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Week 13 Open Discussion

Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome to Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season, which ... look, it's a pretty bleak slate. There are only two games this weekend where both teams have winning records: the Cleveland Browns (8-3) at the Tennessee Titans (8-3) in a key battle of AFC playoff contenders, and the L.A. Rams (7-4) at the Arizona Cardinals (6-5) in a critical NFC West battle. Speaking of the NFC West, there is also a matchup of division leaders when the New York Giants (4-7) visit the Seattle Seahawks (8-3). And then things get weird. There's a Monday night doubleheader with the Washington Football Team (4-7) at the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0) and the Buffalo Bills (8-3) at the San Francisco 49ers (5-6). And then there's another game on Tuesday, with the Dallas Cowboys (3-8) at the Baltimore Ravens (6-5). Use this thread to discuss them all. 


119 comments, Last at 11 Dec 2020, 11:46pm

2 Locik of the week

Raiders 33, Jets 16. Adam Gase tries fo settle for 16 due to article this week that scorinf 16 leads to winning  morr often than if score 21. Gets exactly 16 . Very pleased eith himself kn 3rd quarter. Then loses game anyway.

If play fantasy, rhinking H. Renfrow could choice to use. 11 catchse for 113 yards nto unrealistic. Ruggs could habe nice gam too. 

Booker alroght but Jets can play a little vs run. Q. Williams, F. Fatukasi good. More thinking Oakland passing attack is wjat can help you today.

3 Football fans, make your NFC East predictions for week

OK, folks, we have this fabulous slate of games:

NYG at Seattle  (Colt McCoy starting at QB for NYG)

Phil at GB

Wash at Pitt

Dallas at Baltimore

First, imagine if there were a significant home field advantage this year.  Even without much home field advantage:

I'll set the over/under at 0.25 wins this week for the division and take the under at 0, all you need is a tie if you go over.  Any predictions out there?  For those who go over, do any of you go over 1.75 and call for two wins?  

Going with zero is probably mathematically the wrong call but I need to see those updated win total predictions with no wins from this crew.


4 Last min fantasy q

Waffling between Herbert v NE or Kyler v LAR. Dont ask me how I have both. Lean/have Herbert in.

Le sigh

5 Adam Gase irders placekicker…

Adam Gase irders placekicker to miss PAT. Jets 13, Raiders 7

Jets cna kick field goal late r foroptimal pint total of 16. Raiders of coirse will blow right by it

6 Titans fall behind early 17…

Titans fall behind early 17-0, with D.Henry's first fumble in a year giving a short field for Baker's 2nd TD, but show signs of life with Tanny throwing two quick strikes for a deep completion and a TD


AJ Brown just went down awkwardly, though.

8 Baker Mayfield with 250+…

Baker Mayfield with 250+ yards and 4 tds in the first half.  Glad I started him against a suspect Titans D.

9 Browns up 31-7

Which I believe gives them more points scored than allowed for the season.

11 Still a half to play, but at…

In reply to by mathesond

Still a half to play, but at 38-7 they're also not far from swapping places with the Titans and knocking them down into a negative point differential on the season!

10 Holy crap, Baker Mayfield…

Holy crap, Baker Mayfield hasn't had a 300 yard passing game in more than a calendar year but he's up to 252 yards and 4 TDs in the *first half* vs. the Titans.

12 The a priori best looking…

The a priori best looking game in the open window, 8-3 CLE at 8-3 TEN, is not turning out to be as interesting as I hoped.  If it had been a blowout for TEN, I wouldn't have been surprised.  This CLE blowout I did not see coming.

16 TEN trying to slowly inch…

TEN trying to slowly inch back into the game.  A 4th & 4 1st down TEN catch, ruled incomplete, under review and probably to be overturned.


INT right after squelches that TEN drive. 3rd quarter ends with a Chubb rush.

34 They looked fantastic for…

They looked fantastic for most of this game, on both sides of the ball. I was like wait are the Browns legit? Then they kinda fell apart in the 4th and stuff got crazy, but they couldn't quite give the game away and I saw what's still holding them back.

