Archive for the ‘SPORTS’ Category

NFL 2017 Week 17 Prequel

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 17 Prequel

The 50TH Vince Lombardi Ice Bowl: NFL 2017 Week 17 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Black Monday Predictions

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

NFL 2017 Black Monday Predictions

2017 Black Monday Predictions – Which NFL Coaches will be fired?

NFL 2017-2018 NFC Playoff Picture

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

NFL 2017-2018 NFC Playoff Picture

NFL 2017-2018 NFC Playoff Permutations, Combinations and Predictions

NFL 2017-2018 AFC Playoff Picture

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

NFL 2017-2018 AFC Playoff Picture

NFL 2017-2018 AFC Playoff Permutations, Combinations and Predictions

NFL 2017 Week 16 Recap

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 16 Recap

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens is the Saturday afternoon game. The 8-6 Ravens were supposed to stomp on the lowly Colts at home and get closer to the playoffs. Yet with hard rain coming down, the Colts hung tough most of the game. Early son the Ravens moved 52 yards in 14 plays, holding the ball for 7 1/2 minutes. Justin Tucker hit a 30 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. The Colts after a touchback then held the ball for over 5 minutes, moving to a 2nd and 7 at the Baltimore 20. However, Jacoby Brissett threw incomplete twice and Adam Vinatieri’s 38 yard field goal try was blocked. The Ravens came back 71 yards in 10 plays. In the second quarter Joe Flacco hit Campanaro for a 6 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Ravens. The Colts are back 75 yards and Brissett hit Frank Gore for a 14 yard touchdown to get the Colts within 10-7. The Ravens came back 54 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Tucker hit from 39 to make it 13-7 Ravens. With 12 seconds left in the half, the Colts took over at their own 38. With 4 seconds left Vinatieri came in for a 60 yard field goal try. The kick was dead center but just short of the crossbar. Tucker was 2 for 2 and Vinatieri was 0 for 2, the difference in the game at halftime.

In the third quarter the Ravens again moved 57 yards in 11 plays, taking 5 1/2 minutes to do it. Tucker hit from 36 to make it 16-7 Ravens. The Colts then twice moved into scoring position but could not reach the end zone. Vinatieri made field goals of 48 and 38 as the Colts only trailed 16-13 after three quarters. After a touchback, the Ravens began the fourth quarter facing a critical 3rd and 3 at their own 47. Flacco hit Danny Woodhead for 8 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Indy 44, a completion came up 2 yards short. However, defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 8 from the Indy 37, Flacco threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 14 yard gain. The Colts had 0 penalties in the first half, but 2 killer defensive penalties came at the worst moments. On 3rd and 2 from the 4, Flacco hit Williams for the touchdown to make it 23-13 with 9 minutes in regulation. The Ravens held the ball for 8 minutes and 14 plays in moving 75 yards.

The Colts responded and held the ball for 13 plays and moved 64 yards. Despite 2nd and 6 from the Baltimore 11, Brissett threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Chuck Pagano went with the field goal. Vinatieri hit from 30. The Colts were within 7, but only 4 1/2 minutes remained. On 2nd and 8 from the Baltimore 27, Flacco hit Mike Wallace for 14 yards as the Colts took their final timeout with 4:17 to play. With 2:49 left, on 3rd and 5 a false start had the Ravens facing 3rd and 10 as the Ravens took their first timeout. Rather than play it safe and run the clock to near the 2 minute warning, John Harbaugh stayed aggressive. Flacco threw incomplete and the Colts were still alive. Things got even crazier when the Colts blocked the punt. The Colts took over at the Baltimore 27 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Time was no longer a factor. At the 2 minute warning the Colts had 2nd and 3 at the Baltimore 10. Gore lost three yards and Brissett was sacked for a 4 yard loss as the Ravens took all their timeouts on defense. With 1:43 left on 4th and 10 from the 17, Brissett threw incomplete. It was ugly, but the Ravens got to 9-6 with a win that counts the same in the standings. If the Ravens win next week, they are in the playoffs regardless of what anyone else does. 23-16 Ravens

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers was the Saturday night game. The Packers came in 7-7 and eliminated from playoff contention. Aaron Rodgers was shut down for the year. The Vikings came in 11-3 having locked up the NFC North. The temperature at Lambeau Field was 10 degrees at kickoff. This was football weather for an NFC North black and blue showdown. In the first quarter Kai Forbath hit a 49 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Vikings. Late in the first quarter the Vikings took over at their own 32. At the Green Bay 45, Car Keenum went deep and defensive pass interference meant a 39 yard gain. Keenum then threw a perfect fade to the corner to Diggs for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Vikings. Green Bay eventually moved from their own 23 to a 3rd and 3 at the Minnesota 15 with 1:12 left in the half. Brett Hundley was intercepted at the 5 by Smith to keep the Packers scoreless. The second half was all Minnesota defense. Forbath hit from 27 in the third quarter and from 20 in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring. Green Bay got as close as 4th and 3 from the Minnesota 13, but Hundley threw incomplete. Minnesota at 12-3 can clinch a first round bye with a win next week but will need help to get home field throughout the playoffs. 16-0 Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers — Jameis Winston fumbled early and Bryan Cox Jr. recovered it to set up the 10-4 Panthers at the Tampa Bay 32. A defensive facemask penalty meant 1st and 10 at the Tampa 12. Graham Gano hit a 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Panthers. The Buccaneers moved 63 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Patrick Murray hit a 31 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter the Panthers moved 71 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. Inside the 10, Cam Newton got hurt trying to scramble up the middle on a designed quarterback keeper. Derek Anderson came in and threw incomplete. Gano hit from 28 to make it 6-3 Panthers. The Bucs came back 61 yards and Murray hit from 41 for a 6-6 game. Yet 15 seconds later the game had its first touchdown. Byrd returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for the score to make it 12-6 Panthers. The extra point was blocked. The Buccaneers moved from their 25 to a 3rd and goal at the 6 with 13 seconds left. Winston threw incomplete but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 3. Winston threw incomplete again and only 5 seconds remained. Dirk Koetter took no chances. Murray hit from 21 to get the Buccaneers within 12-9.

In the third quarter the Panthers moved from their 19 to a 3rd and 8 at their own 45. Newton went deep and was intercepted by Alexander, who returned it 28 yards just past midfield. Winston went deep to Mike Evans for 28 yards and then to Wilson for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 16-12 Buccaneers. The Panthers then moved 68 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 8 from their own 44, Riverboat Ron Rivera called a fake punt. Palardy threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 10 yard gain and a first down. On 3rd and 1 from the Tampa Bay 37, Newton ran for 17 yards. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the Tampa Bay 12, Newton through incomplete. This time ron Rivera went for the 30 yard field goal. Gano hit to get the Panthers within 16-15. The Buccaneers soon faced 3rd and 8 at their own 27. Winston went deep to Martino for a 39 yard gain. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Murray hit a 26 yard field goal to make it 19-15 Buccaneers. The Buccaneers missed a chance to extend the lead with 3 minutes left in regulation when Murray missed from 51.

The ending was inevitable. From the Carolina 41, Newton went to Bersin for 23 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Tampa 23 with 1:55 left, Newton hit Clay for 11 yards. With 45 seconds left the Panthers faced 4th and 3 at the Tampa Bay 5. The Buccaneers jumped offsides.. Now it was 4th and 1 at the 3. Stewart gained 2 yards and the Bucs took a timeout on defense. From the 2, out of the shotgun, bizarroworld happened. Newton fumbled the snap, picked it up, and barreled forward into the end zone. With 35 seconds left the Panthers had the 3 point lead. After a touchback, Winston was quickly sacked and fumbled the ball away. An angry Winston had a meltdown after the game and had to be restrained by teammates. Meanwhile the Panthers are 11-4 and in the playoffs. They are tied for the NFC South lead. 22-19 Panthers

Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears — The 0-14 Browns played in snow against a Chicago team that was not much better. The Bears took 5 minutes to move 57 yards. Howard ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Bears. The extra point was blocked. Zane Gonzalez hit a 49 yard field goal end the half with the Browns only trailing 6-3. On the first play of the third quarter, the Bears took over at their own 40. Trubisky was intercepted by Myles Garrettt, who returned it 37 yards to the Chicago 5. Yet defensive holding nullified the interception. These are the Browns. On 3rd and 16 from their own 44, Trubisky hit bennie Cunningham for 40 yards and then Howard ran for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 13-3 Bears. Chicago got it back and moved 66 yards in 12 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Trubisky ran for a 4 yard touchdown to complete the scoring in a scoreless fourth quarter. The Browns are 0-15 and have locked up the first pick in the 2018 Draft. Now they have one more week to avoid infamy. 20-3 Bears

Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals — Late in the first quarter a short punt had the Lions taking over at their own 48. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 33, Matthew Stafford went deep to Eric Ebron for the touchdown and the 7-0 lead for the 8-6 Lions. In the second quarter the Bengals twice drove into the red zone and twice could not reach the end zone. Randy Bullock hit field goals of 29 and 27 yards as the Bengals trailed 7-6 at halftime. In the third quarter the Lions moved 61 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Yet the Lions could not finish and settled for a 23 yard Matt Prater field goal and a 10-6 Lions lead. The Bengals soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 23. Red Rifle Andy Dalton went deep incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 25 yard gain. Dalton then went to Hill for 34 yards. Dalton hit CJ Uzomah for a one yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Bengals. The Lions quickly moved from their 24 to a 3rd and 2 at the Cincy 32. Stafford threw incomplete and Prater then missed the 50 yard field goal try that would have tied the game.

In the fourth quarter the Bengals moved 43 yards in 11 plays. Bullock hit from 35 to make it 16-10 Lions. After a touchback, the Lions soon faced 4th and 1 at the Cincy 46. Jim Caldwell decided to go for it, a false start led him to punt. Then running into the kicker made it 4th and 1 again and Caldwell went for it again. Green gained 12 yards. Stafford went deep to Ebron for 29 yards. Green ran for a 5 yard touchdown. With 10 minutes left in regulation the Lions led 17-16. The Bengals fumbled the ensuing kickoff but retained possession at their own 14. On 3rd and 12 from their own 35, Dalton threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Another defensive pass interference call added 9 more yards. Bullock drilled a 51 yard field goal and the Bengals retook the lead 19-17 with 4:42 to play. Penalties killed the Lions on their next series. On 3rd and 28 from their own 7, Stafford went deep to Golden Tate. It was ruled incomplete, but there was a chance Tate caught it. With 3:49 left, Jim Caldwell surprisingly decided not to challenge the call. A short 33 yard punt had the Bengals taking over at the Detroit 40. At the 2 minute warning, everything came down to the Bengals facing 3rd and 6 at the Detroit 12. Giovanni Bernard got the carry and the touchdown to put the game away. The Lions dropped to 8-7 and are out of the playoffs. 26-17 Bengals

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs The 6-8 Dolphins saw Jarvis Landry fumble to set the Chiefs up near midfield. Harrison Butker hit a 31 yard field goal to put the 8-6 Chiefs up 3-0. Miami held the ball for 12 plays and 6 minutes. Cody Parkey hit a 44 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. The second quarter began with the Chiefs facing 3rd and 15 at their own 35. Alex Smith went deep to Tyreeq Hill for a 52 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the 9, Smith fired over the middle to Travis Kelce for the touchdown to make it 10-3 Chiefs. Miami again drove down the field 65 yards but settled for a 28 yard Parkey field goal to get the dolphins within 10-6. The Chiefs came back 68 yards and Kareem Hunt ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 17-6 Chiefs. The Dolphins came right back when a short pass from Cutler to Jakeem Grant followed by some terrible tackling attempts went for a 65 yard touchdown as the Dolphins trailed 17-13.

However Miami got it back and a shanked punt of 25 yards had the Chiefs taking over at their own 45 with 49 seconds left. From midfield Smith went to Hill for 33 yards. Harrison Butker did the rest. He hit from 32 to end the half with the Chiefs up 20-13. In the third quarter, the Chiefs quickly faced 3rd and 2 at their own 44. Smith kept it himself and gained nothing, but defensive holding kept the drive going. From the Miami 42, Smith went deep to Charles for a 35 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Smith hit Hill for what appeared to be a touchdown. Officials ruled that Hill did not complete the catch. Andy Reid challenged the call unsuccessfully. Butker hit from 21 to make it 23-13 Chiefs. In the fourth quarter Butker hit field goals of 29 and 49 to put the game away. His 5 field goals were difference. The 6-9 Dolphins are now officially eliminated from the playoffs while the 9-6 Chiefs clinched the AFC West for the second year in a row. This is the first time in franchise history the Chiefs have done so, making Andy Reid one Happy Walrus Lite. 29-13 Chiefs

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots — The 8-6 Bills were trying to knock off the 12-2 Patriots. Buffalo held the ball for 16 plays and 8 minutes, settling for a 41 yard Steve Hauschka field goal to make it 3-0 Bills. The Patriots moved 79 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Buffalo 3, Tom Brady threw high and incomplete. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 21 yard field goal for a 3-3 game. The Bills came back and moved to a 3rd and 2 at the New England 7. After Tyrod Taylor threw incomplete, Sean McDermott made the curious decision to go for it. Taylor scrambled for his life and was sacked. In the second quarter Brady was intercepted by Poyer, who returned it 19 yards for a touchdown and a 10-3 Bills lead. It was the 5th game in a row Brady has been intercepted, which has not happened to him in 15 years. The Patriots came back 75 yards. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 17 yard one-handed touchdown catch for a 10-10 game.

The Patriots moved 66 yards On 4th and 1 at the Buffalo 22, Bill Belichick initially decided to go for it and then reversed himself. Gostkowski hit from 40 to make it 13-10 Patriots at the 2 minute warning. The Bills soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25. Taylor hit Kelvin Benjamin for 15 yard. On 3rd and 2 from their own 48, Taylor hit LeSean Shady McCoy for just enough. On 3rd and 2 from the New England 42, Taylor went deep to Thompson for a 33 yard gain. With 13 seconds left, the Bills had 1st and goal at the 4. Taylor threw incomplete twice, leaving 6 seconds. On 3rd and goal Taylor fired to Benjamin for the touchdown. Yet on further review officials ruled Benjamin did not get both feet down inbounds. The call was incomplete and 2 seconds remained. Hauschka hit from 23 for a 13-13 game at the break. After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Bills moved to a 1st and goal at the New England 10. Taylor threw a short pass that actually lost 8 yards to kill the drive. Hauschka hit from 30 to make it 16-13 Bills. Could the Bills get the upset?

The Patriots came back 59 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Buffalo 26, Bill Belichick went for it and Dion Lewis got stopped. Belichick challenged the spot and won. On 3rd and 5 from the Buffalo 10, Brady was sacked. Gostkowski hit from 34 for a 16-16 game. The Patriots got it back at their own 35. Mike Gillislee gained 7 and 12. Brady hit Gronkowski for 16 yards. From the Buffalo 30, Brady went deep and defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Gillislee got the yard and the touchdown against his former team to make it 23-16 Patriots with one minute left in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter the Bills faced 3rd and 2 at the New England 33. McCoy only gained one yard. On 4th and 1 Sean McDermott surprisingly decided not to go for it. The 50 yard field goal try by Hauschka was wide no good by a mile. The Patriots took over at their own 40. Brady hit Allen for 22 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Buffalo 12, a short pass to Lewis saw him slice up the middle for the touchdown to make it 30-16 Patriots with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Patriots got it back and moved 54 yards, with Lewis running for a 4 yard touchdown to turn a tight game into a blowout. 24 unanswered points got the Patriots to 12-3. New England would clinch a first round bye later in the day. A win next week would lock up home field for New England. Buffalo at 8-7 needs to win next week and get help to make the playoffs. 37-16 Patriots

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints — The 9-5 Falcons took on the 10-4 Saints in a battle for the NFC South division lead. Will Lutz hit a 40 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Saints. Lutz tacked on a 29 yarder with 1:15 left in the half to make it 6-0 Saints. The Falcons soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 48. Matt Ryan was intercepted and the Saints took over at their own 36 with 50 seconds left. From their 46 with 22 seconds left, Brees went deep to Ted Ginn Jr. for a 54 yard touchdown bomb as the Saints led 13-0 at the intermission. In the third quarter the Saints faced 1st and 20 at their own 38 after a holding penalty. A short pass by Brees bounced right off of Ginns’s hands and was intercepted by jones, who returned it 41 yards to the New Orleans 2 yard line. Yet on 2nd and goal from the one, Devontae Freeman got the carry and got blasted. He fumbled and Manti Teo recovered for the Saints at the 4 yard line. The Falcons got it back at the Saints 48. On 3rd and 5 from the Saints 19, Matty Ice threw incomplete. Matt Bryant hit the 37 yard field goal and the Falcons were finally on the board.

The Saints got it back and made it look easy from their own 46. Brees hit Thomas for 24 yards. Mark Ingram then ran for a 26 yard touchdown to make it 20-3 Saints. After a touchback the Falcons moved to a 3rd and goal at the 6. On the last play of the third quarter, Ryan hit Julio Jones for the touchdown, but officials ruled Jones down at the one. Dan Quinn unsuccessfully challenged the call. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Quinn went for it on 4th and goal at the one. Freeman got the carry and got stopped cold. 2 goal line stands in one game by an inspired Saints defense had kept the Falcons out of the end zone. Bryant did hit a 48 yard fourth quarter field goal, but Lutz answered from 45 with 3 1/2 minutes to play to make it 23-6 Saints and lock up the win. Atlanta got a garbage touchdown but the Falcons dropped to 9-6 and in a precarious position. The 11-4 Saints clinched a playoff spot and are tied for the NFC South lead. 23-13 Saints

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets — With nothing to play for, the Jets began with Todd Bowles calling a surprise onside kick that was successful. Bryce Petty threw a 50 yard touchdown bomb to Robbie Anderson, but offensive pass interference nullified it. In the second quarter the Chargers moved 71 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 2 from the Jets 5, Philip Rivers threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a new set of downs. On 1st and goal at the one the Chargers fumbled the snap but retained possession. on the next play Rivers fired over the middle to Antonio Gates for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chargers. The Jets came right back when Powell ran for a 41 yard gain down to the Chargers 31. However, the Jets then quickly fumbled the ball away. In the third quarter a short pass from Rivers to Melvin Gordon went for 31 yards. Yet on 2nd and 9 from the Jets 29, Rivers threw incomplete twice. Nick Rose missed a 47 yard field goal. The Jets soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 43. Powell got around the end and dragged tacklers for a 57 yard touchdown run. Rather than trailing 10-0, the Jets had tied the game 7-7. After a touchback, Gordon ran for gains of 9 and 19. On 1st and 15 from the Jets 25, Rivers hit McGrath for 23 yards. Gordon got in from the one to put the Chargers back up by 7. The Jets moved from their 30 to a 3rd and 7 at the Chargers 17 with 3 minutes left in regulation. Petty threw incomplete twice and the Jets were done. The 8-7 Chargers cannot win their division but can make the playoffs as a wildcard with a win next week and some help. 14-7 Chargers.

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans — Rams kicker Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein is now out for the year with an injured back. This led to the Rams punting from the Tennessee 32 rather than trying a 50 yard field goal. Marcus Mariota was then intercepted, and Jaed Goff threw a 50 yard completion to Cooper Kupp. Goff hit Todd Gurley for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Rams. Sam Ficken was working at a stockbrokerage firm earlier this week. Now he was kicking in place of Zuerlein. He missed his first extra point try. The Titans moved 62 yards in 14 plays and took over 7 1/2 minutes to do it. Yet they settled for a 25 yard field goal by Ryan succor to get the Titans within 6-3. From the Rams 11, Goff got belted and fumbled. Woodyard recovered it and returned it 4 yards for a touchdown and a 10-6 Titans lead. The Rams came right back. A short pass from Goff to Gurley saw Gurley split the seams and race for an 80 yard touchdown to make it 13-10 Rams. The Titans moved 56 yards in 11 plays to end the half. Succop hit from 37 for a 13-13 ballgame.

The Rams in the third quarter from their own 35 saw Gurley catch a pass for 9 yards and run for 34 more yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Tennessee 15, Goff thought he gained enough. mike malarkey challenged the spot and it was reversed to 4th and 1 at the 13. Sean McVay went for it and Gurley gained 10 yards. On the next play Goff hit Watkins for the touchdown to make it 20-13 Rams. A 57 yard kickoff return by Jackson had the Titans at the Rams 44. On 3rd and 6 from the Rams 40, Marcus Mariots found Rishard Matthews for a 25 yard gain. DeMarco Murray ran for a 6 yard touchdown for a 20-20 game. Mike Mularkey called a surprise onside kick while the Rams were still on the sideline huddling. The officials ruled that play had not started yet. The Titans would kick it off and get it back at their own 27. Mariota hit Eric Decker for 25 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Rams 38, Mariota hit Mathews for 23 yards. The fourth quarter began with the Titans facing 3rd and 4 at the Rams 9 as rain started to come down. Mariota was chased out of bounds after an incompletion. Succop hit from 27 for a 23-20 Titans lead.

From the Rams 32, Gurley gained 9 and a deep ball drew a defensive pass interference penalty of 31 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Titans 14 Goff went to the right corner for Cupp, who made a diving catch and got one knee inbounds for the touchdown and the 4 point Rams lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Titans began their last drive at their own 20. They moved to a 4th and 4 at the Rams 43 with 1:45 to play. Mariota threw incomplete and the Titans were done. The 11-4 Rams clinched the NFC West for the first time since 2003 and will host a playoff game for the first time in Los Angeles since 1985. The 8-7 Titans have lost 3 straight. Their division is out of reach, but with one win next week they still make the playoffs. 27-23 Rams

Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins — In the first quarter the Broncos held the ball for 6 minutes and 10 plays yet moved only 31 yards. Brandon McManus hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Broncos. In the second quarter the Redksins moved 83 yards in 11 plays and over 5 minutes. Dustin Hopkins hit a 26 yard field goal to tie the game 3-3. The Broncos soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 41. Brock Osweiler was hit and fumbled and the Redskins recovered at the Denver 38. Kirk Cousins hit Jamison Crowder for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 10-3 Redskins just before the 2 minute warning. The second half was all Washington. Hopkins hit a 29 yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 13-3 Redskins. In the fourth quarter Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 48 yards to Josh Doctson and 31 yards to Vernon Davis to make it 27-3 Redskins. Denver got a garbage touchdown but the Broncos now have double digit losses, a fate Washington avoided. 27-11 Redskins.

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers — The 10-4 Jaguars found out before the game started that they had clinched the AFC South. The 49ers were 4-10 but had won 3 straight under Jimmy Garoppollo. In the first quarter the 49ers moved 79 yards in 10 plays. Garoppollo ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 49ers. The 49ers got it back and moved 54 yards. Robbie Gould hit a 27 yard field goal to make it 10-0 49ers after the first quarter. In the second quarter Bortles had a pass deflected and intercepted by Dante Johnson, who returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to make it 16-0 49ers.

The extra point try was blocked and returned all the way the other way for a Jacksonville score. Rather than trailing 17-0, the Jaguars were down 16-2. The Jaguars got it back and moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 12 from their own 23, Bortles threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 after a Bortles fumble was reversed to an incompletion, TJ Yeldon from the Frisco 42 gained just enough. From the Frisco 20, Bortles hit Westbrook for 19 and Leonard Fournette got the last yard to get the Jaguars within 16-9. After a touchback, the 49ers moved ta 3rd and goal at the 7 with 1:45 left in the half. Garoppollo went to the end zone and was intercepted by Church with 1:40 left in the half. From the Jacksonville 33, Bortles hit Cole for 24 yards and Yeldon for 20 more. From the San Francisco 5, Bortles threw a pass to the end zone that bounced off a receiver’s hands straight into the arms of Jalen Strong of a touchdown. Rather than trailing 24-7, the Jaguars had tied the game 16-16. After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Jaguars soon faced 2nd and 6 from their own 42. Bortles went deep to Cole for a 32 yard gain. The drive died there but Josh Lambo hit a 45 yard field goal to give the Jaguars their first lead up 19-16. After 19 unanswered points, the game changed again.

Jacksonville got it back and soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 35. Bortles was intercepted by Williams, who returned it 27 yards to the Jacksonville 26. On 3rd and 3 from the Jacksonville 8, Garoppollo fired to Kittle for the touchdown to put the 49ers back in front 23-19. The 49ers got it back at their own 14. A taunting penalty on the defense moved the ball to the Frisco 31. From the Frisco 45, an unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense moved the ball to Jacksonville 40. In the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 2 from the Jacksonville 11, defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 4. On 3rd and goal at the 5, Garoppollo hit Taylor for the touchdown. The 86 yard, 13 play, 6 1/2 minute drive had the 49ers up 30-19 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. After a touchback Bortles was then immediately intercepted for the third time, setting up the 49ers at the Jacksonville 18. Carlos Hyde ran for a 6 yard touchdown. Now it was 21 straight points by the 49ers to make it 37-19 49ers.

The Jaguars moved 85 yards in 16 plays. Yeldon got in from the one and Bortles hit Boyack for the 2 point conversion to get the Jaguar within 37-27. The Jaguars recovered the onside kick at the San Francisco 46. with 2:13 left and all 3 timeouts. Bortles hit Strong for 19. Bortles then scrambled for 16 and hit James O’Shaunessy for an 11 yard touchdown. With 1:50 to play the Jaguars were within 4 points. Lambo doinked the critical extra point off the upright no good. This time the onside kick failed. The 49ers took over at their own 49. The Jaguars still had all 3 timeouts. With 90 seconds left the 49ers faced 3rd and 8 at the Jacksonville 30. A first down would end it and a stop would give Jacksonville a chance at a stirring comeback. Breida took the pitchout and raced all the way around the end for the clinching touchdown. The 5-10 49ers have won 4 straight and will be a serious contender next year. The Jaguars fell to 10-5 but still have an outside shot a first round bye. 44-33 49ers

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals — Both teams are done for the year but a loss would ensure the Giants get the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Arizona drove 46 yards but could not finish the drive after 5 minutes. Phil Dawson hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cardinals. In the second quarter the Giants failed to convert on 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 15 and then Aldrick Rosas missed a 33 yard field goal that would have tied the game. With 3 minutes left in the half the Cardinals took over at their own 21. On 3rd and 5 from their own 37, Drew Stanton hit Larry Fitzgerald for 23 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Giants 33, Stanton threw incomplete but roughing the passer kept the drive going. On 3rd and 5 from the Giants 13, Stanton hit Fitzgerald for the touchdown as the Cardinals took a 10-0 lead to the locker rooms. In the third quarter the Cardinals moved 75 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Drew stanton threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Brown as the Cardinals led 16-0 after the failed extra point. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Giants faced 3rd and 2 at their own 28. Eli Manning was sacked and fumbled. Nkemdiche returned it 21 yards for a touchdown as a miserable Giants season ended miserably. 23-0 Cardinals.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys — Both teams came in 8-6 knowing that a loss would officially eliminate them from playoff contention. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys held the ball for 11 plays and 6 minutes. Dan Bailey hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. Dallas got it back and held it for another 5 1/2 minutes. Bailey hit from 51 to make it 6-0 Cowboys. The Cowboys were in chronological until Dez Bryant fumbled a reception and the Seahawks recovered at the Dallas 43. Russell Wilson hit Davis for 12 and ran for 14 more. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Out of the shotgun, Wilson fumbled but the Seahawks retained possession. Wilson hit Jimmy Graham for a 5 yard touchdown as the Cowboys led 7-6 with 90 seconds left in the half. Dallas soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 26 with 47 seconds left. Michael Bennett jumped offsides. From midfield, Prescott hit Williams for 17 yards. Bailey hit from 51 with 3 seconds left in the half to make it 9-7 Cowboys.

In the third quarter from the Dallas 29, Prescott was intercepted bu Coleman. Coleman returned it 30 yards for a touchdown as the Seahawks now led 14-9. Dallas got it back at their own 35. A deep ball drew a 43 yard defensive pass interference penalty. Yet the drive died there. Bailey hit a 39 yard field goal as the Cowboys got within 14-12. Dallas got it back at their own 31. From their own 44, Prescott went to Bryant for a 33 yard gain. 2 plays later a short pass to Bryant bounced off his hands and was intercepted by Wright at the Seattle 21. On 3rd and 9 from their 22, Wilson scrambled for 10. On 3rd and 7 from their own 35, Wilson went to Doug Baldwin for 20 yards. On 2nd and 10 from the Dallas 22, a short gain saw a defensive facemask penalty that meant 1st and goal at the 10. Wilson threw a 6 yard touchdown pass to Baldwin to put the Seahawks up by 9 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback Dallas moved all the way to a 2nd and goal at the 2. Jason Witten was called for offensive holding. Prescott was then sacked for an 11 yard loss. Needing 2 scores, Bailey came in for a 34 yard try, having already made 4 of 4. In front of a shellshocked home crowd, one of the most accurate kickers of all time missed it wide with 5 1/2 minutes left. Dallas got it back at their own 39 with 2:40 to play. With 1:05 left the Cowboys had 1st and 5 at the Seattle 30. Needing 2 scores, Jason Garrett brought in Bailey for the field goal. From 48 yards out, Bailey was again no good and the Cowboys were done. Dallas is 8-7 and out of the playoffs. Seattle is 9-6 and needs to win and get help next week to make the playoffs. 21-12 Seahawks

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans was the Christmas Monday afternoon game.  The Steelers are a good team. The Texans are a bad team. Sometimes it really is that simple. The Steelers quickly moved 59 yards and Chris Boswell hit a 34 yard field goal to start the scoring. Pittsburgh got it back and moved 54 yards quickly. Ben Roethlisberger threw a 5 yard touchdown pass to Hunter for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Steelers. In the second quarter the Texans moved from their 34 to a 2nd and goal at the one. Alfred Blue took the wildcat snap and did not get in. On 3rd and goal TJ Yates threw incomplete. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. Yates went to the end zone and was intercepted. The Steelers then soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 24. Roethlisberger hit LeVeon Bell for 7 yards. Bell then ran for 22 more. On 3rd and 12 from the Houston 32, Big Ben hit Martavius Bryant for just enough. On the next play defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Nix got in for the touchdown to make it 17-0 Steelers. Houston then faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Yates was sacked and fumbled and the Steelers recovered at the Houston 29. Boswell hit from 36 for a 20-0 Steelers lead at halftime.

With less than 30 seconds left in the half, a Texans team already without DeShaun Watson and Tom Savage saw TJ Yates get injured. Fourth string quarterback Taylor Heinecke was on the practice squad until 2 weeks ago. Now he began his NFL debut under the toughest of circumstances. The second half was uneventful. LeVeon Bell ran for a 10 yard touchdown in the third quarter to make it 27-0 Steelers. The Texans avoided the shutout when TJ Yates went to Deandre Hopkins for a 3 yard touchdown. Hopkins made the catch of the year by deflecting it to himself and getting both feet down. Pittsburgh was underwhelmed, moving 79 yards. Big Ben hit Juju Smith-Schuster for an 18 yard touchdown to complete the scoring. The 12-3 Steelers locked up a first round bye, but will need a win next week and a New England loss to get home field throughout the playoffs. 34-6 Steelers

Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles was the Christmas Monday night game. The 12-2 Eagles were expected to easily blow out the eliminated 6-8 Raiders and lock up home field throughout the playoffs. Carson Wentz is injured, but Nick Foles in 2013 threw 7 touchdowns against the Raiders. These Raiders have a weak secondary. Cue retired ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they play the games.” The Oakland defense actually held the Eagles to a 3 and out to start the game. The Raiders took over at their own 40 and even gained a first down. Yet despite 3rd and 4 from the Philadelphia 44, consecutive offensive penalties meant 3rd and 14. Derek Carr hit Smith for 12 yards. Jack Del Rio decided to go for it on 4th and 2 at the Philly 42. It was the right decision, but this is not 2016. Nothing is working. Carr rolled out and threw incomplete.

The Eagles soon faced 3rd and 5 at the Oakland 42. Clement ran for a 12 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 21, Jay Ajayi got stopped. On 4th and 1 Doug Pederson decided to go for it. Clement gained 2 yards. Nick Foles threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Ajayi to make it 7-0 Eagles. The 11 play, 58 yard drive took nearly 6 1/2 minutes, and it seemed the rout was on. The Raiders went 3 and out when Carr threw an incomplete deep ball on 3rd and 3 from his own 36. The Eagles soon faced 3rd and 7 at their own 23 Foles threw incomplete, but defensive holding on TJ Carrie kept the drive going. Yet on 3rd and 4 from the Philly 34 to start the second quarter, Foles threw incomplete. The Raiders got it back at their own 26. From their own 37, Carr went bombs away to Amari cooper for a 63 yard touchdown. Just like that, the game was tied 7-7.

Again the Raiders held on defense and got the ball back at their own 13. On 3rd and 5 Carr was sacked, but the Eagles jumped offside. The Raiders moved all the way to a 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 47. On 3rd and 10 Carr went deep to Cooper for a 45 yard gain. Yet instead of 1st and goal at the 2, offensive holding made it 3rd and 20. An illegal block on the next play wiped out a 16 yard gain and instead meant 3rd and 28. The Raiders killed themselves with dumb penalties and punted. The Eagles took over at their 24 with 3 minutes left in the half. Foles hit Zac Ertz for 25 yards and it looked like the late defensive collapse was well under way. On 3rd and 8 just past midfield, Fles threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 3 from the Oakland 37, Foles threw incomplete with 41 seconds left. dOUG peterson decided to go for it and Foles hit Ertz for 4 yards. Despite 2nd and 4 at the Oakland 15, Foles threw incomplete twice. The Raiders had held. With 15 seconds left Jake Elliott came in for a 33 yard chip shot to give the Eagles the lead. It was no good. Elliott just missed it.

After a touchback to start the third quarter, the Raiders went pure smash mouth and ran the ball down Philadelphia’s throat. They ran right at the Eagles. Marshawn Lynch ran for 16 yards, and after a defensive holding call, Jalen Richard ran for a 34 yard gain. The Raiders reached 3rd and 3 at the Philadelphia 6 without throwing a single pass. Yet instead of trying a draw play, Carr threw to Michael Crabtree, who dropped what would have been a touchdown. Georgio Tavecchio hit the 25 yard field goal as the Raiders led 10-7. They had a legitimate shot at the upset of the year. The defense even held again on the next series. The Raiders got it back at their own 37. They had to keep running the ball to have a chance to win.

Instead Carr threw incomplete and a draw play was blown up in the backfield as the Raiders quickly went 3 and out. The Eagles took over at their own 22. Normally on Christmas Day it would not be good to have a Jihad blow up someone, but Raiders defensive pass rusher Jihad Rusher blew up Nick Foles for a 9 yard loss. The Eagles punted on 4th and 19 from their own 7 and the Raiders took over just shy of midfield. Again, they had to keep running the ball to have a chance to win. On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 47, Carr fired over the middle and was intercepted by Robinson, who returned it 19 yards to the Oakland 44. The Oakland defense was playing lights out and the offense was giving it away. Jay Ajayi quickly ran for a 14 yard gain, but the Oakland defense came up big again and ripped it out of his hands. The Raiders recovered the fumble at their own 30. On the very next play Lynch fumbled it right back to the Eagles. Again the defense held. On 3rd and 9 from the Oakland 17, a pass by Foles bounced off of one Eagles receiver and just barely hit the ground before another one could scoop it up. Elliott came in for a 35 yard field goal try to tie it. This time he was good and the game was tied 10-10.

From the Oakland 31, the Raiders went right back to Lynch for a 15 yard gain. Yet 2 more Lynch runs left the Raiders facing 3rd and 8 from their own 48 as the third quarter ended. The fourth quarter began with Carr getting sacked and fumbling. The Raiders retained possession and punted. The Eagles took over at their own 27. On 3rd and 12, a bad snap still left Foles plenty of time. Yet he was sacked for a 16 yard loss. The Eagles punted on 4th and 28 at their own 9. The Raiders took over again with excellent field position at their own 49. The Oakland defense was still playing lights out. If the Oakland offense could do anything right, they could win this game. On 3rd and 1, Lynch banged up the gut for 2 yards. On 2nd and 8 from the Philly 38, Carr threw a duck that should have been intercepted but was dropped incomplete. On 3rd and 8,, Carr went deep incomplete. Yet illegal contact on the defense gave the Raiders 1st and 10 at the Philly 33. The Raiders were in long field goal range but were going against the wind. On 3rd and 7 from the Philly 30, Carr rolled out and threw it away. Georgio Tavecchio came in for a 48 yard field goal to give the Raiders the lead. In a season gone wrong, he hooked it wide no good with 8 minutes remaining.

The Eagles took over at their own 38 and disaster immediately struck. Foles rolled out and threw high to Ertz. It bounced off Ertz’s fingers and was intercepted by Reggie Nelson. The Raiders took over at the Philadelphia 37. All the Raiders needed to do was run the ball and eat up the clock. Instead Carr threw incomplete. On 2nd and 10, Lynch bulldozed for an 11 yard gain but offensive holding instead meant 2nd and 20. A short pass to Richard went for a 23 yard gain. The Raiders were now in total control. Richard ran for a 9 yard gain to the Philly 15, but these are the Raiders. Richard fumbled and the Eagles recovered at their own 16 with 6 1/2 minutes to play. The Oakland defense was all heart and guts, and the Oakland offense wasted every single opportunity.

On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 21, Foles threw incomplete. The Eagles were averaging 387 yards of offense per game. With 5 minutes left they only had 197 yards. They were 1 for 12 on 3rd downs. Again the Raiders had excellent field position at their own 41. Yet unless the Oakland offense could do something right, it would not matter. They could not. The Raiders went 3 and out. With 2 1/2 minutes left the Eagles fumbled the punt but were lucky to retain possession at their own 12. A run by Ajayi was blown up in the backfield for a 6 yard loss as the Eagles faced 2nd and 16 at their own 6 at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 12, Foles threw incomplete. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 46 yard line with 1:07 to play. The defense had done everything it could. The offense needed 2 first downs.

Carr threw a short pass that was immediately intercepted. In a season gone wrong, the Raiders kept killing themselves. Although it appeared the ball touched the ground, nobody knows what a catch is anymore. The interception stood and now the Eagles had the ball at their own 48 with 54 seconds left. The ending was inevitable. Foles dinked and dunked. With 27 seconds left Elliott came in for a 48 yard try to win it. Anyone who has watched the Raiders this year new it would be good, and it was. The Raiders got it back at their own 36 with all 3 timeouts and 17 seconds left. Carr threw a short pass incomplete that left 14 seconds. Carr again tried to dump it off incomplete as 10 seconds remained. The Raiders took a timeout to talk over how to best lose the game. Under a heavy rush Carr threw incomplete again with 3 seconds remaining. The Raiders took another timeout to give their fans a chance to curse their offense some more. Rather than try a Hail Mary, the Raiders tried the hook and lateral that was fumbled and returned for a defensive touchdown. The Eagles at 13-2 locked up home field throughout the playoffs. The 6-9 Raiders will have the entire offseason to think about what a bunch of gutless, heartless screwups they are. 19-10 Eagles

NFL 2017 Week 16 Prequel

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 16 Prequel

Christmas Football: NFL week 16 Preview & Bettors Guide

NFL 2017 Week 15 Recap

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 15 Recap

Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts was the Thursday night game. Sometimes a pair of bad teams can come together and produce a great game for the ages. This was not that game. Denver’s quarterback carousel started with Trevor Siemian, who was quickly intercepted to set the Colts up at midfield. Jacoby Brissett ran for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Colts. Denver moved after a touchback to a 1st and goal at the Indy 7. On 3rd and goal, Siemian was sacked and a delay of game meant 4th and goal at the 22. The normally reliable Brandon McManus missed the 40 yard field goal try. In the second quarter Adam Vinatieri hit a 45 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Colts.

Siemian left the game with an injured shoulder and Brock Osweiler played the rest of the way. After a touchback, Denver moved to a 4th and 2 at the Indy 33. Vance Joseph decided to go for it and Osweiler hit Emanuel Sanders for 3 yards. A short pass to Devontae Booker saw Booker hurdle over a defender and race for a touchdown. The highlight reel score was nullified by offensive holding. Yet on 2nd and 16, Osweiler hit Sanders for 17 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the colts 18, Osweiler scrambled for the touchdown as the Broncos got within 10-7 with 1:19 left in the half. In the third quarter the Colts moved 54 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Denver 21, Brissett threw incomplete. Vinatieri hit from 39 to make it 13-7 Colts. Yet after that it was all Broncos.

Denver needed 5 minutes to move 79 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Indy 46, again Vance Joseph went for it. Osweiler through incomplete but defensive holding on Wilson meant an automatic first down. Osweiler threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Latimer as the Broncos had their first lead of the game up 14-13 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter. Denver got it back at their own 33 and struck quickly. Osweiler went deep to Heuerman for a 54 yard touchdown. In an odd decision, vance Joseph went for a 2 point conversion. Osweiler hit Latimer for the 2 pointer and the Broncos led 22-13. Denver got it back at their own 16 to start the fourth quarter and held the ball for 16 plays and over 9 1/2 minutes. After moving 62 yards, McManus hit a 40 yard field goal to complete the scoring with 5 minutes left. With 4 minutes left, Indy’s last chance had the facing 4th and 1 at their own 45. Brissett threw incomplete and the Colts were done. After the season, Vance Joseph and Chuck Pagano might both be fired. On this night, it was a good win for Joseph and sweet vindication for Osweiler. 25-13 Broncos

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions was the Saturday afternoon game. The Lions came in 7-6 and still alive in the playoff hunt. Detroit moved the ball well on their first 2 drives but had to settle for a pair of Matt Prater field goals of 48 yards in the first quarter and 31 yards on the first play of the second quarter for a 6-0 Lions lead. The Lions on their third drive moved 92 yards in 10 plays and 6 minutes and this time finished the drive. On 3rd and 8 from their own 10, Matthew Stafford threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. On 2nd and 26 from their own 22, Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 8 yards. On 3rd and 18 from their own 30, Stafford went deep to Marvin Jones for a 58 yard gain as Jones just out-jumped the defender. On 3rd and 1 from the 3, Stafford hit Jones for the touchdown to make it 13-0 Lions. A 90 yard kickoff return for Chicago to the Detroit 14 was wiped out by a penalty. With 18 seconds left in the half, the Bears caught a break. The Lions faced 3rd and 15 at their own 15. Just trying to run out the clock, Riddick fumbled the ball away. Mike Nugent hit a 41 yard field goal as the Bears within 13-3 at halftime.

Disaster immediately struck Chicago in the third quarter. Facing 2nd and 8 at their own 22, Mitchell Trubisky was intercepted, setting the Lions up at the Chicago 41. On 3rd and 4 from the Chicago 35, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 10 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 16, Stafford hit Amir Abdullah for 8 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 8, Stafford hit Eric Hebron for the touchdown to make it 20-3 Lions. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter the Bears had moved to a 3rd and goal at the 5. Trubisky fired over the middle to the end zone and was intercepted, ending any chance of a competitive game. By the time the Bears reached the end zone, only 2 1/2 minutes remained in regulation. In the battle of the toughest old women in America, 92 year old Martha Ford saw her squad beat 94 year old Virginia Halas McCaskey’s team. This may be the end of the line for John Fox, While Jim Caldwell was so pleased at seeing Detroit get to 8-6 that he almost made a facial expression. 20-10 Lions

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs was the Saturday night game. The Chiefs started the season 5-0 while the Chargers began 0-4. Yet both teams entered this game 7-6 atop the AFC West. The Chiefs held the ball for 9 minutes on a 15 play, 82 yard drive. On the last play of the first quarter, Harrison Butker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. In the second quarter 80 yards came easier. On 3rd and 2 from their own 36, Alex Smith threw a 64 yard touchdown bomb to Tyreeq Hill to make it 10-0 Chiefs. The Chargers did move 75 yards in 10 plays. Melvin Gordon on 3rd and goal ran for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 10-6 at the 2 minute warning. The extra point was no good. The Chiefs quickly moved from their 23 to the Chargers 34 with 12 seconds left in the half. Butker’s 52 yard field goal try was good, but the Chargers had called timeout just before the kick. Butker’s second attempt hooked wide at the last moment no good. The Chargers took over at their own 44 with 7 seconds left. Rather than try a 63 yard field goal with 2 seconds left, it was Hail Mary time. It was knocked down incomplete.

In the third quarter the Chargers took over at their own 12 yard line. A short pass from Rivers to Gordon went for a 49 yard gain. Rivers then hit Hunter Henry for 14 more yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Chiefs 25, Rivers went to Keenan Allen for 15 yards. Rivers then threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to culminate the 88 yard drive and give the Chargers their first lead up 13-10. The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 36 and caught a break when the Chargers jumped offside. On 3rd and 3 at their own 48, Smith hit Kelce for 7 yards. On 3rd and 1 at the Chargers 36, Hunt banged through  tackler and gained 17 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 10, Smith executed the option and Kareem hunt gained 6 yards. Smith threw a 3 yard touchdown to Hunt to cap the 12 play, 69 yard, 7 minute drive and make it 17-13 Chiefs. Rivers then went deep and was intercepted by Marcus Peters. Peters returned the interception 62 yards to the Chargers 6 yard line. On 2nd and goal at the one, a false start pushed the Chiefs back. On 3rd and goal at the 6, a pass to Hunt was dropped and ruled incomplete. Andy Reid challenged the call unsuccessfully. Butker hit from 24 to make it 20-13 Chiefs after three quarters.

The Chargers began the fourth quarter facing 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Rivers hit Austin Ekeler for a 7 yard gain, but Ekeler fumbled the ball and the Chiefs recovered. The Chiefs took over at their own 44. With 11 minutes left in regulation Butker came in for a 51 yarder to extend the lead. This time Butker was good as the Chiefs led 23-13. After a touchback, the Chargers moved to a 3rd and 8 at their own 46. Rivers hit Travis Benjamin for 7 yards as a great open field tackle by Marcus Peters denied the first down. Going for it on 4th and 1 with 8 1/2 minutes left, Rivers faced heavy pressure and was intercepted again at the Chiefs 35. Hunt ran for 23 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Chargers 37, Smith threw incomplete but a very late flag for defensive pass interference meant 1st and 10 at the Chargers 31. Hunt then ran for another 21 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 5 with 4 minutes left, Andy Reid played it safe and kept it on the ground. Hunt went straight up the middle and put the dagger in for the touchdown as the Chiefs put the game away. The Chiefs got to 8-6 and have beaten the Chargers 8 straight times including the season sweep this year. The Chargers at 7-7 are still mathematically alive but in deep trouble. 30-13 Chiefs

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills — The Desperation Bowl had the 6-7 Dolphins at the 7-6 Bills. The Bills moved 81 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. LeSean Shady McCoy ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Bills. Twice Miami moved the ball and twice they had to settle for Cody Parkey field goals. Parkey hit from 28 and in the second quarter from 41 to get the Dolphins within 7-6. After that Buffalo took over. The Bills moved 75 yards and Tyrod Taylor hit McCoy for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-6 Bills. Buffalo got it back and moved 80 yards. Taylor ran for a 9 yard touchdown to make it 21-6 Bills at the half. The third quarter began with Cutler being intercepted twice. Steve Hauschka hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 24-6 Bills. The Dolphins got a break with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation with a 26 yard yard punt return and 13 more yards for a horse collar tackle to put the Dolphins at the Buffalo 13. Kenyon Drake got in from the one to get Miami within 24-13. With 5 minutes left on 3rd and 2 from the Miami 31, McCoy lost 5 yards. Sean McDermott opted to punt rather than try a long field goal. Despite 2nd and 3 from the Buffalo 8 with 51 seconds left, Cutler threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Adam Game went with the field goal. Parkey hit from 26 and the Dolphins recovered a perfectly executed onside kick. Yet Cutler then threw his third interception to seal things. The Bills are 8-6 and alive while the 6-8 Dolphins are done. These teams meet again in the season finale. 24-16 Bills

Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers — The 7-6 Packers are clinging to playoff life, but Aaron Rodgers has finally returned from injury. The 9-4 Panthers are tied for the NFC South lead and had to ignore controversy swirling around owner Jerry Richardson. The Panthers began by moving 85 yards in 15 plays and 7 1/2 minutes. Cam Newton hit Chris McCaffrey for a 7 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Packers answered by going 75 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Rodgers hit Devonta Adams for for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. In the second quarter the Panthers moved 61 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. This time they settled for a 33 yard Graham Gano field goal to make it 10-7 Panthers. With 1:55 left in the half, the Packers took over at their own 42. Rodgers hit Adams for 13, non-relative Richard Rodgers for 9, and Randall Cobb for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 14-10 Packers at the half.

Carolina took over in the second half. In the third quarter the Panthers moved 73 yards. Newton found Greg Olsen for a 30 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Panthers. An interception of Rodgers gave Carolina  short field just past midfield. On 3rd and 6 from the 12 Newton threw incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 9. Newton threw incomplete to the end zone, but Ron Rivera challenged the call. It was reversed to a touchdown pass to Byrd to make it 24-14 Panthers. Late in the third quarter the Packers moved from their own 43 to a 2nd and 4 at the Carolina 10. Rodgers threw incomplete twice. Mason Crosby hit the 28 yard field goal to get the packers within 24-17 after three quarters.

After a touchback, the Panthers moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Packers 23 early in the third quarter. Newton hit Olsen for 10 yards and Byrd for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 31-17 Panthers. After a touchback the Packers moved down the field. On 4th and 5 from the Carolina 38, Rodgers hit Cobb for 12 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 21, Rodgers was sacked. On 4th and 14 from the 30, Rodgers was sacked again. Green Bay got it back at their own 24. Rodgers hit non-relative Richard Rodgers for a 24 yard touchdown to make it a 7 point game with 2:48 to play. The onside kick did the job and the Packers recovered it at their own 48. With 1:55 left the Packers were out of timeouts but very much alive with 1st and 10 at the Carolina 38. Rodgers completed a 10 yard pass to Allison, but Allison fumbled the ball away and the Panthers recovered to lock up the hard fought home win. Rodgers finished 26 of 45 for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns, but also with 3 interceptions. Newton was 20 of 31 for 242 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Green Bay at 7-7 is done for the year barring a miracle while the 10-4 Panthers are still tied atop the NFC South. 31-24 Panthers

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns — The 7-6 Ravens faced the winless Browns. The Ravens moved 62 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. Justin Tucker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Ravens. With the Browns facing 3rd and 8 at their own 17, DoShone Kizer was intercepted to set up the Ravens at the Cleveland 40. On 2nd and goal at the one Joe Flacco threw incomplete as a pass to the end zone was ruled to have hit the ground. Alex Collins was stopped on 3rd and goal. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. On 4th and goal at the one, Collins got the carry and got blasted in the backfield. Cleveland took over at their own 4. Isaiah Crowell broke free for a 59 yard gain. Kizer scrambled for 8 and 9 and Duke Johnson ran for a 12 yard touchdown. 96 yards came without Kizer throwing a single pass as the Browns led 7-3 early in the second quarter.

After a touchback, Flacco went deep to Mike Wallace for 30 yards. The 11 play, 75 yard, 5 minute drive saw Flacco run for a 2 yard touchdown on 3rd and goal to make it 10-7 Ravens. A Cleveland fumble set the Ravens up at the Cleveland 45. Flacco went deep to Watson for a 33 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Ravens. The Browns did get a 45 yard field goal from Gonzalez to end the half down 17-10, but the Ravens took over in the second half. Midway through the third quarter from the Cleveland 4, Kizer was sacked and fumbled. Williams recovered for the defense at the one and took it in to make it 24-10 Ravens. Tucker tacked on a 43 yard field goal for a 17 point Ravens lead after 3 quarters. The fourth quarter was scoreless as Kizer threw another interception in the Baltimore end zone that could have made a game of it. The Browns are 0-14 and the 8-6 Ravens are still alive. 27-10 Ravens

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars — Jacksonville came in 9-4 and one game up in the AFC South.In the first quarter they moved 78 yards in 13 plays and 7 minutes. Tommy Bohanon got in from the one to make it 7-0 Jaguars. The Jaguars got it back at their own 41 and began the second quarter facing 3rd and 5 at the Houston 10. Blake Bortles threw incomplete but defensive illegal use of hands kept the drive going. Bortles hit Jaydon Mickens for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Jaguars. Jacksonville got it back and moved 63 yards. Bortles hit Mickens for a 14 yard touchdown on 3rd and 6 to make it 21-0 Jaguars. With 1:49 left in the half, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a punt had the jaguars taking over at the Houston 45. Josh lamb hit a 38 yard field goal with 56 seconds left in the half to make it 24-0 Jaguars. Houston could not even make it to the locker rooms. On 3rd and 10 at their own 25, TJ Yates was intercepted to set up the Jaguars at the Houston 45 again. Bortles went deep to Mickens for a 41 yard gain. After a false start, Bortles hit Cole for a 9 yard touchdown as the Jaguars were romping 31-0 at halftime.

The second half was just a formality. The Texans avoided the shutout when Yates hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 25 yard touchdown. Borltes responded with a 73 yard pass to Coles to set up a one yard touchdown run by Bohanon to make it 38-7 Jaguars. In the fourth quarter Grant ran for an 8 yard touchdown to complete the carpet-bombing. Bortles finished 21 of 29 for 326 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Jaguars got to 10-4 and have clinched a playoff spot for the first time in a decade. Captain Grump Tom Coughlin was so pleased by the win that he almost smiled. 45-7 Jaguars

Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings — Marvin Lewis announced that after 15 years with the Bengals, he will leave after the season. Minnesota came in 10-3 with a chance to clinch the NFC North. It was all Vikings from the start. The Vikings moved 75 yards and Latavius Murray ran for a one yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Vikings. Red Rifle Andy Dalton then completed a pass to Kendricks, who plays defense for the Bengals. Kendricks returned the interception 31 yards to the house for a 14-0 Vikings lead. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it with the Bengals facing 4th and 1 at their own 38. Bernard got the carry and got stopped cold, leading to a 53 yard Kai Forbath field goal and a 17-0 Vikings lead after the first quarter. For some reason the rest of the game was played. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 77 yards Case Keenum hit Shawn Diggs for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 24-0 Vikings at halftime. in the third quarter Forbath tacked on a 35 yard field goal to make it 27-0 Vikings. In the fourth quarter the Vikings moved 83 yards. Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for the one yard touchdown to make it 34-0 Vikings.

Normally when a game is so lopsided, nobody cares about backup quarterbacks entering the game. AJ McCarron, the husband of Miss Alabama, replaced a benched Dalton. For Minnesota, it was different. Mike Zimmer gave Keenum some rest and the Minnesota crowd roared when Teddy Bridgewater took the field for the first time in nearly 2 years. A devastating knee injury nearly ended his career, and it was great to see him on the field. Bridgewater’s first pass should have been caught, but it bounced off a receiver’s hands for an interception. The crowd was still happy to see Bridgewater. The Bengals got a garbage touchdown to avoid the shutout as Minnesota got to 11-3 and clinched the NFC North. 34-7 Vikings

New York Jets at New Orleans Saints — The jets have fought hard all year but are out of the playoffs at 5-8 and without the injured Josh McCown. The Saints at 9-4 came in tied atop the NFC South. Again, the Jets gave a superior opponent all they could handle. The Saints moved 71 yards early but settled for a 23 yard Will Lutz field goal to lead 3-0. The Saints got it back and moved 82 yards in 13 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Mark Ingram got in from the one to make it 10-0 Saints after the first quarter. After a touchback the Jets took 7 minutes off the clock and used 12 plays to do it. Powell ran for a 2 yard touchdown to get the Jets within 10-7. After another touchback it was the Saints that moved down the field. Drew Brees hit Alvin Kamara for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 17-7 Saints. With 1:22 left in the half from the Saints 17, Brees was intercepted to set up the Jets at the Saints 11. Yet the defense held and the Jets settled for a 29 yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal as the Jets only trailed 17-10 at the half.

In the third quarter the Jets moved from their own 34 to a 1st and goal at the 8. Yet a run went nowhere and Bryce Petty threw incomplete twice. Catanzaro hit from 26 as the Jets trailed 17-13. The Jets got it back, Petty was intercepted, and the Saints moved to the Jets 13. Yet a short pass was fumbled away at the 7. The Saints got it back and moved from their 45 to the Jets 32. A deep touchdown pass bay Brees was overruled and changed to an incomplete pass. On the first play of the fourth quarter with the Saints facing 3rd and 9 at the Jets 31, a 16 yard completion was again fumbled away by the Saints as the Jets defense kept them in the game. The next time the Saints got it back and faced 3rd and 7 at their own 39. Brees found Thomas for 17 yards and again for 20 more. Brees hit Thomas for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 24-13 Saints midway through the fourth quarter.

The pesky Jets did not go away. With 3 1/2 minutes left they took over at their own 30. On 3rd and 7, Petty hit Hansen for 24 yards and Natson for 19 yards. From the saints 24, a deep incomplete pass drew defensive pass interference and 1st and goal at the 2. Petty Hit McGuire for the touchdown to get the Jets within 24-19 with 1:50 to play. The onside kick was a good one but the Saints were lucky to see it go out of bounds just before the Jets fell on it. From midfield, Mark Ingram put the game away by racing for the clinging touchdown. The 10-4 Saints are still tied atop the NFC South. 31-19 Saints

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants — The 11-2 Eagles can clinch a 1st round bye with a win. They have already clinched the NFC East. Carson Wentz is out for the year so it is up to Nick Foles to get it done. The 2-11 Giants fired Ben McAdoo. Steve Spagnuolo is the interim coach. This was supposed to be a blowout. Cue ESPN legend Chris Berman: “THAT’s why they play the games.” The Giants moved 75 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and goal at the one, Orleans Darkwa went up the gut and broke the plane of the goal. The extra point was blocked but the Giants led 6-0. The Eagles came back after a touchback and Foles threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to make it 7-6 Eagles. The Giants came back 75 yards in 10 plays and Eli Manning hit King for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 13-7 Giants after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Giants got it back at their own 20. Manning went deep to Sterling Shepard for a 67 yard touchdown. In front of an elated home crowd, the Giants led 20-7.

Midway through the second quarter Doug Pederson decided to go for it to spark his team with the Eagles facing 4th and 1 at the Giants 44. LaGuerrette Blount got the carry and got stopped cold. The Giants had all the momentum but soon gave it away. They faced 3rd and 10 at their own 45. Manning was intercepted by Darby, who returned it 37 yards to the Giants 20. On 3rd and 8 Foles hit Jay Ajayi for just enough and then hit Zac Ertz for a 10 yard touchdown to get the Eagles within 20-14. The Giants went 3 and out and had to punt from their own 29. The punt was blocked, and the Eagles took over at the Giants 18. On 3rd and 5 Foles went to Burton for the 13 yard touchdown to make it 21-20 Eagles. The Giants took over at their own 25 with 2:15 left in the half. On 3rd and 2 Shane Vereen gained 17 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 5 from the Philly 24, Manning hit Shepard for 11 yards. With 36 seconds left and the Giants facing 3rd and 7 at the Philly 10, Manning threw incomplete. Aldrick Rosas hit from 28 as the Giants led 23-21 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Eagles held the ball for 64 yards in 11 plays and 6 minutes. Elliott hit a 28 yard field goal as the Eagles retook the lead 24-23. The Giants went 3 and out and a short 34 yard punt and the Eagles taking over at their own 41. Ajayi ran for 22 yards and caught a pass for 32 more. Foles hit Nelson Agholor for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 31-23 Eagles. The Giants again could not get a first down and went to punt on 4th and 4 from their own 26. The Eagles committed a critical neutral zone infraction to give the Giants a first down. From the Giants 43, a short pass from Manning to King saw him get past everybody for a 57 yard touchdown. The Giants were within a 2 point conversion try of tying the game. Manning was sacked as the Giants trailed 31-29 after 3 quarters.

In the fourth quarter the Giants moved from their own 19 to a 4th and 6 at the Philly 29. With 11 1/2 minutes left in regulation Rosas came in for the 48 yard field goal try to give the Giants the lead. In the first half the Eagles special teams blocked a punt and a Rosas extra point. This time with the lead on the line they blocked the field goal. The Eagles took over at their own 38 and held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and 14 plays. On 3rd and goal at the 12, the Eagles tried to put the game away. A pass from Foles to Smith only gained 10 yards. On 4th and goal at the 2 Doug Pederson took no chances. Elliott hit the 20 yard field goal, but with 4 minutes left the Giants were alive only down by 5 points. The Giants moved from their own 20 to a 1st and goal at the 9 with a full minute to play. The defense stiffened. On 4th and goal at the 6 with 48 seconds left, a false start was followed by Manning throwing incomplete. Yet the Giants still had all 3 timeouts left. They got it back at their own 27 with 13 seconds left. With 8 seconds left from their own 35, rather than try a short pass and a Hail Mary, the hook and laterals fooled nobody. It was a nail-biter, but the 12-2 Eagles clinched a 1st round bye. 34-29 Eagles

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins — Early on Blaine Gabbert got nailed, fumbled, and the Redskins took over at the Arizona 6. Kirk Cousins threw a 5 yard touchdown to Jamison Crowder to make it 7-0 Redskins. The Cardinals mounted a staggering 16 play, 60 yard drive that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock. After all of that the Cardinals settled for a 40 yard Phil Dawson field goal to trail 7-3. In the second quarter the Redskins came back quickly 63 yards. Cousins found Bibbs for a 36 yard touchdown to make it 14-3 Redskins. The Cardinals moved the ball well all game but bogged down in the red zone. Dawson hit a 35 yard field goal to get the Cardinals within 14-6. At the 2 minute warning, the Cardinals faced 1st and goal at the 9. Blaine Gabbert was intercepted, and the Redskins took over at their own 41. The Redskins quickly fumbled it right back to the Cardinals at the Washington 33. With 10 seconds left in the half, Gabbert spiked the ball to stop the clock with the Cardinals the Washington one yard line. Gabbert then threw incomplete twice. On 4th and goal at the one with 4 seconds left, Bruce Arians decided to kick the field goal despite the Cardinals successfully converting  4th and 1 earlier on this very drive. Dawson hit from 19 but the Cardinals trailed 14-9 at halftime.

A short kickoff to start the third quarter saw the Redskins have nobody in position to field it as the Cardinals recovered at the Washington 22. Yet on 3rd and 4 Gabbert threw incomplete. Dawson hit his fourth field goal from 34 to get the Cardinals within 14-12. After an exchange of punts the Redskins held the ball for 6 minutes and moved 11 plays and 88 yards. They moved from their own 6 to a 3rd and goal at the 6. Cousins threw incomplete. Dustin Hopkins hit the 24 yard field goal to make it 17-12 Redskins. In the fourth quarter it was more of the same. The Cardinals moved from their own 39 to a 2nd and 3 at the Washington 14. A run went nowhere and Gabbert threw incomplete. Dawson hit his fifth field goal from 32 as the Cardinals were within 17-15 with 11 minutes left. After an exchange of punts, a field position game had the Redskins taking over at the Arizona 44. On 3rd and 5 from the Arizona 14 seeking to put the game away, Cousins threw incomplete. Hopkins hit from 32 to put the Redskins back up by 5. At the 2 minute warning the Cardinals began their last chance at their own 48. With 37 seconds left, the Cardinals had 1st and 10 at the Washington 21. One touchdown was what the Cardinals needed, but instead Gabbert threw 4 straight incompletions. Both teams are 6—8 and done for the year. 20-15 Redskins

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks — The 9-4 Rams took on the 8-5 Seahawks for control of the NFC West. Seattle had beaten the Rams in Los Angeles and were expected to sweep the series at home. The first half was a shocker as the Rams blasted the Seahawks into little pieces. On the first 2 drives that Rams quickly moved to the red zone but settled for field goals. Greg Zuerlein hit from 36 and 31 to make it 6-0 Rams. The first one was set up by a Seattle fumble that set the Rams up at the Seattle 40. The second came from the Rams starting at midfield. Seattle then punted on 4th and 20 from their own 10 and Pharaoh Cooper returned it 53 yards down to the one. Todd Gurley got in to make it 13-0 Rams. In the second quarter, the Seahawks punted on 4th and 15 from their own 8 and Cooper returned it 26 yards to the Seattle 36. Gurley ran for a one yard score to make it 20-0 Seahawks. Russell Wilson fumbled and the Rams took over at the Seattle 39. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jared Goff hit Woods for a one yard touchdown to make it 27-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks punted on 4th and 29 from their own 27 after a 23 yard sack fumble of Wilson. The Rams took over with yet another short field at the Seattle 47 with 1:19 left in the half. On 3rd and 20, Gurley raced for a 57 yard touchdown as the Rams led 34-0 at halftime in front of a shellshocked home crowd in Seattle.

League rules prevented the second half from being canceled. In the third quarter frustration boiled over and a Seattle player was ejected to set the Rams up with yet another short field at the Seattle 46. On 3rd and 10 from the Seattle 14, Goff hit gurney for the touchdown to make it 40-0 Rams. Seattle got one touchdown to avoid the shutout, and the only score in the fourth quarter came when Russell Wilson was called for a penalty in his own end zone for a Rams safety. The Rams are 10-4 and the Seahawks are 8-6. The NFC West is all but wrapped up, while the Seahawks are in a precarious playoff position. 42-7 Rams

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers — The 10-3 Patriots took on the 11-2 Steelers in a game where a Pittsburgh win would all but lock up home field throughout the playoffs for the Steelers and a Patriots win would give them temporary control of the top seed. With heavy rain coming down, these heavyweights slugged it out in a game the Patriots usually win. The Patriots moved 77 yards quickly and easily. On 3rd and 1 from their own 45, the Patirots got a break when Brady threw incomplete but the Steelers jumped offsides. From midfield, Brady went deep to brandon Cooks for a 43 yard gain. Rex Burkhead got in from the one to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Steelers came back 69 yards. Ben Roethlisberger hit Rogers for an 18 yard touchdown and a 7-7 ballgame. In the second quarter, both teams moved the ball but could not reach the end zone. Chris Boswell hit a 51 yard field goal for the Steelers and Stephen Gostkowski countered from 32 for a 10-10 deadlock. The last drive was the difference in the first half. The Steelers held the ball for 15 plays and 78 yards, sucking over 8 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Big Ben hit Martavius Bryant for the touchdown as the Steelers led 17-10 at the intermission.

The Steelers would have to win without Antonio Brown, who left injured in the first half and did not return. In the third quarter the Patirots moved 75 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 4th and 1 from the Pittsburgh 16, Bill Belichick decided to go for it. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 10 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Brady hit Brandon Cooks for the touchdown. Gostkowski missed the extra point as the Patriots trailed 17-16. With 4:40 left in the third quarter the Patriots faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Under heavy pressure, Brady was intercepted by williams, who returned it 13 yards to the New England 22. On 3rd and 1 from the 13, Roethlisberger hit Xavier Grimble for 8 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 2nd and goal at the 3, Bell got off tackle and banged in for the touchdown. With 90 seconds left in the third quarter the Steelers led 24-16.

The Steelers began the fourth quarter at their own 3 yard line. While they ended up punting, they took 7 1/2 minutes off the clock. The Patriots took over midway through the fourth quarter at their own 28. On 3rd and 1 from their own 37, Dion Lewis gained 12 yards. On 2nd and 3 from the Pittsburgh 44, Brady went deep for a 41 yard gain. However an illegal touch meant an incomplete pass. On 3rd and 3 Brady went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 23 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Pittsburgh 21 after a pair of deep incompletions, Brady was sacked for a 7 yard loss. Gostkowski hit the 46 yard field goal as the Patriots trailed 24-19 with 4 minutes left in the game. Did anyone really think the Steelers would win this game?

On 3rd and 4 from their own 25, a short pass by Big Ben came up one yard short. The Patriots took over at their own 23. Brady went deep to Gronkowski for a pair of 26 yard gains and to Gronk again for 17 more. On 1st and goal at the 8, Dion Lewis ran for the touchdown up the middle. Brady hit Gronkowski for the 2 point conversion. With one minute left, the Patriots had a 3 point lead. The ending will be argued about for decades. From the Pittsburgh 21 a short pass to Smith-Schuster saw him escape tackles at the sideline, cut back to the middle of the field, and run out of gas after a 69 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 10. With 30 seconds left, Big Ben fired over the middle to James for the touchdown as the home crowd erupted in celebration.

It was not to be. The officials began the Patriots dynasty with the Tuck Rule and again the Patirots were bailed out by the refs with a terrible call. The call was changed to incomplete. While the ball did move, James’s hand was clearly under it. The touchdown was taken off the board. With 28 seconds left, the outcome was inevitable. A short pass inbounds gained 3 yards, saw the clock run, and left the Steelers panicking. With 9 seconds left, Big Ben faked a spike, fired over the middle, and saw the ball to Darrius Hayward-Bey ricochet like a pinball into an interception by Harmon. Apparently the Steelers never watched the Super Bowl between New England and Seattle. same play, same awful result. With home field throughout the playoffs on the line, the officials gave the game to the Patriots. Rather than 12-2 Pittsburgh cruising and 10-4 New England possibly even using a first round bye, both teams are 11-3 and New England holds the tie-breaker. 27-24 Patriots

Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers — The Titans came in 8-5 and one game out of the AFC South lead but with question marks. The 49ers were only 3-10 but have won 2 in a row and look much improved under Jimmy Garoppollo. In the firs quarter the 49ers twice drove into Titans territory but did not reach the end zone. Robbie Gould hit field goals of 38 and 48 to make it 6-0 49ers. In the second quarter Ryan Succop hit from 40 to get the Titans on the board. The 49ers then had a mind-numbing 17 play, 85 yard drive that took over 8 1/2 minutes. This time the 49ers finished it as Garoppollo hit Celek for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 13-3 49ers. The 49ers got it back and again drove to a 1st and goal at the 10, but this time after 10 plays came up short. Gould hit his third field goal from 28. The 49ers had a commanding 16-3 lead with 90 seconds left in the half but they let up. From the Tennessee 21, Marcus Mariota hit Davis for 10, Eric Decker for 13, and Rishard Mathews for 27 with 15 more  tacked on for roughing the passer. Mariota hit Mathews for 25 more and then threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker as the Titans only trailed 16-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Titans moved 62 yards in 14 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 5 from the San Francisco 13, Mariota threw incomplete. Succop hit from 31 as the Titans were within 16-13. Tennessee got it back at their own 16. On 3rd and 1 from their own 25, Derrick Henry gained 10 yards. On 3rd and 4 from their own 45, a completion to Mathews gained 21 yards. 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Titans faced 3rd and goal at the 8. Mariota fired over the middle to Mathews for the touchdown and the 20-16 Titans lead. Fro their own 17, Garoppollo went deep to Celek for a 41 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 11 from the Titans 22, Garoppollo was sacked for a 10 yard loss. Gould bailed the 49ers out with a 50 yard field goal as the 49ers trailed 20-19 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

The 49ers got it back at their own 13 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Garoppollo fired over the middle to Bourne, who split the seams for a 54 yard gain. Garoppollo then hit Kittle for 19 more. Penalties killed the 49ers, including one that negated a touchdown. On 4th and 25 from the Titans 30, Gould hit a big 48 yard field goal, his fifth of the game. With just over 3 minutes left the 49ers led 22-20. After a touchback, the Titans faced 4th and 1 at their own 47 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Mariota got 2 yards. With 1:12 to play, Succop came in for a 50 yard try. It was good and the Titans led 23-22. Yet the 49ers still had 1:07 left from their own 25. Garoppollo hit Taylor for 7 and then zipped a pass to Kittle for a 24 yard gain. Garoppollo then fired to Goodwin for 14 more. With 3 seconds left, Gould came in for a 45 yard try to win it. He was good, 6 for 6 on the day. The 49ers won their 3rd straight while the Titans lost their second straight to drop to 8-6. The division title is almost out of reach and their hold on the playoffs at all is tenuous. 25-23 49ers

Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders was the Sunday night game. The 7-6 Cowboys and 6-7 Raiders are both in a desperate situation, but only one team acted like it early on. The Cowboys moved easily after a touchback to  1st and 10 at the Oakland 35. On 3rd and 10 Dak Prescott was intercepted, setting the Raiders up at their own 30. Oakland went 3 and out. Dallas moved from their own 32 to a 3rd and 8 at the Oakland 27. Prescott threw incomplete. Dan Bailey hit the 45 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. Despite being given a 1st and 5 and 2nd and 1, Oakland again failed to gain a first down. Carr found a wide open Crabtree on 3rd and 3, and the off the mark but very catchable pass was dropped. Oakland had only 7 yards of total offense in the first quarter. The Cowboys moved from their 35 because the Raiders may be the only team ever called for an illegal block on the kicking team rather than the receiving team. On 2nd and goal at the 4 to start the second quarter, Prescott threw incomplete but defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Smith went up the middle for the touchdown. The Cowboys led 10-0. While 44 minutes remained in the game, it appeared over.

Cordarelle Patterson returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the Oakland 37, but holding moved it back to the Oakland 10. 2 more penalties had them facing 1st and 17 at their own 3. On 3rd and 7, Carr scrambled for just enough and the Raiders finally had a first down. On 3rd and 5 from their own 25, Carr hit Crabtree for 12 yards. crabtree fumbled but luckily somehow recovered it himself at the Oakland 39. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 41, a completion to Crabtree left 4th and 1. Jack del Rio punted and the Cowboys took over at their own 10. With the Cowboys facing 3rd and 11 at their own 9, Prescott threw incomplete. Yet defensive holding kept the drive going because the Raiders really are that dumb. On 3rd and 12 from the Dallas 12, Prescott found Jason Witten for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Dallas 24, a sure interception for TJ Carrie was just dropped. However, at least the Raiders had held. Rather than a short field at the Dallas 40, the Raiders took over at their own 31 with 3 minutes left in the half.

On 3rd and 1 from their own 40, Carr snuck for the yard. Runs and short passes moved the Raiders to a 1st and 10 at the Dallas 24 with 27 seconds left as the Raiders took their 2nd timeout. A 13 yard completion to Jared Cook gave the Raiders 1st and 10 at the Dallas 11, but they had to take their final timeout with 14 seconds left. Carr fired over the middle to Jared Cook in the end zone for the touchdown. Yet offensive pass interference took the score away. Another incompletion left 3 seconds. Georgio Tavecchio came in for a very makable 39 yard field goal. In a half where everything went wrong, Tavecchio missed it. The Raiders sucked in all 3 phases of the game, yet were somehow only down 10-0.

The Raiders thought they had a spark of life when Cordarelle Patterson returned the second half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Naturally, holding on the return had the Raiders starting at their own 10 yard line instead. Carr fired to Jalen Richard for 11 and Marshawn Lynch gained 11 more. On 3rd and 4 from the Oakland 38, a false start made it 3rd and 9. Carr fired to Deandre Washington, who banged between 3 defenders for a 10 yard gain. On 3rd and 6 from the Oakland 47, Carr scrambled and ran for a 32 yard gain. A pitchout to Lynch went for an 18 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 3. Carr threw a fade to Crabtree, and he out-jumped the defender to finally get the Raiders on the board. The 90 yard, 11 play, 7 minute drive had the Raiders right back in the game down 10-7.

The Cowboys took over at their own 15. On 3rd and 9 from their 16, Prescott was hit by Bruce Irvin as he threw. A wobbly duck was intercepted by TJ Carrie, who got up and raced 22 yards for a Raiders touchdown. Yet Carrie was ruled down by contact. The Raiders had the ball at the Dallas 22 with a golden opportunity to take the lead. 3 plays netted one total yard as the Raiders squandered another opportunity. Tavecchio came in for another 39 yard try. This was a hideous knuckleball that somehow cleared the cross bar for a 10-10 tie. The Cowboys soon faced 3rd and 11 at their own 24. Prescott went deep incomplete. The Raiders had all the momentum. It soon evaporated.

On 4th and 11 from their own 24, Jason Garrett called a fake punt. Punter Jones ran for a 24 yard gain. On the next play came a flea flicker, but it fell incomplete. Another incompletion could have been 3rd and 10 but as expected, defensive pass interference instead meant 1st and 10 at the Oakland 47. On 1st and 20 from the Oakland 44, a completion to Dez Bryant followed by awful tackles went for 19 yards. Prescott then faked a handoff and took it himself 16 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 8. From the 5, Prescott bought time and scrambled up the middle himself for the touchdown as the third quarter was ending. 75 yards and 11 plays took 5 minutes. The Cowboys led 17-10. Now it was time to see if the Raiders had any heart at all to come back.

Patterson took the kickoff and returned it 44 yards. He had it punched out of his hands but the Raiders were lucky that the fumble rolled out of bounds. Oakland had excellent field position at their own 47. The third quarter ended with the Raiders facing a critical 3rd and 9. The fourth quarter began with Carr getting hit as he threw and somehow floating a pass to Seth Roberts for a 28 yard gain. Jason Garrett challenged the call. There was no way to definitely overturn it, but Raiders fans never breathe easy. The call stood, Dallas lost a timeout, and the Raiders had 1st and 10 at the Dallas 24. On 3rd and 4 from the 18, Carr rolled out and hit Crabtree for 6 yards. On 2nd and 10, Carr threw incomplete but illegal contact on the defense meant 1st and goal at the 8. After an incompletion, Lynch banged up the middle and the pile carried him down to the two. On 3rd and goal Carr fired to the corner to Crabtree for the touchdown. The 10 play, 53 yard, 5 minute drive had the game tied 17-17 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Dallas took over after a touchback. An end around lost 4 yards and offensive holding had Dallas facing 2nd and 24 from their own 11. On 3rd and 19, Prescott fired to Cole Beasley for 16 yards. This time there was no fake punt. Holding on the return had the Raiders starting at their own 15 with 8 minutes left in regulation. with the season the line, they had a chance. On 3rd and 4 from their own 21, a pass to Cook was dropped. 3 and out, and the Cowboys got it back at their own 30 with 6 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 10, Prescott fired over the middle to Witten about a half yard shot of the sticks. The officials called it a first down and Jack Del Rio challenged the call. Officials reversed the call to 4th and 1. Jason Garrett kept its offense on the field and gambled on 4th and 1 from his own 39. Prescott kept it himself and appeared stopped. The officials then did something bizarre, trying to invent a new way to give Dallas a first down. They tried to fit a folded piece of paper between the nose of the ball and the yard marker. The Raiders celebrated yet it was called a first down anyway.

The rest was predictable. Prescott went deep to Bryant for a 40 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal from the one, 1:53 left as the Raiders took their first timeout. Alfred Morris got stopped and the Raiders called their 2nd timeout with 1:46 left. On 4th and goal at the one, the only sensible decision was to kick the field goal. The 19 yard kick was good, the Cowboys had the lead, but the Raiders still had life. The inspired goal line stand would give the Raiders offense a chance to tie or win the game. Naturally, a hold on the return had the Raiders starting on their own 11. 1:38 remained and the Raiders had one timeout.

Carr fired to Seth Roberts for a 19 yard gain. 3 incompletions meant 4th and 10 from the Oakland 30 with one minute left. Down to the last gasp, Carr went for it all deep to Crabtree, and the ball fell incomplete. Defensive pass interference meant a 55 yard gain and 1st and 10 at the Dallas 15 with 51 seconds left. Carr went to Patterson for 7 yards. An incompletion to the end zone left 3rd and 3 at the 8 with 39 seconds left. Then came the play that defined the entire Oakland season. Carr scrambled and easily had the first down. He would have had 1st and goal at the one. He tried to stretch the ball and instead fumbled the ball past the pylon. Carr thought he had a touchdown. Instead it was a touchback. One yard separated both teams being 7-7 from Dallas being 8-6 and alive and the Raiders dropping to 8-6 and being dead. The Raiders have lost some sickening games, but this may have been the sickest. 20-17 Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the Monday night game. The 8-5 Falcons came in one game back in the AFC South and trying for a wildcard spot. In the first quarter the Falcons went 62 yards in 5 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 6, Matt Ryan hit Hardy for the touchdown to make it 7-0 Falcons. The Buccaneers came back 75 yards. Jameis Winston threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Howard for a 7-7 ballgame. In the second quarter the Falcons moved 77 yards. From the one a run up the middle was fumbled, but the Falcons lucked out when Toilolo fell on it in the end zone to make it 14-7 Falcons. Atlanta got it back and Matt Bryant nailed a 57 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Falcons at halftime. In the third quarter a 55 yard touchdown pass from Winston to Mike Evans was nullified by a penalty. Tampa got it back at their own 47 and Winston went deep again to Evans for a 42 yard touchdown pass. This time it stood and the Buccaneers were within 17-14.

