NFL Game Recaps: Week 13, 2022




NFL Game Recaps of previous weeks and seasons can be found via links at the bottom of the page.


Bills 24, Patriots 10
  • The Bills came into this game with some concerns about the flu circulating the locker room, but the way these teams played, it appeared as though the Patriots were the squad dealing with an illness. New England made numerous mistakes and couldn’t get off the field, even when it was apparent that the Bills were doing nothing but running the ball.

    Buffalo, meanwhile, took advantage of New England’s incompetence. Josh Allen hit some big plays in the first half, while the team went into a protective shell in the second half. The Bills orchestrated a 9-minute scoring drive with mostly runs. Finally finding the end zone via a Devin Singletary run, the Bills went up 24-7. If that didn’t signal the end of the game, New England’s decision to punt on a fourth-and-7 near midfield on the ensuing drive certainly did.

  • Singletary scored the aforementioned touchdown and ran for 51 yards on 13 carries, but the big story is what James Cook was able to accomplish. Cook was a monster in this game, rushing for 64 yards on 14 carries, while also catching all six of his targets for 41 receiving yards. Cook made some mental mistakes in Detroit on Thanksgiving, but he was terrific in this game. Cook gives the Bills a dynamic threat in the backfield, which they haven’t had in recent years.

  • Allen went 22-of-33 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Allen was robbed on some potential big plays, with a 41-yard Stefon Diggs touchdown being overturned by penalty, and a possible connection to Gabriel Davis being called pass interference. Allen wasn’t as big of a factor as a scrambler with 20 yards on eight runs. His only blunder was losing a fumble when a New England pass rusher easily blew by the backup left tackle, as Dion Dawkins was missed on that occasion.

  • Diggs, to no one’s surprise, was the leading receiver. He caught seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. As mentioned, he was robbed of a second touchdown. Allen’s other score went to Davis (2-15).

  • As for the Patriots, Mac Jones really struggled, and the trouble began when he and Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled an exchange on an early third down. Jones took some bad sacks from a pass rush missing Von Miller, and he was fortunate that a horrible throw of his wasn’t intercepted, as replay review overturned the apparent pick. Jones also took some bad sacks, failed to see open receivers, and spent time yelling at people on the sidelines. He went 22-of-36 for 195 yards and one touchdown. It’s unclear why Bill Belichick didn’t consider benching Jones in favor of Bailey Zappe.

  • Jones’ only touchdown went to special-teamer Marcus Jones, who scored on a blazing-fast 48-yard reception. Otherwise, the Patriots were led in the passing game by Tyquan Thornton (2-31). Jakobi Meyers, who caught three passes for 22 yards, dropped a touchdown because he took a nasty hit to the helmet.

  • Stevenson rushed only 10 times because of the constant deficit, but picked up 54 yards in the process. He also caught six passes for 24 receiving yards, including an amazing, one-handed reception.


  • Redskins 20, Giants 20
  • The Redskins have played much better since Taylor Heinicke replaced Carson Wentz. However, Heinicke has been dying to give games away with some ugly floaters. This cost him against the Vikings, but he hadn’t been punished since. Heinicke nearly paid the price in this game when two other horrible floaters, one of which was nearly hauled in by a diving Giants safety. This, however, was not the problem, as this pass occurred after Heinicke was strip-sacked on the first play of the second half. This set up a Giants touchdown, with New York going up 20-13. This would be the last time either team would score for a while.

    Heinicke made amends for his earlier mistake on a late drive when he converted a fourth down while drifting toward the sideline. He then found Jahan Dotson, who spun out of a tackle to score a 28-yard touchdown to tie the game.

    With neither offense having much success in the second half, it was no surprise that both teams failed to score in overtime. Neither team could venture deep into opposing territory, though the Giants had the best penetration after a Redskins three-and-out that was the result of their utter refusal to block Kayvon Thibodeaux on one play. This set up a 58-yard Graham Gano field goal attempt, which was short, giving these squads an underwhelming tie.

  • Heinicke finished 27-of-41 for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Heinicke did well in the first half and the final drive of regulation, but struggled otherwise in the second half. He’s fortunate that he didn’t commit multiple turnovers. I counted three potential interceptions that were dropped in the second half. He also took a bad sack to move out of field goal range.

  • Terry McLaurin had a monster game, catching eight of his 12 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown, which was a one-handed grab. As mentioned earlier, Dotson also scored impressively. He caught five passes for 54 yards. Curtis Samuel chipped in with six catches for 63 yards.

  • Brian Robinson shouldered most of the workload, getting 21 carries compared to Antonio Gibson’s nine. Robinson rumbled for 96 yards. Both backs caught two passes, with Gibson edging out Robinson in receiving yards, 20-15.

  • Robinson outgained Saquon Barkley, though Barkley had the better fantasy performance because he was able to find the end zone. Barkley rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and he also caught five passes for 18 receiving yards.

