Work has kicked my ass this week, sort of like like how the Falcons whipped the Raiders. (I, of course, am Las Vegas in that particular formulation.) So get ready for my continued NFC East treatment of the weekly thread.
Three quarters of the season down, and here's what we're looking at:
Division leaders: Bills, Titans, Steelers, Chiefs
Wild cards: Browns (8-3), Dolphins (7-4), Colts (7-4)
Smart pick(s): The Chiefs because of Mahomes, duh. I'd feel a little better about the Chiefs if their defense was better. I'm still not sold on the Steelers. And the Titans might be the best team in the league right now.
Fun pick: Bills. Carolina North, baby!
Division leaders: Giants or DC (I don't care enough to see who has the tiebreaker), Packers, Saints, Seahawks
Wild cards: Rams (7-4), Bucs (7-5), Cardinals (6-5)
Smart pick: I hate to say the Saints but the Saints, who keep winning with Tebow 2.0 under center. (I won't say You Know Who is playing QB until he actually throws a TD pass.) Or maybe the Rams. How about the Packers? The NFC has a lot of pretty good teams but no great team.
Fun pick: Packers (Rodgers) or Seahawks (Wilson, plus a D that seems to be playing better)
Chaos pick: Eagles trade Wentz to the Bears for Foles, who does a Philly Special 2.0 all the way to the Super Bowl, which is delayed until late 2021 because of Covid. FUN!
STAT OF THE WEEK
Carolina rookie Jeremy Chinn is the first player to have multiple fumble return TDs in a game since Fred "Dippy" Evans did it for the Bears in 1948. Chinn is the first player to have scoop-n-scores on consecutive plays (not counting XPs and kickoffs). Chinn is also the first player (I think; the boxscore from 1948 isn't clear) to return two fumbles for TDs and lose the damn game because Matt Rhule I swear to god couldn't manage the timer on a toaster, much less of an actual NFL game. I mean, WHO KICKS A FIELD GOAL UP THREE WITH TWO MINUTES LEFT.
Oh, yeah. Dippy Evans' Bears beat the crap out of the team now known as the Washington Football Team, 48-13. Thanks to Evans' TDs, the Bears led by 34 at half. Dippy Evans is a winner. The Panthers are (breaks down sobbing) ...
WEEK 13 SCHEDULE
(with coverage maps)
Maybe the most interesting thing about Week 13 is the weird schedule — no game on Thursday, two on Monday (but only certain markets get the early game) and one on Tuesday (at this point). I guess the good news is that we get Mahomes (Sunday night), Josh Allen the QB (Monday night) and Lamar (Tues night) in the marquee games.
Thursday: No game! (Boo)
Sunday early: Browns-Titans is the best of the usual not very compelling slate. The rest are Raiders-Jets, Jags-Vikings, Bengals-Dolphins, Colts-Texans, Lions-Bears and Saints-Falcons.
Sunday late: Rams-Cards is my pick here, but Eagles-Packers is the national game of the week. Also: Giants-Seahawks and Patriots-Chargers.
Sunday night: Broncos-Chiefs
Monday: WFT/WTF-Steelers (5p) and Bills-Niners (8:15p)
Tuesday: Cowboys-Ravens (8:05p)
Bye: Carolina and Tampa, which means we get a week off from HOT TAKES on Tom Brady's post-game handshake boycott. Thank goodness.