NFL 2018 Week 15 Prequel

December 13th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

December 9th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 8: NFL 2018 Week 14 Recap

The Festival of Lights was beautiful. Now let’s get down to football. This is when the big dogs come out.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans was the Thursday night game. After snapping their 7 game losing streak with a 6-0 victory, Jacksonville reverted back to form in a game that was over from the start. Tennessee from their own 27 moved easily. From the Jacksonville 48, Marcus Mariota hit Lewis for a 29 yard gain. Derrick Henry ran for 14, 2, and then the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Titans. The Jaguars managed a safety to trail 7-2.

In the second quarter the Jaguars faced 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 5. Kessler gained 2 yards. On 4th and goal at the one, Doug Marrone again decided to go for it. A touchdown would give the Jaguars the lead. Leonard Fournette got the carry and got stopped. Then came the play of the game and perhaps the season. From their own one, the Titans took over. Henry got the carry and went the full Tony Dorsett with a 99 yard touchdown run. This was not speed. It was power, as Henry stiff-armed more than one Jacksonville defender out of the way. The extra point failed but the Titans led 13-2. 

The game was pretty much over. Ryan Succop added a 33 yard field goal to end the half. In the third quarter the Titans moved 68 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 11 from the Jacksonville 28, Mariota ran for 12 yards and Henry ran for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 23-2 Titans. The Jaguars fumbled and Tennessee took over at their own 46. Again they needed only one play as Henry ran for a 54 yard touchdown to make it 30-2 Titans. Henry was a one man wrecking crew, finishing with 238 yards on 17 carries with 4 touchdowns. Jacksonville did get a touchdown in the third quarter and the fourth quarter was scoreless. 30-9 Titans

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs — The number one defense traveled to face the number one offense. After a touchback to start the game, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 8 at their own 38. Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for 17 yards, Conley for 7, Ware for 9, and Kelce for 15 down to the Baltimore 13. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Williams got the yard to make it 7-0 Chiefs.

After a touchback, Edwards ran for 8 yards, Lamar Jackson added 21 more, Edwards ran for 7, Dixon added 14 more, Edwards added 11, Jackson gained 9, Edwards added 2, and Dixon ran for the 3 yard touchdown. Baltimore tied the game 7-7 in the second quarter without throwing a single pass. The Chiefs missed a chance to take the lead when Harrison Butker missed a 51 yard field goal try. The Ravens took the good field position and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 11. The drive died at that point but a 28 yard Justin Tucker field goal made it 10-7 Ravens.

A touchback followed by an 18 yard completion from Mahomes to Tyreeq Hill plus a roughing the passer penalty had the Chiefs at the Baltimore 42. On 3rd and 6 from the Baltimore 15, Mahomes hit Kelce for the touchdown to make it 14-10 Chiefs with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Chiefs got it back at their own 19 with 1:36 left. Mahomes hit Robinson for gains of 9 and 17 and Ware for a 31 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Chiefs had 3rd and 4 at the Baltimore 6. Mahomes threw incomplete but Butker hit from 24 to make it 17-10 Chiefs at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Chiefs 39. John Harbaugh went for it. Edwards got the carry and got stopped cold. Yet on 3rd and 8 from the Chiefs 41, Mahomes was intercepted. From the Baltimore 27, the Ravens kept running the ball smash mouth style. Even on 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 14, John Harbaugh kept running it. Jackson gained 4 yards, and Harbaugh gambled again on 4th and 2 from the 10. This time Jackson hit Maxx Williams for the touchdown to make it a 17-17 game with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. 

The defenses dominated,, and Mahomes was getting harassed by the blitzing Baltimore defense. With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a 55 yard punt return by Jones had the Ravens at the Chiefs 14 yard line. On 3rd and 5, Jackson hit John Brown for the touchdown. With 4 minutes to play, the Ravens led 24-17 and were smelling upset.  

In a surprising turn of events, pass happy Andy Reid had Ware run three straight times for 6, 3, and 5 yards on 3rd and 1. With 90 seconds left, the Chiefs were down to their last gasp, facing 4th and 9 at their own 40. This time the Ravens did not blitz but they brought pressure with their front four anyway. Mahomes rolled all the way to his right, and just before going out of bounds, twisted his body and threw back across his body to the middle of the field where only bad things happen. Somehow, Hill came down with it, broke some tackles, and got to the sideline for a 48 yard gain. With 53 seconds left the Chiefs were again down to their final chance, facing 4th and 3 at the Chicago 5 yard line.

This time Baltimore brought the house, and Mahomes hit a wide open Williams in the flat for the touchdown and a 24-24 game. Baltimore took over after a touchback. With 44 seconds left from their own 36, disaster struck the Ravens. This time it was Kansas city sending a blindside blitz. Jackson never felt the pressure as he got hit and fumbled. The Chiefs recovered t the Baltimore 23. All they had to do was run down the clock and kick a field goal. With 3 seconds left, Butker came in for the 43 yard try to win it. The kick was no good. Butker’s second miss on the day sent this fine football game into overtime.

The Chiefs won the toss and after a touchback, Mahomes went right to work. He hit Harris for 15 and Hill for gains of 18 and 15. The Chiefs reached 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 12. Then Mahomes got nailed and fumbled. The Chiefs were lucky that Eric Fisher fell on the ball. the Chiefs retained possession but lost 13 yards. With 4:42 left in overtime, Butler came in for a 35 yard try. This time his kick was good. The Ravens would get one chance to tie or win the game.   

On 3rd and 7 from their own 28, Jackson hit Willie Snead for 14 yards. At the 2 minute warning, the Ravens had 2nd and 8 at the Chiefs 45. Then it all unraveled. Offensive holding moved them back. On the next play Jackson was sacked. He was injured on the play. On 3rd and 22, Robert Griffin III had to enter the game under the most impossible of conditions. RGIII threw incomplete twice, including a deep ball where defensive pass interference could have been called. The Ravens fell to 7-6 but still have the tie-breaker wild card advantage. The Chiefs at 11-2 still hold the top seed in the AFC, but they are only one game up in the AFC West with a major division showdown on Thursday. Ugly wins count, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 27-24 Chiefs, OT

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans — The Colts saw their 5 game winning streak snapped with a head-scratching 6-0 loss at Jacksonville. Houston came in winning 9 in a row. The Texans took over at their own 18. DeShaun Watson hit Akins for 13 yards and again for 27 more with another 15 tacked on for unnecessary roughness. On 3rd and 13 from the indy 30, Watson scrambled for just enough. Frank Reich challenged the spot, and it was reversed to 4th and 1. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it, and Watson hit Thomas for 6 yards. Alfred Blue ran for a 3 yard touchdown late in the first quarter for a 7-0 Texans lead. Then in the second quarter, the Colts took over.

Midway through the second quarter, the Colts took over at their own 36. Andrew Luck went bombs away ton TY Hilton for a 60 yard gain. On the next play Marlin Mack ran for the 4 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie. The Colts got it back at their own 34. Luck went to Eric Ebron for 23 yards, Pascal for 28 more, and back to Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown. The Colts led 14-7 with 3 minutes left in the half. The Colts got it back at their own 11 with 1:15 left. With 26 seconds left the Colts faced 3rd and 10 at their own 38. Luck hit Ebron for 15 and Carlos Rogers for 11 more. Adam Vinatieri drilled a 54 yard field goal to end the half with the Colts up 17-7.

The Texans began the third quarter with a staggering 16 play, 75 yard drive that consumed nearly half the period. On 3rd and 1 from the Colts 44, Watson hit Thomas for 14 yards. On 3rd and 8 at the Indy 28, Watson hit Hopkins for 10. On 4th and goal at the one, Bill O’Brien decided to go for it. Lamar Miller got in and the Texans were within 17-14. The Colts soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Luck hit Grant for 15 yards and Hilton for 8 more. On 2nd and 18 from the Houston 46, Luck went deep to Hilton for a 34 yard gain and then to Zach Pascal for the 12 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Colts led 24-14.

With minutes left in regulation and still needing 2 scores, the Texans faced 3rd and 8 at their own 32. Watson hit Thomas for 9 yards and went deep to Griffin for a 47 yard gain. Watson hit Hopkins for a 7 yard touchdown. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Texans were within a field goal and needed to get the ball back. Bill O’Brien opted against an onside kick and the Colts took over at their own 22. Everything came down to the 2 minute warning. The Texans were out of timeout. It was 3rd and 1 for the Colts at their own 48. Luck barked the hard count, and Jadavean clowned jumped offsides. The 9-4 Texans still lead the 7-6 Colts, as each team won on the other’s home field. Watson was 27 of 38 for 267 yards, one touchdown and 0 interceptions. Luck was a sensational 27 of 41 for 399 yards and 2 touchdowns with one interception. 24-21 Colts

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers  — McCarthy is out and the even blander nondescript Joe Philbin is in. In the first 83 seconds, Matt Ryan went to Julio Jones for gains of 28 and 19 yards. Philbin unsuccessfully used both challenges on those catches. On 3rd and 8 at the Green Bay 26, Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for 10 yards and Jones for the 16 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons.

After a touchback Aaron Rodgers came out firing. He hit Brown for gains of 8 and 4 and Randall Cobb for 8 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 45, Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for 21 yards and Valdes-Scantling for 14 more. Rodgers hit Adams for a 7 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 game. The Falcons missed a chance to take the lead. On 3rd and 7 from the Green Bay 19, Ryan was sacked and fumbled. The Falcons retained possession but the 16 yard loss turned a 37 yard field goal try into a 53 yard attempt. Matt Bryant missed it. After the first quarter, a close game between a pair of underachieving teams turned into a blowout.

The Packers after a touchback moved to a 2nd and 7 at the Atlanta 23. Rodgers threw incomplete and then was sacked for a 9 yard loss. Mason Crosby hit the 50 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers. With 6 minutes left in the half, the Falcons faced 3rd and 4 at their own 14. Ryan was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown and a 17-7 Packers lead. The Packers got the ball at their own 7 yard line with 2:45 left in the half. A mind-numbing unnecessary roughness penalty gave the Packers some breathing room. On 3rd and 6 from their own 31, Rodgers ran for 16 yards and then again for 21 more. With 26 seconds left in the half on 3rd and 1 from the Atlanta 27, Rodgers was sacked. Crosby hit the 48 yard field goal to end the half with the Packers up 20-7.

