NFL Week 14: Recap and Power Rankings

Even though I didn’t make the cut for my fantasy league playoffs, as a consolation, I had my best week of the season when it came to picks and easily won the week. 

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In the surprise of the week, Jalen Hurts led the Eagles to victory over the Saints in his first start. New Orleans appeared to take them lightly, but it’s still a solid debut for the Philadelphia rookie quarterback who threw a touchdown, didn’t turn the ball over, and ran for over 100-yards. Head Coach Doug Pederson had already committed to sticking with Hurts through the end of a lost season, but they have a $35-million cap problem looming with Carson Wentz next season. The Saints’ loss knocked them out of the #2 seed in the NFC which may put more pressure on Drew Brees to come back before he’s 100-percent. 

The top spot in the NFC went back to the Packers who got a little more than they bargained for from the Lions. Aaron Rodgers threw 3-TDs and ran for one more in what could be another MVP-caliber season. Detroit hung tough as they usually do against Green Bay but the loss all but eliminated them from the playoff hunt. 

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals stopped their three-game skid and got the #7 spot back in the NFC with their win over the Giants, who were knocked out of the NFC East lead, and the Vikings’ loss to the Bucs. The Washington Football team now has the honors of leading the saddest division in the league after their dominant win over the 49ers. Washington’s win also gives them a little more leverage in the Wild Card race should they end up losing the tie-break to the Giants.

Don’t call it comeback

The Colts got one step closer to securing their playoff spot with a big road win over the Raiders who are now on the outside looking in after the loss. T.Y. Hilton is starting to look like the #1 wide receiver we’ve been accustomed to in recent years as he has developed some very important chemistry with Philip Rivers. Indy would have taken over first place in the AFC South if the Titans had lost, but they bulldozed the Jaguars on the strength of Derrick Henry’s 215-yard, 2-TD rushing performance. 

Derrick Henry dominated the Jags late in the season yet again

In another hotly contested division race, The Seahawks got back to business with a 40-3 win over to keep pace with the Rams who handled the Patriots on Thursday. Both teams are 9-4, but the Rams currently hold the tie-breaker heading into the final three games of the season and their Week 16 showdown could very well determine the division.  

There were some interesting results around the bottom of the league as the Bears stopped their six-game losing streak with a one-sided win over the Texans who were without most of their best offensive weapons. Denver showed up ready to roll in Carolina and showed that they’ll be a team to watch next season as Drew Lock improves. The Falcons did what they do and blew a 4th quarter in a loss to the Chargers. For some reason, Atlanta just refused to run the ball with the lead and that opened the door for Matt Ryan to throw a pair of terrible, costly picks. Dallas managed to scrape themselves off the deck and technically stay in contention for the NFC East with a lopsided win over the Bengals. 

Aside from a little hiccup against the Raiders early in the season, the Chiefs have kept rolling right along. After a rough start, Kansas City scored 30-unanswered-points and hung on to win against a competitive Miami team. They now have the #1 seed in the AFC and have the best record in the league after the Steelers suffered their second straight loss. The Bills looked a little awestruck to start the game but came out and dominated the second half to beat Pittsburgh 26-15.  

Lamar Jackson carved up the Cleveland defense, even without the right cleats in the first half

Week 14 came to a close with a wild game between the Ravens and the Browns in Cleveland. It was a back-and-forth battle that saw Baltimore overcome an early deficit to carry a 14-pt lead into the 4th quarter. However, Lamar Jackson was absent to start the final quarter and the Browns would march down the field to take a 1-pt lead with about six minutes left. It looked like backup QB Trace McSorely was going to find a way to get the Ravens into FG range but he slipped and injured his knee on a 3rd down near the outside of Justin Tucker’s range. Jackson had to re-enter the game on 4th & 5, as there was no 3rd QB on the active roster, and he faked the run to find Marquise Brown for the go-ahead TD. Cleveland answered right back with a TD to tie it which set the table for Tucker to kick the game-winner. The lack of defense is a concern for both teams as they push towards the playoffs but the Ravens saved their season with the W.

Mr. Reliable, Justin Tucker, did it again to help save the Ravens’ season

Week 15 gets underway with the Raiders hosting the Chargers in a must-win game for Las Vegas to stay in the playoff hunt. There’s also a pair of Saturday games on deck for this week as the Bills visit the Broncos and the Panthers take on the Packers in Green Bay. 

The Chiefs hold on to the top spot in the updated Sheist Power Rankings:

1. Chiefs 12-1 (1=)
2. Bills 10-3 (4⬆)
3. Steelers 11-2 (2⬇)
4. Packers 10-3 (6⬆)
5. Saints 10-3 (3⬇)
6. Browns 9-4 (5⬇)
7. Titans 9-4 (7=)
8. Colts 9-4 (8=)
9. Rams 9-4 (9=)
10. Seahawks 9-4 (10=)
11. Buccaneers 8-5 (12⬆)
12. Dolphins 8-5 (11⬇)
13. Ravens 8-5 (14⬆)
14. Raiders 7-6 (13⬇)
15. Cardinals 7-6 (17⬆)
16. Washington 6-7 (19⬆)
17. Vikings 6-7 (15⬇)
18. Patriots 6-7 (16⬇)
19. Bears 6-7 (21⬆)
20. Giants 5-8 (18⬇)
21. Broncos 5-8 (25⬆)
22. 49ers 5-8 (20⬇)
23. Lions 5-8 (22⬇)
24. Eagles 4-8-1 (28⬆)
25. Texans 4-9 (23⬇)
26. Falcons 4-9 (24⬇)
27. Panthers 4-9 (26⬇)
28. Chargers 4-9 (27⬇)
29. Cowboys 4-9 (29=)
30. Bengals 2-10-1 (30=)
31. Jaguars 1-12 (31=)
32. Jets 0-13 (32=)

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