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NFL Game Recaps: Week 16





Jaguars 21, Titans 13

  • The Titans dominated for the opening quarter and a half, and as a result, it initially appeared as though there wouldn't be any winners in this game. The Jaguar fans were watching their once-promising quarterback struggle. The Titan fans were seeing their top-two draft selection slip away. All those who bet on Jacksonville witnessed a 4.5-point favorite look completely incompetent. Delanie Walker fantasy owners witnessed Leon Washington vulture an early touchdown. And those tuning into this game for casual purposes had to endure a dreadful matchup.

    Everything changed, however, right before halftime. With the Titans up 10-0 and outgaining Jacksonville by a wide margin (179-16), the Jaguars were able to put together a solid drive, thanks to some tough running by Toby Gerhart. They eventually found their way into the end zone and were able to accomplish the same thing in the third quarter. They established a four-point lead and never looked back.

  • Bortles had a very mixed game. He was dreadful in the early going, as he was just 9-of-15 for only 52 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He checked it down on an early third-and-7 without even bothering to look downfield. He was then strip-sacked, but was fortunate to have his teammate recover. He also missed some routine throws, but was able to get into a rhythm.

    Bortles finished 13-of-26 for 115 yards and a touchdown. He still had some poor throws following intermission, including an awful misfire toward Cecil Shorts in the red zone, but he picked up some big gains on the ground, including a first-down scamper on third-and-long. Bortles compiled 50 rushing yards on five scrambles.

  • Gerhart missed some time in this game with a rib contusion, which is why he had just 12 carries. He ran well after getting stuffed early, finishing with 53 yards and a touchdown. He was outgained by Jordan Todman (5-71, TD), though almost all of that came on a 62-yard burst in the fourth quarter that sealed this victory by Jacksonville.

  • Only one Jaguar had more than 26 receiving yards. Marqise Lee (4-65) was that player. Marcedes Lewis hauled in Bortles' sole touchdown, though he had just two catches for six yards.

  • The player who gained the most in this victory was Sen'Derrick Marks. The star Jacksonville defensive tackle needed half a sack to trigger a $600,000 bonus. He managed to sack Charlie Whitehurst on the final play of the game. Not only did he claim more than half-a-million bucks against his former team; he stopped a Tennessee drive right in its tracks to give Jacksnville its third victory of the season.

  • As for the Titans, I'm surprised by how well Whitehurst played. It appeared as though he was going to ruin Tennessee's chances of landing either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, as he opened the game with a 6-of-6, 71-yard, touchdown-drive. Whitehurst continued to shred Jacksonville's secondary throughout the evening, finishing 24-of-35 for 287 yards and the score to Washington, but he couldn't get his team into the end zone again. Simple mistakes disrupted drives all evening, though Whitehurst was responsible for throwing short on a crucial fourth down in the middle of the final quarter. His receiver had to come back from the ball and was consequently tackled short of the marker.

  • Washington who was playing in his home town, was second on the team in receiving, as he caught all seven of his targets for 62 yards and the touchdown. Kendall Wright (4-73) paced the team in receiving yardage, but got banged up on a 39-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Walker (4-54) disappointed his fantasy owners.

  • Shonn Greene dominated the carries last week, but he took a back seat to Bishop Sankey again, The rookie runner had some nice gains, but managed only 44 yards on 14 carries. Greene (7-28) had a better average.





    Redskins 27, Eagles 24

  • The running joke in the NFC East has been Dallas' late-season collapses, but this one by the Eagles is on par with what the Cowboys have done in recent years. The second half of this contest epitomized what has happened to Philadelphia the final three weeks.

    The Eagles went into intermission with a 14-10 lead and recovered the opening second-half kickoff. They seemed to have all the momentum, but that's exactly when their meltdown began. It all started when Cody Parkey whiffed on a 34-yard field goal. A third-down stop on Washington's ensuing possession was nullified by a Brandon Graham unnecessary roughness penalty, which was a bogus call. Following a Washington touchdown, LeSean McCoy dropped a pass, and then Parkey missed badly from 46 yards.

