Happy Hanukkah Night 6. Now let’s get down to football. Here is the NFL 2014 Week 16 Recap.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars was the Thursday night game. A pair of 2-12 teams battling to see who could anger their fans by winning and blowing a shot at the top pick in the 2015 Draft. Charlie Whitehurst led a 12 play, 84 yard, 7 1/2 minute drive as an 8 yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington made it 7-0 Titans. with 4 minutes left in the half Ryan Succop hit a 50 yard field goal to make it 10-0 Titans.
The Jaguars finally woke up. Blake Bortles moved Jacksonville after a touchback to a 3rd and 1 at the Tennessee 4 with 36 seconds left in the half. Bottles hit Mercedes Lewis for the touchdown as the Jaguars trailed 10-7. Jacksonville took the second half kickoff and marched 72 yards. On 3rd and goal from the 14, Blake Bortles only gained 12 but defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the one. Toby Gerhart got the last yard to make it 14-10 Jaguars after three quarters.
With 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation Jordan Todman broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run to make it 21-10 Jaguars. With 6 minutes left the Titans faced 3rd and goal at the 5. Whitehorse threw incomplete and Ken Whisenhunt opted for the field goal. With 1:14 to play and the Jaguars facing 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 37, Gus Bradley played it ultraconservative and decided to punt. Nothing inspires the fans of a 2-12 team like a punt in that situation. After a touchback, Whitehurst got the Titans to a chance to tie the game. With 17 seconds left and the Titans at the Jacksonville 35, Whitehurst was sacked to end the worst game in the history of prime time football. 21-13 Jaguars
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins was the Saturday afternoon game. On 3rd and 14 from the Washington 47, Mark Sanchez was sacked and fumbled to give the Redskins a short field. Kai Forbath hit a 25 yard field goal to get Washington on the board first. Sanchez came back and moved the Eagles 79 yards as an 11 yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy had the Eagles up 7-3. The Redskins came right back as Robert Griffin III threw a 51 yard pass to DeSean Jackson. On the next play Alfred Morris raced for a 28 yard touchdown for a 10-7 Redskins lead. In the second quarter Sanchez moved the Eagles 93 yards in 15 plays and 7 minutes. On 3rd and goal from the 3 Sanchez hit Riley Cooper for the score as the Eagles led 14-10 at the half.
The Redskins fumbled away the second half kickoff, but from the Washington 16 the Eagles went nowhere. Cody Parkey missed the 34 yard field goal try. RGIII moved the Redskins 76 yards in 12 plays and 7 minutes. Young got the final yard as the fourth lead change had the Redskins up 17-14. The Eagles then moved from their 20 to 3rd and 1 at the Washington 28. McCoy got the carry and got nothing. Chip Kelly decided not to gamble on fourth and one. Playing it safe backfired as Parkey missed again, this time from 46 yards out.
Late in the third quarter RGIII went deep to Jackson again for a 55 yard gain to the Philly 13. RGIII then went to the end zone and benefitted from a very questionable defensive pass interference call. There was absolutely contact, but the ball was thrown out of the end zone. Young got in again from the one as the Redskins led 24-14 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter Sanchez moved the Eagles 69 yards. On 3rd and 8 from the Washington 16, Sanchez went to Cooper for the touchdown as the Eagles got within 24-21 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. RGIII went deep again and this time was intercepted at the Philadelphia 46. Sanchez got the Eagles to 3rd and goal at the 4 before firing over the middle in a crowd incomplete. This time Parkey hit from 22 as the game was tied 24–24 with 6 1/2 minutes left. The Eagles got it back at their own 15 with 2 1/2 minutes left. With 90 seconds left on a critical 3rd and 4 at the Washington 48, Sanchez was intercepted by Breeland at the Washington 42.
One play later, and the Eagles were in deep trouble. A short pass to Pierre Garcon saw Garcon spin out out of a tackle and sprint down the field. A roughing the passer tacked on 15 more yards as the Redskins were now at the Philly 20. A pair of Alfred Morris runs meant 1st and goal at the 8 with 1:10 to play. On 3rd and goal from the 5, a false start did not change anything. From the 10, the Eagles took their last timeout with one minute left. One strategy would be to let the Redskins score to save time. Chip Kelly instead allowed a run up the middle to take the clock down as Forbath came in with only 10 seconds left.
From 26 yards out, Forbath was good. Kelly’s decision backfired since being down by 7 with one minute left is better than being down by 3 with 5 seconds left. The Redskins never make anything easy, as the ensuing kickoff meant to be a low line drive was covered by the Eagles at midfield. Sanchez threw the Hail Mary to the end zone where it was well defended and knocked down. Washington snapped a 6 game losing streak, got to 4-11 and now has no shot at the top pick in the 2015 Draft. The Eagles lost their third straight to fall to 9-6 and the brink of elimination from the playoffs. 27-24 Redskins
San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers was the Saturday night game. This thriller will be talked about for quite some time. The Chargers gave up an astonishing 355 yards rushing. Colin Kaepernick only threw for 114 yards, but he ran for 151 more and Frank Gore added 158 more. Gore broke off a 52 yard touchdown run to put the 49ers up 7-0 after the first quarter. In the second quarter Kaepernick hit Ellington for an 8 yard touchdown. Then Philip Rivers had an interception returned 49 yards for a score by Antoine Bethea to make it 21-0 49ers. Rivers did hit Eddie Royal for a 15 yard touchdown pass, but Ellington ran it in from one yard out just before the half ended. The 49ers were leading 28-7 in a laugher. They would not be laughing in the second half.
Early in the third quarter the 49ers faced 4th and 2 at the San Diego 39. Jim Harbaugh decided to go for it and put the game away. Kaepernick was sacked for a 2 yard loss. Rivers hit Gates for a one yard touchdown to get the Chargers within 28-14 in the third quarter. Then came the key play of the game. The 49ers faced 3rd and 5 from their own 37. Kaepernick went deep to Vernon Davis for a 63 yard touchdown and what appeared to be a 35-14 49ers lead. Yet an illegal chop block on Gore nullified the score. On the very next play the 49ers faced 3rd and 20 from their own 22. Kaepernick was sacked and fumbled. A mad scramble in the end zone led to the Chargers recovering the football for a touchdown. The wild 14 point swing turned a blowout into a game where the Chargers only trailed 28-21.
A blunder on the ensuing kickoff had the 49ers backed up to their own 6. From the 10, Kaepernick scrambled and raced all the way for a 90 yard touchdown as the 49ers were back up 35-21. Rivers then went deep and was intercepted as the 49ers took their 14 point lead into the fourth quarter. Despite a short field at the San Diego 47, the 49ers wasted the opportunity. With 9 minutes left the game the 49ers again reached the San Diego 47 but no further. One more first down would have meant a long field goal to put the game out of reach. The Chargers were down but not out.
Rivers moved the Chargers 85 yards as a 21 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates had the Chargers only down 35-28 with 5 minutes left. Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards to the San Diego 45. Again the 49ers failed to turn out the lights. The Chargers got it back after a touchback with 3 1/2 minutes left. The 49ers had every chance to ice the game on offense. They did not. The 49ers had every chance to get a stop on defense. They did not.
On 3rd and 2 from the San Francisco 37, Rivers was sacked and fumbled. The Chargers were saved by retaining possession. With 1:35 to play, the Chargers faced 4th and 8 at the San Francisco 43. Rivers found Eddie Royal for a 17 yard gain. With 54 seconds left the Chargers faced 4th and 10 at the San Francisco 26. Rivers found Inman for 17 more yards. Rivers hit Malcolm Floyd for an 11 yard touchdown with 30 seconds left to tie the game 35-35.
The 49ers took over at their own 28 with 26 seconds left. On 3rd and 4, Kaepernick scrambled for 20 yards. With 2 seconds left Phil Dawson came in for a 60 yard field goal try. It was no good. On the second play of overtime, with the 49ers at their own 35, Patton took an end around for a 20 yard gain but had the ball chopped out of his hand. The Chargers recovered the fumble at their own 38. A steady dose of Ronnie Brown set up Nick Novak for the 40 yard field goal try to win it.
Novak was good and the Chargers had the biggest comeback win in franchise history. The 49ers were eliminated one week earlier and are now 7-8. The Chargers snapped a two game losing streak and got to 9-6 as Rivers finished 33 of 54 for 356 yards, four touchdown passes and three interceptions. 38-35 Chargers, OT
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants at St. Louis Rams
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals is the Sunday night game.
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals is the Monday night game.