Thursday Night Football 12/4/14

Staff Writer

Dallas (9-4) 41
Chicago (5-8) 28

Dallas used the 3rd quarter to put this game out of reach. After a tightly contested first half the score was 14-7 in Dallas’ favor. Dallas was able to use an early second half turnover to score a 24 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Cole Beasley. They used great field position to tack on 2 more touchdowns before the end of the 3rd quarter to make the score 35-7. Chicago made the game somewhat close thanks to a 21 point fourth quarter of their own, but it was too little, too late.

Sunday 12/7/14

Pittsburgh (8-5) 42
Cincinnati (8-4-1) 21

Pittsburgh came into Cincinnati looking to gain ground in the tough AFC North. They were able to do so thanks to a great 4th quarter effort. The game was 21-17 heading to the 4th quarter in Cincinnati’s favor. Pittsburgh opened up scoring in the 4th with a 44 yard Shaun Suisham field goal. After forcing a turnover, Pittsburgh got in the end zone on a 13 yard LeVeon Bell run. Bell had a huge game rushing for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also caught 6 passes for 50 yards. Cincinnati backed Pittsburgh up to their own 6 yard line on their next drive. However, on the first play, Ben Roethlisberger connected with Martavis Bryant on a 94 yard touchdown pass to go up 35-21 with a little over 8 minutes left. Roethlisberger finished the day with 350 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. They added one more touchdown to come to the final score of 42-21. Cincinnati now has a half game lead over Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

St. Louis (6-7) 24
Washington (3-10) 0

St. Louis posted their second straight shutout as they kept the hapless Washington offense off the scoreboard. They also forced 2 Colt McCoy interceptions. McCoy ended up leaving the game due to a neck injury and Washington had to reinsert former 1st round pick Robert Griffin III. Coach Jay Gruden was forced to use Griffin after earlier in the week he stated that he does not believe Griffin is the future answer at quarterback. Griffin went 3-4 for 33 yards.

Indianapolis (9-4) 25
Cleveland (7-6) 24

A week after pulling starting QB Brian Hoyer, Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine elected to start him once again this week. Things looked great for Cleveland earlier as they opened up scoring in the first quarter when Paul Kruger forced a fumble on Andrew Luck and Craig Robertson recovered the ball in the end zone for a defensive touchdown. Luck would redeem himself and score on an 11 yard run to tie the game at 7. Cleveland would take a 14-7 lead at half thanks to a 9 yard Isaiah Crowell touchdown run that capped a 77 yard drive. Cleveland increased its lead thanks to another defensive touchdown when Justin Gilbert intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for a score. With the Cleveland offense proving to be ineffective, Luck lead Indianapolis to 3 straight scores including a touchdown to TY Hilton and 2 field goals to cut the score to 21-19. The Cleveland defense forced another turnover and got a field goal to make it 24-19. This set up Andrew Luck to drive 90 yards to score the go ahead touchdown with 32 seconds left. Cleveland could not move the ball and ended the game when Hoyer was intercepted. Hoyer finished the day going 14-31 for 140 yards and 2 interceptions. He wasted an outstanding performance from his defense who forced 4 turnovers on one of the best offenses in football.

NYG (4-9) 36
Tennessee (2-11) 7

NYG broke a 7 game losing streak as they crushed Tennessee in their own building. NYG scored early and often as they jumped out to a 23-0 half time lead. NYG kicker Josh Brown went 5-5 on field goals for the day. Odell Beckham Jr. had another strong game as he caught 11 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Fellow rookie Andre Williams rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Carolina (4-8-1) 41
New Orleans (5-8) 10

Carolina came into New Orleans and jumped all over the home team. They took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to an opportunistic offense. QB Cam Newton threw for a touchdown and rushed for another in the first. After the rushing touchdown, a brawl erupted in the end zone. Carolina never allowed the game to get close as they ballooned the lead to 41-3 in behind a balanced attack. New Orleans still shares the division lead with Atlanta in the NFC South. The 4 win team in Carolina still has a shot to win the division as they are now only half a game out of first place.

