Monday, January 17, 2022

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Recap

The NFL playoffs are under way and the Wild Card round has one game left to go on Monday night as the Los Angeles Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals. The winner of that game will travel to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday. 

As for the action on Saturday and Sunday, five teams have advanced so far to the divisional round next weekend. On Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati, the Bengals held off the Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19 with quarterback Joe Burrow throwing two touchdown passes and kicker Evan McPherson making four field goals. The Raiders had the ball in the red zone in the closing seconds, but QB Derek Carr's pass was intercepted to end it. Carr passed for 310 yards with one TD pass and the one interception while kicker Dan Carlson made four field goals in the loss. 

On Saturday night, the host Buffalo Bills smoked the New England Patriots, 47-17 to advance as QB Josh Allen (pictured above left) passed for five touchdowns on 21-for-25 passing for 308 yards as well rushing for 66 yards. The Bills built a 27-3 halftime advantage and rolled the rest of the way as the defense had three sacks and two interceptions. Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones passed for two scores in defeat. 

The Sunday action saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominate the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 31-15 as they built a 17-0 lead at the half with QB Tom Brady adding to their lead with a pair of scoring passes in the third quarter to make it 31-0. The Eagles scored twice in the final quarter, but three turnovers proved to be too much as they were eliminated from the playoffs. 

The San Francisco 49ers won a thriller in Dallas, toppling the Cowboys, 23-17 as the clock ran out as Dallas was attempting to spike the ball after a first down run by QB Dak Prescott (254 passing yards, one TD, one INT). The 'Niners built a 16-7 halftime lead thanks to a four-yard scoring run by running back Elijah Mitchell and three field goals by Robbie Gould. 

Following a pick, 49ers WR Deebo Samuel scored on a 26-yard end around run to make it 23-7. The Cowboys got a field goal and then a five-yard scramble run for a touchdown by Prescott with 8:02 remaining in the game. The 49ers appeared to have a first down in the final minute to wrap things up, but a review showed they were inches short and then two penalties forced them to punt, which set up the dramatic ending. 

Patrick Mahomes had five TD passes in big win.
In the Sunday night game in Kansas City, the Chiefs rolled to a 42-21 win against the Pittsburgh
Steelers in what was likely the final game of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's career. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (404 passing yards)  had five touchdown passes, including three in the first half as Kansas City led 21-7 at the break. The Steelers scored first when T.J. Watt took a Chiefs fumble in for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Kansas City scored the next 35 points to put the game away and advance to the divisional round next Sunday at home against the Buffalo Bills. Roethlisberger passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.



WILD CARD ROUND RESULTS 

Cincinnati 26, Las Vegas 19 

Buffalo 47, New England 17 

Tampa Bay 31, Philadelphia 15 

San Francisco 23, Dallas 17

Kansas City 42, Pittsburgh 21 

Arizona at L.A. Rams (Monday night)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

NFL PLAYOFFS - Wild Card Round Previews

 

At long last, the NFL Playoffs are here. 

 

On Saturday, the Las Vegas Raiders will travel to Cincinnati and look to slow down the high powered air attack of the Bengals, who won the AFC North division. The Raiders have won four straight games that enabled them to earn a wild card berth and they won that thrilling overtime game last Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers on a last second field goal.

 

 

The Raiders are led by quarterback Derek Carr and his main target includes tight end Darren Waller and wideout Hunter Renfrow. The top running back is Josh Jacobs, who came back from injury last week to gash the Chargers defense for 132 yards and a touchdown. As for the Bengals, QB Joe Burrow has been the hottest passer in the NFL in recent weeks, teaming with WR Ja'Marr Chase, who set a rookie record for receiving yards in a single game against Kansas City two weeks ago with 266 yards and also caught three TD passes from Burrow. 

PICK - Bengals 31, Raiders 27 

 

Saturday night features the New England Patriots at the Buffalo Bills and these two teams split their two games this past regular season. The weather could be dicey again like their game on Monday Night Football in early December. The Pats won that one by rushing for over 200 yards and passing the ball just three times. 