14 Trubisky, as per usual, is…

Trubisky, as per usual, is shredding the Lions defense.  I feel like the Lions should sign him next year so they never have to play against him again.

18 Surprised TEN didn't go for…

Surprised TEN didn't go for it on 4th & 12, down 20, given they converted a 4th & 4 just before, and converted the previous 4th & very long, albeit via penalty. 

19 Colts were leading 24-20…

Colts were leading 24-20 with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. 4th and 1 at the Texans 5 yard line. They go for it and fail, but three plays later sack Watson for a safety. 

I know Reich is big on going for it on fourth down, but I can’t imagine there are a lot of coaches who would skip the chance to go up 7 points midway through the fourth. 

21 After a number of penalties…

After a number of penalties on the Colts (including holding on the free kick return), they have to punt it away to the Texans with 2:50 left. Texans used all of their timeouts, but the difference between being up 6 or 7 is huge now. 

28 Holy crap!

Crazy ending. Bad snap by the Texans and the Colts recover. That’s got to be gut wrenching for the Texans and their fans.

Colts out score the Texans 2-0 in the second half. 

20 Funny play in the ATL-NO…

Funny play in the ATL-NO game.  ATL RB (Smith?) gains 9-yards on 1st down, then gets near-KO'd and the ball comes out.  Replay, however, shows he controlled the ball to the ground, and it was the ground that caused the fumble.  Call on the field was a fumble, recovered by ATL 2 yards back.  

Had NO recovered, it would have been reviewed and overturned and ATL would have had 2nd-and-1.  Because ATL recovered, however, there was no auto-review, and ATL couldn't/wouldn't use a coach's challenge (not sure if they still had one) for the sake of 2 yards.

So, bad play ATL lineman, recovering that loose ball.  You cost your team 2 yards.

25 Only the Jets

Two wide open plays.  Hit on second.  Jets football.   Worst defensive play call imaginable not having 7-8 defenders back there

30 LOL NFL rules silliness. …

LOL NFL rules silliness.  ATL hail mary hits the ground with 0:01 left on the clock.  Refs on the field, however, rule game over.

According to Pereira, replay can only put time back on the clock if there are at least 2 seconds left, not 1.  What kind of clown show comes up with this stuff?


33 Hipefully you did not use…

Hipefully you did not use Booker in fantady. Did say Raiders passinf attacm was way to go. Very tough to gain groudn yardage vs williams and Fatukasi of jets. But sheesh those cofberbacks they have are liek 1976 Buccs of cornerback corpses in NFL thsi seasob. Nwo will sit back with Sierra Nevada six pcak and look at other hames. 

35 Wentz plays terrified

I haven't really seen Philly this year. I know they have a bad oline, but wow. Wentz is running from shadows back there. I've seen QB's get sacked a lot, though generally the issues GB had were just one really bad player on the line. So while Rodgers did occasionally get jumpy it was mostly catching motion from one spot and he would recover. Wentz jumps at everything. Even when he is trying to move in the pocket his body is preparing for the hit. That takes his eyes off the field and just makes the sack more likely.

This is Carr on the expansion Texans bad. The dude is suffering from PTSD back there and he might be ruined. I feel for Eagles fans.

36 Having watched a little bit…

Having watched a little bit earlier this season, but especially since I've seen all of their last 6 quarters, Philly has just about the most broken passing offense I've ever seen.

89 This is Carr on the…

This is Carr on the expansion Texans bad. The dude is suffering from PTSD back there and he might be ruined. I feel for Eagles fans.

I agree.  Watching Wentz this year reminds me of nobody so much as Tony Eason.  He looks the part, says all the right things -- he's feeling great, has plenty of confidence, just needs to perform a bit better, and when the pass rush comes, responds by (in order) pissing down his leg, abandoning the play call, desperately scambling forward for a yard or three, and hitting the turf.

They both even got to the Super Bowl once early in their careers.


Edit:  In fact, it occurs to me that Wentz could very well end up in New England when the Eagles can move on from him.  He'll even be used to throwing to non-NFL-caliber WRs.

45 Jets, sigh

Per ESPN, after the game, team co captain Marcus Maye criticized Gregg Williams' all out blitzes and Derek Carr said he could not believe it when he saw it.  Usually I regard this type of criticism as revisionism, second-guessing, or best kept for later.  However, Williams has a history of blitz or die (see FOA 2020 page 190, where Derek Klassen presents the data while also praising Williams as doing a good job with what he had).  Where a coach's calls are predictable and don't change and the other team exploits that knowledge, that's on the coach, see also Matt Patricia.

Not that I think this is really what happened, because I don't and I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but if the Jets were trying to throw the game without making it appear they were throwing the game, they would not have done anything differently.  And that's a disturbing image for the NFL, esp. for a team in its HQ's market.

57 If the Jets were trying to…

In reply to by Stendhal1

If the Jets were trying to throw the game, waiting until the last 5 seconds was a terrible way to do it. What if the receiver dropped that pass?

83 throwing the game

In reply to by Stendhal1

If the Jets were throwing the game, all they had to do was allow a TD on the previous drive.  It would have been trivial to do so without attracting attention.

Something conspiracy theorists need to take into consideration is that people will generally take a simple path to a goal instead of an insanely suspicious and complicated path.

What happened in this game is Gregg Williams made a terrible play call.  Gregg Williams is a bit of a blockhead, and that's been known in the NFL for years.  That's why he's gone from the Oilers/Titans to the Bills to the Redskins to the Jaguars to the Saints to the Rams back to the Titans back to the Rams and then the Browns and now the Jets.  Maybe what he was doing was innovative twenty years ago, but by now everybody in the NFL knows what he does and he doesn't get the results any longer.  

NY Post is calling for him to resign.  Just a terrible play call.  Really the only call that could have lost the game then and there like that.  Compare what he called to what respected defensive coaches call.  The Pats or Steelers or Ravens or any winning team would have a 3-man rush and everybody back in coverage.  The Raiders have some fast receivers and so the one and only thing you have to do is keep them out of the end zone.  What did Williams do?  He blitzed the kitchen sink and left some poor rookie UDFA in single coverage with Henry Ruggs, who ran a 4.27 40 and might be the fastest guy in the NFL.  It's an assignment that is begging for failure.  

84 Something conspiracy…

In reply to by RickD

Something conspiracy theorists need to take into consideration is that people will generally take a simple path to a goal instead of an insanely suspicious and complicated path.

But if the Jets made good decisions, they wouldn't be the Jets.

90 I enjoyed the argument that…

I enjoyed the argument that conspiracies benefit from both Occam's Razor and wisdom of the crowds.


It both makes sense and is ridiculous on its face at the same time. It must be a conspiracy of statisticians.

40 Adams got away with it on TD 400

I wondered about how the players twisted on that TD, then I come back from the bathroom and see that replay and yeah that shouldn't have been Rodger's 400th TD pass.

41 Eagles finally did it

Hurts is the QB for more than a few plays.

First play was dot to Reagor and now a TD to Ward!

42 I don't want to be too…

I don't want to be too unfair to Wentz, because the Eagles OL is not good, but watching Hurts, a rookie, come into the game and have little trouble competently navigating the pocket just makes me feel bad for Carson. He needs to go to QB rehab or something to get his mind straight.

43 There's the Packers special teams I'm used to

They had been close to OK most of the year, but there we are, letting the Eagles right back in. And Hurts isn't playing scared in the pocket like Wentz was. This isn't over...

52 Aaron Jones claims otherwise

Aaron Jones decided he was going to make sure no one snuck back into this one. Took advantage of all the motion earlier giving a good hole, then broke a few tackles, then took advantage of MVS's best play of the game by getting in the way of a couple of people and slowing them enough that Bakhtiari could get downfield and help out too. Crazy fun 77 yard TD run.

44 Jalen Hurts is stuck with…

Jalen Hurts is stuck with the same crap line and receivers as Wentz, and it shows, but unlike the starting QB, he's been able to do some things despite it. On 4th and 8 in Packers territory, he hit the receiver for a 1st down, but it's ruled OPI. So on 4th and 18 he throws a real pretty TD.

