Top 5 Games of Last Week (11/17/14 – 11/23/14)
Two items to go over before we begin this week’s Top 5. First, despite the fact that we’re getting to the exciting points in both college football and in the NFL, I had to include one non-football game this week. Second, as much as I love rooting for the underdog, I couldn’t include the Chiefs-Raiders game on this list. It just wasn’t good (enough).
#5. Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons
Aye yai yai. Remember when Matt Ryan had the best home record of any QB through the first 20 games of his career in NFL history? Remember when the Falcons were 13-3 in 2012, and Falcons Mike Smith seemed like a good head coach? Then again, remember when Brian Hoyer didn’t throw three picks in a game and suck for the first 59 minutes of play, before leading a semi-redemptive two-minute-drill-that-was-actually-40-seconds that lead to the Browns victory? Yeah, me too. It was like Mike Smith saw his players mounting a comeback, and shot them in the feet to make sure it didn’t happen.
#4. Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
If you’re actually expecting to read about the game here, phooey on you. This is about The Catch. Dallas’ comeback, Eli Manning’s foolish pass for an interception, Dallas’ dominant offensive line, Murray’s 10th 100-yard game in 11 tries – that’s all secondary to what Giants‘ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did. The Catch plays second fiddle to no one. It was the best catch I’ve ever seen, you’ve ever seen, anyone has ever seen. The backlash, while predictable, is stupid. No one’s calling it the best situational catch ever; we’re saying it’s the best catch ever. Just by itself. Sorry to the David Tyree’s, Santonio Holmes’ and whoever else you want to include in the discussion. They made great catches in bigger moments, but Beckham’s by itself was the best ever.
#3. Boston College at Florida State
Say what you want about Jameis Winston the person, but he’s a hell of a football player. In fact, as I’ve said before, he’s the best quarterback in college football, which should make him the most valuable player to NFL scouts. If he goes pro next year, he should be the number one overall pick. That said, there’s no question he should’ve been ejected from Saturday’s game. We’ve all seen players’ make less contact with referees and get ejected. And Winston gives him a good push; he puts his forearm to the ref’s belly and makes him move. But he got away with it, and as a result, we witnessed Winston lead yet another comeback.
#2. Davis Cup – Roger Federer vs. Richard Gasquet
When Federer announced just before his ATP Finals match against Djokovic that he’d have to forfeit due to a back injury, it looked like the script for the next several weeks would write itself. Poor Federer, nearly untouched by the injury bug his whole career, would feel its bite just before three of the biggest matches of his life. The Davis Cup, the one thing that’s eluded the Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion, would go to the French because he, Federer, couldn’t help fellow countryman Wawrinka when Wawrinka needed him most. When Federer lost to Monfils in the second rubber – and he lost badly – that narrative seemed to be confirmed. But Wawrinka carried the load in the doubles match, and a newly invigorated Federer put on a master class against Gasquet in the decisive match, giving the Swiss the 3-1 victory.
#1. Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos
There’s a balanced game plan, and then there’s rushing the ball 10 of the first 11 plays of the game. That’s what the Broncos did on Sunday, and – what do you know? – it didn’t go well for them. In just over a quarter, they were down 14-3 and then 21-10. Luckily, they adjusted and flipped the script, Manning finding Sanders and Thomas in key moments to prolong drives. That freed up the running game, which proceeded to gash the Dolphins for 200 yards. Manning and co. proved to be too much, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter and edging the Dolphins, 39-36.