In the third quarter from their own 28, the Packers quickly moved to put the game away. Another pair of defensive penalties gave the Packers 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 24, Rodgers hit Cobb for the touchdown to make it 27-7 Packers. Green Bay got it back and faced 3rd and 14 at their own 20. Rodgers hit Adams for 16 yards and Jones for 15 more. Jones then ran for 14 yards and again for a 29 yard touchdown to make it a 34-7 Packers mauling. Atlanta scored twice during the garbage time fourth quarter as the Falcons fell to 4-9. The Packers at 5-7 are still clinging to life. Aaron Rodgers set an NFL record in this game. He has now thrown 368 straight passes without an interception. 34-20 Packers 

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills — Rex Ryan coaches neither of these teams, reducing this to a game between bad teams. On 1st and 20 from their own 17, Josh Allen hit Foster for 18 yards and ran for 8 yards on 3rd and 1. Allen scrambled for a 31 yard gain and then for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. On their next series the Bills fumbled and the Jets took over at the Buffalo 32. Sam Darnold went to the locker room injured and Josh McCown came in. Jason Myers hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7-3. The Bills after a touchback soon faced a 3rd and 4 at the Jets 48. Allen went deep and drew a 33 yard defensive pass interference call. On the next play Isaiah McKenzie ran for a 15 yard touchdown. The Bills led 14-3 after the first quarter, but the game would tighten. 

A 51 yard kickoff return had the Jets taking over at the Buffalo 46. On 3rd and 9 from the Buffalo 45 to start the second quarter, Sam Darnold went deep to Anderson for 25 yards. Yet on 2nd and goal at the one, McGuire lost 2 yard and Darnold threw incomplete. Jason Myers hit the 21 yard field goal to get the Jets within 14-6. The Bills from their own 29 moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Jets 13. A halfback reverse option was incomplete. Steve Hauschka hit the 31 yard field goal to make it 17-6 Bills. After burning the Bills for a 51 yard kickoff return, Roberts returned this one 86 yards to the Buffalo 8 yard line. Trenton Cannon ran for a 4 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 17-13.

Buffalo saw Josh Allen get intercepted. Buffalo got it back and Hauschka came in for a 49 yard field goal try to end the half. The kick was blocked. Despite earlier heroics, this time Roberts fumbled the second half kickoff. The Bills recovered at the Jets 13 but could not get in the end zone. Hauschka hit the 29 yard field goal ago make it 20-13 Bills. The Jets moved from their 35 to a 3rd and 9 at the Buffalo 33. Darnold was intercepted. Yet the Bills did not capitalize. Despite every chance to put the game away, Buffalo didn’t do it.

The Jets faced 3rd and 10 at their own 15. Darnold hit Enunwa for 11 yards. McGuire then ripped off a 34 yard gain. Darbold hit Leggett for 13 yards as the Jets began the fourth quarter at the Buffalo 27. Darnold hit Herndon for 14 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Buffalo 7, Darnold hit Robby Anderson for the touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation the Jets had tied the game 20-20. The Bills moved from their 16 to a 1st and 10 at the Jets 38. Offensive holding was costly. Midway through the fourth quarter, Sean McDermott gambled on Hauschka trying a 54 yard field goal for the lead. The kick was no good.

Buffalo got it back with 6:15 to play. From their own 39, Allen went deep to Foster for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Jets 18, Allen threw incomplete. This time Hauschka’s attempt for the lead was only 36 yards. Despite 2 earlier misses, this kick was good. With 2 1/2 minutes to play in a game they led from the beginning, the Bills led again 23-20. Allen had his chance. Now Darnold would have his.

Roberts returned the kickoff 22 yards with 5 more tacked on for a kicking team illegal formation. The Jets took over at their own 39. On 3rd and 1, McGuire gained 4 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. From the Buffalo 42, Darnold went deep to Anderson for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Darnold only gained 3 yards. The Bills took their final timeout as Todd Bowles decided to go for it all on 4th and goal at the one. Neither team was going to the playoffs, so why not? McGuire got in and the Jets had their first lead of the game with 1:17 to play. Allen would have his chance to be the hero snuffed out with an interception. 27-23 Jets

New York Giants at Washington Redskins — The Giants began 1-7 but came in winners of 3 out of 4. The reeling Redskins saw both their starting at backup quarterbacks go down with leg injuries. Third stringer Mark Sanchez got the start, with fourth stringer Josh Johnson as his backup. The game was a blowout that was over by halftime. A field scoreless field position game saw a perfect punt pin the Redskins at their own 2 yard line with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter. A run lost a yard. A short pass by Sanchez was intercepted by Riley, who bulled his way forward for a 9 yard touchdown. The Giants led 7-0 after one quarter, and had a second quarter for the ages.

A 23 yard punt return had the Giants taking over at their own 40. Despite 1st and goal at the 3, Eli Manning was sacked for a 14 yard loss. Aldrick Rosas hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Giants. The Giants got it back at their own 22. One play was all Saquon Barkley needed to rip off a 78 yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 Giants. Sanchez was then intercepted by Alex Ogletree, who returned it 18 yards to the Redskins 10 yard line. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Manning hit Sterling Shepard for the score to make it 24-0 Giants. 

Big Blue got it back at their own 18. Manning hit Penny for 16 yards. Barkley ran for 6 and then ripped off a 52 yard gain. Manning hit Bennie Fowler for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 31-0 Giants. 1:48 still remained in the half. The Giants got it back at their own 42 thanks to a 15 yard punt return. From the Washington 44, Manning went deep to Evan Engram for a 39 yard gain. Despite 1st and goal at the 5 with 13 seconds left, Manning threw incomplete twice. Rosas hit the 23 yard field goal to end the half as the 27 point second quarter explosion had the Giants up 34-0 at halftime.

League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter the Giants moved 81 yards. Manning hit Shepard for the 11 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, but with the Giants up 40-0, Pat Shurmur seemed unconcerned. Manning had 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. Sanchez was a miserable 6 of 14 for 38 yards and 2 interceptions in little more than one half of football. Jay Gruden had seen enough and brought Johnson in to replace Sanchez. Johnson went 11 of 16 for 195 yards, although the entire rest of the game was garbage time. Washington scored twice in the fourth quarter as they fell to 6-7 and the Giants got to 5-8 with the big win. 40-16 Giants

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Last week the Saints had their 10 game winning streak snapped. In this game it was the Buccaneers taking the opening kickoff and going 75 yards. Jameis Winston after a touchback went deep to Mike Evans for a 36 yard gain. Peyton Barber ran for 13 yards and Winston scrambled for 14 more. On 3rd and 9 from the Saints 11, Winston hit Cameron Brate in the front corner of the end zone for the 7-0 Buccaneers lead. 

In the second quarter the Buccaneers missed a 46 yard field goal that would have extended the lead. The Saints took over at their own 36 and moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Bucs 12. Drew Brees threw incomplete and the Saints settled for a 30 yard Wil Lutz field goal to trail 7-3. With 2:22 left in the half, an interception of brees set up the Buccaneers at the Saints 39. A defensive penalty for lowering the head to initiate contact moved the Bucs closer. On 3rd and goal at the one, Winston hit Cameron Brate for the score as the Buccaneers had the stunning 14-3 lead at the Big Sombrero. 

Momentum changed in the third quarter when the Buccaneers punted on 4th and 3 from their own 41. It was blocked, and the Saints took over at the Tampa 30. Mark Ingram ran for 11 and 4 and Brees hit Line for the touchdown. Alvin Kamara ran for the 2 point conversion to get the Saints within 14-11. 

A 20 yard punt return had the Saints getting it back just shy of midfield. Brees went to Lewis for 20 yards. Kamara ran for 8 and caught a pass for 4 on 3rd and 2. With 11:45 left in regulation on 4th and goal at the one, sean Payton decided to go for it. Brees got the yard himself as the Saints led 18-14. The Saints got it back again with great field position at their own 47. On 3rd and 5 Brees hit Thomas for 11 and Watson for 9. Kamara ran for 9 and Ingram ran for the 17 yard touchdown to make it 25-14 Saints. Lutz added a 36 yard field goal with 1:15 left as the Saints got to 11-2 and clinched the NFC South. 28-14 Saints

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins — Tom Brady has had some of his worst games at Miami. This one will be relived forever by anyone who loves football. Brady finished 27 of 43 for 358 yards. Tannehill was 14 of 19 for 265 yards. Both quarterbacks threw 3 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions in this instant classic. 

In this game the Patriots soon faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Brady hit Josh Gordon for 16 yards and Julian Edelman for 17 more. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 28, Brady hit Edelman for 4 yards and Cordarelle Patterson for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, James Develin got in. The Patriots led 6-0, but Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. It would loom large throughout the game. On 2nd and 6 from the Miami 29, , Tannehill hit Devonta Parker for 15 yards. Tannehill then ran for 13 and Frank Gore ran for a 36 yard gain. Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for the 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-6 Dolphins. The second quarter was a pinball machine of action.

Late in the first quarter the Dolphins punted from their own 33 on 4th and 19. The punt was blocked, and the Patriots took over at the Miami 18. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Brady hit Julian Edelman for the touchdown to make it 13-7 Patriots early in the second quarter. After a touchback Miami struck rapidly. Tannehill hit Stills for 21 yards. The Brandon Bolden ran for a 54 yard touchdown and a 14-13 Dolphins lead. 

After a touchback, Brady hit Rob gronkowski for 17 yards. On 3rd and 10 from their own 47, Brady hit Edelman for 16 yards and then went to Patterson for the 37 yard touchdown to make it 20-14 Patriots. Again after a touchback Miami responded. Tannehill went deep to Stills for a 43 yard gain. Brandon Bolden ran for a 6 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 21-20. 

After another touchback, Brady hit Gordon for 18 yards and Edelman for 20 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Miami 31, Brady hit Gronkowski for 15 and again for the 16 yard touchdown. The Patriots led 27-21 with 4 minutes left in the half. With 30 seconds left in the half, on 4th and 29 from their own 13, Miami had a punt blocked for the second time in the first half. The Patriots took over at the Miami 15. With 21 seconds left the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 2. Brady threw incomplete twice. On 3rd and goal at the 2, the Patriots took their final timeout. It was a major mistake. 14 seconds still remained. Rather than kick an easy field goal, Belichick went for it all. Brady was sacked and the clock ran out. That was a killer mistake. After a 35 point second quarter, the game cooled in the second half.

