Wow! We have seen very few Sundays like we saw yesterday. Crazy finishes, snowstorms, big time performances. Week 14 had it all so and The Stack is here to talk about it all so let's get right to some reaction in "the stack" for today, Monday, December 9:
Baltimore 29 Minnesota 26
Last week we saw a fantastic finish in college football with Auburn beating then #1 Alabama 34-28 on a 109-yard missed field goal returned for a touchdown with no time remaining. Yesterday we saw the craziest two minutes in an NFL game we've seen in quite sometime. Five touchdowns in the final 2:05 between the Ravens and the Vikings. Fans for both teams experienced jubilation and disappointment multiple times. Thanks to a snowstorm, it was low scoring until Baltimore scored to take the lead 15-12. The Vikings then scored two plays later. The ensuing kickoff, Jacoby Jones took a pooch kick and returned it for a touchdown. If you're the Vikings, how do you let that happen? Not to be outdone though, the Vikings scored on a third down screen pass to rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to take a 26-22 lead. However, the Ravens got help by the refs on a pass interference call and ended up scoring with four seconds left. Unbelieveable! The refs were bad in this game, but give credit to the Ravens. Deflating loss for the Vikings whose season has already been a sinking ship. Ravens remain in the driver seat for the sixth seed in the AFC. What a game!
Cincinnati 42 Indianapolis 28
The Bengals made a statement with their win over the Colts. One, they are most likely going to be the three seed in the AFC. Two, when they receive good play from quaterback Andy Dalton, they are very difficult to beat in part because of their tremendous defense as well. The Colts season is spiraling out of control and there are no signs it will stop anytime soon.
Green Bay 22 Atlanta 21
The Packers season remains alive thanks to their comeback win. Atlanta played really well in the first half, but the offense couldn't get anything going in the second half. Matt Flynn calmed down enough to get the Packers a much needed win and it means they are still alive in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers, are you coming back?
New England 27 Cleveland 26
While the Vikings-Ravens finish was the craziest and best of the day, the Browns-Patriots game wasn't far behind. Tom Brady was not good for three quarters, but played his best football when it mattered most in crunch time. He threw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown to Danny Amendola with just seconds to go. There was a bad pass interference penalty that put the Patriots at the one-yard line, but it never should have gotten to that. How, if you're Cleveland do you let New England recover that onside kick? And how do you let Brady throw that well on you, especially to running back Shane Vereen (153 receiving yards) in the fourth quarter. Sickening loss for the Browns. It's not all great news though for New England. They may have lost tight end Rob Gronkowski for the year with a torn ACL. That would be a devastating blow to the team. An MRI today will cofirm the torn ACL.
New York Jets 37 Oakland 27
So much for the Jets offense being non-existent. They turned in a very good game against the Raiders torching the defense consistently. The Raiders defense did not step up, giving up well over 100 yards rushing and 219 yards passing to Geno Smith who turned in his best game in sometime. Neither team is making the playoffs this year, but this was a good win for the Jets to quiet down some of the critics.
Philadelphia 34 Detroit 20
The snowstorm that rocked the east coast impacted this game right from the get-go. Snow wasn't expected until about 3 PM ET, but the blizzard came earlier and both teams played in a snowfest. It was LeSean McCoy that stole the show with 217 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford turned in his worst performance of the year with just 148 passing yards. Neither team attempted an extra point. It was that type of game. What a fun one to watch.
Miami 34 Pittsburgh 28
Southern teams aren't supposed to play well in snow are they? Perhaps not, but the Dolphins found a way to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, but they almost lost it with the crazy final play that saw plenty of laterals by the Steelers and it finished with Antonio Brown streaking down the sideline for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown (extra point pending). One problem though...he stepped out! Crushing defeat for the Steelers and once again a play along the sideline has everyone talking.
Tampa Bay 27 Buffalo 6
Bobby Rainey set the tone of this game when he rushed 80 yards for a touchdown to begin this game. EJ Manuel had a day to forget for the Bills at quarterback with four interceptions. It was not good. Both teams are now 4-9, but the Bucs are playing much better than the Bills.
Kansas City 45 Washington 10
Washington is in complete freefall. They are dysfunctional. Nevermind the report that came out earlier Sunday about Mike Shanahan nearly quitting at the end of the season last year. Washington is simply not good and the Chiefs took it to them early, jumping out to a 31-0 lead. There's something about playing for pride, and right now Washington is not doing that. Kansas City got a much needed win though that helps stop the bleeding of a three-game losing streak.
Denver 51 Tennessee 28
The Titans were game early and put pressure on the Broncos, but Peyton Manning put a stop (at least temporarily) to all of those people that say he can't play in the cold with his 396 yards, 4 touchdown performance. Hush! However, it's not all good news for the Broncos as they lost Wes Welker with a concussion. Seems unlikely he'll play on a short week when they play the Chargers Thursday night.
Arizona 30 St. Louis 10
Arizona's defense stifled the Rams the entire game. Zac Stacy didn't do much of anything and the Cardinals remain in the playoff hunt in the NFC. They've played very well this year, much better than almost everyone thought. To be just a game out of the NFC playoffs is a testament to Bruce Arians and his staff.
San Diego 37 New York Giants 14
Eli Manning coming to San Diego was not a happy one as the Chargers laid a beatdown on the Giants. Manning is vastly underperforming this year. The Chargers meanwhile remain in the hunt for a final wild card spot in the AFC. They've had a number of close losses this year that will prevent them from making the playoffs.
San Francisco 19 Seattle 17
The 49ers said this was a statement game and they played inspired. The defense was tremendous and while they were only able to score one touchdown, they drove down the field to put themselves in position for field goals including the game-winning field goal with seconds to go. The Seahawks are still the best team in the NFC West and best team in the NFC. If these two teams meet in Seattle again in the playoffs, the Seahawks will beat the 49ers pretty easily.
New Orleans 31 Carolina 13
Had a feeling the Saints would put a whooping on the Panthers. They certainly did. Drew Brees played outstanding and the Saints took control of the NFC South. When these two teams meet in Charlotte in a couple of weeks things may turn out a little different, but right now, the Saints showed why they are the NFC South's best team and the second best team in the NFC. Carolina just wasn't ready for primetime with so much on the line...yet.
Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears 8:40 PM ET ESPN
Both teams haven't exactly been great this year. December is normally the time of the year when the Cowboys start to slide. This year feels different for whatever reason. At least, this week does. The Bears are starting Josh McCown at quarterback and he has done a very nice job for the Bears, but their defense is awful. Dallas will exploit them all night. The Cowboys need to keep feeding DeMarco Murray the ball. Their biggest problem Monday night will be fighting the cold weather. If they weather that (no pun intended), they win the game.
Prediction: Cowboys 30 Bears 23
Coming up Tuesday: MNF reaction, NFL power rankings, thoughts on Nelson Mendela and more.