NFL Week 14– 32 Thoughts
With Week 14 behind us, let’s check out how the week looked in the rear view mirror.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals bounced back after being down 14-6 at the half by shutting out the Chiefs in the second half and scoring just enough to get the victory. It was a costly win with Antonio Cromartie going out with an Achilles injury.
Atlanta Falcons: Have to give the Falcons credit for not giving up at halftime and fighting all the way to the end. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s defense had no answers for the Packers Offense.
Baltimore Ravens: A surprising road win for the Ravens after being down 10-0 early in the game. Without the services of Haloti Ngata, who was suspended for violation of the substance abuse policy, the Ravens were able to contain the run much better while sacking Ryan Tannehill six times. Off the Mark: Joe Flacco threw his 7th red zone interception in the last three season…tying him with Eli Manning for the most in the league during that time.
Buffalo Bills: Leave it to the Bills to force three Broncos turnovers, break Peyton Manning’s 51 game touchdown pass streak, and find a way to lose the game. Worst of all is that Buffalo missed a golden opportunity, with Miami losing earlier in the day, to gain some division and playoff position. Rookie of the Year Candidate: With another 100 yard game on Sunday, Sammy Watkins became the first Bills rookie with four 100 yard games in a season.
Carolina Panthers: For a team that looked like they packed it in for the season a month ago, the Panthers had their best offensive output of season on Sunday. With three passing touchdowns along with a rushing score as well, Cam Newton showed flashes of being Superman again. Unbelievable Circumstance: After losing 6 of their last 7, the Panthers still have an outside shot to win the NFC South.
Chicago Bears: With yet another disappointing performance, that Bears season is officially is over and they will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.
Cincinnati Bengals: After leading the game going into the fourth quarter, the Bengals were crushed by the Steelers who scored 25 unanswered points to close out the game. Andy Dalton and AJ Green seemed unstoppable at times but Dalton’s fumble deep in his own territory gave Pittsburgh the break they needed. No place like home? The Bengals have lost back to home games to division opponents.
Cleveland Browns: That isn’t Lake Erie that you smell…It’s the stench of the Browns’ offense. Good thing that the Browns are used to living in the division’s basement because it looks like they may be moving in again for the rest of the season. Stat of Futility: The Hoyer led Browns offense has scored only 1 touchdown in the last 29 possessions. WOOF!
Dallas Cowboys: Efficient passing from Tony Romo along with almost 200 yards of rushing was more than enough to get by the defensively challenged Bears. State of the Standings: For the first time in what feels like forever, the Dallas Cowboys will have a winning season.
Denver Broncos: A surprising sloppy performance on offense by Denver where they committed three turnovers, had only a 40% third down conversion rate, and were outgained by 109 yards. Even with Manning not throwing a touchdown pass, they had just enough to get past Buffalo.
Detroit Lions: Detroit had no problems slicing up Tampa Bay’s defense on Sunday as Calvin Johnson dominated the Bucs secondary for 8 catches and 158 yards. Defensively, Detroit’s defensive line had no problems with the Bucs’ Swiss cheese of an offensive line. Funny how that works out: The Lions had back to back games with the identical score – 34 – 17.
Green Bay Packers: Green Bay seemed to take control of the game by halftime but the pesky Falcons kept it close all the way to the end. Historic Milestone: Coach Mike McCarthy tied Vince Lombardi with 98 wins on Monday night.
Houston Texans: The Texans lead the league in takeaways so playing against Blake Bortals, who seems to love giving the ball away, couldn’t have worked out better for Houston. Though Andre Johnson was lost to a concussion, Arian Foster took over and ground out 127 yards on 24 carries.
Indianapolis Colts: In a game where Andrew Luck looked mortal, the Colts defense forced 4 turnovers and did not allow the Browns to fully capitalize on all of the offensive mistakes. Rare Company: Over the last three seasons, Andrew Luck leads the league in second half comebacks of at least 10 points (7).
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars held a slim 13-10 lead at halftime but then were shutout in the second half and did not have an answer for Houston’s running game. Incredible Amounts of Futility: Jacksonville has lost 37 of their last 45 games….27 of those losses were by double digits. Ugh…
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs short passing game was not able to generate any points in the second half which allowed the Cardinals to stay in the game and eventually take the lead and the win.