In the third quarter, the Patriots missed a chance to get some breathing room when Gostkowski missed a 42 yard field goal. From the Miami 32, defensive holding moved the ball to the 37. Gore ran for gains of 16 and 24 yards. Tannehill then hit Brice Butler for a 23 yard touchdown. The 7th lead change of the game had the Dolphins up 28-27 after three quarters.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Patriots took over at their own 31. Brady hit Gordon for gains of 21 and 8 with defensive holding adding 5 more. Brady hit White for 9 yards. Despite 1st and 10 at the Miami 15, a run gains done yard and Brady threw incomplete twice. With 6:45 left in the half, Gostkowski came in for a 32 yarder to give the Patriots the lead. The kick was good and the 8th lead change of the game had the Patriots up 30-28. 

Miami took over at their own 22. On 3rd and 4 from their own 40, Tannehill threw incomplete. With 4 1/2 minutes left, Adam Gase decided to punt. The Patriots took over at their own 27. With 3 minutes left, offensive holding had the Patriots facing 1st and 20 at their own 29. White gained 11 and Brady hit gordon for 12  as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Brady went deep and drew a 41 yard pass interference penalty. With 1:50 to play the Patriots had 1st and goal at the 7. White gained a yard and the Dolphins took their final timeout. A touchdown would put the game out of reach, but running the ball would grind down the clock to almost nothing. 

Bill Belichick played it safe and it was absolutely the right thing to do. In that situation you don’t even think of throwing the football. After gaining nothing, on 3rd and goal at the 6, Michel gained 2 yards. Critics will wonder why Belichick did not trust one of the greatest NFL players in all time in Brady to pass. Josh McDaniels calls the plays, and in that situation you must run the ball. By the time Gostkowski made the 22 yard field goal, only 16 seconds remained. The Patriots led 33-28. If not for Gostkowski’s misses and Brady’s blunder at the end of the first half, it would have been 40-28. Nevertheless, surely the Patriots could hang on for 16 seconds.

The short kickoff was returned 16 yards to the Miami 31. Only 7 seconds remained. All that was left was the Hail Mary, and nobody knew if Tannehill even had the arm strength to throw it 69 yards. Bill Belichick took defender Devon McCourty out of the game and brought in tight end Gronkowski to defend the Hail Mary. Adam Gase decided that the Hail Mary was not doable. He decided to go with the hook and laterals made famous by Cal knocking over the Stanford Marching Band.

From the 31, Tannehill fired over the middle to Stills, who caught the ball at midfield. As several defenders converged on Stills, he calmly lateraled the ball to DeVante Parker. Parker lateraled the ball to Kenyan Drake, who was near the sideline. Drake advanced from the sideline to the middle of the field at about the New England 30 yard line. Drake expected to lateral the ball again, but noticed that the New England defense had broken down. Drake kept the ball, veered back to the sideline, and it came down to him against Gronkowski. Gronk had a bad angle and stumbled. Drake made it to the end zone as the entire home crowd erupted in celebration. 

There were no flags on the field. The laterals were all backward and legal. It was a Miami miracle. Although this happened on the last night of Hanukkah, there was no word on whether any of the players involved on the final play were Jewish. New England fell to 9-4 and Miami at 7-6 is still alive in the playoff chase. Although league rules require an extra point attempt, the pandemonium made that impossible. Speaking of impossible, the 9th lead change ending in the play of the year will be watched as long as football and televisions exist. 34-33 Dolphins

Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns — The Panthers took over at their own 35. Runs and short passes led to a 3rd and 9 at the Cleveland 24. Cam Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for 20 yards and McCaffrey ran for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. On the very first play from scrimmage after a touchback, Gregg Williams went for it all. Baker Mayfield went deep and hit Brad Perriman for a 66 yard gain. Jarvis Landry ran for a 3 yard touchdown and a 7-7 game. 

In the second quarter the Browns fumbled and the Panthers took over at the Cleveland 17. McCaffrey ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Panthers. After a touchback, the Browns would face 3rd and 17 just shy of midfield. Mayfield went deep to Landry for a 51 yard touchdown and a 14-14 ballgame. 

The Panthers moved from their 18 to a 4th and 4 at the Cleveland 12. Chandler Catanzaro, filling in for injured Graham Gano, hit the 30 yard field goal to make it 17-14 Panthers. After a touchback the Browns moved to a 1st and 10 at the Carolina 31. They got no further but Greg Joseph nailed the 49 yard field goal. 3 times Carolina took the lead and 3 times Cleveland tied it for a 17-17 game at the half.

Defense dominated the second half. In the third quarter Carolina recovered a fumble at the Cleveland 32. They lost 3 yards, attempted a 53 yard field goal, and suffered a killer delay of game penalty before Catanzaro could kick the ball. Ron Rivera smartly opted to punt. Cleveland had to punt it back on 4th and 16 from their own 5. Carolina took over and soon faced 4th and 1 at the Cleveland 45. Riverboat Ron Rivera went for it and Newton hit Thomas for a 9 yard gain and a first down. Yet Thomas then drew a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to move the ball back 15 yards. It was still 1st and 10. Newton was then intercepted, but it was nullified by defensive holding. 

From the Cleveland 46, Newton hit Thomas for 16 yards, this time without incident. McCaffrey then ran for 25 yards. A 3 yard touchdown run was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 18, Ron Rivera this time had seen enough. He played it safe, called a run that gained 2 yards, and brought in Catanzaro for a 34 yard try for the lead. It was good and the Panthers led 20-17 after three quarters the hard way.

After a touchback, The Browns began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 2 at their own 45. Landry got the carry and gained 51 yards. On the next play Nick Chubb ran for the 4 yard touchdown. Joseph doinked the extra point off the upright no good. With 13 minutes left in regulation the Browns had their first lead of the game up 23-20. The Browns got it back and moved from their 37 to a 4th and 8 at the Carolina 23. Joseph hit the 41 yard field goal to put the Browns up by 6 with 8:45 to play.

Carolina moved 72 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. With 3 1/2 minutes to go, they had 2nd and goal at the 3. Would this be another Cleveland collapse? Moore gained nothing, Newton threw incomplete, and Riverboat Ron Rivera had a big decision to make. On 4th and goal at the 3 with 2 1/2 minutes left, he could kick a field goal and rely on defense. He went for it, a reasonable decision. Newton threw incomplete. The Panthers got it back at their own 35 with 1:07 left. Newton went deep and was intercepted. The reeling Panthers are 6-7 including 5 straight losses. They are 1-6 on the road. The Browns are 5-7. Under Hue Jackson, the Browns won 3 of 40 games. Under Gregg Williams, they have won 3 of their last 4 games. 26-20 Browns

Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers — The Broncos came in winners of 3 straight to get to 6-6 and still alive for a playoff spot. The 49ers came in leading the chase for the worst record and the top draft pick. Some games are just head-scratchers. The 49ers moved 56 yards in the first quarter and Robbie Gould hit a 40 yard field goal to put the 49ers up 3-0 after the first quarter. They got it back at their own 19. On the last play of the quarter from their own 36, Nick Mullens hooked up with George Kittle for a 52 yard game. The second quarter saw the 49ers face 3rd and 2 at the Denver 4. Mullens was sacked. Gould hit from 29 as the 49ers led 6-0.

The 49ers got it back at their own 15. One play was enough for Mullens to connect with Kittle for an 85 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 49ers. With 55 seconds left in the half, the 49ers took over at their own 28. Mullens hit Bourne for 12. From the Denver 45 with 30 seconds left, Mullens hit Kittle for 13 yards and again for 18 more. With 8 seconds left in the half, Mullens hit Pettis for the one yard touchdown as the 49ers had the surprising 20-0 lead at halftime. 

The 49ers slept through the entire second half as Denver tried to rally. In the third quarter a 20 yard punt return had the Broncos taking over at their own 44. On 4th and 1 from the 49ers 33, Vance Joseph had to go for it. Janovich gained 3 yards. On 4th and 2 from the Frisco 22, Keenum went to Patrick for 19 yards. Philip Lindsay ran for the 3 yard touchdown to get the Broncos on the board down 20-7. Denver got it back at their own 8 yard line and moved to a 4th and 3 at their own 44 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Lindsay got the carry and only gained 2 yards.

Mullens was quickly intercepted, giving the Broncos the ball at their own 41. They moved to a 4th and 3 at the Frisco 22 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Keenum completed a pass to Lindsay, but only for one yard. Denver got it back at their own 31 with 6:40 to play. with 5 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 7 at the Frisco 24. Keenum hit Patrick for 9 yards. With 4 1/2 minutes left they faced 4th and 1 at the Frisco 6. Lindsay gained 3 yards. On 1st and goal at the one, Keenum threw 3 straight incompletions. On 4th and goal at the one, Keenum hit DaeSean Hamilton for the score. With 4 minutes left Denver was within 6 points. 

With 3 1/2 minutes left, the 49ers faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23. Mullens hit Pettis for 31 yards. With 2 1/2 minutes left, it all came down to 3rd and 3 at the Denver 39 with the Broncos out of timeouts. In a gutsy move, Kyle Shanahan called a pass knowing an incompletion would stop the clock. when you’re 2-10, why not? Mullens hit Taylor for 6 yards and then took 3 knees. At 6-7, Denver’s playoff hopes took a brutal hit. The 3-10 49ers may still get the top pick, but in the NFL, there is no tanking. Everyone wants to win. 20-14 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers — The Bengals are done for the year while the Chargers still have an outside shot at the AFC West crown. After a touchback, Philip Rivers ran for 5 yards and Austin Ekeler added 18 more. Rivers hit Williams for 19 and Ekeler ran for 14 and 15. Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. The Bengals moved from their own 20 to a 3rd and 8 at the Chargers 34. A short pass from Driskel to John Ross gained only 5 yards. Marvin Lewis decided not to gamble on 4th and 3. Randy Bullock hit the 47 yard field goal as the Bengals trailed 7-3. 

In the second quarter after a touchback, runs and passes moved the Chargers to the Cincy 42. Rivers hit Jackson for 17 yards. Rivers then went to Ekeler for 21 yards and the Chargers began the second quarter with 1st and goal at the 5. Ekeler ran for the touchdown to make it 14-3 Chargers. A short punt would give the Bengals the ball at the Chargers 46. They moved to a 3rd and goal at the one. Driskel got in, but on further review it was ruled short. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. A false start killed the Bengals as they settled for a 23 yard Bullock field goal. They trailed 14-6, and field goals were not going to get it done.

