8 notable #NFL Week 14 winners and losers

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Week 14 featured quite the unique variety of events.

The action got kicked off with a veteran player saving the game for the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night, was headlined by a revenge matchup gone south in Philly and Andy Dalton put the season of the Cincinnati Bengals in jeopardy.

Along with a horrific shutout, some quarterback temper tantrums and untimely injuries, here are this week’s notable NFL winners and losers.

Winner: Dwight Freeney’s strip-sack on Teddy Bridgewater saves the game

With just seconds left on the clock, pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, new to the Cardinals this year, made a game-winning play to advance Arizona to 11-2 in the NFC West.

Unstoppable, Freeney came from behind at the Arizona 31-yard line and strip-sacked quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, resulting in a fumble recovered by defensive end Calais Campbell.

At the time of the game-ending sack, the score was 23-20 and the Vikings were at third and 10. Should Minnesota have decided to go for a field goal attempt on that play, the game would have gone into overtime with a successful kick.

The sack by the 35-year old All-Pro was his fourth of the year, and it came perfectly timed to seal the victory for the Cardinals who currently occupy the second spot overall in the NFC.

“That’s why I came back, because moments like this, you can’t duplicate those in life,”Freeney said, per Pro Football Talk.

For the Vikings, a win would have helped put the heat on the Green Bay Packers, along with helping their overall standing in the NFC. Now they’re in a much tougher spot with three games left to play.

#NFL Week 14 review – The MMQB with Peter King

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Remember those thrilling days of last week, when you knew everything about the NFL in 2015?

  1. Finally, this is the Bengals’ year. And Andy Dalton’s.
  2. The Patriots, all beat up, are in real trouble.
  3. The Packers won’t figure it out this year, with the play-calling a mess, Eddie Lacy dog-housed and the receivers slumping.
  4. Brock Osweiler must be declared Denver’s quarterback for the rest of the year.
  5. The Colts had a blip against Pittsburgh, but they’re clearly the best team in a bad AFC South.
  6. The Saints showed how vulnerable Carolina was in the secondary.
  7. The Ravens can’t get any worse.
  8. Here come the Bills.
  9. Here come the Bucs.
  10. Atlanta’s done.

Well, one out of 10’s not bad.

Andy Dalton's thumb will cause the quarterback to not start for the first time in his career.

Photo: Frank Victores/AP

A pall over Paul Brown Stadium

On the Cincinnati Bengals bench Sunday afternoon, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and quarterback Andy Dalton sat down after their first possession of the day had ended in quasi-disaster—an interception by Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt at the Pittsburgh seven-yard line. Dalton submarine-tackled him and went to the bench to plot the next series.

“We were a little pissed off,” Jackson said Sunday night. “We sat down, and we both said, basically, The guy made a hell of a play.

Then Dalton started trying to flex his fingers. “I think I hurt my thumb,” he said.

On the tackle, he explained. The more Dalton tried to bend it, the more……(continue reading)

Source: Andy Dalton’s injury has Bengals in flux; NFL Week 14 review | The MMQB with Peter King

#NFL Week 14 – United Stats of America – Elias Sports Bureau

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nullMarshall & Decker do it again, tying NFL record

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw first-half touchdown passes to Eric Decker, Bilal Powell, and Brandon Marshall in the Jets’ 30-8 win over the Titans. It was the seventh game this season in which both Decker and Marshall caught a TD pass. That ties the highest single-season total by any teammates in NFL history. That mark was set by Cris Carter and Randy Moss of the Vikings in 1998. The previous franchise record was five by Don Maynard and Art Powell in 1960, the team’s first season of operation when the team was known as the Titans.

nullMariota is exceptional even in defeat

Marcus Mariota earned a remarkable distinction in an otherwise unremarkable game. Mariota caught a 41-yard pass from running back Antonio Andrews, thus becoming the first player since Marcus Allen in 1982, and only the fifth in the last 70 years, with a pass completion, a running play, and a reception each for 40 yards or longer in his rookie season. And what a group that is. Besides Allen, it includes Charlie Trippi (1947), Glenn Davis (1950), and Charley Taylor (1964). All are Hall of Famers except Davis, who along with Allen-and like Mariota himself-was a Heisman Trophy winner.

nullGay sets all-time NFL mark for pick-6’s

William Gay returned an AJ McCarron pass 23 yards for a touchdown in the Steelers’ 33-20 win at Cincinnati. Gay has scored a TD on each of his last five interceptions, to establish a new NFL record. Three other players returned each of four consecutive interceptions for scores: Tedy Bruschi (2002-03), Charles Tillman(2012), and Captain Munnerlyn (2012-13). Gay also tied Rod Woodson’s team record of five pick-6’s in his career.

nullWilson’s touchdown surge continues

For the second time in three games, Russell Wilson threw five touchdown passes as the Seahawks routed the Ravens, 35-6. Over his last four games, Wilson has thrown 16 TDs passes without being intercepted. Five other NFL players threw as many as 16 touchdowns over a span of four games: Dan Marino (1984), Peyton Manning (2004 and 2013), Tom Brady (2007 and 2014), Drew Brees (2011-12), and Aaron Rodgers (2012). But only Manning and Brady did so without an interception during their four-game run.

