JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS

The good, bad and ugly from the NFL's Week 13

Russell Wilson had a big week. Getty Images

Week 13 in the NFL is in the books. The playoff picture still isn’t crystal clear. In fact, it may be murkier than before. Here’s how I saw things:

The Good

-Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes in their 43-16 beatdown of the 49ers. Sure, others have thrown for more touchdowns in a game, but the fact that he was 11 of 17 and threw four touchdowns was the impressive part. Wilson was knocked for his size and proved the doubters wrong. He’s also proving he can do it without a once stout defense and run game.

-Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald may have solidified his stronghold on the Defensive Player of the Year Award with a two sack performance in their 30-16 win over the Lions. Donald has a league-leading 16.5 sacks on the year. With a 1.375 per game average, he’s on pace for 22 this season, one shy of the record.

-Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay led them to a 24-10 win over the Broncos. The hometown hero (born, raised, and played college ball in the Colorado) had 19 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Lindsay was an undrafted free agent who is fourth in the league in rushing. Talk about living the dream.

The Bad

-Ravens rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson left the game under concussion protocol after being kicked in the head by a teammate. Although he was cleared an came back, running him as much as they have in his two starts this season leave him exposed to unnecessary contact. The Ravens may want to rethink how they use him.

-The Bengals are now 5-7 and have lost stud wideout A.J. Green for three to four months. Head coach Marvin Lewis’ tenure may finally be over and I believe it’s time. However, team owner Mike Brown is notoriously cheap and may not want to pay Lewis to go away.

-The Panthers fired two defensive coaches following their 24-17 loss to the Bucs. Head coach Ron Rivera will take over calling the plays on that side of the ball. Strange to say the least considering quarterback Cam Newton threw four picks and the defense still held the Bucs to 315 yards.  

The Ugly

-The Jags beat the Colts 6-0 in an awful game. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw the ball 52 times and they still couldn’t score! The Jags had more penalties accepted on them (eight) than points!

-Packers fired head coach Mike McCarthy less than three hours after his presser following an embarrassing loss to the Cardinals. The team is now 4-7-1, fully invested in quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and now in need of a new coach. McCarthy accomplished a lot in his tenure, but this is a “what have you done for me lately” league.

-The Chiefs have parted ways with running back Kareem Hunt following the release of a video showing him assaulting a woman in a hotel. Hunt is an incredible talent who committed a heinous act and will be another example of an athlete squandering the opportunity of a lifetime because he chose to be stupid.

Both conferences are top-heavy, with a cluster of teams fighting for the final few spots. Four division races are just about done, while the other four are up in the air. Last few weeks will be exciting to watch because so much will be at stake. Congrats NFL on making the end of the season matter by scheduling division games in week 17.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome