NFL Week 12 Recap — Maybe the Seahawks Aren’t That Good & Other Things We Learned
Plenty of important games came down to the final minutes on Sunday. Here’s what we learned in Week 12 of the 2016 NFL season:
The Chiefs-Broncos Game Was A Classic
Cairo Santos kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in overtime and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos, 30-27, on Sunday night. The thrilling game was an instant classic -- too rare an occurrence in the NFL this season.
After the teams traded field goals in overtime, Brandon McManus missed a 62-yard attempt with under two minutes left that would have won the game for Denver (7-4). Instead, it helped set up Kansas City (8-3) with great field position on the drive for the eventual game-winning kick.
Tyreek Hill had three touchdowns for the Chiefs, who led 16-10 heading into the fourth quarter when the Broncos rallied for two touchdowns to take a 24-16 lead.
KC quarterback Alex Smith led his team on a late drive, tossing a three-yard touchdown pass to Hill with 12 seconds to play in regulation. Smith then converted the game-tying two-point conversion on a pass to Demetrius Harris.
Trevor Siemian threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns for Denver. Emmanuel Sanders caught seven passes for 162 yards and a score.
Hill returned a free kick 86 yards for a touchdown in the first half, and he added a three-yard TD run in the third quarter.
The victory allowed the Chiefs to stay a game behind the Raiders in the AFC West race.
Derek Carr Is Invincible
Derek Carr returned from a pinkie injury to lead another late comeback, and the Oakland Raiders rallied to beat the Carolina Panthers, 35-32, despite giving up a 17-point halftime lead. Oakland (9-2) won its fifth consecutive game and clinched the franchise’s first winning season since 2002.
Carr threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns. He left early in the second half after injuring his right pinkie on a snap. His fumble on that exchange and a subsequent interception both fueled a rally by Carolina (4-7) that took them from a 24-7 halftime deficit to a 32-24 lead in the fourth quarter. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton had touchdown passes of 88 and 44 yards in the comeback.
Undaunted, Carr threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford and a two-point conversion to Seth Roberts that knotted the score at 32 midway through the final quarter. After the Raiders’ leaky defense held Carolina, Carr led his team into position for Sebastian Janikowski's 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left.
Oakland linebacker Khalil Mack, who scored on a pick-six off Newton near the end of the first half, sacked and stripped the 2015 NFL MVP to end the game. The Raiders’ next step is clinching their first playoff berth since the 2002 season.
The Seahawks Aren’t As Good As We Thought
Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the Seattle Seahawks, 14-5, on Sunday in Florida. Tampa Bay (6-5) remained in the playoff hunt thanks to an inspired defense that sacked Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson six times and intercepted him twice.
Seattle (7-3-1) had its three-game winning streak snapped and suddenly looked very flawed after winning key games over Buffalo, New England and Philadelphia in the past three weeks.
Winston completed 21 of 28 passes for 220 yards, with the two touchdowns to Evans and one interception. Evans had eight catches for 104 yards. The Bucs scored all their points in the first quarter and held on for the win while the Seahawks scuffled offensively, turning the ball over three times.
Coming into this game, Seattle seemed to be the team most likely to compete with Dallas for the NFC title. They certainly didn’t play like it on Sunday.
Justin Tucker Kicked The Bengals Into 2017
Justin Tucker kicked four field goals, including three from 50-plus yards, and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-14, on Sunday. The win allowed Baltimore (6-5) to snap a five-game losing streak against Cincinnati (3-7-1), and remain tied for first place in the AFC North with Pittsburgh.
Tucker made kicks from 52, 57 and 54 yards in the first half for the Ravens. He hit a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for his 34th consecutive made kick.
Down 19-12, the Bengals still could have tied the game at the end, but quarterback Andy Dalton could not finish a scoring drive. He had four passes batted down before losing a fumble after being sacked by Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil with 1:05 left to play.
Dalton went 26 for 48 for 283 yards with two turnovers for Cincy, which is all but out of playoff contention for the first time in six years.
Jared Goff Is Good, But The Rams Defense Isn’t
Drew Brees threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns and Mark Ingram ran for 146 yards and two scores, as the New Orleans Saints crushed the Los Angeles Rams, 49-21, on Sunday. Jared Goff, the NFL’s No. 1- overall draft pick last spring, completed 20 of 32 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns for Los Angeles (4-7), but he couldn’t help the Rams defense stop New Orleans (5-6).
The Saints amassed 555 yards of offense on Gregg Williams, their former defensive coordinator who is now with Los Angeles. Brees became one of three quarterbacks in NFL history with 30 touchdowns in nine different seasons, joining Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.
Goff showed the Rams that he was a solid choice at No. 1 last spring, but he’ll need help to get Los Angeles back to relevancy in the NFC. Head coach Jeff Fisher should concentrate on building around his stud QB for the rest of the 2016 season.
Sunday, Nov. 27
Miami 31, San Francisco 24
Tennessee 27, Chicago 21
Buffalo 28, Jacksonville 21
San Diego 21, Houston 13
N.Y. Giants 27, Cleveland 13
Atlanta 38, Arizona 19
New England 22, N.Y. Jets 17