The NFL divisional races are tightening up.
Some teams are preparing for a playoff push while other teams seemed to have mailed it in.
Here’s a recap of some of the top stories from around the league.
49ERS STRIKE GOLD
San Francisco decided to burn Jimmy Garoppolo’s “redshirt” and start him against the Chicago Bears. There was speculation that Garoppolo may not play at all, but he did, and he played very well in a 15-14 victory at Soldier Field. Even though the 49ers couldn’t get in the end zone, Garoppolo finished 26-37 for 293 yards and engineered several drives deep into Chicago territory. Garoppolo was sharp on 3rd down (converting 8 of 14) and led the team on the game-winning field goal drive with seconds left. The 49ers began the season in tank mode, but now that they’ve seemingly found their franchise quarterback, the team will be content to win as many of their remaining four games as possible.
BATTLE OF THE BAYS
Green Bay was able to eke out a 26-20 overtime victory over Tampa Bay at home, but it wasn’t pretty. Backup quarterback Brett Hundley struggled mightily and was booed by the home crowd at one point. However Hundley has been able to win two of six starts and give the Packers an outside chance at the playoffs. If Hundley can hold on a little longer, the Packers may get Aaron Rodgers back in week 15 for a strong wildcard push.
Kansas City is now in full-blown meltdown mode. After a hot 5-0 start, the last team to lose its first game has acquired a taste for defeat. The Chiefs have now lost 6 of their last 7 games to even their record at 6-6. The latest defeat was a 38-31 heartbreaker to the New York Jets. Head coach Andy Reid relinquished play-calling duties and the offense received a bit of a spark, but the defense remained porous and the team lost its composure down the stretch.
Chiefs Marcus Peters chucks the flag into the crowd! 😧 #KCvsNYJ #Jets https://t.co/uQgIyKnEsS
SHARK IN SOUTH BEACH
Revenge is a dish best served cold. It’s unclear why Miami head coach Adam Gase has a beef with his former team, but after Sunday’s game, it’s clear he does. Gase, a Denver assistant coach for five years, defeated his former team 35-9, and rubbed salt in the wounds while doing so. Gase chose to go for an onside kick with the score 33-9. Gase and the Broncos seemed to have parted on good terms, but apparently they did not.
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BUFFALO BRUISED AND BATTERED
The New England Patriots might’ve delivered a finishing blow to the Buffalo Bills, literally and figuratively. The Patriots defeated the Bills 23-3 in Buffalo, essentially locking up the AFC East in another dominant defensive performance. But the Patriots also sent Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the locker room with a knee injury that could potentially end his season along with Buffalo’s. However, the coup de grace came when Rob Gronkowski unleashed a WWE-style elbow drop on an unsuspecting Bills player while he lay on the ground. Shocking (finishing) move for a typically good-natured guy.
Dirty play. RT @nfldraftupdate: Footage of the Gronk fiasco. To make matters worse, he loaded up with obvious intent before driving into Tre’Davious White’s head. https://t.co/MDZk7oyK5e