The Bills and their offense features QB Josh Allen and wideout Stefon Diggs along with running back Devin Singletary, who had a pair of rushing touchdowns last week. New England has struggled of late on offense with the exception of a 50-10 blowout of Jacksonville, with rookie QB Mac Jones struggling with turnovers and being pressured. The Bills will look to do just that and force the rookie signal caller into making mistakes. This game could be a tight one, especially if the weather turns nasty. 

PICK - Bills 21, Patriots 17 

 

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles travel to Tampa Bay and will face the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the league's leading passer Tom Brady, who has seen and done it all in his phenomenal 22-year career. 

The Eagles have ramped up the running attack after a slow start this past season, which included a 28-22 loss against Tampa Bay in Philly back in October. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is a dual threat with the football, but along with Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, forms a formidable rushing attack for the Birds. Everybody knows about Brady and his offensive weapons, including WR Mike Evans, tight end Rob Gronkowski and RB Leonard Fournette. However, not having WR Chris Godwin (knee injury) will likely have an impact as he led the team in receptions and receiving yards this past season. Look for Brady to go to Gronk and Evans (14 TD receptions) when they reach the Red Zone. 

PICK - Buccaneers 34, Eagles 20

 

The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys will renew a historic playoff rivalry in Big D this Sunday afternoon and it will be a battle for sure. The Cowboys have the league's highest scoring offense (530 points) and can pass and run the ball. But the 49ers defense has been stellar in recent weeks as they ripped off four wins in the final five games to get into the NFC playoffs. 

Look for the 'Niners to get after Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and limit the big plays Dallas thrives on. The 49ers offense will look to the rushing game with Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel and perhaps Trey Lance in certain instances. Samuel averaged over six yards per carry and caught 77 passes for 1.405 yards while scoring 14 TD's in the regular season, six receiving and eight rushing. Tight end George Kittle is another prominent target for QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Meanwhile, the Cowboys will look to Prescott (37 TD passes) to spread it around to CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and TE Dalton Schultz while mixing in the run with backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. 

PICK - 49ers 28, Cowboys 27 

 

The Sunday night game will be the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who squeaked into the post-season with a win on Sunday in OT and then sweating it out in the closing seconds of the Chargers and Raiders game that DID NOT end in a tie, allowing Pittsburgh in the playoffs. 

The Chiefs throttled the Steelers just three weeks ago to the tune of 36-10 with Patrick Mahomes doing his thing and the defense making life miserable for QB Ben Roethlisberger and company. Kansas City simply has too much fire power, even for the strong Steelers defense, which features NFL sacks leader T.J. Watt (22.5 sacks) and a ball hawking secondary. If K.C. gets off to a quick start and Mahomes can hook up with his two main targets (Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce), this one could get ugly again. Pittsburgh has to try and dictate the tempo at Arrowhead Stadium to have any chance at all in this one. 

PICK - Chiefs 33, Steelers 17 

 

The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams will do battle at SoFi Stadium on Monday night in the first ever third day of the wild card round. Look for Aaron Donald and the Rams defense to get after Cards QB Kyler Murray and force mistakes as they did in the teams second meeting when the Rams won, 30-23 in mid-December. 

The Cardinals have to force things and let Murray get it going as they did in a 37-20 blowout win against L.A. back in October at this same venue in Los Angeles. The Cards have some weapons but are without WR DeAndre Hopkins and might not have RB James Conner (18 touchdowns this season) for this game. Conner has been dealing with sore ribs and a heel injury as well, so he could be a game time decision. The Rams have QB Matthew Stafford and his favorite target Cooper Kupp, who had a monster season with 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. Stafford was solid for the most part this season, but has been a turnover machine in recent weeks, including three straight games with multiple interceptions thrown. 

PICK - Rams 24, Cardinals 17


Last Week's Record - 7-9 

FINAL REGULAR SEASON RECORD - 168-103-1

Lock of the Week Record - 12-6 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Georgia Wins College Football National Championship

 

Georgia Bulldogs players and Head Coach Kirby Smart celebrate the title.

 

The Georgia Bulldogs scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and the defense sealed the deal with a 79-yard interception return for touchdown to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, 33-18 and win the CFP National Championship on Monday night in Indianapolis. 

Alabama came in as the top rated team and were the defending national champions, but when Kelee Ringo intercepted 'Bama quarterback Bryce Young and returned it 79 yards for the clinching touchdown, that gave Georgia a 33-18 lead with under a minute to play and the Bulldogs were the champions.

