Week 13 brought with it more heated encounters than ever before. There was some considerably bad offensive play from many teams throughout Sunday’s offering as we inch ever closer to the conclusion of the regular season.
Mike McCarthy pushed out of Green Bay
An absolute must win on Sunday for the Packers turned into disaster after the Cardinals defeated them 20-17.
Josh Rosen’s 11 of 26 passes completed for 149 yards was enough to earn the victory. Chase Edmunds had a spectacular day with five carries for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers was similarly poor in his performance as he missed multiple open throws. He completed just 31 of 50 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown.
Following the hefty loss, the Packers relieved Mike McCarthy of his position, with offensive coach Joe Philbin assuming the head coaching role.
The writing was on the wall for coach Mike McCarthy and losing to the Cardinals at home was the final straw. He won a Super Bowl, but Green Bay was already plotting to move on. Instead, they made an early call. He’s out and will be very desirable.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 3, 2018
Patriots stop the Vikings
Gillette Stadium played host to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and the Patriots completely shut them down.
Tom Brady threw for 311 yards and a touchdown which was enough to gain the Pats the 24-10 landslide. Jordan Develin’s four carries a further two touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings were fairly poor. Kirk Cousins in particular made too many short throws, as well as coughing up two interceptions. He was also unaided by the run game which felt non-existent.
The Patriots continue their hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs at 9-3, whilst the Vikings fall to 6-5-1 but remain second in the North.
Cohen dominates the Giants
Tarik Cohen shone this week.
Despite the Bears’ 30-27 overtime loss to the Giants, Cohen performed phenomenally. Not only did he compile 30 yards on eight rushes and 156 yards on 12 receptions but he also threw a touchdown pass to force overtime on a trick play. Regardless, his efforts were not enough to seal the win as Aldrick Rosas’ field goal clinched the game for the G-Men.
The loss for the Bears regresses their record to 8-4, however, they remain ahead by two games at the top of the North. Giants improve to 4-8.
Steelers slip up against the Chargers
At one point, the Steelers were ahead 23-7 in a game which looked beyond any reasonable doubt. Yet, the Chargers battled back to steal a 33-30 win at Heinz Field.
Chargers remained relentless. Aided by a few missed calls by the referees, Philip Rivers led his team to victory. He accumulated 299 passing yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he capitalised on the mismatches in the outfield, targeting Keenan Allen continuously for 148 yards and a touchdown.
The loss meant that the Steelers were the only team in contention for the playoffs to lose on Sunday. The Chargers, however, improve to 9-3 on the season and continue to chase the Chiefs for first.
The Denver Broncos have been unlucky thus far in the strength of competition they’ve faced this year. The Bengals proved to be a lesser challenge for the team as they dominated 10-24.
Phillip Lindsay was otherworldly as he rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on just 19 attempts. His blistering pace helped establish the pass game for Case Keemun who had 151 yards and a touchdown.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) December 2, 2018
The Bengals, with Jeff Driskel under centre, were fairly miserable. He had just one touchdown and 236 yards but failed to convert in the red zone on numerous occasions.
The loss all but ends the Bengals’ push for the playoffs. Broncos make it three wins from three as they move to 6-6.
Cowboys crush the Saints
Unbelievably, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the New Orleans Saints 13-10 in another monster defensive performance.
The Cowboys managed the clock exceptionally well as the defence forced five stoppages of the Saints’ possessions. Jourdan Lewis also added an interception.
The Cowboys stretch their lead above the rest in the NFC East at 7-5. The Saints falter to 10-2 which makes their record the second best in the National Football League.