Week fifteen was highlighted by close calls and NFL football on Saturday Night. Seven games were decided by 10 points or less this week, the biggest was the Panthers-Giants matchup. Once up 35-7, the Giants roared back at home, scoring the next 28 points to tie the game up at 35-35 with just under a minute remaining. Well a minute was all the Panthers needed as they marched down the field seamlessly for a 43-yard field goal by the foot of Graham Gano to seal a 38-35 win for the STILL undefeated Panthers.
NFL football: Saturday Night primetime was in Jerry’s World as the Cowboys took on the Jets. The first half was a slugfest as both teams exchanges field goals until Kellen Moore found Dez Bryant for the half’s only touchdown giving the Cowboys a 13-9 advantage over the Jets. From then it was all New York as they outscored the Cowboys 10-3 in the second half for a 19-16 win over the boys. With the win, New York remained afloat in the AFC Wildcard race.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals have won eight straight games defeating the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles respectively. Here’s my favorite moment:
One team remains undefeated: The Carolina Panthers at 14-0.
Carolina Panthers (14-0): Aside from the defensive laps the Panthers have become susceptible to, this team has been an offensive powerhouse. Super Cam accounted for 438 total yards along with five touchdowns by himself as the Panthers held of the Giants, 38-35.
Arizona Cardinals (12-2): First 12-win season, an NFC West title, and a 40-17 thumping of the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Check, check and check. Cardinal rookie David Johnson rumbled, bumbled and stumbled for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinals 40-17 thrashing of the Eagles. Shout out to the Arizona defense for recording two interceptions, one being a pick-six and a couple sacks in the win.
New England Patriots (12-2): Tom and the crew: curtained the Titans, 33-16 through a solid defense and Brady doing “Brady Things.” The Patriots defense recorded two interceptions, five sacks and two fumbles where Tom Brady passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Cincinnati Bengals (12-2): Backup A.J. McCarron was poised in his first start and so was his team, as the Bengals caged the 49ers, 24-7. McCarron passed for 192 and a touchdown in the win. The Bengals officially clinch the AFC North and a playoff spot for the fifth straight season.
Green Bay Packers (10-4): The Packers defense excelled in their 30-20 win over the Raiders, sacking Derek Carr three times along with recording two interceptions, one being a pick-six. Aaron Rodgers was good too passing for 204 yards and a touchdown as well. Rodgers and the pack clinched a playoff spot for the seventh straight season.
Denver Broncos (10-4): Once up 27-10, the Broncos had a midday meltdown giving up 24 straight points to loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-27. This was largely due to the Denver’s inability to stop anyone Steeler receiver who piled up 380 yards and three touchdowns between the squad. The answer is no it doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-5): Eight straight wins to the hottest team in the AFC. The Chiefs defense is ball-hawking recording a fumble touchdown and forcing Jimmy Clausen into two interceptions, one being a pick-six in the Chiefs 34-14 drubbing of the Ravens. Game ball goes to Marcus Peters who recorded two interceptions, one being a pick-six giving him seven for the season, good for second in the NFL. The Chiefs are a dark horse for this years Super Bowl.
Seattle Seahawks (9-5): Five straight for the Seahawks thanks to Russell Wilson playing like a madman. Wilson has passed for 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions during the streak and today was no different in a 30-13 beatdown of the Browns, Wilson was brilliant passing for 249 and three scores in the win. Oh yeah, welcome to the playoffs Seattle.
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5): Pittsburgh scored 24 straight points to go on to beat Denver, 34-27 in a wild AFC game. Big Ben was big passing for 380 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Antonio Brown, the NFL’s best receiver proved the title hauling 16 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers are in the AFC Wildcard passenger seat alongside the Chiefs.
New York Jets (9-5): The gang green defense showed up in a big way for the green and white intercepting Cowboys quarterbacks four times and recording two sacks. New York did well offensively too, as Ryan “still have a beard” Fitzpatrick passed for 299 yards and a touchdown in the 19-16 win over Dallas. For Fitz, this his first winning season, a big season why is Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall who set a franchise record with 21 combined touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings (9-5): Great bounceback win for the Vikings and especially Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater shredded the Bears defense passing for 231 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-17 thrashing of the Bears.
Washington Redskins (7-7): YOU LIKE THAT? Kirk Cousins was beast passing for 319 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-25 win over the Bills. Desean Jackson was equally as magnificent hauling in six receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown for the NFC East first place Redskins. So the answer is yes, “I like it!”
Houston Texans (7-7): Houston captured its first win in nearly 14 contests in Lucas Oil Stadium as the Texans ousted the Colts, 16-10. Houston now is in first place in the AFC South. Game balls go out to Alfred Blue who rushed for 107 yards and Brandon Weeden who passed for 105 and a touchdown in the win.
New York Giants (6-8): Valiant comeback from the G-Men as they scored 28 straight to tie the Panthers-Giants game up at 35 all. But they fell short giving up a heartbreak field goal with 1:46 in the game. Eli Manning was brilliant passing for 245 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. Speaking of losses, look for Odell Beckham Jr. to be suspended and fined for the gladiator fights with cornerback Josh Norman.
