NFL Week 13 grades: Cowboys earn an ‘A+’ for routing Colts, Eagles get an ‘A+’ for destroying Titans –

With a strong slate of games in Week 13, things were expected to get crazy and that’s exactly what happened. 

In Cincinnati, the AFC showdown between the Bengals and the Chiefs went down to the wire before ending in a 27-24 loss for Kansas City. The Bengals’ win means that Joe Burrow is now 3-0 in his career against Patrick Mahomes

In New York, the Commanders and Giants gave us the second tie of the NFL season, marking the first time since 2018 that we’ve seen two ties happen in the same year. In a twist, this was the Giants’ first tie since 1997 when they also tied Washington. For the Commanders, this was their first tie since 2016 when they tied the Bengals in London. 

In Houston, Deshaun Watson returned to the field for the first time in 700 days and recorded possibly the most bizarre win of his career. Although the Browns handily won 27-14, they didn’t score a single offensive touchdown, giving them the most points in a game by a team without an offensive TD since 1999. 

So what kind of grade do you get when your team doesn’t score an offensive touchdown? Let’s get to the Week 13 grades and find out. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Bills‘ win over the Patriots that was played Thursday, be sure to click here.

Cleveland 27-14 over Houston

Browns-Texans grades by Garrett Podell (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Washington 20-20 tie against N.Y. Giants

Commanders-Giants grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Pittsburgh 19-16 over Atlanta

Steelers-Falcons grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Green Bay 28-19 over Chicago

Packers-Bears grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Detroit 40-14 over Jacksonville 

This game turned into a shootout, but someone forgot to tell the Jaguars that, because their offense didn’t show up. The Jags fumbled on their opening drive and things didn’t get much better after that. Trevor Lawrence was erratic (17 of 31) in a game that he had to leave briefly after taking a huge hit in the first half. As bad as the Jags were on offense, their defense was worse. They were horrible in the red zone and they didn’t force the Lions to punt a single time in the game. 
When the Lions offense is clicking, it’s one of the most exciting units in the NFL and it was clicking on Sunday. The Lions were so good on offense that they didn’t punt a single time against Jacksonville. Jared Goff was on fired, throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns, which both went to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished with 11 catches for 114 yards. With four wins in their past five games, the Lions are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL and if they keep winning, they might soon enter the NFC wild card conversation. 

Jaguars-Lions grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Baltimore 10-9 over Denver

This game was pretty much the story of Denver’s season: Their defense and special teams both gave ‘A’ performances, but their offense did nothing. The defense forced two turnovers while holding the Ravens to just 285 yards and 10 points, but that wasn’t enough because the offense couldn’t move the ball. Denver didn’t reach the red zone a single time in a game where the Broncos never came close to scoring a TD. 
The Ravens offense has been in a rut for the past few weeks and that rut continued against Denver. Lamar Jackson left the game with an injury in the second quarter, but even when he was in, the Ravens offense struggled with three punts on his three possessions. The good news for the Ravens is that the offense finally showed signs of life late in the fourth quarter when Tyler Huntler engineered a game-winning scoring drive that was capped by his TD with just 28 seconds left. The win means the Ravens are still in first place in the AFC North, but right now, everyone in Baltimore is going to be holding their breath until we know more about Jackson’s knee injury. 

Broncos-Ravens grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Minnesota 27-22 over N.Y. Jets

Jets-Vikings grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Philadelphia 35-10 over Tennessee

Titans-Eagles grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let her know on Twitter.)

Seattle 27-23 over L.A. Rams

This game could have turned into an upset loss, but Geno Smith played the game of his life to keep that from happening. The Seahawks QB took several big hits and he got beat up, but he still managed to throw for a career-high 367 yards along with three touchdowns, including a game-winning TD that came with just 36 seconds left. If Smith keeps playing like this, there’s no reason that the Seahawks (7-5) can’t steal one of the final wild-card spots in the NFC. That being said, one huge concern for Seattle continues to be its defense, which couldn’t even stop a Rams’ offense that was missing several key starters.    
With Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford both out, the Rams could have waved the white flag on the season, but instead, they nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of Week 13. The Rams rushing attack finally showed, with L.A. going for a season-high 171 yards on the ground to lead a surprisingly successful Rams offense. The Rams defense struggled at times, but it did also come up with multiple big plays, including four sacks and two turnovers, to help keep the Rams in the game. The loss guarantees the 3-9 Rams a losing season, guaranteeing that they’ll become the first defending champion since the 1999 Broncos to finish the season with a losing record. 

Seahawks-Rams grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Las Vegas 27-20 over L.A. Chargers

If Brandon Staley wasn’t yet on the hot seat, he might be after losing this game where the Chargers blew a 10-0 lead. Staley is a defensive-minded coach, so it definitely doesn’t reflect well on him when two of the other team’s biggest stars — Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams — absolutely torch his defense. Also, the Chargers had a nightmare second half that included a lost fumble, a missed field goal and a failed fourth down from the Raiders‘ 42-yard line with under three minutes left. It feels like the Chargers (6-6) have way too much talent to be a .500 team, but that’s exactly what they are with just five games left in the season. 
The Raiders (5-7) had an ugly first quarter that included two punts, a lost fumble and a pick-six thrown by Derek Carr, but once they got all of that out of their system, they absolutely dominated the game. Josh Jacobs played the role of a human wrecking ball while steamrolling through the Chargers defense for 144 yards. Davante Adams was just as good, catching eight passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Chandler Jones also finally had a breakout game with the Raiders as he racked up three of their five sacks. If the Raiders had been playing like this all season, they would be in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt, but instead, they’re barely on the fringes at 5-7. The Raiders are a dangerous team that has now won three in a row and although they might not be able to sneak back in the playoff race, they could end up playing spoiler down the stretch. 

Chargers-Raiders grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Cincinnati 27-24 over Kansas City

Credit Kansas City for rallying to take the lead after falling in an early 11-point hole. But the Chiefs weren’t able to put the game away after stealing momentum late in the first half and keeping it until midway through the fourth quarter. One big issue for the Chiefs offense was that the Bengals had a lot of success containing Travis Kelce while limiting the impact of Kansas City’s other skill players. Defensively, the Chiefs’ inability to make the Bengals one dimensional proved costly.
Cincinnati didn’t need an ‘A’ game to beat the Chiefs, which says a lot about how well the Bengals are playing right now. They overcame two big miscues by coming up with several big plays of their own. The Bengals got big plays on both sides of the ball. The biggest play was Germaine Pratt’s forced fumble of Travis Kelce that set up Joe Burrow’s game-winning touchdown pass. The red-hot Bengals have now won four in a row and look like a real threat to defend their AFC title. 

Chiefs-Bengals grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

San Francisco 33-17 over Miami

Dolphins-49ers grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Dallas 54-19 over Indianapolis 

The Colts were able to hang with the Cowboys for a full three quarters, but any chance of a winning fell apart after Mo Alie-Cox lost a fumble in the fourth quarter that Dallas returned for a touchdown. The Colts had a smart offensive game plan, but even smart game plans won’t work when you constantly turn the ball over and that’s what Indy did on Sunday night Besides the lost fumble, Matt Ryan also threw three interceptions while losing his own fumble. If the Colts (4-8-1) had any hopes of getting back in the playoff race, those hopes are all but dead following this loss. 
This game was actually close for three quarters — it was 21-19 heading into the fourth quarter — but the Cowboys’ defense helped blow this thing open by forcing three turnovers in the fourth quarter alone, including a 38-yard fumble return TD by Malik Hooker, who got some serious revenge on his old team on a night where he also had an interception. The Cowboys forced a total of five turnovers and they scored 28 points off of those turnovers, which is how this game turned into a route. Except for one Dak Prescott interception, the offense was close to perfect with Dak throwing three touchdown passes while Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both rushed for more than 75 yards. The Cowboys needed a win to keep up with the Eagles in the NFC East and they got it by thanks to the highest-scoring fourth quarter in franchise history (33 points). 

Colts-Cowboys grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

This content was originally published here.

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