The early games on week 14 had a leveller, its name was Mother Nature as most games were played in sub-zero temperatures and snow. It was particularly bad in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but Green Bay and Baltimore were hampered by it too. So how did this affect the games. Lets have a look…
Raiders @ Jets
The New York Jets did something that they haven’t done in a while. Played consistent ball and won a game on deserved merit. Their 37-27 win over Oakland keeps them very much alive in the playoff chase, whereas the Raiders are all but done for the year. The much maligned QB play of Geno Smith were temporarily forgotten as he threw for one score and ran in one more as the Jets ended a three game slide.
Browns @ Patriots
You start to run out of things to say about Tom Brady except never give him two minutes to work with, even when he needs two touchdowns to win. That is exactly what the Cleveland Browns gave him and it cost them as the New England Patriots squeezed past them 27-26. Brady hit Edelman from 2 yards away then after recovering an onside kick he took his team down filed again and hit Amendola for the game winner with 30 seconds left. The Patriots could still grab the number one seed in the AFC, but this loss virtually eliminates the luckless Browns.
Colts @ Bengals
Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns and ran for one more on a day where Cincinnati showed their playoff pedigree in a 42-28 win over Indianapolis. The Bengals opened up an early 21-0 lead, survived a mini comeback when the Colts scored two quick touchdowns in the second quarter. The Bengals are now 6-0 at home and will look to use this game as a springboard in their push to the postseason. The Colts need to find a way of how to get the big game done or they will be out of the playoffs early.
Vikings @ Ravens
This game showed exactly why you can’t count the Baltimore Ravens out of the Super Bowl talk. They are the champions and in this never say die type of game they triumphed 29-26 over the Minnesota Vikings, when Joe Flacco found Marlon Brown at the back of the snow filled end zone from 9 yards with just seconds left on the clock. It was a wild and crazy last period of play, the score was just 7-6 to the Ravens as the fourth quarter started, and then it just rained TD’s. Baltimore move to 7-6 and still hold onto the last wild card spot in the AFC.
Falcons @ Packers
Matt Flynn kept the Green Bay Packers in the hunt as he led his team back from a 21-10 halftime deficit, to win 22-21. Atlanta was looking for back-to-back road wins but couldn’t get the job done in freezing conditions. The win stops a five game slide that is in line with Aaron Rodgers injury. Flynn passed for 258 yards and his 2 yard scoring pass to Andrew Quarless with around 12 minutes left was the go ahead score and lifts the Pack to 6-6-1.
Chiefs @ Redskins
Kansas City shrugged off their three game losing streak at annihilated the Washington Redskins in a snowy capital, 45-10. The result was never in doubt as the Chiefs defence found their early season form by harassing Robert Griffin II and forcing errors and were 31-0 up early in the second quarter. Jamal Charles had 151 yards on just 19 carries, and Alex Smith played a steady game at quarterback. The Chiefs have now booked their playoff place and could still upset the Broncos to win the AFC West.
Bills @ Buccaneers
Tampa Bay improved to 4-9 and dropped Buffalo to the same record after this easy 27-6 win. The Bills are now guaranteed another losing record, their ninth straight. Mike Glennon completed only nine passes, but two of those were for touchdowns, but the day belonged to running back Bobby Rainey who dashed for 127 yards, including an 80 yard score that set the tone for the rest of the day. Buffalo rookie QB EJ Manuel was sacked seven times.
Dolphins @ Steelers
The Miami Dolphins beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-28 in one of the best games this year. The Dolphins are now 7-6 and still very much in the playoff hunt, the 5-8 Steelers have probably run out of steam now. Charles Clay caught his second touchdown of the game with 2.53 remaining. The go ahead score was set up by a mazy 55 yard run by Daniel Thomas, who finished with 105 yards on the ground. The Steelers thought they had won the game at the very end when Antonio Brown took the ball into the end zone on a seemingly miracle play after a series of laterals, but he was judged to have stepped out of bounds as he raced down the sideline.
Lions @ Eagles
LeSean McCoy ploughed through the snow for 217 yards on the ground to take his Philadelphia team to 8-5 after they trounced Detroit 34-20 in a game that they were never in during a listless first half that was dominated by the weather. By far the worst conditions of any of the early games it was hard for each team to get going. The Lions were thankful to Jeremy Ross who ran back both a punt and kickoff for touchdowns otherwise the score would have been more lopsided. Both will be eagerly looking to the MNF game hoping that the result goes both their ways.