Top 5 Games of Last Week (12/1/14 – 12/7/14)
It was an unusual weekend in the NFL. For a league that prides itself on parity, the number of blow outs had to be disheartening, with teams winning by 24, 29 and 31 points.
#5. New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
On paper, this game was one of the least interesting match ups of the season. On Sunday, it ended up being one of the best. Throughout the whole game, the Jets fought hard, despite being down most of the game. Clearly, Rex Ryan’s Jets haven’t given up on him. But after tying it up to send it to OT, the Jets defense missed an assignment, and Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater hit Jarius Wright for an 87-yard, game-winning touchdown.
#4. Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
What a weird season for the Arizona Cardinals. At first, no one respected them because of their retread QB, Carson Palmer. Then, even after they had the best record in football, no one respected them because they won with defense, not offense. This weekend, coming off of two losses in a row, it was easy to see how Kansas City might come into Arizona and steal a win. But Arizona didn’t let that happen. With under four minutes to play, backup QB Drew Stanton found Jaron Brown for a 26-yard, game-winning touchdown. It was a typical Cardinals’ victory. And yet…and yet I still don’t take them seriously. Yes, Arizona has what I think may be the best home-field advantage in the NFL, but I don’t think they’ll lock up home field advantage in the NFC. Without it, I see them being outgunned come playoff time.
#3. Florida State Seminoles at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Like female henchwomen in Austin Powers, the Seminoles just won’t die. What’s not often talked about when a team plays an easy schedule is that there are so many opportunities to sleep on an opponent, to not prepare properly. Somehow, the Seminoles never took an opponent for granted this season, although they certainly had to deal with their fair share of terrible first-halves. Saturday was no different, with the Yellow Jackets grabbing the lead three different times in the first-half. Each time, the Seminoles tied it up, before finally upping their level of play in the second-half and taking control for good.
#2. Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns
For once, nobody’s talking about Luck’s latest game-winning drive. Is it because it’s becoming so commonplace, because he’s doing it too often? No, or at least I don’t think so. The real reason no one’s talking about Luck, is because everyone has the opportunity to talk about Manziel after Brian Hoyer’s dumpster fire performance on Sunday. Hoyer, as much as I like the guy, has been terrible in his bas four games, throwing one touchdown against 8 interceptions. Ugh. Yes, Manziel may end up being worse than Hoyer, and yes, the Browns are technically still alive in the playoff hunt, but c’mon – the Browns have to find out what they have at QB this season. Besides, if Manziel sucks, they could always bring in Jameis Winston in the offseason, right? Just imagine. Cleveland, Ohio would be the sports capital of the United States.
#1. MLS Cup – L.A. Galaxy vs New England Revolution
How could I resist ending this week’s Top 5 with a little patriotic flare? Landon Donovan captured yet another MLS Cup victory on Sunday, putting an exclamation point at the end of his incredible soccer career. Statistically the best and most decorated US men’s soccer player of all time, Donovan felt slighted when he was left off of the USMNT roster leading into 2014’s World Cup. Going out on top in this way might not totally relieve that sting, but I bet it feels pretty damn good.