Last year we ALL HAILED MEGATRON!!! as he broke the single season receiving yardage record. On Sunday, Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady’s single season touchdown record of 50. BOW DOWN. It was a tough season being a Raiders fan, but at least I’m a fantasy football champion. Thanks Peyton. On to the recap…
Dolphins 0 @ Bills 19
Wow. The fish got squished in this one. The Bills furnished a good ole fashioned *** whooping on their division foe. The Bills D held the Dolphins to 103 yards of total offense!!!! They accumulated 7 sacks, 9 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and 2 ints. Priority number one for Miami is to upgrade the offensive line. Tannehill (10/27 82 yds) got knocked out of this one requiring an appearance by Matt Moore (2/6 53 yds 2 ints). The run game was just as bad as Miller (3 car for 8 yds) and Thomas (9 car for 6 yds) couldn’t crack double digits. 60 Minutes caught 4 for 38, Hartline 2 for 53, and Clay 4 for 32. For the Bills, no EJ Manuel in this one so Thad Lewis (15/25 193 yds 1 int with 8 car for 13 yds) got the start. Woods caught 3 for 70 before getting ejected for throwing a punch. He probably got bored because the Dolphins didn’t put up a fight. Chandler caught 2 for 31. The Bills also imposed their will on the offensive side of the ball by rushing for 203 yds. Fjax carried 19 times for 111 yds 1 td with 2 rec for 7. Spiller carried 20 times for 77 yds with 3 rec for 26.
Vikings 14 @ Bengals 42
The Bengals bounced back from their loss to the Steelers last week and pounded out their frustrations on the hapless Vikings. The Bengals D held the Vikings to 209 yds of total offense, recovered a fumble, sacked Cassel 4 times, and intercepted him 3 times with one being a pick 6. On offense, it looked like 7-on-7 drills in practice. With no pressure, Dalton was able to carve up the Vikings going 27/38 366 yds 4 tds. AJ Green caught 7 for 97 with 2 tds. Jones caught 6 for 85. Gresham caught a td on 3 for 49 and Sanu caught a td on 4 for 35. The run game was the only sore spot as the Law Firm carried 12 times for 24 yds 1 td and Gio carried 13 times for 20 yds and caught 2 for 47. For the Vikings, Cassel was 13/27 114 yds 1 td 3 ints. All Day carried 11 times for 45 yds. Patterson was the leading rusher carrying 3 times for 54 yds with a beautiful 35 yd td. Jennings was the leading receiver catching 4 for 27. Wright caught the lone td on his only catch.
Colts 23 @ Chiefs 7
The Colts have now beaten the 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos, and Chiefs. Very impressive. They are not a dominant team, but will be a very scary team to play in the playoffs. They’ve proven that they can beat anyone on any given day. Once they solidify the offensive line and Pagano can draft the players for his vision of the 3-4, this team is going to be one of the dominant teams for years to come. It all starts with Andrew Luck as he went 26/37 241 yds 1 td. How lucky can Colts fans be? Geez. Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck. That’s like the Bulls drafting Kobe Bryant right after MJ retired. Must be nice. The horseshoe is indeed lucky. Whalen was the leading receiver catching 7 for 80. Hilton caught 5 for 52 and Rogers 4 for 42. Donald Brown continues to perform better than Trich carrying 10 times for 79 yds with a highlight 51 yd td run. He also caught 2 balls for 31 and a td. Trich carried 16 times for 43 yds with 3 rec for 15. The defense played great getting 4 sacks, 2 ints, and 2 fumble recoveries. For the Chiefs, Smith went 16/29 153 yds 2 ints and rushed 6 times for 47. Bowe caught 5 for 46 and Avery 3 for 32. Charles was held in relative check carrying 13 times for 106 yds 1 td with 5 rec for 38 yds. Unlike the Raiders last week, the Colts D actually realized that Charles is the man for the Chiefs and paid special attention to him.
Buccaneers 13 @ Rams 23
I’m very curious how the Rams offense looks next year because this ground and pound they’ve been utilizing has been very successful. It totally resembles a Jeff Fischer coached team. The spread, finesse offense just didn’t seem to fit and looked to affect the defense as well. Now the D is again playing physically and dominating up front. They limited the Bucs to 170 yards of total offense. They accumulated 7 sacks and recovered 2 fumbles. The offense was paced by Stacy with 33 carries for 104 yds 1 td. Bailey also rushed for a td on a 27 yd reverse. He also caught 3 balls for 44 yds. Cook caught 2 for 27. For the Bucs, Glennon was 16/26 158 yds. Vjax caught 5 for 98 and Wright 4 for 27. Rainey carried 20 times for 37 yds with a td. LT Jake Long was injured in the game and early murmors was that it was an ACL injury. Looks like that top 5 pick from the Redskins could go towards T Jake Matthews.
Browns 13 @ Jets 24
After winning 4 of their first 9 games, the Browns have now lost 6 in a row. I think GM Lombardi realized winning too many games would prevent them from drafting the franchise quarterback that they truly need. My evidence? They just let Geno Smith go 20/36 214 yds 2 tds 0 ints for a 91.7 rating. The same Geno Smith who had thrown for 21 ints on the season, completed 55.3 percent of his passes and had a 62.9 rating. The Browns have a legit defense. Things that make you go hmmmmm. The Jets have a great run D but their pass D has been horrendous all year. They had 8 ints coming into this game which made them 3rd worst in that department. They picked off Campbell twice. Granted it’s Campbell but still. I’ll make the stats fit my theories however I want. Back to the recap, Kerley caught 5 balls for 70 yds. Winslow 3 for 35 and Nelson caught both tds on 4 for 33. Ivory had a good day rushing 20 times for 109 yds. Geno also rushed 10 times for 48 yds with a td. For the Browns, Campbell was atrocious going 18/40 178 yds with those 2 ints. Commissioner Gordon caught 6 for 97. No Cameron in this game. Cooper caught 4 for 26. Baker was the main rusher with 17 carries for 64 yds and a td.
Cowboys 24 @ Redskins 23
Cowboys and indians!!! Woo hoo!!! Cowboys were playing for their playoff lives. The Redskins were playing for……silence……Anyhoo, the Redskins seemed to be on their way playing spoiler and further inducing Romo is a chocker chants. Then…the inexplicable happened. Romo led the Boys down for the game winning td to set up a huge showdown with the Eagles next week. Romo ended the day 17/27 226 yds 2 tds 1 int. He was pretty terrible early in the game and suffered a lower leg injury, but was able to gut it out. Murray had a huge day carrying 22 times for 96 yds with a td and caught 3 for 15 and the game winner. Dez caught 4 for 73 with a td. Williams caught 4 for 84. Witten was held to 2 rec for 13 yds. For the Redskins, Cousins went 21/36 197 yds 1 td 1 int. The Waiter was serving it up catching 11 for 144 with a td. Let me see…Cousins throws for 197. Waiter catches 144. That doesn’t leave much for anyone else. Therefore, who cares what anyone else didn’t do. Alf carried 24 times for 88 yds with a td. Very curious who coaches the Redskins next year and where Shanahan ends up. Who would of thought there’d be drama in DC? That’s what you get NFL for not having a team in Hollywood.
Saints 13 @ Panthers 17
Home sweet home. Saints beat the Panthers in New Orleans 2 weeks ago. Panthers returned the favor in Carolina to ensure themselves a playoff berth. Story of this game was Luke Kuechly. The linebacker tallied 24 tackles!!!! He also intercepted Brees once. Even with the great defensive performance, the Saints were able to take the lead with 6 minutes left in the game. Then Caaaaaaaaammmmmm took over. He led the Panthers down the field and connected with Hixon with 23 seconds left for the game winner. Cam ended the game 13/22 181 yds 1 td 1 int with 4 rushes for 6. Steve Smith caught 1 ball for 44 yds then had to leave the game after injuring his knee on a non-contact play. Olsen caught 4 for 35. For the Saints, Brees was 30/44 281 yds 1 td 2 ints. He ended up with decent numbers but he was harrassed all game long. The Panthers D sacked him 6 times. Graham caught 5 for 73 with a td. Colston 5 for 63. Ingram was the leading rusher with 13 carries for 83 yds. PT Cruiser only got 4 carries for 8 yds and 5 rec for 7. Sproles only carried once for 2 yds and caught 3 for 18.
