After a 5-win season in 2022, we didn’t know what to expect from Sean McVay’s Rams this year. However, with three straight wins against the Seahawks, Cardinals and Browns, Los Angeles is currently right in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card spot. McVay’s offensive gameplan in Week 13 was a thing of beauty, as the Rams became just the third team this season to put up more than 30 points against Cleveland. They may not have the most talented roster in the NFL, but McVay has this Los Angeles team firing on all cylinders right now. Their upcoming game in Baltimore will be a great measuring stick to see how they truly stack up with one of the best teams in the NFL. With McVay on the sideline and a healthy Matt Stafford slinging the ball, this team is not the pushover many people thought they would be.
If you want to talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk as well. Deebo Samuel certainly did that in Week 13 against Philadelphia, as he turned just seven touches into 138 yards and three scores. After Brock Purdy went down early in last year’s NFC Championship game, a lot of 49ers left Philly feeling that they would have won that game had Purdy not gotten hurt. One player who was more outspoken about that was Samuel, who also called out multiple members of the Eagles’ secondary in the offseason. Whether you like that kind of gamesmanship or not, Deebo was easily San Francisco’s best player of the afternoon. Not only did the game get San Fran one win closer to the conference’s top seed, but it also cemented them as the team to beat in the NFC, regardless of current records.
Just when people were starting to wonder if he could fill the shoes of the greats before him, Jordan Love has turned it all the way on. In Green Bay’s last three wins, Love has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions while averaging 286 yards through the air. It would be one thing to do that against bad teams, but those wins have come against the Chargers, Lions and Chiefs. Like Los Angeles, the Packers are starting to come alive here in the second half of the season, and if Love continues to play the way he is right now, there’s a good chance that Green Bay will be back in the postseason. They currently hold the last wild card position after Week 13.
A lot of fan bases have the right to be upset about what they’re watching every week, but at least most of them are used to it. In New England, however, this season has not been a familiar one. It’s tough to feel bad for a group of fans that has seen more success in the last 20 seasons than any team ever, but you can’t really help it if you watch the Patriots for more than two minutes right now. They have absolutely no weapons on the offensive side of the ball, their quarterbacks are terrible, and even the coaching seems to be a step behind. In the last three games, they’ve allowed no more than ten points and have still lost all three.
If you’re going to watch your team lose, it would at least be nice to be able to cheer for something once in a while. After the 6-0 shutout loss on home turf in Week 13, the only thing Pats fans are cheering for right now is draft position.
Patriots’ fans aren’t the only ones suffering every week in the AFC East. In their last six contests, the Jets are 1-5 and have managed to score just three offensive touchdowns. They’ve now gone through three quarterbacks after Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 1, and it looks like Zach Wilson will be back as the starter after Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian only looked worse. Jets fans are used to miserable seasons at this point, but for a year that started with so much hope, 2023 has only been more deflating. Aaron Rodgers would surely be an immediate improvement, but with how bad the offensive line is, I’m not sure that the Jets would be a playoff team even if he WAS playing. You’ve got to feel for the fans, though. Packing MetLife every chance they get to watch THIS? Tough.
We’ll finish this one off with yet another proud AFC fan base that has been growing more and more upset with their football team. Even though the Steelers are currently 7-5 and in the mix for a playoff spot after Week 13, they are not a team that anyone should want to watch right now. Mike Tomlin finds ways to win football games, but as a team that won’t do anything even if they make the playoffs, you have to wonder if the fan base would rather see the Steelers simply blow everything up. For the time being though, they’ll have to watch a miserable offence operate without their starting QB.
Matt Canada was not a good coordinator, but the unit still has some issues, and with Mitch Trubisky now back there under center, I don’t expect anything to look much better. Thursday’s game against the Pats might just be TERRIBLE.