  • Daniel Jones was deadly accurate for much of this game, going 25-of-31 for 200 yards and a touchdown. Remarkably, he had just one incompletion until late in regulation, which was a spike to stop the clock. His first real incompletion was a drop by Darius Slayton deep downfield late in the fourth quarter. Jones also thrived as a scrambler, rushing 12 times for 71 yards. His only real gaffe was a lost fumble on one of his runs near midfield.

  • Slayton continued to perform well, aside from the aforementioned drop. He caught six of his eight targets for 90 yards. Isaiah Hodgins was next with five grabs for 44 yards and a touchdown.


  • Vikings 27, Jets 22
  • The Vikings hadn’t achieved an impressive victory in quite some time, but they changed that with a dominating performance of the Jets. Their defense swarmed Mike White and the Jets’ attack, creating two free possessions in the first half via an interception and a turnover on downs, while their offense had great success considering that they were battling a dominant Jets defense. The result was a 20-3 lead just prior to halftime in what was a surprisingly lopsided affair.

    The Jets eventually tightened the margin, but that shouldn’t erase what Minnesota accomplished before it took its foot off the gas. That said, New York was one yard away from taking the lead on the penultimate drive of the game, but the Jets foolishly had White line up in a shotgun formation on third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal at the Minnesota 1-yard line. White lofted a horrible fade on third down, then hit Braxton Berrios for what appeared to be the decisive score on the next play, but Berrios dropped the ball when a Minnesota defender punched it out of his hands. The Jets obtained another possession with less than two minutes remaining, but White’s desperate heave was intercepted in the red zone.

  • White posted some quality fantasy numbers by the end of the afternoon, going 31-of-57 for 369 yards and two interceptions with one rushing score on a sneak. However, almost all of this occurred in garbage time, which turned into a potential improbable comeback by the end. White was just 14-of-26 for 121 yards and a pick at halftime.

  • Garrett Wilson was also able to benefit from garbage time. He had just three receptions for 43 yards in the opening half, but exploded after intermission. He finished with eight grabs for 162 yards. The crazy thing is that Wilson could have enjoyed an even better performance. He was targeted on the penultimate play that finished at the 1-yard line, but the pass was overthrown. White also overthrew Wilson for a potential 70-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter when Wilson broke free from the opposing cornerback. Wilson had a 60-yard completion, which would have been a longer touchdown had his foot not been barely out of bounds.

    Elsewhere in the Jets receiving corps, Corey Davis caught five passes for 85 yards, while Elijah Moore was very inefficient on his six targets, snatching just two of them for seven yards.

  • Zonovan Knight had a strong showing in his first start. He dashed for 90 yards on 15 carries, and he also caught all five of his targets for 28 receiving yards.

  • Knight was able to barely outgain Dalvin Cook, who rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries. Cook scored a touchdown, but was vultured by Alexander Mattison (3-14) later in the game. The Jets had more success defending Cook in the second half, as he was limited to just 30 yards following the break.

  • Kirk Cousins did a solid job of moving the chains, particularly in the first half. The stats may not show it, but Cousins did well when factoring in the strength of the opponent. He went 21-of-35 for 173 yards and a touchdown. He had a clutch 11-yard scramble to convert a third down.

  • To no one’s surprise, Justin Jefferson led the Vikings in receiving. He caught seven of his 11 targets for 45 yards and a touchdown.


  • Steelers 19, Falcons 16
  • The Steelers have been a different team since T.J. Watt returned from injury. Heading into Week 13, Pittsburgh was 3-1 with Watt this year, with the sole loss being to the Bengals in a game that saw the Steelers enter halftime with a lead. Pittsburgh continued its dominant defensive performances with yet another victory.

    Though the Steelers won by just three points, they led 19-6 in the third quarter. They limited Atlanta to just 143 net yards in the opening half. Marcus Mariota finally engineered some scoring drives late in the afternoon, but Pittsburgh had a great defensive stand in the red zone, then picked off Mariota again when the pressure got to him.

  • Mariota went just 13-of-24 for 167 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He’s fortunate that he wasn’t picked off twice, as a Pittsburgh defender dropped a bad pass of his that was thrown to Drake London.

  • Speaking of London, he had a monster game for the first time in a while. He converted six of his 12 targets for 95 yards. He was the only Falcon with more than 24 receiving yards.

  • Atlanta was at its best running the ball. Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier rushed for 60 and 52 yards, respectively, with Patterson having one more attempt, 11-10.

  • Najee Harris was the leading rusher in this game. He tallied 86 yards on 17 carries despite his status being unclear for most of the week.

  • Kenny Pickett had a solid performance throwing into one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Pickett went 16-of-28 for 197 yards and one touchdown.

  • Pickett primarily targeted just two players: Pat Freiermuth (3-76) and Diontae Johnson (5-60). Johnson appeared to lose a fumble in the second half, but that was overturned by replay. Surprisingly, George Pickens caught only one pass for two yards.


  • Eagles 35, Titans 10
  • The Eagles were supposed to lose this game. Sure, they were favored, but casual bettors recognized that Derrick Henry would run all over them. Sharp gamblers brought the line down from +6.5 to +4.5. Many pundits suggested that the Eagles were in danger of suffering a defeat. And yet, the complete opposite occurred even though it seemed as though the Eagles were doing everything in their power to ensure a Tennessee victory in the early stages of the game.

    Philadelphia was incredibly sloppy to start the afternoon, which makes its blowout victory all that more remarkable. The opening sequence by the offense featured a false start, a wasted timeout, and a delay of game, but despite this, the Eagles scored a touchdown on that possession when Jalen Hurts found DeVonta Smith in the end zone.

    The Eagles continued to make mistakes throughout the first half. They gave the Titans a first down on an offside penalty. An illegal shift wiped out an 11-yard Miles Sanders run. A Jason Kelce hold negated a Hurts scramble for a first down. Despite all of this, however, the Eagles continued to score. Tennessee had absolutely no answer for Hurts or A.J. Brown, who was able to achieve revenge against his former team with a monster game.

    As all of this was going on, the Eagles completely clamped down on the run. Their embarrassed rush defense looked like a stalwart unit with Jordan Davis back on the field, limiting Derrick Henry to just 30 yards on 11 carries. It was a dominant performance that should definitely have silenced all critics.

  • Hurts had a monster afternoon to help his MVP cause, going 29-of-39 for 380 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also scored on the ground once while scrambling five times for 12 rushing yards. Brown, meanwhile, snatched eight of his 10 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He appeared to get hurt on one play, but turned out to be perfectly fine.

  • Brown wasn’t the only dominant Philadelphia receiver. DeVonta Smith had a great game as well, catching five of his eight targets for 102 yards and a touchdown. No one else logged more than 41 receiving yards.

  • Miles Sanders joined in on the touchdown party as well. He needed the score because he was limited to just 24 yards on 10 carries.

  • The leading rusher in this game wasn’t Sanders or Henry, but rather Ryan Tannehill, who scrambled thrice for 34 yards. He was better as a runner than a passer, as he went 14-of-22 for 141 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill hurt his ankle in the second half, but the game had been decided by then.

  • Tannehill’s lone score went to Treylon Burks, who could only catch that 25-yard pass. The problem was that Burks took a nasty shot to the helmet when he secured the reception in the end zone. He was knocked out for the rest of the game.


  • Ravens 10, Broncos 9
  • It was about this time last year when Lamar Jackson suffered an injury, forcing Tyler Huntley to finish the season in his place. History repeated itself, at least for this game, as Jackson was knocked out with a knee injury in the opening quarter, forcing Huntley into action the rest of the way.

    Huntley is a premium backup, but Baltimore’s offense did not have a great showing in this game. Baltimore’s offensive line, missing Ronnie Stanley, could not pass protect whatsoever against the Broncos. Denver’s terrific pressure disrupted most of Baltimore’s drives, regardless of whether Jackson or Huntley was under center.

    Of course, it didn’t help that the Ravens shot themselves in the foot during some crucial moments. Huntley played a mostly clean game, but gave Denver three points when he heaved an interception while trying to throw the ball away. Devin Duvernay was also charged with an interception on a horrible pass into the end zone on a dumb trick play.

    The Ravens didn’t seem like they had much hope when they were down 9-3 with five minutes to go. They were stuck on their own 9-yard line, and were having no offensive success to speak of the entire game. However, Mark Andrews converted a fourth-and-1 on his own 18-yard line when he took a direct snap. An unncessary roughness penalty on the Broncos gave the Ravens a first down near midfield, and then a Patrick Surtain pass interference moved the ball to the Denver 37. Huntley then converted a fourth-and-2 with a 3-yard run, and he followed that up by hitting Kenyan Drake with a 13-yard pass. Huntley ran into the end zone on the very next play for the decisive score.

  • Huntley completed most of his passes, going 27-of-32 for 187 yards and an interception. He also scrambled 10 times for 41 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Ravens are in good hands if Jackson (3-4, 11 yards) is out for a while, but Baltimore’s offensive line must play better.

  • Aside from Huntley, Drake led the Ravens in rushing with 29 yards on seven carries. Gus Edwards (6-12) was even less of a factor.

  • Andrews needed some late-game heroics to be relevant in fantasy. He led the Ravens in receiving, but with four catches for 53 yards, followed by Demarcus Robinson (7-41).

  • Like Huntley, Russell Wilson misfired on just five occasions, albeit with far less volume. He went 17-of-22 for 189 yards, as he had both of his starting receivers on the field at the same time.

