NFL Week 13 Recap: Battling for a Wild-Card Spot

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NFL Week 13 Recap: Battling for a Wild-Card Spot
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The Texans clinched a playoff berth after Sunday's win

Week 13 brought us some of the best football this season with overtime thrillers and game-winning drives. It had it all. I mean, what else could you ask for? Four teams clinched a playoff spot, while others are still trying to keep their wild-card hopes alive.

I'll recap some of the more important games of the week. 

 

Seahawks 23 - Bears 17

One of many overtime games this week. Russell Wilson gave the Bears everything he had, scrambling and extending plays with his feet, all the while keeping his eyes down the field to find his open receivers. In overtime, Wilson left the pocket to find an open Sidney Rice for a 13-yard, game-winning touchdown.

It was a huge win for Seattle, who was looking to stay in the race for a wild-card spot. In fact, with the 49ers' overtime loss to the Rams, Seattle could possibly win the NFC West if all the pieces fall in the right place.

Chicago drops to second place in the NFC North with this loss and will now look to regain the top spot when it visits Minnesota next Sunday.

 

Colts 35 - Lions 33

What was perhaps the week's most exciting game, Andrew Luck solidified himself as the rookie of the year with an incredible fourth-quarter comeback. Down by 12 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Andrew Luck's two touchdown passes, including a 14-yarder to Donnie Avery as the clock expired, led the Colts to their second straight win.

 

A lot of credit goes to the Colts' defense as well, as they were able to slow down a scorching-hot Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, allowing just three points in the last quarter.

The Colts improve to 8-4 and are looking at a wild-card spot, an amazing and unexpected feat for a team that lost Peyton Manning and is now led by a rookie quarterback.

 

49ers 13 - Rams 16

When these two teams faced off in Week 10, five quarters weren't enough to decide a winner and the game concluded as a tie. In this week's rematch, or Round 2 if you will, the game was just seconds away from ending in a second tie between these two teams.

Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yard field goal as the clock hit zero to tie the game in regulation. After 14 minutes and 34 seconds in overtime, Zuerlein came up big one more time, kicking a 54-yard, game-winning field goal to give the Rams the upset win over the NFC West leaders.

 

Quick Bits

  • Atlanta, Denver and New England join the Texans as the only other teams to have clinched a playoff spot so far.
  • After a devastating story in Kansas City, the Chiefs found the strength and will to overcome the Panthers in a 27-21 victory.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals won their fourth straight, keeping their wild-card hopes alive.

 

Prime-time Games

 

Sunday Night Football

The Philadelphia Eagles visited division rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Rookie running back Bryce Brown had another huge game for the Eagles with 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Brown's performance didn't come without some mistakes, however. A late fourth-quarter fumble led to a Cowboys touchdown that essentially closed the game out. The game ended 38-33 in Dallas' favor. 

With this win, the Cowboys improve to 6-6 and are keeping their playoff hopes alive. They are now just a game behind the division-leading New York Giants.

 

Monday Night Football

The Washington Redskins hosted the New York Giants in a divisional game with a lot at stake for both teams. An early fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Pierre Garcon gave Washington a 17-16 lead.

With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Griffin and Garcon connected again with a 17-yard, play-action pass which fooled the entire Giants' front seven. The Redskins held on to the one-point lead to win.

The Redskins improve to 6-6, tied with the Cowboys for second place and just one game behind the Giants.

 

Closing Comments

Jets coach Rex Ryan was quoted as saying, "I've got three quarterbacks I feel good about. I think we're in a lot better situation than probably a lot of teams."

Two things wrong with this statement: I don't think Rex Ryan passed English in high school. More importantly, he's wrong about his team.

He has a less-than-incompetent quarterback in Mark Sanchez, a fullback who claims he can pass in Tim Tebow, and I'll keep my thoughts about Greg McElroy reserved since nobody has really seen him  play.

Still, Rex Ryan must be dreaming when he says he has three good quarterbacks. This is why the Jets are doomed. This isn't the same team that Rex Ryan took control of a few years ago. Their defense isn't the same, and their running game is nearly non-existent.

They still have a chance to finish the season on a strong note and perhaps prove some critics wrong, myself included. However, only time will tell.

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