Buffalo Bills (6-8): Inconsistency plagued the Bills offensively and a lack of pass rush destroyed any of the Bills hopes for a winning season. LeSean McCoy rushed for a mere 29 yards and Buffalo’s defense was blown up for 431 yards including five from Kirk Cousins, in a 35-25 loss.
Indianapolis Colts (6-8): Now is not necessarily the best time to lose for the Colts and that’s exactly what they did losing 16-10 at home to their AFC rivals, the Houston Texans. The Colts defense got gashed on the ground giving up 155 on the ground along with a nearly non-existent run game as they could muster 50 yards in the loss.
Philadelphia Eagles (6-8): So many things were wrong with the Eagles, Sam Bradford (two picks, one being a pick-six), two fumbles, a non-existent run game (74 yards) in the Eagles 40-17 defeat to the Cardinals. The only positive this game was Jordan Matthews who hauled in eight receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Chip Kelly always has a spot in college.
St. Louis Rams (6-8): The duo of rookie Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin have accounted for 18 total touchdowns for the Rams this season. All others: only six. Thursday Night Football was much of the same as Gurley accounted for 79 total yards and a touchdown where Austin accounted for 73 and two scores. But the unsung hero was Case Keenum who passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams 31-23 win over the Bucs.
Oakland Raiders (6-8): The Raiders beat themselves in their 30-20 loss to the Packers at home. Derek Carr was extremely accurate for most of the game and threw two interceptions, one being a pick-six in the loss. On the positive, Amari Cooper had himself a day hauling in six receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. He also became the first receiver to surpass 1,000-yards since Randy Moss in 2005.
Atlanta Falcons (7-7): After six straight losses, the Falcons finally got back in the winning column defeating the Jaguars, 23-17. Julio Jones was beast hauling in nine receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown in the win.
New Orleans Saints (6-8): More like Monday Night nightmare for the Saints defense as they gave up 396 total yards and were outrushed 150-69. A hobbled Drew Brees passed his way for another record becoming only the fourth quarterback to surpass 60,000-yards and a 10th consecutive 4,000-yard season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8): If your in the playoff hunt, you can’t lose crucial games and the 31-23 loss Tampa Bay had against St. Louis is the last thing you want. Offensively, the Bucs had a solid game but defensively the Tampa two was a Tampa boo as Case Keenum lit up the Bucs with a 234 yards and two touchdowns.
Detroit Lions (5-9): Matthew Stafford had some Monday night magic as he passed for 254 and an extremely accurate, three touchdowns in the Lions 35-27 win over the Saints. The Monday Night Football star had some help from his run game as both Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell rushed for 70-plus yards apiece and two touchdowns in the win.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9): While Jacksonville’s defense held down the fort recording a sack, an interception and shutting down Devonta Freeman (56 yards rushing), the offensive could only muster two touchdowns. That’s why the Jaguars lost 23-17 to the Falcons.
Chicago Bears (5-9): Jay Cutler needs a few Christmas presents from the Vikings because he was giving Minesotta gifts offensively. That’s right Cutler threw an interception, coughed up a fumble and recorded an 18.3 QBR rating in the Bears 38-17 defeat to the Vikings. Yep, I’m just going to leave that there.
Miami Dolphins (5-9): If you ever asked yourself, I don’t know whose worse? The Dolphins or the Chargers? Well that question was answered Sunday, as the Chargers slammed the Dolphins, 30-14. Miami was outrushed 140-44 and gave up 442 total yards in the loss. They might need that Ndamukong Suh money and contract revoked?
San Diego Chargers (4-10): The Chargers struggled in all facets of the game in their 10-7 loss the Chiefs. On offense, Phillip Rivers threw an interception and struggled with time-management the majority of the game. In addition, San Diego recorded four key drops, all of which would have secured a San Diego road win. Defensively the Chargers only gave up one big play the lone touchdown off a screen pass on third down.
Baltimore Ravens (4-10): The Ravens beat themselves coughing up a fumble for a touchdown, throwing two interceptions, one a pick-six along with seven drive-killing penalties in a 34-14 loss to the Chiefs. Luckily the season is almost over John Harbaugh and Co.
Dallas Cowboys (4-10): Kellen Moore was just as bad as Matt Cassel. If not worse, as they threw three interceptions combined. Dallas lost 19-16 to New York on Saturday Night football eliminating them from playoff contention.
San Francisco 49ers (4-10): Turnovers and a non-existent offensive line inhaled any hopes for a W for the 49ers. Three interceptions, a fumble and four sacks allowed lead to a 24-14 loss to the Bengals.
Tennessee Titans (3-11): Was Marcus Mariota knocked out of the game? Did the titan lose again? Yep. A 33-16 loss to the Patriots wasn’t the worse…that was the two interceptions, two fumbles and five sacks allowed by the Titans offense in the loss.
Cleveland Browns (2-11): Well the positive is the Browns have found a bright future with the trio of Johnny Manziel, Duke Johnson Jr. and Travis Benjamin on offensive. Defensively, I foresee a lot of changes especially after a 30-13 loss to the Seahawks. The Browns gave up 423 total yards while only getting to Russell Wilson twice: ouch.