Week 15 is in the books. There are now just two weeks left of the regular season. The race for the playoffs is heating up. 6 out of the 14 postseason spots have been confirmed.
Here are my thoughts on an action-packed week 15.
Pittsburgh’s Decline Continues
The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 on Monday night.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was limited to just 170 passing yards and one touchdown. The most receiving yards that any Steeler could record in this game was Diontae Johnson, who only managed 59 yards.
It is hard to determine whether this was a good defensive performance from Cincinnati or poor offensive performance from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Either way, this is the third consecutive loss for a Pittsburgh team that started the season 11-0. With the Cleveland Browns easing past the New York Giants, they are now just one game ahead in the AFC North.
Pittsburgh, who already have playoff football guaranteed, have to be careful if they want to avoid playing on the road in the wildcard round.
Offensive Player Of The Week: Ryan Tannehill (Quarterback- Tennessee Titans)
The AFC South is far from a foregone conclusion. The Titans and Indianapolis Colts both went into their games on a 9-4 record. There was pressure on both teams to keep up with each other. Ryan Tannehill had a superb day on Sunday, in Tennessee’s 46-25 win over the Detroit Lions.
Tannehill recorded 5 total touchdowns, threw for 273 passing yards and had a 77.8% completion percentage (21 from 27).
Games such as these have every potential of being a trap game. Tennessee knew they had to win and that there was no room for error in these last few games.
Tannehill showed poise and he was there when Tennessee needed him. This will be crucial should the Titans make the playoffs.
Defensive Player Of The Week: Adrian Amos (Safety- Green Bay Packers)
The Packers beat the Carolina Panthers 24-16 in a tightly contested game on Sunday.
Amos recorded seven tackles, one sack and three deflected passes as the Packers cemented their place as the number one seed in the NFC.
With the New Orleans Saints losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, this now means that Green Bay are one win ahead of New Orleans.
The Packers had not scored less than 30 points in a game since the 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 10.
With the offense not quite themselves, the defense needed to be at their best. Amos certainly played his part.
Elsewhere In The League
The Baltimore Ravens are in good form at the right time. They beat the Jaguars 40-14 and any team should be wary of them should they make the postseason.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson is looking somewhat back to his best and recorded four total touchdowns, throwing for 243 passing yards. With five sacks in the game, Baltimore were also dominant on the defensive side of the ball.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant recorded his first touchdown since 2017 in his only reception of the game.
Marquise Brown is in good form and recorded 98 receiving yards against the Jaguars. It seems Jackson finally has the weapons he has lacked all season.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan once again lost to Tom Brady after a big lead. It was their first meeting since Brady overcame a 28-3 deficit for the New England Patriots against Ryan and the Falcons in Super Bowl 51.
This time, the Falcons were 17-0 up at half time, before Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 31-27.
Finally, Jalen Hurts recorded four touchdowns, 338 passing yards and 63 rushing yards in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 33-26 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. In just his second career start in the NFL, Hurts again impressed, which probably sparks the beginning of the end for Carson Wentz.
Wentz has recently stated that he does not want to be a backup, which leaves the question as to where he will play next season.
NFL Week 15 Scores
Los Angeles Chargers 30-27 Las Vegas Raiders (OT)
Buffalo Bills 48-19 Denver Broncos
Carolina Panthers 16-24 Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-27 Atlanta Falcons
Jacksonville Jaguars 14-40 Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers 33-41 Dallas Cowboys
Houston Texans 20-27 Indianapolis Colts
New England Patriots 12-22 Miami Dolphins
Chicago Bears 33-27 Minnesota Vikings
Detroit Lions 25-46 Tennessee Titans
Seattle Seahawks 20-15 Washington Football Team
Philadelphia Eagles 26-33 Arizona Cardinals
New York Jets 23-20 Los Angeles Rams
Kansas City Chiefs 32-29 New Orleans Saints
Cleveland Browns 20-6 New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers 17-27 Cincinnati Bengals