With 1:35 left in the half, a short punt had the Bengals taking over at the Chargers 35. With 20 seconds left in the half, Driskel hit Ross for the touchdown. The 2 point try failed, but the Bengals were within 14-12, which should have been the halftime score. Yet the Bengals could not get to the half. The Chargers had 10 seconds left from their own 32. With one second left from the Cincy 46, Rivers was sacked. Yet the defense jumped offside to give the Chargers one untimed down. Anthony Lynn went with a 59 yard field goal try. Mike Badgley drilled it as the Chargers took a 17-12 lead to the locker rooms.

The Bengals began the third quarter with Marvin Lewis gambling on 4th and 1 from his own 35. Joe Mixon got stopped. The Chargers capitalized on the short field. On 4th and 1 from the Cincy 26, Anthony Lynn went for it and Ekeler gained 2 yards. The drive died at the 13 yard line but Badgley hit the 31 yarder to make it 20-12 Chargers after three quarters.

With one minute left in the third quarter the Bengals moved from their 39 to a 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 28. Driskel threw incomplete. Bullock hit the 46 yard field goal to get the Bengals within 20-15, but again field goals were not going to get it done. The Chargers moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 3 at the Cincy 14. Rivers threw incomplete, but Badgley hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 23-15 Chargers midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bengals moved 79 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes, taking over at their own 21. On 3rd and 6 from their own 48, Driskel hit Bernard for 9 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 39, Driskel threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 9 yard gain. Mixon then ran for gains of 19, 4, and 5 to set up 3rd and 1 at the 2 at the 2 minute warning. Driskel threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Mixon got in with 1:50 left. now it was time to try the tying 2 point conversion. Driskel was sacked and the Chargers still led 23-21.

The Bengals recovered the onside kick, but it only went 9 yards. Plus, an illegal block made matters worse as the Chargers took over at the Cincy 34. Anthony Lynn played it very safe as the Chargers ran 3 straight times. Badgley hit the 45 yard field goal as the Chargers led by 5. The Bengals took over at their own 23 with 43 seconds left. A sack of Driskel left 3rd and 19 with 18 seconds left. With no shot for a Hail Mary, a 9 yard completion ended the game. The Chargers at 10-3 are in strong playoff position and have a major showdown with 11-2 Kansas City on Thursday. 26-21 Chargers    

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals — Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together for a thrilling game for the ages. This was not that game. Matt Prater hit a 47 yard field goal in the second quarter for the Lions. Zane Gonzalez missed from 54. In the third quarter, Josh Rosen completed a pass to Darius Slay, who plays defense for Detroit. The 67 yard interception return touchdown made it 10-0 Lions. The Cardinals did get a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, but Zach Zenner capped a 75 yard drive with a one yard touchdown run for Detroit that iced a game that deserves no further elaboration. It was not a Happy Hanukkah for Rosen. 17-3 Lions

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys — This NFC Least showdown saw Philly winning 2 straight against a Dallas team that had won 4 straight. Most of this game was a slog. Brett Maher hit field goals of 28 yards in the first quarter, 62 yards on the final play of the half, and 21 in the third quarter to make it 9-0 Cowboys with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Maher also missed a 45 yarder in the second quarter. 

The Cowboys were in total control until Dak Prescott made a very bad decision. From his own 9, a deep ball was intercepted and returned by Graham 29 yards to the Dallas 2 yard line.Carson Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for the score. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 9-6. After three quarters of a slog, the fourth quarter was a track meet. The Cowboys after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Philly 44. Prescott was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles took over at their own 45. Early in the fourth quarter they had 1st and goal at the 8. They got no closer as Wentz threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal for a 9-9 game with 12 minutes left in regulation.

Dallas faced 3rd and 12 at their own 23. Prescott went to Amari Cooper for just enough. From the Philly 46, Prescott went to Cooper for 13 yards and again for a 28 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cowboys led 16–9. Yet the final few minutes were a frenzy. With 5 1/2 minutes left, a field position game had the Eagles taking over at the Dallas 47. Wentz hit Jeffery for 12 and Goedert for 26 yards. Wentz hit Goedert for a 3 yard touchdown. The game was tied 16-16 with 3 minutes left, but it was far from over.

One play and 11 seconds later, the Cowboys had the lead again. Prescott and Cooper connected on a 75 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 Cowboys. After a touchback, the Eagles were at the Dallas 44 at the 2 minute warning. Wentz went deep to Nelson Agholor for a 42 yard gain. Wentz hit Darren Sproles for a 6 yard touchdown. For the third time in a game they never led, the Eagles had tied the game at 23-23. 1:35 still remained. The Cowboys moved from their 18 to a 2nd and 6 at the Philly 41 with 21 seconds left. Out of the shotgun, a fumbled snap meant a 6 yard loss out of field goal range. Prescott was then sacked as these bitter rivals went to overtime.

The Cowboys won the toss and went straight to their best player. Ezekiel Elliott ran for gains of 8 and 10. Prescott then hit Schultz for 16 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Philly 40, Prescott hit Cooper for 12 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Philly 19, Elliott got stopped. Jason Garrett had a big decision to make. A field goal would still give the Eagles one chance with the ball. Garrett went for it and on 4th and 1, Elliott gained 2 yards. With 2 minutes left in overtime, it came down to 3rd and 8 at the Philly 15. 

Prescott fired to Cooper. The ball was deflected in the air. Somehow Cooper caught the deflections and waltzed into the end zone. The Eagles never saw the ball as Doug Pederson saw his defending champions fall to 6-7. The Cowboys are now 8-5. Prescott was a ridiculous 42 of 54 for 455 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Elliott had 113 yards on 28 carries. Cooper had 217 receiving yards on 10 catches, with 3 touchdowns. Jerry Jones has a new set of triplets. 29-23 Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders — Despite losing 2 straight, the AFC North leading Steelers were expected to roll over the 2-10 Raiders. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman. “THAT’s why they PLAY the games.” This was not as special as their AFC Title Games of the 1970s, but it was a heart-stopping football game. Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr both threw 2 touchdown passes and 0 interceptions. They both completed 25 passes with Roethlisberger only throwing 29 times and Carr throwing 34 times. Carr threw for 322 yards to 282 for Big Ben. This game came down to a stunning final play. It was far from an Immaculate Reception, but it was a surprise.

The Raiders despite their awful record frequently start fast, and this game was no exception. From their 26, Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 9 yards and Carr hit Jared Cook for gains of 30 and 19 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Martin got in to make it 7-0 Raiders. Both defenses dug in for the rest of the first quarter.

With 3 minutes left in the opening quarter the Steelers faced 2nd and 7 at their own 36. Roethlisberger connected with James for a 22 yard gain. The second quarter began with the Steelers facing 3rd and 4 at the Oakland 24. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 8 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 14, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 12 yards. Stevan Ridley ran for the 2 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

The Raiders took over at their own 28. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 13 yards and Cook for 12 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 45, Carr found Cook for 12. On 3rd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 26, Carr threw incomplete. Daniel Carlson hit the 44 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Raiders. The Steelers after a touchback moved to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 16. On 3rd and 9, Roethlisberger was sacked. Boswell missed a 39 yard field goal try that would have tied the game.

Yet as they have done so many times this season, the Raiders self-destructed at key moments. A facemask penalty on a punt return had the Steelers taking over with 3 minutes left in the half at their own 47. Roethlisberger went to Juju Smith-Schuster for a 20 yard gain. With one minute left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and 9 at the Oakland 12. Roethlisberger hit McDonald for a 10 yard gain. With 10 seconds left in the half, the Steelers faced 3rd and goal at the one. Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the touchdown. Despite neither of them being Jewish, their touchdown on the last night of Hanukkah had the Steelers up 14-10. 

The second half started in shocking fashion. The Steelers had the ball but Roethlisberger was not on the field. Backup quarterback Josh Dobbs was in the game. Roethlisberger had gotten belted in the second quarter and badly injured his ribs. He gutted it out for the rest of the half and even led the team to the lead. At halftime, he told Mike Tomlin he couldn’t go. Dobbs played the third quarter, which was a scoreless slugfest. The Raiders have had a weak defense all year, but on this day they were playing tough football. Sadly, they could not get the stop on the last play of the half which is why they were trailing.

Dobbs did move the Steelers from their 37 to a 4th and 1 at the Oakland 42. Mike Tomlin went for it and Dobbs completed a pass to McDonald, but for no gain. The Raiders moved from their 36 to a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 12. On 3rd and 9, Carr hit Nelson for 7 yards, but offensive holding instead meant 3rd and 19. Carr was then sacked and fumbled the ball away, killing the drive. Dobbs was then intercepted at the Oakland 44, but the Raiders could not pick up a first down. 

With 13 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders took over at their own 27. On 2nd and 6, Carr hit Atman for 28 yards. On 2nd and 13 from the Pittsburgh 44, Carr hit Nelson for 8 and Ateman for 7. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 27, Carr hit Nelson for only 7. On 4th and 1 from the 20 with over 8 minutes left, Jon Gruden decided to go for it. He had Carr line up in the shotgun, which should make Raiders fans tear their hair out. Nevertheless, Jalen Richard gained 5 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Carr hit Nelson for 10 yards. On 2nd and goal from the 3, Carr hit Lee Smith for the touchdown. With 5:20 to play, the Raiders led 17-14. Now their defense needed to close out a win against a backup quarterback who had done nothing.

Except after a touchback, Dobbs was not in the game. Ben Roethlisberger willed himself back on the field. Sports history is loaded with injured heroes who get up and gut out wins. The most notable are Michael Jordan, Willis Reed, Joe Montana and Pete Sampras. Now Roethlisberger was going to add his name to that list. He hit Brown and Samuels for a pair of 13 yard gains. He hit Samuels for 23 and Smith-Schuster for 12 more. An 8 yard completion to Smith-Schuster put the ball on the one. Roethlisberger fired to the back of the end zone to Smith-Schuster, who made a jiggling catch. He appeared to be out of the back of the end zone but officials called it a touchdown. The Raiders had collapsed again and trailed 21-17 with 3 minutes left.

Two years ago Carr willed the Raiders to multiple wins. Anyone who thinks he has lost his ability has lost their minds. After a touchback, Carr hit Richard for 5 and Ateman for 10 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. Carr hit Cook for 14. Then Carr went deep to Seth Roberts, who beat the double coverage. A perfectly placed ball went for a 39 yard gain and 1st and goal at the 7 with 1:15 to play. For some reason, Mike Tomlin decided not to take any timeouts on defense until 25 seconds remained. It was 4th and goal at the 6 after a pair of incompletions. It all came down to one play.

