The 2021 NFL season entered December with more questions than answers.
Only two teams held more than a two-game lead atop their division. Thirteen teams remained within striking distance of a playoff spot in the AFC, while only two teams in the entire NFC were more than a game out of a wild card slot. As for award races, MVP is still entirely up for grabs.
With just six weeks remaining in the regular season, each game presents a chance to solidify playoff positioning. Some teams emerged from Week 13 with a clearer path to postseason football.
Thursday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints
The Dallas Cowboys kicked off Week 13 with a 27-17 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football in a matchup of two teams coming off Thanksgiving defeats.
Dak Prescott completed 26 of 40 passes for 238 yards with a touchdown and interception to help Dallas improve to 8-4. CeeDee Lamb had 89 yards on seven catches, and Tony Pollard had a 58-yard TD run.
Taysom Hill, in his first start of the season at quarterback, went 19-for-41 for 264 yards and two touchdowns but also had four interceptions and a fumble. He rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries. The Saints fell to 5-7.
Find all NFL Week 13 results here.
NFL Week 13 Sunday Afternoon Matchups
The Sunday afternoon games included a mix of upsets, divisional showdowns and contests with playoff implications.
The most shocking game of the afternoon goes to the Detroit Lions who captured their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings, 29-27. An 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired brings the Lions to 1-10-1 on the season.
The early headliner was in Cincinnati, where the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 41-22, followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who picked up their third-straight win defeating the Atlanta Falcons 30-17. The 1 p.m. ET window also featured the Chicago Bears who were unable to take down the top-seeded Arizona Cardinals, losing 33-22. Chicago has now suffered their fourth-straight loss at home.
The Miami Dolphins picked up their fifth-straight win taking down the New York Giants 20-9 and the Indianapolis Colts cruised to a dominating 31-0 win over the Houston Texans. This was the first road shutout for the Colts since 1992.
Despite Jalen Hurts missing the game due to an ankle injury, Gardner Minshew stepped right up as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Jets 33-18. Minshew finished with 242 passing yards and 2 TD's.
The 4 p.m. slate was full of last-minute excitement. The Pittsburgh Steelers snagged a one-point win over the Baltimore Ravens 20-19. The Ravens went for a two-point conversion with 12 seconds left instead of kicking what would have been the game-tying extra point, but were unsuccessful. Brian Johnson nailed a 48-yard field goal with 37 seconds to give the Washington Football Team a 17-15 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders and extend their winning streak to four.
The Seattle Seahawks made a stop on fourth-and-goal in the final minute against the San Francisco 49ers to hold onto a 30-23 win and the Los Angeles Rams whooped the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 to finish off the late afternoon schedule.
Sunday Night Football: Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs came up with a big divisional win on Sunday Night Football, beating the Denver Broncos 22-9 at Arrowhead.
With the Chiefs holding a 16-3 lead in the fourth quarter, Daniel Sorensen picked off Teddy Bridgewater and took it 75 yards to the house, essentially icing the game. Patrick Mahomes was held to under 200 yards passing and didn't throw a touchdown, but did open the scoring with a rushing touchdown. Javonte Williams did everything he could for the Broncos, rushing for 102 yards and adding 76 receiving yards and a touchdown.
It was the fifth consecutive win for the Chiefs, who moved to 8-4 on the season and created some separation in the AFC West race. The Broncos are now 6-6.
Monday Night Football: New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Mac Jones got to rest his arm in the New England Patriots' 14-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.
Playing in windy conditions, the Patriots kept the ball on the ground, amassing 222 rushing yards to earn a crucial win over the second-place Bills in the AFC East matchup. Jones attempted just three passes, completing two for 19 yards, making it the first time since 1974 that an NFL team won a game while attempting three or fewer passes.
Damien Harris ran for 111 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, to help the Pats win their seventh straight game and improve to 9-4. Rhamondre Stevenson added 78 yards on 24 carries.
Josh Allen completed 15 of 30 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown for Buffalo, which falls to 7-5.
Check out the full 2021 Week 13 NFL schedule in the table above. Watch all Week 13 games online at FuboTV (free trial here).