The NFL seemed to get full control over its COVID situation in Week 14, after a week that saw players literally being pulled out of pregame warmups because of positive tests.
Luckily for everyone involved the NFL didn’t run into major problems this week.
So, let’s take a look at the main storylines and eye-popping plays Week 14 had to give us.
Colts vs Raiders
This was a hard-fought game for a half between two very good AFC teams battling for a wild card spot. The Colts would pull away in the fourth as the Raiders’ defense started to give up holes to Colts running backs bigger than the gap in Michael Strahan’s teeth.
Indianapolis rushed for 212 yards on the day, running back Jonathan Taylor had 150 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Quarterback Philip Rivers added to the offensive show with 244 yards passing and two touchdowns of his own.
The Colts showed out so badly on the Raiders that it prompted Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden to fire defensive coordinator Paul Guenther before he could even take his headset off.
Also, the Colts defense came up big during the game too, just watch this play.
The loss likely puts the Raiders out of contention for a wild card spot. With so many good teams in the AFC late-season losses become crucial.
The Colts, on the other hand, are in a great position to take that second wild-card spot after improving to 9-4 on the season.
Chiefs vs Dolphins
You have to give mad props to the Dolphins for forcing the Chiefs into four turnovers yesterday, including three Patrick Mahomes interceptions.
One of which was by the league leaders in interceptions Xavien Howard and it might be the best defensive play of the year.
Despite the turnovers, the Chiefs controlled this game throughout like a black mother controls the thermostat in her household. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tried to make the game interesting by tacking on some late touchdowns but it would be to no avail.
The Chiefs have been sleepwalking during the last half of the regular season, they’ve been playing close games with teams that have no business even being in their same stratosphere. Even though this Miami team is 8-5, they are nowhere near as good as Kansas City and the final score should have never been within one possession. This could come back to bite them down the line when they are forced to play a team like Buffalo or Tennessee in the playoffs.
Steelers vs Bills
The Steelers, in their last few games, have looked worse than a college kid the Sunday after homecoming. They paid the price for their hangover with another L last night to a very good Buffalo team.
Pittsburgh couldn’t do much of anything effectively against the Bills. They had more penalty yards than rushing yards, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two picks, one went back for a touchdown, and the short passing game could barely get anything going against that aggressive Buffalo defense.
The Bills looked like a team that could easily represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and the Steelers looked like a team that couldn’t even make the Cheez-It Bowl this season.
Josh Allen didn’t have one of his most efficient days but he still threw two crucial touchdowns that helped the Bills take control of the game. Stefon Diggs also tormented the Pittsburgh secondary like a bad credit score on Sunday night with ten catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.
If there has been two things that this year has taught us, it’s that the NFC East is on hallucinogens and that the AFC is really really really good. There is no time to slip up or you will get bounced.
The Steelers need to get their act together before they are watching the AFC championship game from the crib.