NFL Week 15 Winners and Losers

For the first time this season, teams are clinching playoff berths. Those teams secured their divisions and have chances at top seeding. Even more exciting are the teams that had chances to clinch and couldn’t, setting historical marks falling short. Time to see who or what else stood out after week 15 ended.

Winners: Amon-Ra St. Brown

The rookie mid-round pick could wind up being a star receiver in Detroit’s offensive rebuild. St. Brown gained fame in the sports world for his game winning touchdown catch a few weeks ago in a home win against the Minnesota Vikings. St. Brown was the best receiver in Ford Field on Sunday catching eight passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Whenever quarterback Jared Goff needed a completion or a third down conversion, the rookie came through catching all but three passes thrown his way.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes has a lot to fix on offense and while he won’t have the number one pick heading into the 2022 draft, there’s relief knowing he made the right trades, coaching hires and picks in his first draft in Detroit. Amon-Ra St. Brown works well with his feet near the out of bounds markers and can break away from defenders. He may not have the career former Lion wide receiver Calvin Johnson did but he’ll be a key player for whoever’s quarterback going forward.

Duke Johnson

Credit to the New York Jets’ Robert Saleh for going through an awful year in his first season as head coach. Jets Dolphins was one of the few entertaining early games, and second overall pick Zach Wilson at times looked like Russell Wilson in some first half plays. The best player on the field was veteran runningback Duke Johnson, who took over in the second quarter and is a factor in Miami’s rebound to .500.

During the broadcast it was said Johnson’s playing on the team he wanted to win with as a child and he’s showing it in a resurgent season. His two touchdowns got Miami three points within a tie, and then a tied score in the third quarter. His 22 runs for 107 yards was a reason the Dolphins dominated time of possession in the second half. Coach Brian Flores realized his team started slow and made the right adjustments, giving the best players available more time to take control.

In order for Miami to clinch a playoff spot, the running game has to gain traction for more than just one half. It’s perfect timing since most playoff bound teams start balancing their running and passing games before January.

Dennis Allen and the New Orleans Saints

Dennis Allen’s first stint as head coach with the Oakland Raiders from 2012 to not even mid 2014 was Lane Kiffin-level bad. The 2013 Raiders defense was one of the worst the NFL’s seen this century. After the firing, Allen went to New Orleans to re-tool and learn how to overcome those failures. Sunday night’s shutout over the current Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will give Allen another chance to be a head coach somewhere after the season.

ESPN reported Sunday night was the first time an opponent shut out a Tom Brady offense without scoring a touchdown. It’s also the first time Brady’s been shutout at home, snapping a 175 game streak. The last time the 44 year old quarterback didn’t score was against the Nick Saban led Dolphins in 2006. What’s more impressive is the Saints did it without head coach Sean Payton on the sideline (Payton’s battling a second bout of COVID-19).

That promoted assistant and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to head coach for one game. Allen’s defense intercepted Brady once, injured his top three receivers/play makers, and forced and recovered a fumble after Brady ran for a first down try. They made the headline MVP candidate look like a backup.

It’s possible this is what current Raiders owner Mark Davis saw in Allen when he hired him in 2012. Some of the most successful coaches in NFL history succeeded with one team but were horrendous with others. Allen might have a better tenure the second time if a team hires him this offseason.

Losers: Todd Downing and the hapless Tennessee Titans offensive line

The second half collapse from the Titans’ offense will be blamed on turnovers and poor play from quarterback Ryan Tannehill (because that’s how people think if/when quarterbacks play poorly). The causes of the turnovers and inept play starts with Tennessee’s offensive line, which is terrible in many ways.

There is some leniency with no Derrick Henry or A.J. Brown starting but it doesn’t excuse why the five men up front play like sieves. Tannehill was sacked four times and intercepted once due to poor pass protection and constant pressure seconds after starting plays. His lost fumble after a run happened because of the offensive line caving in earlier than expected.

What’s worse was the second half gameplan offensive coordinator Todd Downing drew up. Runningback D’Onta Foreman almost averaged five yards a carry on 22 runs. He had a 100 yard game and could’ve been one of the highlighted players of the week. Foreman didn’t turn the ball over or face pressures. He did help the offensive line gain confidence in moving the defense backwards and taking pressure off Tannehill on long drives. Downing wanted a pass heavy second half, steering away from what worked to how the Titans could have an aerial advantage.

Tennessee is one game up on the Indianapolis Colts for first place but any chance at the number one seed and a bye week is done. They also keep Pittsburgh in the AFC North race. The Steelers aren’t in the playoff talks if D’Onta Foreman closes out the second half rather than turnovers three straight possessions.

The career of Mike Glennon

Some quarterbacks are bad because they aren’t given time or talent to succeed. A good number are and become backups for good reasons. Yet some are just bad and shouldn’t be on a field no matter the condition.

Glennon is a good example. Giants starter Daniel Jones could miss the rest of the season and that means someone has to start in New York. Unfortunately, Dallas’ defense is one of the league’s best and Glennon had no idea who was in open coverage or who his receivers were. He threw for 99 yards and three interceptions in three and a half quarters of play.

His career started by tanking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the first pick of the 2014 draft and has gotten worse. Every team Mike Glennon played for moved on quickly, including the 2017 Chicago Bears. In four games with the Giants he’s thrown three touchdowns, seven interceptions and just over 50% of his passes.

Sunday’s performance was so bad that coach Joe Judge has named Jake Fromm, an openly racist quarterback the Buffalo Bills cut just after the 2020 draft, to start the remaining games of the season. It’s been stated how bad the New York Giants have been for the last five years, but this is a new low after another failed season.

John Harbaugh’s addiction for two point conversions

Harbaugh is one of the league’s most respected and tenured coaches. It’s why Baltimore’s three game losing streak is shouldered on him for the inability to make smart decisions. Sunday was the second of those three losses to fall on a failed two point conversion.

Two point conversions after touchdowns are risky when a team is trailing especially late in a game. While backup Tyler Huntley wasn’t the preferred starter, the Ravens turned the tide in the fourth quarter. They stifled Green Bay’s offense and scored at will. It’s why the decision to go for a two point conversion with 47 seconds left baffled many.

Keep in mind Baltimore’s kicker Justin Tucker broke the field goal record this year. Not using a kicker to tie a game could demoralize that asset over time. Plus there’s no guarantee Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers could win the game anyway. Poor decision making has Baltimore in third place and it falls on a coach who put faith in analytics and not smart football.

Note: The writer, editor and publisher will be extended break after this is published. Winners and Losers will return for the NFL’s regular season finale January 10th. There will be an additional publishing before New Years in either professional basketball, ice hockey or the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

NFL Week 14 Winners and Losers

The fourteenth week of the regular season eliminated teams from playoff contention and solidified division leaders. The playoffs are a month away and most teams are getting ready for free agency/offseason, or vying for home-field advantage. Time to break down who’s closer to the Super Bowl and who’s ready for a top five position in the draft.

Winners: Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Derrick Gore

Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been the unstoppable force many expected or wanted not just because of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ play, but also an anemic running game. Sunday showed how great the offense can be if the starting runningbacks have good games.

Starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s faced valid criticism on his play. He’s a late first round pick both Mahomes and general manager Brett Veach thought could add flexibility to the offense. While he’s struggled in the starting role this season, Sunday was a step in the right direction.

Edwards-Helaire ran for two of the three touchdowns Kansas City scored in the second quarter of a home rout of the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs had the biggest blowout against the Raiders in their franchise’s historic rivalry.

Backup Derrick Gore deserves credit too. The undrafted rookie had the longest run of his season for 51 yards and his second career touchdown. The game was out of reach but he needs to see the field more in order to improve his vision and efficiency.

If the running game improves the last four weeks of the season, it’s possible Kansas City winds up as the top team to beat in the playoffs. In an up-and-down AFC, the Chiefs have the leverage until someone beats them.

The Cleveland Browns after the bye

Cleveland was fortunate to play the same opponent back-to-back with an off week in between. Regardless of an injury to Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Browns were the better all-around team.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield looked better after a week off. While he threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns, Mayfield made it known this was the best he felt all season. Cleveland’s offensive line has been hit or miss, but they played well and protected Mayfield when the play-calling went pass heavy.

The defense continues improvement from last season especially in the secondary. Part of that is due to another year of chemistry on the front seven and the increased pressures on opposing offenses. The Browns defense forced and recovered two fumbles while sacking Jackson and backup Tyler Huntley four times.

The AFC North race is tight but Cleveland can come out on top if the offense steps up and gets hot at the right time. Runningbacks Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb can add potency in their returns from injury.

Javonte Williams and the Denver Broncos

Denver’s been a hard team to figure out. They look good some weeks and awful in others. One positive is runningback Javonte Williams, who’s giving the offense ways to win and extend drives.

It’s known the Detroit Lions keep most of their games close, and they did the first half in the Mile High City. The Broncos dominated in the second half thanks to Williams’ touchdown catch and Melvin Gordon III running for a score.

Javonte Williams has the potential to be a dual purpose runningback, and Denver’s starting to realize that. His rushing stats are higher because of increased usage the past three weeks but he’s also a good receiver averaging almost nine yards a catch, three touchdowns and almost 300 yards. If he can keep the fumbles to a minimum, there’s no reason he can’t be a top five runningback in the league.

Also, applause to Tim Patrick, Cortland Sutton, the fans and the Broncos organization for honoring and memorializing Demaryius Thomas, who passed away last week. What Denver, Detroit and referee John Hussey did in the opening makes all of them winners.

The race for the number one seed in the NFC

Since the NFL expanded to a seven team playoff format, many wondered when competition for the top seed’s lone bye would make playoff caliber teams perform better and stay closer with their winning records. It’s happened in year two of the format.

Arizona (pending the Monday night result) is best in the NFL with two losses, but Green Bay and Tampa Bay are close behind with three. The Dallas Cowboys have four. Dallas and Arizona play week 17 and the result of that game could rearrange the top four order in the conference.

Outside of that matchup, each team has at least one difficult game. Tampa Bay hasn’t beaten New Orleans in the regular season since Tom Brady’s arrival. Green Bay lost to Minnesota earlier in the year and could struggle with Baltimore and Cleveland. Arizona plays both Indianapolis and Seattle, teams playing desperate football despite injuries. You couldn’t ask for a more exciting finish in a more competitive NFC.

Losers: Urban Meyer’s First Season in Jacksonville

The Urban Meyer experiment peaked at the hiring and has been downhill since. Before Sunday, news sources ranging from Yahoo Sports to USA Today reported brutal treatment to coaches and staff and how ruling with impunity caused franchise stars such as number one pick Trevor Lawrence to openly say certain players need to play more instead of being benched. Then came Sunday.

Lawrence was sacked three times and knocked down at least double. He threw four interceptions on 40 passing attempts. The Jaguars were shutout against a Tennessee Titans squad who’s best player outside of quarterback Ryan Tannehill is replacement runningback D’Onta Foreman.

The press conference sunk them lower. On a question regarding assistant coaches speaking out against Urban Meyer’s stubbornness and terrible running of the team, the head coach said anyone who leaked information from within to the press would be fired. No head coach can either say this publicly or make the move without the general manager’s approval.

The worst part is Jacksonville owner Shad Khan may not be able to fire Meyer because of the contract in place. Five years remain under the current contract broken down in this published article by Charles Robinson earlier today.

The Jaguars have issues with crowd attendance since re-building and while this is the most pivotal point in the franchise, it’s led by a coach who has no business in the NFL. Meyer’s capable of ruining the team top to bottom, again opening the idea of the Jaguars moving to another market. It’s not that far off with how bad the team’s been since 2008.

Cincinnati Bengals

There wasn’t a worse loss for a playoff caliber team than Cincinnati’s on Sunday. Despite turnovers, penalties and a slow start, the Bengals led by three and lost in overtime because no one could cover a tight-end.

From fumbles on offense by rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase to fumbles on punt returns, Cincinnati couldn’t hold onto the ball in the first half against the 49ers. Despite the blunders, San Francisco lead 20-6 after the third quarter.

The Bengals played their one good quarter of football in the fourth. The game went to overtime after a Robbie Gould missed field goal, and the Bengals responded by making theirs. It was their only lead. The defense had no answer for George Kittle who had his second 150 yard game in two weeks on 13 catches. The touchdown from Jimmy Garappolo to Brandon Aiyuk gave San Francisco the win.

The worst part is Cincinnati’s playoff positioning. Baltimore lost in the early afternoon, so the Bengals had an opportunity to jump to first place and further knock the Ravens off the playoff standings (especially after Lamar Jackson’s injuries and terrible play). Pittsburgh would also have little chance of winning the division since they lost both divisional games decisively. The Bengals drop to third place in the AFC North and are in ninth place, two spots outside the final playoff berth.

Buffalo Bills

Ever since the Sunday night dominance over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills have played like one of the worst teams in the NFL. Their wins after that Sunday night are against what was the one win Dolphins, the New York Jets and the Trevor Siemian-led New Orleans Saints. That’s a poor list considering this team made the conference championship last year and were touted as one of the league’s best teams.

On offense, quarterback Josh Allen looks more like what people say Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is: a thrower who either forces passes to his top three targets or a runner who is the main runningback on the team. The offensive line has regressed and none of the runningbacks are trusted for critical yardage gains.

On defense, a unit that many said was the best in the league was again picked apart by nemesis Tom Brady. What was accidentally funny and shocking was a Brady pass on 3rd on 3 in overtime where CBS commentator Tony Romo said something along the lines of, “This is it. This is the play of the game. If Buffalo wants to win, they have to get the offense off the field or in a position to punt.” 15 seconds later, Brady threw his 700th career touchdown to a receiver who hadn’t caught a pass all game.

While Buffalo finishes with a softer schedule compared to teams like Indianapolis and Cleveland, they aren’t a team who can go far in the playoffs or even win a game. This is after playing like the best team in their conference up to week seven. It doesn’t more disappointing than that.

The NFL and NBC’s terrible decision of making audiences watch Bears-Packers

Journalists are supposed to be objective in criticism and I think this particular criticism in flexing games is valid especially when commissioner Roger Goodell flexed two games to be played this upcoming Saturday and not on their Sunday dates. The last Sunday night games have been terrible for audiences wanting to watch good football.

Last week was how you don’t flex a divisional matchup that is entertaining and can pull an audience from a specific area of the country. The logic the NFL and NBC used to flex week 13’s Seattle-San Francisco matchup wasn’t there in a skewed Chicago-Green Bay game. Green Bay has “owned” the Chicago Bears since 1992, and while the Bears put up a good fight for one half, the coverage was awful. Here’s a list of terrible and disrespectful things on the Sunday night show.

  • When making picks for Sunday night’s game, the SNF poll reported 95% of the audience expected Green Bay to win. Instead of everyone saying who they had winning the game, show host Mike Tirico said, “there’s no need, you all know who we have winning tonight.” Everyone picked the home team Packers.
  • Cris Collinsworth wouldn’t shut up about how Aaron Rodgers is, “a great guy. He doesn’t care. Have you seen a guy, and in particular this year, be more honest about everything. You may not agree with everything he says, but we have heard from the beginning of this entire season exactly what he thinks about everything.” This from the quarterback who said he was immunized, believed in Joe Rogan’s “science-filled” podcasts and took Ivermectin. Sure Cris.
  • Jokes, roasting, blatant disrespect and ignoring the Chicago Bears outside of Matt Nagy praise in the first half (for who knows what). The last ten minutes of the game both Al Michaels and Collinsworth made it known they wanted to talk about Rodgers and doing one-liners when the Bears were the focus. What’s important is how they’re not the only broadcasting crew on a network airing football to do this. Fans, including those in Chicago would like for the Bears not to be watched on national television because of how bad they are.
  • Must we be reminded of how terrible the Bears are since their one Super Bowl win? Again?
  • When the Bears are on offense but bearded doppelgänger of Aaron Rodgers is more important.

The worst was on ESPN’s Sportscenter when Scott Van Pelt said the best thing he saw Sunday was the thrilling win by the 2021 Canadian Football League champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers in their Grey Cup overtime win. Most of that game was aired during the Bears-Packers game.

If the NFL wanted to flex a divisional matchup, Dallas and Washington would’ve been a great game in terms of audience, revenue and a close finish. Tom Brady facing the Buffalo Bills has a lot to work with and spin. Even Baltimore and Cleveland part two would’ve been a more fun watch. The NFL has to choose which games deserve flexing and be consistent on why.

