payments (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Ravens

What to know: The Ravens are in full survival mode. After Lamar Jackson did not play within the ultimate three quarters as a result of a knee harm, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley led a 91-yard, game-winning drive, which was capped by his 2-yard landing run with 28 seconds remaining. It wasn’t an announcement recreation, but it surely was a much-needed victory for a banged-up crew that’s coming off an upset loss in Jacksonville. The Ravens consider Huntley will maintain them within the playoff hunt, though Baltimore misplaced its final 4 video games final season with out Jackson. Baltimore remained atop the AFC North however goes on the highway to Pittsburgh and Cleveland the following two weeks.

How lengthy will Jackson be sidelined? Coach John Harbaugh stated Jackson is not out for the season, however he did not have a definitive timetable on his Professional Bowl quarterback, who left Sunday’s recreation after getting sacked on the final play of the primary quarter. Jackson is scheduled to endure testing Monday. Huntley is taken into account one of many prime backups within the league, and he has stored the Ravens aggressive when filling in for Jackson. Nonetheless, Baltimore went 1-4 final season in video games with out Jackson.

Subsequent recreation: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Broncos

What to know: The Broncos’ incapability to attain touchdowns continued Sunday. It was their tenth recreation of the season with one or no touchdowns by the offense, and the yardage whole was ugly with 272. They compounded issues with a misplaced unique play within the fourth quarter. With their accidents at large receiver (Courtland Sutton left Sunday’s recreation with a hamstring harm), they should play extra composed.

Can the Broncos’ protection ever get a break? The Broncos’ protection has been, statistically, one of many league’s finest this season. However as soon as once more Sunday, when their offense wanted another first down, another area objective, to place a recreation away in a misplaced season, they could not convert. The Ravens grew to become one other crew to push again in opposition to the Broncos’ protection in a late-game drive for a one-point win. However the protection, with a private foul and a cross interference on the Ravens’ 16-play, game-deciding drive, should not have been in that spot. The Broncos wasted area place after pressured turnovers and could not put one drive collectively on offense within the fourth quarter to shut it out. It was one other chapter in a repetitive story this season. — Jeff Legwold

Subsequent recreation: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

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Lamar Jackson exits the sport after being sacked by Jonathon Cooper.

Browns

What to know: In quarterback Deshaun Watson’s first recreation again from an 11-game suspension for committing sexual assault as outlined by the NFL, the Cleveland Browns failed to attain an offensive landing. It was the primary time since 2020 that Cleveland failed to take action. Luckily for the Browns, they had been enjoying the worst crew within the NFL.

Can the protection and particular groups sustain the playmaking? The Browns scored three non-offensive TDs for the primary time since 1989, together with two defensive scores and Donovan Peoples-Jones’ punt-return TD. Sunday was an encouraging efficiency from two items which have struggled for a lot of the 12 months. But it surely’s onerous to take a lot away from a recreation in opposition to the Texans, who seem like a lock to land the No. 1 choose within the draft. — Jake Trotter

Subsequent recreation: at Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Texans

What to know: The offense wasted a fantastic defensive efficiency. The offensive woes have been the driving pressure behind a misplaced season for the Texans, and Sunday was an ideal image of it. The protection did not permit a landing, however the offense handed the Browns 14 factors. Quarterback Kyle Allen fumbled on a quarterback sneak out of the Texans’ personal finish zone that the Browns scooped and returned. Then Allen threw an interception to defensive finish Chase Winovich for a rating.

Ought to the Texans return to Davis Mills at QB? Mills is not the long-term reply for the Texans. However as poorly as Mills has performed lately, he did not battle as a lot as Allen has in his two begins. The offense is averaging 14.5 factors in Allen’s two begins, and he is thrown 4 interceptions with two fumbles, one returned for a landing. Mills is actually higher than this. The offense hasn’t been remotely aggressive beneath Allen. It could be time to search for one other spark. — DJ Bien-Aime

Subsequent recreation: at Cowboys (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Eagles

What to know: A.J. Brown proved his level. Brown stated this recreation in opposition to his former crew wasn’t private, however he placed on a present in opposition to the Titans, who determined to commerce him this previous April after the 2 sides could not conform to a contract extension. Brown erupted for over 100 receiving yards and pulled in a pair of lengthy landing catches. He has been at the very least nearly as good as marketed since arriving in Philadelphia, and he is a serious purpose the Eagles have the very best document in soccer and a championship ceiling.

Is Jalen Hurts now the front-runner for MVP? It is onerous to argue a case in opposition to him. He entered Week 13 ranked fourth in whole TDs (25) and added 4 extra (three passing, one dashing) in opposition to a stout Titans protection in one of many higher performances of his profession. He’s the second QB to document a number of video games with three or extra TD passes of 25-plus yards downfield since 2006, when ESPN started monitoring air yards. Patrick Mahomes is deserving, however Hurts has been unstoppable on the bottom and thru the air. — Tim McManus

Subsequent recreation: vs. Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Titans

What to know: The Titans’ offense struggled in opposition to the Eagles. Rookie Treylon Burks’ 25-yard landing catch acquired issues began on Tennessee’s second drive of the sport. However Burks suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. The Titans’ offense failed to ascertain any rhythm with out Burks apart from a 41-yard catch by rookie Chigoziem Okonkwo that led to a 35-yard area objective by Randy Bullock, and operating again Derrick Henry had one other off day, ending with 11 carries for 27 yards.

Can the Titans get the cross protection proper? No. Tennessee’s cross protection was thirty first within the NFL (permitting 266.7 yards per recreation) coming in, and so they gave up 380 passing yards to Hurts. Former Titan A.J. Brown had 119 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and DeVonta Smith had 102 and a rating. Tennessee’s secondary, particularly at cornerback, has skilled its share of struggles. It does not appear to be issues will get higher, particularly after starter Kristian Fulton suffered a groin harm Sunday. — Turron Davenport

Subsequent recreation: vs. Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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A.J. Brown’s second landing reception provides the Eagles a 28-10 lead.

Packers

What to know: It is not Jordan Love time simply but. And Aaron Rodgers now has a bye week to get wholesome. Nobody is able to proclaim the Packers again within the playoff race after bettering to 5-8, however with their long-awaited bye this week, they nonetheless have life — and a purpose to maintain enjoying the banged-up quarterback. Every week off may do wonders for his damaged proper thumb and injured rib. With receiver Christian Watson (a TD catch and a TD run Sunday) nonetheless using a heater, at the very least the Packers have purpose to maintain enjoying for now and never the long run.

How for much longer can coach Matt LaFleur follow defensive coordinator Joe Barry? Due to cornerback Jaire Alexander’s interception with 2:52 left and Keisean Nixon’s with 44 seconds left, at the very least one other couple of weeks. Final week, LaFleur was adamant {that a} defensive coordinator change was not the way in which to go. Nevertheless, one appears inevitable, and it was value questioning whether or not it may have occurred through the bye had the Packers misplaced on Sunday — which was one other day with wide-open pass-catchers and untouched ball carriers for a lot of the day. — Rob Demovsky

Subsequent recreation: vs. Rams (Sunday, Dec. 18, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Bears

What to know: Justin Fields did not seem troubled by his injured non-throwing shoulder in his first motion since Nov. 20. This was Fields’ most well-rounded recreation of the season till he threw the primary of two interceptions whereas making an attempt to guide the Bears on a game-winning drive with 2:57 to play. Earlier, the quarterback ran for a 55-yard landing and threw with anticipation, dropping a 56-yard dime to Equanimeous St. Brown to arrange a second-quarter landing, working contained in the pocket to seek out Cole Kmet on a giant third-down throw and giving N’Keal Harry a 50-50 ball alternative on a promising drive that was stunted by questionable playcalling.

