Week 16 Early Games Recap

The Tony Romo narrative turns again with his latest comeback

12/22/13 in NFL   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Week 16 Early Games RecapThe Tony Romo clutch/unclutch debate will clearly never die, and will keep First Take and its ilk rich with segments for eternity. Today was "won" by the clutch gang, as Romo led the Cowboys down the field for an 87 yard touchdown drive that concluded with a 10 yard pass to DeMarco Murray. That gave Dallas a 24-23 win over Washington. The winning play (well, not counting the extra point) came after Murray lost about 8 yards on 3rd down. Even more impressive was that Romo was clearly hobbling for much of the second half, to the point that he could barely move. The win keeps Dallas's season alive, and guarantees that next week's game against the Eagles will decide the NFC East title. Tonight's game is meaningless to the Eagles. Now, the Cowboys will probably blow it next week and finish 8-8 again, but for now, they got it done.

Elsewhere in the early Week 16 games:

It was an ugly game punctuated by a monsoon, but the Panthers came back with a last minute drive to beat the Saints 17-13 and take the lead in the NFC South, as well as clinch a playoff berth. Cam Newton, who just minutes earlier was being derided by noted boob Peter King, led the Panthers 65 yards in just 5 plays and 32 seconds. It finished with a 14 yard pass to Dominick Hixon. Carolina win the division and earns a bye with a win next week in Atlanta.

It was looking good for the Dolphins, playing Buffalo the same day the Ravens, their main competition for the 6th seed, got stuck playing the Patriots. Instead, Miami all but took themselves out of contention by laying a massive egg, losing 19-0 to the Bills. The Dolphins gained 103 yards total on offense. That includes just 14 on the ground. Ryan Tannehill went 10/27 for 82 yards. He was benched for a time, but Matt Moore was worse, throwing two interceptions. The Dolphins now need to win next week and have the Ravens lose twice to have any chance at the playoffs, and that's not considering San Diego.

The Patriots, meanwhile, clinched the AFC East with the Miami loss, because they even played today.

The Colts dominated the Chiefs 23-7 in a potential playoff preview. The Chiefs are now basically locked into the 5th seed, while the Colts are likely to end up at the 4 spot.

As already noted, Peyton Manning broke the record for most passing touchdowns in a season, and at the same time, the Broncos won the division and a first round bye.

The Bengals took a big step closer to the AFC North title with a 42-14 thrashing of the Vikings.

They Also Played: The Rams beat the Bucs 23-13...The Jets did this, but still beat the Browns 24-13...The Titans defeated Jacksonville 20-16. The bottom of the NFL looks like this now:

Houston 2-13
Washington 3-12 (pick to St. Louis)
Tampa Bay 4-11
Cleveland 4-11
Jacksonville 4-11
Atlanta 4-10
Oakland 4-10
Minnesota 4-10-1

If Houston wins next week (at Tennessee) and Washington loses (at the Giants), the Rams will get the #1 pick.
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