SportsPulse: On a Sunday that saw many surprises, none was bigger than the Packers, who brought a confusing loss to the Cardinals, which led to the killing of Mike McCarthy. Trysta Krick summarizes a crazy weekend in the NFL.
The 32 things we learned from the 13th week of the 2018 NFL season:
1. Borrowing a favorite phrase from teenagers and the Twitterati, "SMH." The NFL had just blown the worst week of 2018. In contrast to Bad Pub from the national anthem controversy and / or aggravated by a POTUS, the current problems of the league are completely self-inflicted and extremely regrettable. There is nothing better than the derailment of a feel-good season that has been highlighted by points, resurgent TV ratings and up and coming star players.
. 2 On the one hand, at least many (perhaps most) teams – notably the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers – have internalized some important lessons after Ray Rice's domestic violence incident in 2014.
2a. On the other hand, some clubs – namely the "small (red) potatoes" – unfortunately still have no idea.
2b. And, unfortunately, Kareem Hunt certainly did not learn from Rice's example, and the new Washington (and former Niners), LB Reuben Foster, should not have.
. 3 I'm also so damned tired of the NFL pretending to be the industry leader in player safety as it fails again and again and again to stick to its own rules – great to do the men playing to protect the game. How many times have you experienced helmet-to-helmet hits in the open field? Any player, offense, or defense that initiates such contact should be marked – remain unused? I specifically wrote that Hunt had pierced Broncos S Justin Simmons earlier this season. I did it again when Patriots freshman Sony Michel dropped the boom of Colts S Clayton Geathers in the fifth week and knocked him out with a neck injury. My colleague Jarrett Bell took the baton after the Saints Cowboys game on Thursday, after which Dallas LB Jaylon Smith denounced football as "the last gladiatorial sport" following an illegal helm-to-helmet attack on New Orleans RB Alvin Kamara  had made [3a] Saints TE Dan Arnold previously suffered an equally dubious shot from Cowboys S Xavier Woods. You guessed it – no offense.
3b. In addition to the farce, Smith won one of the league's "Way to Play" awards earlier this season, which was reputed to be an example of how the NFL defender wants to perform in an allegedly safety-conscious environment.
3c. No one expects the officers to get every call right, and I'm not raving about borderline issues here. To some extent, this is now known a known occupational hazard, of which the players know a lot. And on a different scale, we do not need over-legitimating borderline instances – and, to put it bluntly, many players try to adjust their style of play – just as they do not do it for mishit or hold. However, as Jarrett suggests, the replay should be in play to ensure that the monstrous hits do not go unpunished.
3d. But let's end the hypocrisy. Roger Goodell and Al Riveron need to go to the same page. Rog Riveron, who is responsible for enforcing the rules of the league, may have to hold to account. But all we have now is a league announcing its guidelines to protect players, paying little more than lip service to it. An example that will be sent to players and leagues who go along the chain of Pop Warner, even though they are looking at the NFL for guidance and practical solutions to a system problem that will not fade.
. 4 Excite about. The NFL is a great league with a lot of great people, from headquarters to team rows and unoccupied support staff in every city. Football also teaches great lessons, and the NFL can have a very positive impact on their communities. But no blind eye in this room, which is usually reserved for the achievements in the field. Continue …
5. The NFL can also be a cruel business. Ask now former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who took canned food on Sunday afternoon after Green Bay somehow lost to the Cardinals. McCarthy has led this franchise into the postseason in nine of his 13 seasons when he won the Super Bowl XLV title after the 2010 season.
5a. Still, it felt like a mercy killing. The writing stood for McCarthy on the wall. And the Packers really wanted to initiate a search for a replacement, since this job, which offers the opportunity to coach Aaron Rodgers, is sure to be the most appealing to open this year.
. 6 By @NFLResearch the last time the Cardinals won Wisconsin in 1949, it was the Chicago Cardinals. Lambeau Field had not been built at the time.
6a. That's what you get when you look past the 2-9 cardinals, Mr. Rodgers.
. 7 Drew Brees's worst game of the season made the MVP race again a fully occupied field. Amazingly, the Saints star has never won the prize. His pursuit of one-year records for completion percentage and pass rating also suffered.
. 8 However, it is not as if Patrick Mahomes had faded from the MVP debate. The Chiefs quarterback brought four more TD passes to the Raiders, earning him an NFL Best 41 in just 12 games. As much as Hunt's absence on the Kansas City field could hinder her, she could supplement Mahomes' MVP curriculum vitae, which also led the team's 52 rushing yards in Oakland.
. 9 Also in the MVP interview: Rams Todd Gurley (165 yards total of 2 TDs on Sunday) and Aaron Donald (2 more sacks, 4 tackles against loss) when her team saw NFC West.
9a. Donald is now at pace with 22 bags.
9b. Gurley has 19 TDs (who tie his League leadership of 2017) and is on track to finish 25.
10th And do not forget Brees' younger offspring, Philip Rivers, as a real MVP contender. Rivers, who has never won the hard-to-reach hardware, had another big night (299 yards, 2 TD passes) as the Chargers angered the Steelers – they're offside again – in Pittsburgh. Nunc Coepi, Phil. And congratulations on the news that you have another kid on the way. Your wife is like Brees a saint.