    After some defensive breakdowns - more on that later - Mark Sanchez threw an interception on a pass behind Jeremy Maclin. A Vinny Curry roughing-the-passer infraction - this one was actually legit - allowed Washington to move into field-goal range, and they got even closer on a Connor Barwin offsides penalty (which was Philadelphia's 13th infraction of the game). Chip Kelly foolishly didn't let them score a touchdown, permitting the Redskins to bleed the clock and nail a chip shot to seal the 27-24 victory.

    With this loss, the Eagles need to win at New York and then have the Cowboys lose both of their remaining games. That could happen - Dallas has endured worse collapses - but there's no guarantee that Philadelphia will even prevail against the Giants, given the team's issues.

  • I mentioned the defensive breakdowns; Philadelphia's secondary was primarily responsible for this defeat. The three poor defensive backs - Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Nate Allen - all had a big hand in this loss. Williams began the game by being penalized for unnecessary roughness on a third-down stop, pushing Andre Roberts after the play was over. DeSean Jackson torched Fletcher for a 51-yard gain on the following drive. Jackson later haul in a 55-yard bomb and then proceeded to draw what looked like five pass-interference flags on Allen in the end zone. Williams then whiffed on a Pierre Garcon tackle, allowing the Redskins to move in for the game-winning kick.

  • Sanchez didn't help matters. His fantasy numbers were great, but he was guilty of two turnovers. The pick at the end was a killer, and he also opened the game with a lost fumble, forced by Ryan Kerrigan, who easily beat Lane Johnson. Sanchez finished 37-of-50 for 374 yards, two touchdowns, the interception and the fumble. He looked great at times - he converted a third-and-25 with a 26-yard dart to Jordan Matthews and had several other impressive throws - but as usual with Sanchez, the turnovers proved to be too costly.

  • Sanchez made it a point to throw to Zach Ertz as much as possible. I'm not exaggerating; Ertz drew a ridiculous 18 targets - twice more than the player who saw the next-most amount of balls thrown his way (Darren Sproles). Ertz hauled in 15 of those passes for 115 yards.

  • Both of Sanchez's touchdowns went to Riley Cooper (5-53), who dropped a pass. Jeremy Maclin (4-62) and Jordan Matthews (3-58) were big disappointments considering their matchup against Washington's poor secondary.

  • LeSean McCoy also scored. He managed 88 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and also caught three balls for 28 receiving yards. He had a drop, but ran well considering that Washington's defense has been so stout versus ground attacks this season.

  • As for the Redskins, Robert Griffin had a mixed outing, going 16-of-23 for 220 yards and an interception, which he forced into double coverage. He didn't run nearly enough - five scrambles, 11 rush yards - and he was nearly pick-sixed early in the game, but he completed a pair of deep bombs to Jackson. He made some mistakes, showing poor footwork on some attempts and holding on to the ball too long, but he was robbed of a touchdown when Allen tackled Jackson in the end zone prior to the ball arriving.

  • Jackson talked trash about the Eagles leading up to this game, and he backed up his talk. He caught four balls for 126 yards, reeling in receptions of 55 and 51 yards. There's no doubt that Philadelphia missed Jackson's game-breaking ability this year, but it's not like he's done much for the Redskins.

  • I was surprised to see Alfred Morris run so well. The Eagles had a stout rush defense entering this contest, yet Morris was able to tally 83 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts.

  • The Redskins suffered a couple of injuries in this contest. Trent Murphy was knocked out early with a broken hand, while left tackle Trent Williams hurt his shoulder. Williams remained in the game, but had to actually hold his arm in between plays.


    49ers XX, Chargers XX









  • Panthers XX, Browns XX




  • Lions XX, Bears XX




  • Ravens XX, Texans XX







  • Dolphins XX, Vikings XX




  • Saints XX, FalconsXX




  • Patriots XX, Jets XX




  • Steelers XX, Chiefs XX






  • Packers XX, Buccaneers XX




  • Rams XX, Giants XX




  • Cowboys XX, Colts XX




  • Bills XX, Raiders XX




  • Seahawks XX, Cardinals XX




  • Broncos XX, Bengals XX




  • For more thoughts, check out my updated NFL Power Rankings, which will be posted Tuesday morning.



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