 It was the first football championship title for Georgia since the 1980 season. 

 

Congratulations to the GEORGIA BULLDOGS  - 2021 College Football National Champions!

Monday, January 10, 2022

NFL - Week Eighteen Recap

Raiders kicker Dan Carlson (number 2) celebrates game winning kick in overtime.
The 2021 NFL regular season came to an end on Sunday night as the Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) wrapped up the last remaining AFC playoff spot with a 35-32 win in overtime on the final play of the game against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. It was the fourth straight win for the Raiders as kicker Dan Carlson made his fifth field goal in the game, a 47-yarder as time expired. The Chargers (9-8) had tied the game on the final play of regulation when quarterback Justin Herbert (383 passing yards with three TD and one interception) threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Williams. The PAT tied the game at 29-29 to send it into overtime. 

The back and forth affair saw the Raiders get out to a 10-0 lead before L.A. took a 14-10 lead late in the first half on running back Austin Ekeler's second touchdown in the game. The Raiders were able to score on a one-yard run by RB Josh Jacobs (132 rushing yards) just before halftime in a drive that saw them convert a 3rd-and-23 on a draw play and then a questionable pass interference penalty called on the Chargers defense in the end zone on third down. The second half was mostly Las Vegas as they put 12 more points on the board on a two-yard TD pass from QB Derek Carr to WR Hunter Renfrow and two more field goals. 

In the fourth quarter, the Bolts made their comeback as Herbert threw two TD passes in the final five minutes to get it tied up. Each team kicked a field goal in the OT before Carlson's winning kick ended the marathon game. The Raiders will travel to Cincinnati next weekend in the wild card game while the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs. A tie game would have sent both teams into the AFC playoffs and left the Pittsburgh Steelers out.

Earlier in the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers did what they needed to do as they topped the host Baltimore Ravens, 16-13 in overtime to finish the regular season at 9-7-1. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made a 36-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the OT session to win it. On the game winning drive, Pittsburgh's offense converted on two third downs and also a 4th-and-8 to help set up the winning kick. 

The only touchdowns in the game were a 46-yard run by Baltimore's Latavius Murray (16 carries for 150 yards) and a six-yard TD pass from Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Chase Claypool with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens (8-9) lost their final six games this season to drop out of contention for the playoffs. 

The Indianapolis Colts (9-8) blew their opportunity to make the AFC playoffs as they were beaten on the road by the Jacksonville Jaguars, 26-11 as Jags rookie QB Trevor Lawrence threw for two scores and kicker Matthew Wright made four field goals. The Colts were never in this one as they turned the football over twice and QB Carson Wentz was sacked six times while their vaunted rushing attack was limited to only 94 yards. Jacksonville (3-14) snapped a nine game losing streak and will have the top draft pick for the second straight year.

The Tennessee Titans (12-5) clinched the number one seed and home field advantage in the AFC playoffs with a 28-25 road win against the Houston Texans (4-13) as QB Ryan Tannehill had four TD passes to lead the way. Texans QB Davis Mills threw for three scores in the loss.

The New Orleans Saints (9-8) did their part to remain in the NFC playoff picture with a 30-20 road victory against the Atlanta Falcons (7-10) even without starting QB Taysom Hill, who left the game with an injury. New Orleans backup QB Trevor Siemian had two TD passes in relief and the defense forced three turnovers and had three sacks to help get the victory.

The Los Angeles Rams (12-5) and San Francisco 49ers went into overtime as the 'Niners overcame a 17-point deficit to eventually win, 27-24 and secure a playoff spot in the NFC. San Francisco (10-7) battled back behind QB Jimmy Garoppolo (316 passing yards) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who rushed for 45 yards (including a 16-yard TD run) and caught four passes for 95 yards and also threw a 24-yard TD pass to WR Jauan Jennings, who caught two scoring passes in the huge win. 

The 49ers defense intercepted two passes and sacked Rams QB Matthew Stafford five times as they limited the Rams offense to just one touchdown in the second half. An interception by Ambry Thomas ended the game after 49ers kicker Robbie Gould drilled a 24-yard field goal with 2:45 left in overtime. Both the Rams and 49ers will be in the NFC playoffs along with the Arizona Cardinals, giving the NFC West division three playoff teams this season.

Arizona and Seattle battled it out and finally with 4:34 remaining in the final quarter, Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (23 carries for 190 yards) raced 62 yards for the clinching touchdown (and a 38-27 lead) as the visiting Seahawks (7-10) defeated the already playoff bound Cardinals, 38-30. The loss for Arizona (11-6) gave the NFC West division title to the Los Angeles Rams. The Cards will face the Rams in L.A. next Monday night in the first ever third day of wild card playoffs.

Miami defeated the New England Patriots, 33-24 to finish with a 9-8 record while the Patriots (10-7) will be a wild card team in the AFC playoffs and will take on the Buffalo Bills on the road on Saturday night. The Dolphins took advantage of three Patriots turnovers, including a 37-yard "pick six" interception touchdown return by Xavien Howard in the first quarter as they raced out to a 14-0 lead. 

The Pats battled back to within 27-24 late in the game when Brandon Bolden scored twice and RB Damien Harris also scored. The Miami defense scored their second touchdown of the game on a fumble recovery in the end zone on the final play of the game. The Dolphins pulled a surprise on Monday as they announced Head Coach Brian Flores was being fired after three seasons.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills (11-6) defeated the visiting New York Jets, 27-10 to win their second consecutive AFC East division title as RB Devin Singletary scored twice on rushing touchdowns to secure the win. The Jets (4-13) managed just 54 yards in total offense and four first downs as the Bills defense had NINE quarterback sacks and limited the Jets to only five net yards passing in the rout.


                                                         Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


The Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) toppled the host Denver Broncos, 28-24 on Saturday with rookie linebacker Nick Bolton going 86 yards on a fumble recovery return to ice the game. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes had two TD passes in the victory while Denver QB Drew Lock scored twice on the ground. The Broncos finished the season at 7-10 and then fired Head Coach Vic Fangio on Sunday . . .  On Saturday night in Philadelphia, the Dallas Cowboys (12-5) whooped the Eagles, 51-26 as they played most of their starters while the already playoff bound Eagles (9-8) rested nearly all of theirs in the game. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for five touchdowns in the win as Dallas secured the number three seed in the NFC playoffs . . . The Minnesota Vikings (8-9) roared back to defeat the Chicago Bears, 31-17 after falling behind 14-0 in the home field win. Vikings DB Patrick Peterson sealed the effort with a 66-yard INT return for a score. Both the Vikings and Bears (6-11) announced they had fired their head coaches (Mike Zimmer and Matt Nagy) along with the teams' general managers on Monday morning . . .  The Washington Football Team (7-10) defeated the host New York Giants, 22-7 as the defense dominated, scoring a TD on a 30-yard interception return by Bobby McCain, who had two picks in the win and limiting the Giants (4-13) to just 177 yards in total offense . . .  Detroit (3-13-1) won at home, 37-30 against the Green Bay Packers (13-4) to finish the season on high note as QB Jared Goff threw for two scores. The Packers (already the top seed in the NFC playoffs) rested many starters in the second half, including QB Aaron Rodgers, who had two TD passes in the first half. Packers backup QB Jordan Love was intercepted twice in the loss  . . . The Cleveland Browns held off the playoff bound Cincinnati Bengals, 21-16 to finish their disappointing season at 8-9. Meanwhile, the 10-7 Bengals will host the Las Vegas Raiders in the wild card round next weekend. The Browns got two TD passes from backup QB Case Keenum in the win while Cincinnati rested many starters . . .  Tampa Bay (13-4) locked up the number two seed in the NFC playoffs with a 41-17 thumping of the visiting Carolina Panthers (5-12) as QB Tom Brady had three TD passes and finished the 2021 season as the league's passing yardage leader as well as throwing for the most touchdowns. Carolina lost their final seven games to end the season.

