It’s common knowledge in sports that if you take care of your own business, you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.
While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season; hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.
It was an upside down game for the Bucs this week — one where their defense flexed its muscle, Jameis Winston didn’t throw an interception, and ultimately that led to a win.
The start to this game could not have gone worse for Jacksonville quarterback Nick Foles, who turned the ball over on his team’s first three possessions. One was an interception and two were fumbles, one of which was recovered for a Tampa Bay touchdown to make the score 15-0 (following a 2-point conversion).
Peyton Barber scored his second rushing touchdown of the game early in the second quarter and the rest of the matchup was lulled to sleep by the Bucs. Gardner Minshew replaced Foles in the second half and led two scoring drives, but the Jags never really had a chance after digging themselves into such a deep hole early on.
Winston had 268 passing yards but failed to record a passing touchdown for the first time this season. He also went without an interception, however, doing well to game manage a victory. Barber was the leading rusher with 44 yards and the two rushing touchdowns. Breshad Perriman’s 87 receiving yards were a game high.
Minshew had 147 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception in one half worth of work. Leonard Fournette was bottled up to the tune of 38 rushing yards on 14 carries. Dede Westbrook led the Jags in receiving yards with 60; he also scored his team’s lone touchdown.
Washington 29, Carolina Panthers 21
The Carolina Panthers have more or less squandered any playoff hopes with a home defeat against lowly Washington. They have a shaky run defense, which allowed 228 rushing yards on 23 carries to Washington’s top two running backs, to thank for this defeat.
It looked to be business as usual in the first quarter, with the Panthers jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead and the Dan Snyderites looking hapless on their first offensive possession. Washington added two field goals before the game turned on its head with a Fabian Moreau interception of Kyle Allen which was returned to the 1-yard-line. Derrius Guice punched it in on the ensuing play and Washington was down 14-12.
Washington started gashing Carolina’s defense on the ground in the second half, as fatigue clearly took control of the Panthers’ front seven in the fourth quarter. Guice and Adrian Peterson each scored a rushing TD in the final frame, but Carolina didn’t go down without a fight.
Following a 12-play touchdown drive, the Panthers recovered an onside kick and got all the way down to the Washington 1-yard-line. What followed was three plays which resulted in a combined loss of two yards, and Allen missing an open receiver in the end zone on fourth and goal to instead take a 23-yard sack while losing a fumble.
Dwayne Haskins had 147 passing yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Guice went for 129 rushing yards and two scores, while Adrian Peterson had 99 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Kelvin Harmon was the team’s leading receiver with 51 yards.
Kyle Allen had 278 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and one interception. He added one rushing touchdown and one lost fumble. Christian McCaffrey totaled 102 yards from scrimmage. D.J. Moore had a game-high 75 receiving yards; he also secured a touchdown.
NFC South Standings after Week 13
2. Carolina Panthers (5-7 overall record; 1-3 division record) - Next at Falcons
4. Atlanta Falcons (3-9 overall record; 2-2 division record) - Next vs. Panthers