Titans 20 @ Jaguars 16
Thankfully for humanity, the Wrath of Khan has been subdued. If they won anymore games, the Kraken may have been released or we’d all be forced to grow mustaches like Shad. Fitzpatrick was neither Fitzmagic or Fitzcraptrick going 17/26 181 yds 1 td 1 int. Washington had a huge game hauling in 6 balls for 117 yds with a td. Walker caught 4 for 35 and Wright 4 for 22. CJ?k carried 22 times for 90 and Greene 19 for 91 with a td. For the Jags, Henne was 24/34 237 yds 2 tds 1 int. Brown caught 5 for 71 with a td. Lewis caught 4 for 50 with a td. MJD carried 13 times for 45 and caught 4 for 24.
Broncos 37 @ Texans 13
All hail Peyton!!! 32/51 400 yds 4 tds!!! Giving him 51 tds on the season. The previous record was held by Tom Brady with 50. That season, Brady broke the record and had an undefeated record but lost in the Superbowl. Can Manning cap off his record year with a Superbowl title? No Welker, no problem this week. After losing to the Chargers, the Broncos really shored up a lot of the mistakes and worked on the outside-the-numbers passing game. When Welker comes back for the playoffs, that is going to benefit the Broncos immensely. Decker caught 10 for 131 with 2 tds. Demaryius caught 8 for 123 with a td. Orange Julius caught 6 for 78 with a td. Moreno paced the run game with 11 carries for 76 yds and caught 2 for 26. For Houston, the nightmare is almost done. One more week and they can seriously start discussing Teddy Bridgewater. Actually, maybe that happened 10 weeks ago. Schaub was 18/37 176 yds 1 td 2 ints. No Graham and Daniels again so Griffin caught 5 for 66. AJ caught 4 for 63. Martin caught the td on 4 for 35. Johnson carried 12 times for 29 yds, Karim 8 for 30, and Grimes 5 for 23. Tate was shut down earlier in the week to solidify Teddy.
Giants 23 @ Lions 20
Another wow. Lions lose at home, to the Giants, in a game that determined their playoff fate. Does Schwartz get canned? I would totally understand if he did because that is unacceptable. Eli went 23/42 256 yds 1 td 1 int. He’s thrown 26 ints on the year now. At least he is safe from approaching the all-time record of 42 by George Blanda in 1962. Jernigan caught 6 for 80 with a td. Myers caught 4 for 53, Nicks 4 for 52, and Randle 4 for 40. Brown carried 16 times for 40 yds with 2 rec for 14. For the Lions, Stafford was 25/42 222 yds 2 ints. Megatron caught 3 for 43 but he was hobbled and went in and out of the game. Burleson caught 2 for 12 and Fauria 3 for 43. Bush carried 12 times for 34 and caught 2 for 10. He fumbled then was rarely seen for the rest of the game. Bell, therefore, was the cow and received the “Lions” share of the work carrying 20 times for 91 yds with a td and caught 10 for 63.
Cardinals 17 @ Seahawks 10
First home loss for the Seahawks this year and the first home loss for Russell Wilson EVER. Cardinals D deserves all the kudos for this win. They held the Seahawks to 192 yards of total offense, recovered a fumble, got an interception, 4 sacks, and overcame the 4 ints that Palmer threw. Palmer was 13/25 178 yds 1 td 4 ints. To Palmer’s credit, with the game tied 10-10 with 2 minutes left in the game, he threw a beautiful 31 yd td to Floyd for the game winner. That was Floyd’s only catch. Fitz caught 3 for 18. Mendenhall carried 21 times for 63 yds. Ellington 15 for 64 with 2 rec for 8. For Seattle, Wilson was 11/27 108 yds 1 td 1 int with 2 carries for 32. Kearse caught 3 for 38 and Tate 2 for 34. Miller caught the td on his only catch. Beastmode carried 18 times for 71 yds with 2 rec for 5. This gives hope for all the teams in the NFC playoffs because the road to the Superbowl definitely goes through Seattle.
Steelers 38 @ Packers 31
The weather was classic Pittsburgh-Green Bay. Snow. Cold. Frozen tundra. Instead of a low scoring affair, though, with 3 yards and a cloud of snow, there was lots of scoring in this one. Big Ben went 16/28 167 yds 2 tds 1 int with 1 rush for a 13 yd td. Brown continued his monster season catching another 6 balls for 105 yds. Miller caught 3 for 17. Spaeth caught a td on his only catch and Sanders caught a td on 2 for 7. Bell was the cow carrying 26 times for 124 yds with a td. For the Pack, Flynn got the start again and went 21/39 232 yds 1 td 1 int. Jones caught 9 for 84 and Boykin 5 for 54 with a td. Nelson only caught 3 for 46. Lacy rushed 15 times for 84 yds with 2 tds but then had to leave the game with an ankle injury. Starks filled in and carried 10 times for 47 yds with 1 rec for 23. With the win, the Steelers are still in the hunt after the Dolphins and Ravens both lost earlier in the day. Even with the loss, the Packers are still alive because the Lions crapped out at home. Will Mr. Rodgers return next week? Packers won it all in 2010 as the #6 seed. Could history repeat itself?
Raiders 13 @ Chargers 26
Raiders lose again. Ho hum. Looking forward to the draft. The first full draft that GM McKenzie will have since taking over as GM. Franchise quarterback please. McGloin went 20/36 206 yds 1 int in this game. He’s played well but he is not the future. Holmes caught 5 for 71 and Moore 3 for 17. Rivera caught 2 for 43. Jennings carried 10 times for 45 yds and caught 3 for 27. McFadden made an appearance scoring a td on 4 carries for 8 yds. For the Chargers, Rivers went 19/29 201 yds 1 td 1 int. Royal caught 4 for 54, Gates 3 for 42, Brown 2 for 38, and Allen 3 for 26 with a td. Mathews carried 25 times for 99 yds with a td and caught 3 for 20. Woodhead rushed 8 times for 52 yds and caught 3 for 16.
Patriots 41 @ Ravens 7
Defending Superbowl champ versus the future Superbowl champ? It’s possible. Brady and Belichick can never be counted out. The way they played in this game, it’s certainly a possibility. Brady went 14/26 172 yds 1 td. Edelman continues to be Brady’s BFF catching 7 rec for 77 yds. Amendola caught 2 for 45. Blount rushed 16 times for 76 yds with 2 tds. Ridley carried 15 times for 54 yds. Vereen carried twice for 6 yds and only caught 1 for 4. The Pats D got 4 sacks, 1 fum rec for a td, and 2 ints with one a pick 6. For the soon-to-be-former champs, Flacco was 22/38 260 yds 2 ints with 2 rushes for a td. Smith caught 3 for 69, Brown 4 for 51, Dickson 4 for 44, and Pitta 4 for 34. Rice carried 11 times for 40 yds and caught 2 for 23. Pierce carried 10 times for 31.
Bears 11 @ Eagles 54
2 franchises going in different directions. The Eagles are building something with Chip Kelly. He’s got some pieces and just installed his regiment and system. Wait until the foundation is settled and all the pieces are brought in. I’m expecting exciting things emanating from Philly for the forseable future. The Bears, on the other hand, are in a state of transition. Coach Trestman has come in and done a fantastic job in year one. With that said, Jay Cutler is a free agent and the franchise has to decide whether to pay him big money. McCown filled in admirably when Cutler was out, but can the Bears trust him to be the guy? The defense has so many holes which will only get worse with upcoming free agency: Melton, Briggs, Tillman, Wright. The Bears have the worst run defense in the league and the future doesn’t look bright. Sunday night’s game was a microcosm of the state of the two franchises. Foles was almost perfect going 21/25 230 yds 2 tds. Celek caught 3 for 58 with a td. Cooper 3 for 53 with a td. Djax caught 4 for 29. Shady was big again carrying 18 times for 133 yds 2 tds with 6 rec for 29. Brown rushed 9 times for 115 yds with a td. The D had 5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and a pick 6. For the Bears, Cutler went 20/35 222 1 td 1 int. Alshon caught 6 for 76, Martellus 5 for 85, and Bmarsh 4 for 36 with a td. Forte was bottled up carrying 9 times for 29 yds with 4 rec for 25. The D surrendered 514 yards of total offense with 289 of those coming on the ground. Despite the loss, the Bears still lead their division and can lock it up with a win against the Packers next week. The Eagles can cement things with their own division win against the Cowboys.
Hope all of you in championship games had good luck. To the rest of you, hope you enjoyed reading this column. As always, feel free to ask me anything @Stan_Son.
Have a Happy Holidays.