NFL scores, Week 13: Live coverage, highlights & more
We've got almost a full slate of games this week, with no teams on a bye week, though there were three games played on Thanksgiving. There's plenty of divisional contests worth noting, with the highlight being the second of two games between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos.
There's also quite a few really bad teams playing other similarly bad teams, but you should watch either way. Let's dive right into what to watch for in Week 13 on Sunday:
Jaguars vs. Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
The first game listed on the schedule may not be the most ... exciting on paper, but there's an awful lot of fail potential, and fail potential is always worth a look. The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-9 and the Cleveland Browns are 4-7, and neither team is competing for divisional relevance or the playoffs.
Neither has anything to lose, then. The Browns will be without quarterback Jason Campbell, which is significant because he's looked pretty good in recent weeks, which means Brandon Weeden will once again flash his cockroach-ian like ability to never be killed, and will kick off his fourth or fifth separate stint as a starter in two years.
"Can't look away" comes to mind.
Titans vs. Colts (1 p.m., CBS)
The Indianapolis Colts have beat some great teams this year: the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos among them. They've also been dominated by a total of 78-19 by the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams in two of their last three games.
Fortunately, the Colts will face the Tennessee Titans, a team they beat in Week 11, though it required a sizable comeback to achieve. You should watch this game, or at least the first half, to see just how poor Andrew Luck can be in one half of football. How bad the Colts have been for the first thirty minutes of a football game cannot be understated.
Also, they're both technically in the playoff running and even in on a playoff spot at the moment.
Bears vs. Vikings (1 p.m., FOX)
The Minnesota Vikings are not a very good team, and head coach Leslie Frazier could be on his way out. Every game could be the game that loses him his job, so that's always worth a look. The Chicago Bears, on the other hand, are fighting for their playoff lives.
Chicago will need to score a victory to keep themselves atop the NFC North on Sunday, with the Green Bay Packers having played the Detroit Lions on Thursday. Jay Cutler likely won't be playing in this one again, but Josh McCown has been solid. The Bears are hoping to get Marc Trestman to the playoffs in his first season as head coach.
Dolphins vs. Jets (1 p.m., CBS)
This matchup actually has divisional relevance. The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are both 5-6, tied for second place within the division. They're not going to catch the New England Patriots by any means, but either team could be in line for a wildcard spot with how things have looked lately.
Rex Ryan and Joe Philbin could both be on the chopping block. The former because the Jets continue to stumble on the offensive side of the ball and the latter due to the sheer number of issues inside the locker room. Still, both teams have managed to beat very good teams this season, so it could be exciting.
Cardinals vs. Eagles (1 p.m., CBS)
The Arizona Cardinals are literally 7-4. That's not a joke. There's no trickery here. That's their record, and they're tied for second place within the NFC West, and in for a playoff spot at this point. Carson Palmer seems to be hitting his stride on offense and may actually lead the Cardinals to do some damage. Weird.
Nick Foles is the starter for the Philadelphia Eagles. Michael Vick, once again, was injured and Foles earned the starting spot by eviscerating a hapless Oakland Raiders pass defense a couple weeks ago for approximately 300 touchdowns (rounding up). Every time the Cardinals earn another win, we have to point out how crazy is it. Will we be talking about them having eight wins come Monday?
Buccaneers vs. Panthers (1 p.m., FOX)
The Carolina Panthers have won a ridiculous number of games in a row. They've bested both the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots on this current winning streak of seven games. While the offense has been lackluster at times, the defense has shown up big time in each of those wins, not allowing more than 20 points in any given game.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a team almost certain to be looking for a new head coach next season. Greg Schiano's team has been a hot mess, losing the first eight games of the season. Somehow, they've won their last three, though, including a Week 12 upset of the Detroit Lions. This ... could be interesting. Going 8-8 would be legendary at this point.
But it's probably not going to happen.
Patriots vs. Texans (1 p.m., CBS)
Before the season, this was pegged as a big game. The Houston Texans had finally cleared that hurdle and were among the NFL's elite over the past couple seasons, but they've hit a very big wall this year. Matt Schaub was replaced with a robot built solely to throw interceptions returned for touchdowns, and the team moved to Case Keenum to take over his spot.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots just improbably won 34-31 over the Denver Broncos in Week 12. The Manning-Brady Bowl was slightly more heralded than the Brady-Keenum-Whoever-Takes-Over-For-Keenum Bowl is, but it could be fun to see if the Patriots start resting Brady as early as Week 13.
Falcons vs. Bills (4:05 p.m., FOX)
The Buffalo Bills have won roughly four more games than expected of them this season. They're 4-7, and rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel hasn't been so bad. He's clearly a work in progress, but should have both Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods available to him this week, so that could be big.
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons were expected to take the NFC South and once again be in contention for the Super Bowl. That has not happened at all, and they're 2-9 on the season. There's no playoff implications in this matchup, just two bad teams trying to be less bad than the other. The Falcons are pretty exciting either way though, for what that's worth.
Rams vs. 49ers (4:05 p.m., FOX)
This is one of two really awesome matchups in the afternoon on Sunday. The St. Louis Rams are 5-6, still in the running for a wildcard spot, while the San Francisco 49ers are 7-4 and hoping to get a leg-up on the aforementioned Cardinals.
