NFL '21: WEEK 13 BREAKDOWN
The best-coached team in the league has outscored its opponents 211-63 during a league-leading six-game winning streak. It ranks seventh in scoring with a rookie quarterback, first in fewest points allowed (15.8) and No. 1 among AFC teams no one wants to face in the playoffs.
MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM
The all-in, Super Bowl-win-or-bust Rams are mired in only the second three-game losing streak of Sean McVay's five-year head coaching career. They've been handled by Tennessee, San Francisco and Green Bay to fall two games behind Arizona in the NFC West. The Rams are trying to be too cute defensively and have lost their patience offensively, putting way too much pressure on Matthew Stafford to hit the long ball. McVay has never had a four-game losing streak. If he loses at home to Jacksonville on Sunday, oh boy, there's a serious problem in L.A.
RANKING THE VIKINGS
No. 17. Yet another one-score loss to an OK and hot, but far from really good 49ers team drops the Vikings three spots. Let's put them behind the top six teams in the NFC, the top six in the AFC, as well as Vegas, Denver, Indy and Cleveland. Last week: 14.
The 23-year-old Dolphins quarterback has made a remarkable bounce back the past two games, albeit against the Jets and Panthers. With back-to-back completion percentages of 81.8 and 87.1, he joined Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Kyler Murray as the only players with a completion percentage of 80 or higher (minimum 30 attempts) in consecutive games.
Why in the world did the Panthers give a $10 million guaranteed contract to a free agent no one else wanted? Carolina had no choice to bench him against the Dolphins after he completed five of 21 passes (23.8%) with two interceptions and a 5.8 passer rating.
STAT OF THE WEEK
50: Career touchdowns for Adam Thielen, who had two in the first half against the 49ers. He joined Rod Smith (69), Gary Clark (65) and Wes Welker (50) as the only undrafted receivers to reach 50 career touchdowns since 1967.
THREE STATS TO WATCH
6: Seven-point leads the Vikings have blown, the most through 11 games since the 2010 Lions (also six).
3: Points Cleveland's Baker Mayfield-led offense tallied off four Lamar Jackson interceptions. It's time to bench the beat-up Baker and give Case Keenum a shot.
2: Dropped touchdown passes by Jalen Reagor in the final 30 seconds of Philly's 13-7 loss to the Giants. The same Jalen Reagor drafted one spot ahead of Justin Jefferson. The first drop was Troy Williamson-esque in that Reagor's eyes were closed when the ball doinked off his facemask.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Patriots (8-4) at Bills (7-4)
Look who's back on top of the AFC East after a one-year hiatus. The Patriots lead the Bills by one-half game heading into a stretch in which these two teams play twice in four weeks. The Patriots won 11 consecutive AFC East titles before Buffalo snapped the streak last year. Buffalo is 3-3 in its past six games.