How will the Bears strategy their ultimate 4 video games after the Week 14 bye? Chicago was with out three starters within the secondary and held up decently till Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers picked on rookie security Elijah Hicks and rookie cornerback Jaylon Jones. The Bears hope to get security Jaquan Brisker, cornerback Kyler Gordon and cornerback Kindle Vildor again following their bye and construct on among the constructive moments they’d in opposition to the Packers. How offensive coordinator Luke Getsy places Fields in place to develop as a passer would be the focus for the remainder of the season on offense. — Courtney Cronin

Subsequent recreation: vs. Eagles (Sunday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. ET)

Steelers

What to know: Although they received back-to-back video games for the primary time this season with a 19-16 win in Atlanta, the Steelers (5-7) noticed it nearly slip away after a powerful first half but once more. This time, although, as an alternative of the offense going dormant, it was a defensive undoing that just about value the Steelers — till Minkah Fitzpatrick’s choose sealed the win. The Falcons’ floor recreation awakened within the second half, notably within the fourth quarter, and gashed the Steelers’ protection for 118 second-half dashing yards — together with 40 on a nine-minute drive within the fourth quarter that reduce the Steelers’ result in three. In the meantime, within the first half, the Steelers held Atlanta to only 28 dashing yards. The Falcons might need pushed forward of the Steelers on that fourth-quarter drive if not for premature penalties within the purple zone.

The place was George Pickens? Lower than per week in the past, Pickens continued his emergence as Kenny Pickett’s favourite goal with a team-high three receptions for 57 yards on “Monday Evening Soccer.” In opposition to the Falcons, although, the rookie receiver had only one goal at halftime and did not get a second goal till solely 30 seconds remained within the third quarter. Pickens regarded forlorn as large receivers coach Frisman Jackson sat with him on the bench and defensive captain Cameron Heyward talked to him. Then, within the fourth, Diontae Johnson recorded his second drop of the sport — initially dominated a fumble recovered by Atlanta — and Pickens walked off the sphere visibly annoyed. Sunday was Pickens’ second-lowest output of the season, with one catch for two yards (his worst was vs. Philadelphia in Week 8, when he did not document a catch). — Brooke Pryor

Subsequent recreation: vs. Baltimore (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Falcons

What to know: The Falcons are nonetheless within the dialog to win the moribund NFC South, however sooner or later they will want to determine what they’ve for 2023. Atlanta already has some solutions at linebacker (Troy Andersen) and edge rusher (DeAngelo Malone), however the query will stay at quarterback, the place Marcus Mariota (13-of-24 passing, 167 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) couldn’t engineer a win, whereas Desmond Ridder has but to take an offensive snap. The Falcons have misplaced 4 of their previous 5 and are actually 5-8 heading right into a Week 14 bye. Relying on what occurs in Monday evening’s New Orleans-Tampa Bay recreation and in Week 14, when the Bucs play San Francisco, the Falcons could be on the fringes of the race. So it could be time to contemplate what they’ve in Ridder earlier than it is too late.

Can Atlanta depend on the cross in any respect? With every week it feels just like the Falcons depend on the passing recreation much less and fewer. Sure, they have been aggressive largely with out it, and so they’ve discovered methods to select their spots with play-action, however Atlanta’s incapability to attach deep when the choices had been there in opposition to Pittsburgh — notably on three performs on the finish of the second quarter and two beneath stress initially of the third quarter — was notably robust. Mariota hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards in a recreation since Week 8 and has accomplished 65% or extra of his passes simply as soon as over that span. The dearth of constant passing matches the Falcons’ offensive preferences in the mean time, however they may actually use some extra stability after the bye. — Michael Rothstein

Subsequent recreation: at Saints (Sunday, Dec. 18)

Lions

What to know: The Lions have one of many league’s most potent offenses when wholesome. Scoring has by no means been a difficulty for Detroit. Even through the 1-6 begin, the Lions put up at the very least 30 factors in 4. Now the Lions have received 4 of their previous 5 video games. They scored a TD or area objective on eight consecutive drives — that’s their longest streak to start a recreation and their longest in a recreation at any level since 1971, in line with Elias Sports activities Bureau. Credit score quarterback Jared Goff, who hit large receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown with two touchdowns, and now has rookie large receiver Jameson Williams, who was making his NFL debut.