  • Despite Jerry Jeudy (4-65) back to join Courtland Sutton, Denver’s leading receiver was rookie tight end Greg Dulcich, who caught six balls for 85 yards. Sutton failed to log a single reception because he was knocked out with a hamstring injury in the second half.

  • Latavius Murray had a nondescript afternoon despite pacing the team in rushing. He gained 47 yards on 17 carries.


  • Browns 27, Texans 14
  • Forty-one points were scored in this game, and yet there was just one offensive touchdown. Furthermore, the Texans lost by double digits, yet were the better team for most of the afternoon. All of this overshadowed Deshaun Watson’s return to action from his 2-year absence.

    Watson came into this game amid controversy, yet was the most unremarkable aspect of this matchup. He barely completed half of his passes, going 12-of-22 for 131 yards and an interception. The pick was terrible, as Watson didn’t see the Houston safety as he took a careless shot into the end zone. Watson also scrambled seven times, but for only 21 rushing yards. This was overshadowed by Watson’s dreadful accuracy, as Watson skipped passes to his receivers all afternoon.

    So, how did Watson come to lead the Browns to 27 points? It was all done by his defense and special teams. The Browns scored their first touchdown on a kickoff return, and then they found the end zone the second time when Kyle Allen fumbled on a sneak out of his own end zone. Allen was also pick-sixed later in the game.

  • It was surprising that neither starting running back had a great rushing performance. Nick Chubb was limited to just 80 yards on 17 carries even though he had one run where he dragged the pile for 18 yards.

    Dameon Pierce, meanwhile, was limited to 73 yards on 18 attempts. Speaking of Pierce, the Texans had a goal-to-go situation at the 1-yard line early in the game, yet failed to run Pierce on any of their four downs. Predictably, the Texans failed to score. Not running Pierce against the league’s worst run defense in such a crucial situation was a huge blunder. Pierce also should have been given the ball when Allen tried to sneak out of his own end zone.

  • Speaking of Allen, he was a miserable 20-of-39 for 201 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He gave the Browns 14 points, which is ideal, given Houston’s quest to clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • With both quarterbacks playing poorly, the two receiving corps failed to achieve much. Amari Cooper reeled in just four of his nine targets for 40 yards, while Nico Collins hauled in just three of his 10 targets for 35 yards, but he at least scored a touchdown in garbage time.


  • Packers 28, Bears 19
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: I can’t believe the Bears didn’t cover. They were winning, tied, or trailing by one the entire game – until the long touchdown by Christian Watson with two minutes remaining. This year has been brutal with bad luck.

  • The Bears looked like they were going to get a win because they outplayed the Packers in the first half and into the third quarter. However, Chicago had some painful missed kicks by Cairo Santos that cost the team some critical points that put Justin Fields in a bad position to try and lead a comeback after Green Bay took the lead in the fourth quarter. Neither team is in the playoff race, so from a draft perspective, the Bears improved their hold on the No. 2 pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, while the Packers didn’t help themselves with a win.

  • Fields led the Bears to the door of the Green Bay red zone on the opening drive, but Chicago settled for a field goal. After a Packers punt, Fields pulled off another highlight-reel run with a 56-yard sprint to the end zone to put the Bears up 10-0. Green Bay answered with a field goal drive. On the ensuing possession, Chicago crossed midfield, but Chase Claypool was stripped of the ball by Rasul Douglas, and Green Bay recovered te loose ball. The Packers, however, went for a fourth-and-8 just past midfield, and Aaron Rodgers threw all the way deep down the field for Randall Cobb in the end zone, but the pass sailed incomplete. On the next play, Fields connected with Equanimeous St. Brown for 56 yards, and David Montgomery soon powered into the end zone from seven yards out to put the Bears up 16-3 after a painful missed extra point. On the final drive of the first half, the Packers went for it on fourth-and-4, and Rodgers threw a bullet to Christian Watson for a 14-yard touchdown to make the score 16-10 at halftime.

    Midway through the third quarter, the Bears started a drive into Green Bay territory, and a 21-yard run from Darrynton Evans set up a first-and-goal. Penalties caused Chicago to go backward, but Cairo Santos hit a field goal to put the Bears up 19-10 entering the fourth quarter. Christian Watson drew a long pass interference to get into Chicago territory, and A.J. Dillon charged into the end zone from 21 yards to make things 19-17 at the start of the fourth quarter.

    The Bears responded with N’Keal Harry, who made an incredible leaping 49-yard catch to get into Green Bay territory. Another Chicago drive stalled, and Cairo Santos had a 40-yard field goal blocked because he it too low. It was a poor kick from Santos, and the Packers took advantage of good field position to put together a field goal drive that put them up 20-19 with 4:49 remaining. If Santos had made his kicks, Chicago would have been up 23-20 instead of down one.

