Week 14 Review– Best set of games of all time??

Posted: 12/10/2013 by levcohen in Football
Tags: , , , , ,

Talk about incredible. Coming into the Sunday early games, there was a lot of snow and inclement weather in the forecast. Games were expected to be low scoring and dull, and over/unders were adjusted accordingly. Instead of the dull slop-fest we expected on Sunday, we were reminded of why the NFL is such a fun sport to watch. The NFL quite possible gave us the best set of Sunday games of all time, especially the early slate of games. I’ll go through only the most incredible games from Sunday, the fallout and the “what-if’s?”.

First, an elimination of the Tennessee Titans. They played well against Denver, and still got blown out.

Lions at Eagles:
The Snow Game. This game will be remembered for a long time, not just because there were eight inches of snow on the field, but because of the way the game played out. First of all, the weather report SUNDAY MORNING was that there would be 1-2 inches of snow coming in at about 2:30, so about halftime. At about 12:00, the field was clear. And then it started snowing. And it wasn’t a flurry. It stuck, and by the time the game started an hour later the field was covered in snow. And it kept going on at a heavy pace until past halftime. And these were two teams that clearly didn’t like the snow, at least in the first half. At the half, the score was 8-0 (there was only one extra point attempted all game due to the snow, and it was blocked. The Lions ended up wasting a timeout in order to try to clean up the field for an extra point that was eventually blocked. Maybe they got a little too cute?). The second half was different, to say the least, with 46 points scored total, including two return touchdowns for the Lions hitherto unexciting return man Jeremy Ross. But the majority of the fireworks came from the Eagles and running back LeSean McCoy. Maybe the snow made some slip, but the Eagles electrifying running back somehow was not bothered, running for a career high 217 yards to go along with two touchdowns. But really, the reason the Eagles ended up on top by 14 points is the coaching. Chip Kelly was able to adjust to the conditions, while Jim Schwartz was not. It’s as simple as that.

Fallout: The Eagles improve to 8-5 and, with the Dallas loss last night, take the lead in the NFC East. They also now have the inside track to the #3 seed, with a game lead over Detroit and the tiebreaker. They will still probably need to win in Dallas in week 17 to punch their playoff ticket (unless the Eagles pick up another game on Dallas between now and then. The Eagles have Minnesota and Chicago coming up while the Cowboys have the Packers (possibly with Aaron Rodgers returning) and the Redskins), but this was huge for them.

Browns at Patriots:
The Patriots hadn’t had a successful onside kick since 1995. To give you a sense of how long ago that is, that boot also came against the Browns, who were coached by Bill Belichick. So yeah, it’s been a long time. It might be controversial, but it seems pretty obvious: the refs have been aiding the Patriots in many of their close wins. Last week, against a terrible and quite possibly tanking Browns team, was no different. First, after the Patriots scored to make the score 26-21, the Browns were called for a seemingly meaningless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed the ensuing kickoff to the 50. Then, after Stephen Gostkowski’s admittedly brilliant onside kick with about a minute left, the Patriots had it at the Browns 40. They completed one pass to the 30, and then got another gift. Tom Brady passed incomplete deep to rookie Josh Boyce on a pass that Boyce was never going to catch, but the refs called pass interference on Cleveland’s defensive back. There was very little contact, and it was clearly a bad call. The Patriots ended up winning the game. It’s plays like that that make the Patriots so annoying.

Fallout: The Patriots won the battle, but they may well have lost the war. Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL, and with Gronk’s season over, the Patriots will again struggle to put up points. They still might be the Broncos’ chief competition in the AFC, (isn’t a Broncos-Seahawks SB inevitable?) but their chance of beating Denver went way down. Meanwhile, they still hold a one game lead on Cincinnati for a first round BYE (the Bengals hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a win over New England earlier in the season), while they are one game behind Denver for homefield advantage throughout (they hold the tiebreaker over Denver). This was probably a good result for the Browns. They will now likely get a higher pick in the draft, but certainly didn’t embarrass themselves in New England. And Josh Gordon added another 151 yards to his record setting season. He now has 14o0 yards in 11 games. Wow.

Dolphins at Steelers:
This was another incredible one. There were the five lead changes, but that was nothing compared to the last play. There was one second left. The Steelers had the ball at their own 26. They snapped the ball and played the usually pointless lateral game. Emmanuel Sanders brought it out to about the 46 yard line and then tossed it back. A few offensive lineman and a possible illegal lateral later (Roethlisberger’s lateral to Antonio Brown was sideways at best but might have been forward), Antonio Brown, one of the most electrifying receivers in the game, had the ball near the sidelines at about his own 40. And there was nobody there to tackle him. Brown used his speed to outrun everybody and was gone for the craziest ending in NFL history. But there was one problem. His heel was out of bounds at the Dolphins 13 yard line. And he could have easily stayed in bounds without being taken down. He just barely stepped out.

Fallout: There’s a lot of fallout from this. The Dolphins improve to 7-6 and keep pace with the Ravens in the wild card race. The Steelers, at 5-8, aren’t exactly eliminated but are pretty close. Had they won, they would have been just a game out and very much in the race. Wow.

Vikings at Ravens:
An NFL record six fourth-quarter lead changes. Five of them came in the final 125 seconds of the game. Here’s what happened. First, with about two minutes to go, the Ravens converted a fourth and goal from the one to go up 13-12. They added the two point conversion and the score was 15-12. 38 seconds later, the Vikings struck back. First, Matt Cassel connected with Jerome Simpson deep for 27 yards. Then Toby Gerhart took a handoff up the middle for 41 yards and a touchdown. Ho-hum. But that wasn’t all. On the ensuing kickoff, Jacoby Jones took the kickoff to the house. The score was 22-19 and there was still a minute and 16 seconds left. Two incomplete passes later, Cassel passed it short to Corrdarrelle Patterson. The rookie then zipped past everyone for 79 yards and the Vikings led 26-22. The Ravens ended the game with a relatively long 41 second drive. It looked like it was all over when Joe Flacco threw an interception, but it was called back due to pass interference. Two plays later, Flacco and the Ravens had a 29-26 win.

Fallout: The Ravens stay in the wildcard lead at 7-6 and now have three tough games coming up, so this was a must win game for them. The Vikings are now 3-9-1, and while that tie could cost them, they are still in line for a high pick.

Those were the best of them, and that doesn’t include Matt Prater’s record-breaking 64 yard field goal or late comebacks by the Green Bay Packers and 49ers. Nor does it include New Orleans’s whooping of their division rival or Chicago’s win on Monday Night Football over Dallas. There were 90 total touchdowns scored on Sunday, the most of all time. That’s how good it was.

Straight up: 9-7 (123-83-2)
ATS: 8-8 (89-112-7)
O/U: 6-9-1 including 2-6-1 in the early games.. the weather surprised me too (103-102-3)

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Comments
  1. quadrangular says:

    Eight inches on the field in the Eagles’ game? I don’t think we had more than one or two in Haverford.

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