Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) vs. Tennessee Titans (6-6)
Final Score: Titans 30, Jaguars 9
Recap: The Jaguars and Titans looked like they were in store for a close defensive matchup until Derrick Henry made a record-tying 99-yard touchdown that gave all the momentum to Tennessee. Jacksonville showed nothing promising all night, and it makes you wonder if the coaching staff has lost the locker room. Henry not only made that memorable ‘Beast Mode’ touchdown run, but put up 238 yards on the ground while racking up 4 touchdowns. The defense continued to pressure QB Cody Kessler all night and forced him into making big mistakes.
The moments that led to Henry’s run were the real killers for Jacksonville. After forcing a safety to make the score 7-2, the Jags went on a time consuming drive but failed to get any points after Leonard Fournette got stuffed at the goal line on a 4th down attempt. The very next play, Henry ran his way through the Jaguars defenders. Jacksonville has three games to go to determine who they want to bring back for the 2019 season. The Titans kept their playoff chances alive and will look to build on this win as they head to New York to face the Giants on Sunday.
Cody Kessler, QB: 25/43, 240 yds, 1 TD, INT
Leonard Fournette, RB: 14 rush, 36 yds, 2.6 ypc, 2 rec, 5 yds
Dede Westbrook, WR: 7 rec, 88 yds, 1 TD
Marcus Mariota, QB: 18/24, 162 yds, 1 INT, 4 rush, 13 yds
Derrick Henry, RB: 17 rush, 238 yds, 4 TD, 14 ypc
Taywan Taylor, WR: 6 rec, 59 yds
Written by: Cody Manning
New York Jets (4-9) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-9)
Final Score: Jets 27, Bills 23
Recap: This was a turnaround from these teams’ last matchup, which saw the Bills absolutely smoke the Jets with Matt Barkley at the helm. The Jets managed a win and snapped their 6 game losing streak in Sam Darnold’s first game back from injury. The young quarterback made his mistakes, but ultimately made the right plays when he had to. The Bills offense didn’t play too poorly in this one and their defense was stout, but they could not come out on top with the win. Allen impressed again with his legs in this one, but could not get it going through the air.
Josh Allen and the Bills started this game off hot with a long drive that was capped off with a running score by the young QB. The Bills were then able to capitalize later in the game after a Buster Skrine pass interference gave the Bills a new set of downs inside the 20 and eventually led to a McKenzie touchdown run. The Jets came roaring back after Andre Roberts picked up 86 yards on a kick return, and Trent Cannon then quickly scored on a four yard rush to make the game 17-13. The Bills managed a field goal after a Roberts fumbled a kickoff put them in fantastic field position for a 20-13 lead. But the play of the game was made by a scrambling Darnold who found Robby Anderson in the back of the end zone for the tying score. A Foster 38-yard catch put the Bills in position for a field goal to put them up 23-20 with 2:31 seconds. An impeccable two-minute drive executed by the young Darnold led to a 4th and 1 score to that put the Jets up 27-23 and snapped their 6-game losing streak.
New York Jets
Sam Darnold, QB: 16/24, yds,1 TD,1 INT
Elijah McGuire, RB: 17 rush, 60 yds, 1 TD, 3.5 ypc
Robby Andersen, WR: 4 rec, 76 yds, 1 TD
Josh Allen, QB: 18/36, 206 yds, 2 INT
Chris Ivory RB: 12 rush, 42 yds, 3.5 ypc
Robert Roster, WR: 7 rec, 104 yds
Written by: George Haraktsis
New York Giants (5-8) vs. Washington Redskins (6-7)
Final Score: Giants 40, Redskins 16
Recap: The Redskins were definitely expected to be a weaker team after the injuries to Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, and much of their offensive line. But I don’t know if anyone was expecting this thrashing by the Giants. The game was essentially over by the end of the first half, with the Giants scoring 27 of their 40 points in the second quarter alone, all the while pitching a shutout. Eli Manning arguably had his best game of the season, throwing three touchdowns with zero interceptions before sitting out the 4th quarter. Mark Sanchez’s performance, on the other hand, was pedestrian, as he threw 2 interceptions before being replaced by Josh Johnson, who, despite having not thrown a pass since 2011, ended up throwing for 1 touchdown and rushing for another. Finally, Saquon Barkley was his usual excellent self, totaling nearly 200 total yards.
The Giants kept getting big play after big play. They started off the first quarter with an easy pick-six off of a Sanchez throw deep in Redskins territory. This was the only Giants score of the game, until Barkley broke the second quarter wide open with a 78-yard touchdown run. This was followed soon after by two Eli Manning touchdown passes before the half was done. The Redskins were shut out until the fourth quarter until Johnson orchestrated two impressive scoring drives. He ran for an 8-yard rushing touchdown with about 12 minutes left, and then followed that up with a 79-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder. This was nowhere near enough to overcome the 40 points that the Giants had put up, however. Overall, this was a game that the Giants dominated from the beginning. If there is one bright side for the Redskins, it was Johnson’s decent performance. He will be their starter for the foreseeable future.
New York Giants
Eli Manning, QB: 14/22, 197 yds, 3 TD
Saquon Barkley, RB: 14 rush, 170 yds, 1 TD, 12.1 ypc, 4 rec, 27 yards
Evan Engram, TE: 3 rec, 77 yds
Mark Sanchez, QB: 6/14, 38 yds, 2 INT
Josh Johnson, QB: 11/16 195 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 rush, 45 yds, 1 TD, 6.4 ypc
Josh Doctson, 4 rec, 84 yards
Written by: Phillip Salmo
New Orleans Saints (11-2) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8)
Final Score: Sains 28, Buccaneers 14
Recap: What started out as a possibility of a major upset turned into a celebration, as the New Orleans Saints scored 25 unanswered points in the second half to stun the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and clinch the NFC South title for the second straight year. Drew Brees was mostly quiet in the first half, throwing a very terrible interception early that might have cost him the MVP award. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is left trying to figure out what went wrong, and how their game plan deviated from the one that shut down the league’s most dynamic offense for 30 minutes. New Orleans still stays in the race for the #1 seed, and with a three-game stretch at Carolina and then home against Pittsburgh and Carolina, the odds look good. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, now must travel to Baltimore and Dallas before returning home to face the reeling Atlanta Falcons. Ouch.
The Bucs got on the board first, scoring twice on two Jameis Winston passes to Cameron Brate, one of which he caught while facing defensive pass interference. After a modest second quarter, the third began with New Orleans fumbling the football on a Carl Nassib strip sack which Jason Pierre-Paul recovered. However, after a missed field goal by Cairo Santos and a Bucs punt, the momentum quickly shifted to the Saints. Third-string quarterback and resident “Mr. Everything” Taysom Hill blocked the punt, giving New Orleans great field position — they would score five plays later. Then, in the fourth, with the Saints on the Bucs 1 yard line, Drew Brees snuck it in on fourth-and-goal. Mark Ingram would add the final nail with a massive 17-yard scamper which saw him drag a Bucs defender for roughly six yards. The Bucs would attempt to at least get within striking distance, but Jameis committed his first turnover since gaining his starting job back, throwing an INT in the end zone with a second left.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, QB: 24/31, 201 yds, TD, INT
Alvin Kamara, RB: 12 rush, 51 yds, 4.2 ypc; 5 rec, 36 yds
Mark Ingram, RB: 13 rush, 52 yds, TD, 4.0 ypc
Michael Thomas, WR: 11 rec, 98 yds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston, QB: 18/38, 213 yds, 2 TD, INT; 5 rush, 47 yds, 9.4 ypc
Peyton Barber, RB: 14 rush, 42 yds, 4.0 ypc
Mike Evans, WR: 4 rec, 86 yds
Cameron Brate, TE: 2 rec, 12 yds, 2 TD
Written by: Joe Carlino
New England Patriots (9-4) vs. Miami Dolphins (7-6)
Final Score: Dolphins 34, Patriots 33
Recap: This game was an unexpected shootout. Blow after blow was traded between both teams with the offense taking the front seat as the defense sat in the dust for both teams. Ryan Tannehill played one his best games of the year, throwing for three touchdowns while also getting help from his running game in the form of Brandon Bolden and Frank Gore. Tom Brady didn’t have such a bad day himself, also throwing for three touchdowns, but not getting help from his running game very much. Both teams’ defenses did not come to play, both allowing over 30 points and giving up sloppy play after sloppy play. Either team’s unit could have taken the blame for the loss had it gone another way, but it was ultimately the Patriots defense that lost this one.
Stephen Gostkowski’s missed PAT on New England’s first touchdown set the tone for the rest of the game. Gostkowski went on to miss a field goal later in the game, and these two infractions cost the Patriots. Brady also took an unnecessary sack at the end of the second half that cost the Patriots a field goal. Ultimately, New England left a full 7 points on the board, a very un-Patriots like day. The Dolphins weren’t so great themselves, allowing two blocked punts and touchdown after touchdown to the Patriots. The play that changed the game, and the talk of the town, is the “Boise Hook and Ladder”. With the Dolphins 75 yards away from the endzone they had no choice but to attempt a a gadget play. Kenny Stills caught a pass over the middle as time expired, he latteralled to Parker, and then Parker did the same to Kenyan Drake. The running back took the ball and ran it to the house for a Dolphins win.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady, QB: 27/43, 358 yds, 3 TD
Rob Gronkowski, TE 8 rec, 107 yds, 1 TD, 13.4 ypc
Josh Gordon, WR: 5 rec, 96 yds
Ryan Tannehill, QB: 14/19, 265 yds, 3 TD
Frank Gore, RB: 12 rush, 92 yds, 7.7 ypc
Kenny Stills, WR: 8 rec, 135 yds, 1 TD
Written by: George Haraktsis
Baltimore Ravens (7-6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)
Final Score: Chiefs 27, Ravens 24
Recap: In what was one of the better games of the 2018 NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Baltimore Ravens in a tough game this Sunday. The Ravens defense looked solid for most of the day, but it seemed like Patrick Mahomes was constantly able to find a way to make winning plays when the Chiefs were backed into a corner. Lamar Jackson looked solid on Sunday, but the Ravens’offense was unable to outscore the Chiefs’ potent attack.
The play of the day came when Pat Mahomes was able to make a play late in the game on 4th down. Mahomes rolled to his right and flung a ball across the field to Tyreek Hill, who caught it for a big gain. Earlier in the game, Mahomes threw a no look pass that will be on Sportscenter for a few days as well. Lamar Jackson made some highlight plays as well. In what could be a potential playoff battle in a few weeks, the Ravens proved that they are able to beat the top dog in the AFC.
Lamar Jackson, QB: 13/24, 147 yds, 2 TD; 13 rush, 71 yds
Kenneth Dixon, RB: 8 rush, 59 yds, TD, 7.4 ypc; 1 rec, 21 yds
John Brown, WR: 2 rec, 23 yds, TD\
Kansas City Chiefs
Pat Mahomes, QB: 35/53, 377 yds, 2 TD, INT; 2 rush, -3 yds
Spencer Ware, RB: 15 rush, 75 yds, 5.0 ypc; 5 rec, 54 yds
Travis Kelce, TE: 7 rec, 77 yds, TD
Written by: Jake Leicht
Indianapolis Colts (7-6) vs. Houston Texans (9-4)
Final Score: Colts 24, Texans 21
Recap: The Colts found a way to go down to Houston and end their 9-game winning streak. After stumbling on offense and trailing the Texans 7-0 Indianapolis found a rhythm that got them out to a 17-7 lead, and they never gave it up. Houston just had too many moments where their drives stalled and attempted their comeback just a little too late. T.Y. Hilton continues his dominance in Houston as he posted 199 yards through the air. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney pressured Andrew Luck all afternoon, but Luck found ways to pick up crucial first downs which helped lead Indy to victory.
The Texans did have an opportunity to get the ball back to give their offense a chance to tie or win the game. On a 3rd-and-1 attempt after the two-minute warning, Luck drew Clowney offsides with a hard count which gave the Colts the game-sealing first down. Houston still has a 2-game lead on the AFC South and find themselves in the same playoff position that they entered the week with. Indy keeps their playoffs hopes alive, but every game will count as they host the streaking Cowboys on Sunday.