Late in the third quarter a chance to extend the lead saw a 33 yard field goal try by Bryant get blocked. In the fourth quarter the Falcons moved 87 yards in 10 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Atlanta 20, Ryan hit Devontae Freeman for 11 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 32, Freeman raced for the touchdown to make it 24-14 Falcons midway through the fourth quarter. After a touchback the Bucs came back. Winston hit Humphries for a 16 yard touchdown pass to get the Buccaneers back within 3 points with 4 minutes left. At the 2 minute warning with the Bucs out of timeouts, the Falcons faced 3rd and 9 at their own 40. Ryan was sacked. With 1:14 left the Falcons punted and the Bucs took over at their own 28 with exactly one minute left. Winston hit Brate for 13, Martino for 11, and Brate for 11 more. Winston spiked the ball to stop the clock with 6 seconds left. Tampa Bay was late getting the field goal unit on the field. Patrick Murray’s 54 yard field goal was wide right as the Falcons remained one game back in their division. 24-21 Falcons

NFL 2017 Week 15 Prequel

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 15 Prequel

Hanukkah Football: NFL 2017 Week 15 Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2017 Week 14 Recap

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 14 Recap

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons was the Thursday night game. The 9-3 Saints had a chance to expand on their one game division lead while all but wrecking things for the 7-5 Falcons. These teams are evenly matched, and this game went down to the wire as expected. In the first quarter Will Lutz hit a 34 yard field goal for the Saints and Matt Bryant answered from 28 for the Falcons for a 3-3 game. In the second quarter the Falcons moved 90 yards in 15 plays and 8 1/2 minutes. Devontae Freeman got in from the one to make it 10-3 Falcons. Yet the Saints came back 66 yards and Drew Brees hit Lewis for a 26 yard touchdown and a 10-10 deadlock at the 2 minute warning. With 14 seconds left in the half and the Falcons at the Saints 42, Matt Ryan was intercepted by Lattimore, who returned it 33 yards to the Atlanta 29. With 4 seconds left, the Saints lined up for a 47 yard field goal try for the lead. Yet an illegal formation penalty on the Saints meant a 10 second runoff and ended the half. That mistake would come back to bite the Saints.

On the first play of the third quarter from the Atlanta 24, Ryan was quickly intercepted. The Saints took over at the Atlanta 29. Brees hit Mark Ingram for 21 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Brees hit Thomas for the touchdown to make it 17-10 less than 2 minutes into the third quarter. The Falcons moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 6 at the Saints 9. Ryan threw his third interception. With 2 minutes left in the third quarter, Atlanta took over at their own 31 and moved to a 3rd and 4 at the Saints 8 with 10 minutes left in regulation. This time Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for the touchdown and again the game was tied 17-17 after the 11 play, 7 minute, 69 yard drive.

Atlanta got it back at their own 28 and Ryan hit Sanu for 22 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 7 at the Saints 47, Ryan hit Julio Jones for 14 yards. Bryant drilled a 52 yard field goal to give the Falcons the lead with 3:45 to play. The Saints moved from their 20 to a 4th and 1 at the Atlanta 24 with 1:55 left. Brees gained the 2 yards. with 90 seconds to play the Saints were at the Atlanta 11. They had plenty of time to go for the win and even a field goal would tie the game. Brees went to the end zone and was intercepted by Hill for a touchback. The Falcons almost fumbled the ball back trying to run out the clock, but were lucky enough to retain possession. Ryan took a couple knees as the Falcons got to within one game of the Saints in the topsy-turvy NFC South. 20-17 Falcons

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills — The Bills are 6-6 and fighting for playoff survival. They were at home for the game and with the elements as snow came down hard. Tyrod Taylor was out injured and in came Nathan Peterman, whose only start a few weeks ago saw him throw 5 interceptions in one half of football. For those who love the Canadian Football League, this game resembled the Grey Cup given the blizzard. Twice the Bills faced 4th down the Indy 38 but trying a 56 yard field goal in these conditions was impossible. Joe Webb came in at quarterback for one play and threw incomplete. Nathan Peterman threw incomplete on the other try. Adam Vinatieri knows hot to make big kicks in the snow, but he missed a 33 yarder in this game. On 4th and 5 from the Buffalo 32, the Colts punted. With 1:36 left in the half the Bills took over at their own 20. LeSean McCoy gained 23 yards and then ran for 25 more. On 3rd and 7 from the Indy 29, Peterman went deep to Kelvin Benjamin for a 21 yard gain. With 30 seconds left in the half, Peterman went to Benjamin for an 8 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Bills lead.

Neither team could do anything in the snow. The fourth quarter began with the Colts facing 3rd and 2 at the Colts 30. Brissett threw incomplete and Chuck Pagano decided to go for it with field goal conditions impossible. Brissett threw incomplete again.

The Colts got it back at their own 23 with 11 minutes left and had the drive of the year. On 3rd and 8, Frank Gore gained 9. On 3rd and 10 from their own 34, Brissett hit TY Hilton for just enough. On 4th and 4 from midfield, Brissett hit Hilton for 10. On 4th and 6 from the Buffalo 36, Brissett scrambled for 8 yards. The Colts held the ball for 19 plays. They moved 77 yards. They took 10 minutes off the clock. Brissett threw a 3 yard touchdown pass to Doyle. With 1:16 to play the Colts were down 7-6 and Chuck Pagano decided to go for 2. Brissett hit Doyle and the Colts erupted with an 8-7 lead. Yet it was all for naught as offensive pass interference nullified the try. Now Pagano had Adam Vinatieri try a 43 yard extra point to tie the game. Vinatieri is the king of pressure-packed kicks, winning 2 Super Bowls on the final play. He is known as the guy who hit the 45 yard field goal in the Tuck Rule blizzard game 15 years ago. This extra point try was knuckleball that started out wide and somehow curved back inside the uprights. The game was tied 7-7.

The crowd was in a state of shock, and they would get even more shocked after a touchback. Joe Webb was quickly intercepted by Clay. The Colts took over at the Buffalo 28 with 52 seconds left. A run took the clock all the way down and with 6 seconds left Vinatieri had another 43 yard try. This field goal for the win started inside and hooked outside no good. The Blizzard Bowl would be going into overtime. In the extra session the Bills moved from their own 24 to a 4th and 1 at the Indy 41, taking nearly 6 minutes to do it. Sean McVay angered the home crowd by deciding to punt and play field position. The defense held and the Bills got it back with 2:25 left. At the 2 minute warning the Bills faced 3rd and 6 at their own 39. In the snow, Webb went deep to Thompson, who somehow caught it for a 34 yard gain. With 1:39 left in overtime and Steve Hauschka warming up on the sideline, the Bills faced 3rd and 4 at the Indy 21. A 39 yard field goal try was iffy at best. Hauschka never had to find out. LeSean Shady McCoy got the carry up the middle, and with help from a great pancake block by Richie Incognito, raced to the end zone. The Bills did snow angels in the end zone as they survived to get to 7-6. It was another gut-wrenching loss for the 3-10 Colts but a thrilling winter wonderland classic football game for fans everywhere else. 13-7 Bills

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants — Eli Manning received a standing ovation by the fans, which is rare on a 2-10 team. He returned to his starting job without the fired Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. On the first play from scrimmage the Giants fumbled, but retained possession. The Cowboys would lead a staggering 16 play, 73 yard drive that took nearly 8 minutes. Yet despite 1st and goal at the 4, a pair of Dark Prescott incompletions ended the drive. Dan Bailey returned from injury and hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Cowboys. The Giants then countered with an even more mind-numbing drive. New York Giants football has always been 3 yards and a cloud of dust. They moved 62 yards in a whopping 17 plays and took 9 1/2 minutes to do it. After all of that they settled for a 39 yard Aldrick Rosas field goal for a 3-3 game. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half the Giants took over at their own 32. From their own 44, Manning went deep to Evan Engram for a 35 yard gain. Manning threw a one yard touchdown pass to Ellison to make it 10-3 Giants just before the 2 minute warning. After a touchback, Prescott went to Terrence Williams for 10 and to Dez Bryant for 11 more. From midfield, a short pass from Prescott to Bryant went for a 50 yard touchdown as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 10-10.

The third quarter was scoreless as the inspired Giants were smelling upset. With 8 minutes left in regulation the game was still tied as the Cowboys were facing 3rd and 2 at their own 26. Then came the play that changed the game. Prescott threw a short pass to Cole Beasley that went for a 54 yard gain. On the next play Prescott went to Jason Witten for a 24 yard touchdown to make it 17-10 Cowboys. After a touchback the Giants moved to a 3rd and 8 at the Dallas 46. Manning threw incomplete and with 4:42 to play, whoever the Giants interim coach is decided to punt and trust his defense. With 4:20 to play the Cowboys were facing 3rd and 3 at their own 19. Prescott threw a short pass to Smith, who split the seams and raced for an 81 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good but the Cowboys led 23-10. Manning was quickly intercepted, setting up Dallas at the Giants 21. On 3rd and 4 from the 15, Smith ran for the touchdown. 20 unanswered points in less than 5 minutes turned a slugfest into a blowout. The 7-6 Cowboys are still alive as Prescott finished 20 of 30 for 332 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interception. Manning finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He will not be getting a standing ovation next week. 30-10 Cowboys

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The 6-6 Lions faced 3rd and 3 at their own 33 after an exchange of punts. Matthew Stafford hit Theo Riddick for 27 yards, Eric Ebron for 10, and Darren Fells for 23 more down to the 2 yard line. Theo Riddick got in to make it 7-0 Lions. The Buccaneers came back 75 yards in 14 plays and 5 minutes. Muscle Hamster Doug Martin got in from the one to make it 7-7. In the second quarter Jameis Winston was intercepted, setting up the Lions at the Tampa Bay 46. On 3rd and 4, Stafford hit Ebron for 7. On 2nd and 20 from the Tampa baY 43, Stafford went deep to Marvin Jones for a 38 yard gain. On the next play Stafford hit Golden Tate for the 5 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Lions. In the third quarter Winston was intercepted, but the defense held. On the next series Winston was sacked and fumbled. setting up the Lions just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 11, Stafford went to Jones for 17 yards. On 2nd and 8 from the Tampa 33, Stafford threw incomplete but roughing the passer moved the ball forward. On the next play Riddick ran for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Lions.

The Buccaneers moved 75 yards in 10 plays. One minute into the fourth quarter on 3rd and goal at the 2, Winston threw

a touchdown pass to OJ Howard to get the Buccaneers within 21-14. The Bucs got it back at their own 28 with 10 minutes left and moved quickly. On 3rd and 10 from their own 42, Winston went deep incomplete but a defensive pass interference call meant a 40 yard gain. Barber ran for a 16 yard gain down to the 2. On the next play Winston hit Wester for the touchdown. with 8 minutes to play the Buccaneers had come back to tie the game 21-21. Each team held on defense and the Lions took over at their own 23 with 3 minutes left. Stafford hit Ebron for 9 and Riddick for 18 to midfield at the 2 minute warning. On 3rd and 2 from the Tampa 42, Stafford hit Kenny Golladay for 6. After a false start pushed them out of field goal range, Stafford hit Golden Tate for 14 yards. With 25 seconds left Matt Prater came in for a 46 yard field goal try to win it for the Lions. The kick was good as Detroit got to 7-6 to keep their playoff hopes alive while the Buccaneers and to eat another loss. Winston was 26 of 38 for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns while Stafford was 36 of 44 for 381 yards and one touchdown. Each quarterback was intercepted twice. Jim Caldwell was so pleased with the win that he almost made a facial expression. 24-21 Lions

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs — This showdown of 6-6 teams was fir first place in the AFC West. Things could not have started worse for the Raiders as they went 3 and out and a terrible punt had the Chiefs taking over at their own 42. That was enough for Harrison Butker to hit a 53 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. After a touchback, Marshawn Lynch banged over defenders for a 27 yard run. Yet on 3rd and 4 at the Chiefs 41, Derek Carr threw deep to nobody and the Raiders punted. the Chiefs took over at their own 14 and the Oakland defense returned to its inept ways. The entire world knows Alex Smith will throw short passes but the defense lost interest in making tackles. A short pass to Harris gained 25 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 41, Smith gained 2 yards. On 3rd and 16 from the Oakland 45, Smith hit Tyreeq Hill for 18 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 28, Smith only gained 6 but defensive holding on Navarro Bowman kept the drive going. A short pass from Smith to Travis Kelce followed by terrible attempts at tackling went for a 16 yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter out of the shotgun, Kareem Hunt ran for a one yard touchdown and a 10-0 Chiefs lead to cap the 14 play, 86 yard, 7 minute drive.

The Raiders had no interest in making a competitive game out of it as they quickly went 3 and out. From their own 37, Smith went deep to Wilson for a 36 yard gain. Despite 2nd and 5 at the Oakland 11, a pair of Smith incompletions meant a 29 yard Butker field goal to make it 13-0 Chiefs. After a touchback the Raiders moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Chiefs 33. A pitchout to Deandre Washington gained 9 yards, but Amari cooper had his leg rolled on and was taken off the field injured in a cart. On the next play Carr got drilled as he threw and the duck was intercepted. On 3rd and 1 from their own 33, Smith hit Kelce for 8 yards and then went deep to Hill for a 44 yard gain. A 10 yard touchdown pass to Kelce was nullified by an ineligible man downfield. Butker hit a 33 yard field goal as the Chiefs led 16-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Chiefs after a touchback saw Smith hit Kelce for 20. Butker hit his fourth field goal from 40 yards out as the Chiefs led 19-0 in a game that should have been cancelled at that point. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, Smith threw incomplete on 3rd and 5 and the Chiefs finally had to punt for the first time. On the first play from scrimmage the Raiders fumbled the ball away. On the next play from scrimmage Alex Smith threw it right back for an interception. It didn’t matter as the Raiders punted on 4th and 14 at their own 5. Hill returned the punt 13 yards and the Chiefs took over at the Oakland 38. Hunt ran for 7 and 17 and West ran for a 13 yard touchdown as the Chiefs took a 26-0 lead with smith not even raising his arm to throw a pass.

After over 3 quarters of miserable football, the Raiders tried to make the finals core look respectable. They moved 67 yards and got a garbage touchdown with a 22 yard run up the middle by Lynch in a garbage season to avoid the shutout with 9 minutes left. They even recovered the onside kick at the Chiefs 43. On 4th and 7 from the Chiefs 29, Carr went deep to Jared Cook for the touchdown. Carr hit Crabtree for the 2 point conversion as the Raiders were within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter. The even got a stop on defense and got the ball back at their own 12 with 2:12 to play and one timeout plus the 2 minute warning. With 46 seconds left the Raiders had 2nd and 5 at the Chiefs 38. Needing 2 scores, a 56 yard field goal try was not the wisest move. Carr went to the end zone for Crabtree. In a season gone wrong, it bounced off of his hands and was intercepted. The Chiefs got to 7-6 and the Raiders dropped to 6-7. The Raiders lose virtually every tie-breaker in the AFC and are all but done from a playoff standpoint. The Chiefs came into this game 1-6 in their previous 7 games, but were lucky enough to be playing the Raiders, who cannot seem to beat anyone except the league’s worst teams with backup quarterbacks, and only at home. 26-15 Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans — Fairbairn drilled a 55 yard field goal to give the Texans the 3-0 lead. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half Robbie Gould hit a 52 yarder to tie the game 3-3. After that both offense picked up. The 49ers got it back at their own 32. Jimmy Garoppollo went deep to Juszczyk for a 29 yard gain and back to Juszczyk for 31 more yards. Carlos Hyde got the last 2 yards to make it 10-3 49ers with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. At the 2 minutes warning the Texans faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. TJ Yates was in for Tom Savage, and Yates gained 15 yards. On /3rd and 10 from the Houston 46, Yates hit Deandre Hopkins for 15 yards. From the Frisco 32, Yates hit Hopkins for a 25 yard gain and then again for a 7 yard touchdown to get the Texans within 10-9 with one minute left. The extra point was no good. From the frisco 21, Hyde ran for a 31 yard gain and Garoppollo hit Robinson for 18 more. Gould hit a 35 yarder to end the half as the 49ers took a 13-9 lead into the locker rooms.

In the third quarter the Texans moved 75 yards quickly as Yates threw a 29 yard touchdown pass to Hopkins to make it 16-13 Texans. After a touchback, the 49ers moved to a 1st and goal at the 7. Groppollo threw 3 incompletions and the 49ers settled for a 25 yard Gould field goal for a 16-16 tie. The 49ers got it back and soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 19. A short pass from Garoppollo to Greg Celek went for 61 yards. On 1st and 20 from the Houston 24, Garoppollo went to Bourne for 18 and to Celek for the 6 yard touchdown to make it 23-16 49ers with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. With 6 minutes left from the Houston 21, a short completion from Yates to Hopkins was fumbled and the 49ers recovered at the Houston 32. With 4 minutes left Gould came in for a 41 yard try to put the game away. He was the hero last week with 5 field goals and this week he made 4 more. The kick was good and the 49ers are slowly building something. 26-16 Texans

Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns — The 6-6 Packers are trying to survive until Aaron Rodgers returns. Playing the winless Browns helps. The Packers took over at their own 26. They lined up to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 46, but Mike McCarthy alley a fake. Whitehead gained 7 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 38, Brett Hundley threw incomplete. McCarthy went for it and this time Hundley hit Randall Cobb for 8 yards. Hundley then threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Williams to make it 7-0 Packers. The Browns finally got Josh Brown back after a 4 year suspension last week. From the Cleveland 16, DeShone Kizer went deep to Gordon for a 38 yard gain and again for an 18 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. In the second quarter the Browns faced 2nd and 18 at their own 22. Kizer found Coleman for 20 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 37, Kizer hit Gordon for 13 yards. On 3rd and 11 from the Green Bay 25, Kizer went to Coleman for 18 and to Johnson for the 7 yard touchdown as the Browns led 14-7 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Packers moved from their 19 to a 3rd and 1 at the Cleveland 10. A run got stopped and Mike McCarthy went for it. On 4th and 1 Hundley kept it himself and got stopped. From the cleveland 12, Isaiah Crowell ran for an 18 yard gain. Kozer hit Johnson for 15 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Packers 43, Crowell ran for a 37 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Kizer Coleman for the touchdown. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the Browns had a 21-7 lead. The Cleveland Browns led 21-7 after 3 quarters. To describe the ending would be sickening for those who root for underdogs.

After a touchback the Packers moved 75 yards in 13 plays and 5 minutes. After getting stopped twice, on 3rd and goal at the one Williams got in the end zone. The Packers were within 21-14 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Cleveland took over at their own 20 and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 43. Crowell only got one yard and the Browns punted. The Browns held on defense and after a touchback soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 37. The Packers only had one timeout left. A first down would move the Browns ultra-close to that first win. Kizer fired to Njoku for a 7 yard gain and the Dawg Pound erupted in celebration. Mike McCarthy challenged the catch, risking his last timeout and all but guaranteeing a Cleveland win if the challenge failed. Yet officials reversed the call to an incompletion, and the Browns had to punt.

Dustin Colquitt boomed  53 yard punt to the Green Bay 10, but Davis returned it 65 yards to the Cleveland 25. These are the Browns. At the 2 minute warning on 3rd and 1 from the Cleveland 16, HUndley gained 2. With 36 seconds left the Packers faced 3rd and 2 at the 6. Hundley gained 5 yards to the one. The rest was inevitable as Hundley hit Devontae Adams for the touchdown. Mike McCarthy took no chances and went with the extra point. The kick as good. For over 59 1/2 minutes the Browns had the lead. Now the game was going into overtime tied 21-21. Cleveland got the ball first in overtime and soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Kizer went back to pass, retreating further and further back. He then made the boneheaded decision to try and throw across his body with a guy bearing down on him. He got hit as he threw and the ball went straight up into the air, the shortest Hail Mary in years. It was intercepted as the Packers took over at the Cleveland 42. On 3rd and 2, Hundley hit Adams for 8 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Cleveland 25, a short pass from Hundley to Adams went all the way for the touchdown. 20 unanswered points got the Packers to 7-6 and sent the Browns reeling to 0-13 one year after starting 0-14. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired Sashi Brown after last week’s loss but insisted Hue Jackson would be returning in 2018. John McKay’s Bucs started 0-26 but then won 2 straight. So Hue Jackson going 1-27 before this game was worse. Now he is 1-28, even worse than the last 2 seasons of the Jets under Rich Kotite. For the second straight week, the Packers won on an overtime touchdown. 27-21 Packers, OT

Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals — The 5-7 Bengals are a bunch of undisciplined head cases, and they began with a punt and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to set up Chicago just shy of midfield. Howard ran for a 21 yard touchdown to make it 6-0 Bears. The extra point doinked of the upright no good. The Bengals came back 72 yard and Red Rifle Andy Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for a 14 yard touchdown and a 7-6 Bengals lead. The Bears moved 73 yards in 10 plays. A 15 yard touchdown pass by Mitchell Trubisky was nullified by an illegal block on the offense. The Bears settled for a 34 yard Mike Nugent field goal in the second quarter made it 9-7 Bears. Chicago got it back at their own 5, moved back to their 3, and Trubisky hit Shaheen for an 18 yard gain. Chicago held the ball for over 8 minutes and moved 86 yards in 15 plays. Despite 2nd and 1 at the Cincy 9, a run went nowhere and Trubisky then threw incomplete. On 4th and 1 on the road with nothing to lose, John Fox went with the field goal. Nugent hit from 27 to make it 12-7 Bears.

In the third quarter The Bears took over at their own 24. On 3rd and 5 from the Cincy 42, Trubisky hit Wright for 9 and Sims for 19 more. Trubisky ran for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 19-7 Bears. The Bengals then faced 3rd and 7 at their own 36. Dalton was intercepted, setting up the Bears at the Cincy 43. Howard gained 14, 4, and 14 again. On 3rd and 1 at the Cincy 2 to start the fourth quarter, Trubisky threw incomplete. Yet defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the one. Trubisky hit Shaeen for the score to make it 26-7 Bears. Chicago got it back and moved 80 yards. Howard ran for an 8 yard touchdown as a close first half turned into a blowout. John Fox has seen his team improve and may keep his job in 2018. Marvin Lewis may be at the end of the line after 16 seasons in Cincinnati as the Bengals fell to 5-8 and cannot stop getting killer defensive penalties. Trubiski was a solid 25 of 32 for 271 yards without an interception. Dalton was a horrendous 14 of 29 for 141 yards and one interception. Each quarterback threw one touchdown pass. 33-7 Bears

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers — The 10-2 Vikings took on the 8-4 Panthers. Case Keenum went deep and was intercepted. Stewart then ran for a 60 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Panthers. The Vikings came back 75 yards in 10 plays and Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 7-7. Carolina came back 89 yards in 14 plays and over 7 minutes of clock. Facing 3rd and 16 at their own 23, a short pass only gained 5 yards but a defensive facemask kept the drive going. On 2nd and 6 from the Minnesota 27, Cam Newton went deep to Devon Funchess for a 22 yard gain. The second quarter began with the Panthers facing 3rd and goal t the one. Stewart got in to make it 14-7 Panthers. Minnesota would move from their 26 to a 3rd and 7 at the Carolina 16. A short pass from Keenum to Adam Thielen only gained 4 yards. Kai Forbath hit the 30 yard field goal to get the Vikings within 14-10 with 5 minutes left in the half. Minnesota got it back at their own 32 with 2 1/2 minutes left and moved to a 1st and goal at the 4 with 25 seconds left. After a pair of incompletions, Keenum went to Thielen for the touchdown. Yet on further review, officials reversed that to an incompletion as well. Forbath hit the 22 yarder to get the Vikings within 14-13 at the break.

In the third quarter the Panthers moved 75 yards in 10 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Newton hit Funchess for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 21-13 Panthers. Disaster immediately struck after a touchback. Keenum was hit and fumbled and Mike Adams recovered to set up the Panthers at the Minnesota 31. The defense held but Graham Gano hit a critical 41 yard field goal to make it 24-13 Panthers midway through the third quarter. A punt would pin the Panthers back at their own 2 yard line, and a 29 yard punt return had the Vikings starting the fourth quarter at the Carolina 30. Yet a sack of Keenum meant 4th and 16. Mike dimmer had Forbath try a 54 yard field goal, and the kick was no good. Minnesota got it back and moved from their 13 to a 2nd and 7 at the CAROLINA 26. keen was then intercepted with 9 minutes left.

Zimmer’s defense again held and the Vikings got it back at their own 27 midway through the fourth quarter. From the Minnesota 48, a short pass from Keenum to Adam Thielen saw Thielen get through everybody for a 52 yard touchdown. Keenum hit Bell for the 2 point try. With 5 1/2 minutes left the Vikings were only down 24-21. The Panthers soon faced 3rd and 5 at their own 30. A short pass by Newton was intercepted by Sandejo, who returned it 34 yards to the Carolina 6 yard line. It looked like Newton had totally blown the game. This time it was Ron Rivera’s defense that came up big. A run went nowhere and after a Keenum incompletion, he was sacked. Forbath hit the 27 yard field goal. With 3 minutes left the game was tied 24-24.

Newton was the goat of the moment, but at the very same spot he became the hero. On 2nd and 5 from the Carolina 30, a perfectly executed fake handoff so Newton himself run for a 62 yard gain to the Carolina 8. On 3rd and goal at the one, Stewart got in to put the Panthers back up by 7. Minnesota took over at their own 22 with 1:41 left. Keenum was sacked, and then threw 3 straight incompletions. Minnesota fell to 10-3 but is still firmly in command of the NFC North. The loss stopped their streak of 8 straight wins. The Panthers got to 9-4 and again tied for the NFC South lead. A rematch of this game in the playoffs would be well worth the price of admission. 31-24 Panthers

Washington Redskins at Los Angeles Chargers — The Chargers entered the day 6-6 in a 3 way tie atop the AFC Worst division. The Chargers started out moving 60 yards in 10 plays and 5 minutes. They settled for a 33 yard Travis Coons field goal to lead 3-0. The Chargers got it back at their own 8 yard line and moved 92 yards in 10 plays. Philip Rivers hit Henry for an 8 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Chargers. After a touchback, Kirk Cousins was immediately intercepted to set up the Chargers at the Washington 29. On 3rd and goal at the 3 Rivers threw incomplete, but Coons hit the 21 yarder to make it 13-0 Chargers. In the second quarter the Redskins moved 77 yards. Cousins hit Vernon Davis for a 23 yard touchdown. The extra point failed but the Redskins were only down 13-6. After that reality set in. On the very next play after a touchback, Rivers went to Williams for a 75 yard touchdown to make it 20-6 only 11 seconds after the Redskins scored. Coons would add a 36 yard field goal as the Chargers were winning a laugher 23-6 at the break. The second half was a formality. A 55 yard third quarter drive ended with Melvin Gordon running for a one yard touchdown to make it 30-6 Chargers. In the fourth quarter Rivers did have a pass intercepted and returned 96 yards for a touchdown by Breeland, but a 17 point loss is not much better than a 31 point loss. After starting 0-4 the Chargers have rocketed upward going 7-2 since to be tied atop the AFC West. 30-13 Chargers

New York Jets at Denver Broncos — The Jets came in a desperate 5-7 while the Broncos had lost 8 straight and were eliminated weeks ago. It was all Denver. They moved 62 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. Brandon McManus hit a 31 yard field goal to start the scoring.The Jets quickly faced 3rd and 11 at their own 24. Josh McCown was sacked and fumbled, the set the Broncos up at the Jets 20. Trevor Siemian went deep to Denarius Thomas for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Broncos. Denver added a 53 yard McManus field goal in the second quarter to lead 13-0 at the break. In the third quarter Denver moved 68 yards in 13 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. Janovich got the final yard to make it 20-0 Broncos. McManus added a 40 yard field goal in the fourth quarter to complete the shutout as Denver finally got a win and knocked the Jets to the brink of playoff elimination. They also knocked out McCown with a broken hand as Bryce Petty finished the game. 23-0 Broncos

Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals — Tennessee came in 8-4 against a Cardinals team not going anywhere but home. Yet Arizona hung tough for much of the game. After a scoreless first quarter, a short 33 yard Arizona punt had the Titans starting at midfield. On 3rd and 1 from the Arizona 41, Derrick Henry got the yard. On 3rd and 9 from the Arizona 25, Marcus Mariota hit Eric Decker for 11 yards. Henry ran for the 6 yard touchdown as the Titans led 7-0 at halftime. In the third quarter Phil Dawson hit a 47 yard field goal as the Cardinals only trailed 7-3. Midway through the third quarter Mike Mularkey gambled on a fake punt with the Titans facing 4th and 1 at their own 35. Seems to the direct snap and got nailed. Initially it was called a first down but Bruce Arians challenged the spot and it was reversed to a turnover on downs. The Cardinals had 3rd and 1 at the Tennessee 3, but a run up the middle lost 2 yards. Dawson hit the 23 yarder as the Cardinals trailed 7-6. The Titans moved from their own 28 to the Arizona 27. Mariota went over the middle and was intercepted by Williams. The Cardinals moved from their own 16 to a 3rd and 4 at the Tennessee 22. After Blaine Gabbert threw incomplete, old reliable Dawson came in for the 40 yarder to give the Cardinals the lead with 12 minutes left in regulation. This time Dawson was no good.

It was deja vu all over again as the Cardinals got it back at their own 15 and moved to a 2nd and 6 at the Tennessee 14. A run went nowhere and Gabbert threw incomplete. This time from 32 yards, Dawson was good and the Cardinals led 9-7 with 6 minutes left in the game. On the next play after a touchback, Mariota was quickly intercepted again. with unnecessary roughness tacked on, the Cardinals had 1st and goal at the 7 with a golden opportunity to slam the door shut. The only thing that got slammed was Gabbert for a sack. Dawson hit the 35 yard field goal as the Cardinals led by 5 with 3:50 to play. A sack of Mariota left the Titans facing 4th and 18 at their own 29 with 2:11 to play. Mike Mularkey decided to punt and trust his defense since Tennessee had all 3 timeouts. On 3rd and 8 from their own 27, Gabbert was sacked. The Titans got it back at their own 22 with 0 timeouts. Mariota threw 4 straight incompletions and the Titans were done. The loss dropped them to 8-5, in strong position for a wildcard but one game out of the division lead. The 6-7 Cardinals are still mathematically alive. 12-7 Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams — Division leaders came in for a key NFC battle as the 10-2 Eagles took on the 9-3 Rams. It was the first meeting between the top 2 picks in the 2016 Draft, as Jared Goff went one spot before Carson Wentz. On the 3rd play of the game with the Eagles facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30, Wentz was intercepted by Webster to set the Rams up at the Philly 37. Todd Gurley ran for a 30 yard gain and then a 2 yard touchdown as the Rams led 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the game. After that the Eagles exploded. After a touchback, Wentz hit Clement for a 28 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Rams 40, Jay Ajayi gained 9. Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for 15 more. Wentz hit Captain Morgan Brent Celek for a 5 yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 ballgame. The Eagles got it back at their own 12 and moved 88 yards in 11 plays. Wentz hit Burton for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Eagles. In the second quarter it was deja vu all over again as the Eagles moved 80 yards in 11 plays. Wentz went to Burton on 3rd and 8 for an 11 yard score as 21 unanswered points had the Eagles up 21-7. That drive was helped along by Doug Peterson deciding to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Rams 31. Wentz hit Nelson Agholor for 18 yards.

The Rams soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 25 when a short pass from Goff to Cooper Kupp gained 64 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the 6, Goff hit Cupp for the touchdown as the Rams were within 21-14. Late in the half with the Rams facing 3rd and 3 at their own 25, a short Goff completion gained just enough. Doug Peterson challenged the spot and it was reversed to 4th and 1 at the 2 minute warning. The Rams punted and the Eagles took over at their own 16 with 1:49 left. On 3rd and 11 at their own 30, Wentz went deep to Smith for a 46 yard gain. with 23 seconds left the Eagles had 2nd and goal at the 4, but Wentz threw incomplete twice. Elliott hit the 22 yard field goal as the Eagles led 24-14 at break time.

