Monday Morning Quarterback: The Good, The Bad Of Week 14
New Orleans SaintsCarolina Panthers
The Saints bounced back from a rough game at Seattle to dominate Carolina. Drew Brees was at his best as he completed 30-of-42 passes for 313 yards with four TDs and no interceptions. The Panthers are one of the best defensive teams in the league, but Brees got the best of them in this important victory that gave them sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
Cam Newton tried to assert himself against the veteran Saints on their homefield, but he was not good enough in this game. Newton completed 22-of-34 passes for 160 yards with one TD and no interceptions. Newton will get another shot at the Saints when they travel to Carolina in Week 16.
San Francisco 49ersSeattle Seahawks
The Niners needed to beat their archrivals, and they were able to mount a late drive that gave Phil Dawson a chance to kick the game-winning field goal and he was successful. Colin Kaepernick played resilient football against the powerful Seahawks and he led them to the victory. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 175 yards with one TD and one interception, but he did not make any big mistakes.
The Seahawks gave it a great effort, but they could not beat the 49ers on their homefield. Russell Wilson completed 15-of-25 passes for 199 yards with one TD and an interception, but that was not good enough.
San Diego ChargersNew York Giants
The Chargers are still playoff outsiders, but this was a game they had to have if they wanted to stay in contention. Philip Rivers had no problems taking apart the Giants as he completed 21-of-29 passes for 249 yards with three TDs. He also kept it clean on the interceptions side of the ledger as he was not picked off once.
Eli Manning appeared to be on a slight upswing, but he could not continue that against the Chargers. Manning completed 20-of-32 passes for 149 yards with one TD and two interceptions. The Giants were out of this game by halftime and Manning could not do anything to rally his team against a vulnerable San Diego defense.
Arizona CardinalsSt. Louis Rams
Carson Palmer was razor sharp as he completed 27-of-32 passes for 269 yards with one TD and no interceptions. Palmer was able to pick apart the St. Louis secondary with his accurate throws. After struggling last week against Philadelphia, Palmer was on top of his game against the divisional rival Rams.
Kellen Clemens had opportunities to get the Rams into this game, but he struggled and never looked comfortable. He completed 16-of-27 passes for 181 yards with no touchdowns and just one interception.
Denver BroncosTennessee Titans
This time it was the Broncos that played come-from-behind football. Peyton Manning may have started slowly, but he completed 39-of-59 passes for 397 yards with four TDs and the Broncos ran away from the Titans in the second half.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is gutsy and he completed 13-of-24 passes for 172 yards with one touchdown. However, he also threw an interception and he was unable to lead the Titans consistently in the second half.
Green Bay PackersAtlanta Falcons
The Packers managed to get back to the .500 mark (6-6-1) with the win, and backup quarterback Matt Flynn did just enough to help his team get the win. While he has looked overwhelmed at times, Flynn completed 24-of-32 passes for 258 yards with one TD and one interception as he led Green Bay back from a 21-10 deficit to the victory.
Matt Ryan appeared to have the Falcons on track for their second consecutive win as he completed 20-of-35 passes for 206 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. However, the Falcons could not score a point after halftime and Ryan must bear much of the responsibility for that.
Kansas City ChiefsWashington Redskins
The Chiefs got back on the winning track as they destroyed the Redskins. While much of the carnage came as a result of horrid special teams play by Washington, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith was cool and calm as he completed 14-of-20 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Redskins have the look of a team that can’t wait for its season to end. Robert Griffin III was 12-of-26 for 164 yards with one TD and one interception and could not spark his team to put up a competitive effort.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersBuffalo Bills
This was not a quarterback’s game, but Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon was less destructive than his Buffalo counterpart E.J. Manuel. Glennon completed just 9-of-25 passes for 90 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
This is one game that Manuel will not want to look at again. While he completed 18-of-33 passes for 184 yards, he did not throw a TD pass and he had four interceptions.
Miami DolphinsPittsburgh Steelers
The Dolphins are trying to mount a rally for the last playoff spot in the AFC after their midseason slump. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill performed well in the snow as he completed 20-of-33 passes for 200 yards with three TDs and just one interception. He had a 48-yard run that sparked his teammates and let them know they could compete and win in bad-weather conditions.
The Steelers seemed to have all the advantages at home in the snow, but they couldn’t do enough to get the win. Some of this must fall on Ben Roethlisberger, even though he had a solid game by completing 23-of-39 passes for 349 yards with three TDs.
Philadelphia EaglesDetroit Lions
Nick Foles threw his first interception of the season, but once again there was no panic to his game. He completed 11-of-22 passes for 179 yards with one TD and an interception but he did not panic as the Eagles and Lions played in a driving snowstorm. Foles also ran for a TD and seemed to play relaxed football in leading his team to a come-from-behind win.
The Lions seemed to panic in the snow as quarterback Matthew Stafford fumbled five times and looked like a lost soul. He completed 10-of-25 passes for 148 yards and many of his throws were of the wounded duck variety.
New York JetsOakland Raiders
Start the investigation because Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith actually had a fine game. After falling badly in recent weeks, Smith completed 16-of-25 passes for 219 yards with one TD and one interception. He also ran effectively, picking up 50 rushing yards and a TD.
Matt McGloin was not awful, but he did not do enough in a winnable game for the Raiders. McGloin completed 18-of-31 passes for 245 yards with two TDs and one interception.
New England PatriotsCleveland Browns
Tom Brady continued his strange pattern of winning games from behind. The Pats rallied for the third straight game to record a near-miraculous win over the Bills. Brady completed 32-of-52 passes for 418 yards with two TDs and one interception. He threw the winning TD pass to Danny Amendola with 31 seconds to play.
Jason Campbell had to be crestfallen after performing brilliantly for the Browns. His team came up short when it could not recover an onside kick in the final minute. Campbell 29-of-44 passes for 391 yards with three TDs and no interceptions.
Cincinnati BengalsIndianapolis Colts
Andy Dalton was on top of his game as the Bengals rolled to the win over the Colts. Despite harshly cold temperatures, Dalton completed 24-of-35 passes for 275 yards with three TDs and no interceptions.
Andrew Luck had a brilliant statistical game as he threw for 326 yards with four TDs and no interceptions. However, the Colts had to play from far behind throughout the game, and the stats were not meaningful. Luck is being slowed down by offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s shaky gameplans.
Baltimore RavensMinnesota Vikings
Joe Flacco may take a lot of criticism, but he finds a way to win games with strong performances in the fourth quarter. He did it against the Vikings as he threw for 245 yards and three TDs in the spectacular win over the Vikings. His game-winning TD pass to Marlon Brown allowed the Ravens to remain in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.
Not much to complain about with Matt Cassel, as he had the Vikings on the verge of an impressive road win despite the loss of running back Adrian Peterson (foot). Cassel completed 17-of-38 passes for 265 yards with two TDs and he did not throw an interception. Cassel played well, but he could not lead his team to the win.
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston Texans
The Jaguars have been playing some respectable football in the second half of the season, and Chad Henne is one of the reasons. While he is not a star, he never seems to get overwhelmed. He completed just 12-of-27 passes for 117 yards, but he did not throw any interceptions and he had two TD passes.
This game marked the end of Gary Kubiak’s coaching tenure in Houston. The powers that be in Houston did not approve of Kubiak putting Matt Schaub into the game in place of Case Keenum. Both quarterbacks were ordinary in this game, and that’s not good enough to get a win in the NFL.