(Photo By: Aaron Gash/AP Photo)
Written By: Matt Di Domenico
LinkedIn: Matt Di Domenico | LinkedIn
A lot of close games happened in week #14 of the NFL. Divisional leaders are starting to pull away in some situations and in other divisions, it is going to be a total toss-up coming down to the last couple of weeks. The final week is going to be a crazy kind of weekend for some NFL fans. However, there were some stand-out performances for players in the league that granted their team the ability to walk away with the W. Below are the 3 winners and 3 losers for week #14 in the NFL.
1. Baltimore Ravens
This was a huge game for the Baltimore Ravens as they took on their hated divisional foes in the Cleveland Browns. It turned into a nightmare situation as this game unfolded for Baltimore. Their star QB in Lamar Jackson had to leave the game due to an ankle injury. The Ravens were able to make a huge comeback with Tyler Huntley under center, but it was not enough to secure this victory. The Ravens now have fallen to a record of 8-5 and the #1 seed in the AFC looks like it is going to be some other team's seed now that the Ravens are in a downward spiral. What makes matters worse is the AFC North is now up for grabs again and the Ravens will be hosting the red-hot Green Bay Packers next Sunday. If Lamar does not play, it could be a huge uphill challenge for the Ravens to win that football game.
2. RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
What has happened to Josh Jacobs? This was an RB that has been very talented over the last couple of seasons and now is in jeopardy of losing his job with the Las Vegas Raiders. Sure, Jacobs has had a lot of injuries over the last couple of seasons and only had 9 carries in this game, but he needs to play better. The Raiders need to give him more opportunities with the football in his hands as well. In the end, 24 rushing yards just is not going to cut it in this league. The Raiders were down early in this game and bailed away from the running game so that does not help either. The Raiders look like they are headed for an earlier offseason and Jacobs may find himself on a new team when 2021 is officially over.
3. QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
This was the game that may have lost Kyler Murray the chance at the MVP award. Murray could have put the NFC West crown away if he beat the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. Murray had a huge red-zone interception that helped the Rams gain a lot of momentum. Murray was 32 for 49 with 383 passing yards but 0 TDs. Additionally, Murray had a second INT that led to points for the Rams as well in the 2nd half. The Cardinals now find themself with only a 1 game lead in the NFC West. This loss also now gives the Green Bay Packers the #1 seed in the NFC. Murray and the Cardinals do get a break next week when they take on the Lions, but no game is a gimme in this league.
1. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The owner of the Chicago Bears simply has ripped the heart out of the fan base once again by beating them 45 to 30 on Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers simply has been amazing all year long. There has been so much drama and as a Green Bay Packers fan, it is tiring. What amazes me is how Rodgers still goes out and delivers for this Packers team. Rodgers was the main reason why the Packers won this game. Rodgers went 29 for 37 for 341 passing yards and had 4 TDs. Beating the Bears is very important to Rodgers, and he has stated many times. Keep this in mind, Rodgers has only thrown 4 INTs all year long. That is simply outstanding for a QB in this league to do. Next up for the Packers and Rodgers is the Baltimore Ravens. The Packers have to keep winning if they want to retain that #1 seed in the NFC.
2. LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
This is the defensive rookie of the year and possibly the defensive player of the year at the rate he is going. Micah Parsons simply has been unbelievable this season. Parsons can be lined up anywhere and that was on full display in this game against the Washington Football Team. Parsons had 3 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. That forced fumble was a huge reason why the Cowboys were able to win this football game. The Cowboys are now at a record of 9-4. This is a very good Cowboys team, but they need to start clicking on both sides of the football if they have any plans on making a run this year. Next up is the struggling New York Giants.
3. WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Just keeps on going on for the Los Angeles Rams and their star WR in Cooper Kupp. The Rams and Kupp had a huge Monday night contest against the Arizona Cardinals. Kupp had a big game with 13 receptions for 123 receiving yards and 1 TD. Kupp now has 113 receptions for 1,489 receiving yards and 12 TDs. Kupp is 1st among all receivers in all those categories which is just amazing. The Rams are now 9-4 and are only one game behind the Cardinals for the NFC West crown. Kupp will keep the pace up for the rest of the year. If the Rams do get hot come playoff time, then they will be a very hard team to beat in the NFC. The Rams will take on the Seattle Seahawks in week #15.