NFL Today, Week 14
Monday, Dec. 11
New England at Miami, 8:30 p.m. EST. Tom Brady and the Patriots have won eight games in row, and will clinch their ninth consecutive AFC East title with a win. But they’ll have to do it without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will serve a one-game suspension for a late hit against Buffalo last week. Meanwhile, Dolphins coach Adam Gase is 0-3 against the Patriots, who beat Miami 35-17 two weeks ago. The Dolphins have played more games on Monday night than any other team with 83, but this is their first since 2015.
– Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, went 44 of 66 for 506 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to top 500 yards passing three times and leading Pittsburgh past Baltimore 39-38.
– Matthew Stafford, Lions, passed for 381 yards and a TD with an injured throwing hand, and set up the winning field goal in Detroit’s 24-21 win over Tampa Bay.
– Dak Prescott, Cowboys, threw three touchdown passes and finished 20 of 30 for 332 yards as Dallas topped the New York Giants 30-10.
– Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers, threw for a career-high 334 yards and a touchdown to help San Francisco win its second straight, 26-16 over Houston.
– Brett Hundley, Packers, finished 35 of 46 with three touchdowns, including a 25-yarder to Davante Adams in overtime, to lead Green Bay to a 27-21 win at Cleveland.
– Philip Rivers, Chargers, passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns in Los Angeles’ fourth straight victory, 30-13 over Washington.
– Jonathan Stewart, Panthers, ran for 103 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in Carolina’s 31-24 victory over Minnesota.
– LeSean McCoy, Bills, scored on a 21-yard run with 1:33 left in overtime and finished with 156 yards rushing in Buffalo’s 13-7 win over Indianapolis.
– Jordan Howard, Bears, ran for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Chicago’s 33-7 rout of Cincinnati, giving him consecutive 1,000 yard seasons to start his career.
– Todd Gurley, Rams, rushed for 96 yards and two TDs on 13 carries in Los Angeles’ 43-35 loss to Philadelphia.
– Frank Gore, Colts, had a career-high 36 carries for 130 yards in Indianapolis’ 13-7 overtime loss to Buffalo.
– Isaiah Crowell, Browns, rushed for 121 yards on 19 carries in Cleveland’s 27-21 overtime defeat against Green Bay.
– Kareem Hunt, Chiefs, ran for 116 yards and a TD in Kansas City’s 26-15 win over Oakland.
– Antonio Brown, Steelers, caught 11 passes for 213 yards in Pittsburgh’s 39-38 win over Baltimore.
– DeAndre Hopkins, Texans, had 149 yards receiving and two touchdowns in Houston’s 26-16 loss to San Francisco.
– Rod Smith, Cowboys, had an 81-yard touchdown catch, finishing with five catches for 113 yards, and added a 15-yard TD run in Dallas’ 30-10 win over the New York Giants.
– Kendall Wright, Bears, caught 10 passes for 107 yards in Chicago’s 33-7 win at Cincinnati.
– Eric Ebron, Lions, had 10 catches for 94 yards in Detroit’s 24-21 victory at Tampa Bay.
– Tyrell Williams, Chargers, caught four passes for 132 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, in Los Angeles’ 30-13 win over Washington.
– Matt Prater, Lions, kicked a 46-yard field goal in the closing seconds to lead Detroit to a 24-21 victory at Tampa Bay.
– Phil Dawson, Cardinals, made field goals from 47, 23, 32 and 35 yards – and missed from 40 – to account for Arizona’s scoring in a 12-7 win over Tennessee.
– Blake Countess, Rams, returned a blocked punt by Michael Thomas 16 yards for a touchdown in Los Angeles’ 43-35 loss to Philadelphia.
– Trevor Davis, Packers, had a 65-yard punt return to set up a touchdown in Green Bay’s 27-21 overtime victory at Cleveland.
– Jaydon Mickens, Jaguars, set up a score with a 72-yard punt return to help Jacksonville beat Seattle 30-24.
– Sean Lee, Cowboys, had 18 total tackles and an interception in Dallas’ 30-10 victory over the New York Giants.
– Brandon Graham, Eagles, scored on a 16-yard fumble return in Philadelphia’s 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
– Bashaud Breeland, Redskins, returned an interception of Kellen Clemens’ pass 96 yards for a touchdown in Washington’s 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
– Chris Long, Eagles, had a strip-sack of Jared Goff and Rodney McLeod recovered the football to set up the go-ahead field goal in Philadelphia’s 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
STREAKS & STATS
It took 13 games, but Carolina finally got at an interception from its starting cornerbacks. Daryl Worley and James Bradberry both intercepted Minnesota’s Case Keenum in a 31-24 win after being shut out the previous 12 games. … Detroit’s Matthew Stafford made his 109th consecutive start despite being limited in practice after his right hand was stepped on during the previous week at Baltimore. It’s the third-longest among NFL quarterbacks behind Matt Ryan (128) and Philip Rivers (119). Stafford directed a winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime for the 32nd time in his career, leading Detroit to a 24-21 win at Tampa Bay. … Denver snapped its eight-game losing streak, its longest losing string since joining the NFL in 1970, with a 23-0 shutout of the New York Jets. It was the Broncos’ first win in 70 days.
Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald had 44 yards receiving in the Cardinals’ 12-7 win over Tennessee, giving him 15,311 for his career to surpass Randy Moss (15,292) for third place on the NFL’s career list. Only Jerry Rice (22,895) and Terrell Owens (15,934) have more. … Indianapolis’ Frank Gore finished with a career-high 36 carries for 130 yards in the Colts’ 13-7 overtime loss at Buffalo. It was his first 100-yard game in 15 outings, since gaining 101 yards in a 34-6 win at Miami on Dec. 12. It was also Gore’s 42nd career 100-yard game, tying him with O.J. Simpson for 16th on the NFL list. … Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt ran for 116 yards in the Chiefs’ 26-15 win over Oakland, giving him 1,046 yards rushing for the season and making him the second rookie in team history to top the 1,000-yard. Joe Delaney, whose career was cut tragically short when he drowned while trying to save three kids in a Louisiana pond, accomplished the feat in 1981. … Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers became the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,500 yards in 10 consecutive seasons, joining Peyton Manning (13, 1998-2010) and Drew Brees (13, 2005-17). Rivers also moved ahead of Warren Moon for ninth place in NFL history in career yards passing. … Denver’s Demaryius Thomas caught the 56th TD pass of his career, surpassing Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe for second in franchise history. Wide receiver Rod Smith’s 68 TD receptions are the most all-time.
FLY EAGLES FLY
Philadelphia improved to 11-2 and clinched the NFC East with a 43-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division last year, completed a worst-to-first turnaround. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Philadelphia’s title celebration was likely tempered by a serious knee injury to quarterback Carson Wentz.
Carolina’s Cam Newton had a 62-yard run to Minnesota’s 8-yard line to set up the winning touchdown in the Panthers’ 31-24 win over the Vikings. Newton, who had a 69-yard run in Week 10, is the first quarterback since the 1970 merger to have multiple rushes of 60 or more rushes in a single season.
Chicago’s Jordan Howard rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 33-7 win at Cincinnati, making him the first player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons. Mitchell Trubisky passed for 271 yards with a touchdown and added a 4-yard TD run in today’s win, becoming the first rookie quarterback in team history with a passing TD and a rushing TD in a single game since Jim McMahon in 1982.
BACK IN THE END ZONE
After missing some scoring opportunities last week in Los Angeles, Cleveland’s Josh Gordon was confident he and DeShone Kizer would connect against Green Bay. They did just that on the Browns’ first play, hooking up for 38 yards. Moments later, Kizer threaded a perfect pass over the middle to Gordon, who made a leaping catch in the end zone for his first TD since Dec. 15, 2013. When he returned to the sideline, Gordon pulled off his helmet and put on a pair of dark sunglasses, then strutted in celebration before hugging Jackson.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning got a standing ovation while taking the field, a week after being benched in favor of Geno Smith. Manning, who threw a 1-yard TD pass to Rhett Ellison late in the second quarter, finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards, along with two late interceptions. The game capped a hectic week for the Giants that started Monday with the firing of second-year coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese and saw Steve Spagnuolo promoted from defensive coordinator to interim coach.
Blake Bortles threw two perfect passes for touchdowns, Jaydon Mickens set up another score with a 72-yard punt return and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Seattle Seahawks 30-24 on Sunday. The Jaguars (9-4) intercepted three passes by Russell Wilson, including two on deep balls, and won for the sixth time in their last seven games. This victory, coupled with Tennessee’s loss at Arizona, moved Jacksonville atop the AFC South. It’s the first time since 2010 that the Jaguars have had the outright division lead this late in a season.
WENTZ AND GOFF
For the eighth time since the 1970 merger, quarterbacks taken No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the same draft squared off with the Rams’ Jared Goff – the first pick overall in 2016 – and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz – who went No. 2. Wentz threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury in the Eagles’ 43-35 win. Goff threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns for Los Angeles.
Russell Wilson was intercepted three times in Seattle’s 30-24 loss at Jacksonville. It was the first time this season and the fourth time in 105 career games that Wilson was picked off three times. It was his first game with three or more picks since throwing five against Green Bay in December 2016.
Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz, Houston’s Tom Savage, the Jets’ Josh McCown and Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman each left their respective games with injuries. Two sources familiar with the injury told The Associated Press that doctors believe Wentz has torn his left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs. Wentz needs an MRI to confirm the severity of the injury. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information. … In Houston, Savage was cleared to re-enter the game against the San Francisco 49ers for one series after sustaining a concussion. He threw two incompletions on that drive, and Houston’s team doctor approached him after he returned to the sideline after that possession. … In snowy Buffalo, Peterman went 5 of 10 for 57 yards before being sidelined by a head injury late in the third quarter against Indianapolis. … McCown left the game against Denver twice because of hard hits, including a clean shot by Shane Ray in the third quarter that left McCown with a broken left hand. … Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner left against Jacksonville in the third quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. Fellow linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion) left the field late in the third quarter. … Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper left in the second quarter against Kansas City with a right leg injury when he was blocking downfield on a run by DeAndre Washington and a defender rolled into the back of him.
”My No. 1 thought going into it was to keep our hopes alive to make the playoffs. At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens. Whenever I’m called upon, I’ll be ready. In the meantime, we’re still in this.” – Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley, who threw three touchdown passes in a 27-21 overtime win at Cleveland that kept the Packers’ playoff hopes alive with Aaron Rodgers poised to return next week.
”It feels like 100 years.” – Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian after the Broncos snapped an eight-game skid with their first win in 70 days, 23-0 over the New York Jets.
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