Results of Week 15 of the National Football League: The Lions Make a Comeback, while the Cowboys Fall Back to Earth
With their overwhelming victories in Week 15, the Lions and Bills may have been able to shed the label of pretenders off their shoulders.
When it comes to the Cowboys, a lot of folks are currently saying, “I would have told you so.” The performance that Dallas had in Buffalo was unimportant.
Following the Raiders’ resounding victory over the Chargers on Thursday Night Football, Antonio Pierce may be able to shed the designation of interim coach. Giff Smith was given the temporary tag by the Chargers after Brandon Staley was eliminated from his position just a few hours after the humiliating loss on the field.
After suffering through a month of disappointment, the Lions of Detroit required a dominant performance.
In spite of the fact that the Lions’ offense saw a decline in performance in their defeats to the Packers and Bears, they were able to perform admirably against the Broncos’ defense on Saturday night. Five touchdown passes were completed by Jared Goff during the 42–17 victory. Three of the touchdown passes were completed to rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, who has a strong possibility of being selected for the All-Pro team.
In addition, the rushing attack was excellent, with Jahmyr Gibbs, a youngster, serving as the most important back. Gibbs and David Montgomery worked together to accumulate 185 yards on the ground. The statement that Dan Campbell made at the beginning of the season was that he wanted Gibbs to be fresh for the stretch run. Gibbs has been receiving more work than Montgomery in recent weeks, which is a direct result of the plan that was implemented.
If quarterback Jared Goff and the running backs continue to perform at the same level as they did against the Broncos, the Lions (10–4) will be a formidable opponent in the postseason. Additionally, they were able to gain outstanding performance from the defense, which had been struggling for the majority of the second half of the season. It wasn’t until the third quarter when Detroit gave Denver the opportunity to score.
The Lions are well on their way to winning their first division title in thirty years, as they now hold a three-game lead in the NFC North.
Now that the Bills (8–6) have won consecutive games against the Chiefs and Cowboys, I no longer have any doubts about them.
It is possible that they are the greatest team in the American Football Conference (AFC) despite the fact that they are now in ninth position. This is due to the fact that the defense has performed exceptionally well during this winning streak, as well as the fact that the rushing attack has delivered results ever since Joe Brady took over as the interim offensive play-caller. Even though Josh Allen only threw for 94 yards, the Bills were still able to defeat the Cowboys by a score of 21 points. James Cook has been on a run, as evidenced by his stat line against Dallas, which includes 179 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards.
Within the following two weeks, the Bills require the Dolphins (10–4) to suffer a defeat against either the Cowboys or the Ravens in order to achieve their goal. In addition, Buffalo must deal with the business of competing against the lowly Chargers and the Patriots. In the event that this becomes a reality, the Bills will be competing for the AFC East championship when they travel to Miami in Week 18.
In order to be considered for the position of full-time coach for the Raiders, Pierce has demonstrated sufficient success.
Not only did the offense allow the Chargers to score 63 points against them last week, but the defense has been doing admirably over the most of the season. How long has it been since the Raiders had a defense that was strong and had a running game that was also physical? Pierce has swiftly established a culture that is successful and established an identity that is suitable for the Silver and Black.
On the other hand, despite the absence of Josh Jacobs, the Las Vegas (6–8) club still managed to rack up 124 yards on the ground against the Chargers. This is definitely a testament to the coaching and the program.
The possibility of Mark Davis enabling Pierce to expand on the work that he has done since taking over for Josh McDaniels is something that should be seriously considered. While his team was destroying an opponent from the AFC West on Thursday night, the owner of the Raiders was having a good time in his luxurious suite inside the stadium.
With Joe Flacco at quarterback, the Browns (9–5) are a club that is entertaining to watch compete.
Following their victory over the Bears, Cleveland appears to be going to the postseason and has the potential to make a splash in the American Football Conference, which is currently in a state of wide open competition. The offense and defense of the Browns are strong enough to compete with the likes of the Ravens, Chiefs, Dolphins, and Bills. Additionally, they have Kevin Stefanski, who is now in the running for Coach of the Year, helping them out with their coaching duties.
However, if it weren’t for Flacco, this team would not be considered a contender in the American Football Conference. Flacco passed for 374 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears. Indeed, he was responsible for three interceptions; nonetheless, Myles Garrett and the defense were able to minimize the number of errors that he made.
Following the departure of several important veterans throughout the summer, many people anticipated that the Rams would be in the process of rebuilding their team during this season.
Instead, they are one year ahead of the competition thanks to a blend of senior players and important newcomers. After defeating the Commanders by a score of 28–20, the Rams earned the seventh seed in the National Football Conference.
In the end, they were given a little bit of a scare by Washington, which is not surprising coming from a club that is full of players who are lacking in experience. Additionally, the Rams would not be 7–7 if they did not have youngsters Puka Nacua, Kobie Turner, Byron Young, and Kyren Williams, who is in his second year as a running back. Without the performance of Matthew Stafford, who has been with the team for 15 years, they would not even be in the running for the playoffs.
The Chargers were humiliated by the Raiders, who are a divisional opponent, in a prime-time game. The Chargers were defeated by the Raiders by a score of 63–21. A point in time, the score was 49–0. Also, the meaning of the term “Chargering” was explained to the entire world through the Amazon Prime Broadcast.
There have been many heartbreaking events that have occurred throughout the years for Los Angeles (5–9), but what occurred on Thursday was nothing more than a pitiful attempt, and it was this effort that resulted in Staley and Tom Telesco losing their jobs. During his eleven seasons as general manager of the Chargers, Telesco led the team to only three postseason berths and no AFC West championships. However, following the disaster that occurred on Thursday, owner Dean Spanos could not continue to have the same decision makers remain in place. What’s more, this is especially not the case following yet another unsuccessful season with quarterback Justin Herbert, who is no longer under a rookie deal.
After all, the Cowboys are little more than pretenders. In the course of a loss by a score of 31–10, the Cowboys were humiliated by the Bills in all three phases of the game. As a result of just gaining 134 yards on 34 tries (3.9 yards per attempt), Dak Prescott’s bid for the Most Valuable Player award was derailed. Despite the fact that Cook and the Bills’ running assault racked up 266 yards, the Dallas defense was completely unable to deal with them.
It seems likely that the Cowboys (10–4) will finish the regular season with the fifth seed, but they will lose again in the divisional round of the playoffs once they reach the playoffs. They are still scheduled to play games against the Commanders, the Lions, and the Dolphins.
On the road against the best teams, Dallas has not demonstrated that it is capable of winning. This season, the Cowboys have a winning streak of 15 games at home, but they have a record of 3–4 on the road and 3–3 at outdoor arenas with their current record. The Cowboys would be in a bad position if they were forced to play the Eagles or the 49ers away from home during the postseason.
It is possible that the decision made by the general staff to select Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke as the quarterback options for the 2023 season is not Arthur Smith’s fault. On the other hand, there are several coaches throughout the league who have generated more offensively despite being in more difficult circumstances than the Falcons.
Over the course of the thrilling game that took place between the Bengals and the Vikings the previous week, both Jake Browning and Nick Mullens threw for more than 300 yards. Over the course of the humiliating defeat at the hands of the Panthers, Ridder passed for 152 yards and only managed to score seven points. The current situation is that Smith is considering whether or not to bench Ridder once more in favor of Heinicke, who had struggled in his two starts earlier in the season.