The Colts have been known as a passing team for some time now, but Sunday against Tampa Bay, Indianapolis took that to a new level. The Colts ran for just 27 yards, including 24 by starter Frank Gore, in the 25-12 win. Even more surprising? It didn’t seem to matter. Playing without starting QB Andrew Luck, out with a lacerated kidney, 40-year-old backup Matt Hasselbeck was able to do just fine without the benefit of a RB, throwing for 315 yards and two TDs. The 27 yards was the third-lowest rushing performance in Colts franchise history.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Markus Wheaton torches Seattle
While the Seahawks did everything they could to contain Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, no one expected Wheaton to go off to the tune of 201 yards with nine catches -- both career highs. Wheaton hadn’t recorded more than two catches in a game since Week 1, and he’d never even had a 100-yard game in his three-year career -- until Sunday.
Saints fail to score TD for first time in 155 games
The Saints were 12 games away from breaking the Cleveland Browns' record of 166 straight games with a touchdown. Unfortunately, that came to an end in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, as they were defeated 24-6. It’s incredible to think that the former high-flying offense led by Drew Brees couldn’t find a way to get into the end zone a single time.
Getty ImagesScott Halleran
Ravens shock Browns with 'kick six'
The Browns seemingly had all the momentum going their way against the Ravens Monday night before losing in the most Browns way possible. After a 42-yard game-tying TD from backup QB Austin Davis to Travis Benjamin just after the two-minute warning, Cleveland picked off Matt Schaub in the final minute to set up a chance at a game-winning field goal. The 51-yard attempt was blocked and returned 64 yards to the house by Will Hill as time expired. Game, set, match.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Eagles allow 90 points in five days
Although it’s a stat skewed by the frequency of Thursday football, the Eagles became the first team in 65 years to give up 90 points over a span of five days following their Thanksgiving beatdown. Early in the season, Philadelphia’s defense was its strength -- against both the run and pass. In recent weeks, coaches and players have come under fire for their strategy and effort levels, respectively. After such a strong start to the season, this was not the stretch we expected from this defense.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Houston cruises without major contribution from DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins, who has been the focal point of Houston’s offense all season long, wasn’t nearly as involved in Sunday’s victory over the Saints. The three-year veteran caught just five passes for 36 yards in the win. Despite his quiet game, the Texans offense didn’t suffer. Instead, the Texans received a rare contribution from the running game, with Alfred Blue and company combining to run for 167 yards. That type of offensive balance, along with the fact that the Texans won handily with Hopkins held in check, bodes well for Houston’s playoff push.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
Sammy Watkins’ tale of two halves
Sammy Watkins exploded for six catches, 158 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of Sunday’s game, helping the Buffalo Bills jump out to a 16-14 lead at halftime. In the second half, however, he was shut out. He was targeted by Tyrod Taylor just once and didn’t record a catch for the remainder of the game. The box score still shows it was a great game for Watkins, but it could’ve been much better than it was.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Redskins played complete game when it mattered most
Hampered by penalties, turnovers and specific failures on either side of the ball, the Redskins have been an inconsistent team for most of the 2015 season. That was not the case in Week 12. The Redskins eliminated most of the penalties, did not turn the ball over once and they enjoyed strong performances from specific units that had struggled in recent weeks. The run defense made the most surprising improvement. After allowing several big games on the ground in recent weeks, the run defense came to play -- the Giants rushed for just 33 yards on 13 carries.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
Detroit’s 45-point offensive explosion
The Detroit Lions put up a season-high 45 points against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12. Interim offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter unleashed his weapons in a way we had not previously seen this year. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw five touchdown passes, three of which were caught by wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Thanks to this rare offensive explosion against the Eagles, the Lions are now averaging 20.9 points per game (26th in NFL).
Dolphins rush for just 12 yards
For the second consecutive week, the Miami Dolphins were quick to abandon the run. Against the New York Jets, Miami carried the ball nine times for 12 yards with Lamar Miller getting just five carries in the game. The team’s longest run was 5 yards as it was highly ineffective on the ground. Over the past two weeks, Miller has rushed 12 times for 46 yards, but that could change with the Dolphins firing offensive coordinator Bill Lazor on Monday.