    A couple of completions to Cole Kmet (6-72) got the Bears across midfield, but then Jaire Alexander jumped a route and intercepted Fields. A few plays later, Watson took an end around for a 46-yard touchdown, and a successful two-point conversion put the game away. Fields threw another interception in garbage time to make it the eighth win in a row for the Packers in this historic rivalry.

  • Rodgers completed 18-of-31 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.

  • Dillon led the Packers on the ground, turning 18 carries into 93 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 26 yards. Aaron Jones was dealing with an injury and was held to 26 yards on nine carries alongside five receptions for 24 yards.

  • Allen Lazard (5-67) and Watson (3-48-1, 1-46-1) led Green Bay through the air.

  • Fields completed 20-of-25 passes for 254 yards and two interceptions. He also ran for 71 yards and a touchdown over six carries.

  • Montgomery took 14 rushing attempts into 61 yards and a touchdown.

  • St. Brown led the Bears with three receptions for 85 yards.


  • Lions 40, Jaguars 14
    By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: If only the Lions had won in some of their close games earlier in the year. Maybe I would’ve been right about them going 11-6 after all!

  • This game was pure domination from start to finish for Detroit, which saw its offense score on every possession prior to the victory kneel at the end of the fourth quarter. The improved defense of the Lions limited Trevor Lawrence, but they had an easy job thanks to the offense eating up the clock and not punting at game. If the Lions had pulled out some of those close losses early in the season, they would be a dangerous wild-card contender because their offense is phenomenal.

  • In the opening minute, Travis Etienne fumbled the ball away, which set up Detroit at the Jacksonville 38. Jared Goff used his receivers to get the Lions down to the goal line, and touchdown machine Jamaal Williams plunged into the end zone. The Jaguars responded with a 37-yard completion to Christian Kirk, and that led to a field goal. Detroit quickly scored again, set up by a 41-yard pass to D.J. Chark, and then hit Amon-Ra St. Brown for the short touchdown toss. The Lions offense scored again on their third and fourth possessions, hitting a pair of three-pointers to go up 20-3. A 35-yard pass to Kirk set up a field goal for the Jaguars late in the second quarter, but the Lions tacked on one more field goal to go up 23-6 at the half.

    To open the third quarter, the Detroit offense continued to move the ball at will, approaching the goal line before D’Andre Swift had a superb pair of runs to find pay dirt. That left Detroit up 30-6. The Jaguars went down the field in their hurry-up offense, with Lawrence tossing a short touchdown pass to Evan Engram and then converting the two-point attempt via Jamal Agnew to make it 30-14. The Lions added another field goal to go up 33-14 early in the fourth quarter. Detroit’s offense remained unstoppable, going down the field before Goff tossed another short touchdown pass to St. Brown.

  • Goff was superb completing, 31-of-41 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Williams had 11 carries for 35 yards and a touchdown. Swift ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and made four receptions for 49 yards.

  • St. Brown caught 11 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

  • Lawrence completed 17-of-31 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. He played better than the stats illustrate as his targets dropped a number of passes.

  • Etienne recorded 54 yards on 13 carries.

  • Kirk caught six passes for 104 yards.


  • Seahawks 27, Rams 23
  • The Seahawks were dealing with the flu this week, so they weren’t expected to be at their best in this divisional rivalry. The Rams didn’t want to hear any excuses, however, as they played with a ton of energy even though their season is finished. They treated this game as if it were their Super Bowl, so they almost won their championship when John Wolford led what appeared to be the game-winning drive, as Cam Akers scored a 6-yard touchdown with three minutes remaining.

    Geno Smith hadn’t engineered a game-winning drive since 2014, but he bucked that trend on the ensuing possession. He had to go 75 yards, which he did with 40 seconds to spare. Smith went 6-9 for 55 yards on this final possession, hitting D.K. Metcalf with the game-winning touchdown. Wolford had one more chance, but the Seahawks sacked and intercepted him on the final drive of the game.

  • Smith had a terrific performance, going 28-of-39 for 367 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The pick should have never counted; Bobby Wagner ripped the ball out of a Seattle running back’s hands for the pick, but replay showed that the Seattle back was down by contact. It’s unclear why the officials didn’t negate the interception.

  • Smith threw primarily to his two main receivers. Tyler Lockett hauled in nine of his 12 targets for 128 yards, while Metcalf snatched all eight of his targets for 127 yards. Both scored touchdowns. Smith’s other touchdown went to Noah Fant (4-42).

  • Smith needed a big game because he was getting nothing out of his rushing attack. Kenneth Walker was knocked out after rushing three times for 36 yards. He ripped off a big gain on his first attempt, but pulled up lame at the end of the run. Walker tried to keep playing, but limped after his next two runs, which forced him out of action. Pete Carroll said Walker jammed his ankle, so it’s unclear how much of an issue this will be for the long haul. DeeJay Dallas rushed for 37 yards on 10 carries in relief, but then also got hurt. Tony Jones took over and was far worse, mustering only 14 yards on seven attempts. He dropped two passes as well.