 

WEEK EIGHTEEN RESULTS 

Kansas City 28, Denver 24

Dallas 51, Philadelphia 26  

Minnesota 31, Chicago 17

Detroit 37, Green Bay 30 

Jacksonville 26, Indianapolis 11 

Cleveland 21, Cincinnati 16 

Pittsburgh 16,  Baltimore 13 (OT)

Washington 22, N.Y. Giants 7

Tennessee 28, Houston 25 

New Orleans 30, Atlanta 20

Tampa Bay 41, Carolina 17

Miami 33, New England 24

Buffalo 27, N.Y. Jets 10

Seattle 38, Arizona 30

San Francisco 27, L.A. Rams 24 (OT)

Las Vegas 35, L.A. Chargers 32 (OT)

 

 


Thursday, January 6, 2022

NFL - Week Eighteen Preview

Here it is the last weekend of the 2021 NFL season and (COVID problems aside) the teams still in contention for the NFL playoffs will be going at it to fill out the brackets in each conference. 

The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders will square off on Sunday night in Vegas with a "win and you are in" scenario for both teams.  The Chargers and Raiders are both 9-7 and the Chargers beat the Raiders in Los Angeles, 28-14 on Monday Night Football back in October. The Raiders have been the hotter team, winning three straight games to get to this point while the Chargers won last week against Denver to snap a two-game skid and get back into the number seven playoff spot in the AFC. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) and the Baltimore Ravens (8-8) still have hopes to make the playoffs, but they will need help after they play each other in Baltimore this Sunday afternoon. The winner of their game obviously has a shot to make it while the loser will be out. Stay tuned. 


Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts (9-7) control their own destiny. If they beat the 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars (on the road) they are in. The Colts should win the game, but the Jags have been a thorn in the side for the Colts in recent years. As long as Colts running back Jonathan Taylor has a normal game and does his thing, the Colts should finish the season 10-7 and be playoff bound. 

Over in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers (9-7) will look to lock down the final playoff spot when they face the Los Angeles Rams (12-4) in a road game. They will likely be without injured starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, meaning rookie Trey Lance will get the call. The Rams have a lot to play for as well. If they win this game, they are the NFC West division champions. The Arizona Cardinals (11-5) play at home against Seattle, so the Rams know they would be better off taking care of business. 

The New Orleans Saints (8-8) can still make the playoffs if they beat the Atlanta Falcons on the road and the 'Niners lose to the Rams. The six teams already in the NFC playoffs include Green Bay (already clinched number one seed and the bye week), Tampa Bay, Dallas, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona and Philadelphia. 

Those are the games that have the biggest importance this week, but the other games being played around the NFL will impact both playoff positioning and the final NFL Draft order. The following offers a capsule style preview of all the games with the Heftyinfo picks following up. 


Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) at Denver Broncos (7-9) - Take the Chiefs in this one. They can still get the top seed in the AFC with a win and some help. 

Dallas Cowboys (11-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) - Both of these teams are already in the NFC playoffs, so it's a matter of how many starters will see game action. Toss up in this one. 

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) at Cleveland Browns (7-9) - The Bengals will rest some regulars while the Browns are backing up the U-Haul trucks. Another toss up game here. 

Green Bay Packers (13-3) at Detroit Lions (2-13-1) - Packers should roll in this one, but they have already clinched a bye in the NFC playoffs. The Lions would love to end a miserable season on a winning note. 

Tennessee Titans (11-5) at Houston Texans (4-12) - The Texans beat the Titans in Tennessee earlier this season, so this is no gimme for the Titans, who currently are the top dog in the AFC playoff race. 

Chicago Bears (6-10) at Minnesota Vikings (7-9) - Will either of these teams head coaches still be around for next season? 

Washington (6-10) at New York Giants (4-12) - Giants have lost five straight while Washington has dropped four games in a row. Something has to give. 

New Orleans Saints (8-8) at Atlanta Falcons (7-9) - The Falcons would love to prevent their rivals from having a shot at making the playoffs. 

Indianapolis Colts (9-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14) - It's simple for the Colts . . .  win and they are in the playoffs. 

New York Jets (4-12) at Buffalo Bills (10-6) - The Bills need to win this one to capture a second consecutive AFC East division title. The Jets are woeful. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) at Baltimore Ravens (8-8) - Can Big Ben and company make one last playoff appearance before he hangs 'em up? The Ravens are looking to snap a five game skid and ruin the Steelers chances to get into the playoffs. 

New England Patriots (10-6) at Miami Dolphins (8-8) - The Dolphins have nothing to lose and can go all out to keep New England from possibly winning the AFC East. 

Carolina Panthers (5-11) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) - The defending Super Bowl champs want to go into the post season in high gear. 

