Here we are again. Back for lucky number 13. Week 13 of NFL football that is. This week had some crazy games. A lot of unexpected outcomes, and to no one’s surprise, the Dolphins took home a W. The Vikings lost in prime time while Alabama lost to Auburn, so it was a tough week for people who love Cousins.
This week included some Thankgiving football, and I want to take some time now to say how thankful I am for the NFL. I spend a lot of time shitting on certain players or criticizing Roger Goodell, but despite all the flaws in the NFL, this league provides some great entertainment for football fans to enjoy.
Let’s dive right into these matchups.
Money Mitch was on full display for the Bears, as the potential MVP threw for over 330 yards and had three touchdowns to go with his dominant performance. Bears fans are hopefully giving thanks to Mr. Trubisky on turkey day. The future hall of famer has made some great plays in his short career, and Thursday’s game was just another one for the books. Just a few weeks ago, there were a lot of concerns for Trubisky’s health in the fourth quarter against the Rams. There was a lot of confusion among fans as to whether Mitch was actually injured or if he was just getting benched for Chase Daniel. Many believed that the hip injury was a cover up, but I mean, have you seen Chase Daniel play? He’s certainly not adding any value.
I have heard a lot of terrible things about Matt Nagy, people saying he should be fired, saying he’s terrible at managing a game, what have you. But you have to applaud him for rallying his team and getting them on a roll with this two game win streak.
But back to Trubisky for a second: is anyone aware that he was drafted before Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017? And is anyone aware that we are going to continue to compare Money Mitch to these other two QBs for the rest of his career? As much slander as Mitch gets, I find it pretty funny that we bag on him, yet he has the same number of rings as both Mahomes and Watson, COMBINED. And he also doesn’t have the offensive weapons that those two guys have. Like who the hell is Allen Robinson? I bet his 40 time isn’t as fast as Tyreek Hill’s. I bet his hands aren’t as good as DeAndre Hopkins’. And Tarik Cohen is basically a Maurice Jones Drew, but without the steroids. Yet here we are, criticizing Mitch, when he hasn’t been put in a great system like those other QBs have been. Give him time, give him some weapons, Mitch could as good as Jay Cutler. He’s just got that dog in him.
For the Lions, they had some random ass QB replacing the Georgia legend, Matt Stafford. David Blough from Purdue got the start, and he had to quickly learn that Chicago does not have a Big 12 defense. The Lions’ rookie did pretty well for himself, throwing for 280 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Seeing as Blough has a Purdue education, I’m sure he thought Megatron was still on the team, which in Blough’s defense, the Lions could certainly use Megatron at a time like this. Although this Kenny Golladay fella had himself a day. And he’s been a bright spot all season for this Detroit team. The Lions, however, are sitting at 3–8–1 and haven’t been able to pick up the momentum since their impressive tie in week 1. I wouldn’t say Matt Patricia is on the heat seat, but I will say that he’ll get his fired by the end of this year. So it’s not really a hot seat, it’s more of a Goldfinger ejection seat.
Our other turkey day game consisted of the Cowboys and Bills. And I’m pretty sure Buffalo Bill was a cowboy, so that’s kind of fun. The Cowboys started off the year near the top of the power ranking, and every fan in Dallas was hyping up the team, saying how this was finally the year for Jerry Jones and the boys to get back to the Super Bowl. I, however, and I’m sure any other logical football fan in America, knew that the Boys were playing an easy ass schedule to start the year. It was only a matter of time before Dak had to face someone tough and the wheels would just fall off. They started off their season playing against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, who now have a combined record of 8–28. Truly magnificent stuff that we saw from this team, and when the Cowboys were at the top of the power ranking for the first few weeks, Skip Bayless and every other delusional Dallas fan thought that they had something special this season. Here’s a fun fact that might not be so fun for Cowboys’ fans: Dallas has yet to beat a team with a winning record this season. And to no one’s surprise, they got smoked like some Thanksgiving turkeys against Buffalo.
If you were unaware, the Bills Mafia is for real, and their defense did a great job of keeping Dak in check the entire game. They held Prescott to just one TD through the first three quarters, but the Texas A&M alum made sure to sneak in a garbage time TD in that fourth quarter. Keep in mind, it’s always a good idea to stat pad when you’re in a contract season. Just ask Melo or Hassan Whiteside. But back to the game, Zeke was given a limited number of carries, which is another issue for the Cowboys. You have arguable one of the top 20 running backs in the NFL this season, and yet you only give him 12 carries. It’s like Jason Garret is copying all of Sean McVay’s bad habits. Limited carries for an elite running back… great strategy. Meanwhile you have Dak doing a Kyler Murray impression, throwing 50 passes in a game. If I’m Dak, I’d probably book my tommy john’s surgery appointment now. To summarize that whole point: FEED ZEKE.
As for the Bills, they looked pretty solid in this victory. Like I mentioned, the defense did a nice job of bottling up Dak for the majority of the game. And Josh Allen has been proving people wrong all season. It’s cool to see him outshining all of the other QBs that were talked about in that 2018 draft. People were all about Baker and Darnold during that time period, but now it’s Lamar and Josh Allen who are shining on their respective teams. And the biggest thing is that both of these QBs can run. We all know Lamar Jackson is on another level, but Joshy boy also has some wheels himself. He ran it 10 times against the Cowboys and managed to get a rushing TD. Perhaps NFL teams can learn that drafting a mobile QB is important. Mobile QBs like Tom Brady have achieved such success due to their ability to escape pressure and scramble when needed.
The Ravens vs Niners game was close as expected, and this could have been a potential preview to this year’s Super Bowl match up. Lamar went full running back mode this game, rushing for just as many yards as he threw for. And that’s what the Ravens have him for. People want to hate on this dude for running all the time. And sure, Lamar might be facing much bigger injury risks than other QBs by doing so, but he’s creating this dual threat that is unlike anything we have seen in the NFL, aside from when Mike Vick was in the league. The Niners arguably have the best defense in the NFL and even they couldn’t contain Lamar. This guy is so fun to root for, mainly because so many people have doubted him since he got into the league. And even when he started playing well this season, the excuse was that he was playing against easy teams. I think after the Patriots game is when people started to realize how dangerous this dual threat QB offense can actually be. Having a mobile QB opens up a lot of doors for an offense. A great team like the 49ers can often queue in on the running back, while also successfully covering the passing game, and in this case, the majority of offenses would be totally screwed. But when you have a super star athlete to bail you out, it can be the ultimate difference maker. And that’s what we saw from Lamar on Sunday.
The Ravens defense also deserves a ton of credit, as they have been a huge contributor in taking this team to elite status. The defense has shut down teams like the Patriots, Texans, Rams, and now the 49ers, making it a lot easier for the offense to operate with some comfort. With a match up of two great defenses, I knew this would be a lower scoring game. Not 2011 Alabama vs. LSU scoring level, but close to it.
For the 49ers, their run offense was on point, as Raheem Mostert, another random ass running back, had himself a big game with nearly 150 rushing yards and TD to go with it. I don’t know where the Niners keep this collection of running backs, but they always manage to find someone who can step up when needed. It’s almost as if they don’t believe in the “franchise” running back and they would rather use whatever scraps they can find for each game. And to San Fran’s credit, it has worked out quite nicely for them. Oh Matt Breida is injured? Not a problem. Put in Mostert and let him go to work.
The Ravens did a nice job of covering George Kittle, who I said would be an X factor for this week’s game. Aside from the first quarter, the Niners couldn’t really get anything going with the passing game and the Ravens were able to hold them to three points in the second half. After halftime, everything in this game really slowed down and the second half was more like 2011 Bama vs LSU.
The Texans might actually be a good team. Either that or the Patriots have hit quite the decline. This Patriots defense was so dominant to start the season, but they’re starting to get exposed against some of these better teams. They had no answer for the Ravens, and now, against another decent offense, they found themselves struggling to keep contain.
Deshaun Watson threw for three touchdowns and ran for a negative yard. Not exactly Lamar Jackson running talent, but he still managed to get the win for Houston. Russ Westbrook and PJ Tucker were at the game and my hope is that they can learn something about winning after watching the Texans take care of business. Hopkins was kept in check the entire game, but the Texans were able to share the wealth with three other receivers getting into the end zone. And even Deshaun Watson was getting in on the receiver friendzy as he caught a pass from Hopkins during the fourth quarter. It’s not the first time the Patriots have fallen for the receiver/QB trick play. Nick Foles pulled this off to perfection a few years ago when the Eagles beat the Pats in the Super Bowl. That famous “Philly Special” has been used by a few different teams now. And the Patriots always appear to be on the losing end of it. If Tom Brady could catch as well as he runs, you know the Pats would be running that “New England Special” as much as possible.
To the Texans’ credit, they played really well, and they made New England’s defense look like they were coached by Rex Ryan. The Texans were pretty fired up about the performance and some players even went to social media to boast about the game. I think there’s an unwritten rule in the NFL, stating that if you’re an elite receiver, you have to have an ego. And we saw this with DeAndre Hopkins, who made sure to tweet a photo of him catching a pass over Stephon Gilmore with the caption “When you see 10 double him.”
Hopkins was held to just five receptions and zero touchdowns, but like any other egotistical wideout, he made sure to make the victory about himself. Sounds like he’s been spending some time with AB and Odell. It’s crazy how wide receivers out of all people think they deserve attention. If a player on the Pats tried tweeting something like this, Belichick would have them on waivers before they could even put their phone down. If anything, these Hopkins antics are just going to add more fuel to the fire for New England in the playoffs.
As for the Patriots, they didn’t look great on defense. And the offense was pretty nonexistent in the first half. Brady had an awful interception, but followed up with an awesome touchdown saving tackle that proved he is a better safety than Gronk. The Patriots are similar to the Cowboys in which they haven’t proven themselves against other elite teams. Aside from beating a promising Bills team, the Pats haven’t been all that impressive this year. The Ravens and now Texans have exposed some of the flaws with this Patriots defense, and it’s also clear that a 42 year old Tom Brady is not the mobile threat that he once was.
If there is one thing I can compliment about this Patriots team, it’s that they have zero quit in them. Despite a shitty performance, they made a late game push, scoring 13 of their 22 points in the fourth quarter. Brady played pretty poorly despite throwing three touchdowns. If there were ever a time for Gronk to return to the Pats, now might be the time.
The one highlight for the Pats was James White, who has just been a great story for the NFL in general. I mean, who would have thought that this guy would shine the way that he has in the NFL? I remember back when Wisconsin had their running back trio with White, John Clay, and Montee Ball, and out of all those guys, I never thought that James would be the one to sustain an NFL career. I think so much of that is circumstantial. And just look at what the Patriots have done for him. The Patriots have turned him into an all-purpose back and I’d go as far as calling him the black Christian McCaffrey. (Let me know if that’s controversial). Similar to the Malcolm Butler situation, Belichick has this great ability to find guys with potential and he just gets the most out of them. And he’s certainly getting the most out of White. The Badgers alum had 177 all-purpose yards along with two receiving touchdowns on Sunday. The man keeps producing and the Patriots will need his best effort in order to defend their reigning champs title.
I’m just going to be calling these games for this week. I saw that the Eagles lost to the Dolphins, and as much as I would love to roast Carson Wentz for the 100th time, I will let that man live for now. I’m sure Miami has already killed his spirits enough.