Week 13 NFL Observations


New York Jets 23, New York Giants 20 (OT)

The Jets put themselves in position for the Wildcard with a huge win.  They’re not bad when Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t turn the ball over…..A division title is the only thing that can save Tom Coughlin’s job, but the Giants are a very flawed team.

Arizona 27, St. Louis 3

The Cardinals should be the favorites in the NFC, and they match up well with any of the AFC contenders. They have the best set of receivers in the conference….Jeff Fisher fired his offensive coordinator as he’s trying to pass the buck again.  They need a fresh start. 

Tampa Bay 23, Atlanta 19

Jameis Winston willed his team to victory and the Bucs resurgence is beginning a little quicker than many thought.  The question is if they can become a contender before the core of the team gets too old….So Dan Quinn got all the credit when the Falcons started off 5-0, now who gets the blame?  Matt Ryan has become the worst quarterback in his division.

Seattle 38, Minnesota 7

Russell Wilson is playing at the highest level of his career (that includes a pair of trips to the Super Bowl).  Seattle seems to be peaking at the right time and Thomas Rawls is a legitimate Beast Mode replacement…The Vikings aren’t a real contender because they have a gaping hole at quarterback.

Buffalo 30, Houston 21

When Tyrod Taylor doesn’t have to beat you with his arm, he does.  I’m not sure if that style of play will work in the postseason, but Buffalo just might get there….J.J. Watt had one of his worst games as a pro and the Texans couldn’t stop the run.  Their defense needs to be terrific for them to win.

Miami 15, Baltimore 13

The only thing the Dolphins accomplished on Sunday was moving themselves further down in the draft order….Matt Schaub kept his pick-six streak alive.  It’s not as impressive as Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak, but it’s close.

Cincinnati 37, Cleveland 3

The Bengals were picking on the little kid at school on Sunday, shame on them.  Cincy now controls their own destiny to the No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the AFC….The Browns may be the most dysfunctional franchise in sports.  Will Mike Pettine acquiesce and play Manziel for the final four games of his head coaching career?

Tennessee 42, Jacksonville 39

Marcus Mariota is going to be a very good quarterback, and if he could play against the Jags defense every week he’d be a Hall of Famer….Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson are turning into great players, unfortunately the same types of game mismanagement and idiotic mistakes continues to plague the team.

San Francisco 26, Chicago 20 (OT)

Blaine Gabbert ran for a touchdown and threw for the game-winner.  This doesn’t mean he’s a viable quarterback for the team going forward…..Jay Cutler threw a pick-six and his team couldn’t overcome it.  He’s still had a renaissance and it will be interesting to see what happens when Adam Gase goes away.

Denver 17, San Diego 3

Brock Osweiler wasn’t great, but he hasn’t been turning the ball over and that’s all that Denver needs with that great defense….There are too many injuries for the Chargers to compete with good teams.

Kansas City 34, Oakland 20

The Chiefs were beneficiaries of some atrocious play from Derek Carr.  Jeremy Maclin has been worth his weight in gold to Kansas City and Alex Smith has turned into more than just a game manager….It seems as if when Derek Carr throws interceptions and fumbles the ball it’s shrugged off, meanwhile when Blake Bortles does it, it’s who he is.  Carr is a good player and an excellent pick, but he still has a ways to go.

Carolina 41, New Orleans 38

Cam Newton is on a whole different level than anyone else playing the quarterback position right now.  He’s the best athlete to ever play the position and he’s figuring out the mental part of the game.  The Panthers are headed to 16-0…..The Saints have Drew Brees which gives them a chance against anyone, but one of the worst defenses ever which causes them to lose to just about everyone.

Philadelphia 35, New England 28

It took three non-offensive touchdowns for the Eagles to pull the road upset.  Their high-priced free agent running back can’t play in their system and Chip Kelly the GM is killing Chip Kelly the head coach; With all of that said, they’re right in the mix for the postseason…Every year the Patriots have a game in which they do just about everything wrong and barely lose.  This was that game for them.  They are still in excellent position to get a first-round bye as Denver and Cincinnati still have to play each other.

Pittsburgh 45, Indianapolis 10

The Steelers are the Wildcard team that nobody wants to play in the AFC.  They have the best wide receivers in the conference and a quarterback that creates extra time for them to get open.  There’s very little pressure on a defense that’s getting better….The Colts are the slumlords of the AFC- they feast on the downtrodden and lose to the good teams- that won’t get it done in January.

Dallas 19, Washington 16

The Cowboys are 4-8 and one game out of first place.  Take that in for a moment….Kirk Cousins isn’t terrible, but he shouldn’t be a guy that you hook your wagon to.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.