Ravens – 20 (10-6), Browns – 10 (7-9)
Heroes – Joe Flacco (312 PaYd, 2 TD), Justin Forsett (119 RuYd, 17 ReYd), Steve Smith, Sr. (90 ReYd), Torrey Smith (83 ReYd, 1 TD), Terrance West (94 RuYd, 12 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Owen Daniels (46 ReYd), Connor Shaw (177 PaYd, 1 INT), Jordan Cameron (41 ReYd), Isaiah Crowell (6 RuYd, 16 ReYd)
Just when you think the Ravens are down and possibly out, they manage to get some luck to fall their way. The Ravens, on the mistake-free play of quarterback Joe Flacco and the hard running style of Justin Forsett, squeaked into the playoffs as the sixth seed AFC wild-card by beating the Browns and getting the Chargers to fall to the Chiefs in defeat. The Ravens have now made the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, as they scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to get the win. Flacco was 8-of-9 for 161 yards and two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter on Sunday.
Interesting Game Fact: The Ravens were only 4-of-13 on third down in Week 17.
Cowboys – 44 (12-4), Redskins – 17 (4-12)
Heroes – Tony Romo (299 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), DeMarco Murray (100 RuYd, 21 ReYd, 1 TD), Dez Bryant (99 ReYd, 2 TD), Joseph Randle (69 RuYd, 1 TD), DeSean Jackson (86 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Jason Witten (49 ReYd), Pierre Garcon (53 ReYd)
The Cowboys are no longer the team that slips away in December, as they completed a perfect 4-0 regular season in a month that had historically treated them poorly in recent years. Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant all played the last week of the season without getting any rest. Murray carried the ball 20 times, Bryant saw six targets and Romo tossed the ball 34 times facing the Redskins, who were never in the game as the Cowboys took a 27-10 halftime lead. The Cowboys will host the Lions next week in a playoff battle, while the Redskins finished last in their division for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
Interesting Game Fact: DeSean Jackson’s 69-yard TD reception was the 13th TD of at least 60 yards over his career.
Colts – 27 (11-5), Titans – 10 (2-14)
Heroes – Coby Fleener (56 ReYd, 2 TD), Reggie Wayne (91 ReYd), Shonn Greene (94 RuYd)
Zeroes – Hakeem Nicks (46 ReYd), Trent Richardson (11 RuYd, 9 ReYd), Donte Moncrief (16 ReYd), T.Y. Hilton (0 ReYd), Charlie Whitehurst (72 PaYd, 1 TD), Bishop Sankey (18 RuYd), Delanie Walker (43 ReYd)
Considering the competition and the first-half lead, it was smart of the Colts to sit Andrew Luck in the second half. Luck, who managed to throw for 160 yards and two TDs on Sunday against the Titans, and the Colts never fell behind during the contest. Luck also broke a franchise record set by Peyton Manning, as he topped 4,700 passing yards in the season. The Colts defense played well as they sacked Titans’ quarterback Charlie Whitehurst four times.
Interesting Game Fact: Titans punter Brett Kern kicked a 79-yard punt.
Texans – 23 (9-7), Jaguars – 17 (3-13)
Heroes – Case Keenum (250 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Alfred Blue (39 RuYd, 37 ReYd, 1 TD), Arian Foster (23 RuYd, 10 ReYd, 1 TD), Andre Johnson (134 ReYd, 1 TD), Jordan Todman (52 RuYd, 46 ReYd, 1 TD), Cecil Shorts (47 ReYd, 23 PaYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – DeAndre Hopkins (5 ReYd), Toby Gerhart (8 RuYd), Allen Hurns (15 ReYd)
Even with the Texans’ win on Sunday, a lot had to go right for them in order to make the playoffs. J.J. Watt had three sacks, a forced fumble and a safety as he helped push the Texans to victory, although it wasn’t enough as the Ravens beat the Browns to claim the last playoff spot in the AFC. Watt ended the season with 20.5 sacks and 50 quarterback hurries/hits, which gives ammo to an MVP vote. If Watt does win the MVP award, he would be the first defensive player to do so since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
Interesting Game Fact: J.J. Watt is the first player in NFL history to have multiple sack seasons of 20 or more.
Chiefs – 19 (9-7), Chargers – 7 (9-7)
Heroes – Cairo Santos (4 FG), Travis Kelce (84 ReYd, 1 TD), Branden Oliver (71 RuYd, 1 TD), Eddie Royal (95 ReYd)
Zeroes – Chase Daniel (157 PaYd, 16 RuYd), Dwayne Bowe (30 ReYd), Philip Rivers (291 PaYd, 2 INT), Malcom Floyd (29 ReYd)
The Chargers could never get their offense going against a tough Chiefs defense, which inevitably led to a loss and elimination from the AFC playoffs. In recent weeks, Rivers was quite brilliant on the road against the Ravens but could get nothing to fall right for him, as he was 0-for-8 with an interception throwing into the end zone in the fourth quarter. The Chargers three fourth-quarter drives ended in two punts and an INT. Rivers was also sacked seven times, with the Chiefs Justin Houston getting four all by himself, as the Chargers offensive line struggled to protect their quarterback.
Interesting Game Fact: The Chiefs ended the 2014 season with ZERO touchdown passes to wide receivers.
Jets – 37 (4-12), Dolphins – 24 (8-8)
Heroes – Geno Smith (358 PaYd, 18 RuYd, 3 TD), Eric Decker (221 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Ivory (29 RuYd, 8 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Owusu (23 RuYd, 36 ReYd, 1 TD), Jeff Cumberland (23 ReYd, 1 TD), Lamar Miller (178 RuYd, 1 TD), Charles Clay (45 ReYd, 1 TD), Brian Hartline (94 ReYd)
Zeroes – Chris Johnson (20 RuYd, -3 ReYd), Jace Amaro (34 ReYd), Jarvis Landry (55 ReYd)
It was likely Rex Ryan’s last game as the head coach for the Jets, although they went out with a bang as Geno Smith finally had the breakout game that’s been expected of him all season long. Smith was 20-of-25 on the day and was only sacked once by the Miami defense, which certainly added to Smith’s confidence as the Jets came into the game as the worst ranked passing offense in the NFL. Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace was benched in the second half as had a disagreement with the Dolphins coaching staff.
Interesting Game Fact: Lamar Miller’s 97-yard TD run is tied for the third-longest run in NFL history.
Vikings – 13 (7-9), Bears – 9 (5-11)
Heroes – Matt Asiata (91 RuYd, 17 ReYd), Adam Thielen (68 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Greg Jennings (45 ReYd), Charles Johnson (22 ReYd), Cordarrelle Patterson (0 ReYd), Jay Cutler (172 PaYd, 39 RuYd), Martellus Bennett (59 ReYd), Alshon Jeffery (34 ReYd)
The Bears ended the season taking their fifth-straight loss, as Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings were able to score the only touchdown of the game. The Bears were limited to only 264 total yards on offense as Jay Cutler, who started on Sunday after being benched in Week 16, ended a very forgettable season. Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery only had two catches on the day as the Vikings defense kept the Bears out of the end zone all day long.
Interesting Game Fact: Matt Forte caught eight balls on Sunday for a total of 102 receptions for the Bears in 2014, which is a new NFL record for running backs.
Bills – 17 (9-7), Patriots – 9 (12-4)
Heroes – Boobie Dixon (27 RuYd, 8 ReYd, 1 TD), Robert Woods (39 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Kyle Orton (176 PaYd, 1 TD), Scott Chandler (20 ReYd), C.J. Spiller (17 RuYd, 2 ReYd), Tom Brady (80 PaYd), Shane Vereen (14 ReYd, 2 RuYd), Rob Gronkowski (0 ReYd)
The Patriots never really planned on going all-out against the Bills on Sunday, with homefield advantage locked up for the entire playoffs. Tom Brady only played the first half of the game, while tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Julian Edelman did not play at all. Without the Patriots top unit on the field for the entire game, the Bills defense kept their offense from scoring a touchdown which aided in finishing the season with a winning record – the first time the Bills have done so since 2004. The Bills kept Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady out of the end zone in the last weeks of the season.
