NFL

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NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31471517 The Packers love hosting the Lions The+Packers+love+hosting+the+Lions NFL

With Sunday night's 27-20 come-from-behind win against the Lions on the frozen — and snowy — tundra of Lambeau Field, the Packers have won 22 straight at home against the Lions, the longest streak in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers got to display his infamous "Championship Belt" touchdown celebration after his 27-yard run for a score — the longest TD run of his career. If only the Packers loved playing on all frozen tundras. The Packers (9-4) are now one win away from clinching the NFC North, but the path runs through another potentially frozen field — next Sunday at Chicago's Soldier Field.

 

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Jeff Hanisch - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/120912-NFL-week-14-lesson-LN-G1_20121210002125976_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/10/120912-NFL-week-14-lesson-LN-G1_20121210002125976_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31471503 Lots of Saints defenders saw this Lots+of+Saints+defenders+saw+this NFL

The back of rookie running back David Wilson's jersey, that is. Wilson ran wild in the Giants' 52-27 romp of the Saints on Sunday, scoring three TDs — including one on a 97-yard kickoff return — and amassing a team-record 327 all-purpose yards. Bouncing back from last week's loss to the Redskins, Eli Manning threw for four touchdowns as the Giants (8-5) maintained their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. As the Giants continue to battle inconsistency from week to week, Wilson's breakout performance may have been the jolt needed to propel them into the playoffs.

 

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G3_20121209211741335_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G3_20121209211741335_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31471501 Soaring Seahawks are legit threat Soaring+Seahawks+are+legit+threat NFL

The Seahawks' beatdown of the Cardinals was so spectacularly bad, head coach Pete Carroll subbed in QB Matt Flynn shortly after halftime — that's right, halftime — to give starter Russell Wilson a breather for the remainder of the game. If only a mercy rule existed in the NFL. Seattle had taken a 38-0 lead into the locker room at the half, and left CenturyLink Field with a 58-0 drubbing of a completely inept Arizona team. Still riding an emotional high from last week's big win over the Bears, the Seahawks flat-out dominated on both sides of the ball, notching 8 — count 'em, 8! — turnovers and 493 yards of total offense. Carroll has his team — the first under his tenure to reach at least 8 wins — hitting their stride at just the right time of year as they gun for the playoffs.

 

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Kirby Lee/Image of Sport - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G1_20121209211707331_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G1_20121209211707331_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31471502 Aldon Smith is scary good Aldon+Smith+is+scary+good NFL

San Fransisco linebacker Aldon Smith has now sacked his way into NFL history. By notching two sacks against the Dolphins on Sunday, Smith — seen here celebrating after a sack, naturally — has recorded 19 1/2 sacks through 13 games, and 33 1/2 in his brief NFL career. He now has the most sacks in league history for a player in his first two seasons, and is just three shy of matching Michael Strahan's single-season NFL sack record. If Smith doesn't break the record in the next two weeks chasing the Patriots' Tom Brady or the Seahawks' Russell Wilson, keep an eye on the season finale, when the 49ers face the Cardinals and their horrid offensive line. Meanwhile, the 49ers defeated the Dolphins 27-13, with Frank Gore topping 1,000 yards for the season. The Colin Kaepernick experiment also rebounded from last week's 16-13 overtime loss at St. Louis, with the second-year pro delivering an 18-for-23 game and 100.2 passing rating.

 

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Cary Edmondson - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G2_20121209211722333_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-Lesson-gallery-LA-G2_20121209211722333_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464960 Cam can Cam+can NFL

The QB spotlight belongs to the rookies right now — Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Co. And the Panthers have had a lackluster season. So Cam Newton has somewhat faded from NFL media consciousness, other than his "suggestion box" quote. But NFL defenses know it's a mistake to do just what we have — take your eye off Newton. The second-year quarterback delivered a highlight package Sunday that deserves its own shelf at NFL Films. Newton threw for 287 and ran for a career-high 116 as the Panthers handed the Falcons their second defeat, 30-20. Newton's 72-yard TD run was part Barry Sanders, part Earl Campbell. From a QB! Newton might not be the flavor of the month, but he will be again.

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Rainier Ehrhardt - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G6_20121209165315168_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G6_20121209165315168_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464963 Colts will be playing in January Colts+will+be+playing+in+January NFL

The Colts parted ways with a legendary quarterback. They fired their coach. They made choices on a bevy of veterans, sending some packing and keeping a few to help the new young core learn the ropes of the NFL. Finally, they had to choose between QBs Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III as the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft. Add up all those decisions, and you have a rebuilding project that took years less than expected. When Adam Vinatieri (No. 4) hit the 40-yard field goal to cap Indianapolis' 27-23 victory over Tennessee on Sunday, the Colts all but clinched a spot in the AFC playoffs. They have opened a two-game lead in the wild-card standings with only three games to play. Luck almost certainly will be in the playoffs as a rookie. Heck, he just might find himself facing that legend, Denver's Peyton Manning.

Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Jeff Roberson - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G7_20121209165355176_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G7_20121209165355176_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464961 Everybody's right about RG3 Everybody%27s+right+about+RG3 NFL

Some said Robert Griffin III was a can't-miss franchise quarterback, a great personality and a unique talent. Others said he was a risky draft pick because his legs would be his undoing, that he would take too many hits that would take their toll on his health. Seems everyone has reason to say, "I was right." He has energized the Redskins and carried them on his back into playoff contention. And he helped Washington to another comeback victory Sunday as Washington pulled out a 31-28 victory over Baltimore. But he wasn't around when the game was decided in overtime, having suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter on the game-tying drive. An MRI conducted after the game showed the Redskins’ rookie QB escaped serious injury and suffered a sprain, according to a team spokesman. If you listen closely, you can hear the nation's capital breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Patrick Semansky - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G8_20121209165356177_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G8_20121209165356177_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31470744 Rams are on the upswing Rams+are+on+the+upswing NFL

Remember those St. Louis Rams that were leading the league in penalties and letting winnable games slip through their fingers? That was only a couple months ago, but it might as well have been a season ago. Coach Jeff Fisher now has the Rams playing his brand of football, and it has paid off with three straight wins. Their 15-12 victory Sunday at Buffalo was their second on the road during that mini-streak. And it was typical Fisher — close, low-scoring, kind of ugly, but a W. Quarterback Sam Bradford directed a 14-play, 84-yard drive that produced the game-winning field goal with 48 seconds left. And the Rams can say "playoffs" without launching into an impression of Jim Mora.

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Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G3_20121209165315170_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G3_20121209165315170_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31470745 Steelers are on the downslide Steelers+are+on+the+downslide NFL

The Steelers have lost three of four games. On Sunday, they were spanked 34-24 at home by a Chargers team that had lost four straight games and had to sign players off the street earlier in the week just to field an offensive line. Even the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pictured being tackled by Takeo Spikes) failed to provide a spark. Suddenly, the Steelers' game in two weeks vs. Cincinnati has the look of a playoff to get into the playoffs. The Chargers won't be going to the postseason, but they can point to this game, where they won the battle in the trenches on offense and defense, as proof they didn't start their offseason a month early.

Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G4_20121209165315169_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G4_20121209165315169_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31470748 Romo can go four quarters Romo+can+go+four+quarters NFL

Tony Romo, the quarterback who couldn't finish, suddenly is the second coming of John Elway. The Cowboys talented, if frustrating QB seems to have gotten this fourth-quarter thing down. Romo has led the Cowboys to second-half comebacks in four of the past five games. By far, the one Sunday in a 20-19 victory at Cincinnati was the most impressive. It was on the road, it was against a team with playoff momentum and it required two scores in the final seven minutes. All this in the wake of the death of practice squad member Jerry Brown early Saturday and the charge against teammate Josh Brent of intoxication manslaughter in Brown's death. Should Dallas reach the postseason, it will point to this week as the reason why.

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Michael Keating - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G10_20121209165414183_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G10_20121209165414183_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464955 This is a good idea This+is+a+good+idea NFL

Handing off, that is. When you consider starting your third-string quarterback and then end up putting him on the inactive list, you have a QB situation that's in flux, to be kind about it. Basically, Mark Sanchez is still starting for the Jets because benching him full time turns him into chum for the media while diminishing whatever trade value he has left. So the Jets did the next best thing to finding a QB — they rediscovered their running game. Sanchez (pictured giving the ball to Bilal Powell) handed off 42 times, and the Jets grinded their way to a 17-10 victory at Jacksonville. Thing of beauty? No. But it's the Jets' best strategy now.

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Rob Foldy - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G2_20121209165314167_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G2_20121209165314167_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31470747 Bears tasted their own medicine Bears+tasted+their+own+medicine NFL

The Bears got off to a hot start this season behind a ball-hawking defense that was scoring nearly as many touchdowns as the Chicago offense. On Sunday, the Bears were on the other end of that formula. Minnesota won 21-14, mostly on the strength of Adrian Peterson's 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns. But Harrison Smith (pictured, No. 22) had the key play, when he grabbed a floater by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and headed 56 yards the other way for a pick-six that gave the Vikings a two-touchdown lead in the third quarter. As they say, one big play can decide a game. This one also tightened the NFL playoff race considerably.

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Andy King - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G9_20121209165405181_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G9_20121209165405181_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464959 Context is difficult to find Context+is+difficult+to+find NFL

It's beyond comprehension how the Chiefs were able to play with the focus they showed last week, one day after linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide after killing his girlfriend. The ensuing week had to be every bit as challenging — balancing the routine of practice with the surreal situation of memorializing their teammate under the worst of circumstances. When the Chiefs jumped out to another lead Sunday at Cleveland on Jamaal Charles' long touchdown run, it appeared somehow they were going to manage to succeed under trying conditions yet again. Then Ryan Succop (No. 6) hit the upright on a field-goal attempt that would have put Kansas City up 10-0, and the game unraveled from there. Cleveland won 30-7. As he did the week before, Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn spoke best about the tragic events. "It is going to be with some guys the rest of their lives," he said. "But it was not a distraction because we live to play football. We just didn't play an all-around football game like we did last week.''

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Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G1_20121209165314166_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G1_20121209165314166_107_80.JPG
NFL 5 2020 What we learned in Week 14 31464956 Reid's going out his way Reid%27s+going+out+his+way NFL

Eagles coach Andy Reid has fired two assistant coaches this season. He has turned from Michael Vick to rookie quarterback Nick Foles. He knows change is afoot in Philadelphia and most likely will include his departure. But Reid is holding firm on one point — the Eagles will thrive or suffer with the pass. They put the ball in the air 51 times Sunday vs. only 16 rushing attempts. Foles' 51st pass was good for a 1-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin and a 23-21 victory at Tampa Bay, ending Philly's eight-game losing streak. Too little, too late? Probably. But it will serve Foles well should Reid's replacement keep him behind center.

Highlights | Game Trax | Recap | Scoreboard | Standings

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G5_20121209165314165_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/09/120912-NFL-LESSONS-AM-G5_20121209165314165_107_80.JPG
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