It was Derek to Derek, Carr to Carrier. Carr hit Derek Carrier for a 6 yard touchdown as the home crowd erupted in celebration. The Raiders led by 3. A 25 yard kickoff return by Ryan Switzer had the Steelers at their own 30. Only 15 seconds remained. Could the Silver and Black finally close out a game? Roethlisberger threw a 5 yard pass to Washington. 2 defenders converged on Washington. He evaded them long enough to lateral the ball to Smith-Schuster, who got to the sideline and appeared to be pulling out the Immaculate Reception Part II. 

Smith-Schuster was finally forced out of bounds after racing 43 yards for a total gain of 48 yards on the play. 5 seconds remained when Franco Harris scored in December of 1972. 5 seconds remained when Smith-Schuster got out of bounds in December of 2018. The ball was on the Oakland 22. Boswell came in for a 40 yard try to tie the game. Surely, the Steelers would win in overtime. There would be no overtime. The miserable Oakland dirt that has hurt Raiders kickers finally helped the home team. Boswell slipped on the dirt and his low kick was blocked. Happy Hanukkah Mark Davis. Derek Carr is not Jewish, but he pulled off the biggest Hanukkah Miracle since Judah Maccabee. Roethlisberger has never won in Oakland, going 0-4. The Raiders have won 2 of their last 3, and are finally showing some fight. Just win baby. 24-21 Raiders  

Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears is the Sunday night game. The 11-1 Rams have already won the NFC West and the 8-4 Bears are atop the NFC North. The Rams have the offense and the Bears have the defense. This game was all defense. Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted 3 times. Jared Goff was picked off 4 times. In the first quarter an interception set up the Rams at the Chicago 15. They settled for a 27 yard Greg Zuerlein field goal. The Bears reached 3rd and 5 at the Rams 11. Trubisky was sacked. Cody Parkey hit the 39 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter an interception of Goff had the bears at the Rams 4 yard line. Trubisky was sacked and Parkey hit from 31. Sean McVay gambled on a fake punt on 4th and 7 from his own 28. Johnny Hekker hit Everett for just enough. Zuerlein hit from 50 as the teams were tied 6-6 at halftime.

The first half was all defense. So was the second half. The Rams began the third quarter at their own 13 yard line. Todd Gurley lost 5 yards. Then came the play of the game. Goff was sacked in the end zone for a safety and the Bears led 8-6. The Bears took the free kick at their own 19 and moved to a 3rd and goal at the 2. Matt Nagy may look like a boring nondescript guy, but he runs an exciting offense. He brought defensive players in to play offense. Trubsisky faked a handoff to a defensive tackle and threw a tackle eligible to 

Sowell. His first ever catch put the game away, as both defenses dominated the rest of the way. This game had Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary approving and Deacon Jones scowling in football heaven. As Singletary said, “This is when the big dogs come out.” 15-6 Bears

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks was the Monday night game. A few years ago the Seahawks survived a road playoff win at Minnesota 10-9. This game was even more brutal and much closer than the final score. Sebastian Janikowski’s 37 yard field goal in the second quarter was the only score for 45 minutes as the Seahawks led 3-0 after three quarters. The Seahawks had 1st and goal at the one with 16 seconds left in the half. Russell Wilson threw a horrendous interception that he was lucky was not returned the other way for a score. In the third quarter Minnesota went for it on 4th and 1 at the Seattle 40. Latavius Murray got stopped. A 31 yard defensive pass interference penalty led to Janikowski hitting a 35 yarder as the Seahawks led 6-0 with 13 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

Minnesota moved to a 4th and goal at the one with 9 minutes left. Mike Zimmer decided to go for it and Kirk Cousins’s pass was broken up in the end zone incomplete. Minnesota got it back at the Seattle 41. With 5 1/2 minutes left Dan Bailey came in for a 47 yard field goal try. Bobby Wagner leapt over the line and blocked it. From the Seattle 39, Wilson scrambled and gained 40 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 2, after over 57 minutes of 0 touchdowns, Chris Carson got in. Wilson hit Tyler Lockett for the 2 point conversion to make it 14-0 Seahawks. The exclamation point came when Justin Coleman returned a fumble 29 yards for a score to make it 21-0 Seahawks. Minnesota got a garbage touchdown to drop to 6-6 as Seattle got to 8-5. Wilson finished 10 of 20 for only 72 yards and one interception. Pete Carroll just wants to win. This was not the Purple People Eaters or the Legion of Boom, but it was pretty close. 21-7 Seahawks

Hanukkah 2018 Night 7: Basel Art

December 9th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 7: Basel Art

Hanukkah Night 7 took things to the Basel Art display in Wynwood, an off-shoot of Miami. I still believe Art is short for Arthur, but for those who love art, it is one heck of a show. There were plenty of hot pieces. There was also artwork. 

eric

Hanukkah 2018 Night 6: Pearl Harbor Remembered

December 9th, 2018

Happy 2018 Night 6: Pearl Harbor Remembered

As a proud American and a proud Jew, I honor those who saved both America and Judaism. The Maccabees won a righteous war and preserved the Jewish way of life. The World War II generation won a righteous war and preserved the American way of life. From Hanukkah to Pearl Harbor, I thank God for those who preserved my freedom to be an American and a Jew. 

eric

Hanukkah 2018 Night 5: NFL 2018 Week 14 Prequel

December 6th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 5: NFL2018 Week 14 Prequel

THIS IS WHEN THE BIG DOGS COME OUT!

Big Dogs come out: NFL 2018 Week 14 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

Hanukkah 2018 Night 4: The party moves South (Florida)

December 6th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 4: The party moves South (Florida)

The 2018 Hanukkah Miami party scene is now in the books. The party now heads to Fort Lauderdale.

eric

Hanukkah 2018 Night 3: Hot Miami Nights

December 6th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 3: Hot Miami Nights

Hanukkah is getting red hot, with help from some hot Miami nights and even hotter Miami women.

Details to follow, never.

eric

Hanukkah 2018 Night 2: Barbara Bush orders her husband home

December 4th, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 2: Barbara Bush orders her husband home

Barbara Bush orders her husband home

Hanukkah 2018 Night 1: NFL 2018 Week 13 Recap

December 2nd, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 1: NFL 2018 Week 13 Recap

New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys was the Thursday night game. This one belonged to the defense. The Cowboys owned the first half. Brett Maher hit a 26 yard field goal to start the scoring. Dan Prescott then hit Ezekiel Elliott for a 16 yard touchdown to cap an 85 yard drive and make it 10-0 Cowboys after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Cowboys mounted a staggering 16 play,70 yard drive from their own 2 that consumed over 9 minutes. They settled for a 46 yard Maher field goal and a 13-0 halftime lead. Dallas had the ball for 22 minutes in the first half.

The third quarter belonged to the Saints. Wil Lutz hit a 33 yard field goal to cap a 10 play, 60 yard, 5 minute drive. A 10 play, 88 yard drive including a successful fake punt culminated in Drew Brees hitting Keith Kirkwood for a 30 yard touchdown. The Saints were within a field goal after three quarters. They never got it. On a night dominated by defense, an interception of Brees sealed the upset Dallas win. The Saints fell to 10-2 while the Cowboys are at 7-5 and now atop their division. 13-10 Cowboys

Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers — Nothing says December football like snow in Green Bay. A field position game saw a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter a 24 yard punt return had the Packers taking over at the Arizona 35. On 4th and 4 from the Arizona 13, Mike McCarthy passed up a 31 yard field goal try and decided to go for it. Aaron Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers. Arizona came back 75 yards in 11 plays and 7 minutes. Edmonds ran for a 6 yard touchdown to tie the game. Green Bay used up the final 4 1/2 minutes of the half. This time Mike McCarthy put his faith in Mason Crosby, who hit the 32 yard field goal to make it 10-7 Packers at halftime.

The Cardinals were a 2-9 warm weather team playing a rookie quarterback on the road. Nobody told them that. In the third quarter from their own 13, Kirk ran for 23 yards and caught a 37 yard pass from Josh Rosen. Despite 2nd and 9 from the Green Bay 26, Rosen threw incomplete twice. Zane Gonzalez hit a 44 yard field goal for a 10-10 game.

Arizona got it back and from their own 35, Rosen ran for 33 yards and Edmonds added 29 more. Edmonds ran for an 8 yard touchdown as the Cardinals had the stunning 17-10 lead. With 11 minutes left in regulation the Packers took over at their own 5 yard line. On 3rd and 4 from their 11, Rodgers hit Adams for 11 yards. Valdes-Scantling then ran for 21 yards. From the Arizona 27, Rodgers hit Adams for 19 yards. Jones ran for an 8 yard touchdown and a 17-17 game with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

With 4 1/2 minutes left a sack and a penalty had the Cardinals facing 3rd and 23 at their own 12. One stop and the Packers would give Rodgers a chance to do what he does. Instead Rosen went deep to Larry Fitzgerald for a 32 yard gain. With 1:41 left, Gonzalez came in for a 44 yard field goal try to give the Cardinals the lead. The kick was good. There was no way a 2-9 warm weather team was going to go on the road into snowing Green Bay and win. Surely Rodgers would get it done.

With 1:05 left the Packers faced 4th and 5 at their own 30. Rodgers hit Jimmy Graham for 7 yards. With 15 seconds left from the Arizona 40, Rodgers found Randall Cobb for 9 yards. with 9 seconds left, Rodgers went deep incomplete. Now it was 4th and 1 from the Arizona 31 with 3 seconds left. Crosby came in to tie the game from 49 yards out. The kick was no good. The crowd was shellshocked. The only things not frozen were the red hot seats of Mike McCarthy and Mason Crosby. Later that night, despite being in his 13th season with a Super Bowl ring, Packers President Mark Murphy fired McCarthy and named Joe Philbin interim coach. For Josh Rosen, it was a sweet way to start Hanukkah. 20-17 Cardinals

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans — One week after losing team founder and owner Bob McNair, the Texans grieved the loss of favorite son and former President George Herbert Walker Bush. Meanwhile, the Houston offense kept rolling. A 13 play, 63 yard drive took 7 minutes. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 35 yard field goal to start the scoring. Houston got it back and mounted a 10 play, 82 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive. Deshaun Watson hit Jordan Thomas for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Texans.

In the second quarter Baker Mayfield was intercepted by Cunningham, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 Texans lead. Mayfield was then intercepted again, leading to a 42 yard field goal and a 20-0 Texans advantage. Fairbairn would connect again from 48 as the Texans led 23-0 at halftime.

