Week 14 has concluded and with only 4 weeks left in the season a lot is left unsettled as far as teams that are strongly in playoff position but fighting for seeding, and teams whose playoff chances are on life support. With Arizona’s loss to the Rams they have now fallen from the number one seed to third and now are battling wit Tampa Bay and Green Bay for the top seed in the NFC – which comes with a crucial 1st round bye. The AFC is a jumbled-up mess as only two games separate the AFC’s top seed from teams on the outside looking in. Many seeds in the AFC won’t be settled until the last week of the season. Let’s recap the important action from week 14.
LA Rams vs Arizona Cardinals:
The LA Rams were able to force two Kylar Murray interceptions and Matthew Stafford played his best game in weeks – throwing for 287 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers as the Rams were able to go into Arizona’s house and keep their NFC West title hopes alive. Both Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham caught touchdown passes (Odell has caught a touchdown in 3 straight games now). On the defensive end, Aaron Donald started off the game with a sack and ended the game with a sack, as the Rams were able to get pressure on Kylar Murray at key moments of the game that led to both of his interceptions. Arizona is one of the harder teams to figure out. They are 7-0 on the road and 3-3 at home. Arizona can clinch a playoff spot with a win next week on the road vs Detroit.
Buffalo Bills vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Teflon Tom struck again, throwing a game winning 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman in overtime for a 33-27 win over the Buffalo Bills. The touchdown pass in overtime was Tom Brady’s 700th of his career. Tampa had a 21-point lead, but Josh Allen showed a lot of grit – throwing for 308 yards and running for 109 yards. Allen’s effort unfortunately wasn’t enough for a Bills team that is 3-5 in their last eight games. The Bills are currently sitting in the last wild card spot, but tied with the Colts, Browns, Bengals and Broncos with a 7-6 record. This game wasn’t without some controversy as a few pass interference calls went the Buccaneers’ way, while one against Stefon Diggs didn’t go the Bills’ way late in the 4th quarter with Buffalo in position to win the game. To add to Buffalo’s troubles, Josh Allen was seen leaving Raymond James Stadium in a walking boot. Buffalo is at a crossroads right now with a showdown against the Patriots in Foxboro looming for a team fighting for its playoff life.
San Francisco 49ers vs Cincinnati Bengals:
This game had implications on both the NFC and AFC wildcard races as the 49ers outlasted the Bengals in overtime 26-23. The Bengals couldn’t stay out of their own way, fumbling two punts that led to 10 points and had one of those drives extended by a costly taunting penalty. Cincinnati has made too many mistakes the last few weeks that could be their undoing in both the AFC North and the Wild Card. Jimmy Garoppolo was 27/41 with two touchdowns, while George Kittle caught 13 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. The win puts the 49ers in the 6th seed in the AFC while the Bengals are now on the outside looking in.
- Despite Dallas’ win over Washington something doesn’t seem right with their offense. Dak Prescott threw two interceptions, including a pick six that nearly let Washington steal a game from Dallas where the Cowboys led 24-0
- Lamar Jackson went down on the first play of the 2nd quarter and didn’t return with an ankle injury. Even if Jackson can play this Sunday vs the Packers it will take a lot for a struggling Ravens team to beat Green Bay.
- The Raiders disrespected the Chiefs before the game and Kansas City responded by beating them down 48-9. The Chiefs are starting to slowly look like the team many people expected to see at the beginning of the season as they fight for the AFC’s top seed.
- The Panthers let Joe Brady go before their game vs the Atlanta Falcons, but after that loss Joe Brady isn’t the only coach who needs to be let go.
AFC Playoff Picture:
1) New England Patriots 9-4
2) Tennessee Titans 9-4
3) Kansas City Chiefs 9-4
4) Baltimore Ravens 8-5
5) LA Chargers 8-5
6) Indianapolis Colts 7-6
7) Buffalo Bills 7-6
Outside looking in: Browns, Bengals, Broncos are 7-6, Steelers are 6-6-1, Raiders and Dolphins are 6-7
NFC Playoff Picture:
1) Green Bay Packers 10-3
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-3
3) Arizona Cardinals 10-3
4) Dallas Cowboys 9-4
5) LA Rams 9-4
6) San Francisco 49ers 7-6
7) Washington Football Team 6-7
Outside looking in: Vikings, Eagles, Falcons, Saints are 6-7, Panthers and Seahawks are 5-8
Week 15 Games to watch:
- Kansas City at LA Chargers
- New England at Indianapolis
- Washington at Philadelphia
- Cincinnati at Denver
- Green Bay at Baltimore