Andrew Luck, QB: 27/41, 399 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT, 6 rush, 16 yds
Marlon Mack, RB: 14 rush, 33 yds, 1 TD, 2.4 ypc
T.Y. Hilton, WR: 9 rec, 199 yds
Deshaun Watson, QB: 27/38, 267 yds, 1 TD, 5 rush, 35 yds
Lamar Miller, RB: 14 rush, 33 yds, 1 TD, 2.4 ypc
Ryan Griffin, TE: 5 rec, 80 yds
Written by: Cody Manning
Atlanta Falcons (4-9) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-7-1)
Final Score: Packers 34, Falcons 20
Recap: What was supposed to be a must-see matchup early on turned into a game of two teams playing for their seasons, and in classic Atlanta fashion this year, costly penalties and an inability to get the defense off the field cost them. The Falcons now officially have their first sub-.500 season under Dan Quinn. Matt Ryan played about as well as he could, even finding Julio Jones for two scores. But he also had some errors that proved costly, and center Alex Mack had a fumble at the Packers 8 that killed Atlanta’s final chance at a comeback. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers improved to 17-2 at home in December for his career, and broke Tom Brady’s record of consecutive passes without an interception (he nearly had it broken up, but every time the Falcons had an INT within reach they dropped it). Green Bay still barely survives in the playoff picture, but one more loss will seal their fate. Atlanta, meanwhile, is left looking towards next year, but being realistic, they were looking to 2019 when they lost roughly every major contributor before the first quarter of the season ended.
The Falcons got on the board first, with Ryan finding Jones on a slant for 16 yards and a score. From there, though, the tide changed, with Matt Bryant coming up short from 53 yards out, and a Matt Ryan pass intended for Austin Hooper being undercut by Bashaud Breeland for a pick-six. It was all Green Bay from there, as Rodgers picked apart a porous Atlanta defense, finding Randall Cobb from 24 yards out. Aaron Jones added a score from 29 yards out. Atlanta had enough chances late to make it interesting, as Julio’s second score came on a fourth-down conversion from the Packer 12. But Mack’s red zone fumble proved costly, as that potential drive could have let Justin Hardy’s late score be the game-winner. In a year where everything has gone wrong for Atlanta, this game just epitomized it further.
Matt Ryan, QB: 28/42, 262 yds, 3 TD, INT
Ito Smith, RB: 11 rush, 60 yds, 5.5 ypc
Julio Jones, WR: 8 rec, 106 yds, 2 TDs
Mohamed Sanu, WR: 6 rec, 54 yds
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers, QB: 21/32, 196 yds, 2 TDs; 3 rush, 44 yds, 14.7 ypc
Aaron Jones, RB: 17 rush, 78 yds, TD, 4.6 ypc
Davante Adams, WR: 7 rec, 81 yds, TD
Randall Cobb, WR: 5 rec, 43 yds, TD
Written by: Joe Carlino
Carolina Panthers (6-7) vs. Cleveland Browns (5-7-1)
Final Score: Browns 26, Panthers 20
Recap: The Cleveland Browns win again. That’s something most people probably didn’t expect in the wake of the Hue Jackson firing. But this isn’t your old run-of-the-mill, guaranteed win against the Browns anymore. No, these Browns are becoming legit, and they just proved it by beating the Carolina Panthers and keeping their playoff chances alive. Baker Mayfield played decently, but he’s proving more and more why he’s a #1 pick, and maybe Gregg Williams could make it as a head coach in the NFL. As for Carolina, they have now lost five straight games, and appear to be out of the playoff picture for good (their loss guaranteed the Saints the NFC South title). The Panthers now have to play said Saints twice in the final three weeks. This doesn’t bode well for the Carolina Blue.
Carolina scored two touchdowns early in the contest, both by Christian McCaffrey, who continues to prove himself as arguably the best dual-threat back in the NFL. Cleveland, however, would not be denied, as Jarvis Landry scored both of Cleveland’s opening scores, one on a three-yard rush and another on a 51-yard bomb from the Baker. Newly signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro would make his two attempts on the day, but it wouldn’t be enough, as Cleveland’s Nick Chubb gave the Browns the lead for good with a 4-yard run. The Panthers would have one final drive to win the game, as Cleveland missed the PAT and were only up by six after a field goal. But like last week against the Buccaneers, Cam Newton launched it deep and it was intercepted by Damarious Randall, sealing the win.
Cam Newton, QB: 26/42, 265 yds, INT
Christian McCaffrey, RB: 16 rush, 63 yds, 2 TDs, 3.9 ypc; 6 rec, 38 yds
Ian Thomas, TE: 9 rec, 77 yds
Baker Mayfield, QB: 18/22, 238 yds, TD
Nick Chubb, RB: 13 rush, 66 yds, TD, 5.1ypc
Jarvis Landry, WR: 3 rec, 57 yds, TD; 2 rush, 54 yds, TD
Written by: Joe Carlino
Denver Broncos (6-7) vs. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
Final Score: 49ers 20, Broncos 14
Recap: This game ended up being a lot closer and with a different outcome than I expected. The 49ers came into this one as the clear underdog and surprised everyone. Quarterback Nick Mullens led the way for the 49ers as he threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He benefited from a huge game from tight end George Kittle who finished with 7 receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown. This loss does a lot of damage to the Broncos, as they are trying to get back into the playoff picture but now drop to 6-7.
The 49ers came out dominating in the first half. They scored 20 unanswered points to start the game. The most notable of those first half touchdowns came on an 85-yard bomb from Mullens to Kittle. Denver attempted a comeback in the second half as they came out and scored on a 3-yard run by Phillip Lindsay. That was followed by a one-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to DaeSean Hamilton to make it 20-14. Unfortunately, they would run out of time as the 49ers held on to win 20-14.
Case Keenum, QB: 24/42, 186 yds, 1 TD
Phillip Lindsay, RB:14 rush, 30 yds, 1 TD, 2.1 ypc
Tim Patrick, WR: 11 rec, 158 yds, 1 TD
San Francisco 49ers
Nick Mullens, QB: 20/33, 332 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB: 23 rush, 90 yds, 3.9 ypc
George Kittle, TE: 7 rec, 210 yds, 1 TD
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3)
Final Score: Chargers 26, Bengals 21
Recap: The Cincinnati Bengals continued their horrendous 5-game losing skid, as they were not able to beat the Chargers on the road this Sunday. The Bengals finally fed Joe Mixon a healthy number of carries, and he was able to turn in a 138 total yards from scrimmage performance. The Chargers plodded through most of the game, but Philip Rivers made some big plays down the field when he needed to make them.
One of the biggest plays of the game actually came during an onside kick at the end of the game. Starting running back Austin Ekeler appeared to get a concussion after a Cincinnati Bengals’ player barrelled into him. This could be a huge injury if Melvin Gordon is unable to go next week due to his own injury. The Los Angeles Chargers are in the hunt for a first round bye, and they will need all hands on deck to beat the Kansas City Chiefs this week.
Jeff Driskel QB: 18/27, 170 yds, TD; 2 rush, 12 yds
Joe Mixon, RB: 26 rush, 111 yds, TD, 4.3 ypc; 5 rec, 27 yds
Tyler Boyd, WR: 3 rec, 52 yds
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers, QB: 19/29, 220 yds, TD; 2 rush, 7 yds
Austin Ekeler, RB: 15 rush, 66 yds, TD, 4.4 ypc; 2 rec, 28 yds
Keenan Allen, WR: 5 rec, 78 yds, TD
Written by: Jake Leicht
Detroit Lions (5-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-10)
Final Score: Lions 17, Cardinals 3
Recap: This game was an absolute stinker! A low scoring game that did not have any playoff implications ended in a Lions win. After no scoring in the first quarter, Detroit picked up a field goal in the middle of the second frame for a 3-0 lead at halftime. The Lions offense would score a touchdown in the third quarter and the Cardinals finally stopped the shutout with their only points on the day, a 22-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez. For good measure, the Lions picked up another touchdown in the fourth.
The most exciting player and play of the day was Darius Slay and his 67-yard interception returned for a touchdown. In an otherwise uneventful contest, the defenses collected four sacks, two turnovers and held each quarterback under 75 passer rating. The lone bright spot for the Cards was Trent Sherfield, an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt who had five receptions for 77 yards while filling in for the injured Christian Kirk. Historical tidbit: Detroit won its first game in Arizona since 1993.