NFL Week 13 Winners and Losers

The first weekend of December featured division rivalries, upsets, and high-scoring games. The closer we are to the playoffs, the clearer the playoff picture regarding who can make a deep run and who may be one and done. Time to break down the best and worst from week 13.

Winners: Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions

Despite a winless record until Sunday, the Lions played all but two games close at some point. There’s been improvement almost every week. The defense is better than their last win before Sunday (almost a year to the day) and quarterback Jared Goff is playing better than his predecessor Matthew Stafford (despite some turnovers).

Without Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen, Detroit led against Minnesota most of the game until late in the fourth quarter with less than a minute remaining. Goff found a wide open Amon-Ra St. Brown for the game winning score. Ford Field erupted in celebration. Coach Campbell and his players congratulated each other.

What’s equally important was the press conference where both Campbell and Goff didn’t want to talk about the win, but honor the Oxford high school shooting victims, dedicating the game winning ball to them and those affected. On a day the head coach should be elated by the first win in his career, it was the opposite, focusing on life outside sports.

Where many of us want the best teams to stand out, the Lions are the first and best winners of the week. Dan Campbell was the right hire and it’s shown by how the team rallies around him and buys in to his leadership.

Tom Brady’s Case for 2021 MVP

For some people, it gets old hearing about how a 44 year old man in Florida keeps impressing each week. It can’t be overlooked how once-in-a-lifetime this is. Brady’s thrown 34 touchdowns and ten interceptions with five weeks remaining to break his personal best 50 touchdown record.

Brady finally passed the 200 interception mark Sunday (which was returned for a touchdown). He’d already thrown over 600 touchdowns. No quarterback in NFL history achieved that specific order.

The Buccaneers swept Atlanta for the second straight year. The Falcons are winless in ten tries facing the most decorated quarterback in NFL history. He threw four touchdowns; three in the first half and the fourth to seal a ten point lead in the third quarter.

Two final things to consider for Brady winning MVP: he has more total touchdowns (35) than 17 teams after Week 13. Two are Super Bowl hopefuls in Green Bay and Baltimore. Sunday was also the sixth game he’s thrown four or more touchdowns, a career high. As referenced by Scott Van Pelt, the six other quarterbacks who’ve accomplished this stat-line all won MVP.

Matt Eberflus and the Indianapolis Colts defense

After a devastating home loss against Tampa Bay to end November, the Indianapolis Colts defense rebounded, shutting out the Houston Texans. According to ESPN, this is the first shutout for the Colts on the road since 1992.

The Texans offense couldn’t do anything right against defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ defense. Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched in the third quarter after completing six passes, including one to Indianapolis defender Kenny Moore II. It didn’t help Taylor may need time off with an injury to his left hand.

Houston mustered less than 200 yards of offense. Their best receiver had 38 yards. These are hard stats to come across in the 2020s NFL. The defense added two turnovers and four sacks to a perfect game.

Eberflus has been a candidate for a head-coaching job since 2019. It’s strange he hasn’t been hired by a team wanting a fresh mindset. That could change this offseason.

Adrian Peterson

Peterson is probably the best generational athlete the NFL has witnessed outside the quarterback position in the last 20 years. The durability and productivity is unmatched outside of two players. So when he scored Sunday to cut San Francisco’s lead to three, it was a special moment for not just Seattle, but his career.

Peterson becomes the first runningback in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown with six different teams. His 126 touchdowns now tie him with the great Jim Brown at tenth all-time.

120 of those touchdowns have been running, and that puts him three behind Marcus Allen for third all time for runningbacks. All he needs now is that elusive Super Bowl victory.

Losers: New York Giants

Early in the season on Pro Talk, Wesley and I discussed who we thought the worst team in the NFL could be. Wesley made the case of the New York Giants while I talked on the Atlanta Falcons (more on them in a bit). I’d personally say after Sunday that Wesley might be right.

It’s possible the Giants are the worst of the two football teams playing in New Jersey. While starting quarterback Daniel Jones didn’t play, backup Mike Glennon shouldn’t be on an active roster. His 44 passing attempts for under 200 yards has to be one of the worst stat-lines this season.

Former first round pick Saquon Barkley ran eleven times for 55 yards. Despite the five yards per carry, Barkley doesn’t look like a building block to move the franchise forward. Despite the injuries, he’s been a non-factor and at times the team’s worse with him on the field. One has to wonder if he’d thrive somewhere else or if anyone pays half the contract extension he desires.

Then there’s head coach Joe Judge. Down 20-9 late in the fourth, Judge sent out the field goal unit to attempt a 56 yard kick instead of going for a touchdown. Even if it was good, New York would be down eight with nine seconds in the game. Graham Gano was in a losing situation. He missed the kick.

Outside of a few playoff berths since their last Super Bowl win, the Giants are now an irrelevant team. Terrible drafting and development of players, bad coaching hires and failure to address issues in management have resulted in the franchise alone in last place within the NFC East. It’s possible we won’t see improvement until fans burn season tickets and chant for ownership change again.

Atlanta Falcons offensive line

The argument was made after this year’s draft that Cincinnati made a mistake passing over the best offensive lineman for a wide receiver, especially when their star quarterback was out the remainder of the 2020-21 season an ACL tear. While it’ll be debated in future seasons, the Atlanta Falcons did the same thing, and it’s shown how bad that miscue was.

Atlanta was over the salary cap and had to deal one of their franchise stars. It’s possible they made a mistake trading Julio Jones and not quarterback Matt Ryan. The 36 year old captain is in the twilight of his career. He’s also sacked and hit more than any quarterback in the league except Russell Wilson.

Sunday was more of the same. Tampa’s defensive line recorded five sacks on Ryan, and all were by the defensive interior. They smothered Atlanta the second half and ensured a win by middle fourth quarter.

The Falcons used their first round pick on tight end Kyle Pitts. Coach Arthur Smith is undecided on how to use him depending on the month. Though maybe he’d be used more if Ryan had time to read a field.

John Harbaugh

It’s a rare thing when the Harbaugh brother in the NFL is having a worse week than his brother in college football but these things happen occasionally. While there’s heavy blame on Lamar Jackson’s play in Pittsburgh, a lot of it goes on coach Harbaugh for not preparing his quarterback better.

It’s obvious Jackson struggles against a cover-zero defense. Opposition has played the Ravens offense in this scheme since a Thursday night loss in Miami. It’s shocking this is the fourth game Baltimore’s scored less than 20 points. You can’t say it’s just the quarterback.

The Ravens are playing too many close games and have more comebacks than a team wanting a playoff spot should. Playing catch-up comes back to bite usually near postseason, and it’s bit the Ravens into a four-way tie for first in their conference.

Coach Harbaugh has to critically analyze the staff and how the team’s played since that key Thursday night loss and make changes. Otherwise, it’ll be a quick exit in January.

NBC’s Week 13 Flexed Game Decision

A few weeks ago NBC (at the urging of the NFL) flexed week 13’s matchup between the San Francisco 49ers v. Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos v. Kansas City Chiefs. While some criticized the game chosen in the flex, it’s obvious NBC made a mistake in substituting a game that had no chance of being entertaining.

The NFC West matchup was a longer played game but started off in wild fashion. Not even ten seconds into game time a player was carted off the field. The first quarter after that injury had this:

  • Seattle fake-punt run for a touchdown, first in at least two years.
  • Seattle fumble recovered by San Francisco, leading to a 49er touchdown the next play.
  • Quarterback Jimmy Garappolo intercepted by Bobby Wagner.
  • Field goal miss plays after interception.
  • 49ers take a seven point lead next possession.

There were three more quarters of fun football that included Adrian Peterson’s record setting score, rookie Dee Eskridge catching his first touchdown, a safety on Garappolo, Tyler Lockett’s game winning touchdown catch, Gerald Everett’s lost fumbles in two different endzones, a goal-line stand, and more interceptions from both quarterbacks.

Even for new or learning fans, that’s a lot taking place in one game. It would probably be the most talked about game today if it retained the primetime spot. What NBC broadcast instead wasn’t a rivalry but another embarrassing performance by Denver. The Broncos haven’t beaten Kansas City since legendary quarterback Peyton Manning retired. Manning got into the Hall of Fame faster than Denver splitting a series with the Chiefs.

Let’s not shy away from Kansas City’s offense either. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw under 200 yards and an interception. The defenses on both teams played well but the only memorable thing was Denver having 20 offensive plays on one drive and scoring zero points. The network can’t get upset if someone turned the t.v. off after watching that.