Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 15)

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The week in the NFL was yet another wild one as teams continue their fight for the playoffs in the third last week of the season. The week would see teams with a chance to solidify their spot blow it while teams that are only a loss away from being eliminated would win. There are only 4 of the 12 playoff spots taken as the NFL moves into their last two weeks of the season and it is setting up plenty of drama heading into the end of December. There are a lot of questions still to be answered in these next two weeks with teams and players looking to make their stamp on the season. One team looking to do just that is the Green Bay Packers who were on the path to the playoffs but would hit a bump in the roads when they would lose Aaron Rodgers to a fractured collarbone. The Packers would go on a long losing streak and would fall out of the playoff picture until week 14 when they would break the losing streak to hang into the playoff hunt. This week they would take on another team trying to stay in the playoff hunt in the Dallas Cowboys. A loss would make it tough for either team to make the playoffs as they would fall further out of their division races. The Packers would win the game and remain in the hunt in as they continue to cling on to their playoff hopes while awaiting the return of Aaron Rodgers. The game would be a wild one and although the Packers stayed in the playoff hunt in what could become a massive turnaround the story instead became about the Cowboys. The Cowboys were up 26-3 when the teams went into the locker room at halftime and that is where everything fell apart. The Cowboys would allow 34 points in the second half and would only get 10 of their own. As the game wound down the Cowboys would get the chance to make a comeback with the ball in Tony Romo’s hands. They would fall short as Romo would throw an interception that would end the game and give the Packers the win. It was one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and would give the Packers a little more hope for the playoffs. On the other end it was one of the biggest collapses in NFL history and it was accomplished by the Dallas Cowboys who seem to make a habit of falling apart. Tony Romo is at the centre of it all and more so this week after being put on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Magazine in the last month. The stories in both magazines would talk about how Tony Romo was not the only person to blame in the collapses that the Cowboys have had. In fact Romo had some of the best 4th quarter stats out of anyone who ever played in the NFL. He led in some major categories and was one of the top two in every other category. It was statistical proof that Tony Romo was not the choke artist he has become known for. Yet as the stories came out fans look at Tony Romo and there is something about him that does not instill confidence when the game is in his hands. Romo is not the only person to blame in this latest collapse of course as there was a lot more that went into it that just his last second interception. The fact that the offence decided to continue throwing the ball even while the running game was slashing the Packer defence was a very big deciding factor. What made everything worse about this loss was that it knocked the Cowboys further out of the playoff hunt giving them few chances to make the playoffs now. It was a chance for them to get to first place and get that great chance at making the playoffs. If the Cowboys can’t secure a spot there will be changes in Dallas and fans and the organization will look to their collapse as the determining factor in their season. It was a disaster for the Cowboys and a great accomplishment for the Packers as the playoff race continues and the end of the season approaches as everything becomes more important


Fifth Quarter:
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 15)

Manning’s Year
Peyton Manning has had plenty of talk throughout the last two years since he joined the Denver Broncos and this year he would take another headline when he was named the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated

Charles on Fire
Jamaal Charles has quietly gone about his business in Kansas City without a lot of fanfare but with 5 TDs in week 15 Charles would ensure that everyone takes a look at him as he has officially put his name into the MVP race

Rumours around Texas
With the Texas Longhorns losing their coach this past week the search is one for a new leader and NFL coaches that spent time in the NCAA as Chip Kelly and Jim Harbaugh have received some interest although both have denied the reports


Playoff Outlook 

American Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. w-Denver Broncos (.786)
2. New England Patriots (.714)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (.643)
4. d-Indianapolis Colts (.643)
Wild Card:
5. w-Kansas City Chiefs (.786)
6. Baltimore Ravens (.571)
In the Hunt:
7. Miami Dolphins (.571)
8. San Diego Chargers (.500)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (.429)
10. New York Jets (.429)
Out of the Running:
11. Tennessee Titans (.357)
12. Buffalo Bills (.357)
13. Oakland Raiders (.286)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (.286)
15. Cleveland Browns (.286)
16. Houston Texans (.143)

National Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. w-Seattle Seahawks (.857)
2. New Orleans Saints (.714)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (.571)
4. Chicago Bears (.571)
Wild Card:
5. Carolina Panthers (.714)
6. San Francisco 49ers (.714)
In the Hunt:
7. Arizona Cardinals (.643)
8. Green Bay Packers (.536)
9. Detroit Lions (.500)
10. Dallas Cowboys (.500)
Out of the Running:
11. St. Louis Rams (.429)
12. New York Giants (.357)
13. Minnesota Vikings (.321)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.286)
15. Atlanta Falcons (.286)
16. Washington Redskins (.214)

d-Clinched Division
w-Clinched Wild Card


Key Scores:
Miami Dolphins 24 – 20 New England Patriots
– The Dolphins had plenty of controversy this year but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing their run at the playoffs as they took out the Patriots to get one step closer to the wild card

Kansas City Chiefs 56 – 31 Oakland Raiders
– The Chiefs would finally get their playoff spot this week as they would clinch a wild card spot thanks in large part to the performance of Jamaal Charles who scored five TDs in the game and entered the MVP conversation

Green Bay Packers 37 – 36 Dallas Cowboys
– The Packers would look like they couldn’t do anything on offence going down by 23 points in the first half but they would erase it and come alive in the second half erasing the 23 point deficit and helping the second half collapse of the Cowboys

Pittsburgh Steelers 30 – 20 Cincinnati Bengals
– The Bengals had a perfect chance to help themselves and clinch the division if they could beat the Steelers but they wouldn’t get it done as they blew the chance to get into the playoffs and will have to fight for the next two weeks


Next Week:
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills (Sunday December 22nd; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Dolphins continue to stay in the fight as they sit one spot out of the wild card and they will need a little help but only if they can continue to win when they take on the Bills and hope a win can bring them into the playoffs

Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday December 22nd; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Chiefs continue their long run and with Jamaal Charles seemingly coming into his own at the end of the season everyone will be watching and looking to see what he can do against the Colts who are looking to get hot as they enter the playoffs

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday December 22nd; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Packers need a win if they hope to stay in the playoff hunt heading into the last week against the Bears and they will try to do it against the Steelers who are looking for their own run at the playoffs

Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday December 22nd; 8:30 pm ET)
– In a matchup of the two leaders in the biggest battle for the playoffs as both teams need a win to stay at the top of their divisions and get closer to the playoffs while a loss by either team could put them in danger of missing the playoffs

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