NFL

NFL Monday Morning Round Up – Lions Pounce Late To Stun Vikings

The biggest game of Week 13 comes up tonight as the Patriots and Bills clash in what will likely be the first of two division, and potentially conference, defining games. However, there was still plenty of key action across Sunday to enjoy.

The top teams in the NFC in action all enjoyed good wins and form teams also continued their fine form of late with Miami Dolphins superb form continuing with a 20-9 win over the Giants, their fifth win in a row which has seen them go from a 1-7 team to a 6-7 one.

The Washington Football Team also continued their fine form of late with a narrow win over the Las Vegas Raiders and in the AFC the Chiefs joined the three other divisional leaders on an 8-4 record at the top of their respective group with a solid win over the Denver Broncos in the late game.

Perhaps most impressive this week were the Chargers who thumped the in-form Bengals 41-22 while John Harbaugh raised a few eyebrows with his decision to go for two-points rather than kick a game tying extra point in the Ravens 19-20 loss to the Steelers, a defeat which cost them the number 1 seed spot in the AFC.

Let’s now take a look at how all the games in the NFL finished from Thursday and Sunday.

NFL Results – Week Thirteen So Far

  • Dallas Cowboys (8-4) 27-17 New Orleans Saints (5-7)
  • New York Giants (4-8) 9-20 Miami Dolphins (6-7)
  • Indianapolis Colts (7-6) 31-0 Houston Texans (2-10)
  • Minnesota Vikings (5-7) 27-29 Detroit Lions (1-10-1)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) 33-18 New York Jets (3-9)
  • Arizona Cardinals (10-2) 33-22 Chicago Bears (4-8)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (7-5) 41-22 Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3) 30-17 Atlanta Falcons (5-7)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) 7-37 Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
  • Washington Football Team (6-6) 17-15 Las Vegas Raiders (6-6)
  • Baltimore Ravens (8-4) 19-20 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1)
  • San Francisco 49ers (6-6) 23-30 Seattle Seahawks (4-8)
  • Denver Broncos (6-6) 9-22 Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
  • New England Patriots (8-4) @ Buffalo Bills (7-4) – Monday Night Football
  • Bye Week – Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans

Key Take-Aways From Sunday Night’s NFL Action

Lions Secure First Win With Sensational Last Second Touchdown

Three times this season, the Detroit Lions have suffered a walk-off loss in the last second of a game. Last night, they got their revenge and in doing so, severely dented the Minnesota Vikings hopes of reaching the playoffs.

After the Vikings took the lead late in the game, it looked likely that the Lions would suffer another heart-breaking late loss. However, with just one time out, Jared Goff took his team downfield and on four down and with time expired, he hit Amon-Ra St. Brown on a four-yard touchdown pass to claim the first Lions win in 364 days.

After the horrific school shooting in Oxford just days ago, Lions headcoach Dan Campbell dedicated this win to the victims of the incident, and read the names of those injured or killed in his press conference after the game.

More fittingly, it was the win that the Lions have deserved at times this season, but which had, until last night at least eluded them.

For the Vikings, it is a sobering loss. Unable to stop Goff as he pushed his team downfield late on, the defeat pushes the Vikings into a large cluster of teams around the 5-7 mark and means that their chances of playoff football have taken a big hit.

Cowboys, Bucs, Rams and Cardinals Land Big Wins

Four of the top teams in the NFC all recorded good wins this week to keep themselves in contention in their respective divisions. With the Packers on a bye week, the Cowboys, Bucs, Rams and Cardinals all claimed wins that keep them very much in contention for the playoffs.

In fairness, all four teams had a relatively easy match up this week. The Cowboys faced an out of sorts and injury hit Saints. The Bucs faced the faltering Falcons, the Rams the Jaguars and Cardinals were up against the toothless Chicago Bears.

The Packers were probably not expecting their position to improve any on their bye week and so it proved. Those five teams are very much the pick of the NFC at the moment with the Cardinals in particular looking strong with an NFL-best record of 10-2.

At the moment, the road to the Super Bowl appears to go through Phoenix for those in the NFC, but that could well change over the last few weeks of the season.

49ers Misery Against Seahawks Continues

Just as the Vikings suffered a dent in their playoff hopes, so too the San Francisco 49ers also were dealt a blow as they went down to defeat against the Seattle Seahawks. The ‘niners have lost 16 of their last 18 games against Seattle and have failed to beat them at all in the 2020s.

Despite leading by two at the half, the 49ers could not muster another score, while the Seahawks managed to earn a safety thanks to Carlos Dunlap’s sack of Jimmy Garoppolo and another touchdown which eventually gave them the advantage.

Even so, they needed a tip by Dunlap late in the game to deny the 49ers a chance to tie the game by converting the touchdown.

This was much better by the Seahawks and their second win against an NFC team this year, both wins coming against the 49ers.

Chiefs Move Into Serious Contention In The AFC

Does anybody want to be top seed in the AFC? We’ve seen the Ravens, Bengals, Bills, Patriots and Titans have held the top seed spot, and the top four teams in the conference are now 8-4 on the season. That includes the Kansas City Chiefs, who have won all their last five to move clear in the AFC West.

With signs that both the Chiefs and Patriots, who have won their last six, coming to life it could well be the case that these two teams could have a big say in the division. Of course, the Ravens, Titans and Bills will also feel they have a chance, especially if they can get some of their key players healthy.

However, in a conference which has seen shock after shock all season and which has just a two-win difference between the top ranked Patriots and the 13th ranked Miami Dolphins, literally anything could happen over the last few weeks of the season.

Experience though in these crucial games is key and that is something that the Chiefs have in abundance.

Ravens Stumble In Loss To Steelers

Jon Harbaugh explained his rationale to go for two points to win the game against the Steelers, rather than electing to kick an extra point and take the game into overtime, by stating that he was effectively out of cornerbacks.

Marlon Humphrey was the latest corner to go down injured for the Ravens and it looks a bad one, with Harbaugh confirming that he could be out for a while. Other corners Anthony Averett, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith all missed practice once last week through injury. Marcus Peters and DeShon Elliott are both out for the season already.

Rather than play for longer and lose to the Steelers, Harbaugh leant on the stats and took a gamble to win the game, but one that ultimately failed and means that they are now third seed in the AFC, rather than the top seed.

Next up for the Ravens are the Browns who at 6-6 still hold playoff hopes but the Steelers win means that Pittsburgh are not yet done in what is proving to be a very difficult to predict AFC North battle.

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