Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Derrick Henry ran wild to the tune of 250 and two touchdowns, continuing his path of dominance through this season. This is the third time this year that Henry eclipsed the 200 yard rushing mark in a game, tying him for second in NFL record book. What’s more, Henry became just the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2000 yards in a season. His 2027 total rushing yards rank fifth all time. In Henry’s historic season, he has made a legitimate claim for NFL MVP and helped the Titans clinch AFC South.
It was a big day the whole Titans’ offense, piling up 504 yards on the day. Ryan Tannehill added 254 total yards and 3 scores, completing 10 passes to AJ Brown for 151 of those yards and one of those scores. Tennessee looked like they were surely going to run away with this game…but they didn’t.
Coming out of halftime, the Titans went on a ten-play, 75-yard drive, eating up a little over five minutes to go up 24-9. The blowout was on, as Henry had already proven to be unstoppable on this day. Houston immediately answered them back, however, as the two teams began to trade score.
The Texans cut the Titans lead back to 31-21 and sent them the ball. If the narrative were to hold true, Tennessee would march down the field again. This time, however, King Henry coughed up the ball and Carlos Watkins pounced on the recovery for Houston. The Texans wasted no time, as David Johnson punched it in for a score off of the turnover. The Titans lead was reduced to three points.
This was not the end of Tennessee’s misfortune, however, as their next series ended with a sack on fourth down. Six plays later, Houston had its first lead of the game.
Tennessee’s brilliant season was now in jeopardy, they needed to stop the bleeding. As a result, they took control of business. Henry, Tannehill and the rest of the offense grinded out a beautiful, eight and a half minute drive. Nineteen plays and 89 yards later, Tannehill ran it in for a score. The Titans retook a three-point lead, with less then two minutes to play
Houston did not allow that to demoralize them, however, and drove the field in less than a minute and a half to tie the game. It looked like we were going to get overtime.
The Titans had other plans. With eighteen seconds left in the game, Tannehill threw a beautiful 52-yard strike to Brown, setting the Titans up in field goal range. Two plays later, they kicked the game-winner, avoiding the extra period.
Titans clinch AFC South in thrilling fashion with a 41-38 shootout victory over the Texans
Derrick Henry: 250 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns
Amani Hooker: 2 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 interception
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Aaron Rodgers cements his case as the NFL MVP, leading the Packers to a halftime lead which they never relinquished. Rodgers didn’t put up his usually flashy yard total, checking in at only 240 this time, but he threw for four touchdowns, including a game-sealing score with less than four minutes to play.
Rodgers favorite target was yet again Devante Adams, who set a Packers’ record for most receptions in a season. Adams continues to rapidly close the gap on Jordy Nelson, as Rodgers favorite target of all time. Today, he caught six balls for 46 yards and a score. Marquez Valdes-Scantling led Green Bay in receiving yards with 87, adding a score of his own.
With the win, the Pack secure the number one seed in the NFC. Anyone looking to represent the conference in the Super Bowl needs to be able to go into the Frozen Tundra and steal a win in Lambeau Field. In Rodgers career, he has not had the luxury of home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and if last week’s dismantling of the Titans is an implication of how it will go, home is a true advantage in this case.
Going into the fourth quarter, Green Bay was holding onto a 21-16 lead they had built before halftime. In the final period, however, they were ready to display how hard it will be to beat them in the cold. The Pack led off the fourth with a twelve play, 76-yard drive in which they grinded seven and a half minutes off of the clock. Green Bay capped it off with a touchdown run from Aaron Jones, to give them a two-score lead.
The Packer’s Adrain Amos tacked an exclamation point onto the victory with an interception off of his former team, just two plays later. Green Bay took advantage of the great field position and added insult to injury with Rodgers final TD pass of the game.
The Packers steamroll the Bears in the fourth, winning 35-16
Aaron Rodgers: 240 passing yards, 4 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns
Adrian Amos: 9 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 interception
Washington at Philadelphia Eagles
Washington’s defense proved problematic all night long, limiting the Philadelphia offense to 237 yards. They were not just stingy, however, but they were also timely. The Football Team entered the fourth quarter protecting a 17-14 lead and turned the Eagles over on back to back possessions. The first was ended on an interception by Jeremy Reaves and the second on a fumble recovery by Chase Young. Washington then tacked on an additional field goal ad held Philly to 27 yards for the rest of the game.
The Football Team’s defense started the game right, too. On their second series of the game, Kameron Curl picked off a pass, allowing Washington to build a 10-0 lead right out of the gate. This early effort, followed by two-quarters of dominance also forced the benching Eagles’ rookie quarterback, Jalen Hurts. By the beginning of the fourth quarter he was only able to pile up 106 all-purpose yards while completing a porous seven of twenty pass attempts.
In defeat, the Eagles defense was almost equally as brilliant, holding the Football Team to 265 yards. Led by Alex Singleton, Philly racked up eight negative plays and turned Washington over twice. They kept it a game until the very end, but sadly their offense was unable to deliver for them.
The bright spot of Washington’s offense was rookie running back Antonio Gibson, who accumulated 81 yards of total offense. Terry McLaurin also made an impact in his return, hauling in seven receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown. Alex Smith’s other score was a perfect throw and catch to Logan Thomas.
As a result of this victory, Washington clinches the NFC East, earning the right to do battle versus the Buccaneers next weekend. Their lack of offense and 7-9 record leave a lot to be desired, but for at least one week they can claim superiority to the NFC (L)east.
Washington stifles the Eagles, 20-14, clinching the NFC East
Terry McLaurin: 7 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Jon Bostic: 8 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback sack, 1 defended pass
Browns hold off the Steelers, 24-22
Nick Chubb led all Browns rusher with 108 yards, as they collectively ran for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cleveland jumped out early in this one, leading Pittsburgh by two scores for most of the game, as a result of the Steelers choosing to rest Big Ben and take some workload off of the starters. Pitt did threaten a comeback in the fourth quarter, however, the Browns were able to thwart their efforts with a failed two-point conversion. With the win, the Browns secure a wild card and the right to play the Steelers again next week. That game will surely be quite different.
Nick Chubb: 108 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
Jacob Phillips: 10 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Colts secure playoff spot with 28-14 victory over Jaguars
Jonathan Taylor had a monster game, accumulating 254 total yards and scoring twice. He sealed the deal for the Colts late, ripping a 45-yard run to give them a two-touchdown lead. Indy’s defense continued its dominant ways, hitting the Jaguars for 12 negative plays and turning them over once. At the start of the day, Indianapolis needed a win and some help to reach the playoff. Thanks to a Dolphins loss, the Colts claim the final spot in the AFC. Jaguars fade into nothingness, as the worst team in the NFL.
Jonathan Taylor: 253 rushing yards, 1 reception for 1 yard, 2 touchdowns
Darius Leonard: 10 total tackles, 1 quarterback sack, 1 forced fumble, 2 defended passes
Ravens thrash the Bengals, 38-3, securing playoff berth
The Ravens offense line punished the Bengals defense, allowing them to rush for 404 yards, and rack up 157 total on the game. JK Dobbins and Lamar Jackson led the charge, as Baltimore set a franchise record for rushing yards in a game. As a result of this dominance, Baltimore held the ball for over 40 minutes. With the victory, the Ravens ensured their wild card spot. The Bengals will be heading home in a year full of growing pains.
JK Dobbins: 160 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns
Chuck Clark: 4 total tackles, 2 defended passes
Giants sack the Cowboys, 23-19
Leonard Williams enjoyed himself a three-sack afternoon, as the Giants piled up 6 quarterback sacks, 9 tackles for a loss and 6 batted passes. Big Blue’s D plagued the Andy Dalton and the Cowboys all game, putting them in a state of constant duress, however, they did not lay the final blow until late in the fourth. Dallas was about to move in for the game-winning touchdown when Xavier McKinney intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal the victory. At the time, the Giants kept their playoff hopes alive, as both they and the Cowboys faced a win-or-go-home. In the end, however, Washington winning eliminated New York from contention.
Sterling Shepard: 8 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 24 rushing yards, 2 total touchdowns
Leonard Williams: 7 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback sacks, 1 defended pass.
Buccaneers tear through the Falcons, 44-27
Tom Brady continues to defy age with a 399 yard, 4 touchdown performance. He went to Antonio Brown early and often, as the two of them hooked up 11 times for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Buccaneers offense accumulated nearly 500 yards and put the game out of reach by piling on two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With the win, Tampa Bay claimed the top wild-card spot in the NFC, meanwhile, the Falcons remain out of the picture.
Tom Brady: 399 passing yards, 3 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception
Sean Murphy-Bunting: 6 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Patriots double up the Jets, 28-14
The Patriots ran for 166 yards, as Cam Newton continued to lead their duel threat attack. New England’s defense added two key interceptions when the Jet while the Jets were driving, after shutting them down for most of the first half. In the end, both of these teams will be heading home.
Cam Newton: 242 passing yards, 79 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns
Jonathan Jones: 4 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 interception
Vikings win a shootout over the Lions, 37-35
Justin Jefferson broke NFL rookie receiving yard record, with a 9 reception, 133-yard performance. Kirk Cousin led the Vikings’ offense to 530 total yards and contributed 4 touchdowns. Minnesota sealed the victory with a seven and a half minute drive to go up by 37-29 midway into the 4th quarter. Ultimately, this game was only for divisional pride, as neither team will see postseason action.
Kirk Cousins: 405 passing yards, 1 rushing yard, 4 total touchdowns
Harrison Smith: 9 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 interception
Bills outclass the Dolphins, 56-26
Buffalo continues it stretch of dominance, claiming the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs. This time they did it with a mix of starters and backups, in a full team effort. Bills quarterbacks threw 388 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 3 from Josh Allen. Meanwhile, the defense turned over the Dolphins 4 times and scored, shutting down their rushing attack. Isaiah McKenzie contributed a touchdown for the special teams, as all three units scored. As a result of their loss, Miami is eliminated from playoff contention.
Josh Allen: 224 passing yards, 3 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception
Dean Marlowe: 1 tackle, 2 defended passes, 2 interceptions
Seahawks comeback to defeat the 49ers, 26-23
Seattle scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including two on hook-ups from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett, to erase a 16-6 San Francisco lead. The Seahawks defense was strong through the first half, limiting the 49ers offense to less than 100 yards. They kept Seattle in the game long enough for the offense to finally get back on track in the fourth quarter, as Wilson led the Hawks to victory yet again, albeit in a meaningless game this time. Seattle is the 3rd seed in the NFC, 49ers have long been out of contention.
Tyler Lockett: 12 receptions, 90 yards, 2 touchdowns
Benson Mayowa: 3 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 quarterback sacks, 1 forced fumble
Rams shutdown the Cardinals, 18-7
The Rams defense clamped down early and held the Cardinals offense to 240 yards, in a game they needed to win to make the playoffs. This was in part to Kyler Murray exiting the contest early, but they were stellar nonetheless. LA turned Arizona over twice, including a Troy Hill interception return for a touchdown, and hit them for a loss on 12 plays. The Rams remained locked into a wild card spot.
John Wolford: 231 passing yards, 56 rushing yards, 1 interception
Troy Hill: 5 total tackles, 2 defended passes, 1 interception, 1 touchdown
Saints turn over the Panthers, 33-7
The Saints defense swarmed all day, intercepting Panther quarterbacks 5 times. They also registered three sacks and 6 additional tackles for loss as Carolina’s offense never got on track. With the win, New Orleans settles into the NFC’s 2nd seed. The Panthers will not see post-season action.
Drew Brees: 201 passing yards, 3 touchdowns
Grant Haley: 6 total tackles, 1 defended pass, 1 interception
Chargers beat the Chiefs’ bench, 38-21
Justin Herbert throws for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns to cap off his strong rookie campaign. Although today it was versus the Kansas City backups, Herbert remains a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year. In the end, the Chiefs remain the 1 seed in the AFC and the Chargers have played their final game of the season.
Justin Herbert: 302 passing yards, 9 rushing yards, 4 total touchdowns
Denzel Perryman: 7 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss