Week 15 was dramatic, The New York Jets beat the Rams, the Bengals beat Pittsburgh, the Patriots miss the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, and the Buccaneers come back against the Falcons. Keep on reading to see what was the big thing that happened in each game.
Week 15 Byes: NONE
Los Angeles Chargers(5-9) AT Las Vegas Raiders(7-7)
Justin Herbert is amazing
Mariota playing hard
Thursday night ended in a 30-27 overtime score and the Chargers' getting their first divisional win since 2018.
Justin Herbert has once again put together an outstanding performance. He missed ten passes and threw two touchdowns on 314 yards. Justin led the Chargers on their game-winning drive in overtime and was accurate most of the night. Herbert tied Baker Mayfield's rookie touchdown record at 27, he has two more games to get one passing touchdown to set a new record. This performance surely secured him as the OROY winner.
Next game: VS Broncos Sun, 12/27/20 12:05 pm
Marcus Mariota played like it was his last game, he had some rust but kept the game closer than what it should have been. I mentioned this situation in an earlier article about if Mariota could jump Carr on the depth chart. Derek Carr suffered a 'significant' groin injury and is not known if he will play. Mariota had 226 yards and a touchdown in his return to the field as well as 88 yards rushing and a touchdown. Marcus is not as turnover prone as Carr and gives a better mobile option, makes teams commit to a read-option more.
Next game: VS Dolphins Sat, 12/26/20 4:15 pm
Buffalo Bills(11-3) AT Denver Broncos(5-9)
Josh Allen has come so far
Drew Lock needs to prove something and fast
Buffalo clinched the AFC East for the first time since 1995 with a 48-19 win.
Josh Allen has developed into a whole different quarterback from what people thought he would be when he was drafted in 2018. The biggest concern was his accuracy, this year he started to widen his left leg and it has led to a 104.2 QB rating, a 68.7 completion percentage, and exactly 4000 yards passing. Allen has been making tough passes and dropping them right in the breadbasket. Allen threw 359 yards and two touchdowns as well as two rushing touchdowns. Josh Allen is back in the MVP talk, as he can only improve from here.
Next Game: AT New England Mon, 12/28/20 4:15 pm
Drew Lock has had a disappointing second season, injuries took up a chunk of his year, and being placed on the Covid-19 list sidelined him for a single game. Drew has shown signs of promise as to be the long-term solution for Denver. He needs to finish out this season with a consistent two games. If Lock doesn't show something like he did during the last six games of last year, it could lead the Broncos to look at the 2022 quarterback class.
Next Game: AT Chargers Sun, 12/27/20 12:05 pm
Carolina Panthers(4-10) AT Green Bay Packers(11-3)
Curtis Samuel has a case of the drops
Rodgers is the headline around the league
Green Bay survives a late scare and they close out Saturday night 24-16.
Curtis Samuel was targeted nine times, the most of all Carolina receivers on the night. He caught four of those passes while dropping several easy ones. Samuel has been used as a dual-threat player, he recently has gone back to being a receiver for most of his snaps.
Next Game: AT Washington Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Aaron Rodgers is the first player of 2020 to reach 40 touchdowns passing, his name has been around the league for weeks. Rodgers has nine games with 3+ touchdowns and 200+ yards this year. Aaron is considered the frontrunner for MVP and he should be, he has only four interceptions and 3828 yards, Mahomes has fewer touchdowns and more interceptions. At the moment, Aaron Rodgers is the most talked about player in the NFL.
Next Game: VS Titans Sun, 12/27/20 4:20 pm
Houston Texans(4-10) AT Indianapolis Colts(10-4)
Watson can't throw to a running back
Zach Pascal makes an emergence
Houston fumbles late in the game again, Colts win 27-20.
Deshaun Watson's leading receiver was running back David Johnson, Johnson caught eleven passes for 106 yards. A running back usually gives no big-play opportunities downfield unless there is good blocking. He won't play like Deshaun Watson if he doesn't have any receivers to throw downfield too.