11. Happy Return: Rams DL Ndamukong Suh had six tackles – and certainly a satisfying leak on Detroit QB Matthew Stafford.
12th Unfortunate Homecoming: The 49ers CB Richard Sherman played no role in his return to Seattle, where his team was embarrassed by the Seahawks.
12a. Russell Wilson, who had shadowed Sherm before the match, burned the SF secondary stage for four TD passes and effectively led the Seahawks into the NFC's top wildcard position.
. 13 Miami's Xavien Howard has intercepted four passes over the past two weeks. He has a pair of INTs in three separate games this year and heads the league for a total of seven.
fourteenth All four North NFC teams lost Sunday. Black-blue graduation indeed.
15th Kudos to the Houston Texans, who officially become the hottest team in the league with their ninth win in a row, despite the recent loss of their owner Bob McNair and the death of their first fan, President George HW Bush Friday take hold.
15a. In the meantime, the Saints, Colts, and Bears all saw five winning streak qualities.
sixteenth Air-tight case? QB Case Keenum was picked up by Denver in the opening eight games and the Broncos went 3-5. However, in the last four games, three of these victories, he has not generated any sales, and his team is now a game behind the last place on the AFC wildcard.
17th Jameis Winston threw a pair of TD passes into the angry Carolina of Sunday. His 81 career touchdowns make him the all-time leader of the franchise after overtaking Josh Freeman. (Bucs QB story pretty much in short, no?)
18. The Buccaneers released free tickets on Sunday and increased their paid presence to 52,568 – an increase of over 10,000 in the last week.
18a. It is noteworthy that Winston did not give away free footballs and was free of sales for the second consecutive week. Winston committed at least one in the first five games of the season (and a total of 12).
18b. Also noteworthy is the fact that Winston's rival Sunday, Carolina QB Cam Newton, who claimed to be playing the best football in his career, has played four times for the first time since his 2011 rookie season.
18c Bucs S Andrew Adams stole Newton three times and set a team record. Tampa Bay started on Sunday after catching only three passes for the season.
18d. While we're talking Bucs-Panthers' notable souvenirs, Carolina Backup QB Taylor Heinicke received the call for the final game of the match, an Ave Maria from his own 49-yard retinue (24-17) – and one of the Pieces You Wanted Suppose the Panthers pay Newton for it. (He did not say if his shoulder was sore afterwards.)
19. Relative (but not interlinked), as my esteemed colleague Mike Middlehurst-Schwartz so succinctly referred to Sunday: "The only throw the bills give Josh Allen to …"
19a. ICYMI, at Buffalo's latest snapshot (the Bills were followed by four) from Miami's 30-yard line, Allen – the rookie quarterback of the first round was announced as the strongest arm in recent memory, which led to this year's draft had – and moved a long way off Close Charles Clay in the end zone with a cross. Oof.
20th Week 13 top rushers were both rookies: Undrafted Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay (157 yards) and Allen (135).
21st Travis Kelce of Kansas City was the only close end in NFL history with Greg Olsen in three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
22nd Rams WR Brandin Cooks was the first man in the league's history to register in three consecutive years for three consecutive years at three different clubs in the 1,000-yard receiving season. Brandon Marshall is sooo jealous.
23rd DT Akiem Hicks was Bears' first defensive bear player since … TD "William" Refrigerator Perry stole Walter Payton's thunder in Super Bowl XX.
24. The Jets blocked a PAT and a Punt Sunday. They also remained suspended from the victory column after leading the 16-1 first-half lead.
25th Prior to Sunday, Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu (a high school quarterback and Wildcat threat at Rutgers) had a perfect 158.3-rating of passengers over the course of his seven-year NFL career – a track that completed the completion of all six of his throws included three TDs and 228 yards.
25a. But that ended when Sanu unleashed a misfire in Atlanta's defeat of Baltimore.
26th Giants WR Odell Beckham has a perfect rating of 158.3 passengers this season. His two throws led to TD passes of 57 and 49 meters.
26a. Eli Manning has no TD passes for 40 yards this season.
27. Congratulations to Tom Brady. TB12 reached # TB1K and at age 41 became the oldest player to reach 1,000 career positions since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
28th Congratulations to Bill Belichick. He reached # BB250 – OK, that's not really a thing … I checked. But Belichick now has 250 victories including playoffs as New England coach.
29th The league returned to NFL problems and hoped that China had not adjusted to Colts-Jaguars. Jacksonville's 6-0 win was the same for the game with the worst results in the past dozen years … and probably set the league back to 12 years.
30th In this direction, China, you might want to skip Jags-Titans on Thursday night – a piece of advice that we should all be wise.
31st We share your outrage, @BortlesFacts … Cody Kessler and 211 yards attack were not upgraded in Jacksonville.
32nd Dearest Mother – @CaptAndrewLuck and his battalion were ambushed by the "Jungle Catsmen". Amazingly, his weapon did not trigger a triumvirate of TD salvos, instead he was overrun three times by the "jungle cat men". Just breathtaking. At some point, he was even ridiculed by this insidious dissatisfaction, Corporal Ramsey.
32a. For those of you who are not interested in jargon from the civil war era – maybe it's a jargon from the civil war era? – The lucky series of games with at least three TD passes was canceled at eight. He was also released several times for the first time since the fourth week.
Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis