NFL Sunday Week 16 Review
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, December 23, 2019
Toronto, ON – There were 12 games on the schedule on Sunday, with three already being played on Saturday. Week 16 featured a pivotal matchup in the NFC East between the Eagles and Cowboys, records being broken once again, as well as some close finishes that needed overtime.
Dallas vs. Philadelphia
The Eagles broke up a fourth down pass to the end zone with 1:15 left in the game as Philadelphia defeated Dallas 17-9. With the win, they denied the Cowboys their second straight NFC East crown. The Eagles need to win their final game against the Giants next week to win the division, while the Cowboys need to beat Washington and have the Eagles lose to the Giants. Carson Wentz was 31 for 40 with 319 passing yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans vs. Tennessee
Last week it was Drew Brees who put his name in the record books, and this week it was Michael Thomas’ turn. The Saints wide receiver passed Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison for the most catches in a single season in a 38-28 Saints victory. Thomas, who needed ten catches to pass Harrison’s mark of 143, finished with 12 catches on the day. Brees threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns while Alvin Kamara ran for two TDs.
Carolina vs. Indianopolis
Colts punt returner Nyheim Hines became the first NFL player to score on two punt returns in the same game as the Colts defeated the Panthers 38-6. Hines had three returns for a total of 195 yards, setting a new franchise record that was previously held by Carl Taseff with 148 yards back in 1956. Carolina lost its seventh straight game, and are now 5-10 on the season.
Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets
The Steelers path to the playoffs got more challenging following a 16-10 loss to former teammate Le’Veon Bell and the Jets. After a 10-10 tie at halftime, the Jets kicked two field goals enroute to the win. The Steelers controlled their destiny entering the game, but with the loss they now need a win over the Ravens next week along with a Texans win over the Titans.
Baltimore vs. Cleveland
The Ravens continued to roll as Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 103 yards in a 31-15 win. The Ravens won their 11th straight game and clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs. This means Baltimore will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Running back Mark Ingram left the game in the fourth quarter with a calf injury, with coach John Harbaugh saying that he’ll undergo further testing on Monday.
Jacksonville vs. Atlanta
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 384 yards along with a touchdown, and Julio Jones had ten catches for 166 yards. The Falcons defeated the Jaguars 24-12 for their third straight win. Devonta Freeman scored two touchdowns for the Falcons before the Jags even took a snap as Atlanta put up 518 yards in the win.
Arizona vs. Seattle
Even though the Seahawks are headed to the playoffs, that didn’t stop the Cardinals from showing Seattle their skill. Kenyan Drake had a great game, rushing for two touchdowns along with 166 yards as the Cardinals knocked off the Seahawks 27-13. The Cardinals did lose Kyler Murray midway through the third quarter to a hamstring injury. His counterpart, Russell Wilson, was 16 for 31 for 169 yards and a touchdown.
New York Giants vs. Washington
This was one of the overtime games, with the game tied at 35-35 after four quarters. Daniel Jones threw for a career-high five touchdowns including one in the extra frame to propel the Giants to a 41-35 win. He also threw for 352 yards and joined Matthew Stafford as the only rookie quarterbacks since 1950 to throw for at least 300 yards and at least five touchdowns in a game.
Cincinnati vs. Miami
The second overtime game of the day featured two teams near the bottom of the standings in the Bengals and Dolphins. Cincinnati rallied from a 35-12 deficit and scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Andy Dalton threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the last 5:01 of regulation. The Dolphins still came out on top 38-35. Miami allowed 16 points in the final 29 seconds of the fourth quarter, but a 37-yard field goal from Jason Sanders won them the game.
Detroit vs. Denver
The Lions losing streak was extended to eight games following a 27-17 loss to the Broncos. Denver quarterback Drew Lock improved to 3-1 as the Broncos starter and finished 25 of 33 for 192 yards with a touchdown. Detroit led 17-13 in the third quarter. It wasn’t enough, as Denver scored 14 unanswered points to finish out the game.
Oakland vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Raiders kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 24-17 win over the Chargers. To make the playoffs, they now need to defeat the Broncos next week along with losses from the Titans and Steelers as well as a win from the Colts. That would make it a four-way tie, where the Raiders would win the tiebreaker. Derek Carr was 26 for 30 for 291 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas City vs. Chicago
This game wasn’t very close, as Patrick Mahomes threw for two touchdowns and ran for one as well in a 26-3 victory. The quarterback was 23 of 33 for 251 yards and became the fastest player to reach the 9,000-yard mark at just 30 games. Kurt Warner, a Hall of Famer, did it in 32 games. The Chiefs, who are now 11-4, remained a game behind the Patriots for the second seed in the AFC.