He hasn't been amazing, but the difference from Wentz's recent performance is day and night (to be fair, I wasn't able to see anything today before Hurts took over, but Wentz obviously didn't do well today either).

And uh oh, after the TD their defense forces the Packers to punt, and the Eagles return it for a TD. Suddenly it's 23-16 (missed XP) with 6:30 in the 4th.

46 Am also watching Rams-Cards,…

Am also watching Rams-Cards, and Arizona briefly made it interesting, but there's been a bit of a Murray Meltdown in the 4th - lost fumble giving LA a short field, then a pick-six - and it's now a Rams blowout.

The Rams are in the driver's seat in the division - if they win out, they win the division. And unless Wilson pulls off a miracle against the Giants (!) in the final minute, they'll in fact have a nice bit of breathing room to work with.

50 No miracle - Giants complete…

No miracle - Giants complete a pretty big upset. And for all the (well-deserved) talk about how crappy the NFC East is, they are 5-7, which isn't a terrible record. They could even hypothetically finish over .500!

Joe Judge hasn't been talked about too much this year, but I'm getting a Flores-in-2019 feeling, where he's managing a non-terrible record with a terrible roster (these Giants of course aren't quite as terrible as last year's Fins, who were talked about as being possibly the worst team of all time before their late-season emergence).

So at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves... that might be two solid head coaches from the Belichick tree all of a sudden. And Crennel hasn't been too bad in Houston...

78 A Murray Meltdown???????…

A Murray Meltdown???????

That's the MVP you're talking about, sonny.

And yes the Rams are in the drivers seat, but winning out is a lot harder for them then the Hawks, who have a cupcake three games, then the Rams. The Rams have the Hawks, Cards again, Patriots, and the team Trevor Lawrence will play for.

Having said all that, things look a whole lot better for them after this week than before, although I still question whether being the #2 or #3 seed is really all that much better than being the #5 seed and playing the NFCE winner.

48 Haven't seen the game, but,…

Haven't seen the game, but, uh, the Pats are winning 45-0? Beating the Chargers isn't a huge surprise, but putting up 45 is. And there are still 6 minutes left in the game! Looks like 2 special teams TDs, but that's still 31 by an offense designed to be non-explosive, against a theoretically-competent defense. And there's been a Jarrett Stidham sighting, as they get him some rest in garbage time (and he delivers with a 38-yard TD).

53 Look at stats crazy game

Newton threw for 69 yards!!   In addition to two special teams TD, NE got a 61 yd punt return.  Also an INT deep in Charger territory.  So that is 28 points with about 50 yards of offense and little clock used. NE efficiently used their under 300 yards to finish those two drives and score 17 other points. They drove the field off the opening kickoff.  Overall the game is inexplicable.

55 Meyers alone dropped well…

Meyers alone dropped well thrown balls that would have doubled Newton's passing yards.  Honestly, I credit Newton for getting even that much pass yardage out of that cabal of suckitude dressed as the Pats' receiving corps.

49 Goodbye, content

Just getting a free trial and stopping by to say that now that everything's behind a paywall the site is dead to me.

51 Justin Herbert had his first…

Justin Herbert had his first disaster game: 26/53, 209 yards, no TDs, 2 picks, 3 sacks for 21 yards. Against the #30 pass defense! I'm guessing that's at least -250 DYAR, if not -300.

73 Yeah, but Belichick

Yeah, but Belichick still pwns rookie QBs.  I benched Herbert this week even against the terrible NE past defense.  Also, Gilmore was out for a bit but has been back the last couple weeks. 

54 This is your regular…

This is your regular reminder that Belichick versus rookie QBs rarely goes well for the first year passer.

Murray Jr. looked good for the Chargers.  The list of other Chargers who looked good were ... actually, Murray Jr. was it.

Have to assume that was it for Lynn.  Yeah, Belichick's D bamboozled Herbert, but no part of the Chargers organization looked ready to play today.

56 How many times have…

How many times have receivers caught TD passes without realizing it? Tyreek Hill pushes the boundaries yet again.

