What We Learned From Week 15 In The NFL

The music on this Titanic was deafening two months ago. When the Miami Dolphins fell to a desperate and directionless record of 1-7 aft...

The music on this Titanic was deafening two months ago. When the Miami Dolphins fell to a desperate and directionless record of 1-7 after a Week 8 road loss to the AFC Eastern Division rivals Buffalo Bills, staff layoffs seemed imminent.

Miami had spent much of the past two seasons losing games and racking up draft picks to end up with that list, with 2019 fifth draft pick Tua Tagovailoa under center. But this October afternoon, the team’s odds of making the playoffs were as close to zero as they could get while the season was still active.

With Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Jets, their sixth straight victory, the Dolphins (7-7) continued the NFL’s most unlikely turnaround.

This six-game winning streak hasn’t always been pretty.

Dolphins quarterback Tagovailoa threw a brutal pick-6 to Jets cornerback Brandin Echols with 7:45 to go to tie the score, 24-24. But as has been the case recently, the Dolphins rebounded, this time with a nine-play, 75-yard drive punctuated by Tagovailoa’s third and 9 touchdown to DeVante Parker, who provided the final score.

Finally healthy from the catastrophic hip injury that ended his college career in Alabama and broken ribs that sidelined him for three games at the start of the season, Tagovailoa is starting to show signs of being a starter. able in Miami.

These Dolphins don’t ask him to do too much: just be efficient and throw the big throw when needed. Last weekend tight end Mike Gesicki netted a third and fourth field goal to secure a victory over the Giants.

Coach Brian Flores has made defense, a weakness at the start of the season, the strength of this team. Another of the countless branches of Bill Belichick’s training tree, Flores manages to replicate Hoodie’s intrigues during this winning streak. Flores has shown a knack from week to week to stop different types of quarterbacks. Aside from the Giants, who started a backup quarterback against the Dolphins, Miami stopped the Texans’ Tyrod Taylor, who threw three picks and finished with a 42.8 passer rating; Lamar Jackson of the Ravens, who only gained 37 rushing yards; and Cam Newton of the Panthers, who had a terrible 5 of 21 outing pass.

Miami sacked Jets rookie Zach Wilson six times on Sunday, limiting him to 170 passing yards on 13 of 23 attempts.

Most encouraging for the Dolphins is that the big plays on both sides of the ball seem to come from a different player every week. Linebacker Jerome Baker basically put the Jets bench, running back Michael Carter, and skating him against Wilson for one of his two sacks on Sunday. Miami-born runner-up Duke Johnson ran 107 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns, an exceptional performance for a former second-round draft pick that bounced between the team’s practice squad. and active alignment.

Leaving the field, Dolphin fans hailed Johnson with the cheers of “Duuuuuke”. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who caught a touchdown, engaged in a party of love with the team mascot and do “the worm” in the end zone. There is now ecstatic energy for a team that had every reason to quit the season a month and a half ago.

Tagovailoa noted after Sunday’s game that the players just started working more.

At 7-7 and third in the division, Miami is somehow still mathematically alive in the playoff hunt, with a 7% chance of playing in the playoffs, According to the New York Times playoff predictor. If the Dolphins win their last three games – in New Orleans, Tennessee and at home against New England – their chances go up to 70%.

But Miami doesn’t need this miracle to know that its investment in this team has paid off.

Coach Dan Campbell promised ahead of the start of the season that under his leadership the Lions would play with unusual intensity. “When you knock us over, we’re going to stand up, and on the way up, we’re going to tear off a kneecap,” he said at his introductory press conference in January.

This collection of players the average fan has never heard of suffered three months of excruciating losses and an overtime draw against the Pittsburgh Steelers before claiming their first victory, against the Minnesota Vikings, to begin in December.

On Sunday, for one day, the Lions (2-11-1) went out of their way to deliver the love at first sight of Week 15, a 30-12 demolition of the Arizona Cardinals (10-4). For one day, the Lions looked like the team in Campbell’s mind.

Jared Goff threw for 216 yards on 21 of 26 passes with three touchdown scores, and the misfit toys around him all escalated. Craig Reynolds – effectively the team’s fifth-string running back – scored 112 yards. Receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, a fourth-round draft pick this year, led Detroit with eight receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.

The recovery draft that Charles Harris is has become one of the NFL’s top passers. , where his sacks and a half against Arizona took him to eight and a half for the season. On the third and third near midfield in the second quarter, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was unable to get away as Harris circled him for a solo sack.

