Welcome to another installment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.
Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…
This is what happened This Week in the NFL.
Game of the Week
If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
This was a fun one! Not the best game of the year by any means but one with a
Alright let’s do this.
Carolina Panthers 30 – 24 Seattle Seahawks
This wasn’t what I expected to highlight, but this was one of the more competitive games of the week, plus it had probably the most unique catch of the week.
This catch from Terrace Marshall Jr deserves to be highlighted on its own:
I told you this game was fun!
The Panthers ran off to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but then Seattle woke up and made a game of it. Marquise Goodwin had his best game of the season with 95 yards and a TD. Geno Smith threw three touchdowns, of which my favourite was the connection with Tyler Lockett who made a crazy toe-dragging catch. Smith led the ball further upfield to get it over a defender, but it forced Lockett to defy the laws of physics as he stayed in bounds.
The Terrace Marshall Jr leg catch alone elevated this to being a game with a ‘did you see that!’ moment, but this win came on the back of the Panthers’ running game. Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman had 74 yards each, and then Raheem Blackshear decided to pop up for a touchdown carry. They rushed for 223 yards total and were able to put up just their fifth win of the season against one of the most in-form teams of this NFL campaign.
Other games to watch back
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Upset of the Week
The full upset didn’t actually happen… But the fact that it nearly did was an upset in of itself.
Houston Texans 23 – 27 Dallas Cowboys
Yes, I realise that the Cowboys snuck their way back in front before the game ended, but I still count this as an upset. This Dallas team aspires to win a Super Bowl. They share a state with a team whose only aspirations are to make sure they get the first overall pick. And yet, on Sunday evening, they so very nearly beat their neighbours.
The Texans were winning 23-17 when the fourth quarter began, but unfortunately they couldn’t hold on. To try and shake my underdog bias for a second, I will show some respect to the Cowboys for their 11-play 98-yard drive, that resulted in Ezekiel Elliott’s game-winning TD – all in under 3 minutes.
The 1-10-1 Texans toppling the 9-3 Cowboys… That might have been the upset of the year.
Honourable Mention: It would feel inappropriate to not mention an actual upset that happened.
Minnesota Vikings 23 – 34 Detroit Lions
The fact that I considered the Texans nearly upsetting the Cowboys more of an upset says a lot about how I feel about both the Texans and the Lions. Detroit have been putting up points all year and been unlucky at times, so I think them catching one of the less dominant 10-win teams out there is actually fairly reasonable. Dan Campbell expects to win every week so why shouldn’t we follow suit?
Winners and Losers
Los Angeles Rams (4-9)
Buffalo Bills (10-3)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
Dallas Cowboys (10-3)
Detroit Lions (6-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)
Philadelphia Eagles (12-1)
Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
San Francisco 49ers (9-4)
Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
New England Patriots (7-6)
Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)
New York Jets (7-6)
Cleveland Browns (5-8)
Houston Texans (1-11-1)
Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
Tennessee Titans (7-6)
New York Giants (7-5-1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
Denver Broncos (3-10)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)
Seattle Seahawks (7-6)
Miami Dolphins (8-5)
Arizona Cardinals (4-9)
Teams on Bye
Atlanta Falcons (5-8)
Chicago Bears (3-10)
Green Bay Packers (5-8)
Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1)
New Orleans Saints (4-9)
Washington Commanders (7-5-1)
Standout Individual Performers
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
11 receptions on 15 targets for 162 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
Once a very highly regarded fantasy football prospect, Evan Engram has struggled to find consistent production throughout his career, despite showing flashes of upside. But this week he was barely recognisable, absolutely dominating the Tennessee defense. Trevor Lawrence targeted his tight end 15 times and connected on 11, for 162 receiving yards. Engram scored twice, including one score where he straight up ‘Moss’d’ his defender for a high-point grab.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
71% completion rate, 368 passing yards and 3 TD’s, plus 3 carries for 7 rushing yards and a TD. 121.9 passer rating.
His connections with Engram weren’t the whole story for Lawrence, though. The Clemson graduate showed up in a big way again this week, with a comfortable victory over the Titans. The Jags signal-caller completed over 70% of his passes and put up a career-high 368 passing yards, as well as 3 TD’s, putting him at 20 on the season. He also reminded everyone that he is more than willing to make a play on his own, with a rushing TD on a nice zone-read play.
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
11 receptions on 15 targets for 223 receiving yards.
I am starting to struggle to describe Justin Jefferson without repeating myself. I’ve already said near enough everything you can say about a player. This guy is generational. The Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs and didn’t come out the other side missing him, that is impressive. Jetta hauled in 11 receptions on 15 targets and put up an absolutely ridiculous 223 receiving yards – his first ever (admittedly, probably not his last) 200+ yard game. Unfortunately, his team lost, so I didn’t give him the top spot on the week, but he continues to dominate and this was yet another elite performance.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
75.6% completion rate, 425 passing yards and 2 TD’s. 124.5 passer rating.
Jefferson wasn’t the only Vikings player on smoke this week, despite the loss. Kirk Cousins also had a pretty wild day – which proves just how pathetic the Minnesota defense has been lately. He completed 31 of his 41 pass attempts (76%) and put up a whopping 425 passing yards. This was the first time Kirk has cleared the 400-yard mark since 2020, and is one of just seven such performances. He also found the endzone twice, but will be disappointed they couldn’t do enough offensively to overcome their divisional rivals.
Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
8 receptions on 9 targets for 73 receiving yards and 3 TD’s.
A name that we haven’t bought up as much as we should have in his still young career, Jerry Jeudy deserves recognition this week. What was supposed to be a supercharged Broncos offense finally scored more than 25 points in a game (first time through 13 games) and 21 of those points came directly from the production of the 23-year-old wideout. Jeudy caught 8 of his 9 targets and scored a hat-trick. If Russell Wilson can start to find some rapport with his young star receiver, that will go a long way in working things out next season. Especially in games that aren’t against the Chiefs.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
69.2% completion rate, 330 passing yards and 3 TD’s.
The Detroit Lions, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, their defense is shaky and yes they’ve had a tough season, but their head coach would sprint into a brick wall with no doubt that he’d soon be on the other side of it. Detroit’s offense has been genuinely good this year, outside a couple of misfires, and once again they put up big points in a 34-23 home win against a 10-3 Minnesota. Jared Goff was at the centre of this great effort, putting up 330 passing yards and 3 TD’s.
I won’t give a full entry to the rookie but I want to mention the name of Jameson Williams – he is an uber-talented wide receiver who slipped in the draft because he was recovering from an ACL tear when he got picked, but he could be a very good player for Detroit now that he’s back. This week he scored on a 41-yard catch for his first career TD and I think it could be the first of many.
Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
14 carries for 119 rushing yards and a TD, plus 2 receptions for 34 receiving yards and a TD.
The San Francisco 49ers made a statement this week. Tom Brady and his Buccaneers came to town and the Niners – despite having Brock Purdy (yes, that is a real human’s name) as their quarterback. Side note, Purdy actually had a genuinely good – albeit low-volume – performance. Christian McCaffrey took the game into his hands and helped support his inexperienced QB as part of the Niners infamous rushing attack. Run CMC needed just 14 carries to put up 119 rushing yards, including a beautiful 38-yard touchdown. He also caught 2 of 3 targets for 34 receiving yards and another TD.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
17 carries for 144 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.
Yet another explosive game from the Eagles running back this week, after I implored them to keep giving him the ball. In Week 12, Miles Sanders put up 143 yards and a pair of scores… This week he one-upped himself (literally). He rushed for 144 yards this time. It required 17 carries to hit this mark and once again he found the endzone twice in a convincing win.
Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs
6 carries for 22 rushing yards and 7 receptions for 112 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
It’s always nice to talk about a veteran having his big game. This week that vet was Jerick McKinnon who is one of the many running backs trying to earn a real role in this chaotic Kansas City backfield. The role for him might have to be the receiving specialist, because that’s how he excelled this week. On his 6 carries, he put up a respectable 22 rushing yards, but nothing special. In the passing game, though, he balled out. 7 receptions for 112 receiving yards and 2 TD’s. That’ll do.
Josh Uche, New England Patriots
5 combined tackles including 4 solo tackles, 3.0 sacks.
If you don’t recognise this name, you need to read my column more closely! I told you about the adventures of Josh Uche in Week 9, when he had a huge three-sack game – declaring that this was amazing! Well… He did it again. Yes, the 24-year-old pass rusher had his second hat-trick in six weeks (that includes a game he barely played in and his team’s bye week, too). Uche had 4 solo tackles and one assist. His 3.0 sacks put his total up to 10.0 on the season now, and he had 0 entering Week 8. Keep an eye on this guy, because he could be breaking out right now.
Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
4 solo tackles, 3.0 sacks including a strip sack.
The Patriots youngster didn’t record the only hat-trick of sacks, though. In fact, the other player who put up 3.0 sacks is quite the opposite. Philadelphia’s Brandon Graham is closer to 35 than he is to 34 now, and he’s been in the league over a decade now. The veteran rusher jumped from 5.5 sacks on the year to 8.5, with his stellar performance.
Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos
10 combined tackles including 9 solo tackles plus 2 Interceptions for 21 return yards.
We all love sack artists, but let’s show some appreciation to the turnovers for a second. Interceptions are better than sacks, technically, anyway. And even better still – sacks by Linebackers. Josey Jewell decided to turn into superman this week (admittedly in a loss, but against one of the best to ever play the game) and got two interceptions from his LB position. He picked off Patrick Mahomes twice – a claim that not many people will be able to make – as well as putting together 9 solo tackles and one assist.
Stat Leaders Through Week 14
Passing Yards – Patrick Mahomes KC, 4160
Passing TD’s – Patrick Mahomes KC, 33
Rushing Yards – Josh Jacobs LVR, 1402
Rushing TD’s – Jamaal Williams DET, 14
Receiving Yards – Justin Jefferson MIN, 1500
Receiving TD’s – Davante Adams LVR and Travis Kelce KC, 12
Total TD’s – Jamaal Williams DET, 14
Tackles (combined) – Foyesade Oluokun JAX, 142
Sacks – Nick Bosa SF and Matt Judon NE, 14.5
Interceptions – C.J. Gardner-Johnson PHI and Tariq Woolen SEA, 6
Week 15 Preview – What to watch
Ladies and gentlemen… Saturday football.
We have a full three-game slate on Saturday this week, so don’t miss out on that extra NFL action!
Week 15 Best Games
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills, Saturday Night Football!!! (1:15am Sunday morning)
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks, TNF
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9:25pm
Tyler’s Bold Week 15 Prediction
Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields will combine for 125+ rushing yards and 2 rushing TD’s in their clash.
Week 15 Storylines
Football on Saturday. That is all.
Will Brock Purdy continue his red-hot form on the road in one of the toughest stadiums in the league? 49ers @ Seahawks, TNF
One of the better AFC clashes you can have right now – and it’s on a Saturday night, what more do you want? Dolphins @ Bills, 1:15 Sunday morning
A potential QB rushing-TD fest? Eagles @ Bears, 6pm
Despite pretty low expectations, Atlanta are just one game behind division leaders, Tampa. Falcons @ Saints, 6pm
Two pleasantly surprising teams meeting to congratulate eachother. Lions @ Jets, 6pm
Will Pat Mahomes and Travis Kelce participate in the fourth quarter? Chiefs @ Texans, 6pm
Tampa Bay’s somewhat shaky division lead may be their only option for a playoff seed… Bengals @ Buccaneers, 9:25pm
I’m not saying this game will be a tie, but both of these teams are 7-5-1. Giants @ Commanders, SNF
What should be an absolutely epic battle in December, turns out to be pretty uninspiring. Rams @ Packers, MNF