Star players shine with clutch performances

The 32 things we gained from Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season:

1. The Arizona Cardinals kept the league’s finest record (10-2) while inviting back QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, who collaborated for a 20-yard TD in Chicago after both missed out on 5 weeks with injuries. Murray burned the Bears for 4 overall ratings (2 death, 2 hurrying) as the Cards stayed unbeaten on the roadway.

2. Arizona’s 33-22 victory at Soldier Field made the Cardinals the 3rd group to win 7 straight roadway video games by double-digit margins in one season. The Cards will make history if they can do it once again in Week 15 … at Detroit.

Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals scrambles far from Eddie Goldman of the Chicago Bears in the very first quarter at Soldier Field on December 05, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

3. All-Pro Cardinals S Budda Baker will not get the very same flak he provided for getting diminished by Seattle’s DK Metcalf in 2015 … however, Budda, should not you have the ability to juke Andy Dalton to get that evasive pick-six?

4. Have a day, T.J. Watt. The All-Pro pass rush and league’s highest-paid protective gamer year verified his bona fides by notching 3½ sacks of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 20-19 escape from Baltimore. Watt, who’s missed out on 2 video games with injuries and invested recently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, has an NFL-high 16 sacks in simply 10 video games. He’s on rate to gather 24 sacks, which would break Hall of Famer Michael Strahan’s single season record – 22½, set twenty years back.

5. The Ravens (8-4), who keep a one-game lead in the AFC North regardless of the loss, selected to choose the win with a two-point effort after Jackson’s TD pass to WR Sammy Watkins made ball game 20-19 with 12 seconds left. However Jackson – with Watt in his face – didn’t offer wide-open TE Mark Andrews a great hand down the essential play, and Baltimore failed.

6. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fired off a terrific postgame quote when inquired about Baltimore coach John Harbaugh’s gamble: “They aggressively play analytics, so from that standpoint, they’re predicable.”

7. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger, 39, is, too, the Pittsburgh quarterback left in tears after what might be his last video game versus the archrival Ravens at Heinz Field. Big Ben (236 backyards and 2 TDs passing) would not verify later whether the 2021 season will be his last, however Sunday’s video game might suggest he’ll still be playing football well into January.

8. Still, absolutely nothing’s going to destroy this weekend for the Harbaugh household with Michigan, coached by Jim Harbaugh and previous Ravens protective organizer Mike Macdonald, headed to the College Football Playoff for the very first time after winning the Big Ten.

9. Baltimore’s problem knocked the Ravens out of top place in the AFC … and catapulted the New England Patriots, who dip into Buffalo on Monday night, into the leading area. However a Bills win will put them back atop the AFC East while putting the idle Tennessee Titans back into the No. 1 area in the conference.

NFL PLAYOFF IMAGE: AFC, NFC both large open without any groups having actually clinched

10. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert was prepared after Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa in 2020, however quite hard to envision Herbert would not displace Burrow as No. 1 general in a redraft circumstance. Herbert (317 backyards and 3 TDs passing) completely beat Burrow (3 turnovers) in their very first expert conference Sunday as the Bolts whacked the Bengals 41-22, surpassing Cincy in the AFC wild-card standings.

11. Herbert’s 15 profession video games with a minimum of 300 backyards passing is currently a record for a gamer in his 2nd season.

12. For the record, we’d rather see enjoyable groups like the Chargers and Bengals bent into the Sunday night window instead of the existing version of the Chiefs.

13. Curious relocation by the Carolina Panthers to insinuate their choice to fire offending organizer Joe Brady right after Sunday’s video games began and at the conclusion of the group’s bye week. Tough result for Brady, who handled quarterback turnover and little accessibility of RB Christian McCaffrey all season. An extremely related to assistant coming out of LSU following the Tigers’ 2019 championship game run, it stays to be seen if Brady – he spoke with for NFL head training tasks in 2015 – remains in the league or go back to the college ranks.

14. Who’s the most popular group in the NFC? Would you think the Washington Football Team, winners of 4 in a row and brand-new owners of the conference’s 2nd wild-card position?

15. Who’s the coldest group in the NFC (and NFL)? Would you think the New Orleans Saints, now in a five-game tailspin that accompanies QB Jameis Winston’s torn ACL?

16. A fresh suggestion that Philadelphia QB Gardner Minshew II is more than a functional backup. He got the Eagles back into the win column by selecting apart the New York Jets with 20 conclusions on 25 tosses for 242 backyards and 2 ratings. Now that Philly fans have actually gotten a great take a look at what he can do, do not be amazed if some problem from hurt starter Jalen Hurts’ camp …

16a. … particularly given that Minshew makes a fine Maverick Mitchell.

17. Even without Hurts, the Eagles still handled to run for 185 backyards … though their three-game streak of 200+ on the ground was snapped.

18. The Los Angeles Rams are winners for the very first time given that Halloween and may be finding out this Robert Woods-less offense. WRs Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. have actually both captured TD passes in each of the previous 2 video games.

COVID-19. Watt wasn’t the only one handling the procedure recently. Likewise Titans S Kevin Byard, Vikings CB Patrick Peterson, Colts C Ryan Kelly and Patriots S Kyle Dugger. The Dallas Cowboys appear to be through the worst of their mini-outbreak, consisting of coach Mike McCarthy’s lack Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers had actually 2 gamers suspended, consisting of WR Antonio Brown, for misrepresenting their vaccination status although coach Bruce Arians stated the group was totally immunized prior to the season. Yet to be seen what Arians and the Bucs will make with AB as soon as his three-game restriction is up.

20. The Miami Dolphins are just the 4th group in NFL history to win 5 in a row after beginning a season with a 1-7 record. They’ll reach .500 if they can beat the Jets on the other side of a Week 14 bye.

21. WR Jaylen Waddle’s 86 catches are currently most ever for a Dolphins novice.

22. Philadelphia now has a 12-0 all-time record versus the Jets, the very best mark any group owns versus another amongst the league’s existing franchises.

23. Incidentally, Tom Brady is now 10-0 all-time versus the Atlanta Falcons.

23a. TB12 depends on a league-best 34 TD passes after lofting 4 more in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 30-17 win in Atlanta. Brady discovered long time colleague Rob Gronkowski for 2 ratings – Gronk’s 24th video game with several TD grabs (most amongst tight ends in the Super Bowl period). It likewise marked the very first time Brady has 6 video games in one season with a minimum of 4 TD tosses.

23b. Brady and Gronkowski have actually now linked for 90 TDs in the routine season. Only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison (112) have actually been a more efficient scoring duo.

24. The Jacksonville Jaguars have actually lost 16 in a row versus NFC competitors, their last interconference win coming versus the New York Giants … in Week 1 of the 2018 project.

25. Not just did the Colts blank the Texans 31-0 Sunday – they swept Houston by a cumulative 62-3 this season – Indianapolis restricted its AFC South opponent to 2.8 backyards per play.

25a. Colts RB Jonathan Taylor scored two times, offering him a minimum of one hurrying TD in 10 successive video games. His 18 TDs are most in the NFL in 2021 and 2 shy of Hall of Famer Lenny Moore’s single-season franchise record, developed in 1964.

26. Participation prize to Texans POUND Kamu Grugier-Hill, who made 20 takes on Sunday – 3 behind the line of skirmish – in a worthy effort installed amidst a helpless cause.

27. It’s safe to etch Cowboys POUND Micah Parsons as the protective novice of the year. But with 10 sacks (a group novice record), 72 takes on and a league-best 16 takes on for loss following Thursday’s win, Watt might be the only exceptional defensive gamer of the year prospect to Parsons.

27a. Parsons leads a defense that got Dallas back on track in New Orleans, accumulating 4 turnovers – consisting of a pick-six, the group’s 4th of the season – as the Cowboys enhanced to 6-1 in video games versus NFC competitors.

28. Give Saints QB Taysom Hill credit for strength as he played through a finger injury to his passing hand comparable to the one that sidelined Seattle’s Russell Wilson previously this season. But Hill ended up being the very first gamer in 45 years to hurry for 100 backyards … while providing a minimum of 4 interceptions.

29. “My cause, my cleats” – still among the NFL’s coolest programs, and we would not mind seeing it broadened.

30. And a hearty congratulations to the Detroit Lions, who won their very first video game in 364 days – while preventing a winless 2021 season – by falling the Minnesota Vikings 29-27 on the video game’s last play, an 11-yard Jared Goff TD pass to novice Amon-Ra St. Brown.

30a. The Lions likewise won their very first video game given that 2010 without QB Matthew Stafford and split 20 points scored for the very first time given that their Week 1 loss to San Francisco.

31. Yet leave it to ever-emotional Detroit coach Dan Campbell to share the success of his very first win with neighboring Oxford High School’s grieving neighborhood. Campbell devoted a video game ball to Oxford, which lost 4 trainees in recently’s shooting at the school. “I just, I want us to not forget these names,” Campbell stated, calling the victims – 4 dead and 7 hurt. “Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, John Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell, who’s a teacher.” Well done, Coach.

32. The NFL has particularly put a should have spotlight on Myre, a tight end for Oxford’s football group, who has actually been credited with attempting to stop the Oxford shooter. RIP, Tate. You and your schoolmates were taken much prematurely.

***

Follow U.S.A. TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This short article initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: NFL ratings and more, Week 13 2021: 32 things we discovered



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