New England Patriots
Consider that the Buffalo Bills have gone consecutive weeks holding both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers without a touchdown pass, and you will understand the formidable challenge that defense presents for the Oakland Raiders offense next Sunday. Yes, it could get ugly for rookie quarterback Derek Carr.
Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Week 15. Here are the four takeaways you need to know from Sunday.
The New England Patriots are on a clear path to the playoffs and could possibly end up representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. The Miami Dolphins are still fighting for a playoff spot and need every win they can get so this is a huge game for them. Dan Fouts of CBS Sports knows what it’s like to play in must-win games, and he spoke on the big AFC East match-up.
The 2014 NFL regular season is rounding a curve toward its end, and some teams are beginning to distance themselves from the pack. Now, there is going to be a potential Super Bowl match-up between the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. CBS Sports Tracy Wolfson talks how this weekend’s game pitting Tom Brady against Aaron Rodgers may go.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been playing pretty well lately, as evidenced by their win over the Seattle Seahawks last weekend. Now, they get to the play the first of two games remaining on their schedule against the hapless Oakland Raiders, and if the Silver & Black want to win their first game in more than a year, they’ll need to be at their “best”—whatever that is.
The Denver Broncos are coming off a loss, and that means bad news for the winless Oakland Raiders. Peyton Manning loves to dissect a bad defense, and that’s what he’s prepping to do right now—leaving the Silver & Black on the spot for Sunday’s game at the Coliseum against the defending AFC champs.
The Oakland Raiders dropped to 0-8 on the season, dropping a 30-24 decision on the road to the Seattle Seahawks. The Silver & Black had a chance with an onside kick, but they couldn’t recover it. They were doomed in the first half by several mistakes that led to a 21-point deficit at halftime, and now the team must regroup—again.
In the modern NFL, only four teams have gone through a winless season: the 1960 Dallas Cowboys, the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 1982 Baltimore Colts and the 2008 Detroit Lions. If the Raiders can’t win this weekend in Cleveland, they could be looking at an 0-11 start—and that’s when the pressure will start to mount. Avoiding membership in this exclusive club will be paramount for the Silver & Black.
So much for staying healthy after the bye week. The Oakland Raiders’ official injury list almost doubled this week from last, as eight players are nursing sore body parts. How that will impact Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Coliseum is still not clear.
The New England Patriots are going in one direction and the New York Jets are going in another. On “Thursday Night Football,” the teams are going to face off in an AFC East battle that may not be nearly as competitive as it has been in past years. Former NFL quarterback Trent Green took some time to speak with me regarding both teams, injuries, and their direction for the season.