The temperature outside is dropping however things sure are heating up in the 2011/12 NFL season as we approach Christmas. Week 15 has been a belter, producing a series of unexpected results – As highlighted below:
- Miami were expected to push Buffalo all the way in a tight contest however they went further than that, running out victors (30-23). Reggie Bush rushed 203 yards for the Dolphins.
- Indianapolis finally scored their first win of the season, after 13 prior losses, overpowering Tennessee (27-13). Donald Brown had 161 rushing yards as well as 1 touchdown.
- Kansas City stunned Green Bay, inflicting the first loss of the season on the Packers in a tight contest (19-14). Ryan Succop made 4 field goals for the Chiefs in a match-winning display with the boot.
- Washington upset the New York Giants (23-10) to record their fifth win of the season. Eli Manning had a stinker for the Giants, recording 3 interceptions.
- Carolina completely dominated Houston to eventually run out winners (28-13). Cam Newton scored 2 touchdowns for the impressive Panthers.
- Philadelphia stunned the New York Jets, scoring 34 points in the first three quarters and eventually running out winners (45-19). LeSean McCoy had 102 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.
- San Diego made a mockery of the Baltimore defence and Quarterback Joe Flacco, smashing them (34-14) in an upset result. Philip Rivers had 270 passing yards and 1 touchdown for the Chargers.
In other results this weekend:
- Atlanta easily defeated Jacksonville (41-14) as expected, with Matt Ryan throwing 3 touchdown passes for the winners.
- Dallas took care of Tampa Bay (31-15) after opening up a 28-0 lead by half-time. Tony Romo threw 3 touchdown passes for the Cowboys.
- Seattle came from behind at half-time to defeat Chicago (38-14), with Marshawn Lynch scoring 2 rushing touchdowns for the Seahawks.
- Cincinnati were challenged more than expected against St. Louis however still recorded a victory (20-13).
- New Orleans scored 6 touchdowns as they smashed Minnesots (42-20). Quarterback Drew Brees recorded a total of 412 yards including 5 touchdowns.
- Detroit scored two late touchdowns, one with 39 seconds remaining, to overpower Oakland in a thriller (28-27). Matthew Stafford threw 391 yards and scored 4 touchdowns for the winners.
- New England struggled early however dominated from the second quarter onwards, defeating Denver (41-23). Tom Brady recorded 320 yards and 2 touchdowns for the victorious Patriots.
- Arizona snuck home over Cleveland in overtime (20-17) despite being down 17-7 at the final break. John Skelton recorded 313 yards for the winners.
One game remains in Week 15, tomorrow morning (AEDST), as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the San Francisco Giants in what appears to be a close encounter with both teams sitting on 10-3 so far this season.
Let see what affect this weekend’s results have on the current standings:
American Football Conference
- The New England Patriots (11-3) have clinched the East Division, extending their lead to 3 games over the Jets.
- The Baltimore Ravens (10-4) and Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) are still in a battle for the North Division title however have both clinched playoff berths.
- The Houston Texans (10-4), despite their upset loss, have clinched the South Division having maintained a 3 game lead over Tennessee.
- The AFC West Division is wide open with Denver (8-6), Oakland (7-7), San Diego (7-7) and Kansas City (6-8) all still able to take the title.
National Football Conference
- The NFC East Division is wide open with Dallas (8-6), New York Giants (7-7) and Philadelphia (6-8) all still fighting for the title.
- The Green Bay Packers (13-1), despite their first loss, have easily clinched the North Division.
- The New Orleans Saints (11-3) hold a two game lead over the Atlanta Falcons however even if they don’t take the Division, they will get the Wildcard.
- The San Francisco 49ers (10-3) have clinched the West Division.
Finally, from a statistical point of view, an all-time record is set to be broken as New Orlean’s Quarterback Drew Brees has now recorded 4,780 passing yards this season. With 2 games remaining, he looks certain to become just the second player in history to pass the 5000 mark as well as breaking Dan Marino’s 1984 record of 5,084.
Until next time, Â GÂ OÂ RAÂ VENS!Â
Image courtesy of NFL