Jake Morgan’s NFL Weekly Rundown: Week Fourteen

Jake Morgan, Sports Editor

Thursday Night Game:


Patriots vs Rams: Thursday Night Football returned this week as a rematch of Super Bowl 48 was what was in store. The Rams were able to get revenge as they handled New England with ease 24-3. LA’s defense was tremendous in this one, as Cam Newton was barely able to breathe while in the pocket. The usually-mobile Newton was sacked four times; he also threw an interception and fumbled once. Due to this poor performance, he was benched for Jarret Stidham towards the end of the game. Meanwhile, the Rams now move to 9-4 and are tied with Seattle atop the NFC West. 


Noon Games:


Vikings vs Buccaneers: The Vikings played the Buccaneers on Sunday but wound up beating themselves due to historically awful kicking and dumb penalties. Minnesota dominated time of possession in this one, having 20 minutes more than Tampa on offense. Usually, teams who do that win the game; however, that was not the case on Sunday. After taking an early 7-0 lead, Tampa was finally able to strike on offense with a 48-yard pass to Scotty Miller. After that, it was a process of Minnesota getting into the red zone, getting sacked twice, then Dan Bailey missing a field goal. Bailey’s performance was downright atrocious, as he missed an extra point as well as three(!) field goals. There weren’t even close either, with one completely missing the massive net behind the goalposts. The Buccaneers took advantage of Minnesota’s mistakes, as they were able to put up 23 unanswered points to win 26-14. Minnesota now slips out of the last playoff spot and with a difficult schedule coming up, it doesn’t look great. 


Chiefs vs Dolphins: After going down by ten early, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs turned it up and won 33-27. This game looked like it could’ve been a Miami miracle but Mahomes and company quickly put that to sleep. Going down 10-0, Kansas City put up 30 unanswered points. After completely dominating the third quarter, Miami was able to make it a game again. a Mike Gesicki 29 yard touchdown catch made it 30-17, then rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was able to make it 30-24 with about four minutes left. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t stop Kansas City from getting into field goal range as Harrison Butker was able to stretch the lead to nine and seal the win for Kansas City. 


Texans vs Bears: The jokes have been ruthless against the Bears for drafting Mitch Trubisky before Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft. However, Trubisky was the one who was laughing on Sunday, as Chicago made it look easy in a 36-7 thumping over the Texans. Trubisky, who made his third straight start after being benched earlier in the year, was great. He threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, easily one of his better games this season. Running back David Montgomery was the star, though. After starting the year slow (no thanks to an atrocious o-line), D-Mont is finally looking like the certified “guy” of Chicago’s backfield. He rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown to go along with three catches and 42 yards. The Bears snapped a six-game losing streak and, surprisingly, are still in the playoff picture. They face the Vikings next week as it’s a must-win for both teams. 


Cowboys vs Bengals: Two teams that really don’t have much to play for squared off in Cincinnati this weekend, as the Cowboys blew out the Bengals 30-7. It wasn’t a big surprise, as the Bengals are starting Kyle Allen at quarterback. Dallas jumped out to an early lead and it was all smooth sailing from there. Andy Dalton was solid, throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns while Amari Cooper caught four passes for 51 yards and a score. Not much to talk about in a game where nothing really mattered. 


Titans vs Jaguars: A surging team against a dumpster fire, what do you expect? If you answered “a blowout” then you’re correct! Nobody could stop Derrick Henry as he ran all over Jacksonville in a 31-10 victory. Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher, eclipsed over 200 yards on the ground along with two touchdown runs. On the receiving end, A.J. Brown was once again fantastic. The 2019 Draft product had seven catches for 112 yards. Tennessee now moves to 9-4 and sits pretty comfortably in the AFC playoff picture as they look to make a run similar to last year’s. 


Cardinals vs Giants: With the Giants winning their previous four games, it was easy to say that this one could be close. However, Kyler Murray handled the scorching Giants defense nicely, as Arizona won 26-7. Murray threw for 266 yards and a touchdown as well as running for 47 yards. It was actually Arizona’s defense that was the key contributor in the win. They sacked Daniel Jones six times, forced three fumbles from him alone, and even recovered three other ones. It was safe to say that the Cardinal’s defense was the MVP of this game, and rightfully so. They now sneak back into the playoff picture at 7-6 and play the Eagles, 49ers, and Rams to close the season. 


Broncos vs Panthers: The Broncos, coming into this game 5-1 all-time against Carolina, were able to extend that record with a 32-27 win. Quarterback Drew Lock, despite numerous bad games throughout the year, played well. Lock threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie KJ Hamler was on the receiving end of two of those touchdowns, as the rookie added 86 yards to go along with them. Not much else to talk about in this game, as both teams are out of the playoff picture and have been for some time. I guess you could call this a win for the Panthers, as they now jump up the draft board with the loss.   


Afternoon Games:


Colts vs Raiders: It was a breakout game from multiple players on the Colts this week, as they were able to defeat the struggling Raiders 44-27. Rookie Jonathan Taylor was one of those breakout performers as the running back finally looked like the Wisconsin version of himself. Taylor rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns. A year that has been filled with disappointment for Taylor, it was good to see him finally come into form. Speaking of coming back into form, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has arisen from the dead. Hilton, who was phenomenal back when Andrew Luck was his quarterback, has disappeared over the last couple of years. Fortunately, it seems like he and Phillip Rivers are finally building some of that chemistry he had with Luck. Hilton hauled in five catches to go along with 86 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Overall, a great day for guys who have to start being reliable for the Colts, as they now continue to inch themselves closer to a playoff berth. 


Jets vs Seahawks: I’ll make this one quick because you have better things to do than read a summary about a 40-3 trouncing from the Seahawks. The Jets made it close last week against the Raiders but literally could not do anything against even a sub-par Seattle defense. New York only mustered up 185 yards of total offense as well as losing the possession battle. The duo of DK Metcalf and Russell Wilson was on fire once again, as Wilson threw for four touchdown passes, with one of them going to Metcalf. The Seahawks sit with the Rams atop the NFC West and play a scrappy Washington Football Team next week. 


Falcons vs Chargers: At the beginning of the year, both of these teams were expected to play pretty well. Injuries, bad coaching, and overall disappointment, however, have led both of these teams to the bottom of their respective conferences. The Chargers were able to get the better of the Falcons this week, as a late field goal was able to put them on top. The offense was surprisingly mediocre for LA, as Justin Herbert only threw for two touchdowns but also an interception. Austin Ekeler was really the only bright spot, as the running back was able to rush for 79 yards and even added a team-leading nine catches for 67 yards. With not much left to play for, LA will head to Las Vegas to try and stop their division foe, the Raiders, from reaching the playoffs. 


Saints vs Eagles: No Wentz? No problem! After Carson Wentz was benched for Jalen Hurts, the Eagles were able to beat the #1 team in the NFC, 24-21. Hurts was phenomenalthrowing or running, it really didn’t matter. With such a bad o-line the movement Hurts was able to create was what Wentz lacked, and it was a key component in the Eagles win. Hurts only threw for 167 yards but carried the ball for 106 more. Miles Sanders was the x-factor in this one, however. Coming off a slow start to the year due to injuries, Sanders was finally able to become the runner we all thought he could be. Sanders rushed for 115 yards as well as this 82-yard touchdown run right before halftime. Overall, it seemed like the Saints underestimated Philly a little bit, as the Eagles now look to be trending in the right direction with Hurts under center. 


Packers vs Lions: With the Saints losing, it was up to the Packers to win and claim that #1 seed in the NFC. They did exactly that as they beat the Lions 31-24. It was a normal game for the duo of Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams, as both were spectacular. Rodgers threw for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns, and Adams was able to haul in 115 of those yards and a score as well. Overall, the outcome one would expect was the result, as the Lions are still the doormat of the NFC North. With the win, Green Bay was able to clinch the division for the second straight year and look to keep their bye heading into the playoffs.


Washington vs 49ers: Here comes Washington! Coming into the week with three straight wins, Washington was able to make it four with a solid win over the Niners 23-15. Not too much to talk about in this one as points were low, but we did have second overall pick Chase Young score his first touchdown! Considering he plays defensive end, it was a great accomplishment. Washington’s defense looked great in this game, as they heavily lean on them to do well. They were able to get to quarterback Nick Mullens four times. They also picked him off once, as well as forcing a fumble. Washington now moves to 6-7 and as much as a joke the NFC East is, it’s looking more and more likely that Washington could be for real. With a defense like that and weapons on offense in Terry Mclaurin and Antonio Gibson (when healthy), they could surprise some teams.


Sunday Night Game:


Steelers vs Bills: The weakness of Pittsburgh’s schedule has finally caught up with them, as they drop their second game in a row to Buffalo 26-15. It’s evident to see what type of gameplan Mike Tomlin has installed for the Steelers this season, as it seems that they are passing on every down. The problem with that is when you have a wide receiver that can’t catch and another wide receiver that has made more TikTok’s than he’s had receptions, it’s a little hard to move the ball downfield. That was evident on Sunday night, as the Bills defense was able to hold Pittsburgh to only 224 total yards. With the loss, the Steelers now drop to the two seed in the AFC and will try to get back into the W column against the Bengals next Monday.


Monday Night Game:

Ravens vs Browns: For weeks we’ve been tortured with bad primetime games, but not anymore! The Ravens eeked out a 47-42 win against the Browns in what was likely the game of the year. After going down by 14 with the fourth quarter left to play, Baker Mayfield and the Browns put the pedal to the metal for the last 15 minutes. They were able to score twice to make it 35-34 with about six minutes left. Although only a one-point lead, It looked pretty much over for the Browns as the Ravens were without Lamar Jackson due to cramps. They were able to force a 4th and five Baltimore, but out of nowhere here come Jackson! It was like a scene from a movie, as Jackson grabbed his helmet and headed out onto the field. On that 4th and five, he found a wide-open Marquise Brown for this 44-yard touchdown to tie it up. However, Baker then took the Browns on an amazing four play 47-second drive to tie it at 42! With only a minute left, it looked like this game was going into overtime. ‘Not so fast,’ said kicker Justin Tucker! Jackson and co. were able to march down the field in the final seconds and set up this 55-yard field goal to send Browns fans home stunned.