Next game: VS Bengals Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Zach Pascal was the next man up after Parris Campbell suffered a season-ending injury in week two. Pascal has had a quiet year, but against a divisional opponent, he caught two touchdowns and 79 yards. The future of the Colts' receiving core isn't impressive, if Zach can perform these last two games then he has a chance of remaining on the team.
Next Game: AT Steelers Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Detriot Lions(5-9) AT Tennessee Titans(10-4)
D'Andre Swift is diverse
Tennessee has brought out the better Tannehill
Tennesee wins an important game 46-25 to keep pace with the Colts.
D'Andre Swift scored two touchdowns as well as totaling 82 yards through the air and ground. He can beat you on the ground and through the air, but against the Titans, he gave them trouble on the ground. D'Andre's sophomore season should be more consistent than his rookie year.
Next Game: VS Buccaneers Sat, 12/26/20 9:00 am
Ryan Tannehill entered the scene for Tennessee during the 2019 season when they needed a change of pace, he led them to the AFC title game. Now, so far, he has led the team to a 10-4 record. Ryan had five touchdowns against the Lions as well as 273 passing yards and 21 rushing yards. Tannehill is underrated, he has 31 touchdowns and five interceptions this year, the most he has had and the least interceptions he's had. It is safe to say that the move to Tennessee has shown why he was a first-round selection all the back in 2012.
Next Game: AT Packers Sun, 12/27/20 4:20 pm
Tampa Bay Buccaneers(9-5) AT Atlanta Falcons(4-10)
Antonio Brown finally breaks out for Tampa Bay
Ito Smith is being seen more frequently
Tom Brady does it to Atlanta again by the score of 31-27.
Antonio Brown has finally scored a touchdown this season, he first played in week nine on Sunday night. Brown had a season-high day with 93 yards and a touchdown on five catches. He finally looked like he did with Pittsburgh from 2013-2018. If Tampa Bay makes the playoffs, Brown will be an important player for that stretch.
Next Game: AT Lions Sat, 12/26/20 9:00 am
Ito Smith is a name that gets lost in the Atlanta depth chart, he was drafted in 2018. Lately, Ito has been getting more carries than Todd Gurley, including today. Over the past month, Smith has had 37 carries and 167 yards, and a touchdown. No one knows if Gurley's knee is acting up or he just isn't performing, but Ito Smith seems to be getting the job done well enough.
Next Game: AT Chiefs Sun, 12/26/20 9:00 am
Jacksonville Jaguars(1-13) AT Baltimore Ravens(9-5)
Jacksonville gets first overall pick
Baltimore is going away from all three backs
Baltimore wins 40-14 and the Jaguars end up with the first overall pick.
The Jaguars are set to pick Trevor Lawrence with their spot at first overall. Jacksonville has lost thirteen straight games and is switching between quarterbacks. Jacksonville will be picking at the top of all seven rounds unless the team trades a pick.
Next Game: VS Bears Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
At the beginning of the year, Baltimore had four running backs to put on the field, but now it seems there are two. Mark Ingram hasn't touched the ball for two whole games, despite being healthy. Ingram was a healthy scratch for the Jaguars game and Justice Hill hasn't been active a lot this season and has touched the ball in only four games. The Ravens have found their new running back rotation with rookie J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
Next Game: VS Giants Sun, 12/26/20 9:00 am
New England Patriots(6-8) AT Miami Dolphins(9-5)
New England needs a little bit of everything
Salvon Ahmed is a possible diamond in the rough
The Dolphins eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention by a score of 22-12.
The Patriots have many flawed areas, so it is safe to say that some kind of rebuild may be coming soon. The areas that are needed immediately are quarterback, receiver, and defensive line. The Patriots will be picking within the top 15, Zach Wilson is a player that might be there who is worth taking. The Patriots go with high football IQ players and develop extremely well, don't expect them to take only well-known names.
Next Game: VS Bills Mon, 12/27/20 4:15 pm
Salvon Ahmed rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown against New England, a career game for the rookie from Washington. Ahmed has kept a balance to the Miami offense in the genes he has played. Although he hasn't had any other monster games, he gets enough carries that draw players to him. Ahmed has lately been a player that is pushing them to the playoffs.
Next Game: AT Raiders Sat, 12/26/20 4:15 pm
Chicago Bears(7-7) AT Minnesota Vikings(6-8)
David Montgomery keeps Bears alive in the playoff hunt
Dalvin Cook is back
These two running backs had an amazing day in Chigaco's 33-27 win.
For the second straight week, David Montgomery has rushed for 110+ yards and the Bears remain in the contest for the seventh seed. He has helped the Bears score 30+ against the Texans and Vikings. Montgomery rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns, this performance earned him the second-best rusher of week 15. His recent performances are due to Matt Nagy finally giving him multiple chances, this is what happens when you give David the ball, I don't understand how Chicago is just now realizing this.
Next Game: AT Jaguars Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
For the past month, Dalvin Cook has reached 120 yards once, but in week 15 he returned to the MVP caliber player we have seen this season. Cook ran for 132 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, Dalvin is making a late MVP resurgence. Minnesota faces two more opponents and he should run all over at least one of them.
Next Game: AT Saints Fri, 12/25/20 12:30
Seattle Seahawks(10-4) AT Washington Football Team(6-8)
Josh Gordon is important for a playoff run
Haskins most likely out in Washington
Seattle holds off a red-hot football team 20-15.
If we have learned anything from Seattle this season, it's that the receivers that follow Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are inconsistent. Josh Gordon may be rusty or not what we remember, but he will give off a fear factor that teams will have to pay attention to. With his return, he adds another tall and fast receiver, Gordan stands at 6' 3".
Next Game: VS Rams Sun, 12/27/20 12:25 pm
Dwayne Haskins didn't play too bad, but he did dig the offense into some holes that he couldn't get out of. Haskins threw a game-ending incompletion and took two sacks when a touchdown would have won the game, he ended the game throwing for 295 yards, a touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. The Washington QB room includes Haskins, Alex Smith, and Kyle Allen, Kyle Allen has been expressed to be better than Haskins. Fans of the team have also shown their dislike towards Dwyane. Washington spent the 14th overall pick on him during the 2019 NFL draft.
Next Game: VS Carolina Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
San Fransisco 49ers(5-9) AT Dallas Cowboys(5-9)
The 49er defense cannot wait to be fully healthy
Is Ezekiel Elliot a trade piece
Dallas surprisingly beats a conference rival 41-33.
San Fransisco's defense took massive hits in the early weeks, the NFL's defensive rookie in 2019 Nick Bosa tore his ACL, two plays later defensive end Solomon Thomas tore his ACL. Throughout the year defensive backs like Richard Sherman have been on and off the IR. This 49er season reminds me of the Rams season last year, they are coming off a Super Bowl and aren't having a good season at all, now the Rams are a playoff team once more.
Next Game: AT Cardinals Sat, 12/26/20 12:30 pm
Ezekiel Elliot could be a trade piece, just hear me out. Elliot has only rushed for one 100-yard game, I've seen people say that he isn't doing well because Dak Prescott isn't there, but if your best offensive playmaker isn't on the field wouldn't you want to give it to another great playmaker? Zeke missed his second game of the season against the 49ers and Bleacher Report is questioning about a trade to the Jets. I've been asking this question for weeks and even asked it on my social media. Tony Pollard has been running harder and faster than Elliot, he has also been the bell cow. Another reason for a trade is that Elliot has been fumbling at a career-high rate, the only other time he has fumbled six times was in 2018.
Next Game: VS Eagles Sun, 12/27/20 12:25 pm
New York Jets(1-13) AT Los Angeles Rams(9-5)
Sam Darnold trying to keep his job
Rams overlooked Jets
The Jets forfeit the first overall pick with a 23-20 win over the Rams.
Sam Darnold finally played like he was a third overall pick, he was throwing great passes and ended up tossing 207 yards and a touchdown. Darnold threw no interceptions, only fifth time not throwing any this year. New York is now in line to draft Justin Fields with their first-round pick. Darnold is still a big mystery from that draft class, if he were to land with a team that could develop him correctly, then what would his stats look like?
Next Game: VS Browns Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Like the Steelers, the Rams overlooked a bad team. Los Angeles seemed flat and got off to a slow start against the winless Jets. Five of the first six drives were all punts including a blocked one, Goff threw an interception and during the seventh, they kicked a field goal. No individual player had a great game, either the Jets decided to turn it on against the Rams or Sean McVay just failed to keep this game on the schedule mentally.
Next Game: AT Seahawks Sun, 12/27/20 12:25 pm
Phiadelphia Eagles(4-9-1) AT Arizona Cardinals(8-6)
Hurts in, Wentz out
Kyler has a career day
Kyler Murray has a career day as does Jalen Hurts in an Arizona 33-26 win.
Jalen Hurts just secured his role in the Eagles offense for the future. Hurts has now pushed Wentz out of Philly and Wentz has stressed that he isn't interested in being a backup. Jalen totaled 338 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The organization needs to hear what Hurts need offensively so they can support him at all costs.
Next Game: AT Dallas Sun, 12/27/20 12:25 pm
Kyler Murray outlasted Jalen Hurts and company by throwing for 406 yards and three scores, as well as running one in. Murray threw the game-winning touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins, the uncatchable ball was catchable. The Cardinals are a playoff team if not this year then next year, Kyler Murray is to thank for that.
Next Game: VS 49ers Sat, 12/26/20 12:30 pm
Kansas City Chiefs(13-1) AT New Orleans Saints(10-4)
Le'Veon Bell needs to step up
Saints miss Michael Thomas
Kansas City wins a shoot-out with New Orleans 32-29.
This is Le'Veon's team now(running wise) with CEH out for at least the rest of the regular season, Bell will be used a lot. The Chiefs are looking like Einstein with this pick up two months ago. Luckily, he is a receiving back and can line up at receiver, or else this offense would change in that department. Plus, Bell is ready for the playoffs as he doesn't have much wear and tear on him this season.
Next Game: VS Falcons Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Michael Thomas may not be a factor this year or even a red-zone target, but the attention is what New Orleans is missing. Thomas is the teams' number one receiver, a player that Drew Brees has loved. Thomas draws double-coverage attention and can open up players like Emmanuel Sanders or Alvin Kamara. Thomas is expected back by playoff time.
Next Game: VS Vikings Fri, 12/25/20 12:30 pm
Cleveland Browns(10-4) AT New York Giants(5-9)
Baker needs more credit
Playing calling is horrendous
Cleveland disseminates the Giants 20-6 on Sunday night.
I have been quite harsh on Baker, but he has been playing lights out this season. Baker almost touched 300 yards with 297 yards and two touchdowns. This new offense has benefited Mayfield tremendously, he is in control unlike in Freddie Kitchen's offense. Baker has kept a consistent line of play and looks to roll through the playoffs.
Next Game: AT Jets Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Freddie Kitchens was calling the offensive plays against the team he coached in 2019. He called terrible play after terrible play and continued to try and throw the ball downfield with a quarterback who isn't used to that. The Giants are dealing with what they have, and it's not that much.
Next Game: AT Ravens Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Pittsburgh Steelers(11-3) AT Cincinnati Bengals(3-10-1)
Pittsburgh is doing nothing to change its flaws
Cincinnati's offensive line looked amazing
The Bengals spoil Pittsburgh's chance to clinch the division by a score of 27-17 on Monday night.
The Steelers have now lost three straight, not good for a team that started 11-0. The team has made the same mistakes each week and nothing is being done to fix it. The offensive line is terrible and can't hold a block, forcing the quick throws from Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh is playing flat and weak, they are just a few years removed from having an electric offense. Lastly, the offense is putting the defense in bad positions, the offense is bad and the defense is gassed.
Next Game: VS Colts Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
The Bengals ran down the Pittsburgh defense's throat, they totaled 152 yards and two scores on the ground. Ryan Finley was sacked only twice and each rusher had a run of five or more yards. The line tossed Steeler pass rushers around like rag dolls and was more physical than their opponents. This seems to be the most successful game they've had, if they draft Penei Sewell, it might be a middle of the pack offensive line.
Next Game: AT Texans Sun, 12/27/20 9:00 am
Week 16 Byes: NONE