Key takeaways from NFL Week 13
As we get closer to the end of the regular season, some of the matches in the coming weeks could make or break a postseason campaign and lead to seedings that could ease progress to the later playoff rounds or make things a lot more difficult.
Here, we take a look at the standout games from Week 13, and see which sides look to be in the best position for a deep run in the postseason, as well as the teams facing a nervous couple of weeks looking over their shoulders.
This weekend, three teams were humbled by sides who were never going to be sports betting favourites.
The Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers all somehow contrived to lose to sides who did not have more than two wins in 12 previous weeks.
The Jets will have the biggest feeling of loss and disappointment after the Cincinnati Bengals picked up their first points of the season, courtesy of a dramatic 22-6 win.
Cincinnati had been simply woeful for much of 2019, and gave themselves a rare win that puts the Jets 4-8 down and may well be the loss that ends their desperate hopes of a late entry to the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to have one of the easiest runs to allow them to have a playoff tilt, but they just lost to the Miami Dolphins, who have now won for the third time this season.
A 37-31 entertaining win for the Dolphins will give them and coach Brian Flores a boost, but it showed how much the Eagles are struggling this season to convert chances that come their way.
The biggest result of the Week 13 schedule was without a doubt the match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.
This was the one that the Ravens needed to get through to keep on pushing the New England Patriots and try to get top seed, while the 49ers could have used a win to get even further ahead in their own field
MVP-favourite Lamar Jackson was instrumental again, leading the Ravens with an impressive rushing touchdown and some tactically astute play to win 20-17 late on.
It came at the same time as the Houston Texans beat the Patriots 28-22.
Everything is now to play for, but seeing the Ravens and the 49ers take each other on again for the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami is looking more likely with each passing week.
Words: Luke Donovan