40 things we learned in Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season


Check out the top moments that helped define the outcomes of Sunday’s NFL matchups.

Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (right) celebrates with offensive tackle Cam Robinson (left) after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half at EverBank Field.

The 40 things we learned from Week 14 of the NFL season:

 While the Eagles and Steelers became the first teams to clinch division titles, Sunday wasn’t nearly as decisive as it could have been for the playoff picture. Four of the remaining divisions still up for grabs feature either a tie at the top or a leader with only one game of separation.

 Antonio Brown bedeviled the Ravens yet again with 11 catches for 213 yards, but Baltimore is far from alone in its inability to slow the Steelers receiver. In his last four games, Brown has 39 catches for 627 yards and six touchdowns. He’s already surpassed his 2016 yardage total (1,296 to 1,284) despite having three games left.

With Carson Wentz injuring his knee and Russell Wilson injuring his stat line, Tom Brady might now coast to MVP honors in what had been shaping up as an exciting three-way race heading into Sunday.

Before he was hurt, Wentz fired off four TD passes against the Rams, giving him 33 for the year and establishing a new single-season Eagles record. Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen had 32 in 1961.

For the time being, Wentz is the only quarterback in the league to throw a TD pass in every game this season.

The Jaguars had been loathe to give Seattle much respect in the week leading up to their game. The Seahawks may have proved the young Jags’ point, resorting to some ugly post-whistle, late-game antics after they failed to prove their superiority on the scoreboard.

 Despite all that, with the Rams losing, Seattle can reclaim first place in the NFC West by completing a season sweep of Los Angeles next week at CenturyLink Field.

The Cowboys wore white uniform pants with their standard navy road jersey for the first time in club history Sunday.

NFL playoff picture after Week 14

Seahawks’ Quinton Jefferson tries to climb into stands after fans throw drink

However the Giants stole the fashionista award — Dallas merely won the game —breaking out the all-white uniform monochrome and block ‘GIANTS’ helmet logo they sported during the Bill Parcells years. Gorgeous.

One team that should not have worn all white Sunday was the Colts, who literally and figuratively disappeared for stretches in Buffalo’s snowstorm. 

The Cowboys averaged 7.3 points in their first three games, all losses, without suspended RB Ezekiel Elliott. But Dallas (7-6) has won its last two, averaging 34 points. Elliott is eligible to return in Week 16.

Give some credit to one of Elliott’s backups, Rod Smith, who’s scored three TDs in the past two games. Until now, Smith was better known as the brother of Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith.

Giants QB Eli Manning started his 106th consecutive game at home Sunday, so he’s still got that going for him.

Once the presumptive winner of offensive rookie of the year honors, Kansas City RB Kareem Hunt peeled himself off the rookie wall at just the right time. He had 138 yards from scrimmage and a TD in Sunday’s win, which kept the sputtering Chiefs in first place in the AFC West. Hunt had failed to break 100 total yards in his previous five games after reaching the century mark in his first seven.

The Chiefs and surging Chargers, who have now won seven of nine, will meet Saturday in Kansas City do break their first-place deadlock in the AFC West. The game might be more important to the Bolts, whose final games are against the Jets and Raiders while the Chiefs finish against the highly disappointing Dolphins and Broncos

Jimmy Garoppolo, who was 2-0 as a starter in New England, is now 2-0 as a starter for the 49ers. Somewhere, Northern California native Tom Brady is smiling.

As the post-Sashi era dawned, the Browns got a career-high three TD passes from rookie QB DeShone Kizer and their only fourth-quarter lead of 2017.

Wasn’t enough. Kizer served up one of his customary turnovers in overtime, and Cleveland lost again, becoming the first team in NFL history to start consecutive seasons 0-13.

On the flip side, the Packers may have saved their season by dodging what would have been a humiliating loss to Cleveland. WR Davante Adams was the hero, scoring the game-tying TD in the fourth quarter and the game winner in OT.

Green Bay’s final three games are against NFC teams with playoff hopes: Carolina, Minnesota and Detroit. The expectation is that Aaron Rodgers will be back under center for all of them.

Weird stat of the day: Packers QB Brett Hundley is 2-0 in overtime, while Rodgers is 1-7. 

Oft-troubled Browns WR Josh Gordon scored his first TD since 2013, so there is apparently one thing for Cleveland fans to smile about.

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart had a three-TD day Sunday, the first of his 10-year NFL career.

Entering Sunday, Vikings QB Case Keenum had been sacked nine times in 369 dropbacks, a 2.4% sack percentage that was best in the NFL.

The Panthers bagged Keenum six times in 50 dropbacks (12%) in Sunday’s win.

Keenum also turned the ball over three times after committing just five in his first 11 games with Minnesota. We’re not calling for Teddy Bridgewater, but let’s throw some cold water on this notion Keenum should be a serious MVP candidate.

We thought Adam Vinatieri was supposed to be automatic in a driving snowstorm. Pfft. He missed field goals Sunday in a game the Colts lost in overtime. (If you saw any of the game, you realize no dishonor should befall the greatest kicker of all time.)

However nobody dons the snow tires quite like Bills RB LeSean McCoy, who ran 32 times for 156 yards and a TD.

That effort came four years and two days since McCoy piled up 217 yards and two TDs in snowy Philadelphia when he was a member of the Eagles.

On a day when McCoy ran for 156 yards, the Bills and Colts had 156 yards through the air … combined. Indianapolis didn’t throw a pass in the first quarter.

Even at 34, Colts RB Frank Gore is still quite an all-weather player, too, ripping off a career-high 36 carries (for 130 yards) Sunday in his 193rd career game.

Mike Nugent missed six extra points for the Bengals last season, a major reason for their disappointing 2016 campaign. He missed again Sunday in Cincinnati as a member of the Bears.

Nugent also outscored his former team 9-7 in Chicago’s 33-7 victory, pretty much ensuring the Bengals will miss the playoffs again and likely sealing Marvin Lewis’ fate with the team. Before Sunday, the Bears hadn’t reached 30 points in a game in the  past two seasons.

No wonder the Eagles are vying for home-field advantage … the schedule makers gave them 10 home games this season. Don’t believe us? Ask Los Angelenos who saw the Eagles “visit” the Chargers and Rams this season and get overwhelming support from the crowd at both the StubHub Center and L.A. Coliseum.

We’re accustomed to sophomore slumps, but junior slumps? Titans QB Marcus Mariota has mysteriously regressed in Year 3 and now has 14 INTs and just 10 TD passes in 12 starts this season.

After passing Randy Moss on Sunday, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald trails only Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens in career receiving yards. Fitzgerald has passed Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith, Tim Brown, Tony Gonzalez, Isaac Bruce and Randy Moss this year.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara won’t win MVP honors this season, but maybe he deserves mention as a legitimate candidate. The explosive rookie was knocked out of Thursday’s loss in Atlanta with a concussion on the first series. New Orleans finished with its fewest points (17) and yards (306) this season.

Despite a sluggish 7-5 start to the season, the Falcons (now 8-5) will retain the NFC South crown if they win their final three games. Atlanta also started 7-5 last season before riding a late wave into the Super Bowl.

The Falcons are 2-0 this season when QB Matt Ryan throws three INTs. Go figure.

The Patriots will clinch the AFC East with a win over the Dolphins on Monday night. However Tom Brady, 40, is only 7-8 in games he’s played in South Florida. Go figure.



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