Minnesota (6-7) 30 (OT)
NYJ (2-11) 24

NYJ started the game with QB Geno Smith being intercepted on the first play from scrimmage. The interception was returned for a touchdown. They would recover as the game went back and forth for most of the afternoon. NYJ got a great performance out of kicker Nick Folk as he went 5-5 on field goals. Their lone touchdown came on a Percy Harvin touchdown reception. With the score tied at 24 all, the game went to overtime. NYJ got the ball first and could not score they punted the ball to the Minnesota 8 yard line. However, 3 plays later Jarius Wright turned a screen pass into an 87 yard touchdown for the win.

Houston (7-6) 27
Jacksonville (2-11) 13

After taking a 13-10 lead into half time, Jacksonville fell apart in the second half. They got outscored 17-0 in the second half behind a strong rushing effort out of Houston. They ran for 173 yards for the day on 42 carries and 3 rushing touchdowns. Defensive end JJ Watt had his usual dominant game as he sacked Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles 3 times. He continues to put together an MVP type season after signing a $100+ million contract.

Denver (10-3) 24
Buffalo (7-6) 17

Denver overcame a poor day from Peyton Manning to win the game. Manning went 14-20 for 173 yards and 2 interceptions. They got their other 173 yard from their ground game as CJ Anderson had another solid week running for 3 touchdowns. Buffalo made the score close late thanks to 2 4th quarter touchdowns when the game was out of reach.

Arizona (10-3) 17
Kansas City (7-6) 14

Kansas City took a 14-6 halftime lead thanks to 2 Jamaal Charles touchdowns. He ran for 91 yards on 10 carries to go along with 20 yard receiving. In the 3rd quarter, Arizona took the lead for good behind a field goal and a 26 yard Jarod Brown touchdown reception. They preserved the victory when Kansas City TE Travis Kelce to fumbled deep in Arizona territory and the defense recovered.

Seattle (9-4) 24
Philadelphia (9-4) 14

In a battle of 2 playoff bound teams, Seattle came away victorious behind another superb effort from their vaunted defense. Philadelphia has one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. Seattle held them to 139 yards of total offense. Seattle held a time of possession advantage of 41:56-18:04 and also forced 2 turnovers. They dominated Philadelphia in every facet of the game as Seattle is red hot heading into the playoffs.

Oakland (2-11) 24
San Francisco (7-6) 13

Oakland shocks bay area rival as the season is spiraling out of control in San Francisco. Oakland’s rookie QB Derek Carr had himself a great day as he passed for 3 touchdowns. His counterpart, Colin Kaepnerick could not get anything going for San Francisco as he tossed 2 interceptions. This likely puts the playoffs out of reach for San Francisco, while the win for Oakland can be a building block for next year.

Game of the Week
New England (10-3) 23
San Diego (8-5) 14

These two teams met on the West Coast for what might be a preview for a playoff game. Both defenses played extremely tough as San Diego took a 14-13 lead into half time. The lead was there thanks to a Darrell Stuckey 53 yard fumble return. The defenses continued to play tough as neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. New England took the lead on a 38 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal that capped a 10 play 55 yard drive. They extended the lead on next play they got the ball when Tom Brady connected with Julian Edelman for a 69 yard touchdown.

Monday Night Football
Green Bay (10-3) 43
Atlanta (5-8) 37

This game appeared to be a laugher as Green Bay jumped out to a 31-7 halftime lead thanks to a balanced attack. Eddie Lacy and James Starks each ran for a touchdown and Aaron Rodgers passed for 3. Atlanta came out in the second half punching. They scored 10 straight to cut the lead to 31-17. They also scored 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter cutting the lead to 43-37 with 2:15 left in the game. Their onside kick attempt failed as they never got a chance to get the ball back for a chance to win the game.