Having survived the IcePocalypse of 2013 I emerge from my shelter. I spent most of long weekend watching Netflix and Week 14 NFL action. Oh and studying for my midterm finals. And writing about the current events going on right now.
Let's start with the Cowboys game from Monday Night.
Awful, awful defense. The Bears possessed the ball 9 times and scored 8 times gaining 490 total yards of offense. The only time Chicago did not score a touchdown on an offensive drive: their kneel down at the end of the same.
NFL journeyman Cade McKnown threw for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was smart for the Cowboys offense to get running back DeMarco Murray involved in the game as the conditions were not favorable for passing, but that defense.... man, it seems like every year there is something that hinders the Cowboys.
The loss drops Dallas one game behind the Eagles in the NFC East race. It is not over. There are three games left. Dallas hosts the Packers, travels to Washington while the Eagles travel to Minnesota followed by hosting the Bears in Week 16 (which was flexed to the Sunday Night position). The season finale: Philadelphia at Dallas from Jerry World.
This also shatters my prediction where I said Dallas has the potential to win 11 games but at the same time I stress that I have seen this movie before. The best they can win is now 10. As I have stated in previous posts, this could go as far as 7-9, 8-8, 9-7, or now 10-6.
Up next for the Cowboys is a home game against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were 5-2 and looking like they could make a run at the Super Bowl. Then quarterback Aaron Rodgers shattered his collarbone and the Packers have gone 1-4-1 since. The Packers last visit to Jerry World was Super Bowl XLV where the defeated the Steelers 31-25.
This series is known for the NFL Championship Games in 1966 and the more famous one, The Ice Bowl in 1967. Overall this series has been very streaky. The last time Green Bay beat the Cowboys in Dallas was in December 1989 at the old Texas Stadium. Since then the Packers have lost their last eight meetings when they traveled down to Dallas to play the Cowboys.
And now some other recaps from last week.
It's official: The Texans are now the worst team in the NFL. Houston started the season winning their first two games. Then followed it up by losing their next 11 games. This was a team expected to take the next step and compete for a championship. Instead, they are looking at being in the top five of next spring's NFL Draft. I think this is a very talented team but clearly did not live up to their potential. I think my fellow football prognosticator one Ms. Monica Roberts would agree that the team needs a quarterback. Will Houston stick with Case Keenum or will they select a quarterback with their first pick? That might not be priority one on their list right now. After losing to the Jaguars, the Texans fired coach Gary Kubiak. For the time being defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be serving as the team's interim coach.
Houston also became the fourth team to be eliminated from playoff contention this season. On Sunday the Vikings, Giants, and Rams joined them.
San Francisco delayed the Seahawks celebration of NFC West champions. Cincinnati made a statement with a win over the Colts. The Bengals have defeated the Patriots and the Colts. Should all three of those teams end up tied, Cincinnati gets a bye.
Combined with the Cowboys loss and their win over the Lions in the snow, the Eagles are now in front of the NFC East. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy set an Eagles franchise record for rushing yards in a game with 217 yards along with 2 touchdowns. The last Eagles running back to rush for over 200 yards was Duce Staley in the 2000 season opener at Dallas on an unbearably hot day. It was so hot that they had to push the kickoff of our high school football game further into the evening. The previous record holder was quarterback Norm Van Brocklin who did it in 1949. Van Brocklin scored the winning touchdown in the 1948 NFL Championship against the
Arizona Phoenix St. Louis Chicago
Cardinals in a blizzard at Philadelphia.
No one showed up for the second half in Washington as the Chiefs cruised to a 45-10 over the Redskins. There are rumors circulating that Mike Shanahan might be ending his tenure there with the team.
Baltimore and Minnesota had the craziest final 2:30 I've ever seen. The Ravens were able to pull of the 29-26 in a wintry mix in Baltimore. That was matched by the final play between the Steelers and Dolphins and the final moments of the Browns at Patriots.
Denver got into the playoffs with their win over the Titans. Denver kicker Matt Prater set the NFL record for the longest field goal made at 64 yards. Also Tennessee's loss helped the Colts clinch the AFC South.
The Saints reasserted themselves as the lead in the NFC South with a win over the Panthers. The rematch takes place in Week 16 in Charlotte.
Week 15 starts with the Broncos hosting the Chargers in Denver. Denver can reduce their magic number of winning the division with a win over the Chargers while San Diego trails Baltimore by one-game for the last AFC playoff spot. This is the last Thursday Night game of the year so for the rest of the season picks will be up on Saturday afternoon.
Seattle heads east to take on the Giants. While there they might be doing some scoreboard watching as the 49ers are in Tampa. If Seattle wins and the 49ers lose, Seattle claims the NFC West and a first round bye. I don't see the 49ers losing to the lowly Buccaneers, but weirder things have happened.
The Bears look to continue their winning ways with a victory over the Browns. Who would have thought that the Jaguars and Bills would be an elimination game? Both teams are still mathematically alive in the chase for the final AFC playoff spot. Both teams would need to win out PLUS A LOT OF HELP.
The Dolphins trail the Ravens for the final playoff spot by virtue of tie-breaker. If they are to keep pace, they need to upset New England at home. The Patriots will have something to play for on their trip to Miami, a win and they are AFC East Champions for the 11th time in 13 seasons.
The Falcons and Redskins was expected to be a battle for playoff positioning. Well, both teams are playing to position themselves for the draft. Rams fans are rooting for the Falcons because the worse the Redskins do, the better their draft position will be given what they got in trading picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Washington used it to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III while St. Louis received a first round pick in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and a second round selection in 2012. The Rams used that 2012 first round selection to trade down from Dallas and picked up a second round selection in that draft.
Besides the mentioned Packers at Cowboys in the 3 PM slot Carolina is hosting the Jets, the Saints travel up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and the Chiefs head west to Oakland. Kansas City is in the playoffs with a win. The other game in the 3 PM slot is Arizona at Tennessee which is another elimination game. Arizona needs a win to keep pace with the 49ers and Panthers for the wild card while the Titans can't afford another loss. It is possible to make the AFC playoffs with a 7-9 record but it would require a lot of help.
The Sunday and Monday nighters are an opportunity for the Cincinnati Bengals. On Sunday Night, the Bengals can eliminate their AFC North rivals Pittsburgh from playoff contention and then on Monday cheer for the Lions to help the Bengals win their first AFC North title since 2005. Pittsburgh's loss to Miami was crushing, but it doesn't end their season... YET. Give credit to the Steelers, they started the season 0-4 and followed up by going 5-2 after the bye week to get back into contention. 8-8 might get them in, but again it will require... yup... A LOT OF HELP.
Monday Night features the Ravens traveling to Detroit. The Lions were embarrassed in the snow against the Eagles and have put their NFC North chances in jeopardy. The Ravens are looking to return to the playoffs and have a chance of defending their Super Bowl Championship.
Again another week where I did well (10-6), but the competition did better. Mr. Blake extended his lead to 5 games by going nearly perfect in the noon games and finishing with a 12-4 record. Ms. Roberts ended the week at 7-9.
Picks are in BOLD
Times are Central Time Zone
Games airing in DFW are noted by (DFW)
Chargers at Broncos
Eagles at Vikings (DFW)
Bears at Browns
49ers at Buccaneers
Redskins at Falcons
Seahawks at Giants
Patriots at Dolphins (DFW)
Texans at Colts
Bills at Jaguars
Packers at Cowboys (DFW)
Cardinals at Titans
Saints at Rams
Jets at Panthers
Chiefs at Raiders
Bengals at Steelers
Ravens at Lions