NFL Today, Week 15
Monday, Dec. 16
Indianapolis at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. Drew Brees and the Saints (10-3) try to remain in contention for the top playoff seed in the NFC when they host Jacoby Brissett and the struggling Colts (6-7). It's the final home game of the regular season for the playoff-bound Saints, who are 5-2 in the Superdome but are coming off a 48-46 loss to San Francisco last week. The Colts have lost five of six games and also have lost their last three games against the Saints.
-- Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, threw for a career-high 458 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for 450 yards in consecutive games, leading Tampa Bay to a 38-17 win over Detroit.
— Russell Wilson, Seahawks, passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns and Seattle defeated Carolina 30-24.
— Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns as Kansas City romped to a 23-3 victory over Denver.
— Eli Manning, Giants, threw for two touchdowns in what might have been his final home start for the franchise and New York snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak with a 36-20 victory over Miami.
— Chris Carson, Seahawks, rushed for 133 yards and two scores to help Seattle to a 30-24 win at Carolina.
— Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, Cowboys. Elliott had 117 yards rushing despite getting just one carry in the fourth quarter of Dallas' 44-21 rout of the Los Angeles Rams. Rookie Pollard played most of the fourth and had a career-high 131 yards, including a 44-yard score.
— Saquon Barkley, Giants, ran for 112 yards and scored two touchdowns in New York's 36-20 win over Miami.
— Miles Sanders, Eagles, rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 50 yards in Philadelphia's 37-27 victory at Washington.
— Julio Jones, Falcons, caught 13 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including a 5-yard grab that was ruled a score after a replay reversal with 2 seconds left, sending Atlanta past San Francisco 29-22.
— Breshad Perriman, Buccaneers, set career highs with three TD receptions and 113 yards receiving in Tampa Bay's 38-17 victory at Detroit.
— Travis Kelce, Chiefs, hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards in Kansas City's 23-3 win over Denver to become the first tight end in NFL history with four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
— Tyler Higbee, Rams, had 12 receptions for 111 yards in Los Angeles' 42-21 loss at Dallas.
— Ka'imi Fairbairn, Texans, kicked a 29-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining to provide the winning margin as Houston scored 10 straight points in the fourth quarter to beat Tennessee 24-21.
— Kai Forbath, Cowboys, made all three of his field goals, from 50, 42 and 42 yards, and all five of his extra points in his Dallas debut, a 44-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
— Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, Patriots. Gilmore and Jackson each had two interceptions, and Gilmore returned one of his 64 yards for a score to help New England clinch a playoff berth with a 34-13 victory over Cincinnati.
— Sean Murphy-Bunting, Buccaneers, returned an interception 70 yards for a score as Tampa Bay cruised past Detroit 38-17.
— Nigel Bradham, Eagles, returned a fumble 47 yards on the game's final play to cap Philadelphia's 37-27 win at Washington.
— Ifeadi Odenigbo and Danielle Hunter, Vikings. Odenigbo scooped up a fumble and went 56 yards for a touchdown in Minnesota's 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Hunter had five tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and fumble recovery.
— K.J. Wright, Seahawks, had two interceptions in Seattle's 30-24 win at Carolina.
New England coach Bill Belichick is in the playoffs for the 18th time, tying Tom Landry for second all time, one behind Don Shula. His 11th straight postseason berth broke a tie with Tony Dungy for the league record. ... Patriots QB Tom Brady has thrown at least 20 touchdown passes in 17 seasons, moving ahead of Peyton Manning for the NFL record. ... Adrian Peterson's 10-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter of Washington's 37-27 loss to Philadelphia gave him 110 for his career and tied him with Walter Payton for fourth on the all-time list. Peterson has 14,102 career rushing yards, surpassing Curtis Martin (14,101) for fifth on the NFL's career list. ... Tampa Bay's Shaquil Barrett had a sack in the Buccaneers' 38-17 win at Detroit, giving him 16 1/2 this season to match the franchise record set by Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp in 2000. ... Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers moved into 13th place in career yards passing (46,407). Fran Tarkenton is in 12th place with 47,003.
New England clinched a postseason berth for the 11th consecutive season, the longest such streak in NFL history, with its 34-13 win at Cincinnati. ... Green Bay earned a playoff spot for the first time since 2016 with it's 21-13 win over Chicago and the Los Angeles Rams' 44-21 loss at Dallas. ... San Francisco also clinched a spot with the Rams' loss despite the 49ers losing to Atlanta. ... Seattle was also affected by the Rams' defeat because, combined with its 30-24 win at Carolina, the Seahawks clinched a playoff berth for the seventh time in eight seasons. ... Buffalo secured its second playoff berth in three seasons under coach Sean McDermott with a 17-10 win at Pittsburgh. The Bills (10-4) also recorded their first 10-win season since 1999.
