@TSFSports Week 15 NFL recap and commentary: Division leaders squander golden opportunities

(Boston.com)

Michael Thomas’ late interception helped the Dolphins ruin the Patriots fourth consecutive comeback bid.

Five of the NFL’s eight division leaders took home an “L” in Week 15. The Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles faced teams who were either out of the playoffs or fighting to stay alive. It began when the Broncos lost to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday and things snowballed from there as the others failed to clinch their respective division crown or take a commanding lead with two weeks remaining.

Any given Sunday people.

Thursday Night:

San Diego Chargers 27, Denver Broncos 20 – The Broncos (11-3) were looking to take one step closer to taking home field advantage in the playoffs, but the Chargers (7-7) had other ideas. Phillip Rivers and rookie wideout  Keenan Allen connected on two scores and Ryan Matthews ran for another score. Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense were ineffective in large because of San Diego’s dominant time of possession.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
P. Rivers 12 20 166 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
R. Mathews 29 127 4.4 1
D. Woodhead 9 29 3.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
V. Brown 3 54 18 0
E. Royal 3 46 15.3 0
DENVER BRONCOS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
P. Manning 27 41 289 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
K. Moreno 8 19 2.4 0
M. Ball 3 -1 -0.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Caldwell 6 59 9.8 2
M. Ball 5 49 9.8 0

Sunday December 14, 2013:

Atlanta Falcons 27, DC 26 – Kirk Cousins first start of the season was nothing short of disastrous as his three turnovers led to 20 Falcons (4-10) points. DC’s (3-11) bid for a comeback victory was thwarted when Desmond Trufant batted away Cousins’ pass on a two point conversion.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
K. Cousins 29 45 381 3
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
A. Morris 18 98 5.4 0
R. Helu 3 5 1.7 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
P. Garcon 7 129 18.4 1
A. Robinson 4 99 24.8 0
ATLANTA FALCONS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Ryan 29 38 210 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
S. Jackson 15 38 2.5 2
J. Rodgers 4 17 4.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
T. Gonzalez 6 62 10.3 1
R. White 5 53 10.6 0

San Francisco 49ers 33, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 – The Niners (10-4) used a 10-minute fourth quarter drive to seal their fourth win and a row. Vernon Davis caught a touchdown pass for the fifth consecutive game and Michael Crabtree caught his first touchdown pass of the season. Tampa Bay (4-10) pulled to within six points early in the fourth quarter, but failed to get any closer.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
C. Kaepernick 19 29 203 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
F. Gore 22 86 3.9 0
K. Hunter 8 40 5 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
V. Davis 5 79 15.8 1
M. Crabtree 5 45 9 1
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Glennon 18 34 179 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
B. Rainey 11 27 2.5 0
B. Leonard 1 12 12 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
T. Wright 7 82 11.7 1
V. Jackson 5 58 11.6 1

Seattle Seahawks 23, NY Giants 0 – Eli Manning threw five interceptions as the Giants (5-9) were shut out for the second time this season. The win just about wraps up home field for the Seahawks (12-3) in the NFC throughout the postseason. The Giants will have their first losing season since 2004.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
R. Wilson 18 27 206 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
R. Wilson 8 50 6.2 0
M. Lynch 16 47 2.9 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Lynch 6 73 12.2 0
D. Baldwin 6 71 11.8 1
NEW YORK GIANTS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
E. Manning 18 31 156 0
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
A. Brown 11 17 1.5 0
P. Hillis 3 8 2.7 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Jernigan 7 67 9.6 0
B. Myers 3 37 12.3 0

Minnesota Vikings 48, Philadelphia Eagles 30 – The Eagles (8-6) defense was shredded for 48 points after giving up an average of 18 over the last two months. It was the Vikings (4-9) who looked like they were headed to the postseason as third stringers, running back Matt Asiata and quarterback Matt Cassell accounted for five touchdowns. Philly maintains a one game lead in the NFC East.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
N. Foles 30 48 428 3
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
N. Foles 5 41 8.2 0
L. McCoy 8 38 4.8 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Jackson 10 195 19.5 1
L. McCoy 5 68 13.6 0
MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Cassel 26 35 382 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
M. Asiata 30 51 1.7 3
M. Cassel 3 19 6.3 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
G. Jennings 11 163 14.8 1
J. Wright 4 95 23.8 0

