There is an old adage in the NFL that says “on any Sunday you can win or lose”. When it looked like the picture was clearer than ever, the platoon leaders faced more problems than expected: the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers fell in their respective duels. Other serious contenders like the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts also fell. Even other divisional leaders, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams had problems with rivals considered inferior.
With that, the outlook towards the postseason changed, or at least it was squeezed in its different sectors. In addition, the Rams already clinched the divisional title, the Houston Texans are the hottest team in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens cling to the playoffs and Mike McCarthy stopped being head coach of the Green Bay Packers.
A week full of surprises
From the first game of Week 13, there were a number of surprises, starting with the Saints (+350) considered by many as the best team in the NFL. New Orleans fell by 13-10 against the Dallas Cowboys (+2500), who established that they are a team to take into account to the playoffs. More surprising than the victory itself was the ability of the Texans to limit Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense, who did not have a single series held throughout the game. The loss left those led by Sean Payton in second place in the National Conference, while Dallas took control of the East Division.
On Sunday the panorama was also complicated for the favorites. The Bears (+2000), still without Mitchell Trubisky, fell in overtime to the downcast New York Giants (+25000), while the Steelers (+1400) suffered their second straight setback, against the Los Angeles Chargers (+1200). Although Chicago had budgeted the loss due to the absence of Trubisky, in a customs that can be complicated, the trip of Pittsburgh is particularly hard. Not only does he leave them with a half-game lead over the reborn Baltimore Ravens (+4000), but he also makes a rest in the first week of the playoffs unthinkable. The most painful thing is that they squandered a 16-unit lead in the second half.
For the Panthers (+10000), Packers (+25000) and Colts (+5000), the setbacks were a devastating blow to their aspirations. Carolina and Indianapolis remain in the fight, but now they need help to move forward, while Green Bay is virtually eliminated. The Panthers have not won in four weeks, and now lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+50000), while the Packers have lost five of six after falling to the Arizona Cardinals (+300000), who came with just two triumphs in the campaign. Indianapolis, meanwhile, was a game of the Ravens, but also below the Miami Dolphins (+25000) by tiebreaker, after the 6-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars (+40000).
Goodbye Mike McCarthy
The aforementioned Packers loss left the team without a head coach following the firing of Mike McCarthy immediately after the game. McCarthy won a Super Bowl in Green Bay, but the years continue to go by Aaron Rodgers and the team has not been able to return to the big game since the 2010 season. With the decision, the Packers have forgotten the current season to think about the future
The winner of the week
At times it was not pretty, but Rams (+320) and Chiefs (+550) came out with the victory and have control in their respective conferences. Los Angeles arrived stuck to the Detroit Lions (+40000) to the last period, but the talent was too much and they took a deceptive 30-16. Todd Gurley was again the figure, but the air game was slow to find his rhythm against an average defense. Kansas City, meanwhile, won 40-33 against the Oakland Raiders. After releasing Kareem Hunt in the week for a violent incident, the Chiefs suffered, but it was mainly on the defensive, where it was hard for them to stop Oakland’s modest offense.
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys got a huge win, but they are their state neighbors, the Houston Texans (+1600), who remain the NFL’s most entangled team. With J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney wreaking havoc in the offensive rivals and Deshaun Watson handing out the ball to DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryius Thomas and Lamas Miller, Houston has raised its hand as a strong candidate, without much exposure in the media.
Finally, Tom Brady reached a thousand yards on the ground in the triumph of the New England Patriots (+600) over the Minnesota Vikings (+3300). The Patriots start to look like the accustomed team, almost invincible at home in December and January. The Vikings, meanwhile, were fortunate in the defeat of their rivals in the race for the last wild card, but have no margin for error if they want to advance to the postseason.
|Los Angeles Rams|
|New Orleans Saints|
|New England Patriots|
|Kansas City Chiefs|
|Los Angeles Chargers|
|Green Bay Packers|
|New York Giants|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers|