Dec. 20, 2016
"The Stack" 12-19-16
The Stack is back on this Monday and Christmas is less than a week away. It’s going to be very merry for some teams while others will feel like the Grinch. Who is feeling that way after week 15? Let’s get to some reaction and recap Sunday’s week 15 NFL action in “the stack” for today, Monday, December 19th:
Dolphins 34 Jets 13
Bryce Petty and the Jets looked pretty good…for about a quarter. After that it all went downhill. They had a chance to really put pressure on the Dolphins, but Petty was sacked and lost a fumble in the redzone that seemed like it took the wind out of the Jets’ sails. Matt Moore played outstanding for the Dolphins with four touchdowns. He did exactly what he needed to do to help the Dolphins stay in the AFC wildcard race. Can he do it for two more weeks though?
Ravens 27 Eagles 26
The Ravens escaped with a victory in this one. They dominated much of the game, but Eagles running back Ryan Matthews helped keep the team in it. Some poor play-calling by the Ravens also didn’t help matters, but Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s decision to go for two after the Eagles scored a touchdown at the end of the game will be debated for a little while. He said he came in to win and that is right, but wouldn’t you want to give your team a chance in overtime? Then again, extra points are not automatic. Either way, the Ravens win and keep their playoff hopes very much alive.
Bills 33 Browns 13
Marcel Darius made true on his word that the Browns would remain winless. Bills running back LeSean McCoy also had a big say as well rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns as the Bills trounced the Browns. RGIII does not look good at all.
Packers 30 Bears 27
He may be labeled as inaccurate for this season, but Aaron Rodgers has the best deep ball of any quarterback playing currently if not all-time. He was at it again on a 3rd and 11 late in the fourth quarter against the Bears, hitting Jordy Nelson to set up the game-winning field goal. Ty Montgomery had a big day on the ground with a couple of rushing touchdowns. That helped Rodgers who is nursing a bad calf. The Packers defense played pretty good forcing turnovers, but the Bears stuck around. In the end though, the better team made the plays they needed to.
Steelers 24 Bengals 20
The Steelers kept having drives stall and having to settle for field goals, but thank goodness for them the Bengals couldn’t hang on and protect their lead. The Bengals chances of making the playoffs were extremely slim to begin with, but this loss pretty much ends all hope right now and may be a nail in the proverbial coffin for head coach Marvin Lewis and his chances of coming back next season. We’ll see how it all shapes up.
Texans 21 Jaguars 20
The Texans finally saw enough of Brock Osweiler. They sat him and his $72 million contract on the bench after an ineffective start in which he threw two interceptions and only 48 yards into the second quarter. Tom Savage came in and Texans fans erupted with cheers. Apparently they have seen enough of Osweiler too. Jaguars fans are feeling that way about Blake Bortles who was terrible in this game and that is a big reason why the Jaguars couldn’t hang on to a 20-8 lead and lost to the Texans who Savagely (see what I did there) came back to beat the Jaguars and keep control of the AFC South. A quarterback controversy is definitely happening this week in Houston.
Titans 19 Chiefs 17
The Chiefs seemed like they were comfortably in control of this game for the longest time. Marcus Mariota did not have a good day against the Chiefs, yet the Titans were able to win thanks to a game-winning field goal by Ryan Succop who made the most of a second opportunity against his former team after he missed a field goal, but the Chiefs had used a timeout beforehand to try and ice him. Not good Kansas City. The loss puts them behind the Raiders now for the AFC West lead. The Titans are in great position for a playoff spot and perhaps a division championship.
Colts 34 Vikings 6
Captain, er I mean quarterback Andrew Luck, didn’t look rattled at all behind an offensive line starting three rookies. He and Frank Gore carved up the Vikings defense who offered very little to no resistance for much of the game. This was not a good game for the Vikings at all with poor execution on both sides of the football. Very disappointing. Their playoff hopes are all but out the window at this point.
New York Giants 17 Lions 6
Don’t know if it was all truly because of his finger, but Matthew Stafford and the Lions never looked fully comfortable on Sunday. The Giants defense had a lot to do with that. The Giants got the win and have kept pressure on the Cowboys to keep winning. We’ll see if this loss stats a downward spiral for the Lions. Up next is the Cowboys. Not going to be easy. We’ll be seeing the Giants in the playoffs.
Saints 48 Cardinals 41
What an entertaining game this was with both teams trading scores pretty much the entire game. The Cardinals defense got shredded though and that is somewhat of a surprise despite the fact that they did have a defensive touchdown. David Johnson has been the lone bright spot for this team though as he had over 100 yards from scrimmage for a fourteenth straight game, tying a record with I believe Marcus Allen. Drew Brees was sensational in this one. Wonder if he will be able to that again next week at home against Tampa Bay.
Falcons 41 49ers 13
Devonta Freeman had a field day against the NFL’s worst rushing defense. He had three touchdowns and torched the 49ers. The Falcons were wise to sit Julio Jones in this one. They are inching closer to the NFC South title.
Patriots 16 Broncos 3
The Denver Broncos are in serious trouble of missing the playoffs. Their offense has disappeared. Tom Brady did not have a great day throwing the football at all, but the Patriots defense played great and Stephen Gostkowski made his kicks unlike last year in the AFC Championship game to help seal a first round bye for the Patriots in the playoffs.
Raiders 19 Chargers 16
The Raiders are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They beat the Chargers even though Derek Carr didn’t play well, but it doesn’t matter. The Raiders are back in the division lead and in the playoffs.
Cowboys 26 Buccaneers 20
All you need to know about this game is that Ezekiel Elliott jumped into the Salvation Army red kettle after he scored a touchdown in the second quarter. Absolutely tremendous. That should not be a penalty. It was great. Internet sensation. Despite the Buccaneers rallying to tie the game behind Jameis Winston’s strong throws, the Cowboys kicked a couple of field goals and hung on to beat the Bucs.
Carolina Panthers @ Washington 8:30 PM ET ESPN
I haven’t seen anything from the Carolina Panthers this season to think that Cam Newton and company can go in and beat a playoff caliber team on the road, especially in a primetime game. You don’t think Washington cornerback Josh Norman is excited to go against his former team? He is. Prove me wrong Panthers.
Prediction: Washington 27 Panthers 17
Coming up Tuesday: MNF reaction plus other top stories in the sports world