Rolling through Sunday’s action with notes, quotes and observations.
All while wondering what on earth has happened to the Panthers.
· Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay ran for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the second consecutive 100-yard game for Lindsay, who went undrafted out of Colorado. Of the 21 running backs who were drafted in 2018, the only one with more rushing yards than Lindsay’s 937 is Saquon Barkley (954).
· The Chiefs weren’t crisp, but they outlasted the Raiders in Oakland, 40-33. Andy Reid’s teams are now 17-3 following a bye.
· The Rams (11-1) clinched the NFC West and the Texans (9-3) won their ninth straight.
· Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed a 47-yard field goal at the buzzer as the Cardinals pulled the upset of the week. Arizona was 14-point underdogs with a money line of about +$600. Green Bay fired coach Mike McCarthy a few hours later. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will finish out the season as head coach.
· Things continue to disintegrate in Cincinnati where the Bengals lost for the fifth time in six games, saw star receiver A.J. Green get hurt again and had their smallest home crowd (44,392) in seven years.
· Cam Newton threw four interceptions as the Panthers continued to tank. And Newton’s favorite target, tight end Greg Olsen, went out in the second quarter with what sounds like a gruesome foot injury. Nobody in the NFC seems to want that second wild-card spot.
Entering Monday night’s Washington-Eagles game
· Really uncharacteristic mistakes by the Chiefs. Coming off the bye (and) the Kareem Hunt situation, you have to wonder where their heads are.” – CBS analyst Dan Fouts
· “I don’t know what else to say about him except the league knows about him, opponents know about him and key on stopping him, but he continues to (produce). He’s having a heck of a year.” – Case Keenum on Broncos teammate Phillip Lindsay
· “I’m extremely tired of losing.” Lions center Graham Glasgow after his club fell to 4-8
· “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and I got lucky.” – Marcus Mariota after rallying the Titans from a 16-0 deficit to the Jets
· “The plantar fascia on the bottom of my foot popped ... that plantar just finally had enough. It kind of just ruptured on me.” – Panthers tight end Greg Olsen
· “Wow. That used to just be called football ... I don’t know what (defensive players) are supposed to do.” – Fox analyst Mark Schlereth after a soft roughing the passer was called on Seattle’s Jarran Reed
· “He’s a bad boy.” – Bills running back LeSean McCoy after rookie Josh Allen ran for 135 yards in a loss to the Dolphins, a Buffalo record for a quarterback
· The Cardinals win stopped a remarkable Aaron Rodgers’ streak. The Packers had won 16 consecutive home games in December that Rodgers had started. The only other time Rodgers had a lost was his first start when Matt Schaub and the Texans won in Lambeau on Dec. 7, 2008.
· Rodgers, who turned 35 on Sunday, is now 1-1 on his birthday. By the way, Carson Wentz will make his first birthday start on Dec. 30 when the Eagles play at Washington in the season finale. Wentz will turn 26.
· The NFC North was 0-4 on the day. Chicago lost at the Giants, Detroit couldn’t hang with the Rams and Minnesota came up short up in New England.
· Austin Ekeler was a popular addition in fantasy last week after Chargers running back Melvin Gordon went down with a knee injury. But Justin Jackson (63 yards, one TD) was the Chargers most productive running back in their surprising win at Pittsburgh. Ekeler had five catches, but managed only 21 yards on 13 carries and did not score a touchdown. Jackson, a rookie seventh-round pick from Northwestern, had just five carries this season before Gordon got injured last week.
· The Steelers, who led 23-7 at half, blew a 16-point lead at home for the first time in franchise history. Pittsburgh had been 174-0-1 in those situations.
· Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen and Patriots coach Bill Belichick got into a brief shouting match when Thielen thought the Patriots were pulling some shenanigans. Another reason to like Thielen.
· Fullback James Develin, who went to Boyertown High School and spends his summers in Brigantine, had a pair of short touchdown runs for New England. He came into the game with two in his six-year career.
· Seattle has beaten San Francisco 10 consecutive times.
· Whoever Chase Edmonds is, he vultured two red-zone touchdowns from Arizona’s David Johnson – just another punch in the gut to fantasy players who wasted a high pick on Johnson.
· The Panthers put Taylor Heinicke in to throw a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game because Cam Newton couldn’t reach the end zone from midfield.
· Four AFC teams are 6-6, one game behind Baltimore for the last playoff spot in that conference.
· The Jaguars snapped their seven-game losing streak in a 6-0 win over the Colts that might have been the ugliest game of the year. Indy had won five in a row and Andrew Luck’s streak of at least three TD passes ended at eight games. Tom Brady’s 2007 record of 10 games is safe.
· Saquon Barkley, who had just four second-half carries in last week’s loss to the Eagles, had 17 rushes for 82 yards after halftime in the Giants win over Chicago.
· Lamar Jackson briefly left the game after he was kicked in the facemask by Ravens teammate Ronnie Stanley.
· Four more touchdowns for Patrick Mahomes. He’s up to 41 with a quarter of the season still to go. Incredible. KC hosts Baltimore and the Chargers, goes to Seattle and closes the season at home against the Raiders.
· Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks became the first player in NFL history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for three different teams (Saints, Patriots, Rams).
· It took 265 games, but Tom Brady finally reached 1,000 career rushing yards.
· The Bears had one touchdown scored by nose tackle Akiem Hicks on a 1-yard plunge and another on a variation of the Philly Special. Trey Burton, who threw the pass in the Super Bowl, pitched it to Tarik Cohen this time. With quarterback Chase Daniel covered, Cohen hit wide receiver Anthony Miller.
Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins wore a black Colin Kaepernick jersey to the stadium with the hashtag in all caps #ImWithKap.
“Some people won’t stand up and speak out and say they support him because of what might come behind that,” he told the Associated Press. “But I know that after this life is done I stood up for something that’s right, not just for where I’m at right now but for people after me.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.