If I would have told you last week that the Jets’ would win their Week 15 matchup against the Rams, would you have believed me? Yeah…I wouldn’t have believed me either but it happened! Keep reading to see what else went down on the most unpredictable Sunday yet.
Indianapolis Colts 27- Houston Texans 20
As if the last time these two teams faced off wasn’t heartbreaking enough for the Texans (a muffed snap on the 2 yard line), Sunday added insult to injury in this divisional matchup. With 19 seconds left Keke Coutee looked to be headed for the endzone to get his squad within a PAT of the tie. Instead, Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard forced the fumble, pushing his team to 10-4. The Colts are now firmly in the playoff picture for at least a wildcard spot, and are keeping pace with the Titans.
Tennessee Titans 46- Detroit Lions 25
The Titans keep their hold on first in the AFC South after a decisive win over the Lions. Detroit’s defence looked lost at the best of times as they just couldn’t come up with an answer for Ryan Tannehill’s (or Derrick Henry’s) arm. King Henry stiff-armed the Lions’ defenders into oblivion and Tannehill racked up 273 yards for three touchdowns. On the other sideline, Lions’ interim head coach, Darrell Bevell, made the decision to pull Matthew Stafford from the game late in the fourth. One would have to presume it was for his own protection as we al know the injuries the grizzled veteran is playing through, but the speculation over Stafford’s future in Motor City certainly have new fuel.
Chicago Bears 33- Minnesota Vikings 27
After taking seven weeks off, the Bears offence decided to return to work on Sunday afternoon to keep themselves in the playoff picture. The same cannot be said for the Vikings, whose hopes of participating in playoff football all but vanished after the final whistle. The story of the Vikings season, and of this game, is that they did it to themselves. With the talent the team has at wideout, in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, there is no reason they should fade out year after year. Yet Thielen had a measly two catches for 11 yards in a must win game. While the team was jokingly referred to as the Minnesota Dalvin Cooks for a while, it’s as if the coaching staff took the nickname literally and forgot they could call plays that weren’t reliant on their running back.
Seattle Seahawks 20- Washington Football Team 15
The Seahawks made a point of shoring up their defence at the trade deadline with the addition of Carlos Dunlap. In Week 15, it paid dividends and then some. With the Football Team driving and looking like they were about to complete the comeback, the veteran shook off whatever was lingering from his foot injury and plowed Dwayne Haskins to the ground. The sack sealed the deal for the Seahawks and sent them to the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins 22- New England Patriots 12
For the first time since 2008, the New England Patriots will not be playing football in January…*cue cheers from everyone else in the league*
Baltimore Ravens 40- Jacksonville Jaguars 14
Ugly score lines are nothing new to Jacksonville faithful, they endured being in the league’s basement up until recent memory. But this week may have been a new low, and with the games they have on the horizon, it’s not as if it’s about to get any prettier. Minshew Magic is long gone but Lamar Lunacy is alive and well. Though the Ravens are nowhere near their form from last season, they appear to be hitting their stride at the perfect time. Jackson threw three touchdowns and ran for one as Baltimore ran away with the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31- Atlanta Falcons 27
An all too familiar scene: Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons blowing a double digit lead to Tom Brady. Brady’s shirt may have changed, but the ghosts of Super Bowl LI will continue to haunt the Falcons for at least another year.
Dallas Cowboys 41- San Francisco 49ers 33
Andy Dalton has quietly stepped in to keep the Cowboys in the playoff conversation, sure thanks in large part to the fact that they play in the toilet bowl division, but playoff contention nonetheless. Their Sunday win puts them ahead of the Eagles and a game behind the Football Team. As for the 49ers, it has long been known that this is a lost season for them which means that them continuing to lose may not be the worst thing as it continues to boost their draft stock.
Arizona Cardinals 33- Philadelphia Eagles 26
The Eagles may have lost but Jalen Hurts may have just won the starting QB job in Philly for the long haul. In his second full game the rookie threw for 338 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. You’d have to go a long, long way back to find a game in which Wentz even had comparable numbers. The day did end up belonging to Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and the Cardinals. Hopkins had another picturesque touchdown grab to break the deadlock in what would prove to be the game winning score. Hurts did enough to put his team in a position to tie off of a Hail Mary, but alas a second straight win just wasn’t in the cards.
New York Jets 23- LA Rams 20
No that’s not a typo…the Jets actually beat the high flying LA Rams in their home building. The Jets flew out to a 20-3 lead and managed to hold off Jared Goff long enough to get themselves to 1-13, which is great for morale, but also means they are no longer front runners for the first overall pick who so happens to be one of the greatest talents to come out of college football in recent memory.
Kansas City Chiefs 32- New Orleans Saints 29
It may not have been as high scoring as we were expecting, but the battle of Brees and Mahomes did not disappoint us watching at home. Someone who may be disappointed however is Alex Anzeloni who recovered a muffed punt in the endzone but couldn’t maintain control long enough to convert the play to a touchdown. Instead, the Saints settled for a safety and are left to wonder what if. As for the Chiefs, they tightened their grip on first place in the AFC. With both squads looking like they did, it’s not hard to imagine that we just got done watching a Super Bowl preview.
Cleveland Browns 20- New York Giants 6
Only in 2020 would a Browns/Giants game be worthy of primetime. Cleveland held up their end of the deal in terms of being worth watching in the late slot, something that cannot be said of the Giants. After three first half trips to the end zone they had all but three points to show for it. In their defence, Daniel Jones was sidelined again due to injury so it was up to Colt McCoy to attempt to lead the Giants offence past a Browns defence that has held its own all year long. Needless to say, that didn’t go so well. The Giants have as much of a shot as the Cowboys at taking the NFC Least, but it looks more and more like the Washington Football team will make it out of the division. And barring a disaster, the Browns’ playoff drought will be over after 17 long, arduous years.
As time ticks down on the NFL season the playoff picture gets clearer by the day (for the most part). We may not have anymore Thursday Night games to look forward to, but starting Christmas Day we’ve got four days full of football so stay tuned to the Unbenched’s channels for all your updates.