The late games on Sunday didn’t have as much drama as those earlier on in the day, but each game had the chance to shake up the playoff picture in both conferences.
Titans @ Broncos
Denver were Denver, Peyton was Peyton and the points and win took care of themselves. Tennessee Tried hard to stay with the AFC high flyers but the 51-28 score line was a fair reflection of the Mile High dominance that the Broncos have. Manning threw for just three yards shy of 400 for the day, and had another four touchdown passes which takes his season tally to 45,just six shy of the single season record. He has three games to try and break that mark. Eric Decker had another good day with 7 catches for 117 yards and a score. The loss all bout eliminates the Titans from the playoff chase.
Rams @ Cardinals
Arizona easily took care of St.Louis by the score of 30-10 and in doing so stay in the thick of the NFC wild card race. Carson Palmer led the way for the Cardinals with 27 of his 32 passes complete for 269 yards, his favourite target was Larry Fitzgerald who snagged in 12 of those passes for 96 yards. The defence also came good as Karlos Dansby ran back an interception 23 yards and John Abraham sacked Kellen Clemens for a safety. The Rams Tavon Austin had one carry for 58 yards which helped set up their only TD of the day, but the season looks lost now for Jeff Fishers men.
Seahawks @ 49ers
San Francisco had a point to prove and they just about did it with a 19-17 win that was only Seattle’s second loss of the season. Colin Kaepernick drove his team down the filed and took over six minutes off the clock in doing so, to put his kicker Phil Dawson into chip-shot field goal range to win it. Helped by some huge running by Frank Gore who ended with 110 tough yards on the ground. Russell Wilson did have a chance to snatch victory at the death, but his deep pass down the middle was intercepted. Everyone knows that these two teams don’t get along and you just get the feeling they will face each other again sometime in January.
Giants @ Chargers
San Diego ended the New York Giants small playoff chances with a comprehensive 37-17 drubbing. Philip Rivers was again on his game as he threw for three touchdowns and 249 yards, completing 75% of his passes. He was ably backed up by Ryan Matthews’ 109 yards on the ground off his 29 attempts. Hakeem Nicks had a great day for the Giants, albeit in a losing effort, catching 5 balls for 135 yards. San Diego remain alive in the very tight AFC wild card race, but will be tested this week when they visit Denver on Thursday night.
Panthers @ Saints
New Orleans got back on track and did to Carolina, what the Seahawks dished out to them last week. A good old fashioned beat down. The final 31-13 score line does not suggest exactly how dominant the Saints were in ending the Panthers win streak. Carolina had the best of the early exchanges but could only manage field goals, then Drew Brees got his offence rolling and put together impressive long drive drives to score three touchdowns in the second quarter. Marcus Colston and Jimmy Graham both had two touchdowns. Cam Newton was simply stopped in his tracks time and again and was sacked five times and could only manage a touchdown with just over 5 minutes left in the game.