The second half was a formality. Nick Chubb would run for a 2 yard touchdown in the third quarter for the Browns, but Fairbairn then drilled a 53 yard field goal as the Texans were cruising up 26-7.  Fairbairn hit from 38 with 6 minutes left in regulation to make it 29-7 Texans. Cleveland got one garbage touchdown but nothing more. After an 0-3 start, the Texans have won 9 straight games. 29-13 Texans

Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons held the ball for 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes, but settled for a 44 yard Matt Bryant field goal to make it 3-0 Falcons. Baltimore after a touchback moved to a 3rd and 15 from the Atlanta 18. A pass only gained one yard, but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On the next play Lamar Jackson ran around the end and got to the pylon for a 13 yard touchdown and a 7-3 Ravens lead.

In the second quarter the Ravens began a drive just past midfield. On 4th and 7 from the Atlanta 46, Jim harbaugh called a fake punt. Punter Koch hit Moore for 21 yards. Yet from the Atlanta 22, Jacksongot hit and fumbled. Vic Beasley returned it 74 yards the other way for a defensive touchdown and a 10-7 Falcons lead. Yet Atlanta could not get their offense going. Justin Tucker hit a 41 yard field goal to end the half and tie the game. In the third quarter the Ravens moved to the Atlanta 3 yard line but Jackson threw incomplete on 3rd and goal. Tucker hit from 21 to make it 13-10 Ravens.

Jackson got hit and left the game. Robert Griffin III led a 14 play, 60 yard, 8 minute drive. Tucker hit a 45 yard field goal as the Ravens led 16-10 after three quarters. Jackson cleared concussion protocol and returned. In the fourth quarter a 13 play, 55 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive led to a 47 yard Tucker field goal. Midway through the fourth quarter the Ravens led 19-10. After a touchback, Matt Ryan got sacked and fumbled. Young returned it 11 yards for a score as the Ravens led 26-10. Atlanta did get a touchdown but not the 2 point conversion. Baltimore has won 3 straight games with Jackson. John Harbaugh will have a big decision to make when Joe Flacco returns from injury. 26-16 Ravens

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Tampa Bay marched 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 minutes. Jameis Winston hit Adam Humphries for 11 yards and again for 5 more. Winston hit Chris Godwin for 10 yards. Winston then ran for gains of 6 and 18 sandwiched around a 17 yard run by Peyton Barber. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Winston fired over the middle to Humphries for the score to make it 7-0 Buccaneers. An interception of Cam Newton off a deflected pass gave the Buccaneers a short field. Cairo Santos hit the 35 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Buccaneers.

Carolina got it back at their own 27. From their 39, Christian McCaffrey ran for a 53 yard gain. On the next play Newton hit McCaffrey for an 8 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 10-7. With one minute left in the half an interception of Newton set up Tampa at the Carolina 32. With 13 seconds left in the half, on 3rd and 11 from the Carolina 13, Winston hit Godwin for the score to make it 17-7 Buccaneers.

In the third quarter after a touchback, the Panthers moved to a 3rd and 7 at the Tampa Bay 9 yard line. A touchdown was nullified by offensive holding, killing the drive.Graham Gano hit a 37 yard field goal to get the Panthers within 17-10. The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 7 from their own 28. Winston threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 12 yard gain. On 3rd and 11 from their own 39, Winston hit Godwin for 18 yards. On 1st and 20 from their own 47, a defensive pass interference call on a deep ball meant 1st and goal at the one. Barber got in to make it 24-10 Buccaneers.

The Panthers came back 92 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from their own 11, Newton hit McCaffrey for 15 yards and Moore and Thomas each for gains of 11. McCaffrey ran for 18 and Samuel added 8 more. Newton hit Devon Funchess for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Panthers within 7 after three quarters.

Defense dominated the fourth quarter. The Panthers took over at their own 26 with 1:05 left and 0 timeouts. On 2nd and 1 a swing pass failed to gain the first down or get out of bounds. Only 13 seconds remained with the Panthers at their own 44. The Hail Mary failed but a defensive penalty gave the Panthers one more shot. Ron Rivera took out Cam Newton and brought in backup Taylor Heinecke for the final Hail Mary try. This time it reached the end zone but was batted down. The Panthers lost their fourth straight game, with Newton throwing 4 interceptions in this game. 24-17 Buccaneers

Chicago Bears at New York Giants —Chase Daniel got the nod again in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky. Early on from deep in his own territory, Daniel had a swing pass intercepted by Alec Ogletree, who bulled over Daniel for an 8 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Giants lead. The Bears came back 70 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Giants 48, Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Tarik Cohen gained 8 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Giants 35, Howard gained 22 yards. Daniel hit Shaeen for a 2 yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie.

In the second quarter the Bears moved 74 yards. From their own 26, howard ran for 25 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Giants 45, Daniel threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. On 3rd and goal at the one, Howard got stopped. Matt Nagy decided to go for it. Hicks got in to make it 14-7 Bears. Then the game changed. With 1:15 left in the half the Giants took over at their own 43. On the last play of the half, Aldrich Rosas drilled a 57 yard field goal. The Giants only trailed 14-10 at halftime and had momentum.

In the third quarter the Giants moved 75 yards and Pat Shurmur went to his bag of tricks. O’Dell Beckham took an end around and threw a deep option pass to Sterling Shepard for a 49 yard touchdown and a 17-14 Giants lead. The Giants got it back at their own 40. On 3rd and 5 from the Chicago 30, Eli Manning hit Saquon Barkley for 17 yards. Defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Barkley got stopped twice and Manning threw incomplete. On 4th and goal from the one, Pat Shurmur decided to go for it. Manning hit Beckham for the score as the Giants led 24-14 and were smelling upset.

In the fourth quarter the Bears moved to a 1st and 10 at the Giants 13. Penalties killed the drive. Cody Parkey hit  36 yard field goal to get the Bears within 24-17 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Bears took over at their own 2. They quickly fumbled the ball, giving the Giants the ball at the Chicago 13. Rosas hit the 37 yard field goal. With 1:53 left the Giants led 27-17. They celebrated the upset win. They celebrated way too early.

After a touchback, the Bears moved to a 4th and goal at the 3 with 1:15 left. Needing 2 scores, Matt Nagy opted for the field goal. Parkey hit the 21 yarder to get the Bears within 27-20. A perfectly executed onside kick had the Bears taking over at their own 47. Daniel went to Cohen for 14 yards. With 17 seconds left, the Bears faced 4th and 3 at the Giants 32. They needed a miracle and got one as Daniel went to Cohen for 23 yards. An incompletion left 3 seconds. Daniel threw incomplete again but defensive pass interference meant the Bears would get one untimed down from the one yard line.

Rather than go textbook run or even play-action pass, Matt Nagy went to the bag of tricks and called perhaps the craziest play ever with the game on the line. A double reverse option pass led to Anthony Miller hitting Cohen for the score. 2 scores in the final 75 seconds had the teams going to overtime tied 27-27. For the second straight week the Giants had blown a fourth quarter lead, but this time they still had a chance to win.

After a touchback, The Giants moved from to a 2nd and 3 at the Chicago 23. A run lost 3 yards and Manning threw incomplete. Rosas came in for a 44 yard field goal try to give the Giants the lead. The kick was good. 6 minutes remained in overtime, but Chicago would get a chance with the ball. On 4th and 7 from their own 28, Daniel hit Robinson for 10 yards. With 3 minutes left in overtime, on 4th and 8 from their own 40, Daniel went deep incomplete. The Bears fell to 8-4 while the Giants have won 3 of 4. They did it the hard way, but they got the upset. 30-27 Giants, OT

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — After a touchback to start the game, Ryan Tannehill went to work. He hit Kenny Stills for11 yards and Brice Butler for 5 more. A roughing the passer call tacked on another 15. Tannehill on 3rd and 9 hit Devontae Parker for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Dolphins.

The Bills began the second quarter at their own 45.From the Miami 41, LeSean Shady McCoy ran for 12 and Josh Allen ran for 11 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Miami 18, defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 4. On 2nd and goal from the 15 after a holding penalty, Allen hit Jones for the touchdown. Steve Hauschka missed the extra point as the Bills trailed 7-6. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Bills fumbled a punt and the Dolphins took over at the Buffalo 36. On 3rd and 7 from the Buffalo 19, Ryan Tannehill hit Frank Gore for 10 yards. Tannehill hit Kenyon Drake for a 3 yard score to make it 14-6 Dolphins at halftime.

Hauschka hit a 32 yard field goal in the third quarter to get the Bills within 14-9 in a badly played game. Allen was intercepted, but Tannehill gave the interception right back. The Bills took over at their own 17 to start the fourth quarter. Allen scrambled for 28 yards and then hit Thompson for 12 more. Allen then went to Zay Jones for a 25 yard touchdown. Allen went to Jones again for the 2 point conversion as the Bills led 17-14 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, from the Miami 37, a defensive pass interference penalty moved Miami 25 yards forward. Drake then ripped off a 20 yard gain, with a defensive taunting penalty moving the ball to the 11. After a failed run, Tannehill hit Stills for a 13 yard touchdown. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Dolphins had regained the lead by 4 points. After a touchback the Bills moved to a 1st and 10 at the Miami 24. Consecutive sacks of Allen had the Bills facing 4th and 23 at the Miami 37. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Sean McDermott had Hauschka try a 55 yard field goal to get the Bills within one point. The kick was no good.

Buffalo got it back with 2 1/2 minutes left at their own 10. Allen went deep to Foster for 27 yards, to McCoy for 11, and deep again to McKenzie for 23 more yards. With 1:10 to play, the Bills faced 3rd and 11 at the Miami 30. Allen went deep to Jones for a 24 yard catch to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Yet officials reviewed the catch and reversed it to an incompletion. On 4th and 11, mayhem ensued. Allen ran for his life under heavy pressure, escaped everyone, zigged and zagged, ended up to his left, and threw across his body to the right. Jones was wide open in the end zone. There was nobody near him. The ball was under thrown but catchable. Jones had to go from the back of the end zone to the front of the end zone. He dove and dropped the ball. He just dropped it. Miami got to 6-6 with the dumbest of dumb luck. 21-17 Dolphins

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals — Red Rifle Andy Dalton is now on injured reserve for the year as Jeff Driskel started his first NFL game. After a scoreless first quarter, in the second quarter Denver took over at their own 45. On 3rd and 10 from the Cincy 44, Case Keenum went to Donte Booker for a 30 yard gain. Lindsay ran for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Broncos with 1:56 left in the half. After a touchback, Cincinnati quickly moved to a 1st and goal at the 7 with 30 seconds left in the half. Intentional grounding killed the drive. Randy Bullock hit a 35 yard field goal as the Bengals trailed 7-3 at the break.

