What We Realized From Week 15 of the N.F.L. Season

Favored groups did effectively on Sunday, with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs beating the New Orleans Saints, the A.F.C. South heavyweights each profitable and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beginning slowly earlier than racing again for a stunning highway win over Atlanta. However the beforehand winless Jets pulled off the upset of the season by beating the closely favored Los Angeles Rams.

Right here’s what we realized:

There’s a cause Tennessee made Tannehill its low season precedence. The veteran quarterback placed on a present in a blowout win over the Detroit Lions, finishing 21 of 27 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He additionally ran in two touchdowns, completely pouring it on throughout a dominant fourth quarter that made the sport laughable. It was Tennessee’s fifth straight recreation with at the very least 420 yards of complete offense and 30 factors. “We need to hold our foot on the fuel,” Tannehill stated.

Tennessee’s Derrick Henry and Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook dinner have been the N.F.L.’s greatest working backs this season, and each performed effectively on Sunday, but it was Chicago’s Montgomery that had the most important day, prepared his crew to an enormous win over Cook dinner’s Vikings. Montgomery rushed for a career-high 146 yards in Chicago’s 33-27 win, scoring a pair of touchdowns. He has had greater than 100 yards in three of the Bears’ 4 video games since their Week 11 bye. “It’s been enjoyable, man, with the ability to go on the market and simply let it unfastened,” Montgomery stated.

Hopkins had quite a few highlights, together with a 45-yard reception, however it was a 20-yard go-ahead landing catch that left everybody questioning how precisely a crew can defend the celebrity large receiver. Philadelphia’s Michael Jacquet made a wonderful try to interrupt up the go, however Hopkins merely reached over him, pulled the ball in after which held on one-handed as he fell again into the top zone.

*Besides when it takes extra.

Chiefs 32, Saints 29 Neither Patrick Mahomes nor Drew Brees regarded their greatest on this one, however Mahomes’s three landing passes and a Le’Veon Bell speeding landing put Kansas Metropolis up by sufficient that New Orleans’ late comeback try proved fruitless.

Colts 27, Texans 20 Indianapolis led, 14-0, within the first quarter earlier than this grew to become a detailed recreation. Houston put up a robust battle, however Philip Rivers’s 5-yard landing go with 1 minute 47 seconds remaining proved to be sufficient, barely.

Titans 46, Lions 25 Tennessee was main by solely 24-18 after three quarters, however issues obtained ridiculous from there, with Ryan Tannehill throwing two fourth-quarter landing passes along with scoring a 3-yard speeding landing — his second speeding landing of the sport. The Titans lead Indianapolis within the A.F.C. South due to their superior document in division video games.

Jets 23, Rams 20 It has been a horrible season for the Jets, however on today they took care of enterprise on offense, produced a takeaway on protection, after which held on for expensive life in a recreation that appeared prefer it might slip away at any second.

Buccaneers 31, Falcons 27 The stakes weren’t near what they have been in Tom Brady’s final big comeback win over Atlanta — the Falcons’ collapse after main Brady’s Patriots by 28-3 within the Tremendous Bowl of the 2016 season is tough to high — however you’d should think about the Falcons, who led Tampa Bay on Sunday by 17-0 and 24-7 earlier than shedding, are trying ahead to Brady retiring sometime.

Ravens 40, Jaguars 14 It’s presumably OK to cease worrying about Baltimore’s offense after it led the crew to a 3rd consecutive win, with Lamar Jackson throwing three landing passes and working in one other throughout a recreation that was determined by halftime.

Dolphins 22, Patriots 12 Led by working backs Salvon Ahmed and Matt Breida, Miami rumbled for 250 yards speeding and three speeding touchdowns. The Dolphins are in line for the A.F.C.’s remaining wild-card spot — due to a tiebreaker over Baltimore — and have clinched a profitable season for simply the second time since 2008.

Seahawks 20, Footballers 15 Washington got here surprisingly near rallying from a 20-3 deficit, however the Seahawks’ much-maligned protection compelled a turnover on downs within the remaining minute that gave Seattle a win and clinched a playoff spot.

Bears 33, Vikings 27 Minnesota was taking part in at residence, obtained 132 yards speeding from Dalvin Cook dinner and 104 yards receiving from Justin Jefferson, and nonetheless misplaced. Credit score Chicago all you need, however the Vikings’ protection wants a variety of work.

Cardinals 33, Eagles 26 Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray have been back-to-back Heisman Trophy finalists at Oklahoma — Murray gained the award in 2018 — and so they confirmed off how effectively their abilities translate to the N.F.L. on Sunday. Philadelphia’s Hurts threw for 338 yards, Arizona’s Murray threw for 406, each of them threw three landing passes and each of them additionally ran in a rating. However Murray’s Cardinals got here out on high due to a late defensive stand.

Browns 20, Giants 6 A crew shouldn’t get all that enthusiastic about beating the Giants when Daniel Jones is injured, however Cleveland improved to 10-4, reaching double-digits in wins for simply the second time because the crew was resurrected in 1999 and solely the third time since 1989 do you have to embody the earlier than occasions.

Cowboys 41, 49ers 33 Operating again Ezekiel Elliott missed a recreation due to damage for the primary time in his profession, and he watched his backup, Tony Pollard, put up a robust efficiency: 132 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Elliott hasn’t had 130 yards from scrimmage in a recreation since Week 15 of final season.

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