Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season is officially in the books. The Lions stunned the Vikings for their first win. The Chargers rolled over the Bengals in the AFC wild card race. The Steelers edged Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to muddy up the AFC North ... and that was just a fraction of the action from this week.
But what did we learn about each of the 32 teams in the process? We're so glad you asked. As Week 14 draws near, we take a look below at one thing we took away from each team:
Kyler Murray hasn't lost a step. The MVP candidate wasted no time returning to form post-injury, totaling four scores in a too-easy rout of the Bears to keep Arizona atop the NFC.
Russell Gage has starting-caliber stuff. Let's think positively, because Atlanta isn't a playoff team. With Calvin Ridley sidelined, Gage has stepped up to give Matt Ryan a decent target downfield.
Lamar Jackson still can't solve the Steelers. It's not all on him, but he's yet to have a good start against Pittsburgh. The Ravens really could've separated themselves in the North by taking care of business in Week 13.
The Bills defense could not stop the run Monday night. Mac Jones and the Patriots only put the ball in the air three times in very windy conditions as the Bills dropped further behind the Pats in the AFC East.
They are in shambles. Who had "Fire hotshot offensive coordinator Joe Brady in December" on their 2021 Panthers bingo card?
Nick Foles should start. Just wanted to catch your eye. But honestly, why not? If Justin Fields can't go, Dalton and his four picks aren't doing Matt Nagy or anyone much good. Let Foles audition for his next job.
Joe Burrow needs to get healthy. He threw two picks after suffering a finger injury against the Chargers. For Cincy's sake in the playoff race, he needs to heal up quickly and/or ride another big stretch from Joe Mixon.
They're not dead in the AFC. Only because the Bengals, Raiders and Ravens all lost. If Baker Mayfield can finally get healthy and they can get back to the basics, maybe a rebound is in order.
Their NFC East title is not locked up. Washington is only two games back, and guess who the Football Team plays twice down the home stretch? The Cowboys. Dallas can't afford to get complacent.
Teddy Bridgewater needs to go. He's been serviceable, at best, for much of the year. Against the Chiefs on Sunday night, he crumbled. Teddy was always a rental, but he's now proven to be a subpar one.
They're winners! Dan Campbell has kept them battling all year despite the pileup of losses. On Sunday against Minnesota, that finally paid off. Credit to Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and even their defense for getting over the hump.
Green Bay Packers
The North is theirs. Not that there was much question before, but with the Vikings melting against Detroit and the Bears stumbling all over themselves, the Packers have this division in the bag.
They should ride with Davis Mills. There's really nothing to be gained by going back to Tyrod Taylor at this point. Maybe some veterans would prefer him, but will they even be on the roster in a month?
They are built for the postseason. Tough running, efficient passing, stingy defense? Sounds like a winning recipe -- the kind that Tennessee once had and the Patriots now flaunt. Frank Reich's got this group ready for the winter.
They have no confidence. Urban Meyer has hinted at it himself. That makes four straight losses for Jacksonville, which is still pretty much lifeless on offense despite Trevor Lawrence's presence.
Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Spagnuolo is their MVP. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are jointly stumbling this year, but Spagnuolo's defense has kept them out front in the West. On Sunday night, they stymied the Broncos with ease.
Las Vegas Raiders
Their offense is back to sluggish form. With no Darren Waller, they couldn't get much going downfield. Or on the ground, for that matter. Every time the Raiders look fully dead or alive, they reverse course.
Los Angeles Chargers
They're deadly when they're aggressive. Let Justin Herbert air it out, and let the defense get after it up front, and they can ball out. Too much reliance on Herbert has burned them before, but both sides of the ball hit on huge plays against Cincy.
Los Angeles Rams
Their offense is still flush with playmakers. Matthew Stafford has struggled in big spots, but when his team has the upper hand, look out. Both Sony Michel and Cooper Kupp went off against the Jaguars.
They're poised to shake up the AFC playoff race. Tua Tagovailoa's quiet efficiency, coupled with weekly impact plays from rookies Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips, have them knocking on the door in the East.
They just love to be heartbroken. How else can we explain their attraction to close games this year? On a more serious note, Mike Zimmer's defense is a real issue. Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen getting healthy would help ease their pain.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are the top seed in the AFC thanks to a masterful game plan from Bill Belichick. New England kept the ball on the ground in extremely windy conditions in Buffalo and allowed its defense to win the game.
New Orleans Saints
Taysom Hill brings the excitement, for better or worse. In place of Trevor Siemian, the new starter was both wildly elusive and wildly off the mark through the air. New Orleans just might be a boom-or-bust team with him at the helm.
New York Giants
Their offense is in more trouble. To be fair, it has been for a while. But now, with both Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon banged up, they could be forced to turn to newcomer Jake Fromm. Buckle your seat belts.
New York Jets
Robert Saleh's defense is undermanned and underprepared. In other words, it stinks. They had no answer whatsoever for Gardner Minshew and the Eagles, who aren't necessarily world-beaters themselves.
Gardner Minshew could start at QB. Should he? Perhaps. But he definitely could, as evidenced by his ability to better operate a passing offense. The Eagles can make the playoffs if they either a.) stick with Minshew, or b.) commit to the run with Jalen Hurts.
Ben Roethlisberger is motivated. After a drubbing at the hands of the Bengals, he returned with his head high to guide Pittsburgh over the Ravens. Defense helped, but that's been their recipe all year. This bunch won't bow out easily.
San Francisco 49ers
They need Deebo Samuel. Otherwise there's too much pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo to throw his way to victory. The 49ers are positioned for a wild card spot, but in order to make a run, their offense has to be clicking on the ground.
They're back in the wild card race. No, seriously. Left for dead after Russell Wilson's lifeless return from surgery, they suddenly had life against the 49ers, in part because Russ looked more comfortable. They've still got a long road ahead, but they can't be written off as long as No. 3 is halfway confident.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Godwin is a true X factor. With Antonio Brown sidelined indefinitely, he and Rob Gronkowski are underrated pieces of this Tom Brady passing attack. Godwin stepped up and delivered against the Falcons, and he'll need to keep doing so.
They need to watch their back. The Colts are for real in the AFC South. And they're playing the way the Titans would like to play.
Washington Football Team
The defense just keeps getting better. With Taylor Heinicke guiding a balanced offensive attack that's smartly and increasingly featuring Antonio Gibson, Ron Rivera's "D" has helped carry them to legitimate playoff contention.
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