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2021 NFL Week 13 Recap

By Hank Blaine

NFL Week 13 provided plenty of surprises. One of the biggest was how Cincinnati flopped in a key game versus the Chargers. Also, the WFT continued to rise while Las Vegas continued to fall. Four Super Bowl contenders won and the new number one seed in the AFC is a familiar name. Read our recap to find out the key stories to emerge from a competitive NFL Week 13.

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2021 NFL Week 13 Recap

READ MORE: 2021 NFL Week 14 Preview, Odds and Picks

Bolts blast Bengals and the Ravens fall to the Steelers

The Los Angeles Chargers entered their game versus the Cincinnati Bengals a 3-point underdog. The Bolts left with a surprising 41-22 victory. The key play occurred in the second half. Down 22-24, often reliable running back Joe Mixon mishandled the ball and fumbled although their wasn’t Bolts player near him. Chargers defender Tevaughn Campbell scooped it up and ran it back for a touchdown. The play changed the game.

Up until the Mixon fumble, the Bengals had wrested away momentum and appeared set to take the lead. After the fumble, Cincinnati continued to fall apart, which is how the Chargers won via a blowout.

The Chargers and Bengals both have 7-5 records. Cincinnati remains a game behind the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North because the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a terrific come from behind victory.

The key play in the Ravens – Steelers game was the final. After getting to within a point, John Harbaugh decided to go for 2. Harbaugh explained in the aftermath that Baltimore had suffered injuries to most of their cornerbacks and were likely to lose in overtime. So the Ravens head coach took his shot when he could. Lamar Jackson threw a terrible pass to an open Mark Andrews and the game ended with Pittsburgh winning 20-19.

Washington outlasts Las Vegas and the Lions notch their first win

WFT kicker Brian Johnson nailed a last second field goal for an improbable 17-15 Washington win against the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams played their hearts out in this contest so it was a shame that one had to lose.

In hindsight, though, we should have known that Ron Rivera’s squad would come out ahead. Rivera always gets his team to play best after their bye. This season is no different. D.C. went 2-6 before the bye. Since their bye, the WFT is 4-0. One of the wins is against Tampa Bay. So it’s safe to say Washington is legit and has a shot to make the playoffs.

One team that won’t make the playoffs are the Detroit Lions. Still, only Minnesota Vikings fans were left without a smile after Jared Goff threw a TD pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown on the final play to secure Detroit’s first win of the season.

Tampa Bay, Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Dallas, and Kansas City win

In Week 13, five of the top contenders to win the 2022 Super Bowl didn’t disappoint. Tampa Bay, Arizona, LAR, Dallas, and KC all scored victories. The Cowboys opened NFL Week 13 with an impressive 27-17 win against New Orleans. On Sunday, the Buccaneers blasted the Falcons 30-17, the Cardinals dusted the Bears 33-22, and the Rams beat up Jacksonville 37-7.

The Chiefs scored their fifth straight victory 22-9 against Denver. Arizona’s win impressed the most. Kyler Murray returned to the field for the first time since the Oct. 28 loss to the Green Bay Packers. While Murray was out, the Cards went 2-1. The fact they won without Murray, and DeAndre Hopkins for that matter, shows us how solid Zona is.

New England takes charge of the AFC East and is now the 1-seed in the conference

On NFL Week 13 Monday Night Football, the Patriots faced the Bills for the first time this season. Although Buffalo was the -3 home chalk, New England won the game 14-10. What’s so interesting about the contest is how the Pats won. Knowing high winds were going to make passing the ball and kicking field goals incredibly difficult, Bill Belichick created a game plan that worked to perfection.

Rookie quarterback Mac Brown completed 2-of-3 passes. Yes, that’s not a misprint. Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel created an offensive game plan that called for Brown to throw just 3 passes.

The victory pushed the Patriots to the 1-seed in the AFC. It also proved that McDaniel and Belichick game plan better than any head coach and offensive coordinator in the league. Don’t expect New England, who has now won seven straight, to let up. The Patriots are at the Colts, host the Bills, and then face off against the Jaguars and Dolphins.

Those are all winnable games, which means after a tough 2020, New England could be right back to where we expect to see them this year, hosting games in the AFC Playoffs.

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