  • Akers was the leading rusher in this game, gaining 60 yards on 17 carries. He also found the end zone twice. Kyren Williams (3-9) was a complete non-factor. He didn’t even catch a pass.

  • Wolford had a great drive on the penultimate Rams possession of the game. Wolford had a mixed performance overall, as he barely completed half of his passes, going 14-of-26 for 178 yards and two interceptions, one of which was a forced, telegraphed pass. He also nearly lost a fumble on a strip-sack, but Tyler Higbee recovered. Wolford, however, had some big moments. He also took a big hit that knocked him out of the game, but he returned after just one play.

  • There’s not much to say about Wolford’s receiving corps. Tutu Atwell led the way with two catches for 48 yards, followed by Brandon Powell (4-39) and Van Jefferson (2-39). Powell had a very shifty run of 20 yards as well.


  • 49ers 33, Dolphins 17
  • The 49ers had a great backup plan for Trey Lance in Jimmy Garoppolo, but they must once again make an adjustment at quarterback. That’s because Garoppolo was diagnosed with a season-ending broken foot after he was carted into the locker room when Miami held a 7-3 lead in the early stages of the afternoon.

    San Francisco is down to its third-string quarterback, Brock Purdy, who was one pick away from being an undrafted rookie free agent. Purdy was chosen with the final selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, but performed well enough during the preseason to earn a roster spot. Purdy was thrust into action in this game and did quite well considering he was battling a Bradley Chubb-enhanced Miami pass defense with no first-team reps during the week.

    Purdy went 25-of-37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception when Xavien Howard made a great play to jump in front of the receiver. Purdy didn’t look like Peyton Manning, or anything, but he was efficient outside of the pick. The 49ers even trusted Purdy to throw on third downs as the team was running out the clock in the fourth quarter. Purdy rewarded Kyle Shanahan with the confidence his coach had in him with some third-down conversions to keep the clock moving.

  • Garoppolo wasn’t the only quarterback who suffered an injury in this game. Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, but the game had been decided by then. Tagovailoa got off to a quick start with a 75-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield on the very first play of the game. Excluding that score, however, Tagovailoa was 17-of-32 for 220 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, as he struggled while battling the 49ers’ elite defense without his two starting tackles.

    The pressure really affected Tagovailoa, especially on the interceptions. The first pick occurred because Tagovailoa was under heavy heat, which forced a pass in which he didn’t see Jimmie Ward. The second was a bad throw behind a wide open Tyreek Hill. Tagovailoa also had a lost fumble returned for a touchdown on a strip-sack when the 49ers had a 26-17 very late in the afternoon.

    Despite all of this, the Dolphins had a chance in the fourth quarter, especially when Tagovailoa hit Mike Gesicki on a fourth down along the sidelines. However, replay review overturned the call, allowing the 49ers to take over on downs and milk the clock.

  • Christian McCaffrey and Hill were the top two offensive play-makers by far in this game. McCaffrey wasn’t a great rusher – 17 carries, 66 yards – but he had a huge performance as a receiver out of the backfield, catching eight of his 10 targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. Hill, meanwhile, overcame his quarterback’s struggles with pressure to catch nine of his 14 targets for 146 yards and a touchdown.

  • Excluding McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel topped the 49ers’ receiving list with six catches for 58 yards, while Brandon Aiyuk hauled in five of his nine targets for 46 yards. George Kittle (2-22) was a big disappointment.

  • Aside from Hill and Sherfield, no other Miami player logged more than 29 receiving yards. This includes Jaylen Waddle, who caught just one pass for nine yards because he suffered a leg injury in the second quarter. Waddle returned to action later, but did nothing after the fact.

  • As expected, the Dolphins got nothing out of their running game versus a defense that ranks No. 1 against opposing backs. Raheem Mostert gained just 30 yards on seven carries, while Jeff Wilson Jr. registered a single carry for just three yards.


  • Bengals 27, Chiefs 24
  • The Chiefs have a rough matchup when it comes to defending Joe Burrow. Kansas City blitzes frequently because it needs to do so to generate pressure on the quarterback. Burrow, however, is so amazing against the blitz that he is the least-blitzed quarterback in the NFL this year. Thus, the Chiefs can either blitz Burrow and pay the price, or not blitz and get no pressure on him. This is why Burrow swept the Chiefs last year, and it’s why Burrow beat them yet again.

    Burrow was masterful in this latest meeting between the budding rivalry between him and Patrick Mahomes. He misfired on just six occasions, going 25-of-31 for 286 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs had no answer for him yet again, as Cincinnati punted only once in this game, which included a converted third-and-11 to Tee Higgins while the Bengals were running out the clock. That conversion clinched the victory for Cincinnati.

