It’s now almost certain that offensive lineman James Hurst will be a UNC player to watch in the postseason. The Ravens have the lead in the AFC Wild Card race, and they got a win against the Colts to help them in that quest. Hurst’s o-line gave up only one sack of Joe Flacco.
Cincinnati Bengals 26, Detroit Lions 17
Two long-tortured teams that already know they are going to have to wait another season. But both of these teams featured Heels who scored. Tight end Eric Ebron continued his hot streak to end the season, catching his fourth touchdown of the year and getting back-to-back games with touchdowns for the first time.
On the other side, Giovani Bernard recorded season high totals in attempts (23) and yards (116) while also getting his first back-to-back games with rushing touchdowns. Center Russell Bodine sat out one offensive snap, the first time he’s missed a play all year.
Mitchell Trubisky got a chance to beat up on the NFL’s punching bag, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns now sit only one loss away from the second 0-16 season in NFL history, and it doesn’t even look like they’re going to fire their coach because of it. Trubisky passed for just under 200 yards and ran in for a score to help Cleveland reach this point.
Washington linebacker Zach Brown sat out for the second consecutive game and because the Redskins have nothing to play for, he likely won’t suit up in the season finale against New York.
Julius Peppers was not named to the Pro Bowl, and it’s hard to understand how he missed out. It’s true that the defensive end position is stacked beyond belief at the NFL level, but this guy is out here 37 years old and getting his eleventh sack of the season while also getting two fumble recoveries, including the one that ended the game.
A stat from last week: Peppers is the fifth pass rusher to get at least double-digit sacks at the age of 37. The other four are Bruce Smith, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman, and Reggie White. All four of them are in the Hall of Fame.
Los Angeles Rams 27, Tennessee Titans 23
Some tackling action going on here. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn recorded one while Titans nose tackle Sylvester Williams got a pair. Safety Da’Norris Searcy is finishing out the year on special teams.
Safety Tre Boston played almost the entire game for the Chargers, notching four tackles, while special teamer Bruce Carter saw limited action.
The Bills’ path to the playoffs just got a lot harder, and wide receiver Brandon Tate couldn’t do much to help, getting targeted three times but catching only one pass for four yards.
Seattle Seahawks 21, Dallas Cowboys 12
Although nose tackle Nazair Jones missed his fourth consecutive game, the Seahawks kept their desperate playoff hope alive with a win against the Cowboys. Guard Jonathan Cooper and wide receiver/kick returner Ryan Switzer will watch the playoffs from home. Week 17 now turns into a meaningless game against the Redskins, so will they let Switzer loose? Time will tell.
Kareem Martin of the Cardinals recorded his first sack of the season, a strip-sack of Eli Manning. It doesn’t look as if running back T.J. Logan will be able to make his season debut in Week 17.
T.J. Yates had a bad day. The Steelers clinched a first-round bye and showed the Texans why they deserved it. Yates completed only seven passes for 83 yards, 38 of them coming on a miraculous touchdown catch from DeAndre Hopkins. Yates missed several plays while being evaluated for a concussion but managed to return.
Philadelphia Eagles 19, Oakland Raiders 10 (OT)
Mack Hollins failed to record a reception as the Eagled outlasted the Raiders to clinch homefield throughout the playoffs. As with Switzer, maybe we’ll see him a lot in Week 17.