The Seattle Seahawks have a stranglehold on the division at this point, but the 49ers recent snapped a losing skid by dominating the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. There's also the chance that the 49ers have Michael Crabtree back in the lineup. Meanwhile, Tavon Austin has been nothing short of fantastic in recent weeks. Smart money is on these teams not fighting to another tie this time around.
Broncos vs. Chiefs (4:25 p.m., CBS)
This is the other really solid matchup for the afternoon. The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are two of the best teams in the NFL. Denver was the team to snap Kansas City's undefeated streak in Week 11, winning 27-17, and the two rivals will once again fight for control of the AFC West on Sunday. Both teams are coming off a loss though, as the Broncos fell to the aforementioned Patriots, while the Chiefs have lost two consecutive games, falling to late-game heroics from Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers in Week 12.
Bengals vs. Chargers (4:25 p.m., CBS)
The San Diego Chargers have been a middling team this season, but they've been able to rattle off some quality wins, and have been exciting to watch. Philip Rivers can almost never be counted out (though you can count him out slightly more than Touchdown Tom, who can never be counted out) and the Chargers are more than capable of a playoff push for a wildcard spot.
But the Cincinnati Bengals stand in their way, at least this week. The Bengals are 7-4 and in control of the AFC North, but it's a close race. They can't afford to fall to teams like the Chargers, not with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens not too far behind at this point. Still, this one is like to come down to whether or not the No. 6 pass defense and No. 10 rush defense can contain the Chargers for all four quarters.
NFL Nation: 2013 preseason reaction Week 3 eagles-jaguars
" The third preseason game had some of the flavor of a regular-season game. The Eagles had better hope that flavor was pure vanilla.
It would take some of the sting out of the Eagles ragged offensive play if coach Chip Kelly was holding back most of the good stuff in his playbook. If not, there was some real reason for concern here.
For starters, Michael Vick looked very much like the guy who held the Eagles starting-quarterback job the last two years rather than the guy who was competing for it in the first two preseason games. Vick threw two terrible passes off his back foot (well, he was almost on his back the second time) while under pressure. One was intercepted, the other was ruled a sack. That sack came late in the first half when the Eagles needed to take advantage of a long return by Damaris Johnson.
Vick completed 13 of 15 passes for 199 yards while competing with Nick Foles in the first two preseason games. After being named the starter, he completed 15 of 23 for 184 yards, one TD and one INT.
" There was little evidence of the go-go pace that Kelly demands from his offense. The Eagles did not huddle, but there were long delays as plays were signaled in and the players sorted themselves out into the proper alignments. Vick has not really executed that fastbreak offense in this preseason. On the play before that late first-half sack, the ball was snapped with one second left on the play clock. Vick ran around, couldnt find a receiver and threw the ball away.
" Last year, running back Bryce Brown showed amazing quickness to the corner but came down with a bad case of the fumbles. In the third quarter, Brown sped around the right corner, then fumbled the ball through the end zone for a turnover. The fumble killed an opportunity for the Eagles to answer the Jaguars long, second half-opening TD drive. Brown ran four yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
" That late TD came at the end of the Eagles best sustained drive of the game to that point. Foles was at quarterback for that one. Foles also managed the uptempo, go-ahead scoring drive that began on the Eagles 1 and ended with a Chris Polk TD run.
Foles completed 10 of 11 passes for 112 yards. To be fair, the Jaguars backups were playing defense on both of those drives.
" For the first time, the offensive line was complete. Left tackle Jason Peters took the field for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. For the first time, however, the line looked confused and unable to figure out its assignments. Early on, especially, Vick seldom had a clean pocket and resorted to running for his life. That has been a bad combination over the past few years, with Vick turning the ball over or getting hurt with great frequency.
" The Eagles defense had some great moments. Connor Barwin batted a pass in the air and caught it as he landed on his back. That gave the offense great field position, which Vick took advantage of for the first teams only touchdown. Barwin, Trent Cole, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry and Mychal Kendricks all disrupted the Jaguars offense at different times.
" The Eagles defense had some very 2012 moments. Chad Henne carved the Birds up on Jacksonvilles first possession. It ended with a blown coverage: Henne found Justin Blackmon all alone between safety Patrick Chung and cornerback Bradley Fletcher. It looked like many of the league-high 33 passing TDs allowed by the Eagles last season.
" Jordan Todmans 63-yard touchdown run was another bad flashback to 2012. Todman ran off left tackle, then cut to his right. Both Eagles safeties, Patrick Chung and rookie Earl Wolff, took terrible angles and were unable to slow him down, let alone hit him. Todman got outside to the right and was gone.
Wolff replaced the mediocre Nate Allen in the first half but did little to stand out in a positive way. Kenny Phillips, the free agent brought in to challenge Allen for the starting job, said he expected to play after dealing with a sore quadriceps. Phillips did not play. Considering Chungs performance on the Blackmon and Todman TDs, there is real concern about both safety spots.
" Return man Damaris Johnson had an eventful night. He fumbled the ball away on a punt return, then got stopped inside his own 10 on a kickoff return. Later, he broke two long returns, 61 yards on a kickoff and 37 on a punt. The Eagles would love the undersized wideout to provide big-play potential on returns so they can avoid putting DeSean Jackson at risk.
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