60 Is the NFC Simply The Saints and the Packers?

Seattle alternates between horrific defense and, once they get that figured out, mistake-laden or poor offense. The Rams bounce back and forth offensively. So do the Bucs. Maybe the NFC's two best teams are a combination of Dennis Green and Bill Parcells-- who we thought they were and what the record actually shows. The Packers have the better offense, the Saints the better defense-- GB won the game (in NO) between them, but it was early and no Michael Thomas. One of these two-- probably determined by their AFC games (Tenn for GB; KC for NO-- both home) is going to get a week off and will only have to win twice to get to the SB. While fan presence is still minimal, they, along with SEA, have the most distinctive and-- perhaps-- imposing home field advantage. If there is such a thing this season. GB's special teams are borderline horrible-- but their defense is showing improvement, particularly the pass rush, and Rodgers is having a MVP season, whether Mahomes wins it or not. 

77 I have full faith that the…

I have full faith that the Packers will lose (at least) one to Detroit or Chicago, so they'd need New Orleans to lose twice - to KC presumably, and to either Minnesota or a bad-but-feisty Panthers squad in Week 17. Not unthinkable, but I'm gonna just go ahead and pencil the Saints in for the round 1 bye.

80 Huh?

Butker did indeed make it a 6 point lead. You're talking about the Chiefs not going for 2, right? They weren't guaranteed anymore points (if anything taking that last FG was the wrong decision, not the one PAT that put them up by a FG).

~50% chance of not getting 2 and that'd put them only up 2, which a DEN FG puts them down automatically. On the flip side going up 4 just allows the Broncos to stay aggressive instead of trying to balance a chance at a FG with getting a TD, which ultimately is scarier when they're taking nothing but shots at the end zone which, if completed, again puts them automatically down (by 2, maybe even 3 or 4).

Don't think the Chiefs made the wrong decision going for the PAT.

64 I ll agree on Rodgers and Mahomes/NFC wide open

Clearly a two horse race for MVP.   I’d respect a vote for either.

Since the playoffs are a series of one game seasons, any playoff team may come out of the NFC except the east winner.

Going on extremes in playoffs:

1.  Of the 12 teams that have made the playoffs that were 8-8 or worse, they went 6-6 in first round.   None of the teams won two playoff games.

2.  No team winning 15 or 16 regular season games has won a Super Bowl.



87 Except that one thing Lock…

Except that one thing Lock has been this season is comfortable in the role of mad bomber.  I agree, the DEN offense didn't look last night like it could move the ball and score quickly last night, but Lock has a big arm, and I was half-expecting a few long throws drawing a DPI and giving DEN a shot at the end zone.

Turned out I was wrong.

91 Can't help but feel that the…

Can't help but feel that the loss of Courtland Sutton was big for Denver - he had shown himself to be very good at going up for the contested balls deep down the sideline, and Lock does seem to like throwing that kind of ball. Jeudy looks like he could be a good WR, but he is the smaller, shiftier type. Nice to see Patrick having a good year, but I suspect he might be somewhere else next season, with Sutton likely to be taking that position back again. Hamler has also looked a functional NFL receiver.

I've no idea if Lock can be a successful starting NFL QB, but if the Broncos can firm up the OL (especially RT) then if he can't succeed with Sutton, Jeudy, Hamler and Fant he is probably not going to succeed anywhere (not saying there aren't better combos, just that Denver have at the very least a viable, young, player at all the catching positions).

94 replay review

Man, NFL officials suck.  How do they miss that first down by Washington live, much less miss it both live and with replay?  

Fox carefully shows two views that are synched, one of which shows Thomas still in bounds, and the other which shows the football clearly extended beyond the first down marker.

The NFL just isn't serious about officiating.

119 Except that's not the rule...

In reply to by RickD

The spot is supposed to be where the ball crossed the out of bounds plane.  You can think of it like all the end zone plays where the ball has to cross the end zone plane inside (or touching) the pylon.  I noticed they didn't bring in their expert official, but I think he could have clarified that FOX wasn't showing the views for the correct decision point.

95 Pittsburgh offensive diversity

Forget the dink and dunk, Pittsburgh has 3 plays, throw short, throw medium, throw long.  13 straight pass plays.  If Roethlisberger is on a pitch count he will need a reliever.  On the other side, Alex Smith has yet to throw a pass past the line to gain.

