Well, that escalated quickly. If you have seen any sort of sports programming since Sunday afternoon, I’m pretty confident you’ve heard about the Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman scuffle anywhere from one to one hundred and sixty-one times. Both men made themselves look like boys this weekend as their tempers boiled over and they made fools of themselves. I think the bigger question here is: Why didn’t their teammates or coaches do anything about it? The situation was certainly mishandled by all involved, thought Beckham Jr. did receive a one game suspension this week. On to the actual games…
St. Louis Rams 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
I actually liked the ColorRush uniforms on display in this game and the game itself wasn’t too shabby either! STL jumped out to a commanding lead over the Bucs on the backs of Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin. Tampa was able to contain Gurley in the second half, allowing them to sneak back into the game, but they couldn’t quite get it done against the Rams’ talented defense.
New York Jets 19, Dallas Cowboys 16
Love it or hate it, the NFL is on Saturday night again. Like Thursday Night Football, this would be a lot easier to like if the game was worth watching — not even Cowboys fans are interested in watching Dallas right now. That being said, it took a ten point fourth quarter for the Jets to come back and win this one and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Minnesota Vikings 38, Chicago Bears 17
This normally gritty, grind-it-out, late-season NFC North matchup took an unusual turn this weekend. Instead of hammering the ball into the defense all day with Adrian Peterson and winning the game 10-7, the Vikings took to the air and Teddy Bridgewater threw five touchdowns. Yes, five touchdowns. His career game led the Vikings to an easy stomping of their division foe… maybe they should let Teddy TwoGloves air it out more often?
Kansas City Chiefs 34, Baltimore Ravens 14
The Ravens could not have been looking forward to this matchup. Already getting crushed this year, they were tasked with the job of taking on the red hot, hard hitting Chiefs. Good luck. The Raven’s only highlight of the day was a hail mary right before halftime that Kamar Aiken reeled in for a surprise touchdown. Outside of that, the Chiefs scored two defensive touchdowns and were in complete control of this one for the eighth straight win. How’s that for on a roll?
Carolina Panthers 38, New York Giants 35
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Not really, but this may have been the most exciting game of the day outside of the MMA fight that broke out, too. After Odell dropped a sure touchdown pass on the opening drive of the game, the Panthers responded in force, eventually taking a 35-7 lead. However, the Giants didn’t go away quietly and stormed all the way back to tie the game at 35. Then, as we could all sense would happen, Cam Newton led the Panthers down the field for game-winning field goal as time wound down. And the Panthers stay undefeated.
Washington Redskins 35, Buffalo Bills 25
This wasn’t quite what we were expecting. Kirk Cousins and company came out and put it on Buffalo, going up 21-0 by halftime. Cousins was on fire all day long and even though the Bills mounted a comeback, it wasn’t enough. The Cousins to DeSean Jackson connection has been incredible for the Redskins lately and could make them a threat if they sneak into the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Yuck. This wasn’t very pretty, but what can you expect from this matchup? Julio Jones was impossible for Jacksonville to stop or even contain, really, on his way to racking up another 100+ receiving yards and a score. Couple that with Devonta Freeman’s effectiveness and the Jaguars were simply overwhelmed. They did keep it close in the second half, but couldn’t get it done.
Houston Texans 16, Indianapolis Colts 10
Speaking of ugly games, I guess we’re in that portion of the schedule. The Texans ground out their first win in Indianapolis in franchise history, but the game wasn’t anything to brag about. After losing TJ Yates to a torn ACL, the newly acquired Brandon Weeden took the reins. The Texans put together thirteen second half points while stifling the Colts’ offense to squeak this one out.
New England Patriots 33, Tennessee Titans 16
Well, what did you expect? There were no surprises in this game. The Titans were overwhelmed by a superior team and ended up losing rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota for the season to a knee injury. That’s just how it goes if you’re Tennessee. The Patriots pounded the rock with a running back they signed from the practice squad and rolled to an easy W. This was kind of like when a big-time college football team plays a cupcake school for practice to open the season.
Seattle Seahawks 30, Cleveland Browns 13
Speaking of cupcakes… The Browns posed exactly zero threat to the Seahawks this week. Let’s face it, the Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL and Seattle is one of the hottest teams in the league right now. I’ll let you do the math. Much like the game we just talked about, Seattle simply rode a couple of running backs they just signed all the way to victory – while Russell Wilson tossed a few touchdowns to Doug Baldwin when they got bored of running.
Green Bay Packers 30, Oakland Raiders 20
I honestly have no idea if the Packers are wonderful or terrible this year. It seems to depend on the week. This week, they were somewhere in between those two and pulled out a decent win against Oakland. The Raiders’ stats make it look like they outplayed Green Bay in this one, which they may have, but the two interceptions for the Packers (one returned for a touchdown) made the difference here as the Packers escaped with a win.
Cincinnati Bengals 24, San Francisco 49ers 14
No Andy? No problem. Sort of. The Bengals managed a win with AJ McCarron under center and a hobbled AJ Green who eventually came out of the game for precautionary reasons. Even though the score looks fairly close, the Bengals had this one in hand and were never really challenged. They took a 21-0 lead into halftime before coasting to victory in the second half, simply waiting for the game to end. An easy W for Cincy.
San Diego Chargers 30, Miami Dolphins 14
For those that know the storyline here, this isn’t shocking. Both teams are horrendous this year, but this may have been the final game at Qualcomm Stadium for the Chargers and maybe even their final game in San Diego, so you knew they would put on a show. And they did, indeed. Danny Woodhead singlehandedly outscored the Dolphins on Sunday with four touchdowns! The Dolphins as a team only managed two as they were absolutely trounced. Phillip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd were all given a standing ovation as they were pulled from the game (it was well in hand) as a salute and possible farewell to their football home.
Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Denver Broncos 27
This was the matchup we were all looking forward to on Sunday afternoon. The surging Steelers offense played host to the stingy, Broncos defense. At first, it looked like Denver would run away with this one as they posted a 27-13 lead going into the half. Pittsburgh couldn’t keep pace with Denver’s offense? Not what we were expecting. However, the Broncos’ offense forgot to come out of the locker room in the second half and were shutout while the Steelers scored three times to claim the victory. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are the best combination in football right now and this tenacious Denver D couldn’t even slow them down. Hopefully we get a playoff rematch.
Arizona Cardinals 40, Philadelphia Eagles 17
David Johnson, everybody. Everybody, David Johnson. Johnson might be a household name after that throttling of the Eagle’s defense. He ran for nearly 200 yards and scored three touchdowns en route to an easy, easy victory. Philly didn’t look like they belonged on the same field and frankly, didn’t look like they cared. While getting their doors blown off, they continued to celebrate first downs and touchdowns even when losing by more than three scores. I guess they were more concerned with individual performances than that whole team-winning-thing.
Detroit Lions 35, New Orleans Saints 27
A matchup of possibly the most up and down teams in the league this year. One week they play great, the next week they look like they belong in the arena league. This week, they were both ends of the spectrum at the same time. You can’t make this stuff up. The Lions were able to build a 28-10 lead going into the fourth quarter despite forgetting they have the great Calvin Johnson on their team. However, they managed to get outscored 17-7 in the fourth as they let Drew Brees and the Saints back in the game. Both these teams need some major help in the offseason.
Another week in the books. We’ve got just two more on the slate until playoff time! It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year — Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, everyone!