NFL Sunday Week 15 Review
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Toronto, ON – With the NFL regular season schedule winding down, this week saw more teams clinch a spot in the playoffs, as well as some records that were broken. But first, it was a team delivering on the big stage on Sunday Night Football.
Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh
The Bills are playoff-bound. I repeat, the Bills are playoff-bound! For just the second time this century, and the second time in three years, Buffalo will have a spot in the postseason. They clinched a playoff berth with a 17-10 win over the Steelers in prime time on Sunday night. They took a 7-3 lead into halftime after a Josh Allen rushing touchdown put them on the board in the second quarter. With 7:55 left in the fourth quarter and the score at 10-10, Allen found Tyler Kroft for his first catch of the game and first touchdown since 2017 when he was with the Bengals. On 4th and 7 with 1:53 left, Devlin Hodges threw an interception to Jordan Poyer in the end zone ending a potential scoring drive. On their last drive of the game, it was the same result. Hodges threw another pick with six seconds left, sealing the win for Buffalo.
New England vs. Cincinnati
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady continued to impress, even at 42 years of age. Brady threw two touchdown passes and moved within one of the NFL career record of 539 held by Peyton Manning. The Pats defeated the Bengals 34-13, clinching a playoff berth for the 11th consecutive season and extending their NFL record.
Seattle vs. Carolina
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completed 20 of 26 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, including getting a key first down with two minutes remaining in the game. The first down helped Seattle run out the clock and defeat Carolina 30-24. The win also meant that the Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot for the seventh time in eight seasons. With their 11-3 record, Seattle also moved into a tie with San Francisco for top spot in the NFC West.
Atlanta vs. San Francisco
This game was crazy to say the least. With the Falcons trailing 22-17 in the dying seconds of the quarter, Matt Ryan found Julio Jones on a 5-yard pass that was ruled a touchdown – after it was overturned by replay – and the Falcons stunned the 49ers 29-22. Then, on the final kickoff of the game, the Falcons scored yet another touchdown. The 49ers fumbled the ball and Olamide Zaccheaus came up with it for the score. Even with the loss, San Francisco clinched their first playoff berth since 2013 with the Rams’ loss at Dallas.
Chicago vs. Green Bay
In the 200th edition of the Bears/Packers rivalry, Green Bay came out on top 21-13. Aaron Jones ran for two touchdowns and Davante Adams caught one as well in the victory. The Packers swept the regular-season series, as they also defeated them 10-3 in the season opener. Chicago only scored three points in the first half from an Eddy Pineiro field goal before scoring ten more in the final quarter.
Minnesota vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The turning point in this game came in the second quarter. After the Chargers held a 10-9 lead, the Vikings scored 30 unanswered points to defeat L.A. 39-10. The Chargers had seven turnovers, which is their most in one game since having the same amount in 1986. Those turnovers resulted in 20 points for the Vikings, who are now 10-4, behind the 11-3 Packers in the NFC North.
Philadelphia vs. Washington
Carson Wentz and the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive in the NFC East with a 37-27 win over the Redskins. Wentz had a late-game fumble but ultimately made up for his mistake with a 75-yard, go-ahead scoring drive. The quarterback threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. The Eagles are now tied with the Cowboys at 7-7 for top spot in the NFC East.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas
The Cowboys got back in the win column and ended their second three-game losing skid of the season with a 44-21 victory. Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott ran for two scores in the win. The Rams were held to just 22 rushing yards while the Cowboys had a season-high 263. The Cowboys and Eagles will face off next week in what should be an exciting matchup that could decide top spot in the NFC East.
Houston vs. Tennessee
In a big matchup in the AFC South, the Houston Texans took control late in the game. After leading 14-0 at halftime, the Titans scored 14 straight points to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Carlos Hyde ran for a touchdown to regain the Texans lead before Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal to provide the winning margin. Houston is now 9-5 with Tennessee behind them in the division at 8-6.
Denver vs. Kansas City
In a snowy affair, the Chiefs rolled to an easy victory over the visiting Broncos. Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-3 win. Kansas City remains in the hunt for the number two playoff seed and a possible first-round bye. They outscored the Broncos 53-9 this season.
Tampa Bay vs. Detroit
Jameis Winston had another ridiculous week. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 450 yards in consecutive games, leading the Bucs to a 38-17 win over the Lions. He threw three touchdowns in the opening half and four overall, also setting a new career-high with 458 passing yards. He bested his effort from last week when he threw for 456 yards,
Miami vs. New York Giants
In potentially his last start at home as a New York Giant, Eli Manning was impressive. He threw two touchdowns to help the Giants snap a nine-game losing streak with a 36-20 victory over the Dolphins. Manning got a standing ovation before the opening offensive series and another one when he was pulled with less than two minutes to go.
Cleveland vs. Arizona
The Cardinals snapped a losing streak of their own, although it wasn’t as long as the Giants’ nine-game winless drought. A six-game slide came to an end with a 38-24 win over the Browns. Kenyan Drake ran for four scores and Kyler Murray threw for 219 yards and a touchdown in the win. He faced off against his former college teammate in Baker Mayfield, but Murray got the better of the matchup.
Jacksonville vs. Oakland
In the final game at the Oakland Coliseum, the Jaguars didn’t let the home crowd go home happy. Gardner Minshew threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game as the Jags defeated the Raiders 20-16. The Raiders got out to a 16-3 lead before falling apart late in the game.