— Joe Burrow and defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns for the first time, 23-10.
— Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 30-of-42 pass attempts for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Lawrence has not been intercepted in his last five games. The Jags will be dangerous if they ever figure out how to win close games.
— Tennessee Titans, the AFC’s top seed last season, fired general manager Jon Robinson last week before giving up four turnovers in Sunday’s 36-22 loss to Jacksonville.
— Quarterback Baker Mayfield was waived by the Carolina Panthers last Monday and was claimed immediately by the Los Angeles Rams. Mayfield played three days later for the Rams on Thursday night against Las Vegas. The Heisman-winning quarterback directed the Rams’ offense 98 yards with no timeouts to drop the Raiders, 17-16.
— Raiders? You mean “Faders,” right? Las Vegas has set an NFL record by losing four games this season after leading by 13 or more points. Raider Nation may have taken its worst hit last Thursday night in Los Angeles, blowing a 16-3 lead over the Rams in the 4th quarter to lose, 17-16.
— Washington Commanders (7-5-1) jump from eighth to sixth place on a bye week. Beware: This team is playing with extreme confidence under head coach Ron Rivera.
— Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has become the organization’s all-time leading scorer with 1,473 points, taking over from Matt Stover, who was pretty damn good.
— Kansas City Chiefs have beaten the Denver Broncos 14 consecutive times, surpassing the New England Patriots 12-straight wins over the New York Jets. Kansas City is in line for its seventh-consecutive AFC West title, trailing the Patriots’ 11 AFC East titles between 2009 and 2019.
— Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has accumulated more than 10,000 yards in receptions, joining the elite fraternity of Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe and Jason Witten.
— The San Francisco 49ers wrecked Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, 35-7. Heading into the game, Brady was 6-0 facing first-start quarterbacks. Everybody, say hello to Brock Purdy or Mr. Irrelevant, a nickname he earned after being the last player taken in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In his first regular-season start, Purdy went 16-of-21 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Purdy looked like a young Brady running the 49ers’ offense, leading the team to a 28-0 lead at halftime. San Francisco’s defense crushed the Bucs all day long. All in all, the Niners should have been penalized for terrorizing Tampa Bay.
— Chargers QB Justin Herbert is simply terrific. Another game of leadership and pin-point passing to help Los Angeles defeat the Miami Dolphins and hang onto its hopes of a Wild Card slot. Over the first three seasons, Herbert has thrown for the most passing yards in NFL history, surpassing Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. The former Oregon Ducks signal-caller also holds the league records for most passing yards (9,350) and touchdown passes (69) through the first two seasons of a career. And he is showing no signs of slowing anytime soon. Herbert and the Chargers are a mash unit.
— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) December 12, 2022
— Only Texans head coach Lovie Smith could lose a game like Houston did on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. The one-win Texans were the better team, controlling most of the game until Cowboys QB Dak Prescott made his best Baker Mayfield impression. The Texans had this game won, but Lovie fell asleep.
— Call AAA. The Miami Dolphins’ offense sputtered and stalled — again — in a 23-17 loss to the Chargers.
— Remembering Paul Silas. We lost a warrior on Sunday with the passing of legendary NBA coach Paul Silas. He was 79. I worked for the Clippers when Paul was head coach. He was a gentle giant, a great player and champion. Paul’s son Stephen Silas is the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Paul will be missed.
— Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson had 11 catches for 223 yards, setting a franchise record for receiving yards in a single game against the Lions. Too bad Minnesota lost the game, 34-23.
— Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams scored his first NFL touchdown Sunday against the Vikings. The Crimson Tide alum tore his ACL in last year’s College Football Playoff championship game between Alabama and Georgia. Welcome back!
— Speaking of the Lions … Detroit started the season 1-6 but has won five of their last six games. Led by gunslinger Jared Goff, the Lions, under head coach Dan Campbell are roaring … Will the final four games allow them to make the postseason? No NFL team has made the playoffs after a 1-6 start.
— My MVP: The winner is the Philadelphia Eagles QB Justin Hurts — he runs, throws and leads. The Eagles (12-1) are the first team to clinch a playoff spot.