Seattle Seahawks (6-10) at Arizona Cardinals (11-5) - The Cards had a big win in Dallas last week, so they better be ready for a nothing to lose Seahawks team that usually gives them fits. 

San Francisco 49ers (9-7) at Los Angeles Rams (12-4) - The Rams want to remain the number two seed in the NFC playoffs while the 49ers are looking to make the post season party. Toss up here. 

Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) at Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) - Whoever wins this one is in the AFC playoffs. Chargers rate a slight edge, but they tend to lose in big games. Toss up in this game. 


The Heftyinfo picks for Week Eighteen  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS


Kansas City over Denver 

Dallas over Philadelphia 

Cincinnati over Cleveland 

Green Bay over Detroit 

Tennessee over Houston 

Minnesota over Chicago 

N.Y. Giants over Washington

Atlanta over New Orleans 

INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville 

Buffalo over N.Y. Jets 

Baltimore over Pittsburgh 

Miami over New England

Tampa Bay over Carolina 

Arizona over Seattle 

L.A. Rams over San Francisco 

L.A. Chargers over Las Vegas 


Last Week's Record - 12-4

SEASON RECORD - 161-94-1 

Lock of the Week Record - 12-5




Monday, January 3, 2022

NFL - Week Seventeen Recap

 

The Cincinnati Bengals made a big comeback in their 34-31 home victory against the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) to clinch the AFC North division title. The Bengals improved to 10-6 with the win as quarterback Joe Burrow remained red hot by passing for 446 yards with four touchdowns, including three of them to wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (pictured left), who had 11 receptions for a rookie record 266 yards. Two of his scoring catches were huge plays, from 72 yards and 69 yards. 



The Chiefs blew a 14-point lead in the game as they also fell out of the number-one spot in the AFC playoff chase. The end of the game was very strange as the Bengals repeatedly went for it on fourth-and-goal from the KC one-yard line, but were thwarted twice only to get another chance because of defensive penalties on the Chiefs. Finally, kicker Evan McPherson won the game with a 20-yard field goal as time expired. In addition, the Bengals defense limited the Chiefs to just a field goal in the second half.

The Tennessee Titans (11-5) blew out the Miami Dolphins, 34-3 to take over the top spot in the AFC playoff race as QB Ryan Tannehill had two TD passes and Dontrell Hilliard (39 yards) and D'Onta Foreman (21 yards) each had a scoring run.  The Dolphins (8-8) had two turnovers and also had their seven game win streak snapped as they were eliminated from playoff contention as a result of the Los Angeles Chargers victory. 

The Los Angeles Rams (12-4) won a thriller in Baltimore, 20-19 as QB Matthew Stafford (309 passing yards with two TD and two INT) threw a seven-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. with 57 seconds left in the game. The Ravens (8-8) dropped their fifth straight game as the only touchdown for them came via an 18-yard interception return by Chuck Clark in the first quarter.

Philadelphia won on the road, 20-16 against Washington (6-10) as they overcame a 16-7 halftime deficit. The Eagles (9-7) clinched a wild card playoff spot as a result of the Green Bay Packers win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. Eagles running back Boston Scott scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and Jake Elliott kicked two field goals to make the difference.

The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Indianapolis Colts, 23-20 on a 33-yard field goal by Dan Carlson as time ran out to improve to 9-7 and stay alive in the AFC playoff race. The Colts (9-7) fell behind 13-3 in the first half before scoring a pair of touchdowns to go ahead 17-13, but the Raiders took a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard TD pass from Derek Carr to WR Hunter Renfrow. The Colts tied it again at 20-20 on a 41-yard field goal by Mike Badgley with 1:56 remaining.  

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the host Dallas Cowboys, 25-22 to improve to 11-5 and stay alive for the NFC West title.  Cards QB Kyler Murray had two TD passes in the win while Matt Prater kicked four field goals to make the difference.  Dallas QB Dak Prescott had three TD passes in the setback as the Cowboys (11-5) had already clinched the NFC East title, but the loss dropped them to fourth place in the NFC race.

The Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) bolted back into playoff contention in the AFC with a 34-13 trouncing of the visiting Denver Broncos (7-9) as QB Justin Herbert threw for two touchdowns and Andre Roberts returned a kickoff 101 yards for another score while the defense made two big stops in the red zone against the Broncos offense. The Chargers will travel to face the Las Vegas Raiders in a showdown for the last remaining AFC wild card playoff spot next Sunday night.

On Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers (13-3) routed the visiting Minnesota Vikings, 37-10 with QB Aaron Rodgers (288 passing yards) tossing two TD passes, including one to WR Davante Adams (11 receptions for 136 yards) and RB AJ Dillon scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns to lead the way. Green Bay more than doubled the Vikings (7-9) in total yardage (481-206) as they built up a 20-3 halftime lead. Minnesota was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

Both the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots were easy winners on Sunday as they both have 10-6 records heading into the final game. Both teams are in the AFC playoffs with the Bills leading the AFC East division. The Patriots rolled the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars, 50-10 as Mac Jones had three TD passes and running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris each scored twice on the ground. Jaguars rookie QB Trevor Lawrence was intercepted three times as his team (2-14) lost their ninth consecutive game. 

The Buffalo Bills took over in the second half in the 29-15 home field win against the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) as their defense shut down the Falcons, who led the Bills, 15-14 at the half. Buffalo RB Devin Singletary scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half to help ensure the win.


                                                     Elsewhere Around the NFL  . . . . . . . . .    


The San Francisco 49ers (9-7) defeated the visiting Houston Texans, 23-7 as rookie QB Trey Lance had a pair of passing touchdowns and Robbie Gould drilled three field goals to stay in the sixth playoff spot in the NFC race . . .  The Chicago Bears (6-10) throttled the hapless New York Giants, 29-3 in blustery Soldier Field with RB David Montgomery scoring two rushing touchdowns and the defense limiting the Giants (4-12) to 151 total yards, including minus-10 passing yards as they had four QB sacks and forced four turnovers . . .  The Seattle Seahawks (6-10) rolled the visiting Detroit Lions, 51-29 with RB Rashaad Penny (25 carries for 170 yards) scoring twice on the ground while QB Russell Wilson threw four TD passes, with three of them going to WR DK Metcalf. Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown scored two touchdowns in the loss . . .  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) scored on a 33-yard TD pass from QB Tom Brady to WR Cyril Grayson with just 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to steal a 28-24 road victory against the New York Jets (4-12). Brady had 410 passing yards and three TD passes in the win to offset a pair of touchdowns by Jets WR Braxton Berrios . . .  The New Orleans Saints (8-8) stayed alive in the NFC wild card playoff race with a come from behind 18-10 home victory against the Carolina Panthers (5-11), who lost their sixth straight game. Saints kicker Brett Maher made four field goals and RB Alvin Kamara caught a 12-yard TD pass from QB Taysom Hill to help aid the win . . .  In likely his last ever home game in Pittsburgh, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had a touchdown pass and RB Najee Harris (28 carries for 188 yards) rambled 37 yards with 51 seconds remaining for the clinching touchdown as the Steelers (8-7-1) kept alive their slim playoff hopes with a 26-14 win against the Cleveland Browns (7-9) on Monday Night Football. The Steelers defense also had nine quarterback sacks in the win, including four by linebacker T.J. Watt. Browns QB Baker Mayfield had two TD passes and two interceptions thrown in the loss.


WEEK SEVENTEEN RESULTS 

New England 50, Jacksonville 10 

Chicago 29, N.Y. Giants 3 

L.A. Rams 20, Baltimore 19

Buffalo 29, Atlanta 15

Tennessee 34, Miami 3 

Cincinnati 34, Kansas City 31

Philadelphia 20, Washington 16 

Las Vegas 23, Indianapolis 20

Tampa Bay 28, N.Y. Jets 24

L.A. Chargers 34, Denver 13

San Francisco 23, Houston 7 

New Orleans 18, Carolina 10

Arizona 25, Dallas 22

Seattle 51, Detroit 29

Green Bay 37, Minnesota 10  

Pittsburgh 26, Cleveland 14

 


 

 


Friday, December 31, 2021

RIP Betty White

What a way to finish the year 2021 . . . in the same week, John Madden dies and now 

BETTY WHITE has passed away, she was 99 years old.

 

RIP BETTY WHITE   . . .  

A true legend.