Miami Dolphins: After an uninspiring win against the Jets in Week 13, the Dolphins turned around and had an offensive stinker of a home game against the Ravens. After building a 10-0 lead, Ryan Tannehill looked lost against a Ravens pass rush that sacked the QB six times while the Dolphins’ running game mustered a paltry 63 yards. Equally inept was the Dolphins vaunted defense that had no answers for the Ravens’ offense.
Minnesota Vikings: A short pass from Bridgewater, which turned into an 87 yard touchdown, was the deciding factor in game that went to overtime with the Jets. Crystal Ball Time: The Vikings may not be going to the playoffs, but they may have struck gold with Teddy Bridgewater.
New England Patriots: The Patriots held on to the AFC’s Number 1 Seed by edging the Chargers in San Diego. New England’s defense held the Chargers to 216 total yards while harassing Phillip Rivers all night long. Historic Note: The Patriots now have the second longest streak (12) in NFL History for consecutive seasons with double digit wins.
New Orleans Saints: A horrible offensive start for the Saints who turned the ball over on two of their first three offensive plays on their way to losing their fourth straight home game.
New York Giants: The Giants snapped their 7 game losing streak by beating up on a Titans team that is actually worse than they are. Rookie of the Year Contender: Odell Beckam Jr. set a franchise rookie record with his fourth 100 yard game.
New York Jets: The Jets bounced back after another Geno-Special (pick 6) to tie the game and send it into overtime. Unfortunately for the Jets, there biggest issue, besides the Quarterback, was a terrible secondary that let a five yard pass go for 87 yards to lose the game in overtime.
Oakland Raiders: After getting shellacked 52-0 by the Rams in week 13, the Raiders had the upset of the weekend by upending the 49ers 24-13. Derrick Carr tossed 3 touchdowns while the Raiders defense stonewalled San Francisco’s offense. Crazy Stat: The Raiders’ 11 point win on Sunday was their largest margin of victory since Week 15 of the 2012 season.
Philadelphia Eagles: Thanks to Seattle’s defense, the Eagles had their worst offensive performance since Chip Kelly took over in Philadelphia. Crazy Stat: On Sunday, the Eagles gained a total of 139 yards….They average almost 400 yards/game this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: After their aging defense let AJ Green run wild in their secondary, some fortunate turnovers turned the game around in the fourth Quarter. Ohio Welcomes Ben: Roethlisberger, who grew up in Ohio, is not 18-4 when playing in his home state including a 10-2 record in Cincinnati.
St Louis Rams: The Rams sacked Colt McCoy 6 times on Sunday…and just to make sure that was not a fluke, they also sacked RGIII when he entered the game as well. This is the first time in 69 years that the Rams have had back to back shutouts.
San Diego Chargers: An excellent defensive effort by San Diego was over shadowed by the Chargers inability to manage the Patriots pass rush in the second half. Philip Rivers was hit 7 times along with being sacked 4 times and was unable to rally San Diego late in the game. The Revis Effect: Keenan Allen was not targeted once in the 1st half of the game….that was the first time that has happened in his career.
San Francisco 49ers: Collin Kaepernick tossed an interception on his first pass attempt which seemed to foreshadow the 49ers afternoon. With their second loss in a row, the 49ers are staring down the barrel of missing the playoffs for the first time in Jim Harrbaugh’s tenure as head coach. Ugly is Ugly: Collin Kaepernick complete two passes to 49ers wide receivers…which was the same amount of passes caught by Raiders defenders.
Seattle Seahawks: A dominating defensive performance by the Seahawks shutdown Philadelphia’s offense all day long. On the other side of the ball, Russell Wilson threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another and easily. Elite Defense: The Seahawks have won 3 games in a row where they have held their opponents to both season low in points and yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lovie Smith’s putrid offense really didn’t have a chance when the Buccaneers offensive line surrendered 6 sacks and 14 QB hits. Ouch. Former Bucs Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford seems to have exited the building at the right time before his association with Lovie Smith doomed any future coaching opportunities for him. End of the Line: On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were officially eliminated from the Playoffs…SHOCKER!
Tennessee Titans: How do the Titans back up an ugly Week 13 defensive performance? By having an equally ugly offensive performance in Week 14. Free Falling: The Titans have now lost 11 of their last 12.
Washington Redskins: Washington could not sustain any offense against St. Louis and were shutout. The lack of protection landed Colt McCoy in the hospital for X-Rays and put RGIII back onto the field….which didn’t help at all. Packing it in early: The Redskins have lost 5 in a row and 9 of their last 11.
P.S. Vote for CK!!!