NFL

NFL Week 13 – Interesting Matchup Statistics, News and Notes

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There are plenty of interesting games as we head toward the playoff stretch.  Find out some interesting morsels to be read below with a Week 13 game-by-game match-up breakdown of NFL statistics, news and notes.

 

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills

Texans: One of the hottest teams in the NFL resides in the AFC South. Houston started the season off on shaky ground with a 1-4 start and shuffling Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett in and out of the starting role at quarterback. Mallett missed a team flight to Miami in Week 7 and the team lost to the Dolphins 44-26. The Texans released Mallett after that and since then Houston is 5-1.

Bills: A lot is being made of Sammy Watkins being left out of the Buffalo offense. One thing that he isn’t being left out of is the end zone. His rookie season in 2014, Watkins had six touchdown catches over 16 games. This year he has five touchdown receptions in eight games with five games remaining on the schedule.

 

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins 

Ravens: One insanely crazy set of circumstances has emerged in each of the four Baltimore wins this season. Three games were won as time expired in the fourth quarter and one win came in overtime. The Ravens originated from Cleveland and were known as the ‘Cardiac Kids’ with late game heroics that drove fans to the edge. The transplanted Ravens are the new ‘Cardiac Kids’ of 2015 in Baltimore.

Dolphins: Luckily for the Miami coaching staff that they do not play the New York Jets again this season. After their first loss to New York. former head coach Joe Philbin was fired. The Dolphins lost in Week 12 to the Jets again resulting in new coach Dan Campbell firing then offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

Jaguars: Gus Bradley has made modest gains in Jacksonville and signs of life are beginning to show on offense and defense. Currently, the team is 4-7 and have a rather easy schedule down the stretch. The remaining opponents in order are Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans. The Falcons, Saints and Titans are combined 4-11 over their last four games. The bare minimum even for the Jaguars would be to win at least two more games this season which would double the team’s win total from a year ago (3).

Titans: In the end, the only thing Tennessee may have done better than last season is increase their draft position in the 2016 NFL Draft. Last season, the Titans selected second overall, but if the season ended today, second place wouldn’t be good enough for the Tennessee. They currently occupy the top spot.

 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings

Seahawks: Russell Wilson has thrown eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last two games. His passer rating averages out to 143.2 over that span and places the Seahawks right in the middle of the NFC playoff race for one of the two wildcard spots.

Vikings: The Vikings have eight wins on the season and last week against the Atlanta Falcons was their first victory playing a team with a winning record this year. It does coincide as well that the Falcons are 1-5 over their last five games after starting 5-0.  Buyer beware for anyone getting on the Vikings bandwagon.

 

New York Jets vs. New York Giants

Jets: This is only the 13th time the two New York teams face off in the regular season. The first game was back in 1970 with the Giants winning 22-10, with Fran Tarkenton at quarterback. The Giants lead the all-time series 8-4 and are winners of the last five meetings.

Giants: Eli Manning has thrown multiple interceptions in three games this season. He threw three in last weekend’s loss to the Washington Redskins. In the previous two games with multiple picks, he went on the next week to have zero turnovers.  If history and coincidence repeat itself then Manning should be flawless against the Jets.

 

Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams

Cardinals: Carson Palmer is five touchdowns away (27) from tying his personal best single-season mark (32) set in his second season (2005) in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. With five games remaining on the schedule along with his current production, he should be setting a new career high in the category.

Rams: Todd Gurley burst onto the scene against the Arizona Cardinals, rushing for his first of four straight 100-yard rushing games. In his last four games, he has been held under 90 yards with only 19 last week in the Rams loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Hopefully for the Rams and Gurley, this is another weekend to re-establish himself with another breakout performance.

 

Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Falcons: I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but why does Matt Ryan get a free pass with lousy playoff football? Andy Dalton is the poster boy for harsh criticism over his lackluster performances in the playoffs, but Ryan is 1-4 with at least two interceptions in three of those contests.

Buccaneers: Tampa Bay has exceeded expectations after finishing with the league’s worst record last year. They have more wins than 12 other teams in the league right now. Coincidentally, the Tennessee Titans had the second pick of the draft last year and hold the right to the No. 1 overall pick if the season ended today.

 

Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers

Broncos: Are we witnessing the beginning of the Brock Osweiler era? He is 2-0 as the starting quarterback in Denver, and helped lead the Broncos past the New England Patriots in overtime, 30-24. Even with a healthy Peyton Manning, the limited sample size of Osweiler’s play begs the question, “Does Peyton get his job back?”

Chargers: San Diego will face the league’s No. 1 defense this weekend in the Denver Broncos. On the opposite side of the football, the Chargers pass defense ranks 22nd,  leaving open the idea that a red-hot Brock Osweiler and company could make this game get ugly real fast.

 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders

Chiefs: Could this be one of Andy Reid’s finest coaching performances? His Chiefs were down in the dumps at 1-5 and lost Pro Bowl running Jamaal Charles to a torn ACL, and things appeared to have bottomed out.  Since then, the Chiefs are 5-0 and would make the playoffs in the AFC as a wildcard if the season were to end today.

Raiders: It is feast or famine when running back Latavius Murray receives the football. His average per carry is such a lopsided affair with it hitting peaks and dipping into deep valleys. In four games this season, he has averaged almost six yards per carry, which is awesome, but in four other games he has been held below 3.27 yards per carry with a 2.77 yards per carry average.

 

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Panthers: Tight end Greg Olsen is the favorite target of quarterback Cam Newton.  If you want proof, Olsen has caught 53 passes this season and the next two receivers (not tight ends) Ted Ginn (30) and Jerricho Cotchery (24) have combined for 54 total receptions.

Saints: The Panthers are the only undefeated team (11-0) in the NFL and take on the Saints for the second time this season. The Saints have lost seven out 11 games this year, but their closest defeat was a Week 3 27-22 loss against Carolina on the road. New Orleans takes on the Panthers at Louisiana Superdome in Week 13.

 

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots

Eagles: Head coach Chip Kelly has lost three games in a row in each of his first three seasons. Currently, the Eagles are on a three-game skid and Kelly looks to avoid his first four-game losing streak against the New England Patriots in Foxboro this weekend.

Patriots: The Patriots offense has been scoring less and less points as the season progresses. Their first four games they averaged 37.25 points per game – The next four 31.75 points per game – Last three 23.63 points per game. New England is missing key components to their offense and we are seeing the results in point production, but they are still winning (10-1).

 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Colts: The Colts are one heck of a rollercoaster to watch. Consider these numbers – Lost two – Won three – Lost three – Won three, and now take on the Steelers at Heinz Field Sunday night in primetime.

Steelers: Markus Wheaton was tremendous in Week 12, catching nine passes for 201 receiving yards and one touchdown. Seattle used Richard Sherman on Antonio Brown all afternoon, but allowed Pittsburgh (even in defeat) to display the vast arsenal of their passing attack. Wheaton caught 14 passes for 273 receiving yards and one touchdown in his previous 10 games.

 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins

Cowboys: The Cowboys and Redskins have won both road games against each other over the last two years. Dallas has gone to Washington to earn the victory, only to lose the Redskins at home in 2013-14. The Cowboys travel to FedEx Field and look for their third-straight road win in Washington.

Redskins: Tight end Jordan Reed appears to have established himself as Kirk Cousins favorite target, despite missing two games. Reed leads the team in catches (55), receiving yards (541) and touchdowns (6).


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.