NFL Wrap-Up: Week 15 West Divisions

Chiefs force Packer’s first loss, Chargers stayin’ alive.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

For full NFL coverage of Week 15 check out our NFL Wrap Up page.

The Packers may have fallen victim to that end of year ‘we’ve already wrapped things up’ type apathy, and KC took advantage of it. Tom Brady and the Pats were too much for Tebow and the Broncs. And finally, those Chargers win again, this time in convincing fashion.

AFC West

Green Bay Packers 14
Kansas City Chiefs 19

The ’72 Dolphins can now officially break out the ‘bubbly.’ They’re record of the only perfect season in NFL history is still safe with the Packers finally taking their first loss Sunday in KC. But really? To Kansas City?? The team that just fired head coach Todd Haley?

Aaron Rodgers, who had a very sub-par performance stated, “they had a good game plan, you have to give them credit.”

I would say the Packers were not only injured, but looking past a very mediocre, at best, 5-8 Chiefs squad.  Green Bay averages 36 points per game and were lucky to get two scores this week, before failing to recover the on-side kick on one last final effort.

For Green Bay: No Greg Jennings or James Starks. Multiple dropped passes. Multiple penalties. Multiple Mason Crosby missed field goals.

For Kansas City: 3 sacks by linebacker Tamba Hali. 4 field goals by kicker, Ryan Succop. That seemed to have been enough to beat the best team in the NFL, at least this Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens 14
San Diego Chargers 34

“It’s a reality check. You don’t show up to play in a game like this, you’re going to get your (butt) whupped. Championship teams get on the road and keep playing—they peak—they don’t take a step back.” – Terrell Suggs, post game.

Maybe Baltimore had the same syndrome that plagued fellow playoff bound team, Green Bay, earlier in the day?

San Diego simply understands they need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. They won their third straight game on Sunday behind a stellar Philip Rivers, who was 17 of 23 passing with 270 yards. San Diego scored on six of their first seven possessions.

Rivers also joined Peyton Manning and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks in the history of the league with at least four consecutive seasons of 4,000 yards passing.

As for Ravens QB Joe Flacco: he was sacked five times and intercepted twice.

This game was all S.D. from the start. The Chargers (now 7-7) finish the season at Detroit and at Oakland, and need to win both to have a shot at the post season.

New England Patriots 41
Denver Broncos 23

Well it looks like ‘Tebow Time’ is finally slowing down a bit. Which could be a good thing. Because to be blunt, I am extremely tired of the airwaves being monopolized by the mania that is Tim Tebow. But that’s neither here nor there. Is it? OK. Back to football…

Although this was an eventual blowout, this matchup started out incredibly bad for New England after a first quarter that involved them trailing Denver 17-6. However it wasn’t long until Brady got the juices flowin’ and the Pats would take their sixth straight win and clinch yet another AFC East title.

Brady was great, tossing for 2 TD’s and running for another, his first of the season on the ground. Tight End Aaron Hernandez had a huge day with 129 yards and a TD.

The Broncos had a great rushing game going on Sunday, but Tebow was sacked four times and just couldn’t keep up with the New England pass attack.

Still ahead of the division by one game, Denver still controls their own destiny and can secure a playoff birth by winning their last two games against Buffalo and Kansas City.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks 38
Chicago Bears 14

Shocking how bad the Bears are without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Now, of course, you can add Sam Hurd (busted earlier this week on drug charges) and Johnny Knox (carted off the field Sunday with a back injury) to the list of ‘lost assets’ for the Bears. Guess you could say the term “Bear down” has taken on a completely different meaning. And with the Packers next, the once promising play-off contending Bears are now not looking so promising.

Bears back-up QB, Caleb Hanie, had a nightmare of a day, throwing three of his team’s four interceptions, not to mention he was sacked four times, highlighting an incredibly effective defensive day for Seattle.

Marshawn Lynch continued his great season with 2 TD’s. Seattle moves to 7-7 on the year.

Cincinnati Bengals 20
St. Louis Rams 13

Andy Dalton and Cedric Benson were effective enough to get past the defensive-less Rams by a single touchdown. However Stephen Jackson and fill-in QB, Kellen Clemens were solid as well.

It seemed the x-factor was Bengal rookie wide receiver, A.J. Green, who continued his excellent first year, with 115 yards in the air.

Cleveland Browns 17        OT
Arizona Cardinals 20

Amazin’ how the Cardinals keep doing it; winning in overtime. Sunday was their third OT win in seven games.

The Cardinals trailed 17-7 entering the final quarter, before making the comeback to force an OT, in which they won after a 22-yard field goal by Jay Feely.

‘Zona quarterback, John Skelton, who was awful earlier in the year while filling in for injured QB, Kevin Kolb, continues to improve. He was solid this Sunday, throwing for 313 yards and a score.

Monday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 EST


Game of the Week
Detroit Lions 28
Oakland Raiders 27

This one spelled major drama. With both teams fighting to make the playoffs, it was Matthew Stafford leading the charge for a dramatic comeback win. And to top it off, Ndamukong Suh blocked a last-second Oakland desperation (65 yarder) field goal attempt to seal the victory for Detroit.

Stafford tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson with only 39 seconds on the clock to finish off a 98-yard drive that ensured the Lions (9-5) take a two-game lead in the NFC wild-card race. All of this happening after the Raiders seemed to have locked things up after Aaron Curry returned a fumble 6 yards out for a TD to take a commanding 27-14 lead with less than eight minutes remaining.

Stafford finished this one 29 of 52 for 391 yards and four touchdowns. Calvin Johnson caught 214 yards by himself.  

The Lions now need to win one of their final two games to make the post-season for the first time since 1999.

Don’t count Oakland out yet though either. They’re still only one game behind Denver and Carson Palmer was fantastic on Sunday, going 32 for 40 with 367 yards and a TD to Darrius Heyward-Bey, who had a career-high 155 yards.

Cool Stat Of The Game: Calvin Johnson’s 214 yards receiving are 2nd all-time in Lion’s history, only behind Richard Johnson’s 248 against the Saints in 1989.


Offensive Player Of The Week

Philip Rivers (QB) San Diego– 17/23, 270 yards, TD

Defensive Player Of The Week

Antwan Barnes (LB) San Diego– 1 Tackle, 1 Assist, 4 Sacks

Division Standings
AFC West
Denver Broncos 8-6
Oakland Raiders 7-7
San Diego Chargers 7-7
Kansas City Chiefs 6-8

NFC West
San Francisco 49ers 10-3
Arizona Cardinals 7-7
Seattle Seahawks 7-7
St. Louis Rams 2-12