With just a few weeks left in the regular season, teams are fighting for their playoff lives. Here are my winners and losers:
- Philadelphia Eagles: Defensive end Chris Long’s strip helped set up kicker Jake Elliott’s go-ahead 33-yard field goal as the Eagles held off the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 in a barn burner. The Eagles clinch the NFC East. The win was costly though as Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz went out with a knee injury that turned out to be a torn ACL.
- Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons scored ten unanswered points in the fourth quarter and a game saving interception by linebacker Deion Jones helped the Falcons seal their win over NFC South rival New Orleans Saints 20-17, keeping the defending NFC champions’ playoff hopes alive.
- Carolina Panthers: Running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns. The defense caused three turnovers as the Panthers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-24.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. The defense caught three interceptions and made key stops late as the Jags defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-24.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 268 yards and a touchdown. Running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. The defense shut down the Oakland Raiders 26-15.
- Buffalo Bills: In what I deemed the Snow Globe Bowl, running back LeSean McCoy scored the game-winning touchdown as the Bills defeated the Indianapolis Colts 13-7 in a surprisingly entertaining game. Even more importantly for the Bills, they keep their playoff hopes alive.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers overcame a nine-point deficit with less than seven minutes left capped with kicker Chris Boswell’s go-ahead 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left helping the Steelers defeat the Baltimore Ravens 39-38. Steelers clinch the AFC North.
- Miami Dolphins: Quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Kenyan Drake rushed for 114 yards as the Dolphins slowed down the New England Patriots 27-20. This upset win keeps the Dolphins’ albeit slim playoff hopes alive.
- Los Angeles Rams: Ill-timed penalties were the Rams’ undoing in their loss to Philadelphia.
- New Orleans Saints: The offense couldn’t come through late in their loss to Atlanta.
- Minnesota Vikings: They didn’t overcome turnovers and drops in their loss to Carolina.
- Oakland Raiders: Turnovers stalled drives in their loss to Kansas City Chiefs.
- Seattle Seahawks: Quarterback Russell Wilson’s three interceptions and losing their cool cost the Seahawks in their loss to Jacksonville.
- Tennessee Titans: They only had 206 total yards in their loss to the Arizona Cardinals 12-7.
- Baltimore Ravens: They couldn’t hold onto a nine-point lead ultimately losing to Pittsburgh.
- New England Patriots: They were 0 for 11 on third downs (first time that’s happened since 1990) in their loss to Miami.
Storylines Going Into Week 15:
In the AFC West, Los Angeles Chargers travel to Kansas City. Green Bay battles Carolina. In the NFC West, the Los Angeles Rams play Seattle. Oakland will try to keep their playoff hopes alive as they host Dallas. In what could an AFC Championship game preview and with a number one seed at stake, New England goes to Pittsburgh.
Bucs’ Jason Pierre-Paul Automobile Accident Blamed on Bad Weather
A recent automobile accident the occurred in Broward County in South Florida involving Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rushed Jason Pierre-Paul is being attributed to bad weather, according to TMZ Sports.
According to the report which cites a crash report that they had obtained regarding the accident, Pierre-Paul was driving a $350,000 Ferrari 88 Pista when he crashed into a concrete barrier back on May 2nd.
Officials believe that Pierre-Paul lost control of the car around 2:38 AM and collided with a concrete barrier on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, adding that there were no skid marks or debris found in the roadway. Officers did not believe that Pierre-Paul was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and did not test him for it.
In conclusion, officers believe “weather conditions”, more specifically wet roads, caused Pierre-Paul to lose control of the car and crash into the concrete barrier. Pierre-Paul and a passenger in his car were transported to a nearby hospital.
Pierre-Paul is considered likely to miss the entire 2019 NFL season after suffering a fractured neck due to the accident.
Panthers’ Greg Olsen Donates $2.5 Million to Pediatric Cardiac Center
Carolina Panthers veteran tight end Greg Olsen, and his wide, recently made a $2.5 million donation to help establish the HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center in Charlotte, North Carolina o expand access to vital therapies that improve survival rates and quality of life for children with congenital disease, according to an official announcement from the Atrium Health Foundation.
“While most know Greg Olsen as a Pro Bowl Tight End for the Carolina Panthers, we at Levine Children’s know him and his wife, Kara, as visionary leaders and champions for pediatric congenital heart disease,” said Stacy Nicholson, MD, president of Levine Children’s, as he announced the transformational gift, according to an official release.
Greg and Kara Olsen started the HEARTest Yard initiative in 2012, initially focusing on home health care for children with congenital heart disease. The Olsens have a son with a congenital heart defect. Back in 2017, the couple helped launch a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic at Levine Children’s, which is currently one the few such clinics in existence in the United States.
“This new center will be a game changer for the children of the Carolinas,” said Nancy Dobrolet, MD, director of the cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic. “Thanks to the Olsens, and their many supporters, we provide the best comprehensive cardiac care in the country for young heart patients.”
The HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center, scheduled to open in 2021.
Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott Paying for Funeral Expenses for 8th Grade Football Player
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Ellitt is paying for the funeral expenses of promising eight-grade football player Jaylon McKenzie, who was killed by a stray bullet as he left a party near St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday night, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Elliott grew up in St. Louis, and wanted to keep the matter between him and the McKenzie family.
“Zeke is really a special guy,” coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “He’s a great football player obviously, but he’s a really good person and that doesn’t surprise me one bit.
McKenzie’s mother, Sukeena Gunner, said that her son was trying to leave a party in Venice, Illinois, when a fight broke out. Illinois State Police say that McKenzie was struck by a stray bullet and passed away at a local hospital.
“He’s just very generous. He’s got a great spirit about him. We see that every day as players and coaches. Anybody that’s been around him knows that, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would get involved there. He’s someone that a lot of people look up to, a lot of people certainly in St. Louis and Missouri, Ohio State, all across the country. If you’re a fan of football, you know Zeke Elliott, and anybody who’s been around him on a daily basis knows what kind of person he is.”
McKenzie was a stand out running back and had already received college scholarship offers in 8th grade. He was selected to compete in the All-America All-Star Game in Canton, Ohio during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend.
A 15-year old girl, who was also hit, remains in critical condition.
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