Injuries are an unfortunate inevitability in the NFL and Week 13 was no exception, as many teams experienced a slew of injuries to key players – including both the Steelers and Jaguars losing starting quarterbacks, Kenny Pickett and Trevor Lawrence respectively. With teams turning their attention to the postseason and the league’s elite beginning to stake their claim for MVP, here is your Week 13 roundup.
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
Final Score: 35 – 41
Thursday Night Football treated us to the high-flying offenses of the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns – including a late dart to tight end Jake Ferguson to take the lead for America’s team, with just four and a half minutes left on the clock. Receiver CeeDee Lamb had 12 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown but was outshone by the phenomenal performance of Seahawks receiver, DK Metcalf. The Hawks wideout had six catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns. With this win, the Cowboys extended their record for consecutive home wins to 14 and set up a mouth-watering matchup against divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, next week. The Seahawks now drop to 6-6 and sit third behind the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West.
Player of the Game: Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) December 1, 2023
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Final Score: 31 – 28
The Colts didn’t have an ideal start to the 2023 season, but have since staged an impressive comeback. Their Week 13 game against the Titans was destined for overtime after a shootout between quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Will Levis. Minshew threw for 312 yards, with two touchdowns to Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, who combined for over 200 yards receiving. Levis threw for 224 yards and a touchdown while linking-up with Derrick Henry who had 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Titans capped off the opening overtime drive with a field goal courtesy of veteran Nick Folk, leaving the fate of the game on the shoulders of the defense. Minshew went on to lead the Colts down the field, before a four-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. that gave Indianapolis their fourth-straight victory – taking them to second in the AFC South, whilst the Titans remain bottom of that same division.
Player of the Game: Gardner Minshew II, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
Final Score: 33 – 28
Sam LaPorta came into the league as a highly anticipated rookie, capable of changing the outcome of a game with his physicality – and his performance against the New Orleans Saints this week demonstrated just that. LaPorta had nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown, catching every pass intended for him, including a 48-yard grab to help set up a crucial field goal, late in the third quarter. Jared Goff also had a fantastic outing, throwing for 213 yards and two touchdowns to LaPorta and his ever-present receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions progress to 9-3 and have their sights firmly set on the playoffs. The Saints are now 5-7 and may have to proceed to Week 14 without starting quarterback, Derek Carr, who left the game with injuries to his head, shoulder and back.
Player of the Game: Sam LaPorta, Tight End, Detroit Lions.
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Final Score: 42 – 19
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) December 5, 2023
The NFC Championship rematch between two of the best teams in the NFL electrified fans from coast-to-coast. The 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles came into the game as underdogs but took a 6-0 lead early into the second quarter after a pair of field goals from Jake Elliott. However, that would be the only time the Eagles led all game. The San Francisco 49ers, led by Deebo Samuel, took advantage of the weak Eagles secondary. Samuel ended the game with nine touches, for 198 total yards and three touchdowns – one rushing and two through the air. The very relevant Brock Purdy, put on an offensive masterclass of his own, throwing for 314 yards and four touchdowns, to become the bookies’ favourite for MVP. The Eagles are now 10-2, whilst the 49ers progress to 9-3 and are Super Bowl frontrunners heading into Week 14.
Player of the Game: Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
Final Score: 19 – 27
In March of this year, Kansas City Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid, was asked by a reporter what his thoughts were on Jordan Love helming Green Bay’s offense, to which Reid promptly replied, “Who’s that?… I’m trying to remember Jordan Love”. It’s safe to say that Andy Reid now knows exactly who Jordan Love is and what he’s capable of. Love threw for a very impressive 267 yards and three touchdowns, which landed in the hands of Christian Watson and Ben Sims, and led Green Bay to a defiant win over Kansas City. For the Chiefs, the loss was their first with Taylor Swift in attendance. The Packers are now 6-6 this season and sit third in the NFC North whilst the Kansas City Chiefs drop to 8-4 but remain comfortably atop the AFC West with their sights set on Las Vegas in February.
Player of the Game: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers.
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) December 4, 2023
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Final Score: 34 – 31
Monday Night Football’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars was expected to be a blowout win for the Jags thanks to a string of impressive performances from franchise quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Bengals backup quarterback Jake Browning, however, had other plans. On his second-ever start in the NFL, Browning threw for 354 yards and a touchdown, completing 32 of his 37 passes. With WR1, Ja’Marr Chase pulling in 11 of Browning’s 32 passes, for 149 yards and a touchdown. Things weren’t as positive for Trevor Lawrence however. While leading the Jaguars on a late fourth quarter drive, a sack from Trey Hendrickson sent him straight to the locker room with a high-ankle sprain, resulting in C.J. Beathard being tasked with leading the team through overtime. After Jacksonville were unable to score on their opening drive, Evan McPherson drilled a 48-yard field goal to give Cincinnati their sixth win of the season, and Jake Browning’s first as a starter.
Player of the Game: Jake Browning, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals.
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