N.F.L. Week 13: What We Learned

Lamar Jackson powered the Ravens past the 49ers, the Patriots were upset by the Texans, and several of the N.F.L.’s basement dwellers enjoyed a day in the sun.

Comments: 33

  1. Who were those guys from Miami? Holy mackerel, did they play an incredible game against the Eagles. The cherry on top was Jason Sanders' amazing and awesome day with that 51-yard field goal AND touchdown. Those Dolphins played like the champs many assumed they weren't. And finally the Packers once again played like Packers, especially on that cold, icy, snowy field.

  2. Of course, Lamar Jackson is super fun to watch, but does anybody believe that even in this day of rule changes to minimize season-ending or career-ending injuries to QBs that some 300 pounder is not going to (let's hope - without head-hunting!) mess up a knee or an ankle in precisely that way?! There's no doubt that all of our major sports KNOW that viewership is king. If pitchers somehow depress batting averages and/or slugging numbers noticeably, the mound will be lowered or there would be some other "tweak." NBA fans seem to love 3-pointers, so the game's rules have evolved to yield hundreds more of them every season. But Lamar is - I say with no small regret - like a bright comet! Enjoy his flashes of brilliance, and expect that a few teams will prize "mobility" more for a couple of years.... Just don't feign shock when the reality that the players - still very much skin and bone and muscle and ligaments - who go way beyond the occasional keep-and-slide when they "steal" a first down on 3rd and 8 - will have short careers. Whatever else you can say about Brady at 42, he's been part of a system that swims WITH the tide, rather than across or against it.

  3. After the Pats' loss to Houston, Brady remarked about the 4-5 hour flight from Houston to Boston being "long" and that they would "try" to be prepared for their home game next Sunday against the Chiefs. In other words, Brady sounded as if he was already making excuses for a loss next week. At 42 and 12 games into a long season of being sacked, chased and knocked down, he sounded as beat up as he starting to look.

  4. @Dan88 Maybe if his receivers, other than Edelman of course, actually did their job, ran the correct routes and then caught the ball when thrown to them, Brady wouldn't sound so defeated. These are passes and routes that were second nature for Hogan, Amendola and Gronkowski.

  5. The Patriots need to stop complaining and change things up. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. With the personnel they have, running the ball every first and second down is not working - stop it already. Passing is problematic with the plays being called, change things up. And if you really don't have any good receivers, then get one. Yes the offensive line is weak, means you have to react faster. Yes the receivers are inexperienced, focus on fewer plays that can be well executed. You can't keep using the old model of play when the pieces don't fit...

  6. Too bad the Patriots lost to the Texans. I was hoping New England would have defeated Houston, putting another one in the loss column, to straighten Tennessee's, which has brilliantly won its last three games, position in the conference.

  7. The Packers won. More football in the snow. Go Pack!

  8. That bit of New England rot is a delicious smell.

  9. No mention of the Bills serving up Cowboy for Thanksgiving dinner?

  10. @Collin Was about to make the same comment. Amazing!

  11. "The previously hot (4-8) Jets"? Exactly what season are you referring to?

  12. It's December and Jets fans know what that means: Loss-Loss-Loss-Loss-Loss. Why do the Jets, year after year, do the same things? 24 years ago, they hired Rich Kotite after he was fired by Philadelphia having come in 4th in the NFC East in the 1994 season. What happens? Over 2 seasons, he goes 4-28 and fires himself. What else do the Jets do? Hire Michael Vick, the dog killer which then puts a curse on them. And the we hire Adam Gase - he who was fired from Miami.... from MIAMI. If he couldn't do it in Miami, why did the Jets hire him? The Jets are a perfect example of the Peter Principle for NFL Owners: Woody Johnson is incompetent. If the Jets are ever going to be respectable again, he needs to sell the team because he is the #1 problem. Woody's removal from the Jets family is the last key to undoing The Curse of the Dog Killer (With the approval of Woody, former GM John Idzik and former coach Rex Ryan signed Vick. All are gone now except Woody - the ultimate man responsible.) Once Woody is gone, the Jets can rebuild with a clean soul. As for the Patriots, they lost "the eye of the tiger" this season. After the embarrassing loss to the Eagles in the Super Bowl 2 years ago, they got it back. This year, with the loss of Gronk, they lost it again and may never get it back. I hope they recover next season.

  13. @VJR And how do you get Woody gone? And if that works can you use the same method on the Dolans? My guess is you have to get lucky a la the Dodgers when McCourt's using the team as his personal ATM machine was just too much for even a professional sports league to take. Good luck, pal (but don't give up your fantasies...)

  14. I spent yesterday afternoon in uptown Charlotte at Bank of America stadium, watching a completely impotent Carolina Panthers offense give up 7 sacks and punt the ball 8 times to a team with 2 wins going in. What a waste of a beautiful 60-degree December 1 afternoon. Now that my wife has marked "go to an NFL game" off her bucket list, I can spend future Sundays in the creek with a fly rod or on the course with a golf club.

  15. As a possibly biased observer, may I suggest that Eli was not the cause of the futility of the Giants over these last few seasons? Football is still a game requiring ability at all 22 positions, and the front office is in charge of filling each of them - or not, as the Giants are demonstrating.

  16. The 49ers/Ravens game was decided by the (Baltimore) officials long before the final whistle. Brady is tired. He's used to perfection, not scrambling amid mistakes to win nonetheless. There's no team spirit in the Patriots anymore - just like America.