Doug Baldwin has caught eight TD passes in his last three games. Jerry Rice did that twice, in 1987 and 1993, but only Baldwin and Drew Bennett (2004) have done so since then.

nullWhen Gurley’s good, he’s great

Todd Gurley gained 140 yards on 16 carries in the Rams’ 21-14 win over the Lions. It was Gurley’s fifth 100-yard game this season, and none was close; he exceeded 125 rushing yards in each of those games. That ties the second-highest total of games with at least 125 rushing yards by a rookie. The record is seven, by Eric Dickerson (1983).

Panthers’ fast start fuels blowout victory

Anyone who thought the Panthers might ease off the accelerator with their division clinched learned quickly on Sunday that wouldn’t be the case, as Carolina scored three first-quarter touchdowns and rolled to a 38-0 win over the Falcons. It was only the third time in team history that Carolina scored a TD on each of its first three drives of a game. For those who are aware of the Panthers’ perennial late-season success, it will come as no surprise that both of the other such games also came in the month of December-in 2008 against the Giants and 2012 against the Chargers. Carolina has won 14 of its last 15 December games.

nullRaiders’ Mack goes where even J.J. Watt hasn’t been

Khalil Mack sacked Brock Osweiler five times in the Raiders’ 15-12 win at Denver. Mack was credited with two sacks in each of his two previous games, and he became only the fifth player to record as many as nine sacks over a span of three games-a list so select that it doesn’t even include J.J. Watt. The others, listed chronologically, were Richard Dent in 1984 (10), Reggie White in 1986 (9), Derrick Thomas in 1997-98 (10), and Aldon Smith in 2012 (9.5). Sacks have been compiled for individual players since 1982.

Mack’s performance was a key to the Raiders winning a game in which their offense accumulated just 126 yards. That was the lowest yardage total by a winning team in any NFL game in the last six seasons.

nullPackers rediscover their ground game in victory over Cowboys

Eddie Lacy ran for 124 yards and James Starks for 71 in the Packers’ 28-7 victory over the Cowboys. Green Bay’s total of 230 rushing yards was its highest in a regular-season game since 2004 (although the Packers rushed for 235 yards in a playoff win over the Seahawks eight seasons ago). That snapped the longest current streak of games without rushing for 200 yards in the NFL and the longest in the team’s history (102 games).

nullMcCoy good, but not great, in return to Philadelphia

LeSean McCoy gained 74 yards on 20 carries in the Bills’ 23-20 loss at Philadelphia. It was McCoy’s first game against the Eagles, the team for which he gained 6792 rushing yards over six seasons (2009-14). McCoy’s rushing-yards total on Sunday was the highest in a player’s first game against a team for which he gained at least 5000 rushing yards since 2004, when Corey Dillon ran for 88 yards against the Bengals.

The standard for such games was set by Marshall Faulk in 2001, when he rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a TD pass as the Rams clinched the NFC West title with a 42-17 win in his return game against Indianapolis.

nullTaylor’s streak snapped at propitious moment for Eagles

Philadelphia sealed its victory over Buffalo when Ed Reynolds intercepted Tyrod Taylor with less than 90 seconds to play. Taylor hadn’t thrown an INT in his previous 222 passes, the longest such streak in Bills history.

Chiefs shut down Chargers twice this season

The Chiefs defeated the Chargers, 10-3, three weeks after posting a 33-3 victory at San Diego. Kansas City is the first team to hold the same opponent to three or fewer points twice in the same season since 2009, when Baltimore defeated Cleveland by scores of 34-3 and 16-0. The Chiefs hadn’t done so since 1967, when they shut out the Dolphins twice in their first four games of the season. That Kansas City team had four future Hall of Famers on defense: Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier, and Emmitt Thomas.

Jaguars erupt for 51 points in win over Colts

Jacksonville scored only three points in the first 28 minutes on Sunday, but finished with the highest-scoring regular-season game in team history, defeating Indianapolis, 51-16. That leaves Houston and Tampa Bay as the only current NFL teams that have never scored at least 50 points in a game. Of course, the Jaguars routed the Dolphins, 62-7, in a playoff game 16 seasons ago.

Sunday’s game was the fourth in the last five seasons in which the Colts allowed at least 50 points, following blowout losses to the Saints in 2011 (62-7), Patriots in 2012 (59-24), and Steelers in 2014 (51-34).

nullBrowns’ pass rush devastates Gabbert & Niners

Johnny Football grabbed most of the headlines in the Browns’ 24-10 win over the 49ers, but not here. It was Cleveland’s pass rush that deserved top billing with nine sacks of Niners quarterback Blaine Gabbert. That was the highest single-game sack total in the NFL this season and it was the Browns’ highest since 1993, during Bill Belichick’s tenure as head coach. In a victory over New Orleans, six different Browns players accounted for their total of nine sacks of Saints quarterback Wade Wilson.

Washington finally wins a road game at its “home away from home”

The Redskins earned their first road win of the season with a 24-21 victory at Soldier Field, which was a logical place for Washington’s breakthrough. Over the last 25 seasons, the Bears’ longtime home field is the only venue at which the Redskins have a record at least four games above .500, and that includes their own stadiums. Since the 1991 season, Washington is 5-1 at Soldier Field, compared to 74-76-1 at FedExField and 25-23 at RFK Stadium, its prior home.

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau