New Orleans 49, Los Angeles 21 - No surprises here. The Rams have won one game in over a month, while the Saints are fighting for a playoff spot, and are always particularly tough at home. New Orleans benefitted from having Brees at quarterback, as they sliced the Rams apart all day, leading to this obviously convincing victory.
Tennessee 27, Chicago 21 - The Bears hung in there and played tough, but the rising Tennessee Titans were just a bit too much for them in the end. This win, coupled with the loss by Houston, gives the Titans an incredible opportunity to contend for this division title, a scenarios that seemed highly unlikely at season's beginning. For Chicago, this was another loss in a season that must be feeling incredibly long right about now.
Baltimore 19, Cincinnati 14 - This was the loss that likely ended any realistic hopes that the Bengals might have had to qualify for the playoffs this year, for what would have been a franchise record of six straight years. For Baltimore, this game was just what they needed, as it keeps them in a first place tie with the Steelers.
NY Giants 27, Cleveland 13 - Well, the Giants won, and avoided the chance of being the first team to lose to the Browns this season. It was considerably closer than the score would suggest, and the Giants needed two fourth quarter touchdowns to really secure this game. Still, a win is a win, and so they keep their current winning streak alive, extending it to six games - the longest winning streak for them since the 2011-2012 Super Bowl championship season! As for Cleveland, they are still trying for their first win of the season, but are running out of time now.
San Diego 21, Houston 13 - The Texans have a couple of teams right on their heels right now in their own division, and they are not playing particularly well. They keep losing at key moments, but those losses are adding up. Once again, they failed to capitalize on a solid opportunity, and now, they face the very real prospect of losing their almost season long divisional lead, with both the Titans and the Colts right on their heels. Scary times right now for the Texans!
Atlanta 38, Arizona 19 - Like with the Bengals, any realistic shot of the Cardinals recovering to qualify for the playoffs pretty much went out the window with this loss. It could technically still happen, but there really are no indications whatsoever that Arizona is capable of suddenly fixing all of the problems that has plagued them throughout this season, and prevented them from winning, the way that so many people expected them to. A solid win for the Falcons, and likely a crippling loss for Arizona, who are n the verge of having to wait for next year.
Buffalo 28, Jacksonville 21 - The Bills are an extremely streaky team this season. Right now, they are on a good streak, having won their last two. They required a comeback to take this game against the lowly Jaguars, but come back they did, and get back to enjoying a winning record. They have a tough game coming up at Oakland, though!
Miami 31, San Francisco 24 - Whew! The Dolphins escaped a dangerous potential upset here! They made this one far more interesting than most people expected, but they ultimately held on and won, which is a good thing for them. It keeps their playoff hopes, and even their divisional hopes, alive. For San Francisco, this was their tenth straight loss, and like with Chicago and Cleveland, this season must feel quite long by now.
Tampa Bay 14, Seattle 5 - I thought that the Seahawks were better than this! They allowed the Bucs to jump out ahead early, 14-0. Then, even though their defense tightened up and kept Tampa Bay from scoring the rest of the way, they only managed 5 total points! This was, of course, a huge win for the Buccaneers, while it was just a disappointing, but not necessarily crippling, loss for Seattle.
New England 24, NY Jets 17 - The Jets always play the Patriots tough. Unfortunately for New York, they still could not stop New England when it counted the most. Yes, the Jets looked like they might just pull off a stunning upset, the kind of win that would vindicate them at least a little bit this season. But then, the Patriots scored with just under two minutes left, and not long after, Ryan Fitzpatrick was stripped of the football, and that turnover was ball game.
Oakland 35, Carolina 32 - What a game! And what a season for the Raiders! For that matter, what a nightmare game and overall season for the Panthers, who basically lost whatever realistic hopes they still might have had for winning the division or qualifying for the playoffs. From 15-1 dominance and the Super Bowl, to this dismal 4-7 season where the balls just have not been bouncing their way. The Panthers may be the best 4-7 team that I have ever seen, although it is hard to tell. The fact of the matter is that they just seem to always come up short.
Kansas City 30, Denver 27 (Final/Overtime) - What a game! The battle between the second place teams of the AFC West went to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. It was a back and forth affain, with the momentum continually swinging between the two teams. It went into overtime after the game ended at 24-24 during regulation time, and Denver got the first score in overtime, with a field goal. But the Chiefs battled back, got a field goal of their own to tie it back up, and ultimately, got another field goal which stood, and allowed them to essentially clinch perhaps the most important win of their season so far.