Matthew Stafford, QB: 15/23, 101 yds; 1 rush, 7 yds
Zach Zenner, RB: 12 rush, 54 yds, 1 TD, 4.5 YPC
Jarrad Davis, LB: 8 tackles, 7 solo, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 1 PD, 1 QB hit
Darius Slay, CB: 3 PD, 67-yd INT return TD
Josh Rosen, QB: 26/41, 240 yds, 1 INT; 2 rush, 3 yds
David Johnson, RB: 15 rush, 49 yds, 3.3 YPC; 8 rec, 12 yds
Trent Sherfield, WR: 5 rec, 77 yds
Haason Reddick, LB: 11 tackles, 10 solo, 2 TFL, 1 QB hit
Written by: Rusty Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1) vs. Oakland Raiders (3-10)
Final Score: Raiders 24, Steelers 21
Recap: After last week’s heartbreaking loss to the Chargers, I figured that this would be a great week for the Steelers to get back on track. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh fans, the Raiders had other plans. Quarterback Derek Carr led the Raiders to victory, throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns. His top target was tight end Jared Cook, who finished with seven receptions for 116 yards. Ben Roethlisberger was on the losing end as he threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns, both of those being thrown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The loss puts the Steelers in a rough spot as they are only a ½ game ahead of the Ravens in the AFC North and have a tough three game stretch to end the season.
The first half of this game was a very back and forth contest. The Raiders got on the board first with a one-yard touchdown run, which was answered by a two-yard touchdown run by Stevan Ridley for the Steelers. Pittsburgh drove the ball down the field to score with ten seconds left in the half on a touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Smith-Schuster to go up 14-10 but Roethlisberger was injured on the play. The Roethlisberger injury would prove costly as he didn’t return for two series, in which backup Josh Dobbs managed to throw one interception. Oakland regained the lead in the fourth on a touchdown pass from Carr to tight end Lee Smith. That was matched with Roethlisberger coming back into the game and throwing another touchdown pass to Smith-Schuster. The Raiders drove down the field and took the lead with 21 seconds left on a touchdown pass from Carr to Derek Carrier. Pittsburgh put themselves in position for a game-tying Chris Boswell field goal but he unfortunately slipped on the attempt, leading to a 24-21 loss.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB: 25/29, 282 yds, 2 TD
Jaylen Samuels, RB: 11 rush, 28 yds, 2.5 ypc, 7 rec, 64 rec yds
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR: 8 rec, 130 yds, 2 TD
Derek Carr, QB: 25/34, 322 yds, 2 TD
Doug Martin, RB: 16 rush, 32 yds, 1 TD, 2 ypc
Jared Cook, TE: 7 rec, 116 yds
Written by: Ryan Lippert
Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-5)
Final Score: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23
Recap: This was a crucial game for the fate of the NFC East, and the Cowboys continued their winning ways by prevailing in overtime. Dallas’ addition of Amari Cooper continues to reap rewards, as the receiver had 10 receptions for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns against a decimated Eagles secondary. Dallas controlled the ball for twice the amount of time as the Eagles did, allowing them to win despite 3 turnovers by QB Dak Prescott. On the Philly side, Carson Wentz had a strong game but there was absolutely no ground game. The Eagles only ran the ball 14 times, with starter Josh Adams running for a paltry 36 yards. Injuries to Philadelphia’s secondary showed, and they could not compensate with a pass rush that only generated 2 sacks. Given the relative difficulty of each of these two teams’ schedules, it seems very likely that Dallas will represent the NFC East in the 2018 playoffs.
The 1st half featured two stifling defenses, as the score was 6-0 at the half. Dallas actually could have had more, but Prescott threw an interception deep in Philly territory and then Brett Maher missed a 45 yard field goal. Following two more Dak turnovers in the 3rd quarter, the Eagles tied the game up at 9-9. The teams traded touchdowns until Dallas had 1:39 left in the game with the ball on their own 18 yard line. The Eagles stopped the Cowboys in their tracks with two clutch sacks to send the game into overtime. Unfortunately for them, Dallas won the coin toss and led a methodical, 13 play drive that culminated in an Amari Cooper’s 3rd touchdown of the day.
Carson Wentz, QB: 22/32, 228 yds, 3 TD, 1 FUM
Alshon Jeffery, WR: 6 rec, 50 yds, 1 TD
Michael Bennet, DE: 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 TFL, 5 QB Hits
Dak Prescott, QB: 42/54, 455 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT, 1 FUM
Ezekiel Elliott, RB: 28 rush, 113 yds, 12 rec, 79 yds
Amari Cooper, WR: 10 rec, 217 yds, 3 TD
Written by: Alexander Amir
Los Angeles Rams (11-2) vs. Chicago Bears (9-4)
Final Score: Bears 15, Rams 6
Recap: Many teams have won championships off the back of dominant defenses, and the Bears may have that recipe for success. On Sunday Night, the Bears heald Los Angeles to their lowest output on the season accruing four interceptions and pushing LAR back to the 2nd seed in the NFC playoff picture. After suffering an overtime loss just a week prior, the Bears were prepared to take on the high powered Rams offense and show the NFL they should not be taken lightly. This was a brutal defensive game from both sidelines, but was exciting until the final drive. If the Bears can keep rolling, we may get to see a rematch in the divisional round of the playoffs.
This was not the greatest game plan we have seen from Sean McVay. The Rams abandoned the run early, awarding Todd Gurley with a measly 11 carries on the night compared to Jared Goff's 43 attempts. Their offensive line bottomed out and Goff left the field with the worst stat line he has endured in the McVay era. Having recorded a 19.1 passer rating and turning the ball over four times, this was not the same offensive unit we have seen evolve over the past two seasons. The Bears sacked Goff three times and consistently pressured him throughout all 4 quarters, rattling LA’s signal caller and forcing rushed and poor throws. However, the Rams offense wasn’t the only unit to contribute to this defeat. LA’s rush defense has been a problem all year and Chicago gashed them through the trenches, controlling the ball and the clock, as their rushing tandem combined for 170 yards on 28 carries. The Rams will look to rebound from an abysmal performance against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football, while the Bears look ahead to their division rival in Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff, QB: 20/44, 180 yds, 4 INT
Todd Gurley , RB: 11 rush, 28 yds, 2.5 ypc
Robert Woods, WR: 7 rec, 61 yds
Mitch Trubisky, QB: 16/30, 110 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Jordan Howard, RB: 19 rush, 101 yds, 5.3 ypc
Tarik Cohen, RB: 9 rush, 69 yds, 7.7 ypc, 4 rec, 20 yds
Written by: Jason Feiner
Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
Final Score: Seahawks 21, Vikings 7
Recap: Monday Night Football was dominated by each defense from start to finish. Minus a few explosive plays, both Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins had little to no success through the air. Each quarterback was under duress the entire game and each sacked on multiple occasions. The Seahawks stuck to what they do best and kept pounding the ball in between the tackles, regardless of the game script. They punched the Vikings in the mouth on both sides of the ball until Minnesota finally broke. The Seahawks are just a tough team to beat at home, and especially in primetime games, as they now hold a 16-2 record in the Pete Carroll era under the big lights. Even though the Hawks won and Vikes lost, both teams still maintain their wildcard positioning. But the Vikings are now only a half game ahead of the struggling Panthers, Eagles, and Redskins.
If you like high scoring affairs, this game was quite the snooze-fest. After four failed attempts to get into the endzone by the Vikings, Seattle’s goal line stand wound up being the deciding factor of the game. Up 6-0 with 5:46 to go, the Seahawks and Bobby Wagner got away with one in what’s considered “leveraging” by hopping over the O-line and blocking the field goal. Instead of it being a penalty, which would have resulted in a 1st down, Seattle got the ball back. A few plays later, Russell Wilson avoided the pressure, scrambled for 45 yards and set up a Chris Carson TD run. Once that happened, the game snowballed for the Vikings. Kirk Cousins was stripped while rolling out of the pocket, and the loose ball was was returned by Justin Coleman for a 29-yard scoop and score. Within 18 seconds, the Vikings went from down 6 to down 21, and that was all she wrote (minus a last minute garbage time TD from Cousins to Dalvin Cook).
Kirk Cousins, QB: 20/33, 208 yds, 1 TD
Dalvin Cook, RB: 13 rush, 55 yds, 4.2 ypc; 5 rec, 28 yds, 1 TD
Stefon Diggs, WR: 4 rec, 76 yds
Russell Wilson, QB: 10/20, 72 yds, 1 INT, 7 rush, 61 yds
Chris Carson, RB: 22 rush, 90 yds, 1 TD, 4.1 ypc
Tyler Lockett, WR: 5 rec, 42 yds
Written by: Jack Bourgeois