In the third quarter the Bengals fumbled a punt and Denver recovered at the Cincinnati 33. Two plays later Keenum went deep to Chris Sutton for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Broncos. The Bengals moved to the Denver 30, but Driskel went deep and was intercepted. The Broncos took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 6 from their own 19, Keenum hit Sutton for 16 yards. On the next play Lindsay got around the end for a 65 yard touchdown and a 21-3 Broncos lead. The Bengals tried to rally, moving 75 yards. Driskel threw a 30 yard touchdown to Core as the Bengals trailed 21-10. They would get no more as Denver tacked on a fourth quarter field goal. Once left for dead, Vance Joseph has seen Denver win 3 straight to get to 6-6 and alive for a playoff berth. 24-10 Broncos

Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions — The 10-1 Rams faced a 4-7 Lions team ready for a fight. In the first quarter the Rams moved 74 yards in 10 plays. On 3rd and 4 from the Detroit 6, Jared Goff threw incomplete. Greg Zuerlein hit a 24 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Lions moved 65 yards in 10 plays in the second quarter and faced 3rd and 2 at the Rams 7. a swing pass from Matthew Stafford lost 3 yards. Matt Prater hit a 28 yard field goal for a 3-3 game.

After the Lions failed to capitalize on an interception of Goff, the Rams moved 71 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 7 from the Detroit 8, Goff hit Woods for the score to make it 10-3 Rams. The Rams got it back at their own 32 and moved to a 1st and 10 at the Detroit 29. Goff threw 3 straight incompletions. Zuerlein hit the 47 yard field goal to make it 13-3 Rams at halftime.

In the third quarter the Lions recovered a fumble and took over at the Rams 47. On 1st and goal at the 4, a run lost 5 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 9, a touchdown pass was nullified by offensive pass interference. Prater hit a 29 yard field goal to get the Lions within 13-6. Matt Patricia called a surprise onside kick that did not work. The Rams took over at the Detroit 38. On 3rd and 2, Todd Gurley got stopped. Sean McVay opted for the field goal and Zuerlein delivered from 48 to make it 16-6 Rams.

After a touchback from the Detroit 38, Stafford went to Toilolo for a 39 yard gain. Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 12 yards and to Decker for the 11 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Lions only trailed 16-13. With 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation, a sack of Stafford forced a fumble that Ebukam recovered at the Detroit 24. Gurley ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 23-13 Rams. After a touchback and needing 2 scores, the Lions moved to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 15. A pair of runs each lost a yard and Stafford then threw incomplete. With 3 minutes left, Matt Patricia opted for the field goal. Prater hit from 35 to get the Lions within 23-16.

The onside kick failed and the Rams faced 3rd and 3 at the Detroit 38 with 2:44 left.Gurley then showed why he is not only a legitimate MVP candidate but the league’s most unselfish player. For the second time this season, Gurley gave up a chance at a touchdown. He broke through the line and was on his way when he stopped at the one yard line and allowed himself to be tackled. This forced the Lions to take their final timeout. By the time Gurley ran for the 2 yard touchdown, the Lions were left with only 1:54 rather than 2 1/2 minutes. The Rams at 11-1 have the NFL’s best record. 30-16 Rams

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Colts came in winners of 5 straight to get to 6-5 against a reeling Jaguars squad that had lost 7 straight. Yet this game was all defense. Josh Lambo hit a 30 yard field goal with 2 minutes left in the half and a 37 yarder with 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation. With 1:51 left the Colts took over at their own 15 and moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Jags 29 with 15 seconds left. Luck went to the end zone incomplete. With 9 seconds left, Luck inexplicably threw a short pass that gained only 4 yards. Despite being near the sideline, officials ruled the receiver inbounds as the clock ran out. 6-0 Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders — The Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt after video showed him punching a woman. Meanwhile, the 9-2 Chiefs were supposed to punch the daylights out of the helpless 2-9 Raiders with ease. On the first play of the game from the Chiefs 22, Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a 24 yard gain. Kelce fumbled and the Raiders recovered at their own 44. 16 seconds into the game with a fired up home crowd, and the Raiders were in business. On 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 47, Jon Gruden decided to keep the crowd fired up by going for it. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin gained 10 yards. However, offensive holding negated the run and made it 4th and 11. The Raiders were out of business and punted. A shanked 22 yard punt had the Chiefs starting at their own 35.

This time the Chiefs struck quickly. Tyreeq Hill ran for 33 yards. Defensive pass interference added 26 more yards. Mahomes hit Kelce for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Raiders then fumbled and the Chiefs recovered just past midfield. Harrison Butker hit a 29 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 10-0 after the first quarter. The Raiders moved from their own 38 in the second quarter to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 28. Deandre Washington got the carry and fumbled. The Chiefs recovered at their own 30. 12 plays and 6 minutes later, Butker nailed a 50 yard field goal to make it 13-0 Chiefs.

The Raiders were desperate to not get blown out. After a touchback, Martin gained 7 yards and Derek Carr went deep to Jared Cook for 29 more yards. On 3rd and 13 from the Chiefs 42, Carr hit Seth Roberts for 16 yards and Harris for 9 more. With 1:12 left in the half, on 3rd and 5 from the 7, Carr threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Martin got the yard. The 11 play, 75 yard, 6 minute drive had the Raiders within 13-7.

Only 55 seconds were left in the half. A defensive stop would actually make this a competitive game. From the Chiefs 18, Mahomes hit Conley for 5 yards and Kelce for gains of 25 and 8. With 12 seconds left, the Chiefs were only at the Oakland 44. It didn’t matter. Mahomes went deep to Robinson for a 38 yard gain with 7 seconds left. Mahomes then went to Kelce for the 6 yard touchdown. The extra point try was blocked but the Chiefs led 19-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter after a touchback the Raiders moved to a 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 34. Carr was sacked and fumbled, but the Raiders retained possession. Dan Carlson hit a 50 yard field goal to get the Raiders within 19-10. The Chiefs moved after a touchback to a 3rd and goal at the one. Ware got the carry and got stopped. It was now 4th and goal at the one. Walrus Lite Andy Reid decided to go for it. The whole world knows he passes in that situation. One stop would send the crowd into overload. Instead Reid actually called another run and Ware got in to make it 26-10 Chiefs.

The Raiders got it back at their own 32. Carr hit Jordy Nelson for 6 yards and Cook for 20 more On 3rd and 4. Jalen Richard ripped off a 23 yard gain. Carr hit Cook for a 24 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Raiders were within 26-16. The Raiders held on defense and got the ball back at their own 34. Richard ran for a 17 yard gain but fumbled the ball away. The Chiefs took over at their own 48. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 41, Mahomes went to Kelce for 28 yards and to Demetrius Harris for a 13 yard touchdown. After three quarters the Chiefs had their biggest lead of the game up 33-16.

As awful as the Raiders are, they did not quit. After a touchback, Martin ran for gains of 7, 4 and 17. Carr hit Nelson for 13 yards. On 3rd and 4 at the Chiefs 28, Carr hit Nelson for 9 yards. Richard ran for a 16 yard gain. Carr hit Smith for a one yard touchdown. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Raiders were within 33-23. The Raiders held on defense and soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 44. Defensive pass interference added 17 yards. Carr hit Nelson for 20 and Marcell Ateman for a 9 yard touchdown. With 6:46 to play the Raiders were only down 33-30. A defensive stop could actually give the Raiders a chance for the upset of the year.

It was too much to ask. After a touchback, Mahomes ran for 8 yards with defensive holding adding 5 more. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 43, Mahomes threw incomplete but the Raiders had jumped offsides. On 3rd and 5 from the Oakland 29 with 2:14 left, one more stop would give the Raiders a chance. Mahomes went to Kelce for a 25 yard gain. With 1:54 left, it all came down to 3rd and goal at the 2. The Raiders needed one stop. Instead, Mahomes hit Conley for the touchdown to make it 40-30 Chiefs.

Carr furiously led the Raiders down the field. With 30 seconds to play the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 26. Needing 2 scores, Jon Gruden decided to go for the field goal immediately. Carlson hit from 44 to get the Raiders within 7 points. The onside kick failed and the Raiders were done. Both quarterbacks threw 38 passes. Carr completed 29 of them for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mahomes completed 23 of them for 4 touchdowns. Neither quarterback was intercepted. The Raiders are 2-10, and Jon Gruden still has a shot at the top draft pick. The Chiefs are 10-2 with a shot at home field throughout the playoffs, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 40-33 Chiefs.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans — This was a tale of 2 games. The Jets moved from their own 39 to the Tennessee 36 before the drive stalled. Jason Myers drilled a 54 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Jets. On 3rd and 4 from their own 31, Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson. Johnson took it 31 yards for the score as the Jets led 10-0. In the second quarter the Jets mounted a 14 play, 59 yard, 7 minute drive. Myers hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 13-0 Jets. The Jets then blocked a punt and took over at the Tennessee 18. They went backward but Myers hit from 43 as the Jets were dominating 16-0 with less than 3 minutes left in the half. Then the game totally changed.

Mariota moved the Titans from their own 32. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 1, the Jets jumped offsides. From the Jets 48, Mariota went to Davis for 22 yards. Mariota then ran for 14 yards. Finally he hit Anthony Firkser for a 12 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Titans were within 16-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Jets took over at their own 40. Myers would hit a 39 yard field goal. His fourth kick of the day made it 19-6 Jets. After a touchback, Mariota hit Sharpe for 28 yards and again for 20 more. From the Jets 24, Mariota hit Smith for 13. Derrick Henry ran for 12 yards and then got the last yard to get the Titans within 19-13. The Jets then mounted a 15 play, 55 yard drive that consumed nearly 7 1/2 minutes. Yet for the fifth time on the day, they had to settle for a field goal. Myers hit again from 39 as the Jets led 22-13 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter it was the Titans moving the ball but settling for field goals. From their own 36, they moved to a 1st and goal at the 5. A pair of runs by Mariota went nowhere and then he threw incomplete. Ryan Succop hit a 24 yard field goal to get the Titans within 22-16 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Tennessee got it back at their own 35. Mariota went deep to Taylor for a 55 yard gain. Yet a pair of incompletion sandwiched around a sack again left it up to Succop. He hit from 33 as the Titans trailed 22-19 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

With 90 seconds to play, the Titans were facing 2nd and 10 at their own 14 yard line. Mariota was sacked, but defensive illegal use of hands stopped the clock and kept the drive going. Mariota then scrambled for 25 yards, fumbled, recovered his own fumble, and saw 15 more yards tacked on due to a defensive facemark. Mariota then hit Firkser for 25 yards. With 36 seconds left, it all came down to the Titans facing 3rd and 7 at the Jets 11. Mariota hit Davis for the score. Josh McCown had his Hail Mary intercepted as mike Vrabel saw his Titans get to 6-6. Todd Bowles experienced another agonizing loss in what may be his last year with the Jets. 26-22 Titans

Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots The Patriots began their first drive on their own 19 yard line and went right to work. On 2nd and 15, Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman for 13, Chris Hogan for 18, Cordarelle Patterson for 24, and Ronnie Burkhead for 15. Edelman took an end around 15 yards down to the one. James Develin got in to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Patriots moved from their 25 to the New England 22, but a sack of Kirk Cousins was followed by Dan Bailey missing a 48 yard field goal.

