Source: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
We're nearing the end of the NFL’s regular season with only three games remaining and Week 14 brought some good and bad news to each team. The Bears are still in the playoff hunt, the Ravens keep winning, San Fran and New Orleans had a shootout, and Eli Manning makes a return against the Eagles on a Monday Night. Here are 5 takeaways from Week 14.
1. The Bears Are Still Alive
The Chicago Bears looked toast almost a month ago but have put together a nice three-game winning streak and have been in must-win mode for the as many weeks piling up wins against the Lions and Giants, and ultimately beat out the Cowboys.
Despite some struggles this year, Mitch Trubisky had arguably his best game of the season. He accounted for all of the Bears touchdowns against the Cowboys, throwing for 3 TD’s and ran for a 23-yard touchdown early in the 4th quarter to halt a Cowboy’s late comeback. Trubisky also ran for 63 yards, a season high for the Bears Quarterback.
The Bears Defence played well for most of the game and didn't allow much for the first 45 minutes. The Bears now have won 4 of their last 5 games but the odds are not in their favour as the New York Times have given the Bears a 2 percent chance on making the playoffs. It's near impossible, but miracles can happen especially in sports.
2. OBJ On the Move?
Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the most talented players in the league, and while there were high expectations since coming over from the Big Apple, this season has been less than stellar. Beckham hasn't reached 1000 yards yet but what's more alarming Beckham has only found the endzone just twice. It's the lowest in his career with a minimum of 13 games played in a season.
Jay Glazer from Fox Sports reported last Thursday that Beckham has encouraged opposing coaches and players this season to try and help him get out of Cleveland. It's not a surprise though, Beckham hasn't had the season he has hoped for. While his team is on the fringe of missing the playoffs, we’re seeing the same type of antics while waiting for a trade out of New York. Beckham didn't sound sure if he's going to be in Cleveland next season. "No one knows what the future holds tomorrow," he said. "I couldn’t tell you what's going to happen."
If the reports are true, Beckham won't be in Cleveland next season. Many suitors will still be interested in the 3-time pro bowler despite being a "distraction" that many have called Beckham in the past.
3. Manning Back Under Centre
Eli Manning almost handed the Eagles a devastating loss on Monday night as the Giants looked to stun the Eagles with Manning at the helm. Though the Giants eventually regained their Giants form, their offence didn't look all that bad in the first half.
Manning was 15 for 30 for 203 yards as the New York Football Giants lose their ninth straight. He will be a free agent after this season and will turn 39, the future Hall of Famer may have some trouble finding a new landing spot.
As for now, Daniel Jones is still hurt, and the Giants are out of playoff contention, there's a chance Eli could be playing a game or two more this season, extending his career. Maybe Eli can get his record back to .500 this week against the lowly Dolphins.
4. Denver Has a New "Rock Star"
The Broncos upset the Texans in Week 13 and rookie Drew Lock had a big hand in the win. This year's second-round pick came in for his second straight NFL start and threw for 3 touchdowns in the win, all of them coming in the first half as the Broncos were burying the Texans.
While lock has failed to produce a touchdown in the second half for the second straight game, he has been dynamite in the first two-quarters of both his starts, posting 5 TD’s and no picks. Needless to say, he has been starting the game hot and because of that, the Broncos are able to hold on and go 2-0 with Lock as the starter.
If Lock can pick up steam in the second half of games, the rookie could be “the man” for the Broncos going forward. Broncos defensive star Vonn Miller said it best when asked about the rookie after their upset win. "He's a fucking rock star," said Miller to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post. We need not say more
5. Shootout in New Orleans
Not many teams can outscore the Saints in a high-scoring game, and with Drew Brees as their quarterback, chances from opposing teams are slim. Surprisingly though, the Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo did that this past Sunday. This season Garoppolo has had three 4 touchdown games and one of them has come against the Saints.
Brees threw a season-high 5 TD’s in the loss as both QB’s combined for 9 touchdowns while their offences combined for almost 1000 yards. Both teams got big performances from their top receivers, while also getting help from their other secondary offensive components. It was the second-highest scoring game of the season (one point trailing the Rams and Buccaneers game from late September).
The game had 6 lead changes and the Saints were up by double digits twice. Only 4 punts in the game combined. The Niners though won with a last-second kick by Robbie Gould. Garoppolo just out-dueled a future Hall of Fame quarterback in his own backyard. Is it a possible playoff preview? If so, we could be in store for another classic.