Never an ordinary week in the NFL, especially this late in the season. The Buffalo Bills pulled a big upset, and the Bengals absolutely ruined Johnny Manziel’s debut. With only two weeks left and five divisions still up for grabs, things are just starting to get good. Here’s a recap of Week 15:
Oakland Raiders 13 at Kansas City Chiefs 31: The Chiefs kept themselves alive in the playoff race, but it wasn’t a very impressive victory despite the final score. At halftime, the score was just 10-3. The Chiefs really weren’t able to anything until the Raiders started really shooting themselves in the foot. Derek Carr was terrible finishing 27 of 56 for 222 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders actually may have had a chance if Carr performed well.
Jacksonville Jaguars 12 at Baltimore Ravens 20: the Ravens really didn’t show up for this game. The Jaguars probably could have won if they weren’t the Jaguars. The Ravens struggled on offense; and Joe Flacco finished with only 221 yards—a poor performance considering his career-best season. Fortunately for the Ravens, Blake Bortles sucks. 21 of 37 for 210 yards and an interception will not win games in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 at Atlanta Falcons 20: Atlanta was in a good position to pull off the upset, but Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t about to let that happen. Big Ben finished 27 of 35 for 360 yards, absolutely crushing the Falcons secondary with safety William Moore out. The Falcons were definitely prepared for Le’Veon Bell, holding him to 47 yards on 20 carries. Unfortunately, the Falcons had no answers for Bell in the red zone, giving up two touchdowns to the back.
Houston Texans 10 at Indianapolis Colts 17: The Colts got off to a slow start once again, and Andrew Luck threw another early pick six. Ryan Fitzpatrick went down in the first half, so the Texans (already without Andre Johnson) had no chance with a 3rd string quarterback. J.J. Watt was fantastic once again. Two sacks, a batted pass, a holding penalty, and multiple run stops.
Cincinnati Bengals 30 at Cleveland Browns 0: Well the Bengals sure spoiled Johnny Manziel’s first NFL start. Manziel looked great against a tough Bills defense, but the Bengals made him look like he didn’t belong in the NFL. Andy Dalton didn’t do much either, but that’s not a surprise. Manziel was not helped much by his coach (who almost seemed to be trying to screw him over), but Johnny Football will need to step up his game in the future.
Miami Dolphins 13 at New England Patriots 41: Rob Gronkowski once again couldn’t be stopped by anyone by Tom Brady. Brady missed Gronk early in the game, but by halftime he was throwing it close enough that the big tight end could finally snag it. Gronk had 96 yards on only three receptions. Ryan Tannehill did all right against the best defense in the league, but not nearly as much as Gronk.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 at Carolina Panthers 19: Well, at 2-12 it looks like the Bucs have finally been eliminated from the playoffs in the weak NFC South. Derek Anderson had a solid game without Cam Newton able to play, but the Bucs did put up a good performance for…well…the Bucs.
Washington Redskins 13 at New York Giants 24: This game got really interesting right before halftime. Robert Griffin III appeared to have a rushing touchdown, but upon review he fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line resulting in a touchback for the Giants. Santana Moss was so pissed heading into the locker room that he got ejected for getting in the ref’s face. The Giants then got to kick off from the Redskins 35 yard line (essentially a free onside kick). The Giants recovered, and the rest is history.
Green Bay Packers 13 at Buffalo Bills 21: Hopefully now people will realize that Aaron Rodgers is in no way deserving of MVP or all the praise he receives. Rodgers was absolutely atrocious going 17-of-42 for 185 yards and two interceptions. That’s about as bad as it gets. The last six quarters of football have not been good for the Packers.
Minnesota Vikings 14 at Detroit Lions 16: The Lions really blew this one even though they won. Matthew Stafford had really poor numbers, and Calvin Johnson was way under his average (although he did still have 53 yards). The only thing the Lions did well was the game winning drive to set up a field goal.
New York Jets 16 at Tennessee Titans 11: With this win it looks like the Jets are no longer in contention for the first overall pick. I’m not going to say much about this game because who really cares, but Rex Ryan has certainly been able to keep the team motivated which is very impressive.
Denver Broncos 22 at San Diego Chargers 10: Peyton Manning actually missed a little bit of time in this game at the end of the first half. Seeing what the team did with Brock Osweiler (absolutely nothing), it’s obvious that the Broncos can only go as far as Peyton brings them. The defense continued to screw up after a good offensive performance, but all-in-all it was a good outing.
San Francisco 49ers 7 at Seattle Seahawks 17: Colin Kaepernick started the game well, but that was it. An early touchdown is not enough to beat the defending champs. If Seattle wins out they will be the first seed in the NFC which means another trip to the Super Bowl. This was also the last (at least the last foreseeable) matchup between Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh, and boy was it a great rivalry.
Dallas Cowboys 38 at Philadelphia Eagles 27: The Cowboys looked great in this game. It’s amazing what capitalizing on turnovers does for a team. Tony Romo did pretty well: 265 yards and three touchdowns. Romo did have a lost fumble as well as a near pick; however, in the end the Cowboys were able to hold on and succeed.
New Orleans Saints 31 at Chicago Bears 15: Phil Emery needs to be fired. Signing Jay Cutler to a $120 million contract is possibly one of the worst decisions in NFL history. This man is not a quarterback, nor has he done anything to earn the money. Cutler couldn’t muster more than 8 points before garbage time against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.