A look back on Week 13 in the NFL:
1. The Steelers rallied from an early 17-0 deficit to beat Cincinnati 23-20 on a late field goal of 38 yards by Chris Boswell to remain tied with the New England Patriots at 9-2 for the best record in the AFC. The two teams meet a week from Sunday. But the victory was overshadowed by a spine injury suffered by Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first quarter. Shazier underwent surgery after returning to Pittsburgh and his season is apparently over and there are fears his career could end. The game also featured several illegal hits including one by JuJu Smith-Schuster on Vontaze Burfict that knocked him out of the game. Smith-Schuster was suspended for a game. The Bengals’ George Iloka also was originally suspended for a game but the suspension was overturned on appeal. The two teams have a history – Burfict knocked Antonio Brown of a playoff game last week and he was sidelined the following week when the Steelers were eliminated by the Patriots. Clearly, the rivalry needs to be toned down.
2. The Kansas City Chiefs appear on the verge of collapse after starting out 5-0. They lost their sixth game in their last seven starts when they were upset by the New York Jets, 38-31. They are now in danger of missing the playoffs after the fast start. The Chiefs defense gave up 331 yards and three touchdowns to Josh McCown. The Chiefs are now in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West with the Raiders and Chargers at 6-6. It remains to be seen if the Chiefs can get back on track in the last four games or be remembered as collapsing after a fast start. It is almost hard to believe they started the season with a victory over the Patriots.
3. The high-flying Philadelphia Eagles were grounded in a 24-10 loss to Seattle. The Eagles are still heading to the playoffs at 10-2 while the Seahawks got back into the playoff mix at 8-4 with the victory. Russell Wilson threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns while the Seahawk defense handcuffed Carson Wentz despite missing Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in the secondary. The Eagles were averaging a league leading 31.9 points a game but scored only 10 points despite marching into Seahawk territory seven times. The Seahawks showed once again that they are tough to beat at home.
4. Case Keenum continues to have a storybook season as the Vikings extended their winning streak to eight games by beating the Falcons, 14-10. Keenum, who is keeping healthy Teddy Bridgewater on the bench. Passed for 227 yards and two touchdown passes and the Viking defense did the rest. Matt Ryan had his touchdown passing streak snapped at 30 games in a row. No team has ever played the Super Bowl on their home turf but the Vikings seem to have a shot at it. Minnesota is now tied with the Eagles for the best record in the NFC at 10-2.
5. A week after having their eight-game winning streak snapped by the Rams, the New Orleans Saints bounced back to beat the Carolina Panthers, 34-21, to take over first place in the NFC South at 9-3 and they now own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 8-4 Panthers with four games left. Drew Brees passed for 269 yards and a touchdown. Mark Ingram rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers shot themselves in the foot with a botched punt and a fumble by punt returner Kaelin Clay. The Panthers may now have to fight for a wild card spot.