"The Stack" 12-17-18
The Chicago Bears have gone from worst to first and won the NFC North thanks to their 24-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers. They are a dangerous team.
The Stack is back on this Monday and it was another good week of NFL football. The We have reaction to all of the games plus a preview and prediction for tonight’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the struggling Carolina Panthers. Now then, let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Monday, December 17th:
Texans 29 Jets 22
DeAndre Hopkins is a fantastic receiver. His second touchdown of the game that put Texans up was absolutely phenomenal. The Texans started hot, but cooled off for most of the second half which allowed the Jets to get back in the game and eventually take the lead. Sam Darnold didn’t look too bad. Down the stretch though, the Texans made the plays they needed to and came out with a win and they are oh so close to locking up the AFC South.
Browns 17 Broncos 16
Folks, the Cleveland Browns are still alive for a playoff spot. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the Browns made enough plays and came up with a big sack on fourth down late in the game to seal the victory. It’s tough for Denver’s offense to get much going in the passing game having lost their top receivers. This time, Patrick Lindsay didn’t provide much offensively and Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb were able to make the plays when they needed to for the Browns.
Cardinals 14 Falcons 40
After the Arizona Cardinals took a 7-0 lead on a David Johnson rushing touchdown, it was all Falcons. A defensive touchdown, a couple of Matt Ryan passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown capped off by a Tevin Coleman touchdown capped off a near perfect game for the Falcons. Too bad the rest of the season has not gone according to plan.
Buccaneers 12 Ravens 20
Ever since Lamar Jackson took over as starting quarterback, the Baltimore Ravens are rushing the football like crazy. Jackson nearly had 100 yards on the ground. Undrafted rookie free agent Gus Edwards did and the Ravens remain in the sixth seed position in the AFC Wild Card hunt as well as continuing to apply pressure to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the AFC North title.
Lions 13 Bills 14
This game was not a thing of beauty, but give Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills credit. They find ways to win games. Allen connected with undrafted rookie free agent Robert Foster to help put the Bills ahead for good. The Lions and Bills now have the same record. Wouldn’t have ever thought that at the beginning of the season.
Packers 17 Bears 24
The Chicago Bears have gone from worst to first. They are NFC North champions following their win over the Packers. Trubisky threw a couple of touchdowns and the Bears picked off Aaron Rodgers, ending Rodgers NFL record streak of completions without an interception. He last threw an interception in week 4 I believe against Buffalo. Heck of a turnaround for the Bears this year. They are a scary team.
Raiders 16 Bengals 30
Jeff Driskel got some help from running back Joe Mixon and the Bengals defense didn’t allow the Oakland Raiders to get much of anything going offensively. Not that either of these teams are going anywhere this season, but at least the Bengals ended their home campaign with a win.
Cowboys 0 Colts 23
Jerry…you have some esplaining to do. How did the Dallas Cowboys offense that had looked so good in recent weeks with Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper lay a goose egg against the Indianapolis Colts? Don’t get me wrong, the Colts defense has been playing really good as of late, but as good as they were on Sunday? I didn’t think so, but the Colts were fantastic on this day. Marlon Mack was good running the football and the Colts keep the pressure on the Ravens for that final spot in the AFC playoffs.
Washington 16 Jaguars 13
I don’t know what I’m more stunned by…the fact that Josh Johnson actually won a football game or that Cody Kessler and the Jaguars offense was so inept that they couldn’t even beat the more offensively challenged Washington squad. Nevermind, I’m not surprised by the Jaguars struggles. Washington stays alive for a playoff spot.
Dolphins 17 Vikings 41
A change at the offensive coordinator position did the Minnesota Vikings good. They scored on their first three positions and while there was a little lull in the second and and part of the third quarter, the Vikings balance was evident. Dalvin Cook ran for over 130 yards and the Vikings overall had more rushes than passes. The defense had nine sacks of Ryan Tannehill. They ate him up. The Vikings continue to control their destiny for a playoff spot.
Titans 17 Giants 0
In a driving rain, I didn’t think the Tennessee Titans would be up for the challenge and drop a game they should win. Their defense was absolutely dominant as was running back Derrick Henry who piggybacked off of his game last week with a dominating 170 yards performance and two touchdowns. The Titans keep applying the pressure on the rest of the AFC for that final playoff spot.
Seahawks 23 49ers 26
Don’t know if it was a trap game or not for the Seattle Seahawks, but Nick Mullens and the rest of the 49ers were up to the challenge and defeated their division rivals on a Robbie Gould in overtime. They were able to go toe-to-toe with the Seahawks including returning a kick for a touchdown. The Seahawks grip on the fifth seed has weakened now and a big test with the Kansas City Chiefs next week awaits.
Patriots 10 Steelers 17
Something is wrong with the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and company struggled mightily for most of the game. Tom Brady made an ill-advised pass that got intercepted in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers finally took down Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots to end their three game losing streak. What a win for this squad. Had they lost, their playoff hopes would be in big trouble.
Eagles 30 Rams 23
What an absolute stunner. Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles looked like the better team all game long against the Rams. Once again, the Rams offense didn’t look sharp and the defense gave up some big plays. Alshon Jeffrey had a monster game receiving for the Eagles. He had one play where he and Nelson Agholor were wide open. How did the Rams secondary let that happen? The Rams have issues while the Eagles have life and hope for making a run at the playoffs.
11-2 New Orleans Saints @ 6-7 Carolina Panthers 8:15 PM ET ESPN MNF
Interesting scheduling quick by the NFL. These two teams meet twice in the last three weeks of the season. Not sure that’s wise, but for the struggling Carolina Panthers, they absolutely need to get a win here. The Saints also need a win to stay ahead of the Rams for the number one overall seed in the conference. I think they are just too good and how can you have any confidence in Carolina right now?
Prediction: Saints 34 Panthers 20
Coming up Tuesday: MNF reaction plus college bowl pick(s) and more