  17. @we Tp um, how's that exactly? A phantom pass interference call on Marlon Humphreys led to a Frisco score, then an outrageous no call (despite Harbaugh's challenge) when tight end Mark Andrews was totally mauled, stalled a crucial Ravens drive. If anything officiating was pro 49ers.

  18. @df The defender Jimmie Ward was playing the ball on the PI no-call. And there was a phantom rouging the passer penalty against the Niners as well as a call that was thankfully taken back when Jackson was pushed out of bounds on a run. The refs are best when they call less fouls, not more. But in the end, it balances out.

  19. @we Tp Sorry I missed the real game watching the sorry Eagles (Super Bowl LII winner) lose to the hapless Dolphins. The only savings grace from yesterday was that the Texans (my adopted team) whipped the Patriots

  20. Brady showed his age a bit LAST season. Now, even Edelman is having difficulty catching his inaccurately timed and located passes. Who is QB#2 for the Pats?

  21. The Chargers blew off San Diego in favor of Hollywood's bright lights and movie stars. But, they were always going to be the opening act for the Rams in the new stadium. And the Rams may be rethinking that new partner. The Chargers stunk and have been for a while. While other quarterbacks are on the sidelines talking to their offensive coordinator, Rivers is jawing. Moaning about some call or dropped pass. He's an aging one-trick pony who's tricks are not so good anymore. He showed no enthusiasm yesterday. Just a lot of moping around. San Diego has been getting along just fine without the Chargers. And they way they have been playing reinforces that feeling.

  22. In the Broncos-Chargers game and its last-second defensive pass-interference call: Am I wrong in saying that, if the same play happened except that the player in the receiver's place was the defender and vice versa, there would still have been a defensive pass-interference call, even though the positions were reversed?

  23. The Patriots looked tired and sad, yet even then Brady nearly engineered a 4th quarter comeback, if the onside kick hadn't bounced out of bounds. The 49ers/Ravens game was the most exciting game of the year. I much prefer a defense dogfight over high-scoring shoot-outs with zero defense. And it was rainy to add more uncertainty and drama. The 49ers definitely have the best defense in the league with a punishing, fast defensive line; young, quick linebackers; and an underrated secondary who shut down receivers, prevent big plays, and had a hand in containing the very mobile Lamar Jackson. The Ravens also have a very good defense (though nothing compares to their lights-out 2000 D), and a good offense made great by lightning-in-a-bottle Jackson. He is already showing hints of his future as a pocket passer: he slid on a run, ran out of bounds, and kept himself safe by refusing to take the big hits that eventually hobbled Vick. He sees himself as a passer first; you can tell that from how he looks downfield. He knows a big pass play is more yardage than a big run. He can throw from weird angles (made a great across-the-body throw rolling right). He is fun to watch. And he fumbled only once this season and it was due to a brilliant play by Marcell Harris. Speaking of which, the 49ers have taken next-man-up to the nth degree. Harris came in for injured SS Tartt and immediately forced a fumble and recovered. Would love to see these guys face off again in the Super Bowl.

  24. Y'all got my "Put in Minshew" sign! Nice!

  25. Cry Brady! He’s no longer protected all the time. His receivers don’t receive all the time. Cry, cry baby!

  26. Niners-Raven game was a chess match of a game and if a re-match were to occur, postseason, it could make for a great SB, agreed. Big ifs, but I'd be down for that. The Niners have trouble with mobile, running QB's, but played Jackson fairly well considering his...apparent massive talent. This guy is very impressive. It got boring hearing Collingsworth and Michaels drone on for most of the game about how nobody was stepping up for Brady, how thin his supporting cast is this year. Boo hoo, they're 10-2. Give me a break. If they can't hack the tougher games ahead, they'll be exposed. I wouldn't count 'em out. These mobile young QB's, who can also sling the ball...Murray for Az, Watson, Jackson, Wilson, are extremely dangerous, very hard to defend. Certainly makes for exciting play.

  27. Good game last night with the Texans against the Patriots. I have to finally say it: The Patriots are boring to watch.

  28. Who knew that all the Titans needed to have a 5-1 streak was to bench their once-famous Marcus Mariota? This year is starting to look like late 1999 when the darkhorse Titans began their trail to meeting the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. What have the Patriots been doing with the draft to not have any more players that can score?

  29. The Ravens 49ers game was brilliant on both sides of the ball. Horrible conditions. Excellent play.

  30. Swallow your pride, Kraft & Company, and grab Antonio!!

  31. Russell Wilson = MVP.

  32. Swallow your pride, Kraft & Company, and grab Antonio!!

  33. Sad to see the Eagles go down, become a mediocre team after winning the Super Bowl--was it just two years ago?--and lose to the Dolphins, a team apparently experiencing a rebirth. Just as the NY Rangers were built for that ONE year, 1994, to win the Stanley Cup, which they did and heroically, Eagles under Doug Pedersen were also perhaps built, not for the future, but for the playoff run when they won the Super Bowl.When Carlos Wentz was injured to be replaced by Foles, folks thought they would never win the ultimate prize, but ironically they did better under Nick Foles that they have not done under Wentz. Is Doug Pedersen's job in jeopardy now, even though he is a former winning NFL quarterback himself?Can Eagles come back from 5 and 7 to make playoffs? Doubtful.Love your sports coverage and Benjamin Hoffman is a great writer!