Week 14 was full of exciting games, so let’s get into it. There was a lot to talk about, but here are some of the big stories of the week.
Two of the NFC’s top teams met over the weekend in a matchup that could have some impact over final seeding come playoff time. The Rams played host to the Eagles, and the two highest scoring teams in the NFL did not disappoint. For a while it looked like the Eagles were going to run away with it, as Wentz threw 3 touchdown passes in the half and built a 24-14 lead. Wentz got the Eagles on the board once again, throwing a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffrey late in the third quarter, but it was a play that happened just before that has everybody talking.
The Eagles managed to hold on and won the game 43-35, and have officially locked up the top spot in the NFC East, but lost their star quarterback in the process. Read more
The new era in San Francisco has officially arrived and it looks like the 49ers might have found their new franchise quarterback.
After riding the pine for a few weeks while learning a new playbook, Kyle Shanahan handed to reins to the new face of the franchise in Jimmy Garoppolo. With just one win on the season the 49ers really had nothing to lose, and with Garoppolo’s rookie contract expiring after this season they need to figure out what they actually have. Read more
Gone are the days of Thursday Night Football just being for Thanksgiving. Instead, we’re stuck with boring Thursday games all season long. But now, with the season winding down these games are finally starting to mean something, and Thanksgiving Football brought along plenty of excitement this year.
First, the Vikings held on to beat the Lions 30-23, although the game didn’t end without some controversy. It looked like the Lions had tied the game after blocking and returning a Kai Forbath field goal attempt for a touchdown which would have brought them within an extra point of tying the game. But it was all for nothing, as the refs called Darius Slay for jumping offside before blocking the kick, allowing the Vikings to take a knee to end the game. With the win, the Vikings moved to 9-2 and have complete control of the NFC North.
After taking a look at the NFC playoff picture last week, it’s time to take a look at what’s been going on in the AFC.
One of the biggest stories coming out of Week 11 has been the quarterback controversy in Buffalo. After Tyrod Taylor completed 50% of his passes for 56 yards along with an interception in their Week 10 blowout loss against the Saints, Bills coach Sean McDermott decided to make the switch to rookie Nathan Peterman. Kind of a weird move when you’re in the middle of a playoff race. In the second half of that game against the Saints, Peterman stepped in and threw for 79 yards and a touchdown, giving the Bills apparently all they evidence they needed to make the switch heading into their game against the Chargers. It was a strange decision for McDermott to change his mind from saying Taylor is still their starter on Monday, to announcing Peterman as the starter just a day later. But it didn’t take long for everyone to realize that it was a mistake to make this switch.
It’s been a while, but we’re back and we’re looking at the last two weeks of NFL action. Also, I’m sorry to Texans fans because I might have jinxed their season with my last article, so it looks like the “Burgess Curse” might be a thing now.
For a while it looked like the Eagles were going to fly away (get it?) in the NFC, but over the last couple weeks we’ve seen that this race might be more competitive than we thought. While Philly has been getting a lot of the attention at 8-1, the Rams, Vikings and Saints are all 7-2, and Cam Newton has the Panthers looking set for another playoff run come January. But after two convincing wins, the Saints are the team grabbing some attention as we near the final stretch of the regular season.
Part 29 of 31 in our NHL previews where Ballantyne, Waind and I rank each NHL team 1 through 31 and give you an outlook on their season. Starting from the worst, we’ll be giving you the reasons why we ranked each team where we did.
Check out the other parts to this series:
#31. Colorado Avalanche , #30. Vegas Golden Knights, #29. Vancouver Canucks, #28. Detroit Red Wings, #27. New Jersey Devils, #26. Arizona Coyotes, #25. Buffalo Sabres, #24. Winnipeg Jets, #23. New York Islanders, #22. Florida Panthers, #21. Los Angeles Kings, #20. Carolina Hurricanes, #19. Philadelphia Flyers, #18. New York Rangers, #17. Calgary Flames, #16. Boston Bruins, #15. Ottawa Senators, #14. San Jose Sharks, #13. Toronto Maple Leafs, #12. St. Louis Blues, #11. Montreal Canadiens, #10. Edmonton Oilers, #9. Columbus Blue Jackets, #8. Anaheim Ducks, #7. Dallas Stars, #6. Chicago Blackhawks, #5. Minnesota Wild, #4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Record: 55-19-8 (118 points) 1st in Metropolitan Division (1st in NHL)
GPG: 3.18 (3rd)
GAPG: 2.16 (1st)
PP%: 23.1% (4th)
PK%: 83.8% (7th)
Corsi For %: 51.4 (6th)
Last season brought a familiar outcome for the Washington Capitals: another second round playoff exit. Despite a Vezina calibre performance from Braden Holtby and the addition of Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline, the Capitals season ended the same way it seems to end every other year. A regular season good enough to earn the Presidents’ Trophy, followed by a second round exit. It seems like the Capitals have been one of the most dominant teams over the last decade, but really have nothing to show for it. With Alex Ovechkin now on the wrong side of 30, the window of opportunity for him to bring a Stanley Cup to Washington may be starting to close. Read more
Most teams have now reached the halfway point of their seasons, and Texans rookie QB Deshaun Watson finds himself not only in the middle of the Offensive Rookie of the Year debate, but also in the MVP race. With 1699 passing yards, 19 TDs, 8 interceptions along with 269 rushing yards and 2 TDs, it’s clear that Watson has made an almost seamless transition from the NCAA to the NFL.
This past Sunday was the game when I think most people finally realized just how good this guy is, including Richard Sherman.