In the third quarter the Rams took over at their own 29. Gurley ran for 17 and 5 and caught a pass for 20 more. Goff then went to Kupp for 23 yards. Goff threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to Watkins as the Rams got within 24-21. The Eagles quickly went 3 and out as Went threw incomplete with the Eagles facing 3rd and 5 at their own 30. Jones’s punt was blocked by Thomas and recovered by Countess, who returned it 16 yards for a touchdown as the Rams now had the 28-24 lead. After a touchback, momentum shifted again as the Eagles moved to a 3rd and 7 at their own 42. Wentz went deep to Worry Smith for a 24 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the Rams 33, Wentz threw incomplete. Yet a mindless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the defense for taunting after the play was the difference between a 51 yard field goal try and 1st and 10 at the Rams 18. On 3rd and 3 from the 11, Wentz hit Agholor for 6 with unnecessary roughness meaning 1st and goal at the 2. A touchdown run by Wentz was nullified by offensive holding. On 3rd and goal at the 2, Wentz threw incomplete. With 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Doug Peterson went big and bold and decided to go for it. With all kinds of time, Wentz saw a man right in his face and threw a pass over the middle that was somehow snared by Jeffery for the score. Jeffery somehow got his fingertips to keep it from hitting the ground as the Eagles led 31-28 in this thrilling football game. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Wentz was knocked out of the game with a knee injury and did not play the fourth quarter.

After a touchback Gurley ran for a 21 yard gain and Goff hit Reynolds and Watkins for a pair of 15 yard completions. The fourth quarter began with Gurley running for a 4 yards, then 8 yards, and then the one yard touchdown to make it 35-31 Rams. Nick Foles was one a phenom for the Eagles. Now he is the backup. From his own 20, he fumbled his first snap, piked it up, and gained 14 yards. The Eagles moved to a 1st and 10 at the Rams 25, but a pair of incompletions followed by a  2 yard pass and the Eagles settling for a 41 yard field goal try. Elliott was good and the Eagles trailed 35-34 with 10 minutes left in regulation. The Rams took over at their 20. from their own 35, Goff was sacked and fumbled. The Eagles took over at the Rams 25. Elliott hit a 54 yard field goal but a leverage penalty on the Rams had Doug Peterson take the points off the board. They would settle for a 33 yard Elliott field goal anyway. They Eagles led by 2 but the Rams had less than 4 minutes to work with instead of 6 minutes. With zero urgency, a pair of runs did nothing as 90 seconds ticked off the clock. Goff threw incomplete on 3rd and 10. Sean McVay decided to punt and trust his defense.

The Eagles took over at their own 21 with 2:02 to play. On 3rd and 8, Foles hit Agholor for a key 10 yard gain. The Eagles took the clock down to 7 seconds. On fourth down, Doug Peterson decided to punt from the Philly 37 rather than have Foles run around and use up the time. The Rams called a fair catch with one second left at their own 24. The hook and laterals play saw one of the laterals taken in the air by the defense and returned 20 yards for a touchdown. The Eagles got to 11-2 and the Rams fell to 9-4 but still one game up in the NFC West. Goff finished 16 of 26 for 208 yards and 2 touchdown without an interception. Wentz went 23 of 41 for 291 yards, 4 touchdowns, and the one early interception in only 3 quarters of work. A rematch between these teams with Goff and Wentz at the helm would be a fine playoff option, but it will not be happening. After the game it was announced that Wentz tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. They will have to try and win it all with Foles. 43-35 Eagles

Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars — Both teams came in 8-4 and are winning in opposite ways. Russell Wilson is carrying Seattle and their injury-riddled defense. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have a tough defense known as Sacksonville. The first half was all defense. Josh Lambo hit a 38 yard first quarter field goal as the Jaguars led 3-0 at halftime. Things went crazy in the third quarter. On the second play of the second half with the Seahawks facing 2nd and 20 at their own 15, Wilson was intercepted to set the Jaguars up at the Seahawks 42. Blake Bortles hit Marques Lee for 13 yards and Westbrook for an 18 yard touchdown to make it 10-0 Jaguars. After a touchback the Seahawks soon faced 2nd and 12 at their own 45. Wilson went deep to Doug Baldwin for a 43 yard gain. Yet despite 2nd and 8 from the 10, Wilson threw incomplete twice. Blair Walsh hit the 28 yard field goal to get the Seahawks on the board. The Jaguars fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Seahawks recovered at the Jacksonville 25. Wilson went deep to Baldwin for a 26 yard touchdown. 2 scores in less than 60 seconds meant a 10-10 ballgame.

Then things got even wilder. On the very next play from scrimmage after a touchback, Bortles went deep to Cole for a 75 yard touchdown. 14 seconds after the game was tied, the Jaguars were back up 17-10. Seattle quickly went 3 and out when on 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Wilson was sacked. The Seahawks had to punt, and Mickens returned it 72 yards to the Seattle one yard line. Leonard Fournette got in as the Jaguars led 24-10. Jacksonville got it back and held the ball for 7 1/2 minutes and moved 65 yards in 13 plays. Lambo drilled a 51 yard field goal as the Jaguars had a commanding 27-10 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation. Then things got wild and crazy in the other direction in this game of big plays.

16 seconds after the Jaguars upped their lead to 17 points, Wilson went deep to Paul Richardson for a 61 yard touchdown bomb to get the Seahawks within 27-17. The Jaguars moved 54 yards into the red zone. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 13, Fournette lost a yard. The Jaguars settled for a 32 yard Lambo field goal to lead 30-17 with 4 minutes left. Less than 30 seconds later Seattle was in the end zone again. On 2nd and 5 from their own 26, Wilson went bombs away to Tyler Lockett for a 74 yard touchdown. the Seahawks were within 6 points.  with a full 3 1/2 minutes to play.  On 3rd and 13 from their own 22 after a false start, a runny gained 3 yards. Seattle got it back at their own 42 with 2 1/2 minutes to play and 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. With 2:17 left and the Seahawks facing 4th and 9 at their own 43, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. Under heavy pressure Wilson threw deep incomplete. On 3rd and 11, the Seahawks were one stop from getting the ball back. Fournette ran off tackle for a 14 yard gain and Seattle was done. The Seahawks at 8-5 are still in contention for the wildcard while Jacksonville at 9-4 is now one game up in the AFC South. Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin was so pleased with the win that he almost smiled. 30-24 Jaguars

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers was the Sunday night game. The 7-5 Ravens were in the playoff hunt but had to go on the road to face the 10-2 Steelers, who were recovering from a brutal game with Cincinnati. Ryan Shazier was severely injured in that game. His spinal nerve was hit and he may never play football again. Steelers wore decals with his number 50 on it as a tribute to him. The Steelers were also without Juju Smith-Schuster, suspended one game for his hit on Vontaze Burfect. The Ravens moved from Their own 17 to a 3rd and 4 at the Pittsburgh 30. How Flacco went deep and was intercepted by Davis at the 6 yard line. Davis returned the interception 35 yards as the Steelers took over at their own 41. On 3rd and 2 just shy of midfield, LeVeon Bell gained 2. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 29, Bell gained 9. A short pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Bell went for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Steelers. In the second quarter the Steelers moved 90 yards in 12 plays and 6 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the Baltimore 34, Big Ben went to Antonio Brown for a 28 yard gain. From the 11, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Bell got in to make it 14-0 Steelers.

Baltimore soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 30. Alex Collins gained 9 yards. Flacco hit Allen for 20 yards. Flacco then went deep to Moore for a 30 yard touchdown to get the Ravens within 14-7. Pittsburgh quickly faced 3rd and 4 at their own 18. Big Ben hit Rogers for 8 yards. On 2nd and 6 from the Pittsburgh 30, Big Ben went deep to Brown for a 43 yard gain. A sack of Roethlisberger ended the drive but Chris Boswell hit a 52 yard field goal to make it 17-7 Steelers. Baltimore took over at their own 15. Flacco hit Mike Wallace for 18 yards and Collins for 37 more. Collins ran for an 18 yard touchdown at the 2 minute warning to get the Ravens within 17-14. Pittsburgh took over after a touchback. With 46 seconds left the Steelers faced 3rd and 15 at their own 41. Roethlisberger went to Rogers for 16 yard and to McDonald for 18 more. That was enough for Boswell to hit from 43 to end the half with the Steelers holding a 20-14 lead.

In the third quarter the Ravens faced 2nd and 8 at their own 27. Flacco went deep to Wallace for a 40 yard gain. The drive stalled but Justin Tucker hit a 47 yard field goal to get the Ravens within 20-17. Baltimore got it back at their own 40. Collins ran for 9 and Flacco went to Jeremy Maclin for 19 more. Flacco hit Allen for 12 and Collins ran for 17 yards down to the one. Allen crashed in up the middle to put the Ravens up 24-20 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Baltimore got it back at their own 26 and Collins ran for a 21 yard gain with 15 more tacked on for defensive late hit out of bounds. Flacco went deep and drew defensive pass interference for a 31 yard gain to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Flacco hit Ricard for the touchdown.In front of a shocked home crowd, the Ravens led 31-20 with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

Pittsburgh took over at their own 14 and moved all the way to a 2nd and 5 at the Baltimore 6. Roethilsberger threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, Mike Tomlin opted for the field goal. Boswell hit from 24 to get the Steelers within 31-23 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Pittsburgh got it back and quickly faced 3rd and 10 at their own 33. A short pass to Roethlisberger went for a 57 yard gain. Defensive pass interference put the ball on the one with 9 1/2 minutes left. Roethlisberger looked around, bought time, and threw across his body to Nix for the touchdown. On the 2 point try Big Ben threw a fade to the corner that was incomplete, but defensive pass interference gave the Steelers another try from the one. Bell went laterally and got stopped as the Steelers trailed 31-29.

A strong kickoff return had the Ravens starting at their own 44. On the next play a personal foul on the defense for picking up a receiver and slamming him to the ground moved the Ravens 15 yards to the Pittsburgh 41. On the next play a run lost 4 yards. On 2nd and 14, defensive pass interference added 20 yards as tempers were flaring after every play. On 3rd and 2 from the Pittsburgh 17, Collins gained 9 and Allen ran for the 8 yard touchdown. The critical extra point was good as the Ravens led 38-29 wit 6:44 to play. Pittsburgh took over at their own 32. On 2nd and 5 Roethlisberger went to Brown for gains of 22 and 11 and to Bell for 10. On 3rd and 1 from the Baltimore 11, Bell appeared stopped but evaded tacklers and somehow made it all the way to the end zone. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Steelers were within 38-36.

The Steelers had all 3 timeouts as the Ravens faced 3rd and 3 at their own 32. Flacco fired over the middle on a pass that was deflected in the air incomplete. The Steelers got it back at their own 17 yard line with 2 1/2 minutes left and all 3 timeouts needing only a field goal to win it. Big Ben got sacked by Terrell Suggs for a 9 yard loss as a short pass had the Steelers facing 3rd and 14 at the 2 minute warning. Roethlisberger fired to James for a 17 yard gain. On 3rd and 5, Roethlisberger went deep to Brown for a 35 yard gain. Although Brown got out of bounds at the Baltimore 30, the Steelers were forced to take a timeout anyway with one minute left. They were already in field goal range, so after a safe run Baltimore took their second timeout on defense. Under heavy pressure Roethlisberger threw a a pair of off balance passes that Pittsburgh was lucky to see fall incomplete. With 46 seconds left, Boswell lined up for a 46 yard field goal to give the Steelers the lead. The kick was good and the Steelers were up by a point.

After a touchback Baltimore had 42 seconds, one timeout, and Justin Tucker’s cannon of a leg. Flacco threw over the middle to Maclin, and he got blasted, forcing the Ravens to take their last timeout. Flacco hit Wallace for 14 yards and then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 21 seconds left. Flacco went deep to Maclin, who could not get both feet down inbounds. On 3rd and 10 with 16 seconds left. Flacco scrambled, was hit and fumbled, and was lucky that the ball went out of bounds. With 7 seconds left, the Ravens were prepared to line up for a final 4th down Hail Mary. However, the officials ruled that the sack of Flacco kept the clock going and the game was over. This was a wild one. The Steelers clinched the AFC North at 11-2 while the Ravens at 7-6 are fighting for their playoff lives. Both quarterbacks threw 2 touchdown passes with Flacco throwing one interception and Roethlisberger one. Flacco finished 20 of 35 for 269 while Roethlisberger had a game for the ages. He set a franchise record by throwing 66 passes, completing 44 of them for a ridiculous 506 yards. Antonio Brown had 11 catches for 213 yards. The Steelers went up by 14, got outscored 31-6 to trail by 11, got within 2, trailed by 9, and scored the final 10 in a game for the ages. 39-38 Steelers

 

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins was the Monday night game. The Patriots are always better than the Dolphins. Almost every year the Patriots are winners and the Dolphins are losers. Yet for some reason Tom Brady frequently has his worst games at Miami. This year the Patriots came in 10-2 and AFC East champions again while the Dolphins were 5-7 and on the brink of playoff elimination again. In the first quarter the Dolphins moved 69 yards in 13 plays and 6 minutes, getting a 30 yard field goal from Cody Parkey to start the scoring. Brady was then immediately intercepted, setting the Dolphins up at their own 40. Parkey hit a 44 yard field goal as the Dolphins led 6-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Patriots took over just shy of midfield. On 2nd and 7, Brady went to Dion Lewis for a 20 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the Miami 23, defensive pass interference meant 1st and goal at the 3. Ronny Burkhead ran it in from there to make it 7-6 Patriots with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half. Yet after that, the Dolphins took over.

From the Miami 20, Jay Cutler went to Anthony Fasano for 17 yards and deep to Kenyon Drake for a 47 yard gain. On 3rd and 7 from the New England 13, Cutler went to Drake for 8 yards and to Jarvis Landry for a 5 yard touchdown. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Dolphins had a 13-7 lead. After a touchback the Patriots moved to a 3rd and 3 from the Miami 29 with 46 seconds left. A short pass gained only one yard, so Bill Belichick let the clock tick down to 6 seconds. Stephen Gostkowski hit the 46 yard field goal as the Patriots trailed 13-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Patriots quickly faced 3rd and 16 at their own 14. Brady was intercepted by Howard, who returned it 29 yards to the New England 46. On 3rd and 4 from the Patriots 40, Cutler hit Kenny Stills for 11 yards. Cutler then went deep to Grant for a 25 yard touchdown to make it 20-10 Dolphins. The Patriots faced 3rd and 1 at their own 29 and Brady threw incomplete, forcing a punt. The Dolphins soon faced 3rd and 1 at their own 27. Cutler went deep incomplete, but defensive pass interference meant a 21 yard gain. On 3rd and 4 at the Patriots 46, Cutler hit Parker for 11 yards. Drake then got around the end for a 31 yard gain. Cutler hit Landry for the 4 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 27-10 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

As the third quarter was ending, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Miami had the Patriots starting at their own 47. With 13 minutes left in regulation, Brady hit white for the touchdown to get the Patriots within 27-17. Yet if the Dolphins were supposed to collapse, nobody told their defense. The Patriots went 3 and out on their next 3 possessions. With 2 1/2 minutes left and still down 27-17, the Patriots took over at their own 23. Brady went deep to Cooks for a 38 yard gain. On the next play roughing the passer added 15 more yards. With 1:24 left the Patriots had 1st and goal at the one. Yet illegal motion followed by offensive holding pushed the Patriots back to 2nd and goal at the 15. Brady threw incomplete twice. Needing 2 scores, the field goal was the only option. Gostkowski hit the 33 yard field goal to get the Patriots within 7 points with 53 seconds to play.

The onside kick did not go 10 yards as again a weak Miami team knocked off mighty New England. The Patriots fell to 10-3, one game out of the race for home field in the AFC. The Dolphins are 6-7 and still mathematically alive. Jay Cutler went 25 of 38 for 263 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Tom Brady went 24 of 43 for 233 yards, one touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Football fans everywhere have no idea how this keeps happening with a Miami team that rarely beats anyone else when it matters. 27-20 Dolphins

NFL 2017 Week 14 Prequel

Friday, December 8th, 2017

NFL 2017 Week 14 Prequel

This is when the NFL big dogs come out: NFL 2017 Week 14 Preview and Bettor’s Guide