For some of the matchups during this week’s slate of NFL games, the emotions and intensity were at an awfully high level. Many saw the New England Patriots squeak out a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers spoil the return of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater take a snap from under center for the first time in almost two seasons.
But aside from these few notable events, what were some of the lesser known developments that occurred during Sunday’s action from Week 15 of the 2017 NFL season?
Redskins eliminate any remaining playoff hopes for the Cardinals
Their chances were not very high heading into Sunday, but the Arizona Cardinals with a 6-7 record still had a shot at getting into the postseason this year. However, that all went away when they fell 20-15 to the Washington Redskins.
The Cardinals got no help from quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who completed just 16 of 41 passes for 189 yards and an interception. In Gabbert’s defense, he was facing pressure for a majority of the day as Arizona’s offensive line gave up five sacks to the Redskins.
Despite the Cardinals out-rushing Washington by 90 yards and controlling the ball on offense for more than 35 minutes, Arizona just could not find a way to get a win.
With injuries to quarterback Carson Palmer and running back David Johnson this year, the Cardinals did pretty much everything they could to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. But unfortunately, their postseason dreams went down the drain after losing on Sunday.
Garoppolo remains undefeated as a starter for the 49ers
Before Week 13 of this season, the San Francisco 49ers had won three out of their previous 27 games. Since Jimmy Garoppolo became the team’s starting quarterback in Week 13, the team has won three games in the past three weeks.
This time, Garoppolo led San Francisco to an impressive win over the 8-5 Tennessee Titans. Thanks to a field goal by kicker Robbie Gould as time expired, the 49ers were able to escape the afternoon with a 25-23 victory over the Titans.
Garoppolo set a new single-game career high with 381 passing yards and he tossed a touchdown on Sunday as well. Safe to say San Francisco made a smart move when they acquired the quarterback from the New England Patriots back in October.
Browns running out of chances to get a win this season
After jumping out to an early 7-3 lead in the second quarter of their matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, it looked like the Cleveland Browns had an actual shot at getting their first win of the 2017 season.
However, any of those thoughts were quickly erased as the Ravens went on to outscore the Browns 24-3 for the remainder of the day and eventually handed Cleveland their 14th loss of the year by a final score of 27-10.
The Browns’ last real chance to win a game this year may be next week when they head to Chicago to take on the Bears. If they don’t come out with a victory after that matchup, their final attempt will come in Week 17 on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Jaguars clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007
It has not been pleasant to root for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the past decade. But on Sunday, the team finally gave their fans something to cheer about.
After easily defeating the Houston Texans by a score of 45-7, the Jaguars clinched a spot in the AFC playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season. Jacksonville’s 10 wins this year are the most they have had since 2007 as well.
With a Tennessee Titans loss or a Jacksonville win over the San Francisco 49ers next week, the Jaguars would continue their resurgent season and clinch the AFC South division crown. For a team that has won seven of its last eight games, Jacksonville could definitely end up surprising a few people in the upcoming postseason.