Monday, December 22, 2014

NFL - Week Sixteen Review

The NFL Playoffs picture is just about complete following this weekend's action. Ten teams have clinched playoff berths, with only one spot remaining in both the NFC and AFC.
The San Diego Chargers kept alive their hopes for a wild card spot in the AFC with a huge comeback on Saturday as they topped the host San Francisco 49ers, 38-35 in overtime.
The Chargers (9-6) overcame a 21-point deficit to force OT and won it on Nick Novak's 40-yard field goal after the Chargers defense recovered the third 49ers fumble of the game.
Philip Rivers had 356 yards passing and four TD passes to offset his three interceptions while Colin Kaepernick ran for 151 yards and scored on a 90-yard run to go with Frank Gore's 158 rushing yards as the 49ers gained 355 yards on the ground.
The Dallas Cowboys (11-4) crushed the visiting Indianapolis Colts, 42-7 to clinch the NFC East division as Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week Tony Romo (pictured left) threw four TD passes in the rout. The clinching victory for Dallas was set up by the Washington Redskins beating the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-24 on Saturday as the Eagles turned the ball over twice in the loss, which eliminated them from playoff contention.
Redskins kicker Kai Forbath nailed a 26-yard field goal with just five seconds left in the game to win it. Meanwhile, Philadelphia kicker Cody Parkey missed two field goals.
The Seattle Seahawks continued their dominance as they pasted the host Arizona Cardinals, 35-6 on Sunday night behind a huge game from their defense and running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 113 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown romp while QB Russell Wilson passed for 339 yards and two scores while also rushing for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The Seahawks (11-4) now control the NFC West with the win at Arizona, and their defense has allowed just 33 points over the last five games.
Both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers (11-4) are in the post-season and will face each other next week in Green Bay for the NFC North title as a result of hard fought wins on Sunday. The Lions beat the Chicago Bears, 20-14 as Reggie Bush and Joique Bell scored rushing touchdowns.
The Packers knocked of the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-3 behind solid defense and a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers and a 44-yard rushing TD by RB Eddie Lacy.
The New England Patriots (12-3) moved a step closer to home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 17-16 nail biter win against the host New York Jets.  The league's highest scoring offense was held in check by the New York defense until Jonas Gray's one-yard TD run in the fourth quarter put the Pats ahead for good.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) clinched a playoff spot for the first time in three years with a 20-12 home win against the Kansas City Chiefs as their defense limited the Chiefs to just four field goals while Le'Veon Bell scored a rushing TD and QB Ben Roethlisberger threw a TD pass to WR Antonio Brown to provide the difference.
The Baltimore Ravens fell on the road, 25-13 against Houston as Texans kicker Randy Bullock drilled six field goals while the defense held the Ravens to just 211 yards in total offense. The Ravens now need a win in their final game of the season and help to make the playoffs.
In spite of a 37-35 home win against the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins won the game as a result of blocked punt for a safety in the final minute of play. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill had four TD passes in the game.
The Buffalo Bills were also knocked out of the AFC Playoffs chase as they fell at Oakland, 26-24. Bills QB Kyle Orton had three TD passes in the loss while Raiders QB Derek Carr threw for two scores and kicker Sebastian Janikowski made four field goals.
The Atlanta Falcons (6-9) can win the NFC South with a win next week (at home) against Carolina as a result of their 30-14 triumph at New Orleans. Falcons QB Matt Ryan passed for 322 yards and a score while RB Devonta Freeman ran 31 yards for another score to pace the win. The Saints turned the ball over four times in the loss, which knocked them out of the playoff picture.
Carolina (6-8-1) toppled the visiting Cleveland Browns, 17-13 to set up the big game with the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC South division crown next week. Panthers QB Cam Newton ran for a touchdown and threw a nine-yard scoring pass to RB Jonathan Stewart to get the win.
Two teams just finishing out the schedule played a high scoring game as the New York Giants won their third game in a row with a 37-27 road win at St. Louis behind three TD passes from Eli Manning (391 passing yards), including two to WR Odell Beckham, Jr., who made eight receptions for 148 yards.
Last Thursday night, the host Jacksonville Jaguars held off the Tennessee Titans, 21-13as RB Jordan Todman scored on a 62-yard run to lead the way on offense.
The Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) clinched a playoff spot by virtue of their 37-28 win on Monday Night Football against the visiting Denver Broncos. The Bengals defense intercepted Peyton Manning four times, including a pick six interception to ice the game inside the final two minutes.
Bengals running back Jeremy Hill went for 147 yards rushing and had an 85-yard touchdown run while QB Andy Dalton threw for two more scores in the win.

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