Week 13 saw standout performances and some surprises. Here are my winners and losers:
- Kansas City DB Eric Berry: Berry had a pick six and a pick two (two point conversion attempt taken the other way for two) that helped the Chiefs hold off the Atlanta Falcons 29-28. Two years ago, Berry was undergoing treatment for cancer, now he’s come back to become one of the league’s best defensive players. He’s in for a big payday.
- Detroit Lions: Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns. The defense caught three interceptions as the Lions defeated the New Orleans Saints 28-13. Many experts had picked the Saints, so I’m sure that didn’t sit well with the Lions.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns. The defense caught two interceptions as the Steelers defeated the New York Giants 24-14. The Steelers are getting better.
- Oakland Raiders: The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points as they came back and defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-24.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Linebacker Lavonte David’s pick six and safety Keith Tandy’s interception in the end zone helped the Bucs defeat the San Diego Chargers 28-21, don’t look now but the Bucs are now tied for the lead in the NFC South.
- Minnesota Vikings: Despite having the advantage in first downs, time of possession, and total yards, settling for field goals doomed the Vikes in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys 17-15.
- Atlanta Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan throwing a pick six and a pick two late cost the Falcons in their loss to Kansas City.
- Miami Dolphins: Turnovers and being only 4 for 13 on third downs stalled drives for the Dolphins in their loss to the Baltimore Ravens 38-6.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback Carson Wentz’s three interceptions and penalties got the best of the Eagles in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals 32-14.
- Houston Texans: They just couldn’t put together enough scoring drives in the elements in their loss to the Green Bay Packers 21-13.
- San Diego Chargers: Quarterback Phillip Rivers’ pick six was the Chargers’ undoing in their loss to Tampa Bay.
Storylines Going Into Week 14:
An intriguing AFC West match-up as Kansas City hosts Oakland. Another interesting matchup in the AFC South as Houston battles Indy. Washington faces Philadelphia. Denver and Tennessee square off in what could be a playoff elimination game. Seattle plays Green Bay at Lambeau. The New York Giants will try to cool Dallas’ hot streak. Baltimore travels to New England.