Rookie Quarterbacks Rise Up

Week 13 was a wild one, as rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson led their respective teams to late victories while the soap opera that is the New York Jets provided more drama. 

Falcons 23, Saints 13

Atlanta continued to roll, pressuring Drew Brees into five interceptions and snapping his NFL-record 54 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. 

The Falcons improved to 11-1 and inched closer to clinching the NFC South title, while the Saints playoff hopes were diminished after dropping to 5-7.

Seahawks 23, Bears 17

Wilson continued to solidify himself as Seattle’s franchise quarterback, passing for 293 yards and two scores, including a 13-yard game-winner to Sidney Rice in overtime to improve Seattle to 7-5.

The NFC North leading Bears dropped to 8-4, but wide receiver Brandon Marshall continued his tear with 10 catches for 165 yards.

Colts 35, Lions 33

Luck struggled through most of the contest, throwing three interceptions, but come crunch time the rookie quarterback continued to amaze. Of his four touchdowns thrown on the day, none was more important than the 14-yard toss to Donnie Avery as time expired. The Colts’ improbable season continues, improving to an AFC Wild Card leading 8-4.

Packers 23, Vikings 14

Despite Vikings Adrian Peterson’s 210 rushing yards, the Packers improved to 8-4, tying the Bears for the NFC North lead.  Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers threw for 286 yards and a touchdown, while James Starks rushed for another score.  

Chiefs 27, Panthers 21

Kansas City took the field with heavy hearts Sunday, after the shocking murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher on Saturday.

Chiefs Brady Quinn threw for 201 yards and two scores and Jamaal Charles rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Jets 7, Cardinals 6

It certainly wasn’t pretty, as the box score reflected a poorly pitched baseball game rather than a football matchup, but the Jets improved to 5-7 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Mark Sanchez was pulled after a brutal first half in which he was intercepted three times, allowing Greg McElroy to lead the Jets offense down the field for the game’s only touchdown, a 1-yard pass to Jeff Cumberland. 

Steelers 23, Ravens 20

This rivalry continued to not disappoint, as it took a 42-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham to decide the contest. 

The Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers snapped a two-game losing streak, improving to 7-5 behind third-string quarterback Charlie Batch’s 276 passing yards. 

Cowboys 38, Eagles 33

Philadelphia’s nightmare of a season continued to get scarier. The Eagles dropped their eighth straight contest despite Bryce Brown’s 178 yards on the ground and two scores.

Tony Romo torched the Eagles’ secondary for 303 yards through the air and three touchdowns, breaking Troy Aikman’s career franchise record of 166 passing touchdowns.

Redskins 17, Giants 16

New York continued to struggle, as the Giants have dropped three of their last four contests to fall to 7-5. The Redskins, now standing at 6-6, made the NFC East race tighter.

Griffin threw for 163 yards and a score, while rushing for 72 yards on five carries, to break Cam Newton’s NFL record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single season.