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NFL Week 14 Recap: Thrillers and Blowouts

It may not be the most popular sports league in the world, but the NFL has to be the most exciting.

Week in and week out teams produce quality contests and entertain millions of fans across the globe. This week was no exception, as intriguing storylines resulted from the multitude of games.

Only three weeks remain in the regular season and after a week of off-field tragedies, players took the field on Sunday and put on a show for fans.

Even though there were plenty of one-sided games, others went down to the wire and finished in thrilling style. Some teams threw away their playoff hopes, while others gained momentum towards the end of the season.

On Thursday Night Football the Broncos continued their recent dominance, extending their winning streak to eight games by comfortably defeating the Raiders. Peyton Manning was finding his receivers like usual, though it was the run game led by Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 119 yards and a touchdown. A first week playoff bye is Denver’s main focus and should be possible.

St. Louis kept their slim playoff chances alive when quarterback Sam Bradford threw a late touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson, giving them a two point victory against the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid game for Buffalo, but just like their disappointing season, it wasn’t enough for success. Fred Jackson was another negative for the Bills, only rushing for fourteen yards and was carted off with a knee injury.

After an emotional week, the Cowboys stayed in the NFC East race defeating the Bengals with a game winning field goal as time ran out. Anthony Spencer was a standout on defense for Dallas, recording two sacks and eleven total tackles. Both teams are now 7-6 and need to perform well down the stretch if they want to be playing come the first week of January.

The game which nobody cared about got off to a frantic start when Jamaal Charles scored on an eighty yard touchdown run. Other than Charles’ play and Travis Benjamin’s punt return, this matchup was difficult on the eyes. Browns blowout the Chiefs to record their fifth win of the season. Congrats?

Not many people would have predicted that the Colts would have a better record after week fourteen than the Steelers, Bears, Cowboys, Lions, Chargers, Eagles, Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints, Giants and Seahawks. But they do. Even though they’ve had an “easy” schedule and a record doesn’t mean all that much, they’ve certainly been impressive this season. A second half comeback got them over the top of the Titans by four points.

For the second straight week the Bears have blown games against winnable opponents. Their clash with Minnesota was crucial in terms of playoff seeding, and with a banged up defense they couldn’t stop the force that is Adrian Peterson. Cutler left the game late with a neck injury and Campbell wasn’t able to orchestrate a win.

Ben Roethlisberger returned from injury, however his Steelers were thumped by the Chargers. Yes, that’s right, the Chargers. Philip Rivers played well and didn’t turn the ball over, which resulted in the easy win for San Diego, who at one point led 27-3. But again the Chargers leave it too little too late. Pittsburgh doesn’t need to stress too much, since the Ravens and Bengals also lost.

Another team who was desperate for a win was the Eagles. They snapped an eight game losing streak thanks to a last second touchdown pass by Nick Foles, leaving Tampa Bay victorious. Foles carried the offense with McCoy out injured, and certainly won the QB matchup against Freeman. Good to see Philly finally get a win, but Andy Reid, you’re still fired.

This contest felt like a playoff game, but the Redskins’ victory was slightly overshadowed byan injury to Robert Griffin III. It was close the entire game, before the Ravens stretched their lead to eight late in the fourth. Cousins was able to rally Washington in OT and keep the ‘Skins in the playoff race. RG3′s fine by the way, thank God.

A dominant display from Carolina resulted in a comfortable win against Atlanta, which the final score didn’t resemble. This game was a minor hiccup for the Falcons who are now 11-2. They’ve got three tough games to end the season, as for the Panthers, they’ll be looking for positives to take into next season.

The Jets’ running game was on song against the Jaguars, with Powell and Greene combining for over 150 yards and two touchdowns. Other than that there’s not much else to say, Jets won, Tebow didn’t play and they’re surprisingly still a chance to make the playoffs.

San Francisco got back on track with a win over the Dolphins. Kaepernick sealed the victory with a 50-yard touchdown run and completed eighteen of his twenty-three passes with no turnovers. Miami kept it close for most of the game and had a chance late, though they weren’t able to convert on fourth down.

Talk about an insane game. The Saints took the lead early, but the Giants never looked back, ultimately blowing out New Orleans at home. Rookie David Wilson was brilliant for New York, with a total of 327 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. Four turnovers cost the Saints, including some more picks from Drew Brees who’s struggled as of late.

58-0. Yes you read that correctly. Seattle DESTROYED Arizona in a completely one sided affair. Marshawn Lynch went off, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for 128 yards. This game was over at the half and the result completely embarrassed the Cardinals. Poor Larry Fitzgerald. #FreeLarry

In the freezing cold conditions, Detroit challenged the home team in the first half, but mistakes proved to be crucial in their loss to Green Bay. The Packers are finding form late in the season and also a run game, rushing for a total of 140 yards, which included a 27-yard touchdown run by Aaron Rodgers. They now control their destiny and could clinch the division next week in Chicago.

We were all looking forward to a close game on Monday night between the top teams in the AFC, instead we got a blowout which was decided in the first half. Tom Brady threw four touchdowns in the dominant Patriots’ performance, making them Super Bowl favorites overnight. Looks like we’ll have to wait until they face the 49ers for the thrilling game we all hoped to see.