Week 15 came bearing gifts as we edge ever closer to Christmas and the playoffs. Not only were we treated to Thursday Night Football, but also action on Saturday and Sunday. The Bears stole headlines as they clinched the NFC North title for the first time in 8 years. Nick Foles returned and lead his team to a upset win over the LA Rams.
Steelers stump the Patriots
The Steelers handed the Patriots their second loss in as many weeks, winning 17-10.
Ben Roethlisberger posted significant numbers, with 235 yards and two touchdowns. That said, he turned the ball over twice.
It was Jaylen Samuels however, who was the star of the game. He rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. All of which are career-highs for the young back.
The Steelers defence performed exquisitely, limiting Brady to just 1 touchdown whilst forcing an interception. Ultimately, the bout should not have been as close as it was, with many of the Steelers’ downfalls being of their own doing.
Bears clinch The North
Mitchell Trubisky bounced back from his three interceptions last week, as he completed 71% of his throws. Not only that, he compiled 235 yards and two touchdowns.
On defence, Khalil Mack notched 2.5 sacks and six tackles, and Leonard Floyd accumulated two sacks and six tackles himself. Further, Eddie Jackson also intercepted Aaron Rodgers in a defensive masterclass.
Speaking of Rodgers, he had another rough day at the helm. With just 25 completions of 42, he failed to convert a touchdown pass and missed on many open targets. With this being a regular feature as of late, Rodgers will look to file this season away.
Dalvin Cook shone brightest this week. After the firing of offensive coach John DeFilippo, the Vikings implemented the running game into their scheme and it worked tremendously.
The aforementioned Cook rushed the ball for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. He averaged 7.2 yards and was integral to the 41-17 demolition of the Dolphins in Minnesota.
The Vikings maintain their playoff push as they improve to 7-6-1.
Eagles unbeatable in LA
Unbelievably, Nick Foles produced another miracle, this time against the Rams. His performance, alongside great offensive scheming, lead to the Eagles’ 30-23 victory.
With Carson Wentz suffering from a back injury, Philly’s hero was activated as the starter. He connected on 24 of 30 throws for 270 yards, whilst conceding just one interception.
The second defeat in a row for the Rams has sparked discussion throughout the NFL. Many feel the Rams’ chances of reaching the Super Bowl are slimming each and every week. Sean McVay will look to lead the team to a strong finish against the Cardinals and 49ers in the remaining weeks of the season.
Browns win, Browns win!
The Cleveland Browns continued their resurgence, defeating the Broncos 16-17.
It wasn’t the prettiest game of football ever played, but it certainly showcased the Browns ability to win ugly. Baker Mayfield threw for just 188 yards, but amassed two touchdowns. Nick Chubb continued his strong performances with 100 yards on 20 rushes.
It was defensively, however, where the game was won and lost. Jamie Collins and Jabrill Peppers both contributed sacks. The latter also joined T.J. Carrie in intercepting Case Keenum, who had another poor game.
The Browns improve to 6-7-1 on the season and have completely changed the way they play football. Next year looks promising.
Chargers shock the Chiefs
The Chargers bolted their way to a level record with the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football, winning, 28-29.
Despite throwing two interceptions, Rivers outperformed Patrick Mahomes. He passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns, connecting well with Mike Williams. He caught both touchdown passes in the game, as well as the go-ahead two pointer.
On the other hand, Mahomes performed well too. He completed 24 of 34 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. In spite of his performance, the defence couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain, and failed to force a stop to end the game.
Both teams are now tied neck-and-neck at 11-3 atop the AFC West.