1. NFC (L)East:
Depending on your loyalties – that was an exciting finish. But cripes, the game was a joke. It’s getting old to continue to write about the stench that wafts off the screen on Monday Night’s. At one point, there were more penalties than points.
Thank you DeSean Jackson, without your ego, back-tracking, losing 7yds and then the ball – Dallas would have never scored a touchdown, like the three games prior. Dallas is now 1-game back from the playoffs, with a log-jam at the top.
+ MNF is touchdown-free until very late
Monday Night Football was a battle of field goals until Darren McFadden broke a 9-9 tie with a six-yard touchdown run with 1:14 to play. Then DeSean Jackson’s 28-yard scoring catch with 0:44 remaining tied the score at 16 before Dan Bailey kicked a game-winning field goal to send the Cowboys home with a win. The last time two NFL teams exchanged touchdowns inside the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter after neither one had reached the end zone to that point came in the opening week of the 2009 season. The Bengals’ Cedric Benson scored a rushing touchdown with 38 seconds remaining but the Broncos’ Kyle Orton responded with an 87-yard TD pass to Brandon Stokley with just 11 seconds left in Denver’s 12-7 win.
+ Another close one on ESPN
The Cowboys’ 19-16 win was the seventh straight Monday Night game to be decided by no more than eight points. That ties the longest single-season streak in the history of the program, set in 1974 (October 7 through November 18).
+ Jones recovers fumble on his own punt
The Cowboys’ only touchdown Monday came two plays after punter Chris Jones recovered DeSean Jackson’s fumble on Washington’s 15-yard line. Jones is the first player to recover an opponent’s fumble of his own punt since the Bears’ Brad Maynard, against the Packers in 2007.
2. United Stats of America – Sunday Recap
Newton keeps the Panthers perfect
- Cam Newton’s fifth touchdown pass of the day, a 15-yarder to Jerricho Cotchery with 65 seconds to play, was the game-winner as the Panthers improved to 12-0 with a 41-38 victory at New Orleans. In NFL history, there was only one other touchdown in the last 2 minutes of the fourth quarter by which a team with at least 10 wins maintained a perfect record. In 2007, the Patriots improved to 12-0 when Tom Brady found Jabar Gaffney with an 8-yard pass with 44 seconds to play at Baltimore. Of course New England finished that season with a 16-0 mark.For those hoping to see another 16-0 season this year, consider this: Newton has a 15-3 record in games played in December, with 33 touchdown passes in those games.
- Marcus Mariota answered a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Blake Bortles in a span of 103 seconds with an 87-yard go-ahead TD run, and the Titans held on for a 42-39 victory over the Jaguars. That was the second-longest game-winning fourth-quarter TD run in NFL history, two yards short of the record set by Kenny King of the Raiders against the Chargers in 1980.Earlier in the fourth quarter, Mariota had stretched Tennessee’s lead to nine points with a 47-yard pass to Dorial Green-Beckham. Only one other player in NFL history threw a touchdown pass and scored a TD, both longer than 40 yards, in the same quarter: Tobin Rote of the Packers in the third quarter of a 31-28 loss to the New York Yankees in 1951.
It was the fourth game this season in which Mariota passed for at least three TDs, tying an NFL record for rookies set by Peyton Manning in 1998. Mariota also became the fourth player in NFL history with three TD passes and 100 rushing yards in the same game. The others were Rote, in that aforementioned 1951 game, Randall Cunningham (1990), and Michael Vick (2010).
Gabbert wins it with his arm after a long run to tie the game
- Blaine Gabbert became the first player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in overtime after scoring a TD in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter. Gabbert’s 71-yard connection with Torrey Smith gave the 49ers a 26-20 win at Chicago. Gabbert scored on a 44-yard run with 1:42 to play.So on the same day, Gabbert and Mariota both scored a TD longer than 40 yards and threw a TD pass longer than 40 yards. Over the last 25 years only one other player had such a game: Cam Newton, who did it twice (2011 against the Bucs and 2012 against the Falcons).
Eagles defeat Patriots with stunning turnaround
- The Eagles rallied from a 14-0 deficit to score 35 straight points and then held on for a 35-28 victory at New England. That was the longest streak of unanswered points in a game against a team coached by Bill Belichick. The Eagles’ win also snapped the Patriots’ streak of 62 wins in home games in which they led by as many as 14 points.Of course, the Patriots also led by 14 points in last week’s loss at Denver. No other team has lost consecutive games this season after holding a lead of at least 14 points in both. In fact, the only other team to do so since 2012 was Minnesota last December.
Philadelphia scored on an interception return, a punt return, and the recovery in the end zone of a blocked punt. It was only the second time the Patriots allowed three TDs in a game on plays other than runs or passes. The Raiders scored on a pair of pick-6’s and a fumble recovery in a 35-20 win at Foxboro Stadium in 1985.
Wilson passes Peyton Manning with recent TD surge
- Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes in the Seahawks’ 35-7 win at Minnesota. With that performance, and with the help of eight TD passes in his two previous games, Wilson moved past Peyton Manning into second place among active players with an average of one TD for every 17.2 passes. Only Aaron Rodgershas a higher rate (one every 15.5 passes).Wilson’s ability to find the end zone is noteworthy considering no player has caught more touchdown passes from him than Doug Baldwin with 18, including two on Sunday. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan,Matthew Stafford-see where we’re going here?-they all have thrown at least 20 TD passes to a single player over the last four seasons.
Chiefs continue their rampage through the AFC West
- After taking a week off for a home victory against Buffalo, the Chiefs resumed their successful road tour against division rivals with a 34-20 win at Oakland. Last month, Kansas City posted big wins at Denver (29-13) and San Diego (33-3). This is only the second season in team history in which the Chiefs won three road games against division opponents by at least 14 points. They also did so in 1995, when there were five teams in the AFC West (the current group plus Seattle).
Another strong offensive performance by the Steelers
- The Steelers amassed 522 yards in their 45-10 rout of the Colts on Sunday night. It was the fourth straight game in which Pittsburgh gained at least 450 yards, tying the longest such streaks in NFL history. Two teams did so in the last century: the Houston Oilers in 1961 and Miami in 1984. Two other teams did so in the 2000s: Kansas City in 2004 and New England in 2011.
3. Warriors v Pacers:
The Golden State Warriors, who roll into Indianapolis for a clash with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night looking for a 23-0 start to the season, are good. Real good. Historically good, in fact. What’s behind their dominance? There are many things, but here are five good ones from Ethan Sherwood Strauss, from ESPN:
4. Blown Out
Today in Sports History
5. Ultimate Value Lineup – Week 13
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