Ought to the Lions goal Williams extra going ahead? No one of their proper thoughts was anticipating the rookie to be the focus of the offense, or something remotely shut, after being out to get well from his ACL harm. As anticipated, the Lions did get him restricted reps. He was focused as soon as on eight snaps by Goff, however as he is capable of shake the rust and get in sync with Goff, he ought to obtain extra consideration going ahead. The Lions’ offense continues to roll, now scoring 30 or extra factors in six video games, and he may give them a respectable vertical risk. — Eric Woodyard

Subsequent recreation: vs. Vikings (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Jaguars

What to know: The Jaguars invested too many sources on protection for the unit to play the way in which it did Sunday. They’ve two first-round picks dashing off the sting (Travon Walker and Josh Allen) and spent $69 million in assured cash on 4 free brokers (Arden Key, Foley Fatukasi, Foye Oluokun and Darious Williams) on this offseason alone. Walker was the No. 1 total choose, however additionally they drafted Devin Lloyd twenty seventh total, and he is been benched for third-round choose Chad Muma. The unit gave up greater than 400 yards and allowed the Lions to attain on their first eight possessions. First-year coordinator Mike Caldwell has made some questionable calls as properly. The Jaguars should both determine one thing out within the offseason or revamp, as a result of this is not near being adequate.

Did Trevor Lawrence proceed his scorching streak? Lawrence’s numbers weren’t nice, however he was damage by 5 drops (three by Zay Jones and two by Evan Engram) and had three different incompletions on throwaways. It wasn’t his finest efficiency, but it surely’s not anyplace near among the clunkers he has had. Nonetheless, the Jaguars may solely handle one landing in opposition to the league’s worst protection. Lawrence additionally appeared to get damage on a sack late within the first half however returned. He initially feared a left knee harm when he went down, but it surely turned out to be a decrease leg harm. He performed practically the complete second half till the starters had been taken out for the ultimate possession. Lawrence stated he was sore, however wasn’t sporting a boot or have his foot wrapped after the sport. — Mike DiRocco

Subsequent recreation: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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Jared Goff finds Amon-Ra St. Brown for a few touchdowns, serving to the Lions rout the Jaguars.

Thursday

Payments

What to know: After a complete week of full participation in follow, quarterback Josh Allen is trying more healthy and extra like himself, which shall be key for the Payments’ stretch run. Because the crew’s bye in Week 7, the offense hadn’t regarded persistently on the identical web page, and Allen’s elbow harm did not assist. However the offense was capable of put collectively a 15-play, practically nine-minute drive when it wanted to Thursday. Allen was 6-of-6 for 65 yards and rushed for 7 yards on that drive. The Payments’ offense took a step in the correct route after additionally committing to the dashing assault, particularly with rookie James Cook dinner.

How will Payments honest with Von Miller on injured reserve? Hours after Von Miller was positioned on injured reserve, the Payments’ protection restricted the Patriots’ offense to 10 factors. That comes with a grain of salt, although, as New England struggled generally, however Patriots quarterback Mac Jones averaged 4.3 yards per try in opposition to 4 or fewer pass-rushers, his fewest with at the very least 10 makes an attempt. He was pressured on 39.5% of his dropbacks, the second-highest fee of his profession. The Payments have larger checks to come back in opposition to extra cohesive offenses, but it surely was a step in the correct route with the return of the crew’s youthful pass-rushers, Greg Rousseau and AJ Epenesa. — Alaina Getzenberg

Subsequent recreation: vs. Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Patriots

What to know: The identical issues which have plagued the offense for lengthy stretches of the season — third down, purple zone, ball safety — proceed to indicate up. That helped the Payments maintain a decisive time-of-possession edge (38:08-21:52). The Patriots do not appear to have an outlined plan or imaginative and prescient for the offense, which highlights how the transition from former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels hasn’t gone as easily as coach Invoice Belichick hoped. As Belichick has stated up to now, all of it comes again to him.

At 6-6, what hope is there the remainder of the way in which? In a downtrodden locker room, some gamers centered on a silver lining. “We management our future,” receiver Kendrick Bourne stated, whereas exterior linebacker Matthew Judon added: “It is not over but.” Technically, the Patriots can nonetheless make a run to the playoffs with back-to-back highway video games in opposition to the Cardinals and Raiders, then back-to-back house video games in opposition to the Bengals and Dolphins, earlier than the regular-season finale on the Payments. But when they play like they did Thursday evening, that is a extremely unlikely situation. — Mike Reiss

Subsequent recreation: at Cardinals (Monday, Dec. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET)



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