This Week in the NFL – Week 14, 2021

Hey everyone, Tyler Arthur here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.

I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.

Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.

Well this season is really starting to get tense, now, isn’t it? We have officially entered the final month of the NFL season! The teams who are already all-but locked in for the playoffs are jostling for seedings and trying to build some momentum, while the others all fight for those wildcard spots.

The first window this week was fairly cut and dry, with a few blowouts and a couple of games that stayed interesting for longer. But the later window on Sunday was pretty crazy. Two games went to overtime simultaneously and made for some very tense viewing.

Some teams are in full form and other teams are spluttering when it matters most.

With all that being said, let’s break down what happened This Week in the NFL, and for the first time, take a proper look at the playoff picture.

Winners and Losers


Minnesota Vikings (6-7)

Cleveland Browns (7-6)

Tennessee Titans (9-4)

Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)

New Orleans Saints (6-7)

Dallas Cowboys (9-4)

Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

Denver Broncos (7-6)

Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)

San Francisco 49ers (7-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

Green Bay Packers (10-3)

Los Angeles Rams (9-4)


Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)

Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)

Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)

New York Jets (3-10)

Washington Football Team (6-7)

Carolina Panthers (5-8)

Houston Texans (2-11)

Detroit Lions (1-11-1)

New York Giants (4-9)

Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

Buffalo Bills (7-6)

Chicago Bears (4-9)

Arizona Cardinals (10-3)

Bye Weeks (the final one!)

Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Miami Dolphins (6-7)

New England Patriots (9-4)

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Playoff Picture!

Here is the current playoff picture, as of Week 14, with four games to play remaining for every team.

AFC Playoff Spots Week 14

#1 – New England Patriots (9-4)

#2 – Tennessee Titans (9-4)

#3 – Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)

#4 – Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

#5 – Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)

#6 – Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

#7 – Buffalo Bills (7-6)

AFC Playoff Hopefuls

Cleveland Browns (7-6)

Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)

Denver Broncos (7-6)

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)

Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)

Miami Dolphins (6-7)

As you can see, there is a seriously tight contest for those lower AFC playoff spots. Before this season started, there were very few people who would have expected the number one seed in the AFC to be an option for the Patriots, but they’re currently two games clear of the SB hopefuls in Buffalo. The Chiefs have fixed their form but the LA Chargers are hot on their tail. The Titans and Ravens both seem to be somewhat spluttering as they try and maintain their division leads. There are five teams all on 7-6 records and three teams on 6 wins tailing, looking for a wildcard spot.

NFC Playoff Spots Week 14

#1 – Green Bay Packers (10-3)

#2 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

#3 – Arizona Cardinals (10-3)

#4 – Dallas Cowboys (9-4)

#5 – Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

#6 – San Francisco 49ers (7-6)

#7 – Washington Football Team (6-7)

NFC Playoff Hopefuls

Minnesota Vikings (6-7)

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

New Orleans Saints (6-7)

Carolina Panthers (5-8)

Seattle Seahawks (4-9)

Chicago Bears (4-9)

Just as with the AFC, the NFC Wildcard race is wide open, albeit with a couple of those who aren’t mathematically eliminated looking at pretty long odds. The NFC hosts the three highest records in the league, making the wildcard spots even more hotly contested behind them. Within the next week or two it is very possible the list of hopefuls is whittled down, and the race for a first round bye will be equally fierce. As this week demonstrated though, everything can shift in a moment – the Rams’ win over Arizona shifted the Cardinals all the way from first to 3rd in the seeding, which could make a huge difference come January.

Standout Individual Performers

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

31 completions cement him as the all-time leader. 363 yards and 2 TD’s.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held on for a tense overtime win against the Bills this week and their win was thanks to yet another time-bending performance from their 44-year old QB. Tom Brady threw the ball 46 times and completed 31 of them for 363 yards and 2 TD’s. One of his touchdown passes to Mike Evans was an absolutely perfect high-point throw, but that isn’t the one for the history books. It was his 18th completed pass – also to Evans, this time on a fadeaway to avoid a sack – set him ahead of Drew Brees to officially become the all-time NFL completion leader. This record is going to be one of the hardest to break, and if it were to be broken I wouldn’t expect it to happen for another decade.

Oh and as if that wasn’t enough. He became the first person to throw 700 touchdowns (regular and postseason combined) with his walk-off overtime-winning TD pass.

Tom Brady is now the all-time leader in all four major QB categories: Completions, Yards, Touchdowns and Games Won.

That’s the GOAT, for you.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

78% completion rate, 341 yards and 4 TD’s.

Early on in the game between the Green Bay Packers and their oldest rivals, a Bears defender used Aaron Rodgers’ own celebration after he was sacked.

Then the GB quarterback proceeded to have one of his trademark performances, throwing the ball 37 times and completing 29 of them for 341 yards. He threw 4 touchdowns and was able to convincingly win against his favourite opponents, despite their valiant efforts, especially on special teams. Rodgers has now had three 300+ yard games in a row. He’s also thrown 10 TD’s in that same span.

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

74% completion rate, 348 yards and 2 TD’s.

The Cincinnati Bengals eventually fell in overtime, but their quarterback Joe Burrow bounced back with a great performance, just a week after painfully fighting a dislocated finger throughout the second half of their previous game. He completed 25 passes for a total of 348 yards as well as 2 touchdowns. They may have lost again this week but Cincinnati are dangerous and Burrow himself has looked good lately. They have some tough matchups down the stretch and I’d expect him to be central to their success as they try to lock in a playoff spot.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

27 carries, 205 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.

Thursday Night Football this week marked the return to action for Dalvin Cook who missed the last 6 quarters of football due to a shoulder injury. When I say return, I really do mean it. He came back at full tilt. The Minnesota half back rushed 27 times and turned those attempts into 205 rushing yards, averaging a ridiculous 7.6 yards per carry, while also scoring twice. This dominant performance against a Pittsburgh defense with a strong reputation just showed that Cook is healthy and raring to go for this final month.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

16 carries, 137 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. Until yesterday, he had just two triple-digit rushing yardage games through just over 2.5 seasons. Then, on Sunday, he showed up in Houston and had a day. He rushed the ball 16 times and turned the opportunities into 137 rushing yards and scored twice – his first-ever multiple touchdown game.

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

13 receptions, 151 yards and a TD.

There have been some very impressive tight end performances this year, none more so than George Kittle’s last week. Well, in Week 14 he struck again. Last week he had 9 receptions for 181 yards and 2 TD’s. This time he hauled in 13 of 15 targets and turned them into 151 receiving yards. He also scored again, putting him on 6 TD’s in 10 games. The Niners are putting themselves into the forefront of the NFC playoff race, and George Kittle will be absolutely essential in that fight.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

10 receptions, 121 yards and 2 TD’s.

There are good football players and then there are elite football players. Davante Adams is the latter, that’s for damn sure. He toyed with defenders, as he always does, converting 10 of his 13 targets into 121 receiving yards, scoring twice. One of his TD’s was a particularly cheeky move, where he started out on a fade-release flashing his eyes towards the QB to make the cornerback bite, before then breaking back on a slant for a score. His route running is masterful and his rapport with Aaron Rodgers is incredible. These two are a generational pairing and watching them every week is always a blast.

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

5 receptions, 142 yards and a TD.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t really been a lot of chance for me to talk up the Seahawks for their individual performances this season, but this week we have two! Rashaad Penny got it done on the ground but Tyler Lockett was the one who thrived through the air. The veteran receiver only had 5 receptions but he turned them into a very efficient 142 yards and scored. The Seahawks season is one they’ll likely want to forget, but with Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett on the field there’s always a chance of fireworks.

Landon Collins, Washington Football Team

5 solo tackles, an interception and 2 sacks.

Although Washington lost in a tough matchup, the effort of their veteran safety Landon Collins was not the cause for their shortcomings. He made 5 solo tackles, got two sacks out of the defensive backfield and also had an interception in their tight contest with divisional rivals, Dallas.

Randy Gregory, Dallas Cowboys

1 tackle for a strip-sack and an interception.

This is a fun one. Cowboys edge rusher Randy Gregory only made one tackle this weekend. However, that single tackle came on a strip-sack which was ruled as a fumble after some deliberation. He also had an interception, which is not an easy task as a defensive end. He sniffed out a sack and tipped it up to himself in an impressive play. This was Gregory’s first game back since an injury in Week 9 and he announced his return with a pair of huge impact plays in a game that was very close toward the end.

Games to watch back

Steelers @ Vikings

Bills @ Buccaneers

Bears @ Packers

Rams @ Cardinals

Stat Leaders Through Week 14

Passing Yards – Tom Brady, 4134

Passing TD’s – Tom Brady, 36

Rushing Yards – Jonathan Taylor, 1348

Rushing TD’s – Jonathan Taylor, 16

Receiving Yards – Cooper Kupp, 1489

Receiving TD’s – Cooper Kupp, 12

Total TD’s – Jonathan Taylor, 18

Tackles (combined) – Bobby Wagner, 152

Sacks – T.J. Watt, 16.0

Interceptions – Trevon Diggs, 9

Week 15 Preview – What to watch

NFL Saturdays are here!!!

Don’t forget that from Week 15 onwards, things get a little different in terms of scheduling. This week we have two games on Saturday! The games that get flexed into prime time slots at this stage of the year are often big games with playoff implications, so always keep an eye out for who is playing in each prime time window.

Saturday Games

Raiders @ Browns, 9:30pm

Patriots @ Colts, 1:20am (into Sunday morning)

Week 15 Best Games

Chiefs @ Chargers, TNF

Patriots @ Colts, Saturday Night, 1:20am

Bengals @ Broncos, 9:05pm

Packers @ Ravens, 9:25pm

Week 15 Storylines and what to watch

The 1 and 2 in the AFC West battle it out on prime time, Chiefs @ Chargers, TNF

Can Las Vegas hold on to their wildcard hopes? Saturday, 9:30pm

Will New England continue their insane road form (6-0 away) in a tough matchup? Patriots @ Colts, Saturday, 1:20am

Can Buffalo cling on to their wildcard spot and try to consolidate against a playoff hopeful opponent? Panthers @ Bills, 6pm

A battle of two 6-7 teams fighting for the second spot in the NFC East, Washington @ Eagles, 6pm

Who wants that higher draft pick more!? Texans @ Jaguars, 6pm

A battle of 7-6 AFC teams. Bengals @ Broncos, 9:05pm

Could Kyle Shanahan be the man to disrupt his old team’s hopes – or vice versa? Falcons @ 49ers, 9:05

Seattle’s last hope at clinging to a playoff possibilities, Seahawks @ Rams, 9:25pm

Green Bay provide a very tough path for Baltimore to stay ahead of their division, 9:25pm