NFL Week 15 Recap
Lions 30 Cardinals 12
Murray’s shaky performance helped the Detroit Lions stun the Arizona Cardinals 30-12 on Sunday.
Arizona, coming off a loss on Monday night to the NFC West-rival Los Angeles Rams, missed its chance to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a win over a team it was favored to beat by nearly two touchdowns.
Murray was 23 of 41 for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception, adding up to a 72.9 passer rating. The third-year pro has had a slightly lower rating twice this season, and the Cardinals lost both games to the Rams and Green Bay.
Detroit’s Craig Reynolds ran for a career-high 112 yards and rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had a touchdown and 90 yards receiving, setting a season high for the second straight week.
Panthers 14 Bills 31
Josh Allen says his sprained left foot felt fine — still, he was grateful for how his Buffalo teammates helped carry the load.
Devin Singletary sparked what had been a pedestrian running attack with a season-best 86 yards. A much-maligned and COVID-19-depleted offensive line delivered in both run blocking and pass protection.
Newton finished 13 of 39 for 156 yards and an interception, with 15 carries for a team-leading 71 yards. He extended his NFL record by scoring a TD rushing and TD passing for the 44th time of his career. Newton also extended his streak of scoring a TD rushing to five consecutive games, matching the NFL record for a quarterback set by Arizona’s Kyler Murray last year.
Cowboys 21 Giants 6
DeMarcus Lawrence forced a fumble and made two other big plays that led to 15 points and the Dallas defense forced four turnovers for the third straight game Sunday. The Cowboys inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2018 with a 21-6 win over the New York Giants.
Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35 and 42 yards as the Giants (4-10) lost their third straight game with backup Mike Glennon starting for the injured Daniel Jones (neck).
Prescott finished 28 of 37 for 217 yards. Schultz caught all eight of his targets for 67 yards.
Texans 30 Jaguars 16
The Texans (3-11) won their eighth straight against the Jaguars (2-12) and swept the AFC South series for the ninth time in the last 11 years. Houston won despite playing without seven starters, including five defenders.
Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills won for the first time in eight starts. He connected with Brandin Cooks twice for touchdowns, once early and again late. The second one was a 43-yarder that sealed yet another Houston victory against Jacksonville.
Cooks continued his success against Jacksonville. He finished with seven receptions for 102 yards and two scores and improved to 6-0 against the Jags, getting wins with New Orleans, New England and Houston. He now has five 100-yard games in those six outings.
Jets 24 Dolphins 31
Duke Johnson rushed for 107 yards and had a career-best two touchdowns, DeVante Parker caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa with 3:37 left and the Dolphins extended their winning streak to six games by topping the New York Jets 31-24 on Sunday.
The Dolphins became the second team in NFL history to get to 7-7 after starting a season 1-7. The other team on that list – the Jets, in 1974. The season was only 14 weeks back then, so that’s where the Jets’ turnaround ended and did so without a playoff berth.
Titans 13 Steelers 19
Joe Haden stuffed Tennessee wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine inches short of a first down at the Pittsburgh 10 in the final seconds, sealing a 19-13 victory that resuscitated — for the time being anyway — the Steelers’ playoff hopes.
Roethlisberger finished 16 of 25 for 148 yards to move past 2004 NFL draft classmate Philip Rivers into fifth on the NFL’s all-time yards passing list. Perhaps more remarkable was the sight of Roethlisberger running back-to-back quarterback sneaks in the third quarter. The second gave him his first rushing touchdown since a win at Jacksonville in 2018.
Falcons 13 49ers 31
Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, San Francisco ran for three more scores and the 49ers won for the fifth time in six games, beating the Atlanta Falcons 31-13 on Sunday.
The Niners (8-6) scored touchdowns on four straight drives to make easy work of the Falcons (6-8) to remain in wild-card position as the sixth-place team in the NFC.
Matt Ryan threw for 236 yards with a 20-yard TD to Russell Gage in the first half, but was under relentless pressure most of the game.
*Bengals 15 Broncos 10
Khalid Kareem snatched the ball from backup quarterback Drew Lock on second-and-goal and the Cincinnati Bengals seized a first-place tie with the Baltimore Ravens atop the AFC North with a 15-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Lock and the Broncos would get two more chances but never really had a prayer, gaining just 18 yards on 10 plays.
Packers 31 Ravens 30
The Green Bay Packers have moved to 11-3 on the season and have officially clinched the NFC North after narrowly defeating the Ravens in Baltimore 31-30. This game came right down to the wire as quarterback Tyler Huntley — filling in for the injured Lamar Jackson — was able to drive his team 49 yards down the field in the fourth quarter and score a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the contest.
That score brought Baltimore within one point of tying the Packers. Instead of opting for the extra point attempt and taking their chances in overtime, John Harbaugh kept his offense on the field and decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion try. This was in a similar vein to what the Ravens decided to do against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their matchup a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, they met a similar outcome as Huntley was unable to connect with Mark Andrews, which solidified the win — and a division crown — for Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers had another masterful performance under center and tied Hall of Famer Brett Favre for the Packers all-time passing touchdown record. He finished with 268 yards passing and three touchdowns while completing 23 of his 31 passes. On the other side, Huntley played well in this matchup and hung with Rodgers for the bulk of this game. He finished with 215 yards through the air and two touchdowns, while rushing for 73 yards and two more scores. Andrews was his main target as he hauled in 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Saints 9 Bucs 0
Cameron Jordan and the New Orleans defense gave Brady fits again, shutting down Tampa Bay’s high-powered offense Sunday night as the Saints put the Buccaneers’ division-title celebration plans on hold with a 9-0 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Despite playing without coach Sean Payton on the sideline, the Saints (7-7) beat the Bucs (10-4) for the seventh straight time during the regular season — fourth since Brady left New England for Tampa Bay in 2020.
Buccaneers: WRs Chris Godwin (knee) and Mike Evans (hamstring) left in the second quarter,
Titans 9-5 Colts 8-6
Raiders at Browns, 5 p.m. ET
Vikings at Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET
Seahawks at Rams, 7 p.m. ET
Washington at Eagles, 7 p.m. ET
What is your favorite Christmas Carol?O Holy Night- 25%, Silent NIght- 16.7%, The Herald Angels Sing- 33.%, O Come all ye faithful- 25%
JT: The Herald Angels Sing
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.