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Thoughts On The NFL: Week 14

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What stood out around the NFL after Week 14

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Considering how terribly Matt Ryan played in this game I am shocked the Falcons held on to win this one. Ryan tossed 3 INTs 2 of them were god awful. The Falcon offense was somewhat salvaged by Devonta Freeman’s production in the run game. The Saints offense was noticeably less productive and less efficient after Alvin Kamara left the game with an injury. Its a crushing loss for the Saints who are now tied with the Panthers for first place in the NFC South and a big win for the Falcons who are right behind both teams.

Detroit vs. Tampa Bay

QB play was lackluster in this matchup with both guys tossing two INTs and playing in dull mediocre fashion. It’s a shame because as a product of those 4 turnovers both teams had a chance to pull ahead. Eventually, Detroit got the upper hand and kicked a game winning FG. The Lions needed this win badly to still have hopes at a WC spot. I am unimpressed with this win though and think they would likely be eliminated in the playoffs immediately if they got there.

Green Bay vs. Cleveland

Cleveland had this one in their clutches and then did Cleveland things. I thought Kizer played one of his best games of the season but reverted back to the mistakes we’ve seen this year from him with the game on the line. I hope he gets a chance to learn but who knows with the Browns. On the other hand, Hundley definitely played his best game of the season and stepped up to the challenge when the Packers needed him to. We should probably recognize what a threat Davante Adams has been this year. With Jordy Nelson’s career winding down there should be little doubt about Adams ability to stepped into that WR1 role when the time comes. He’s poised to set career marks in all categories with 3 games left in the season.

Minnesota vs. Carolina

The Vikings defense looked average against Johnathan Stewart who seemed to have gotten a few years younger in this one. Stewart probably had his best game of the season and ripped off chunk gains and also scored 3 TDs. If the Panthers make the playoffs they are going to need more of this to help balance their offense. Keenum had an off day compared to what we are used to seeing from him this season. I don’t think any QB switch is necessary with the way he’s played all season. It will be interesting what the Vikings get for Bradford and/or Bridgewater this season.

San Francisco vs. Houston

By now most of you have probably seen the disturbing video showing Tom Savage in some form of distress after a hit he took. Medically I have no idea exactly what happened there but the excuses regardless of if they are genuine from O’Brien and the NFL have been poor. I’m not sure you need video to see that your QB is convulsing on the field. San Francisco might be building a little momentum at the end of the season here. Two wins in a row should wake the locker room up and there is no doubt that Garrapolo at QB has produced better results for the team. T.J. Yates who came in relief for Savage established a great connection with DeAndre Hopkins - it just wasn’t enough to overcome a leaky defense.

Chicago vs. Cincinnati

Marvin Lewis’ 9 lives are up right? Chicago dismantled their competition in swift fashion. It started with Jordan Howard and his 147 yards on the ground and 2 TDs. He’s on a bad team but I think Howard is woefully underappreciated when talking about the best backs in the NFL. How many of us would love for him to be on the Redskins? Mitch Trubisky had a good game as well and the Chicago defense cruised in this one going up against an anemic Bengal offense.

Oakland vs. Kansas City

The Chiefs have to be relieved they won this divisional matchup. Coming into the week Oakland, Kansas City and LA were all tied for the division lead. The Chiefs were able to create a bit of separation due to the efforts of their defense, Kareem Hunt, and the Cheif WRs. Remember last year and at the beginning of this year when I was calling Derek Carr damn near elite? That hasn’t been the case this year. Granted Carr has been injured but his play has regressed. Currently, he set to throw for likely 500 fewer yards than last year and he has 10 fewer touchdowns and 4 more interceptions than he posted last year. If the Raiders are going to have a chance to make this run he needs to turn it around in a hurry.

Indianapolis vs. Buffalo

Blizzard! The passing games may have suffered because of the conditions but the running games were on point. Both Frank Gore and Shady McCoy had great days on the ground. McCoy’s TD on the ground basically ending up being the difference in this one. Buffalo isn’t dead yet and are fully in the midst of a WC run.

Tennessee vs. Arizona

The Titan defense did their part. They sacked Blaine Gabbert 8 times! Marcus Mariota was a non-factor and detriment for them this time around. Phil Dawson basically single-handedly won this game for the Cards with his 4 FGs.

Washington vs. Los Angeles (Chargers)

An absolute embarrassment. I guess the team is in full evaluation mode. For whatever its worth I think they should resign Breeland. I agree with what many of you have said though. As long as Allen is President/GM/Lead of Harvest Fest the team is doomed to mediocrity. The Chargers are tied for 1st place in their division.

Dallas vs. New York (Giants)

Well, we know Dak Prescott can regain his form against the Giants. The young QB lit up the Giants. Trying to correct their ridiculous snafu from last week the Giants reinstalled Eli Manning as their starting QB. Too bad (not really) it didn’t make a difference for the Giants. Manning was not very good and neither was the rest of the team.

New York (Jets) vs Denver

This past week I was in San Diego for a few days. As I was preparing to crush souls at the nearest Go Kart track I saw on TV a fantasy expert who was suggesting people pick Josh McCown against the lowly Denver Broncos. I hope you didn’t listen to that guy. All year the Jets have been up and down but they have shown that they have fight in them. They more or less rolled over in this game and put up a nice donut on the scoreboard. The Bronco defense ran away with this one and Trevor Siemein managed not to throw it away.

Seattle vs. Jacksonville

I see that A.J. Bouye signing is paying off for the Jaguars. He is having a ridiculous year as a defender and without a doubt is one of if not the best corner in the NFL right now. Bouye and the rest of the Jags defense played a big part in this win by forcing turnovers. As a nice plus they also got some good play from Blake Bortles. I wouldn't be surprised if Jacksonville rides its defenses coattails in the playoffs.

Los Angeles (Rams) vs. Philadelphia

In the Wentz vs. Goff rivalry, it’s 1-0 Wentz. Both QBs played good games - Wentz, however, played at a higher level than Goff. Had not Wentz suffered a season-ending injury the score in this one wouldn’t have been as close. I don’t think the Eagles are going to recover from this one. They may be NFCE champs but I’m not sure they make it past their first playoff game without Wentz.

Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

The Steelers are at it again winning another primetime game by a last second FG. The Steeler defense gave up 400+ yards and 4 TDs to the Ravens. It was only off the back of a ridiculous 500+ yard passing performance by Big Ben that the Steelers kept pace. I still think they have a chance to make it to the AFC title game but if your a Steelers fan they should do make you bite your nails when you watch.

New England vs. Miami

Haha, the NFL is so weird from week to week. Unbeknownst to me, Jay Cutler is on some sort of good streak against the Patriots. That continued on Monday night as he handily outplayed his counterpart, Brady. I guess the Dolphins aren’t quite out of things yet either.