The NFC leaders, the Philadelphia Eagles, continued their magical run by dismantling the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills rose to the top of the AFC following a wild Sunday that saw the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Kansas City Chiefs.
Elsewhere, the Washington Commanders and New York Giants settled on a tie, the Detroit Lions raised the stakes in the NFC playoff race with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the San Francisco 49ers thwarted the high-flying Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts imploded in spectacular fashion on national television.
NFL Week 13 Highlights & Lessons Learned
Battle for No.1 Seed Heating Up
The baton at the top of the AFC table changed hands this week. The Bills (9-3-0) were catapulted into the summit of the conference table thanks to the Bengals’ upset of the Chiefs (9-3-0) on Sunday and, simultaneously, the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Miami Dolphins.
As it stands, the AFC race to the No. 1 seed is too close to call as we move deep into December football. The Chiefs came into Week 13 as the team to beat. They were in the driver’s seat, playing some of the best football in November. But all that changed with the loss to an imminent playoff contender – their third straight loss to the Bengals since 2021.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 5, 2022
Who will win the AFC? By the NFL odds, it is likely to be decided by the aforementioned triplet of the Bills, Chiefs, and Bengals – at least, that’s the case now according to the latest AFC odds with BetUS (below).
Odds to Win AFC
- Buffalo Bills +190
- Kansas City Chiefs +220
- Cincinnati Bengals +650
- Miami Dolphins +800
- Baltimore Ravens +1000
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
AFC North Race Tightens
The Baltimore Ravens (8-4-0) emerged victorious in Week 13, beating the Denver Broncos. However, it wasn’t good news all around with Baltimore’s starting quarterback going down with an injury.
Lamar Jackson left the game with a knee injury and he did not return. He is week to week according to the latest injury reports from the Ravens camp and looks very unlikely to start in Week 14. That’s bad news, to put it mildly. With the Bengals (8-4-0) closing the gap in the AFC North, relying on the services of a backup quarterback to keep Cincinnati at bay at this critical time isn’t ideal.
Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson suffered a sprained PCL during Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos, per league sources. PCL injuries often sideline players 1-to-3 weeks and Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh already has said Jackson is “less likely” to play Sunday vs. the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/4ra4KDuUdQ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 6, 2022
The Ravens have the 1-0 head-to-head edge over the Bengals, winning 19-17 in Week 5. The next meeting between these two sides will be in Week 18, which could be a title-deciding matchup if it isn’t won before then.
AFC North Odds
- Baltimore Ravens -130
- Cincinnati Bengals +110
- Cleveland Browns +2800
- Pittsburgh Steelers +4000
Jimmy G Out for Season
Like the Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers (8-4-0) lost their starting quarterback in their win over the Miami Dolphins. Jimmy Garoppolo was the second big-name quarterback on a contending team to go down with an injury on Sunday. Unfortunately, the news was much worse for the Niners signal caller, who was carted off the field with a broken foot that has since been confirmed as season-ending.
Where the Niners go from here is anybody’s guess. They’re sticking with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy for the time being. Purdy stepped in for the injured Jimmy G and led the Niners to the 33-17 win.
It remains to be seen whether Purdy is a viable long-term solution. The Niners signed veteran quarterback Josh Johnson from the Denver Broncos practice squad as a backup, but they might be looking for another experienced option at the position.
“I love Jimmy.”
– Brock Purdy on his relationship with Jimmy Garoppolo ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6d62tDF9Vx
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) December 5, 2022
For now, the Niners remain the favorites to win the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks (7-5-0) are nipping at their heels as the only viable alternative.
NFC West Odds
- San Francisco 49ers -400
- Seattle Seahawks +275
- Arizona Cardinals +32500
Brady in a League of His Own
Tom Brady tossed for 281 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s come-from-behind, 17-16 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. In so doing, Brady matched Dan Marino in the record books for the most MNF wins in NFL history.
The 45-year-old signal-caller also recorded his 44th comeback win in the fourth quarter or overtime, surpassing Peyton Manning’s record (43) for most all-time in the league.
Quick-Fire Lessons and Takeaways
- Deshaun Watson was underwhelming in his first start since Jan. 3, 2021, even though the Browns defeated the Houston Texans 27-14. The defense scored a pair of touchdowns and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones led the special teams in scoring as he took a punt 76 yards to the house.
- The Texans (1-10-1) and the Chicago Bears (3-10-0) became the first two teams to be eliminated from the playoff pictures in their respective conferences.
- The Bengals became the first team in the Patrick Mahomes era to beat the Chiefs in three consecutive games.
- Rookie Kenny Pickett is quietly improving as he notched his second straight win with the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7-0).
- Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys scored 33 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, making history on the way to the lopsided 54-19 win.
- Aaron Rodgers still owns the Bears! With the Packers down 19-10, Rodgers rallied his side to a 28-19 victory. He improved his record to 25-5 all-time versus Chicago.
- The Las Vegas Raiders improve to a 5-7-0 record after winning their third straight game.
- The Los Angeles Chargers (6-6-0) playoff hopes hit a stumbling block following the 27-20 loss to the Raiders.
- The Detroit Lions improved to 5-7-0 and moved into ninth place in the NFC standings, putting them just on the edge of the coveted wild card spots.
- Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos are on the cusp of being eliminated from the playoff picture as they succumbed to their fourth straight loss. Wilson and the Broncos’ offense have scored 20-plus points only once in 12 games.