We’re in the home stretch of the NFL regular season and teams are starting to wrap up division titles and playoff spots. It’s Week 15. Let’s go!
George Kittle, Noah Fant, and Austin Blythe
We’ll start in Seattle, where three former Hawks took the field in a crucial NFC West tie last Thursday night. After a quiet stretch, Kittle burst back on the scene as San Francisco choked Seattle out, 21-13. Kittle looked like Kittle again, finishing the game with 4 receptions for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns as San Francisco ran their winning streak to 7 games and clinched the NFC West title.
Here’s the first touchdown. This is a really cool design, and look at Big Cock Brock Purdy* standing in there and going with not one but TWO awesome pump fakes.
*[EDITOR’S NOTE: Oh. Oh no.]
With the Niners up 14-3 coming out of half, Purdy again found Kittle, this time for a 58-yard score that effectively ended the game just a minute into the second half.
Kittle now sits at 46 receptions for 593 yards and 6 touchdowns. Not bad given he failed to break 30 yards receiving in 6 of the 12 games he’s played this year and unsurprisingly had zero TDs in those games.
On the other sideline, Noah Fant scored a touchdown of his own as Hawks showed out in this game. Fant finished with 5 receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Noah Fant ATTS +475 ✅— Bet The Pigskin (@betthepigskin) December 16, 2022
In the trenches, Austin Blythe started his 14th game of the year for the now 7-7 Seahawks. Things really fell apart for the Seahawks. They’re still in a playoff spot due to the head-to-head win in Detroit, and you never know what Detroit will do to screw this up, but with Seattle still playing at Kansas City on Christmas Eve then playing the New York Jets on New Year’s Day while Detroit has at Carolina, Chicago, and at Green Bay left to finish the year, I’d lean Detroit for that spot.
Desmond King and Christian Kirksey
Houston’s still trying to win games for some reason and they put a huge scare into the Chiefs Sunday. The Chiefs rallied for a 30-24 overtime win to keep the Texans at the bottom of the heap, but this was a fight all day.
King and Kirksey again put in great shifts for the Texans with Kirksey logging 11 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss, while King had 3 tackles and a recovery of a Isiah Pacheco fumble in the second quarter that ended in a Davis Mills touchdown scamper that restored Houston’s lead at 14-7. Not bad...but the Texans are 1-12-1.
Another Iowa tight end playing a crucial role last weekend was Hockenson, as the weird, probably paper tiger Vikings rallied from a 33-0 deficit to beat Indianapolis, 39-36, Saturday in Minneapolis to clinch the NFC North. The rally set an NFL record for largest deficit overcome, just edging the famous Buffalo Bills 32-point comeback over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 playoffs. It’s just the second time since 1930 that a team trailed by 30 or more and came back to win. At the time of the game it was 1,551 games worth of data. They are the third team in league history to win 10 games by 8 or fewer points. Pretty historic night for the Vikes!
Hockenson finished this game with only 3 receptions for 33 yards, but he snagged the crucial 2-point conversion attempt with 2:15 left in regulation that tied the game at 36 apiece.
Josey Jewell had another nice day at the office, as the Broncos - gasp! - scored 24 points in a football game and won! 24 is the second-most scored by the Broncos this year, after scoring 28 a week ago in that close loss to KC. Jewell finished with 10 tackles as the Broncos snapped a 5-game losing streak. Ben Niemann was on the other sideline in this game, for Arizona, and he finished with 3 tackles in the 24-15 loss.
I’m mentioning James Ferentz here, not because of anything he did but because I want to point and laugh at the hilarity of the Patriots loss to the Raiders, an all-time moment in league history.
This is a Key & Peele skit pic.twitter.com/TkNDTblB5N— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) December 19, 2022
One more. Just the stiff arm into Middle Earth.
To the comments!