    Despite the solid stats, Burrow could have posted better numbers, and Cincinnati should have scored way more than 27 points. This is because of two instances. The first was a failed fourth-down try inside the Kansas City 5-yard line where the Bengals were blown up on an odd Trent Taylor end-around that was stuffed. The second was an apparent Burrow touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd, who dropped the pass despite being wide open.

  • The Chiefs, meanwhile, kept pace with the Bengals, but weren’t as efficient, despite Cincinnati’s two mistakes. A key mistake for the Chiefs was when Travis Kelce lost a fumble around midfield with a 24-20 lead. This set up Burrow’s game-winning touchdown to Chris Evans.

    Part of Kansas City’s inefficiency had to do with drops as well. The Chiefs were guilty of this more often, which is part of the reason why Patrick Mahomes was just 16-of-27 for 223 yards and one touchdown. Another was pressure, as Mahomes saw plenty of it in the backfield. Mahomes at least had a great highlight moment where he skied over defenders while stretching the ball over the goal line, looking like Michael Jordan in the process.

  • The most prominent play-maker for either team was Ja’Marr Chase, who was making his return from a hip injury he suffered several weeks ago. Chase led the Bengals in receiving with seven catches for 97 yards. He made one mistake, which was when he was flagged for offensive pass interference. Boyd (4-60) was next on the stat sheet, while Higgins (3-35) caught a touchdown.

  • Samaje Perine had an excellent performance in relief of the concussed Joe Mixon. He dashed for 106 yards on 21 carries, and he also caught six passes for 49 receiving yards.

  • Isiah Pacheco led the Chiefs in rushing, though not by a large margin. He rumbled for 66 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Jerick McKinnon tallied 51 yards on eight attempts. He also caught a touchdown.

  • Kelce had a down game. In addition to his fumble, he was limited to just four catches for 56 yards. He trailed only Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2-71), who was guilty of a couple of drops.


  • Raiders 27, Chargers 20
  • The Raiders had won two in a row since unexpectedly losing to the Colts in Jeff Saturday’s first game. It looked like that winning streak would be snapped when they trailed 10-0 early as a result of some turnovers. However, the Raiders outscored the Chargers the rest of the way, 27-10, as the Charger defense had no answers for the Raiders’ scoring unit.

    As you might expect, Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams once again accounted for most of the Raiders’ offensive production. Jacobs had a rough start to the game when he lost a fumble, but he rebounded with a terrific performance the rest of the way. The Chargers had severe issues tackling Jacobs, as he gashed them for 144 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

    Adams, meanwhile, hauled in a number of deep passes. He snatched eight of his 12 targets for 177 yard and two touchdowns. Adams was also robbed of an impressive reception on the final offensive drive in which he made a one-handed grab on a pass thrown behind him, but replay review negated the reception.

  • Derek Carr was guilty of one of the aforementioned early turnovers, as he was pick-sixed on a deflection. Carr looked great when connecting with Adams on deep passes, but was mediocre otherwise. He finished 16-of-30 for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

  • The Raiders eventually built a 27-13 lead, as the Chargers became the team guilty of making turnovers. Austin Ekeler was responsible of this when he lost a fumble, allowing the Raiders to establish their first lead of the afternoon. Ekeler ended up with five receptions for 67 yards, though he didn’t have much success running the ball with just 35 rushing yards on 10 carries.

  • Justin Herbert had a mediocre performance, going 28-of-47 for 335 yards and a touchdown. He saw tons of pressure, which disrupted several drives. He made a big play on a fourth-and-12 touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, but failed to score after that.

  • Speaking of Allen, he caught six of his 14 targets for 88 yards and a touchdown. Gerald Everett (5-80) and Joshua Palmer (7-60) also made significant contributions.


  • Cowboys 54, Colts 19
  • Believe it or not, this was not a blowout. The final score says it was, but this was a tight, defensive grinder for three quarters. The Colts scored a touchdown at the end of the third frame and went for two. They failed to convert, which would have tied the game at 21. Instead, they trailed 21-19 heading into the fourth quarter.

    The Cowboys ended up scoring a touchdown to kick off the fourth quarter, thanks to a great move made by CeeDee Lamb to convert a third-and-10. Still, the Colts were down just 28-19 with possession. And that’s when the floodgates opened, as Indianapolis was guilty of a four-turnover fourth quarter. The first was a Jelani Woods lost fumble returned for a touchdown. The second was a Matt Ryan interception. The third was also a Ryan pick where the defensive back snatched the ball away from Ashton Dulin. The fourth was a Ryan strip-sack. All of these give-aways were turned into touchdowns in one way or another, which is why Dallas won 54-19 when it was struggling to put the Colts away for more than three quarters.

  • One such touchdown came via a 30-yard Tony Pollard touchdown. Pollard was as dynamic as ever in this game, rushing for 91 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 carries. Ezekiel Elliott (17-77) also found the end zone, doing so in complete garbage time. Elliott had done nothing for most of the evening, but the Dallas crowd chanted his name on a late drive in which Indianapolis’ defense gave up.

  • Dak Prescott posted decent stats, going 20-of-30 for 170 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The pick was a poorly thrown pass that Stephon Gilmore snatched. Prescott is fortunate that two of his other passes were dropped by Indianapolis defenders.

  • Lamb had an incredible game, catching five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. In addition to picking up that aforementioned third-and-10, Lamb also scored when he was tackled by a Colts defender, yet somehow rolled over without touching the ground. Lamb then sprinted to the end zone for the opening touchdown of the evening.

  • As for the Colts, Ryan had a mixed performance. He connected with his receivers for some downfield shots, but was also guilty of heaving some ugly ducks. He went 21-of-37 for 233 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. His first pick occurred in the opening half when he hurled an ugly pass toward Alec Pierce.

  • Speaking of Pierce, he inexplicably led the Colts in receiving with four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, followed by Parris Campbell (4-43). Michael Pittman Jr. was a massive disappointment with two catches for 16 yards.

  • Jonathan Taylor could have enjoyed a great performance if he had a chance to top the century mark in the fourth quarter. Instead, he was limited to 82 yards on 21 carries. He also caught three balls for 21 receiving yards.


  • Buccaneers 17, Saints 16
  • The Buccaneers looked dead for most of the evening. Following an impressive opening drive that concluded with a field goal, they struggled to move the chains for nearly the entire game. They were outgained through three quarters, and they averaged 3.9 yards per play in the opening half, which paled in comparison to New Orleans’ figure of 6.7.

    The problem for the Buccaneers was that they couldn’t pass protect at all. Tom Brady had no time in the pocket, as New Orleans absolutely dominated the trenches. The Buccaneers couldn’t move the chains whatsoever, constantly going three-and-out. The Saints, meanwhile, built a 16-3 lead by the middle of the fourth quarter and looked poised to win.

    New Orleans had a chance to really milk the clock and put the Buccaneers in a terrible spot, but they inexplicably called for a pass on third-and-1 with five minutes remaining. Andy Dalton threw an incomplete pass into tight coverage instead of handing the ball off to one of his running backs. This gave the Buccaneers two legitimate drives, with the first being aided by a deep pass interference drawn by Mike Evans. Brady hit Cade Otton for a touchdown one play later to draw to within six.

    The Saints once again screwed up on the ensuing drive. Dalton threw again, but this time, he delivered a magnificent pass to Taysom Hill. Keanu Neal, however, hit Hill and dislodged the ball at the last second. Had the catch stood, the game effectively would have been finished. Instead, the Buccaneers had one more chance.

    Brady made the most with that one final opportunity. He connected with Scotty Miller on a third-and-6, then moved into the red zone on a back-shoulder pass to Julio Jones. Brady appeared to hit Chris Godwin for the game-winning touchdown, but a Donovan Smith hold, the second of the night, negated the touchdown. Brady, however, still had time, and he fired a pass to Rachaad White, who ran in for the decisive score. The touchdown stood this time, and Tampa prevailed, 17-16.

  • Brady had a miserable game for three quarters. He was 15-of-23 for 104 yards and an interception in the opening half. However, he finished 36-of-54 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, which was a pass where he didn’t see Demario Davis.

  • Godwin led the Buccaneers with eight catches for 63 yards. Evans was next with four grabs for 59 yards. Otton also had a nice game with six receptions for 28 yards.

  • Both Tampa Bay runners were big parts of the passing game, with White and Leonard Fournette each catching six passes for 32 and 41 yards, respectively. Fournette was better as a runner with 49 yards on 10 carries, while White tallied 28 yards on nine rushes. White also lost a fumble.

  • As for the Saints, Dalton had an overall solid performance, so he can’t be chastised for another horrible primetime performance. Dalton was mostly accurate throughout the evening, going 20-of-28 for 229 yards and a touchdown.

  • Dalton should have posted better numbers, but had to endure three drops. In addition to the Hill play, Jarvis Landry dropped a touchdown, while Chris Olave dropped a deep pass. Olave caught four balls for 65 yards, trailing only Rashid Shaheed, who caught all four of his targets for 75 yards. Hill (2-35) caught Dalton’s sole touchdown. Landry (2-14) was barely a factor.

  • The Saints couldn’t get anything in the running game going, with Alvin Kamara being limited to just 26 yards on 12 carries. Mark Ingram actually outgained him by one yard on five fewer carries.


  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



    Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23


    2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12








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    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog