Gridiron Confidential: What we learned NFL Week 14
We are getting down to the business end of the NFL regular season, teams have won divisions , teams have booked their place in the post season and some teams are still battling for their lives to extend their season beyond January 3rd.
Lamar and the Ravens remain in the playoff hunt following victory over Cleveland while Washington now sit atop the NFC East thanks to a fourth straight win.
Here's everything we learned from week 14 of the NFL:
Jackson ready to put Baltimore on his back:
The Ravens have struggled so far in 2020, with injuries and Covid causing serious disruption to their season but they still have the 2019 MVP pulling the offensive strings and Lamar Jackson appears primed & ready to put the Ravens on his back and drag them to the post season.
In an MNF classic with playoff rivals the Browns, Jackson rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to push the Ravens into the lead but after suffering from apparent cramp in the fourth quarter, he went back to the dressing room and appeared to be out of the game. However, with the Ravens down one at the two minute warning Jackson returned to the game with the Ravens on 4th & 5 and he showed all his talent as he sprinted clear of the passing rush and then picked out Marquise Brown for his first TD pass of the game.
Although the Browns answered straight back with a touchdown of their own, Jackson drove his team to field goal range in the final minute, Justin Tucker eventually kicking a 55 yard field goal to secure the win. Final Score in Cleveland, Browns 42-47 Ravens.
A tough loss for the Browns to take on home soil especially after scoring 22 fourth quarter points but they still have edge on the 8-5 Ravens heading into the final three weeks of the season.
Aaron Rodgers now leading the MVP race?
The Packers offense has been on fire in 2020 and Aaron Rodgers has been at the heart of it. Winner of the award in 2011 & 2014, Rodgers is now looking like the front runner for MVP in 2020. Top of the QB rankings through week 14 with 39 touchdowns (most in the NFL) and just 4 interceptions.
Sundays game was a typically masterful performance from Rodgers as he ran in one touchdown himself to go along with three passing TD's. Yet another game with 4+ touchdowns and crucial win in the Packers season as their 10th win secured them back to back NFC North titles. Final Score in Detroit, Lions 24-31 Packers.
Rodgers threw for 290 yards and had a touchdown in each quarter, while Patrick Mahomes threw three interceptions during the Chiefs win in Miami. Both would be deserving winners but at this moment, Rodgers has to be front runner.
Washington take top spot on NFC East:
The Washington football team are on a roll after securing their fourth win on the bounce against the 49ers on Sunday, they bumped themselves up to top spot in the pathetically competitive NFC East.
Washington appeared to be in a bind in second place behind the Giants who had put together an impressive win streak themselves and had beaten Washington twice this season. The Football Team stayed together however and while earning their fourth straight win the Giants win streak came to an end against the Cardinals. Defence was the key for Washington on the road with both of their touchdowns coming from 49er turnovers. Final Score, 49ers 15-23 Washington.
Washington are now 6-7 for the season and sit a win ahead of the Giants, in hot form and with games against Philadelphia and the struggling Panthers their playoff destiny is very much in their own hands.
Seahawks stay in touch with Rams:
After the Rams dismantled the Patriots on Thursday night football the pressure was really on for Seattle to bounce back after last weeks shock defeat to the Giants. They couldn't have had a more ideal matchup to bounce back as they welcomed the winless Jets to CenturyLink Field.
Russell Wilson easily dismantled the whimpering Jets defence as he threw four touchdown passes off just 206 yards and he was able to come out of the game at the end of the third quarter. There is nothing impressive about beating this Jets team but the Seahawks had a job to do and some critics to answer and they sent an impactful message to the Rams. Final Score in Seattle, Seahawks 40-3 Jets.
The Seahawks remain level with the Rams in the NFC West, behind only on head to head for the season but Seattle will have a chance to put that right in their crucial week 16 class with the Rams at CenturyLink.
Eagles show signs of life with Hurts at quarterback:
The Eagles finally made the call the media have been pushing for over the past six weeks by benching Carson Wentz and starting Jalen Hurts. The decision proved correct as Hurts drove the Eagles to their first win in five games.
In a tight battle with the New Orleans Saints, who are still without their starting QB, Miles Sanders proved the difference as he rushed for two touchdowns. His first scores since week 5. The Eagles dominant second quarter display was their key to success as they notched up 17 unanswered points. Final Score at Lincoln Financial Field, Eagles 24-21 Saints.
The Eagles have really struggled in 2020 but luckily for them they are in the NFC East so they very much remain in the hunt for a playoff place following their win over New Orleans. The Eagles face the Cowboys and Washington in the final three weeks of the season, so their faith is very much in their own hands.