Time to look at the biggest takeaways from week 13 of the NFL
1. The 2018 draft class was loaded
Everyone was obsessed with the 2018 QB class (which I think was overrated). However, the draft class as a whole has been mighty impressive. It seems every week there’s a rookie making a big play. Baker Mayfield has been playing well. Saquon puts on a show every week. Denzel Ward has been solid for the Browns. Bradley Chubb has been a force opposite Von Miller. Quentin Nelson looks like one of the best guards in football. Derwin James has been the best player on a Chargers defense that’s not short on talent. Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, and Courtland Sutton make huge plays every week. The list goes on and on. in 10 years, we may look back at this draft class as one of the all time bests.
2. The Texans continue to roll…and look good!
For awhile, the Texans win streak seemed more lucky than good. It felt like they were stumbling into wins. But now, after winning their ninth straight, this team actually looks like an AFC champ contender. Deshaun Watson continues to look great, the defense, lead by JJ Watt continues to make plays, and Demaryius Thomas looks to be a great acquisition, playing a solid complementary role to Deandre Hopkins. And the last few weeks, we’ve even seen Lamar Miller make some plays. This team looks supremely balanced. If they could somehow leap frog the Patriots (The Pats are ahead of them by virtue of a tiebreaker), then this could be a team that makes a run for a title.
3. The Patriots are starting to look like the Patriots
Although it’s nice to see the Patriots lose some games, the feeling of the dynasty being over is always short-lived. The Patriots beat the Vikings convincingly in a game that was pretty boring. And that seems to be the Patriots MO this year. They aren’t exceptional in any category but they are average to above average everywhere. Even Tom Brady has looked pretty average this year. But this team is so well balanced that they continue to win. With no glaring issues with the team, it really comes down to coaching. If you’re a Pats fan, you have to like your odds if games come down to Belichick.
4. The Bears need Trubisky
Trubisky seems to get a lot of hate because he doesn’t put up as flashy numbers as Pat Mahomes or Watson. However, it’s been obvious the last few games that the Bears need him if they want to make any sort of playoff run. While Chase Daniel is a suitable backup, Trubisky provides an unmatched explosive to the offense. Daniel is a safe QB and won’t make a ton of mistakes. But Trubisky’s athletic ability and big arm is what’s helped the Bears become a top 5 offense this year (at least before he was injured). With Trubisky on the field and a strong defense, the Bears could be set up to play spoiler in the playoffs.
5. The Redskins have to be the unluckiest team in football
Last year, the Redskins lead the league in players placed on IR. Otherwise, they might’ve had a decent season. They may have even made a playoff run. This year was supposed to be different. They got their QB, they drafted their future running back, and their solid offensive line was intact. Now, with their season all but over, they’ve lost everyone. Their starting QB and backup QB both broke their tibias, their running back tore his ACL, and their offensive line has only 2 original starters, with some spots on their third string lineman. This team looked like the team to beat in the NFC East. However, their season is once again lost to a rash of improbably injuries. I guess they’ll have to wait until next year to be contenders.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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