Sunday Sprint Week 14

A blowout, an upset, and a tantalizing playoff preview; Week 14 was good to us. Stick with us for the breakdown of all of Sunday’s action, including the new cure for a struggling offence!

Tennessee Titans 31- Jacksonville Jaguars 10

We have come full circle in Jacksonville as the Jaguars benched Mike Glennon in favour of Gardiner Minshew halfway through Sunday’s contest. Regardless of who the Jags put under centre, they would be no match for an angry Derrick Henry, who sailed to 215 yards and two touchdowns, averaging a stunning 8.3 yards per carry. For the Titans to continue being perceived as a threat, Henry will need to have showings of this ilk week in and week out. If he can, then this is not a team you want to come up against come playoff football. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26- Minnesota Vikings 14

If the Vikings miss the playoffs, which they likely will, they have nobody to blame but themselves. A first half riddled with mistakes, including a pass interference call late in the first half, opening the door for Ryan Succop to add to the Bucs’ lead. Succop may have missed the extra point after his team opened the second half with a touchdown, but the effect of his miss was minimal, especially when compared to the four missed kicks from Dan Bailey. Bailey left 10 points on the table and handed Tom Brady immaculate field position time and time again. 

Kansas City Chiefs 33- Miami Dolphins 27

For the first time since Week 6 of 2018, Patrick Mahomes threw multiple interceptions in a regular season game. The generational talent was picked off three times by the Dolphins. He did complete two touchdown passes en route to what was yet another nail-biting Chiefs win. A team of their talent should be putting opponents away left, right, and centre, yet Miami stuck around until the final play. Tua Tagovailoa showed his potential for stardom by keeping up with Mahomes, throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns with a single interception. I’m not saying the Chiefs are in trouble because they’re not, but if they can’t figure out how to closeout games convincingly, there could be an upset in the future…

Denver Broncos 32- Carolina Panthers 27

Drew Lock may have been listening to the doubters who said he may not be equipped to be the answer to the Broncos’ quarterback woes and boy oh boy did he come up with one heck of an answer. 280 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Not a bad day’s work for someone who, a week ago, many were asking to be replaced. As for the Panthers, they were once again without Christian McCaffery, and were once again proven to be a flat offence without their star running back. 

Chicago Bears 36- Houston Texans 7

For the first time since the 2017 NFL Draft it actually looked like Chicago made the right QB selection. Many thought going into today’s action that it would simply be the next stop on the Bears’ “What Could Have Been” Tour as they faced off against Deshaun Watson, who they passed on along with Patrick Mahomes to select Trubisky. Alas, it looks like GM Ryan Pace’s job is safe until at least the end of the season as his guy riled off an emphatic win. 

Arizona Cardinals 26- New York Giants

After five weeks of them seemingly forgetting how to play football, the Cardinals looked to be back to their early season form. A team that played the way they did today should be in contention for the division title, but their mid-season blip makes that but a distant dream. Nevertheless, they avoid the same embarrassment as their rival Seahawks by not losing to an NFC Least opponent. The Giants’ performance was a sharp turnaround from last week’s win over Seattle, much of which may have had to do with the return of Daniel Jones, despite him being visibly not at 100%. 

Dallas Cowboys 30- Cincinnati Bengals 7

The Red Rifle was victorious upon his return to Cincy. To be perfectly blunt, if he couldn’t find a way to beat the Brandon Allen-led Bengals then maybe an NFL team isn’t where Andy Dalton should have ended up. Regardless, he carried his team to a convincing win after another unremarkable outing from Ezekiel Elliott, who had 12 carries for 48 yards. 

Indianapolis Colts 44- Las Vegas Raiders 27

Simply put, the Colts ran away with this one. Sure Philip Rivers had a solid outing, 244 yards and two touchdowns, but the real star of the show was the Indy ground game. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor turned heads with 150 rushing yards on top of running in two touchdowns. Across the offence, the Colts took care of the football, the exact opposite of which can be said for the Raiders. Three turnovers by the Vegas offence made it impossible for the team to gain momentum. With Carr and company continuously forcing their defense back onto the field, and that defence having no answers for the Colts rushing attack, it was a nightmare day for the Raiders. 

Seattle Seahawks 40- New York Jets 3

9 out of 10 doctors now recommend “Playing the Jets” as a cure for a struggling offence. The other doctor is New York’s head physician. 

Green Bay Packers 31- Detroit Lions 24

The Pack are kings of the NFC North once again, with Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams leading the charge to greatness. And with some of the other results going down on Sunday, Green Bay is now poised to be the last team sitting in the NFC throne. Should the Packers win out, they’ll have the lone bye out of the conference. As for the Lions, their season went from bad to worse when Matthew Stafford had to be pulled from the game due to a rib injury. The status of the injury is unknown, but Stafford’s contract includes the potential to leave Detroit at the end of the season, making it hard not to wonder whether or not he’s played his last game as a Lion. 

Los Angeles Chargers 20- Atlanta Falcons 17

Over the last two seasons the Chargers have been in 20 one-score games. They had won four of them. Thanks to the leg of Michael Badgley, they can now make it five. Both teams exchanged a series of interceptions as the clock wound down but it was LA cornerback Michael Davis who nabbed Matt Ryan’s pass out of the air for the last laugh. It’s hard to imagine that either of these teams will start next season with the same coaching staffs they have now, something reinforced by the mind boggling mistakes made on both ends. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the “highlights”.

Washington Football Team 23- San Francisco 49ers 15

Nobody look now, but there’s an NFC East team on a winning streak. The Football Team followed up their shocking win over the Steelers with a showing of defensive dominance against San Fran, in Arizona (yes, even the 49ers stadium is on injured reserve). 2020 second-overall pick, Chase Young, wreaked havoc  up and down the field, including running a fumble back for a touchdown. Even once Alex Smith left the game with a strained calf and was replaced by Dwayne Haskins, Washington didn’t miss a beat, largely thanks to their defensive line. Three sacks, four passes defensed, nine quarterback hits, and the forced fumble that led to Young’s touchdown, the big men put on a show. 

Philadelphia Eagles 24- New Orleans Saints 21

It’s safe to say it may be awhile before we see Carson Wentz on the field again after rookie QB Jalen Hurts came out victorious against the mighty Saints’ defense. While his stat line is nothing to write home about, 17-for-30 for 167 yards in the air and 18 rushes totalling 106 yards, the very fact that he led the inept Eagles to a win is enough to make him the starter for the foreseeable future. Hurts also broke the Saints record-setting streak of 56 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. The Eagles defense did their part, including a strip-sack on a fourth-and-two to seal the deal.

Buffalo Bills 26- Pittsburgh Steelers 15

It’s very hard to look at this game as anything other than a playoff preview, which if it materializes means we are in for some good January football. The Steelers have been criticized over the course of the season for the ease of their schedule being the main reason they were undefeated for so long. The way they struggled to get into a groove against the Bills would suggest some truth to that, but their woes could also be because this was their third game in 12 days. And it’s not as they the Steelers play a gentle style of football. Credit where credit is due though, the Bills really put in a tremendous performance on all sides of the ball. Josh Allen led his guys with what has become his signature calmness and poise, and the defence snatched two interceptions, including a pick-6 to pull their weight.

Week 14 wraps up tomorrow night with the Ravens taking on the Browns in an always ferocious divisional matchup, a perfect end to a wild week of action. What was your biggest plot twist of the week? head over to our socials to let us know!

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