In the second quarter the Patriots moved 68 yards in 15 plays and took nearly 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal at the one, Brady threw incomplete. In a surprising move at home, Bill Belichick decided not to go for it. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 20 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Patriots. With 1:52 left in the half the Vikings took over at their own 26, Cousins hit Stefan Diggs for 24 yards and Kyle Rudolph for 23 more. With 15 seconds left, Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a 5 yard touchdown. Despite being dominated, the Vikings only trailed 10-7 at halftime. In the third quarter Gostkowski missed a 48 yard field goal. The resulting field position led to Bailey making a 39 yard field goal. with 2:20 left in the third quarter, the game was tied 10-10.

After a touchback Brady went to Josh Gordon for 24 yards and Rob Gronkowski for 15 more. James White ran for 12 yards and Brady went back to Gordon for a 24 yard touchdown to put the Patriots up 17-10 after three quarters. The fourth quarter began with Edelman returning a punt 23 yards to midfield. Defensive pass interference added 20 yards. With 11 minutes left in regulation, Develin ran for a 2 yard touchdown to put the game on ice. The Vikings are 6-5 while the Patriots at 9-3 are in a strong playoff position. 24-10 Patriots

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks — The NFC’s nastiest rivalry in recent years is now just a case of a good team beating up on a bad team. In the first quarter the Seahawks moved 74 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Russell Wilson hit Jaron Brown for the touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Seahawks led 6-0 and never looked back. In the second quarter Seattle got it back at their own 43 and struck quickly. Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 13-0 Seahawks. The 49ers then fumbled a punt and the Seahawks recovered at the Frisco 33 with 1:51 left in the half. On 3rd and goal at the one, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for the score as the Seahawks led 20-0.

The 49ers did get a field goal before the half, but it didn’t matter. Lockett returned the second half kickoff 84 yards to the Frisco 20. One play later Rashaad Penny ran for the touchdown to make it 27-3 Seahawks. The 49ers did reach the end zone to get within 27-10 after the three quarters, but this game was a Seattle carpet-bombing. Seattle moved 88 yards. The fourth quarter began with Wilson Brown for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 34-10 Seahawks.

Nick Mullens did come right back with a 75 yard touchdown pass to Dante Pettis to get the 49ers within 34-16. Seattle responded with a 6 1/2 minute drive that ended with a 40 yard field goal by Seabass to make it 37-16 Seahawks. After a touchback, the 49ers moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Seattle 5 with 4 minutes left. Mullens was intercepted by Bobby Wagner, who returned it 98 yards for a touchdown the other way to complete the mauling. Seabass missed a 2nd extra point, but when you win by 4 touchdowns it can get overlooked. Mullens was 30 of 48 for 414 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Wilson was only 11 of 17 for 185 yards. Yet he also threw 4 touchdown passes with 0 interceptions. Seattle is 7-5 and Pete Carroll has them on the right path. 43-16 Seahawks

Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers is the Sunday night game. The Chargers are always talked about as the real deal until they lose a game like this. They go on the road in cold weather and fold like the Southern California boys they are. Respect is earned, and much of this game was the Steelers beating the Chargers up. Until they weren’t. The Chargers moved from their 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Pittsburgh 34. Anthony Lynn opted for the 52 yard field goal try, and Mike Badgley was no good.

Pittsburgh took over at their own 42. From the Chargers 47, Ben Roethlisberger went deep to Antonio Brown for a 46 yard gain. James Conner got the last yard to make it 7-0 Steelers. A short 36 yard punt gave the Steelers a short field at the Chargers 48. On 3rd and 7 from the Chargers 29, a deep ball drew defensive pass interference and put the ball on the one. Conner got in again. The extra point was no good but the Steelers led 13-0.

The Chargers ron faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Philip Rivers went to Keenan Allen for 9 yards and Williams for 14 more. Rivers then went to Travis Benjamin for a 46 yard touchdown as the Chargers only trailed 13-7 after the first quarter. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, a fumbled punt had the Steelers taking over at the Chargers 34. Boswell hit a 48 yard field goal to make it 16-7 Steelers.

With 1:35 left in the half, the Steelers took over at their own 9 yard line. Conner ripped off a 20 yard gain. Roethlisberger hit Juju Smith-Schuster for 16 yards. With 30 seconds left in the half, the Chargers faced 3rd and 4 at the Chargers 45. Defensive pass interference moved the ball 17 yards and left 17 seconds. Big Ben went to Antonio Brown for the 28 yard touchdown. The Steelers led 23-7 at halftime, and the game appeared over. It seemed silly at the time, but the missed extra point that had the Steelers up by 16 instead of 17 would loom large later on.

In the third quarter the Chargers took over at their own 12 yard line. On 3rd and 2 from their 20, Rivers went to Allen for 21 yards. On 2nd and 14 just shy of midfield, Rivers went to Williams for 20 yards. On 3rd and 14 from the Pittsburgh 35, Rivers went to Williams for 18 yards. Rivers hit Allen for the 10 yard touchdown. A 24-7 game would have meant an extra point try and a 24-14 game. However, a 23-7 game meant a 2 point conversion try. Rivers hit Antonio Gates and the Chargers only trailed 23-15 after three quarters.

The play of the game came with 13 minutes left in regulation. The Steelers were punting on 4th and 24 from their own 16. Desmond King returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. Rivers went to Allen for the 2 point conversion. Rather than trail 24-21, the Chargers had tied the game 23-23. One minute later the Chargers got it back at their own 21. Rivers hit Allen for 14 and Justin Jackson ran for 18 more. Rivers then hit Jackson for 19 yards. Jackson ran for the 18 yard touchdown. With 8 minutes left in the game, 23 unanswered points had the Chargers up 30-23.

The Steelers took over at their own 22. From their 26, Big Ben hit James for 7 and Brown for 15. With 6 minutes left the Steelers faced 4th and 1 at the Chargers 43. Mike Tomlin decided to go for it and Conner got 2 yards. Unnecessary roughness a couple plays later tacked on 15 more yards. Roethlisberger hit Jaylen Samuels for a 10 yard touchdown to tie the game 30-30 with 4 minutes left.

From their own 25, Rivers hit Ekeler for 10 yards and Allen for 12 more. Jackson gained 11. With 1:12 to play, the Chargers faced 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 34. At that distance it would be a 52 yard field goal try. Rivers hit Allen for 12 yards. With 3 seconds left, Badgley came in for a 39 yard field goal try to give the Chargers a stunning road win. Badgley swung his leg, and pandemonium ensued.

The kick was no good. It appeared to be just over the top of the upright, but at the last moment was just outside of it. However, the Steelers had jumped offsides. Badgley would get a second chance from 34 yards out. This time the kick was blocked and nearly returned for a Pittsburgh touchdown. However, the Steelers had again jumped offsides. Badgley had a third chance, this time from 29 yards out. The kick should have been blocked, but the defender got such a jump that he dove past Badgley, who kicked it behind him. This time the kick was dead center. Besides, the Steelers were offsides for a third time anyway.

Rivers finished 26 of 26 for 299 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Roethlisberger was 29 of 45 for 281 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. The Steelers fell to 7-4 and barely in the AFC North lead. They have lost 2 straight games and were one Jacksonville collapse away from 3 straight losses. The Chargers got to 9-3 and only one game back in the AFC West. Again, respect is earned. On this night, the Chargers finally earned some by winning a big cold weather road game against a good team. 33-30 Chargers

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles was the Monday night game. This was a competitive football game for three quarters. After a touchback, Carson went hit Zac Ertz for 11 yards and the Eagles were rolling. Runs and short passes led to a 6 yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Golden Tate and a 7-0 Eagles lead. In the second quarter the Redskins moved from their 39 to a 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 16. Penalties moved the Redskins back to a 3rd and 30, and they were lucky to escape with a 44 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to trail 7-3. Colt McCoy was not so lucky. 2 weeks after Alex Smith was lost for the year with a broken leg, McCoy suffered the same cruel fate. Third stringer Mark Sanchez played the rest of the game.

Washington got it back at their own 10 and needed only one play to take the lead. Who said Adrian Peterson is washed up? Certainly not the defenders he blew by on the way to a 90 yard touchdown run and a 10-7 Redskins lead. The Eagles moved from their 22 to a 4th and goal at the one. Doug Pederson decided to go for it. Adams got the carry and got blasted for a 2 yard loss. Yet the Redskins offense wasted the goal line stand and the Eagles got the ball back at the Washington 40. Darren Sproles ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Eagles with 1:46 left in the half. Sanche moved the Redskins in position for a 47 yard Hopkins field goal with seconds left. The Redskins trailed 14-13 at halftime and after a scoreless third quarter.

The Eagles took over at their own 15. Adams ran for 18 yards. Wentz hit Clement for 23 yards and Ertz for gains of 8 and 5. The fourth quarter began with Wentz hitting Jordan Matthews for a 4 yard touchdown. For reasons somebody somewhere understood, Doug Pederson went for the 2 point conversion. Wentz hit Golden Tate to make it 22-13 Eagles. Sanchez was then intercepted, setting up a 46 yard Jake Elliott field goal to make it 25-13 Eagles. Elliott tacked on a 44 yarder to complete the scoring. Both teams are 6-6 and one game back in the NFC Least but moving in opposite directions. 28-13 Eagles

Hanukkah 2018 Night 0: The Festival of Lights Prequel

December 1st, 2018

Hanukkah 2018 Night 0: The Festival of Lights Prequel

Hanukkah 2018: The Festival of Lights begins Sunday at sundown