Miami Dolphins 24, New England Patriots 20 – Tom Brady’s bid for a fourth straight comeback was picked off by Dolphins corner Michael Thomas — who was signed to the team this week. The loss kept the Patriots (10-4) from pulling into a tie with the Denver Broncos for the top seed in the AFC. Miami (8-6) keeps their hopes alive in the AFC wild card scramble.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
T. Brady 34 55 364 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
L. Blount 11 47 4.3 0
S. Ridley 8 34 4.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Edelman 13 139 10.7 1
D. Amendola 10 131 13.1 0
MIAMI DOLPHINS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
R. Tannehill 25 37 312 3
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
L. Miller 15 61 4.1 0
D. Thomas 5 16 3.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Wallace 6 105 17.5 1
B. Hartline 5 70 14 0

Buffalo Bills 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 20 – E.J. Manuel passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, including an 89-yard drive in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Bills (5-9). The Jaguars (4-10) were without some key players including hot receiver Cecil Shorts.

BUFFALO BILLS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
E. Manuel 17 24 193 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
F. Jackson 17 80 4.7 0
C. Spiller 13 67 5.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
R. Woods 5 82 16.4 1
S. Chandler 5 54 10.8 0
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
C. Henne 21 36 237 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
J. Todman 25 109 4.4 0
D. Robinson 2 28 14 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Lewis 4 54 13.5 1
C. Harbor 3 52 17.3 0

Indianapolis Colts 25, Houston Texans 3 – The Colts (9-5) defeated the Texans (2-12) — who are 0-12 all-time in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck passed for two touchdowns and Robert Mathis became the team’s all-time sack leader.

HOUSTON TEXANS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
C. Keenum 18 34 168 0
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
B. Tate 16 72 4.5 0
D. Karim 4 21 5.2 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
R. Griffin 6 62 10.3 0
D. Hopkins 3 52 17.3 0
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
A. Luck 19 32 180 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
T. Richardson 19 64 3.4 0
D. Brown 5 38 7.6 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
T. Hilton 8 78 9.8 0
G. Whalen 4 45 11.2 1

Chicago Bears 38, Cleveland Browns 31 – The Bears (8-6) rolled the dice by marching out a rusty Jay Cutler with their playoff hopes on the line and it paid off. Cutler shook off two picks to pass for three touchdowns, one of them being the go-ahead score with 5:41 remaining. The Browns (4-10) scored two defensive touchdowns but couldn’t stop Chicago when it mattered most.

CHICAGO BEARS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
J. Cutler 22 31 265 3
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
M. Forte 24 127 5.3 0
M. Bush 3 44 14.7 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
B. Marshall 6 95 15.8 1
A. Jeffery 5 72 14.4 1
CLEVELAND BROWNS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
J. Campbell 23 39 273 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
E. Baker 8 38 4.8 1
M. Gray 2 30 15 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
G. Little 4 68 17 0
J. Gordon 3 67 22.3 1

Kansas City 56, Oakland Raiders 31 – The Raiders (4-10) allowed the most points by an opponent. The fact that the opponent was the Chiefs (11-3) had to sting just a little more. Jamaal Charles became the first player to catch four touchdown passes and rush for another in the same game. Kansas City is still alive to win the AFC West and the top seed in the conference.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
A. Smith 17 20 287 5
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
K. Davis 9 34 3.8 1
J. Charles 8 20 2.5 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Charles 8 195 24.4 4
D. Avery 2 33 16.5 0
OAKLAND RAIDERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. McGloin 18 36 297 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
R. Jennings 23 91 4 2
T. Pryor 3 19 6.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
R. Streater 4 59 14.8 0
A. Holmes 4 58 14.5 1

Carolina Panthers 30, NY Jets 20 – The Panthers (10-4) bounced back from a disappointing loss last week and are now tied with the New Orleans Saints heading into next week’s meeting with the NFC South crown on the line. The Jets (6-8) wasted a comeback bid with a costly Geno Smith interception. Captain Munnerlyn recorded two sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown.

NEW YORK JETS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
G. Smith 15 28 167 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
C. Ivory 11 66 6 0
G. Smith 6 44 7.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Cumberland 3 50 16.7 1
D. Nelson 3 44 14.7 0
CAROLINA PANTHERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
C. Newton 16 24 273 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
De. Williams 15 81 5.4 0
M. Tolbert 12 18 1.5 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
G. Olsen 5 88 17.6 0
De. Williams 3 87 29 1

Green Bay Packers 37, Dallas Cowboys 36 – The Packers (7-6-1) rallied from a 26-3 deficit to pull of an improbable win on the road against the self-destructing Cowboys (7-7). Tony Romo threw two costly picks in the final three minutes. Green Bay’s Matt Flynn threw only four passes in the second half as the offense relied on the legs of Eddie Lacy — who rushed for 141 yards on 21 carries.

GREEN BAY PACKERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
M. Flynn 26 39 299 4
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
E. Lacy 21 141 6.7 1
J. Starks 3 12 4 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Boykin 6 83 13.8 0
A. Quarless 6 66 11 1
DALLAS COWBOYS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
T. Romo 29 48 358 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
D. Murray 18 134 7.4 1
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Bryant 11 153 13.9 1
J. Witten 4 71 17.8 1

Arizona Cardinals 37, Tennessee Titans 34 (overtime) – While some teams are tripping over themselves, the Cardinals (9-5) are slow-walking the pack. Arizona won for the sixth time in seven games, placing themselves in prime position for a wild card berth. The Titans (5-9) posted 17 points in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime. The loss was Tennessee’s eighth in their last ten games.

ARIZONA CARDINALS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
C. Palmer 20 30 231 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
A. Ellington 10 71 7.1 0
R. Mendenhall 21 69 3.3 2
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Ellington 4 87 21.8 0
L. Fitzgerald 6 49 8.2 0
TENNESSEE TITANS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
R. Fitzpatrick 36 58 402 4
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
C. Johnson 13 40 3.1 0
R. Fitzpatrick 3 22 7.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Wright 12 150 12.5 0
N. Washington 7 92 13.1 0

St. Louis Rams 27, New Orleans Saints 16 – The Rams (5-9) dominated the Saints (10-4) in every facet of the game to pull off the stunner of the day. Two of Drew Brees early picks led to scores for the Rams — who also recovered an onside kick and blocked a field goal attempt

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
D. Brees 39 56 393 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
D. Sproles 7 24 3.4 0
P. Thomas 8 21 2.6 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Colston 8 92 11.5 1
L. Moore 6 78 13 0
ST. LOUIS RAMS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
K. Clemens 14 20 158 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
Z. Stacy 28 133 4.8 1
S. Bailey 1 6 6 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Pettis 4 41 10.2 0
C. Givens 1 31 31 0

Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Cincinnati Bengals 20 – Antonio  Brown scored on a touchdown reception and punt return in a span of 64 seconds to set the tone for the Steelers (6-8). The Bengals (9-5) trailed by as many as 24 points and never looked to be in this one.

CINCINNATI BENGALS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
A. Dalton 25 44 230 2
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
G. Bernard 13 33 2.5 1
A. Dalton 4 20 5 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Green 9 93 10.3 0
M. Jones 5 48 9.6 1
PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Passing Cmp Att Yds TDs
B. Roethlisberger 20 25 191 1
Rushing Car Yds Avg TDs
L. Bell 24 57 2.4 1
J. Dwyer 6 26 4.3 0
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Brown 5 66 13.2 1
L. Bell 5 50 10 0

Monday Night Football:

Baltimore Ravens (7-6) at Detroit Lions (7-6) – 

One Response to “@TSFSports Week 15 NFL recap and commentary: Division leaders squander golden opportunities”

  1. mapoui says:

    2 coaches I had written off have been doing sterling coaching jobs and deserve their jobs even as of now..Philbin in Miami and Fraser in Minnesota.

    the Vikings in particular, with ever deceasing first string staff have been incredibly feisty over the longest stretch..and are tougher at this point than ever.

    Miami has overcome a lot of internal difficulties to be in line for wild card status

    good show

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