Cardinals – 12 (11-3), Rams – 6 (6-8) – Thursday
Heroes – Chandler Catanzaro (4 FG), Kerwynn Williams (75 RuYd, 11 ReYd), Stedman Bailey (74 ReYd, 13 RuYd)
Zeroes – Drew Stanton (109 PaYd), Michael Floyd (55 ReYd), Larry Fitzgerald (30 ReYd), Shaun Hill (229 PaYd), Tre Mason (33 RuYd)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cardinals came away with the win on Thursday against the Rams even though they lost quarterback Drew Stanton to injury. The Cards used their defense and four field goals from kicker Chandler Catanzaro to win the game as Rams running back Tre Mason, who lost a fumble in the first quarter, was held to only 33 yards rushing on the night. Kerwynn Williams, taking over for an injured Andre Ellington at running back, averaged five yards per carry against the Rams.
Interesting Game Fact: The Rams defense has not allowed a touchdown in three straight games.
Steelers – 27 (9-5), Falcons – 20 (5-9)
Heroes – Le’Veon Bell (47 RuYd, 72 ReYd, 2 TD), Antonio Brown (123 ReYd), Ben Roethlisberger (360 PaYd), Matt Ryan (310 PaYd, 27 RuYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Harry Douglas (131 ReYd), Devin Hester (85 ReYd, 1 TD), Roddy White (58 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Martavis Bryant (31 ReYd), Steven Jackson (46 RuYd, 11 ReYd)
Le’Veon Bell continues to be the multifaceted running back the Steelers always envisioned, as he took care of business on the ground and through the air yet again as the Steelers pushed forward to remain at the top of the AFC North. The Falcons did not have Julio Jones in the lineup, and it was an obvious hit to their offensive game plan as they struggled to keep pace with the Steelers until the end. Matt Ryan was 26-of-37 as he looked to Harry Douglas to help make up for the Julio Jones-loss. One of the reasons for the Steelers success on Sunday was Roethlisberger’s ability to avoid the blitz as he was 8-for-8 for 120 yards when the Falcons sent an extra rusher.
Interesting Game Fact: Antonio Brown has 110 receptions, his second consecutive season to do so.
Giants – 24 (5-9), Redskins – 13 (3-11)
Heroes – Eli Manning (250 PaYd, 3 TD), Odell Beckham, Jr. (143 ReYd, 3 TD), Andre Roberts (81 ReYd)
Zeroes – Andre Williams (44 RuYd), Rashad Jennings (3 RuYd), Alfred Morris (49 RuYd), Pierre Garcon (36 ReYd), DeSean Jackson (15 ReYd), Jordan Reed (13 ReYd)
Odell Beckham, Jr. is quickly rising to the ranks as a top wide receiver in the NFL, as he now has 71 catches on the season after missing the first four games of the NFL year. Beckham is making an incredible run for a rookie wide receiver, as quarterback Eli Manning threw all three of his TD passes to Beckham, Jr. The Giants played excellent defense as they kept the Redskins from scoring a touchdown in the second half, only limiting them to one Kai Forbath field goal. Although the Giants were successful through the air, they only managed 49 total rushing yards for the game.
Interesting Game Fact: Beckham, Jr’s 972 yards receiving are a rookie team record for the Giants.
Patriots – 41 (11-3), Dolphins – 13 (7-7)
Heroes – Tom Brady (287 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Rob Gronkowski (96 ReYd, 1 TD), Julian Edelman (88 ReYd, 1 TD), Legarrette Blount (17 RuYd, 1 TD), Mike Wallace (104 ReYd, 1 TD), Jarvis Landry (99 ReYd), Ryan Tannehill (346 PaYd, 21 RuYd, 1 TD, 2 INT)
Zeroes – Shane Vereen (5 RuYd, 12 ReYd), Lamar Miller (47 RuYd, 10ReYd)
The Dolphins never really gave the Patriots a fight once the second half rolled around. The Patriots defense took control and shut the Dolphins down, while not allowing a single point in the second half. Tom Brady and the Patriots, who locked up the AFC East division title, used tight end Rob Gronkowski well. Gronkowski averaged over 30 yards per catch while wrangling in a TD catch to run the score up to 31-13 in the third quarter. The game was out of reach by then for Miami, as Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace padded their stats late.
Interesting Game Fact: Now in 10-straight games in the 2014 season, Brady has thrown at least two TD passes.
Chiefs – 31 (8-6), Raiders – 13 (2-12)
Heroes – Alex Smith (297 PaYd, 2 TD), Travis Kelce (59 ReYd, 1 TD), Knile Davis (11 RuYd, 70 ReYd, 2TD), James Jones (57 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Jamaal Charles (52 RuYd), Derek Carr (222 PaYd, 1 TD), Mychal Rivera (39 ReYd), Darren McFadden (13 RuYd)
The Chiefs had no problem at all scoring points against the Raiders anemic defense, even when superstar running back Jamaal Charles wasn’t his best. Charles was pulled out of the game after the Chiefs built a big lead, which gave Knile Davis an opportunity to score his 70-yard TD reception. The Chiefs defense came through keeping Latavius Murray and the Raiders rushing offense in check allowing only 78 total yards on the ground. Alex Smith had an excellent game as he threw a season-high 297 yards without an interception.
Interesting Game Fact: The Raiders have been outscored by opponents 83-13 in games that follow their victories.
Colts – 17 (10-4), Texans – 10 (7-7)
Heroes – Hakeem Nicks (44 ReYd, 1 TD), Dwayne Allen (16 ReYd, 1 TD), Arian Foster (99 RuYd, 18 ReYd), Deandre Hopkins (77 ReYd)
Zeroes – Coby Fleener (32 ReYd), Reggie Wayne (24 ReYd), Trent Richardson (32 RuYd, 9 ReYd), Donte Moncrief (0 ReYd)
Andrew Luck just can’t do it all, not every week anyway. Although he didn’t have his best game statistically, Luck locked up his second straight AFC South title. Luck got help from his defense as the Colts knocked Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick out of the game with a leg injury, which in turn put the ball into the hands of rookie Tom Savage who struggled to maintain consistency. While the Colts came away with the victory, it’s worth noting that start receiver T.Y. Hilton left late in the game with a hamstring injury.
Interesting Game Fact: J.J. Watt sacked Luck twice, while also batting down one pass.
Ravens – 20 (9-5), Jaguars – 12 (2-12)
Heroes – Owen Daniels (62 ReYd, 1 TD), Josh Scobee (4 FG), Cecil Shorts (76 ReYd), Allen Hurns (70 ReYd)
Zeroes – Joe Flacco (221 PaYd, 1 TD), Justin Forsett (48 RuYd), Steve Smith (37 ReYd), Torrey Smith (16 ReYd)
The Jaguars defense played surprisingly well as they kept the Ravens to only 314 total yards on offense; however, the Ravens defense played even better. They kept Blake Bortles, who was suffering through a sprained right foot, and the Jags offense at bay with eight sacks on the day for a total loss of 63 yards. The Ravens also blocked a punt for a TD during the first quarter to give them a 7-0 lead. Until Owen Daniels’ third quarter TD reception, the Jags were leading the game. Bortles was under constant pressure as the Jags offensive line has now allowed 62 sacks on the season.
Interesting Game Fact:
Bills – 21 (8-6), Packers – 13 (10-4)
Heroes – Bills Defense/Special Teams (TD Punt Return, Safety), Dan Carpenter (4 FG), Fred Jackson (71 RuYd, 27 ReYd), Eddie Lacy (97 RuYd, 11 ReYd, 1 TD), Randall Cobb (96 ReYd)
Zeroes – Kyle Orton (158 PaYd, 1 INT), Scott Chandler (22 ReYd), Sammy Watkins (28 ReYd), Robert Woods (22 ReYd), Aaron Rodgers (185 ReYd, 2 INT), Jordy Nelson (55 ReYd)
When Aaron Rodgers throws for less than 200 yards, two INTs and no TDs then you have to figure he just had an “off” day, although the Bills defense is certainly no walkover. Some of the blame can be assigned to Jordy Nelson and overall receiver play, as Nelson dropped a likely TD score for the Packers in the third quarter. The Bills defense played brilliantly as they rank highly in the top 10, while their special teams play really pushed the club towards victory early on as Marcus Thigpen returned a punt for a 75-yard TD. Kicker Dan Carpenter also played hero with his four field goals on the day. Rodgers only completed two of his 14 passes thrown 15-plus yards downfield.
Interesting Game Fact: The Bills defense now has seven multiple interception games.
Panthers – 19 (5-8-1), Buccaneers – 17 (2-12)
Heroes- Greg Olsen (110 ReYd), Graham Gano (4 FG), Kelvin Benjamin (104 ReYd), Jerricho Cotchery (47 ReYd, 1 TD), Derek Anderson (277 PaYd, 1 TD), Josh McCown (154 PaYd, 21 RuYd, 1 RuTD, 1 PaTD), Doug Martin (96 ReYd)
Zeroes – None
It’s hard to believe, but the Panthers still have a shot at winning the NFC South and would actually take the division lead if the Saints lose to the Bears on Monday night. Derek Anderson, who filled in for an injured Cam Newton, played mistake-free football as he lead the Panthers to victory. Newton, who suffered two broken bones in his back from a car accident on Tuesday, has an outside chance of returning to action in Week 16 as the injury isn’t considered too serious. Tight end Greg Olsen caught 10 balls against the Bucs, his second consecutive week with 10 catches.
Interesting Game Fact: Bucs quarterback Josh McCown fumbled twice and threw one interception.
