I can feel the grind of the NFL season taking its toll on me. No, I am not having to limp down stairs like Earl Campbell used to do after games each week. My toll is more mental with this season. Week 14 means we are very close to the playoffs, but it also means we are super close to the end of the NFL season. Sorry I had to bring that up, but it has been weighing on me pretty heavily the past couple of days so I had to share my burden. Let’s get to the recap of week 14 without any further whining from yours truly.
The 49ers are in a tailspin of epic proportions and I keep waiting for a complete meltdown from crazy eyed Jim Harbaugh. It’s coming too, believe me. All it will take is one too many direct questions from a beat reporter like the ones he fielded after this past Sunday’s loss to the pitiful Raiders. He looked to be on the brink of chastising a few of the guys and gals lobbing up legit questions after the game. The same Raiders who had their manhood ripped from them last week by the Rams, 52-0, managed to beat San Francisco 24-13. The NFC Title Game run is over.
The Thursday night game featured the Cowboys and the Bears. Dallas is trying to hang on to the hopes of a bye in the playoffs, while the Bears are trying to get through another disappointing year. The final was 41-28 with Chicago getting some late scores to make it appear a closer game than it actually was. DeMarco Murray had his biggest yardage total of the year with 179, as he is a game closer to the season rushing title. Tony Romo threw three touchdowns in a much better performance than he had the week prior.
Pittsburgh romped Cincinnati 42-21. The Steelers are a hard to team to figure out. They are just as likely to underwhelm as they are to amaze us with a crazy high powered offense. They are going to be dangerous in the playoffs and could even beat the Patriots or Broncos on the right day. On a bad day they could lose to the lowest seed. Bengals fans should not hang much hope for a Bengals’ Super Bowl party. Unless they can get A.J. Green the ball twenty times each game, they are not striking fear in anyone. Green had a big day in this one with 224 yards on 11 catches and a score.
The Rams had another shutout to make it back to back weeks for their impressive defense. The Redskins have no quarterback that can play two good weeks in a row, except RG3 who can’t play two good drives in a row. 24-0 was the final in this game and that was not the worst insult for Washington. Rams coach Jeff Fischer thought it would be a good dig to put the players involved in the RG3 trade out for the coin toss. Nice way to start a game I guess….to rub it in to a team that is about as far down as they can get and an even darker future without the players they gave up to get Griffin.
The NFC South got a little worse as Carolina beat New Orleans 41-10 as Cam Newton decided to throw balls that his receivers could actually catch. This division is like a bucket of crabs, trying to pull each other down as soon as it looks like one team may get some positive traction. The Saints fall to 5-8 and the Panthers go to 4-8-1. Both are still in contention to win the South. Amazing and a bit disgusting.
The Colts made a big comeback on the Browns to win it 25-24. Andrew Luck hit T.Y Hilton in the last minute to take over the lead from Brian Hoyer‘s crew. The Browns are still a good team that had one of the NFL’s elite on the ropes in this game. But they appear to be panicking as they try to slide into the playoffs this week with a QB change. That’s right, J-Football looks to be the starter come next week. I thought Browns’ coach Mike Pettine had the stones to stick with his chosen starter, Hoyer. But I guessed wrong. Most likely he was pushed into a Manziel move by the front office, so he may have been powerless in this decision.
Denver chalked up another win to go to 10-3. They beat Buffalo with the running game as Peyton Manning had a very Eli-like performance. Manning’s TD streak was halted at 51 games after not reaching the end zone in this game via the air. Broncos 24-17 over the Bills. C.J. Anderson provided the scoring on the ground for Denver. Julius Thomas was out in this game, but looks likely to get back on the field next week.
Seattle has had some impressive wins the past four weeks. They got the Eagles this go around 24-14, while holding Philly to just 139 offensive yards. Defense still wins championships Chip Kelly. The Seahawks are peaking at the right time, but are still way too reliant on Russell Wilson running around and making it up as he goes.
Bad news for Kansas City is the fact that Alex Smith is not enough of a NFL QB to beat Arizona with a backup. I like Smith, but he has to be able to push his team past a group playing behind Drew Stanton. The Chiefs lost to the Cardinals 17-14 despite two big scores in the first half by Jamaal Charles.
The Monday night game featured the best team in the league in the Packers. This game had the makings of a slaughter as they welcomed Atlanta into Lambeau. A little snow mixed in before the game did not bode well for my Falcons, who can barely win a game outside of their home dome even in perfect weather. As expected the Packers opened up some offensive whoop ass on Atlanta and led 31-7 at halftime. As most of America went to bed though, the Falcons charged back in the second half and had at least a shot at overcoming the big deficit. Despite Julio Jones having the game of his life, which was long overdue, the Birds fell short 43-37. Aaron Rodgers looked like he should have in this one. The best in the game had little trouble carving up one of the worst pass defenses in the continental United States. Matt Ryan showed a lot of grit in their comeback attempt as well, and even with the loss the Falcons are atop their division still.
The Patriots and Lions also won their games. The Jags were no match for Detroit and New England dismissed the Chargers 23-14.