There have been a handful of upsets in Week 14, however for essentially the most half, chalk held up. The groups that had been anticipated to win, and likewise contend within the playoffs, held serve throughout the last week of byes within the 2022 season.
Of the six groups that had the week off — fairly a roadblock for these with fantasy playoffs beginning subsequent week — none had been surefire bets to make the playoffs. The very best workforce with the week off was Taylor Heinicke’s 7-5-1 Washington Commanders.
Nevertheless, there weren’t almost as many marquee matchups this week as there have been in Week 13. Wanting on the schedule it will have been cheap to imagine that the highest NFL groups would be capable of get by means of the second week of December with out a lot bother.
But it surely didn’t end up that manner.
Certain Brock Purdy and Co. walloped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles, once more, proved to be nearly as good as their one-loss report implies, however some groups needed to battle. A handful groups that can be within the event come mid January needed to shortly swerve to keep away from a Week 14 intruder into their lane.
Scary hours within the Metroplex
When the workforce that’s two video games forward of you within the division — a workforce that you just’ll be internet hosting on Christmas Eve — defeats a standard division rival by 26 factors, on the street, dropping to the worst workforce within the NFL doesn’t fairly ship the specified vacation message. Especifically when that workforce with future No. 1 total draft decide fairies dancing within the heads of executives is rotating beginning quarterbacks like a Nineteen Nineties school soccer workforce.
But, the Houston Texans led the Dallas Cowboys for almost the complete second half.
The Cowboys acquired stuffed on a 4th and goal from the one-yard-line within the third quarter, turned the ball over within the fourth, and this three-loss workforce didn’t rating a landing, at house, in opposition to the Texans for greater than 42 minutes of sport time. A fourth loss appeared imminent when Dak Prescott threw that interception within the fourth quarter that put the Texans in an instantaneous goal-to-go scenario.
The positive that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott acquired for his or her Week 13 Salvation Military bucket celebration goes to charity, so possibly some vacation magic got here their manner as a result of the Cowboys stuffed the Texans on 4th and 1. They then skated their manner down the sphere to a landing within the hurry-up offense, and completed the day at 10-3, with one of the crucial unencouraging victories of the season.
Even after they screw up, the Chiefs have all of the leisure worth
For many who have spent even a half hour watching the Denver Broncos after Week 1, there was no cause to anticipate something stunning from their first 2022 matchup in opposition to the Chiefs, aside from Nathaniel Hackett presumably getting fired.
The very best workforce within the AFC was going up in opposition to a workforce that hadn’t scored 25 factors as soon as this season, and had solely damaged the 20 level barrier twice. For a lot of the first half, the sport went even worse than essentially the most dejected Broncos, and delirious Chiefs fan, would have imagined. With slightly below 5 minutes remaining within the second quarter, Willie Homosexual went Spiderman on Russell Wilson when he batted a go into the air, secured the interception, and sprinted for a landing. That play, and the next further level, put the Chiefs up 27-0.
At this level, an inexpensive perception could be that somebody in Broncos public relations was engaged on an announcement to inform the world that the workforce was parting methods with Hackett. Denver’s subsequent drive was an uninspiring four-and-out. Then, with three minutes remaining within the quarter, Patrick Mahomes threw an interception.
The Broncos would go on to attain a landing. Then on the subsequent drive, Mahomes threw one other interception. The Broncos scored one other landing and went into halftime down 27-14.
A display screen go from Wilson to Marlon Mack went for a 66-yard rating on the Broncos’ opening second-half drive, and there will need to have been some radioactive fumes coming from international warming melting Rocky Mountain ice caps as a result of this matchup was now a one-score sport. If Wilson didn’t find yourself in concussion protocol, the Chiefs might’ve simply misplaced. They even went three and out on the subsequent drive, and Mahomes threw a 3rd interception after the Broncos diminished the deficit to 34-28.
Sure the Chiefs nonetheless have the very best report within the AFC, but when they’ve plans of successful the franchise’s third Tremendous Bowl, Week 14 can’t occur once more.
The Ravens are hanging on by the beak
If there’s a guess that may be positioned on what sport can be flexed into the Week 18 Sunday Evening Soccer season finale, the one logical one is Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens. It’s very possible that the AFC North title can be on the road that day.
Whereas the Ravens have a a lot simpler schedule for the subsequent three weeks, who is aware of when Lamar Jackson will return to the lineup. On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jackson might not be behind middle once more for the Ravens till Christmas Eve.
With the Pittsburgh Steelers having gained three out of their final 4 video games, and taking part in their rival Ravens at house, Kenny Pickett appeared to have a superb probability to get a win in opposition to Ravens backup QB Tyler Huntley. That was till Pickett acquired dropped on the again of his head early within the first quarter. He tried to return however lasted solely three extra performs earlier than Mitch Trubisky needed to take over.
Trubisky would go on to throw three interceptions. Mix that with the return of J.Ok. Dobbins to the backfield, and it regarded just like the Ravens had been going to have the ability to breathe simpler than anticipated this week.
That was till Huntley went into concussion protocol after successful within the third quarter. Undrafted rookie free agent, Anthony Brown, needed to end the day for the Ravens. Happily, for him, Trubisky threw a 3rd decide on the drive earlier than Brown took the sphere, and on the drive after, the Ravens’ particular groups blocked a field-goal try.
The Ravens are on the street in opposition to the Cleveland Browns in Week 15. With an enormous query mark on who can be behind middle that day whereas the Bengals can be taking up the sputtering Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Week 18 Ravens vs. Bengals goes to be a doozy.