Interesting Game Fact: The Bills ended the season without a single player rushing for 100 yards in a game.
Eagles – 34 (10-6), Giants – 26 (6-10)
Heroes- Mark Sanchez (292 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), LeSean McCoy (99 RuYd, 15 ReYd), Jordan Matthews (105 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Polk (38 RuYd, 1 TD), Eli Manning (429 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Andre Williams (43 RuYd, 19 ReYd, 1 TD), Odell Beckham, Jr. (185 ReYd, 1 TD), Rueben Randle (158 ReYd)
Zeroes – Zach Ertz (56 ReYd), Jeremy Maclin (49 ReYd), Darren Sproles (5 RuYd, 23 ReYd), Riley Cooper (37 ReYd), Larry Donnell (26 ReYd)
The Eagles, who finish with a wining record of 10-6, did not make the playoffs this season, but what hurts the most, however, is that they led the AFC East with only four games to go in the season. Their team is obviously good enough to be a playoff team, but they were outplayed by the Dallas Cowboys when it was do-or-die time. Odell Beckham, Jr., who ended the season with 91 catches on 1,305 yards and 12 TDs in only 12 games played, had another stellar stat-filled day as he tried to get the Giants within reach in the fourth quarter on a 63-yard TD catch from Eli Manning.
Interesting Game Fact: Eli Manning threw for over 400 yards, which added to his season total of 4,410 yards to go along with 30 TDs and 14 INT.
Saints – 23 (7-9), Buccaneers – 20 (2-14)
Heroes – Mark Ingram (57 RuYd, 4 ReYd, 1 TD), Khiry Robinson (15 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 1 TD), Kenny Stills (82 ReYd), Marques Colston (51 ReYd, 1 TD), Doug Martin (108 RuYd), Mike Evans (54 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Drew Brees (281 PaYd, 1 TD, 3 INT), Jimmy Graham (54 ReYd), Josh McCown (115 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Vincent Jackson (11 ReYd)
Drew Brees and the Saints scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the Buccaneers after falling 20-7 after three quarters of play. With the loss, the Buccaneers land the first pick of the draft in 2015. The Saints struggled early in the game with Brees throwing three interceptions, but Brees kept it together for the Saints offense as he connected with Marques Colston on a 36-yard TD pass late in the game.
Interesting Game Fact: Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson both went over 1,000 yards in the season, the first Buccaneers duo to do so in franchise history.
Broncos – 47 (12-4), Raiders – 14 (3-13)
Heroes – C.J. Anderson (87 RuYd, 20 ReYd, 3 TD), Demaryius Thomas (115 ReYd), Virgil Green (46 ReYd, 1 TD), Latavius Murray (37 RuYd, 60 ReYd), Connor Barth (4 FG)
Zeroes – Peyton Manning (273 PaYd), Wes Welker (42 ReYd), Julius Thomas (0 ReYd), Derek Carr (158 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Darren McFadden (13 RuYd, 6 ReYd), Mychal Rivera (26 ReYd), James Jones (17 ReYd)
With the blowout win of the Raiders on Sunday, the Broncos were able to clinch a first-round bye. C.J. Anderson carved up the Raiders defense quite easily as he found the end zone three times, while kicker Connor Barth kicked four field goals on the day. Although Peyton Manning didn’t throw a TD pass, he targeted Demaryius Thomas 17 times. Thomas hauled in eight catches for 115 yards as the Raiders couldn’t stop any part of the Broncos offensive attack, even when Manning was held scoreless.
Interesting Game Fact: Ronnie Hillman played in his first action since spraining his foot on Nov. 9.
49ers – 20 (8-8), Cardinals – 17 (11-5)
Heroes – Colin Kaepernick (204 PaYd, 63 RuYd, 2 TD), Frank Gore (144 RuYd, 5 ReYd), Anquan Boldin (81 ReYd, 1 TD), Michael Floyd (153 ReYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Michael Crabtree (41 ReYd), Vernon Davis (9 ReYd), Larry Fitzgerald (29 ReYd), John Brown (51 ReYd)
In Jim Harbaugh’s last game as head coach for the 49ers, the team pulled out a victory over the Cardinals, who are headed to the playoffs next week. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick played solid football as he passed and rushed for a combined 267 yards. Anquan Boldin and Frank Gore each eclipsed the 1,000 mark respectively in receiving and rushing, while the 49ers defense shut out the Cardinals in the second half of play. Kaepernick’s 63 rushing yards all came on quarterback scrambles out of the backfield.
Interesting Game Fact: The 49ers rushed for over 200-plus yards as a team on Sunday.
Seahawks – 20 (12-4), Rams – 6 (6-10)
Heroes – Marshawn Lynch (60 RuYd, 36 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Russell Wilson (239 PaYd, 7 RuYd, 1 INT), Doug Baldwin (43 ReYd), Shaun Hill (243 PaYd, 2 INT), Tre Mason (28 RuYd, 29 ReYd), Stedman Bailey (17 ReYd)
In what started as a defensive battle, the Rams held the Seahawks scoreless in the first half as they carried a 6-0 lead into the locker room; however, the Seahawks scored 20 unanswered points in the second half as their offense came alive, while also netting a defensive TD score as Bruce Irvin returned an INT for 49 yards. The Seahawks defense was so good, they limited Tre Mason and the rest of the Rams’ runners to 2.2 yards-per-carry average. They also forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter, which kept the Rams offense at bay.
Interesting Game Fact: The Seahawks’ defense held five of it’s final six opponents to 10 points or less in 2014.
Panthers – 34 (7-8-1), Falcons – 3 (6-10)
Heroes – Cam Newton (114 PaYd, 51 RuYd, 2 TD), Carolina Defense/Special Teams (2 TD), Roddy White (104 ReYd)
Zeroes – Kelvin Benjamin (9 ReYd), Greg Olsen (27 ReYd), Matt Ryan (260 PaYd, 2 INT), Julio Jones (58 ReYd), Harry Douglas (28 ReYd)
Cam Newton came up big when he had to, and Matt Ryan didn’t. In a win-or-go-home game situation, the Panthers cleaned up as they destroyed the Falcons on both sides of the ball. Ryan was sacked six times, threw two interceptions and was only able to find Julio Jones four times for 58 yards, which limited the Falcons’ downfield passing attack. The Panthers scored twice on defense with two interceptions returned for TDs, and Cam Newton threw one TD pass while also finding the end zone with his legs.
Interesting Game Fact: Sunday’s loss was the first against a NFC South opponent for the Falcons.
Packers – 30 (12-4), Lions – 20 (11-5)
Heroes – Aaron Rodgers (226 PaYd, 14 RuYd, 3 TD), Eddie Lacy (100 RuYd, 26 ReYd), Randall Cobb (80 ReYd, 2 TD), Jordy Nelson (86 ReYd), Matthew Stafford (217 PaYd, 29 RuYd, 3 TD), Calvin Johnson (39 ReYd, 2 TD), Theo Riddick (34 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Reggie Bush (19 RuYd, 22 ReYd), Golden Tate (45 ReYd)
The Packers pulled out their fourth straight NFC North division title despite Aaron Rodgers needing to leave the game late in the second quarter after connecting with Randall Cobb for a TD pass. Rodgers stayed out of the game, while receiving treatment on his injured calf, until the middle of the third quarter after Matthew Stafford tied the game at 14 after hitting Calvin Johnson for his second TD score of the game. The Lions have not won a road game in Green Bay since 1991.
Interesting Game Fact: Aaron Rodgers finished with 112.2 passer rating after Sunday’s game, as he is the only player in NFL history to reach a 100-plus rating in six consecutive seasons.
Thanks for tuning in this season – it’s been a blast being able to recap the game for you in 2014! Don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy for all your NBA and MLB future needs.