40 things we learned from NFL’s Week 13 games


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Check out the top moments that helped define the outcomes of Sunday’s NFL matchups.
USA TODAY Sports

The 40 things we learned from Week 13 of the NFL season:

1. Dec. 21, 1997: Prior to Sunday, it was the last regular-season weekend when a Manning did not start at quarterback somewhere in the league.

2. Nov. 14, 2004: Prior to Sunday, it was the last time Eli Manning did not start for the Giants. Tony Soprano was still in his heyday.

3. Geno Smith didn’t play terribly (212 yards, TD) in Eli’s stead, but the Giants still lost 24-17 to an undermanned Raiders squad that doesn’t play defense. Smith is now 12-19 as an NFL starter, so not sure how much more Ben McAdoo needs to see.

4. Oh, the Giants have never scored 30 points in the 29 games McAdoo has been their head coach.

5. Marshawn Lynch had his first 100-yard day as a Raider. With 48 touches over the past two weeks, it appears Oakland (6-6) is ready to ride Lynch on a belated charge toward the AFC West title.

6. Props and prayers for Chargers CB Casey Hayward, who rejoined his surging team despite losing his brother in a car accident six days earlier. 

7. Frank Gore passed Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson on Sunday, moving into fifth place on the all-time rushing list (13,697 yards). Of the top 12 runners in NFL history, only Gore and Adrian Peterson are not yet in the Hall of Fame.

8. Players with 1,200 career receptions: Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, Larry Fitzgerald. End of list.

9. Blossoming Saints star Alvin Kamara became just the third rookie with 600 yards both rushing and receiving in the same season. The others, Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (1964) and Billy Sims (1980), were both named offensive rookie of the year. 

More: Saints scorch Panthers, contain Cam Newton to take sole lead in NFC South

More: NFL playoff picture after Week 13 games

10. Kamara and fellow New Orleans RB Mark Ingram combined for 200 yards from scrimmage for the fifth straight game, a 31-21 defeat of the Panthers that kept the Saints atop the NFC South. The duo remain on pace to become the first teammates to each exceed 1,500 yards from scrimmage. 

11. The Texans averaged 35 points per game against the Titans this season. Houston posted 57 in Week 4 with Deshaun Watson at the helm … and 13 in Sunday’s loss at Nashville.

12. Chiefs QB Alex Smith became the first player in the Super Bowl era with a 70-yard pass and a 70-yard run in the same game, according to Elias. Of course, Patrick Mahomes would have completed that pass for 80-plus yards and finished off that run for an 86-yard TD. Back to Smith — he is definitely the weak link after passing for 366 yards and four TDs in Kansas City’s latest loss. FWIW, he ran for 70 yards (on that lone run), and the rest of the Chiefs combined for 42 yards on the ground.

13. The most impressive throw from a Kansas City player Sunday — it definitely wasn’t from Smith’s arm — came when hot-headed CB Marcus Peters chucked an official’s penalty flag into the stands

14. Finally, the Jets were thrilled to see former teammate Darrelle Revis, who suited up with the Chiefs for the first time. The Jets posted 38 points and 488 yards, both season bests, on Revis and the Kansas City defense … but Alex Smith really deserves the blame.

15. The Jets could wind up with a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. They really miss Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

16. The Vikings quietly moved into the No. 1 spot in the NFC playoff field Sunday night after Philadelphia lost. Minnesota travels to Charlotte next weekend, then finishes against three teams which are .500 or worse. Playing the Super Bowl on their home field is starting to look increasingly feasible for the Vikes.

17. DL Calais Campbell now has 12 ½ sacks. No player in the 23-season history of the Jaguars has had more in a season.

18. New 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is now undefeated in three career starts, the first two coming with New England.

19. However Garoppolo suffered his first career interception Sunday. It came on his 104th attempt.

20. And Garoppolo received a major assist from Niners K Robbie Gould, whose five field goals accounted for all of San Francisco’s points in a 15-14 win at Chicago. Gould never had more than four FGs in a game in his 11 seasons with the Bears.

21. RB Tarik Cohen has produced TDs this season off a punt return, rush, reception and pass. The last rookie to do it was fellow Bear Gale Sayers in 1965. Terry Metcalf was the most recent player with that kind of grand slam (1975).

22. Atlanta’s final four games are against NFC South rivals, including two matchups with the Saints. The reigning NFC champion Falcons may have to sweep out to return to the playoffs after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings.

23. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan’s record of 64 consecutive games with 200-plus passing yards was snapped Nov. 20. With 173 yards Sunday, he’s now been held to fewer than 200 in two of his last three appearances. Ryan also failed to throw a TD pass against Minnesota, the first time he’d been shut out in his last 30 regular-season games.

24. The Eagles hadn’t scored fewer than 20 points all season before managing just 10 in their loss at Seattle, a defeat that dropped them to the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff field.

25. Vikings WR Adam Thielen failed to catch five balls for the first time this season, finishing with four grabs in Atlanta on Sunday.

26. Lions backup QB Jake Rudock’s first NFL TD pass was … a pick-six to Ravens S Eric Weddle.

27. Baltimore has intercepted 20 passes this year, most in the league.

28. Ray of hope for the Lions: They don’t play a team with a winning record rest of the way, and the combined record of their final four opponents is 18-29. Detroit (6-6) has only beaten one team over .500 this season.

29. Sunburst of hope for the Packers: Green Bay has lost five of seven since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, though the Pack survived the Bucs in OT on Sunday. A victory at winless Cleveland next week would mean Rodgers would be eligible to return to a 7-6 team in Week 15.

30. The Broncos have dropped eight in a row for the first time in 50 years. Denver extended its ignominious streak by lose Sunday to the Dolphins, a team that had lost five straight (four of those by double digits).

31. Oft-suspended Browns WR Josh Gordon caught four passes for 85 yards in his first regular-season game in nearly three years. Here’s hoping he can keep it together off the field.

More: Josh Gordon finds glimmer of hope in return to Browns

More: Eli Manning says he plans to play in 2018, doesn’t want Ben McAdoo fired

32. QB Kirk Cousins is now 1-10 combined in games played on Monday or Thursday. But the Redskins’ playoff hopes aren’t dead yet — the rest of their contests are on Sunday.

33. Dez Bryant’s 72 receiving TDs are more than any player in Cowboys history. Hall of Famers Bob Hayes (71) and Michael Irvin (65) and likely future Hall of Famer Jason Witten (67) are right behind Bryant.

34. Antonio Brown can make history Monday night in Cincinnati. With three catches and 85 receiving yards, the Steelers receiver will surpass Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison for the most in both categories over a five-year period. (From 1999 to 2003, Harrison caught 563 passes for 7,594 yards.) Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger can also enter rarefied air. He needs 238 yards to become the eighth passer in NFL history to reach 50,000 career yards.

35. Mike Davis’ 64 rushing yards Sunday night were the second most this season for a Seattle running back — potentially an important develop now that the Seahawks are back in the playoff field and just one win over the Rams from moving back atop the NFC West.

36. Now 9-3, the Rams are guaranteed their first winning season since 2003. 

37. Meanwhile, the Patriots have reached double-digit wins in 15 consecutive seasons … dating back to 2003. Only the 49ers (1983-98) have a longer streak in league history.

38. New England star Tom Brady became the fourth quarterback to surpass 65,000 career passing yards. He trails only Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Drew Brees.

39. Despite the accomplishment, Brady was seen, uh, venting at Patriots OC Josh McDaniels in an episode reminiscent of his exchange with Bill O’Brien in 2011. But Brady won’t have truly arrived until he publicly gives Bill Belichick the business after a poor play call.

40. Brady is now 27-3 against Buffalo. No quarterback in the Super Bowl era has more wins against one team.

***

Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

PHOTOS: Week 13 NFL action

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