The penultimate week of the 2013 NFL season, and still so much to play for. There are lots of games with big playoff implications, as well as some dead rubbers. lets see how the early games went down.
Buccaneers at Rams
St.Louis continued their what is now customary second half of the season surge with a decent 23-13 win over Tampa Bay. Zac Stacy the standout player for the Rams with 104 yards on the ground in what was effectively a game for draft position next year.
Cowboys at Redskins
One thing you can guarantee when the Dallas Cowboys play the Washington Redskins is drama, usually late drama. This was the 108th meeting between the two and it failed to disappoint. Tony Romo was the hero for the Cowboys as he led his team down the field twice in the last seven minutes of the game to score ten points and rally his team to a 24-23 win that sees the Cowboys in a third straight do-or-die game in a season finale. His pass to DeMarco Murray on 4th down from the twelve yard line will silence his critics for one more week.
Colts at Chiefs
This one will not sit well with Kansas City coach Andy Reid. Indianapolis beat the Chiefs quite handily, 23-7, and with it Reid’s men lost any chance to pip Denver for the West title and now risks going into the playoffs with a lack of momentum, whereas the Colts seems to be picking some up. Andrew Luck passed for 241 yards and a score for the Colts who still need a win next week to have a chance of the number three seed.
Browns at Jets
Another game that was meaningless as far as the playoff race was concerned but New York will take some pride out of beating Cleveland. The had fought 24-13 win was sealed when Geno Smith ran in a score after passing for two more earlier in the game. It was arguably his best game in the green and white, as he passed for 214 yards and scrambled for 48 more.
Titans at Jaguars
Tennessee will miss out on the playoffs but they gave been a good watch this tear, and this come from behind win proves just that. Jacksonville had control of the game for the most part but couldn’t close it out. The Titans overcome a ten point deficit in the second half to win 20-16, and ruin a good day at QB for Chad Henne. Both teams will look to rebuild in the off season on some decent young talent already on their rosters.
Broncos at Texans
Denver won the game easily, 37-13, a win that clinches the West division but they are still waiting to clinch home field. Peyton Manning threw for four more touchdowns, taking his season tally to 51. This is a new NFL single season record. Simply amazing.
Vikings at Bengals
Andy Dalton shredded the Minnesota D confirming that he and the rest of his Cincinnati team are playoff ready. The game was never really in doubt and the 42-17 final score was flattering to the Vikings. Dalton ended with numbers of 27 of 38, for 366 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals are still not guaranteed their division and hope that the Baltimore Ravens slip up in their game later today.
Dolphins at Bills
Tough to tell which Miami team will show up. The one that beat the Patriots last week, or the one that gets shutout 19-0 on the road on Buffalo. This was a huge upset by the Bills who played spoiler really well. The Bills D was the story, holding Miami to just 106 yards total offence and gaining seven sacks on the day which means they break their own single season sack total held since 1964, with a new total of 56. Miami needs the Ravens to slip up to have a chance of gaining the last playoff place in the AFC.
Saints at Panthers
If there is a weak spot in the New Orleans armoury it is their distinct lack of wins on the road. They travel badly and that didn’t bode well as they went into Carolina with the South division on the line. Carolina won the game 17-13, with a late go ahead score. Cam Newton was kept in check for most of the game but he is clutch when it matters and his 14 yard pass to Domenik Hixon with just 23 seconds left sealed the Panthers first playoff appearance since 2008. This means that the Saints will probably end up on the road throughout the playoffs. Not good for them as they have dropped five of the last six away from the Superdome.