Bengals – 30 (9-4-1), Browns – 0 (7-7)
Heroes – Jeremy Hill (148 RuYd, 4 ReYd, 2 TD), Giovani Bernard (79 RuYd, 24 ReYd)
Zeroes – Andy Dalton (117 ReYd, 1 INT), A.J. Green (49 ReYd), Mohamed Sanu (4 ReYd), Josh Gordon (48 ReYd), Terrance West (23 RuYd), Isaiah Crowell (17 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Johnny Manziel (80 PaYd, 2 INT)
The Browns only had five first downs the entire day against the Bengals as Johnny Manziel was limited to 80 yards passing, with two interceptions. Not only did the Bengals defense destroy Manziel, they kept the entire offense to only 107 total yards. Jeremy Hill, who got the start at running back for the Bengals, had no problem finding room to run as the Browns defense also failed miserably. It was a complete team collapse by Cleveland, as the Bengals gained 194 of their 244 rushing yards between the tackles.
Interesting Game Fact: The 38 plays ran by the Browns offense on Sunday was the fewest by any NFL team in 2014.
Jets – 16 (3-11), Titans – 11 (2-12)
Heroes – Chris Ivory (25 RuYd, 1 TD), Eric Decker (100 ReYd), Nate Washington (102 ReYd), Delanie Walker (93 ReYd)
Zeroes – Geno Smith (179 PaYd,16 RuYd, 1 TD), Chris Johnson (55 RuYd), Charlie Whitehurst (203 PaYd), Bishop Sankey (8 RuYd, 18 ReYd)
The Jets won their first road game of the season on Sunday, as they edged the Titans in a game of pitiful vs. pitiful. The Titans have lost eight-straight games as they were kept from scoring a touchdown against the Jets defense. Other than a Chris Ivory rushing TD, the Jets really didn’t have much to write home about either regarding their offense. Unfortunately for Jets and Titans fans, the highlight of the game was the brawl that took place in the third quarter after defensive tackle Jurrell Casey mixed it up with Geno Smith.
Interesting Game Fact: Jets receiver Eric Decker has 13 receptions and 189 receiving yards over his last two games played.
Broncos – 22 (11-3), Chargers – 10 (8-6)
Heroes – Connor Barth (5 FG), C.J. Anderson (85 RuYd, 11 ReYd), Demaryius Thomas (123 ReYd, 1 TD), Antonio Gates (54 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Peyton Manning (233 PaYd, 1 TD), Emmanuel Sanders (53 ReYd), Julius Thomas (30 ReYd), Wes Welker (16 ReYd), Philip Rivers (232 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Keenan Allen (18 ReYd)
The Broncos won their fourth-straight AFC West title as they dispatched the Chargers on Sunday without having Peyton Manning at his best. Manning, who was suffering from a thigh injury and slight illness, was struggling to maintain consistent production. Fortunately for Manning, the Broncos are a deep club and were able to separate from the Chargers with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Philip Rivers struggled most of the day as he was only 24-for-41, with two interceptions.
Interesting Game Fact: Three of Demaryius Thomas’ catches went for at least 25 yards.
Lions – 16 (10-4), Vikings – 14 (6-8)
Heroes – Joique Bell (62 RuYd, 41 ReYd), Golden Tate (38 ReYd, 1 TD), Teddy Bridgewater (315 PaYd, 30 RuYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Matt Asiata (36 RuYd, 50 ReYd, 1 TD), Charles Johnson (72 ReYd), Greg Jennings (43 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Matthew Stafford (153 PaYd, 1 TD), Reggie Bush (7 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Calvin Johnson (53 ReYd)
The Lions defense battled and kept the team in the game as Matthew Stafford only threw for 153 passing yards. Joique Bell combined for over 100 yards rushing and receiving, while Golden Tate pulled in the Lions only touchdown of the day. Teddy Bridgewater did his best to keep the game close as he threw for over 300 yards, while Matt Asiata played solidly for the Vikes. The Lions held on tight as they kept the Vikings from scoring in the second half.
Interesting Game Fact: The Vikings missed two field goals and had another blocked as they were 0-for-3 on Sunday.
Seahawks – 17 (10-4), 49ers – 7 (7-7)
Heroes – Marshawn Lynch (91 RuYd, 7 ReYd, 1 TD), Paul Richardson (30 ReYd, 1 TD), Jermaine Kearse (78 ReYd), Frank Gore (29 RuYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Russell Wilson (168 PaYd, 27 RuYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Doug Baldwin (53 ReYd), Colin Kaepernick (141 PaYd, 46 RuYd), Vernon Davis (0 ReYd), Michael Crabtree (12 ReYd), Anquan Boldin (23 ReYd)
The Seahawks gave the 49ers their third-straight loss of the season, which is the first time ever for Jim Harbaugh, as the Hawks defense stepped up yet again while Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson did enough offensively to help win the game. The Seattle defense sacked Colin Kaepernick six times while the 49ers were unable to get past the 50-yard line in the second half. The only bright spot for the Niners on Sunday was Frank Gore and his 10-yard TD run, although he left the game in the third quarter with a concussion.
Interesting Game Fact: Lynch picked up 48 of his second-half rushing yards after contact.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you for Week 16! And, don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy