Welcome to the Week 13 version of the Sunday FreakOut, the place we react and overreact to all the pieces that occurred within the Sunday afternoon video games. For the complete Sunday roundup podcast-style, remember to subscribe to The MMQB Podcast, in your feed each Monday morning…
Table of Contents
Issues That Made Me Giddy
The Lions Are On the Board!: Actually, if this staff performed the Jaguars subsequent week they’d win by two touchdowns. In the event that they performed the Texans they’d win by three touchdowns. Detroit has the worst document in soccer, however at no level this season have they been soccer’s worst staff. So there’s some justice in Dan Campbell, Jared Goff and Co. lastly getting on the board this week, even when it was towards an opponent that’s higher than they’re:
Classic-Ish Ben Lives for Ravens Week: His pocket motion would possibly most intently resemble Joe Pera (I shall be going to this line often over the rest of Ben’s profession), however Roethlisberger finally got here up with sufficient performs to beat the Ravens within the fourth quarter. He delivered two TD passes and what turned out to be a vital two-point conversion to upset the Ravens. He additionally made a handful (actually, 5 or fewer) of spectacular throws, together with one on the finish of the primary half that ought to have gone for a landing however was dropped by Diontae Johnson.
John Harbaugh Goes for Two: This is not an analytics resolution any greater than going for a landing from the two as an alternative of kicking a area objective in a three-point sport. It was the fitting name as a result of the Ravens have the fitting offense and so they had the fitting play name. T.J. Watt made a play and received in Lamar Jackson’s face, inflicting the ball to be thrown three inches off-target, and that’s simply the best way it goes generally. For Baltimore, the choice was leaving it as much as a coin toss and, maybe, your exhausted protection.
The Diontae Johnson Redemption Tour: After a baaaaad drop price the Steelers 4 factors on the finish of the primary half, Johnson delivered two touchdowns within the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh’s comeback win.
Bears Move-Catchers Salute DeAndre Hopkins: Jakeem Grant and Cole Kmet, fairly thoughtfully, batted passes into the palms of Cardinals defensive backs early, permitting Hopkins and Kyler Murray to ease again into motion with a few short-field touchdowns (on a day of short-field scoring drives for Arizona). The Kmet play is solely unbelievable, managing to show a routine third-down catch right into a turnover and 78-yard area flip. (However, hey, Kmet did high the depth chart amongst Chicago’s 5 energetic tight ends on Sunday.)
Brian Johnson Drills It: Not precisely a simple process in his first sport on Washington’s energetic roster, however the kicker snuck the game-winner inside the fitting upright from 48 to win it in Vegas.
Chargers Steal One in Cin Metropolis: It’s a staff that’s strolling a tightrope each week, sometimes Justin Herbert to avoid wasting them. On Sunday, they caught a pair early breaks (particularly, Ja’Marr Chase bobbling a positive landing right into a turnover), one late break (Joe Mixon merely dropping the ball mid-run, resulting in a protracted scoop-and-score TD). The Chargers additionally shot themselves within the foot just a few occasions (particularly, Austin Ekeler shedding two fumbles) and Herbert left just a few performs on the sector. However ultimately, they stole a highway win from a top quality opponent to maneuver to 7–5, placing them in glorious place in a good AFC wild-card race.
Hey, It’s Gardner Minshew: He received a day to tango with the Madden-on-rookie protection that’s the Jets and took benefit, main three first-half landing drives.
Kyler and Hopkins Eeeeaaaaase Again In: I’ve written concerning the Cardinals—who’re a legit Tremendous Bowl contender—and their merely unprecedented run of excellent bounces in 2021, however Sunday was one thing else. They received 4 interceptions, two that bounced off a receiver’s palms, one deflected on the line of scrimmage and one other on a display move. It resulted in landing drives of 28, 15 and 12 yards, plus a field-goal drive of 21 yards. They solely had one sustained scoring drive, however between the turnovers and Matt Nagy basically surrendering with a fourth-and-short punt on the finish of the primary half, there was no want for them to place collectively any sustained drives.
Gerald Everett’s Horrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Unhealthy Day: He misplaced a first-quarter fumble, his misplaced a fumble on the 1 on a shovel move within the fourth quarter, and within the third quarter he pulled this one off. Days aren’t even like this in Australia:
The Vikings Can’t Get Out of Their Personal Means: It’s a very good staff—it truly is, simply one of many seven finest within the NFC—but it surely’s additionally a staff that persistently performs up or all the way down to the extent of its opponent. They sleep-walked by way of the primary half in Detroit, recognizing the Lions a 14-point lead. They went 0-for-3 on two-point conversions (and now sit at 1-for-7 on the yr). And so they’ve now misplaced to the Lions and to the Cooper Rush-led Cowboys.
Xavier Woods and Cam Dantzler on the Recreation-Winner, Yeesh: Possibly a salute to the delicate, terrible protection that led to the game-losing play for the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, however the Vikings can’t have two defensive backs on the identical facet of the sector with their heels on the objective line towards Jared Goff and this Lions receiving corps. Dantzler no less than has to fret about Amon-Ra St. Brown breaking the route exterior, although there’s not almost sufficient urgency figuring out that Goff in all probability received’t be extending the play. Woods is simply fully misplaced, basically making it a 10-man protection. However, when unsure, make Goff in some way drop one in over your head on the again line, or throw a frozen rope to the boundary. If that occurs, so be it.
A Very Meek Matt Nagy: In a jaw-dropping occasion of waving the white flag earlier than, the Bears have been going through fourth-and-2 on the Bears’ 14 with 81 seconds left within the first half, and after usually steamrolling the Cardinals with the run sport. Nagy selected a draw-them-off-then-punt situation, leaving a chance for factors earlier than halftime on the board.
49ers Select the Unsuitable Week to Shoot Themselves within the Butt: Three giveaways, 10 penalties and a 73-yard faux punt TD allowed in Seattle. It’s an actual good technique to give one away to a not-very-good opponent.
Robert Saleh Loses It, Only a Little: It was a reasonably typical comedy of errors from the officiating crew in East Rutherford, however a phantom defensive move interference that transformed a 3rd down on an Eagles landing drive, adopted by an unbelievable lack of a flag on a blatant penalty towards the Eagles on a third-down throw for Elijah Moore, led to Saleh, knit hat askew, giving it to some striped shirts.(*13*)
Taylor Heinicke’s Fourth Quarter of Yikes: Granted, he’s not alleged to be carrying this staff to wins, however he threw two of probably the most disastrous passes you’ll see within the NFL. One was intercepted (after your entire Vegas defensive backfield put palms on it), and the second went by way of rookie security Trevon Moehrig’s palms on what ought to have been a game-ending interception. However Moehrig dropped it, the drive continued (with a bubble display and a run play), and Brian Johnson hit the kick to win it in Vegas.
Defensive Again Ball Expertise Matter: This Trevon Moehrig drop is the distinction between 7–5 and 6–6 for the Raiders.
Jaylen Waddle: Small-Play Risk: Sooner or later, the league workplace must intervene within the matter of this Dolphins offense. Waddle, some of the electrifying big-play threats to come back into the league in years, had 9 catches for 90 yards on Sunday and is averaging 9.9 yards per catch on the yr, as Miami continues to show him into Danny Amendola.
The Unlucky Fingers of Ja’Marr Chase: He’s fairly clearly a famous person, however this one is completely soul-crushing, turning a landing right into a turnover.
Diontae Johnson Wastes a Good One: There are solely so many of those arrows left in Ben Roethlisberger’s quiver, and this one deserved higher than a four-point drop.
Jaguars on the Street: Have been outscored 152–73 over 5 video games. And apparently they’re gonna trip this factor out with City Meyer.
C.J. Mosley’s Lengthy Day: Lengthy tenure with the Jets, actually. However on Sunday, he was a obvious legal responsibility in protection and, extremely, and managed to leap offsides in an apparent fourth-down draw-them-off situation within the third quarter.
They Say the Grinch’s Coronary heart Grew Three Sizes that Day: Nevertheless it was really Joe Burrow’s mangled proper pinky.
Moments We’ll Inform Our Grandkids About
Pressley Harvin Does Punt Magic:
Seahawks Ought to Set up an All-Faux Punt Offense:
What We’ll Be Speaking About This Week
The Bucs’ Resolution With Antonio Brown, Half II: Brown is in Tampa as a result of Bruce Arians parted along with his final shred of dignity so as to appease Tom Brady. After Arians proclaimed “He screws up one time, he’s gone,” because the coverage on the time, will Arians hold his phrase in gentle of Brown’s vaccination-card suspension? Or will Arians concede that he wants Brown as a result of he merely can’t construct a practical offense with merely the best quarterback of all-time, two-All Professional receivers, a top-five offensive line and a Corridor of Fame tight finish?
Panthers Hearth … Joe Brady?: Possibly a bit of unfair while you saddle your offensive coordinator with the worst beginning quarterback in soccer to start out the yr, after which substitute that quarterback with a avenue free agent in November, all behind a bottom-five offensive line, and anticipate it to work. (This smells a bit of just like the Jaguars scapegoating Nathaniel Hackett lower than a yr after he schemed his technique to 45 factors in a playoff sport with Blake Bortles, then watching Hackett emerge as a training star in Inexperienced Bay whereas the Jaguars are actually saddled with City Meyer and Co.)
QB Controversy Brewing in Houston: Will it’s Tyrod Taylor subsequent week? Or Davis Mills? Or me? Otherwise you? Does it matter so long as the group is totally disinterested in profitable video games?
The Miami Scorching-Ish Streak Continues: The offense continues to seem like they’re about to petition to hitch the Solar Belt Convention, however the protection continues to shine. What can you’re taking from a win over the Mike Glennon-led Giants? No a lot. However just like the 4 wins that preceded it, all of them depend the identical as in the event that they’d simply beat the time-traveling ’85 Bears by 4 touchdowns.
The NFC Wild-Card “Race”: An unsightly loss for the Vikings, the 49ers actually give it away in Seattle, Washington outlasts the shorthanded Raiders in Vegas. I dunno. Why don’t we simply say 5 playoff groups within the NFC.
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