The Lions are expected to clear their roster in the offseason (and beyond), but Campbell’s tenacity is expressed on his lines, where Harris torments the defense and the offense has created lanes for him to the Lions rush to their highest yards. average per transport, 4.6, since 1997.

Arizona crumbles on a two-game skid, but barring a disaster, the Cardinals will advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is out for the rest of the season. regular season with knee and hamstring issues, their attack doesn’t look clear. In the third quarter on Sunday, Murray appeared upset with receiver AJ Green for not returning to the ball on a course where the quarterback was intercepted.

For once, Detroit became the team that executed their game plan and headed for victory.

Anyone who has followed the NFL for the past two decades is likely to believe that the Cincinnati Bengals will collapse at some point in any given season. But this ultra-young, ultra-fun Bengals team, who have been caught in a two-win-two-loss cycle for weeks, delivered in every critical moment to beat the Denver Broncos, 15-10, on the road. .

Facing a 9-3 deficit at the end of the third quarter, Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dived for a first down on second and five from Denver’s 30-yard line, was hit by the tackle defensive BJ Hill through the air and landed on his head. Bridgewater appeared to be unconscious and was carried off the field and taken to hospital for observation.

Substitute Drew Lock completed practice with a 25-yard touchdown to Tim Patrick, to put Denver, 10-9, ahead. In the second play of the ensuing Cincinnati drive, however, Joe Burrow delivered a 56-yard touchdown to Tyler boyd. (Ja’Marr Chase caught a 3-yard catch on Sunday.) On the touchdown pass, Boyd pushed Denver star safety Justin Simmons upside down after the catch to reach the end zone.

Burrow, phenomenal a week ago, once again managed to score 15 of 22 for 157 yards with no turnovers, but the best signal for the Bengals was their defense response when Lock led the Broncos 64 yards past the score. of Boyd, only to have Cincinnati defensive end Khalid Kareem snatch the ball from Lock’s hands in the second and goal early in the fourth quarter.

The Bengals took the time, and Denver couldn’t do much with their last two offensive possessions before defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi – one of many free agents signed by Cincinnati last spring to speed up a rebuild – failed. effectively ends the match with his bag of Lock with less than a minute remaining.

The Bengals entered Sunday’s game after losing four games in their last six, including the crushing Week 14 overtime loss to San Francisco, but with the win they took the lead of AFC North. against the Baltimore Ravens, setting up a crucial face-to-face with the Ravens on Sunday.

Packers 31, Ravens 30: Once again, John Harbaugh opted for a 2-point conversion to win after his Ravens scored a late touchdown. Against Aaron Rodgers it was the right decision, but again it went wrong. Baltimore backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was unable to connect with tight end Mark Andrews during a deployment, and the Packers were able to kneel down in time. But what a night it was for Huntley and the exhausted Ravens, who missed out on a game to win without the services of injured or sick starters on both sides of the ball.

49ers 31, Falcons 13: Jimmy Garoppolo did not return the ball. In related news, the 49ers won with ease. The San Francisco high school might be a bit of a mess, but the 49ers have a chance of winning most games as long as their quarterback doesn’t make a grinding mistake. Garoppolo was 18 of 23 for 235 yards with a touchdown, and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (110 yards rushing) kept up the offense against Atlanta.

Steelers 19, Titans 13: Look past the quarterback, and Pittsburgh (7-6-1) peaks at the right time. It was the Steelers’ best defensive effort this season, limiting Ryan Tannehill to a meager 4.8 yards per attempt and forcing three fumbles. And in the Titans’ last play, a 4-7 pass from the Steelers 16-yard line with 34 seconds left, cornerback Joe Haden provided the winning tackle from Nick Westbrook-Ikhine 1 yard off the first down. . marker pen.

Cowboys 21, Giants 6: Dallas held Mike Glennon at a 24.8 passer rating and forced three picks, and locked Saquon Barkley averaging 3.3 yards per carry to move up to a 10-4 record.

Texans 30, Jaguars 16: In their first game without coach Urban Meyer, the Jaguars continued to Jaguar against the equally hapless Texans. The No.1 priority for Jacksonville owner Shad Khan must be finding a trainer who can repair the damage done to Trevor Lawrence, who has struggled again.

Bills 31, Panthers 14: With this victory and the loss of the Patriots on Saturday night, Buffalo (8-6) can take the crown of the AFC East for a second consecutive season by winning. There wasn’t much to be learned from Cam Newton’s performance, who missed receivers open all day.

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Newsrust - US Top News: What We Learned From Week 15 In The NFL
What We Learned From Week 15 In The NFL
Newsrust - US Top News
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