Another week has passes us by in the NFL and that means we are one week closer to crowning fantasy football champions and one step closer to the postseason. A lot of scenarios are still on the table for many teams heading into the final stretch of the season. Which players and teams shined most in Week 14? Here’s my thoughts on the week that was in the NFL.
Don’t sleep on the Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs hold the keys to the AFC West kingdom after defeating the Oakland Raiders 21-13 on Thursday Night Football. This was the second head-to-head victory over the Raiders this season and even with both teams sitting at identical 10-3 records, the Chiefs are essentially up two games. All 21 points were scored by Kansas City in the second quarter. Oakland’s magic of coming from behind in the second half of games did not hold up this week. The Chiefs defense and the cold weather got to Derek Carr, who threw for only 117 yards on 41 pass attempts. This is a potential playoff matchup, which could bode well for the Chiefs, finally playing a home playoff game. Andy Reid Coach of the Year? He is definitely in the top-two of the running.
Le’Veon Bell is the best running back in football, when on the field
The Pittsburgh Steelers will always have a chance to win games, especially with their star running back on the field. That was evident this past Sunday when the Steelers defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-20. Bell ran wild on the Rex Ryan coached defense to the tune of 236 yards on 38 carries and three touchdowns along with four catches for another 62 yards. He is such a versatile running back who is an extremely patient runner as well as a dynamic pass catcher out of the backfield. His Steelers are now in first place in the AFC North with a favorable schedule to close the season out.
Tampa Bay stays even with Atlanta
The Tampa Bay defense is playing well at the right time of the year and that has helped the team win five in a row and sit tied with the Falcons atop the NFC South. The defense held the high-octane, Drew Brees-led New Orleans offense to 11 points on Sunday. For the first time since 2009, Brees threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in back-to-back games. Atlanta also won on Sunday by dismantling the Los Angeles Rams 42-14. The Falcons scored more touchdowns in that single game alone in LA than the Rams have all season in their “new” home. Speaking of the Rams, they finally fired Jeff Fisher after a 4-9 start. I’m not ever one for someone being out of a job, but this was a long-time coming for the NFL’s leader in losses by a head coach.
Rodgers and company rout Seahawks
Aaron Rodgers is good. Like, really good. He torched the vaunted Seattle Seahawks defense for 246 yards and three touchdowns, which earned him NFC Player of the Week honors. His counterpart, Russell Wilson, did not have a great game. He threw five interceptions, but in his defense, three of those came off tipped passes from his receivers. On the flipside of those five interceptions, Rodgers threw five incompletions on the day. Green Bay is heating up at the right time after a lackluster start. Can the Seahawks still be a legitimate contender now that they are without Earl Thomas? Time will certainly tell.
Giants snap Cowboys 11-game winning streak
For the first time since Week 1, the Dallas Cowboys were defeated. Both of their losses have come at the hands of the Giants, who’s offseason spending spree on defense has made a difference. In a game that featured 18 combined punts, there was one touchdown, scored on a 61-yard pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. on a slant route. OBJ finished with four catches and 94 yards. The New York defense really made Dak Prescott look like a rookie as he threw for 168 yards, a touchdown and two picks. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 107 yards on 24 carries, but it wasn’t enough. Dez Bryant caught the ball…but then fumbled it away in the most crucial of times. There are apparent chemistry issues between Dak and Dez, which could ultimately hurt the Cowboys moving forward. If these two times end up tied at the end of the season, the Giants will win the NFC East by virtue of the tiebreaker.
Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game
When the lights shine brightest, Tom Brady comes to play. On Monday Night Football, Brady lit up the No. 1 ranked Baltimore Ravens defense for 409 yards and three scores, despite not having Gronk on the field. As long as Brady remains healthy, this team is a scary team heading into the end of December and into the playoffs.