What We Learned in Week 15 in the NFL:
- Dolphins keep playoff hopes alive with win over New England
- Seahawks roll over Eli “I’m totally still elite” Manning and the Giants
- Tony Romo goes all “Tony Romo” in 4th quarter
- Steelers fighting till the end
It was a weekend of blowing playoff clinching chances. More than six teams had the opportunity to punch their tickets to the playoffs or their division and only a couple rose to the challenge. Denver was able to clinch by not even playing this weekend after their Thursday night loss. Thanks to the Patriots blowing their opportunity to snatch the top seed, it fell to Denver. The Steelers played spoiler to the Bengals, who could have taken over the #2 spot from New England with a win last night. If there’s something wrong about beating up on the Bengals in a seemingly meaningless game, I don’t want to be right.
Miami was able to keep its playoff hopes alive and, in fact are in the 6th seed before Baltimore plays Monday night with their win over the Patriots. New England started a late comeback attempt getting within 14 yards of taking the lead with a little over a minute remaining but could not make any plays late and Brady threw the sealing interception in the endzone with 7 seconds left on the clock. The Patriots not only had the opportunity to clinch the AFC East with a win, but also could have taken over the top seed in the AFC after Denver’s Thursday night loss but fell short. The Dolphins have become big Detroit Lions fans all of a sudden.
Eli Manning continued his woeful 2013 season with a stellar performance of 5 interceptions in the Giants 23-0 loss to Seattle at home. The Giants secured their first losing record since 2004. The Seahawks are on pace to have their best record since their 13-3 record that landed them in Super Bowl XL against the Steelers while New York couldn’t even get into Seattle territory until late into the fourth quarter. Thanks to Deadspin for this clip of Eli’s fourth interception where you can hear a young child saying, “You suck Eli! You suck!” Aw shucks.
Did you ever hear the one about Tony Romo throwing a game-losing interception in the fourth quarter to lose a close game for the Cowboys? No, not that one. Not that one either. Yeah he did it again. The Cowboys allowed the Matt Flynn-led Packers to come back from a 26-3 halftime deficit to win the game 37-36. The Cowboys could have taken advantage of the Eagles’ embarrassing loss earlier in the day against the Adrian Peterson-less Vikings but Romo had to go all “Romo” on them and screw it up again. The Cowboys inexplicably didn’t run the ball the entire second half after jumping out to a large halftime lead. They made several short passes to DeMarco Murray but kept it in the air setting Romo up to do his thing.
Special teams splash plays, defensive sacks, offensive line injuries quickly addressed and played back out on the field, who the hell were those guys last night? The Steelers were able to jump out to a 21-0 lead on Cincinnati thanks to a botched punt which turned into a short 1-yard touchdown run for Le’Veon Bell and a punt returned for a touchdown by Antonio Brown. Brown also added in a 12-yard touchdown reception. The Steelers got a break from a challenge which nullified a 37-yard punt return because it was seen that Cedric Peerman actually called for a fair catch. The Steelers still had some blown red zone opportunities as Shaun Suisham was called in to kick three field goals but the defense was able to stave off a late-game comeback attempt by the Bengals to set the Steelers up for victory. Better late than never right?
While the Steelers still need that cholera outbreak to hit most of the AFC teams in order to get the help they need, their playoff chances aren’t totally gone as of today. Stranger things have happened right?
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!