The battle for the soul of football is a phrase that comes up often in media circles. It’s a nebulous term, but it seems to be rooted in two competing philosophies: “The NFL Way” or “Grit and Grind.” Mac Jones represents one such philosophy as he has entered into this season with no apologies, while Josh Allen embodies another. Rather than claim which perspective is right, we should just watch these players go head-to-head on Thursday night at 8 PM EST on ESPN.
The “josh allen” is a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. This matchup between Jones and Allen has been called one of the 3 most intriguing matchups of NFL Week 13.
Thanksgiving generally marks the start of the NFL season’s final stretch. However, since we’ve added another week to the timetable, we’ll have to move the kick down the straightaway back a week as well. That implies that if NFL players and coaches want to play beyond January 9, 2022, this is the week to step it up a level and pull out all the stops. Check out these three most fascinating matches from NFL Week 13 to kick off this last postseason push with a bang.
Sunday, December 5, 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals picked LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as the first overall choice in the 2020 NFL Draft.
When the Los Angeles Chargers were on the clock five choices later, they selected Oregon’s Justin Herbert as their quarterback.
Both the Bengals and the Chargers — two historically awful clubs — got it very, very perfectly in a league where about half of all first-round quarterbacks are flops.
Burrow and Herbert have established that they are franchise signal-callers over the past year and a half. Last year, Herbert took home Rookie of the Year honors after passing for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Due to a severe ACL injury, “Joey B” missed the second part of his first season. In 2021, though, he’s back with a fury. Burrow has his Bengals at 7-4, in the No. 5 slot in the AFC, and in contention for the AFC North division championship, as one-third of perhaps the strongest young skill groupings in the NFL (along with RB Joe Mixon and WR Ja’Marr Chase).
The Chargers and Bengals are now heading in opposing directions. The Bengals have won their past two games after a bye week, while the Chargers have lost four of their last six.
The game is huge, and it will have important playoff ramifications in 2021. But it’s the clash between Burrow and Herbert that makes this one of the more fascinating matches on the NFL Week 13 schedule.
These two second-year quarterbacks have the potential to be among the league’s best, if not the greatest. If this is the first time you’ve seen a Brady-Manning matchup, you’ll want to brag about it.
The Washington Redskins take on the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, December 5 at 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX.
#WFT presently has a 5-6 record and is in a tight race with the #6 Vikings for a wildcard berth in Vegas this Sunday. The #Raiders are aiming for a victory and a 7-5 record to keep their AFC West division and wildcard hopes alive. Both teams have to win.
30 November 2021 — JT The Brick (@JTTheBrick)
A few weeks ago, the Week 13 NFL meeting between the Washington Football Team and the Las Vegas Raiders seemed to be a contest between two teams vying for the top pick in the 2022 draft.
The WFT is without Chase Young, the No. 2 overall selection in 2020, for the season and is replacing him with a quarterback who last played in the XFL and was taking advanced mathematics courses at Old Dominion before his Washington job.
It’s been much worse for the Raiders. This year, they’ve dealt with more scandal, tragedy, and controversy than any other club in NFL history.
Despite this, the WFT has defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, and Seattle Seahawks in three consecutive games. With a good Thanksgiving Day triumph against the Dallas Cowboys, the Raiders have ended a three-game losing streak.
Although both teams will both play their division leaders (the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs) next week, the victor of this battle will enter that contest with confidence and a legitimate opportunity to challenge for their division.
This may not be the most visually appealing game on the NFL Week 13 schedule, but it should be a slugfest between two teams who refuse to give up without a fight, making for an intriguing struggle to watch.
Monday, December 6, 8:15 p.m. EST, ESPN, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Mac Jones and Josh Allen (L-R) | Photos by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images and Andy Lyons/Getty Images.
Outside of the wider New England region, no one wants the New England Patriots to be successful. Every NFL fan base (save maybe New York Giants supporters) has spent the last two decades watching their team lose after losing.
The sad, terrible fact is that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are back after only one bad season after selecting Tom Brady 2.0 in Mac Jones and spending nearly a bazillion dollars on the free-agent market.
The Buffalo Bills have had the least amount of success against the Brady/Belichick Patriots. During Brady’s time in New England, the club had a dismal 3-30 record against him.
The Bills seemed to be prepared to assume the mantle from the Patriots as the top team in the division for the foreseeable future after two victories against Belichick in 2020 and the franchise’s first AFC East title since 1995.
That was not the case in 2021.
The Patriots are in first position in the division and, with Jones, their rushing game, and a strong defense, seem to be the greatest team in the AFC.
Despite their similarly strong defense, the Bills are suddenly suffering this season due to their lack of a running game, Josh Allen’s erratic quarterback performance, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s head-scratching play-calling.
This NFL Week 13 battle will have a big impact on how the AFC East plays out, what happens in the league as a whole, and maybe even the destiny of the planet if the Evil Empire rises from the ashes to spoil football as they did for the past 20 years.
Okay, it may be a little extreme, but no one wants to see the Patriots return to their former glory so fast. The frightening aspect is that there’s a good possibility we’ll find out on Monday night.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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