The NFL's Biggest Surprises Of Week 13: 49ers Out Of The Race?
Brian Hoyer Was Benched For Johnny Manziel Late In The Game
Brian Hoyer threw six picks from Weeks 9 to 12, but the sixth-year veteran started the year off so strong that it was considered to be just a rough patch and that he would rebound. However, Hoyer would end up throwing two picks against the Bills, leading to him being benched in favor of first-round pick Johnny Manziel. The rookie had a decent regular season debut, throwing no picks while running in for a touchdown, so it is likely that he starts next week too.
The 49ers, Cowboys, And Steelers All Lost At Home
The 49ers and Cowboys both lost to divisional opponents, while the Steelers fell to a team that was on a three-game losing streak. All three teams are in the playoff race, but are now in tough positions. The 49ers are still two games behind the Cardinals, one behind the Seahawks, and have a rough schedule ahead. The Cowboys are competing for a wild card spot with the Lions, with at least one likely to be taken up by a team from the NFC West. The Steelers got lucky as both the Ravens and the Browns lost their match-ups, but the Bengals won theirs and now look to be the favorites to win the division. With strong wild card contenders from the AFC East (Dolphins) and the West (Chiefs and Chargers), the Steelers will have to pick up the pace.
The Jaguars Secured Their Second Win
Coming off of a overall good performance against the Cowboys, the Giants were expected to easily come out of Jacksonville with a win, however, the Jaguars' defense swarmed the Giants, forcing and recovering three fumbles, two of which went for touchdowns. The Jaguars' defense struggled mightily against the run and to contain Odell Beckham, but with the help of a fourth-quarter drive and the aforementioned turnovers, the Jaguars ended up on top.
The Rams Shut Down The Raiders 52-0
The Raiders played their best last week, beating the Chiefs 24-20, but they played their worst against the Rams, allowing 52 points while putting up zero. The Raiders' defense was able to contain the likes of Jamaal Charles, but Tre Mason was able to run for 100+ yards and two touchdowns and scored once more through the air. Shaun Hill and Tavon Austin each had a rushing touchdown too. The Raiders had no bright spots this game, as even their promising rookie quarterback, Derek Carr, had a bad performance. Carr ended up throwing two picks and was benched in favor of Matt Schaub, who ended up throwing a pick six.
The Falcons Upset The Cardinals 29-18
Following their Week 12 loss, the Cardinals had a two-game lead over their divisional opponents, but they are now within just one game of losing the division title to the Seahawks. With Drew Stanton now leading the offense, the Cardinals have struggled to score; in games that Stanton has fully played, the team has averaged just 17 points per game. The Falcons' defense has been among the worst in the NFL, so Stanton and the Cardinals' offense was expected to step up, while their top-tier defense was expected to shut down Matt Ryan and the Falcons' passing attack. Instead, the Falcons put up 17 points in the first quarter alone and did not allow an offensive touchdown until the fourth.