What We Learned in (Wild) N.F.L. Week 14


No contender was secure on a wild Sunday with a number of shut video games, a couple of main upsets, and a highlight-reel landing catch by an offensive lineman. Here’s what we realized in Week 14:

It was a nasty day to be one of many A.F.C.’s greatest groups. The Texans’ nine-game successful streak ended, and the Patriots needed to watch the Dolphins lateral their approach 69 yards to a last-second victory. The Chiefs had a nasty sufficient day on their very own, very almost shedding to the Baltimore Ravens, however their additional time victory, mixed with the losses of their chief rivals, makes it way more seemingly that they may have home-field benefit all through the playoffs.

George Kittle > Denver Broncos. Kittle, the 49ers’ breakout star at tight finish, virtually single-handedly beat the Broncos. He completed the day with seven catches for 210 yards and a landing. He fell simply four yards in need of Shannon Sharpe’s N.F.L. document for receiving yards by a good finish and was the centerpiece of an offense that raced to a 20-Zero lead after which watched because the staff’s protection held on for the upset win.

The Cowboys traded a first-round choose for a division title. Lots of people laughed when Dallas paid an enormous value for Amari Cooper, however the staff is 5-1 since his arrival and now has a two-game lead in the N.F.C. East with simply three video games remaining. Cooper’s efficiency on Sunday was one to recollect, with 217 receiving yards, a 75-yard landing in the fourth quarter, and a game-winning landing in additional time in which he snatched a tipped ball out of the air and ran it into the tip zone.

The league’s interim coaches are doing simply effective. It took Gregg Williams simply 5 video games to get as many wins for the Cleveland Browns (three) as Hue Jackson had in three seasons and 40 video games. Meanwhile, in Green Bay, the place they’re attempting a midseason substitute coach for simply the second time in franchise historical past, Joe Philbin led the staff to a blowout win over Atlanta.

Josh Johnson nonetheless exists. He had not thrown a cross in the N.F.L. since 2011, however because of accidents over the previous few weeks to Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, and the ineptitude of Mark Sanchez, the Redskins put their offense in Johnson’s arms. In rubbish time towards the Giants, Johnson did decidedly O.Ok., finishing 11 of 16 passes for 195 yards and a landing. Presuming the Redskins will transfer on from Johnson quickly as effectively, maybe the Redskins can check out Josh Freeman or Daunte Culpepper or perhaps see if Steve Young desires to take a break from his broadcasting profession.

The Saints can get up in the fourth quarter and nonetheless cowl the purpose unfold. New Orleans was trailing Tampa Bay by 14-Three at halftime, and by 14-11 after three quarters, however a 17-point fourth quarter gave the staff a 14-point win. While the offense waking up was good, the defensive effort after Tampa Bay’s second landing was way more spectacular. The Saints blocked a punt, grabbed an interception, and held Tampa Bay to lower than 10 yards on 4 separate drives, with the longest drive after the second landing going simply 39 yards.

Good protection can beat good offense. The Bears’ protection fully humbled Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the high-flying Rams offense. In reality, Bears lineman Bradley Sowell scored yet one more landing than L.A.’s pair of M.V.P. candidates.



Source link Nytimes.com

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