STREAKS & STATS
Andy Dalton's 8-yard touchdown pass to Cethan Carter ended Cincinnati's streak of 20 straight games without reaching the end zone on its opening drive, but the Bengals fell to New England 34-13. ... Detroit running back Wes Hills, an undrafted rookie, had two TD runs in his NFL debut, a 38-17 loss to Tampa Bay, to join Isaiah Crowell (2014) as the only undrafted rookies with that many rushing touchdowns in their first career game in the common draft era. ... Minnesota forced seven turnovers and converted them into 20 points in a 39-10 over the Los Angeles Chargers. It was the most takeaways by a Mike Zimmer-led unit, surpassing the six that Dallas forced against Washington in 2003. It was the first time the Vikings have forced at least seven turnovers since Sept. 24, 1995, against Pittsburgh. ... Buffalo's John Brown caught seven passes for 99 yards in the Bills' 17-10 win at Pittsburgh, becoming the team's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015.
After Dallas won the pregame coin toss, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott initially made a reference to kicking off before saying his team would defer. Referee Walt Anderson said a couple of times the Cowboys wanted to kick, creating the confusion. “Definitely a weird start,” Prescott said. “Just bad use of words by me. We listened to the audio. We got it figured out. Just wasn’t the cleanest coin flip I’ve been a part of.” The Rams went all the way to the start of the second half thinking they were going to get the ball before finding out Dallas would receive. “I don't know how or why or what happened, but we had talked to the referees the whole game,” Goff said. “I don't think that would have changed much with the outcome of the game, but it's something a little weird definitely.”
Carolina's Çhristian McCaffrey became the first NFL player this season — and the first Panthers player ever — to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage, but the Panthers lost 30-24 to the Seattle Seahawks. McCaffrey carried 19 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns and caught eight passes for 88 yards, marking the 11th time in 14 games he has amassed more than 130 yards from scrimmage. He leads the NFL in total yards (2,121) yards and touchdowns (18). The NFL record for yards from scrimmage is 2,509, set by Tennessee's Chris Johnson in 2009. McCaffrey, who had 107 receptions last year, has 94 catches this year and joined Larry Centers (1995 and '96) as the only running backs with at least 90 in multiple seasons in NFL history.
THAT WINNING FEELING
Arizona snapped its losing streak at six games with a 38-24 win over Cleveland — and running back Kenyon Drake ended his personal skid at 14. Drake ran for a season-high 137 yards six weeks after being acquired by the Cardinals in a midseason trade with Miami. He lost nine straight games with the Dolphins before the trade and then lost five more after he came to the Cardinals.
Kansas City's Travis Kelce had 11 receptions for 142 yards in the Chiefs' 23-3 win over Denver, giving him 1,131 yards receiving this season and making him the first tight end in NFL historywith at least 1,000 in four consecutive seasons. He also joined Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten as the only tight ends with four career seasons overall with at least 1,000 yards receiving.
Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston passed for a career-high 458 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in the Buccaneers' 38-17 win at Detroit. Winston, who passed for 456 yards with four touchdowns in Week 14, is the first player in NFL history with at least 450 yards passing yards in consecutive games. He has five games with at least 375 yards passing yards this year, joining Peyton Manning (six games in 2013) and Drew Brees (five in 2013) as the only players with at least five such games in a single season in NFL history.
BYE BYE, BLACK HOLE
Gardner Minshew threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game and the Jacksonville Jaguars spoiled the final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum by beating the Raiders 20-16. Some frustrated fans threw debris on the field, but most just sat quietly in the stands after the last of 327 games played at the Coliseum as the "Autumn Wind" played. Several Raiders, including quarterback Derek Carr, walked to the Black Hole to thank the fans, many of whom booed as Carr ran off the field for the final time.
Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter at Detroit after having five catches for 121 yards in the Buccaneers' 38-17 win. ... Dallas, already down Leighton Vander Esch because of a neck injury, lost two more linebackers in the first half against the Rams in veteran Joe Thomas and rookie Luke Gifford. Thomas injured a knee and Gifford was knocked out by an arm injury. ... Chicago defensive tackle Akiem Hicks left at Green Bay in the fourth quarter with an injury. Hicks, a Pro Bowl pick last season, was active and played for the first time since dislocating his left elbow against Oakland in London on Oct. 6. ... Seattle played without defensive ends Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and tight end Luke Wilson. Safety Quandre Diggs left in the third quarter and linebacker Bobby Wagner in the fourth. Coach Pete Carroll said after the game that both suffered ankle injuries, but said it appears Diggs' injury may be worse. ... Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook suffered a shoulder injury on the opening drive of the second half and did not return against the Chargers.
“It was definitely an awesome experience to be here and play in the last game. Probably saw more middle fingers today than I have in my whole life. They have a good time. It was fun to ruin that for them.” — Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew, who threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game and the Jaguars spoiled the final scheduled game at the Coliseum by beating the Raiders 20-16.
“Obviously, the support of the fans and their ovation and their chanting my name from the first half until the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate that always and my teammates coming up to me. It was a special day, a special win, one I'll remember.” — New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after perhaps his final home game with the franchise, a 36-20 win over Miami.
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