1. The Rams Keep Scoring
LA scored another 33 points this week and only allowed 7, to the admittedly pedestrian Texans, led by Tom Savage. The Rams have had one of the most stellar offensive units this year and over the past handful games have also been able to manage the offense they have faced as well. All signs point towards the best chance the Rams have had in many years to make noise in the Playoffs.
2. Not Good For Goodell
This past week, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones announced his intentions of suing the NFL if they moved forward with extending Roger Goodell’s contract. The commissioner of the NFL may be in the hottest water he’s ever faced, as his proposed contract soars in monetary value, and his public opinion continues to plummet. While Jerry Jones hasn’t released what grounds the suit would be on, Goodell must tread lightly when facing one of the most powerful owners in the entire league.
3. Burfict Gets Tossed in Loss
The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Titans 24-20 this week to add to what is a already a dreadful season for the Bengals. To make matters worse, LB Vontaze Burfict for Cincinnati was ejected from the game early on after receiving back-to-back penalties for a late hit and touching an official. While both calls were questionable at best, the dirty player reputation of Burfict has left him no room for error when it comes to penalties. The Bengals would have had a tough challenge to overcome even with Burfuct on the field, but no doubt that his ejection played a major role in costing the game.
4. Jaguars Barely Snatch OT Win
Well sometimes a bad game can still be entertaining. The Chargers and the Jaguars both were the victims of critical turnovers that should have been the nail in the tombstone for both teams. Ultimately, the Jags needed a fake punt score and a 51-yard interception return in OT to steal the win from Los Angeles. In a game loaded with penalties and costly mistakes, the Jags were the one who was finally able to capitalize for the win.
5. Chicago lets Brett Hundley Off the Hook
Another team that desperately needed a win, the Packers finally got their first victory this season without the injured Aaron Rodgers. The Packers victory over Chicago was highlighted by a challenge from coach John Fox, who challenged a ruling that the Bears were just short of the touchdown marker on a long run. The result of the challenge backfired for Chicago, as it was ruled that the runner lost control of the ball before it crossed the plane of the end-zone, resulting in a touch-back for Green Bay. This reversal was pivotal for the Packers in a game that saw their two most productive runners, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery, go down to injuries despite big games from the duo. While the victory is a welcome change of pace, injuries remain an alarming constant for the Green and Gold.
6. 49ers Finally Win
The San Francisco 49ers are winless no longer. Leaving Cleveland behind as the only team remaining without a win, the 49ers were able to overcome the equally terrible New York Giants this year. Now both teams have only one win, but the difference is that the 49ers are largely viewed as a future-centered team focused on rebuilding. The Giants, however, find themselves crumbling when expectations were relatively high coming into the year.
7. The Difference Between a Contender and a Pretender
That was the difference between the Buffalo Bills and the New Orleans Saints. While both teams have good chances of making the playoffs, as an AFC wildcard hopeful and NFC South leader respectively, the Saints showed why their hopes for the postseason hold more legitimacy than that of the Bills. The Saints reached their seventh win in a row with this gaping 47-10 victory. The Bills, however, need to right the ship if they wish to hold on hope for a playoff birth, or if they don’t want to get annihilated by a better squad in the first round.
8. The Vikings Keep Their Mojo
The Vikings were able to “Leapfrog” the competition this week as they rode a four touchdown performance from quarterback Keenum to beat the Washington Redskins and give Adam Thielen a chance to show off a pretty crafty celebration as well. That wasn’t the only reason the Vikings had to celebrate, as they now hold an impressive 7-2 record and welcomed back Teddy Bridgewater after the quarterback made a long-awaited return from his devastating knee surgery. Good times in Minnesota.
9. The Patriots Deny Denver
If Denver was hoping for a Cinderella-like run to the playoffs, the nightmarish New England Patriots squashed those dreams. Tom Brady and Co. showed Denver just how far they have fallen this season, as they cruised to a 41-16 win. Just in case you still think the Broncos have a chance, this is their fifth loss in a row and the second week in a row they have been dominated by a very good team. While Denver has been great in the recent past, the great teams this year seemed determined to remind them that they aren’t that team anymore.
10. Carolina Rocks Miami
The Monday night showdown was a triumphant moment for Carolina fans. The Panthers need to keep piling up the wins in order to keep pressure on the surging Saints for the NFC South crown as well as insuring that at least a wildcard spot is within their grasp. It was a relatively easy win for Carolina, as a 45-21 margin of victory shows. Carolina also can’t helped but be thrilled with the game Cam Netwon had, throwing for just over 250 yards, four touchdowns, and also rushed for 95 yards. When Cam plays like this, it is important to take notice around the league as this team gets more and more dangerous.