Washington's best play:  Pittsburgh roughed the kicker on a punt.

96 chase young

Great play stuffing Steelers on 4th and goal.

Feels like coaches getting too emotional there.  Take the FG and get 10 points ahead.  No need to be chasing TDs vs Washington.  

97 I've watched the Steelers…

I've watched the Steelers play against the Cowboys, Ravens last week, and now this game. Based on just these three games you wouldn't think Pittsburgh was even an average team, much less undefeated.

98 The 5th time is the charm

After the defensive holding bails out Wash on 4th and goal at the 1, they score.  5 th attempt from the 1 and it works.

99 That was so blatant, I…

That was so blatant, I almost think TJ Watt figured that guy would score easily if he didn't hold and figured it was worth the gamble.

I tuned in late but Pittsburgh has not been impressive on either side of the ball from what I've seen. They let Football Team march right down the field, and their offense can't catch, but doesn't run either.

101 Steelers teetering against a…

Steelers teetering against a team three games under .500... Maybe it really is just the games I've happened to watch, but boy does this Pittsburgh team not look like an 11-0 team.

106 Near the basement for 11-0 team

Aaron on Twitter has Pittsburgh as the 17th team by DVOA of the 18 ever 11-0 teams.

The question is how many teams have been better through 11 games than this year’s Steelers.  Many, I am sure, this years Saints and the 16 others on Aaron’s list are a start.

102 Again 5 wide on 4th and 1

This failed last week against the Ravens.   I cant believe this team will let you know that they are throwing on 4th and 1 yet they are undefeated.

103 On a day when PIT's…

On a day when PIT's receivers, and many of WAS's, can't catch the ball with two hands, Sims may have just won the game for WAS with a great one-handed snag.

Edit: Just to show that catch was, in fact, a fluke, Sims proceeds to drop the next two passes that hit him in both hands, but the kicker bails him out with a long FG.

104 Now Pittsburgh is REALLY…

Now Pittsburgh is REALLY teetering. They need a turnover, a missed FG, or, barring that, a TD drive with well under a minute to go.

107 And they are now the…

And they are now the defeated Pittsburgh Steelers. There's a certain irony that it happened on a rare non-dropped catch by Ebron.

109 To be fair to the Steelers,…

To be fair to the Steelers, I'd somehow forgotten until just now that they're on a short week, having just played last Wednesday. Washington had an extra-long week, having last played on Thanksgiving. That's a rough matchup, regardless of the teams' nominal talent levels.

110 Bills-49ers, 9ers go for it…

Bills-49ers, 9ers go for it on 4th and goal but get stuffed. Next play, Zack Moss coughs it up and Aiyuk scores a few plays later.

113 The punt ends this great start

Buffalo drive to 1 turn over on downs

SF drive to 1 turn over on downs

Buffalo lost fumble on 1st play

SF 3 yd TD drive

Buffalo long TD drive


117 *Roger Waters voice* Hello?…

*Roger Waters voice* Hello? Is there anybody in here?


Cowboys-Ravens has been kind of wild. Ravens up 10 in the 4th and probably going to win, but that's with Dallas missing 3 FGs. Of course, if they had made those they might not have gone for it on 4th down at the 1 - although that was setup by the refs incorrectly calling incomplete an absolute fluke pick, where the Ravens LB scooped the ball 6 inches off the ground with one knee down right at the back of the endzone.

On the Amazon broadcast, I am loving Hannah Storm tonight. She's been unusually acerbic - I thought maybe she was secretly a frustrated Cowboys fan since most of her ire was directed that way, but then talked about the Atlanta failed onside kick recovery earlier in the season, "That was when they forgot the rules. It was embarrassing, frankly," so she's got plenty of scorn to go around - and it's completely warranted, and coming across with the right amount of humor. Storm-Kremer has been one of my favorite announcing duos since they debuted, and they've reached a new level tonight.

118 i feel amazed...

an astounding range of bangles made of gold, silver, and those embellished with precious stones like diamonds and rubies.