The times they are a-changin'.
Week 13 sent shockwaves through the AFC playoff race. The Bengals are rightfully the week's talk, defeating the Chiefs 27-24 for the third time in 12 months. Joe Burrow was calm throughout the game, completing 25/31 for 286 yards while adding 46 rushing yards. Samaje Perine took full advantage of Joe Mixon missing his second straight game, rushing for 106 yards and pairing it with 49 receiving yards. Patrick Mahomes II' 223 yards were his lowest total since Week 13 of 2021. The Bengals used the win to stay even with the Ravens, who survived their second upset bid in as many weeks, beating Denver 10-9.
The Chiefs' loss had ramifications elsewhere.
The Bills were spectators this weekend, beating the Patriots on Thursday night, but no team had a better day on Sunday. The team was sixth in the AFC playoff race, exiting Week 10 off back-to-back losses to the Jets and Vikings. They have not lost since. The failure by the Chiefs - along with the Dolphins dropping the other game of the week to the 49ers - pushed the Bills into control of their destiny.
The Dolphins are entering a dangerous area. The loss sets the team a full game back from the Bills with five games remaining. The team has to travel west again in Week 14 to visit the Chargers. The 49ers' physicality took a toll on the Dolphins as Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle left the week with injuries to watch. If the Dolphins lose the Chargers game and the Bills can win a home game against the Jets, Week 15 will see a potential AFC East-clinching scenario as the Dolphins visit Buffalo. December visits to Buffalo have not ended well for the Dolphins; the Dolphins have won in Buffalo only once since 2011.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The NFC sees separation at the top. The Eagles (11-1) and Vikings (10-2) are primed to push each other for the top overall spot. Both teams topped AFC playoff hopefuls, the Titans and Jets, respectively. The Vikings could clinch the NFC North in Week 14 against Detroit. Meanwhile, the Eagles still have the Cowboys pushing (9-3).
For fantasy purposes, these races must stay tight. Most leagues will start their playoffs in Week 15, and championships have been decided by proven producers sitting during the fantasy playoffs.
Fortunately, in 2022 we should have teams pushing through the end of the season.
The Vikings and Chiefs sit in the chase position and rank 31 and 32 for the most manageable remaining schedule. The Eagles and Bills will need more time to rest.
The only constant is change.
Hammering the point home from last week and diving back into rookie running back production. Can you place these players?
Revenge! A Dish Best Served On The Field
- WR A.J. Brown, Philadelphia vs Tennessee - Won 35-10, 8-119-2
- WR D.J. Chark Jr, Detroit vs Jacksonville, Won 40-14, 5-98
- WR Marvin Jones Jr, Jacksonville vs Detroit, Lost 40-14, 1-17
- WR Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville vs Detroit, Lost 40-14, 1 rush - 3 yards
- WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Chicago vs Green Bay, Lost 28-19, 3-85
- TE Tyler Conklin, NY Jets vs Minnesota, Lost 27-22, 2-9
- RB Latavius Murray, Denver vs Baltimore, Lost 10-9, 21-61
- RB Jeff Wilson, Miami vs San Francisco, Lost 33-17, 1-3
- RB Raheem Mostert, Miami vs San Francisco, Lost 33-17, 7-30
- WR Trent Sherfield, Miami vs San Francisco, Lost 33-17, 1-75-1
- QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans vs Tampa Bay
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