NFL Weekly Recap: Week Fourteen

Coaching changes sum up this week in the NFL (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Time for another look at the games from this past weekend, which wound up turning out a few interesting results.

This week some of those results wound up being the coaching changes in Kansas City and Miami after ugly losses, Cam Newton turning into LeBron James in the fourth quarter, Big Ben messing up his ankle but still coming back, Tebow Time, the Texans finally winning the AFC South, Dallas choking again, and an ugly Monday Night game featuring the NFC West where the only real highlight was some of the Seahawks fans throwing skittles at Marshawn Lynch after he scored a touchdown.

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Recap - December 08, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Ben Roethlisberger played through an injured ankle in the second half to help the Pittsburgh Steelers jump to the top of the AFC North with a 14-3 win over the Cleveland Browns. In the second quarter, Roethlisberger was sacked by Scott Paxson with under six minutes to play. He got his leg twisted under him on the sack and was in obvious pain as he grabbed the ankle and put little weight on it as he was helped off the field and into the locker room. During halftime, x-rays were taken in the locker room and came up negative and he came back out to play for the start of the third quarter. "The doctors said he was ok to go and he said he was ok to go," said Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin. "He's a competitor and you and I all know what he is capable of and he proved it again here tonight. The man can play football."

New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes to Marques Colston in the fourth quarter, and New Orleans' defense came up with two late stands to preserve a 22-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Brees completed 36-of-46 passes for 337 yards for the Saints (10-3), who remained two games ahead of Atlanta in the NFC South. The Falcons beat the Panthers on Sunday. Colston caught seven passes for 105 yards for New Orleans, which has won five in a row. "This was a gut-check win for us," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "We just kept fighting." The Saints secured a playoff spot after the Bears lost to the Broncos later Sunday. Matt Hasselbeck injured his left calf in the second quarter for the Titans (7-6), who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Rookie Jake Locker connected on 13-of-29 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball six times for 36 yards and a score.

Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Julio Jones caught a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Matt Ryan, including a 75-yard catch-and-run to finish off the Atlanta Falcons' 31-23 comeback victory over the Carolina Panthers. Atlanta (8-5) scored 24 unanswered points after trailing by 16 at halftime to sweep its NFC South rival for the second straight season, while also staying in good position to capture a wild card spot. After the game, Falcons head coach Mike Smith was taken to a local hospital for what the team said was "a non-emergency matter." In a statement released late Sunday, the team said Smith was "resting comfortably" after having tests that "reaffirmed his health." The Falcons said Smith was expected to be in Atlanta on Monday.

Indianapolis Colts vs Baltimore Ravens Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Joe Flacco threw for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens snapped an eight-game losing streak to Indianapolis with a 24-10 triumph. Flacco ended 23-of-31 with an interception for the Ravens (10-3), who tied the idle Steelers for the AFC North division lead and bested the NFL's worst club for the first time since December, 2001. Ray Rice tacked on 103 yards and a score on 26 carries, while Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta each recorded a TD reception. Even without star linebacker Ray Lewis, the Baltimore defense held its foe to 167 yards of total offense.

Indianapolis Colts vs Baltimore Ravens Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Joe Flacco threw for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens snapped an eight-game losing streak to Indianapolis with a 24-10 triumph. Flacco ended 23-of-31 with an interception for the Ravens (10-3), who tied the idle Steelers for the AFC North division lead and bested the NFL's worst club for the first time since December, 2001. Ray Rice tacked on 103 yards and a score on 26 carries, while Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta each recorded a TD reception. Even without star linebacker Ray Lewis, the Baltimore defense held its foe to 167 yards of total offense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Jacksonville Jaguars Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Maurice Jones-Drew accounted for four of Jacksonville's six touchdowns Sunday, as the Jaguars stormed past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 41-14, at EverBank Field. Jones-Drew finished with two rushing scores and two receiving touchdowns to go with 136 total yards. With the four scores, Jones-Drew has 73 career touchdowns, establishing a new Jaguars franchise record. Blaine Gabbert threw for 217 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Marcedes Lewis grabbed two passes for 77 yards for the Jaguars (4-9), who snapped a three-game losing streak and earned their first win under interim head coach Mel Tucker.

Kansas City Chiefs vs New York Jets Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes and added a pair of scores on the ground, as the playoff-hopeful New York Jets overpowered the Kansas City Chiefs, 37-10. Shonn Greene gained a season-high 129 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown for the Jets (8-5), who extended their winning streak to three games. "We've just got to keep focusing on our next opponent, that's what we've done," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan on his team's playoff chances. "We don't worry about the rest of the league, we've just got to take care of ourselves. If we don't take care of ourselves, it doesn't matter what the rest of the league does."

Philadelphia Eagles vs Miami Dolphins Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The return of Michael Vick appeared to breathe life into the listless Philadelphia Eagles, at least for a quarter. Vick missed the past three games with a couple of broken ribs and the Eagles saw their already-slim playoff hopes grow even more dim with a 1-2 record behind Vince Young. On Sunday, the Vick-led Philadelphia offense scored all of its points in the second quarter, thanks mostly to three Miami turnovers, and claimed a 26-10 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. It wasn't a banner day for Vick, who completed only 15-of-30 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception. LeSean McCoy mustered just 38 yards on 27 carries, but scored on a pair of short runs.

Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Stephen Tulloch recovered a fumble in the end zone two minutes into the game, Alphonso Smith returned an interception for a score in the second quarter, and a defensive stop in the final moments kept the Lions in the thick of the playoff race. With the Vikings at the one-yard line with nine seconds to play, defensive end Cliff Avril pressured quarterback Joe Webb and forced a fumble that secured the Lions' 34-28 victory. Avril had committed an offside penalty on the previous play, but his sack ensured that Detroit improved to 8-5 and snapped a two-game slide. The Lions entered the week tied with Chicago and Atlanta for the NFC's two wild card spots.

Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Texans clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history Sunday, and neither Matt Schaub nor Andre Johnson were on the field. No, it was rookie quarterback T.J. Yates who completed a six-yard pass to Kevin Walter with two seconds to play, giving Houston a 20-19 victory over Cincinnati. The victory was the Texans' seventh in a row and improved their record to 10-3. They clinched the AFC South shortly afterward, when the Titans lost to the Saints and fell to 7-6. Houston's streak is an improbable run during which it has used three quarterbacks. Schaub, the team's starting quarterback for the last five years, landed on injured reserve with a foot injury suffered during a Week 10 win against the Buccaneers. Then, backup Matt Leinart suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 12 against Jacksonville, leaving Yates to be the quarterback.

New England Patriots vs Washington Redskins Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Rob Gronkowski set an NFL record with two more touchdown receptions, as the New England Patriots survived a late charge by the Washington Redskins to earn their first win in the nation's capital, 34-27. The Patriots were looking to grab a two-touchdown lead, but Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson picked off a Tom Brady pass in the end zone with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Washington converted a pair of third downs and moved the ball to the New England five-yard line. Rex Grossman hit Santana Moss for a touchdown, but it was called back because of offensive pass interference. Two plays later, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo sealed New England's fifth straight win by intercepting Grossman's pass that went through the hands of Moss.

Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Matt Prater kicked two field goals over 50 yards, the last one a 51-yarder with 8:34 left in overtime to send the Denver Broncos over Chicago, 13-10. Tim Tebow continued his magic run for the Broncos (8-5), who won their sixth straight game. Despite another slow start, Tebow improved to 7-1 on the season and helped Denver -- which also got help from a Green Bay rout of Oakland -- surge into first place in the AFC West. He led the charge from a 10-0 fourth quarter deficit, ending with 236 yards and one touchdown on 21-of-40 passing while adding 49 rushing yards.

Oakland Raiders vs Green Bay Packers Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers passed for two touchdowns and Ryan Grant ran for two more, as the undefeated Green Bay Packers rolled to a bittersweet 46-16 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Green Bay's 19th straight win -- the second longest streak in NFL history -- was blemished when Greg Jennings went down with a knee injury in the third quarter. Jennings was tackled by a pair of Raiders defenders after making a catch along the right hash mark, and one fell directly on the back of the star wide receiver's left knee.

Buffalo Bills vs San Diego Chargers Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw two of his three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates, as the San Diego Chargers rolled to a 37-10 victory over the struggling Buffalo Bills. Rivers completed 24-of-33 passes for 240 yards for the Chargers (6-7), who have won two in a row and sit two games behind Denver in the AFC West. The Broncos beat the Bears in overtime on Sunday. "It was good to win a game," Rivers said. "Win two in a row and try to keep it rolling next week against Baltimore." Ryan Mathews carried the ball 20 times for 114 yards for San Diego, which improved to 17-2 in December under head coach Norv Turner. Mathews, who has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games, also caught six passes for 34 yards.

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys Recap - December 11, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - The Giants benched their starting running back for a half and the Cowboys lost theirs to a broken ankle. But in the end, first place in the NFC East came down to a kick. Brandon Jacobs scored his second touchdown with 46 seconds left and New York blocked a field goal at the end of the game, escaping with a 37-34 win over Dallas on Sunday night and a piece of first in the division. For Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, it was a bit of cruel deja vu. A week after he was iced by his own coach, Bailey kicked a 47-yard field goal through the uprights in the final seconds that would have tied the game. But it didn't count. The Giants had called a timeout. Lining up again, his second kick was deflected by Jason Pierre-Paul and fell short with one second remaining, ending the game and letting the Giants (7-6) pull even with Dallas atop the division.

St. Louis Rams vs Seattle Seahawks Recap - December 12, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Marshawn Lynch ran for 115 yards and a score as the Seattle Seahawks took a 30-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks (6-7) kept their fledgling playoff hopes alive with their fourth win in their past five games, but are still two wins back of the current wild card leaders. If Seattle is to have any hope of getting into the postseason, it will have to win next week as it plays in Chicago against the Bears, who are currently one game up on the Seahawks.

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