2013 NFL Grades, Week 14: Snow showcases Super Bowl potential
Team-by-team grades for every game around the NFL, and a discussion of just how fun snow football can really be.
It's been very chic to complain about the upcoming Super Bowl in New York, largely because New York in early February tends to be fairly crisp weather-wise. But Sunday's Week 14 action, which featured a ton of snow on the ground, showed exactly why Super Bowl XLVII could be so sompelling.
The Detroit Lions - Philadelphia Eagles game was the crown jewel of the white-filled day and it featured a straight-up blizzard from the get go.
It's kind of snowing in Philadelphia: pic.twitter.com/kVkZLFHQD7— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 8, 2013
That's not perfect football-playing weather and it showed in that game. There were a record number of two-point conversion attempts and the two teams only tried to kick an extra point once. That was an abject nightmare that was set up by Jim Schwartz calling a timeout so his players could do this:
That's right. A bunch of grown men clearing snow so the Lions could attempt an extra point instead of going for two (they were backed up 5 yards because of a false start on their first attempt).
Similar scenes unfolded all around the snow-filled NFL. The Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings had what felt like 55 lead changes in the last two minutes of that game -- something like 21 points were scored in a matter of 80 seconds. No one could tackle, much less stand up half the time.
That run by Cordarrelle Patterson resulted in a touchdown for the Vikings with less than 50 seconds left on the clock. And Minnesota lost.
Is this the sort of thing that could be classified as fair football? Probably not. Is it pretty football? Of course not. It's a total debacle. But it sure is a fun debacle.
|New Orleans Saints 31, Carolina Panthers 13|
|F||The Panthers weren't ready for that showing. They're still fine but a bad secondary got exposed when Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy couldn't put pressure on Drew Brees. The Panthers offense couldn't generate anything close to the points they need to keep up with New Orleans.|
|A||Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham manhandled their top divisional competition on Sunday night. The defense basically shut down everything Carolina had to offer and Brees barely got touched.|
|Denver Broncos 51, Tennessee Titans 28|
|C+||They got handed the wrath of Peyton Manning on Sunday. This pretty good defense got completely carved up by the Broncos. They couldn't do much offensively, either. Good effort to hang in for a half. But they gave up 31 second-half points. Yikes.|
|B+||Not the greatest day for Peyton Manning but not too bad, huh? Manning threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns and continued his assault on the record books. Montee Ball is really coming on strong as a second weapon in the running game too.|
|Arizona Cardinals 30, St. Louis Rams 10|
|D-||St. Louis couldn't get anything going on offense all day long aside from one Tavon Austin run. The defense gave up a touchdown in every single quarter. Pretty bad performance on the road in the division.|
|A-||Where was this Cardinals team last week? They throttled the Rams on all counts, bottling up Zac Stacy and turning Kellen Clemens into a human turnover. Carson Palmer only missed on five passes all day.|
|San Francisco 49ers 19, Seattle Seahawks 17|
|B-||Not a very efficient day for Russell Wilson, but this is a hard spot to play in. Winning this game would've been gravy, but not necessarily expected.|
|B||They won a physical battle to really boost their playoff hopes and their NFC West chances. Frank Gore continued playing the role of the most underrated running back in NFL history and Michael Crabtree's presence kept improving the vertical game.|
|San Diego Chargers 37, New York Giants 14|
|F||Just a lost season for Eli Manning. Hakeem Nicks finally came alive, which is about the only bright spot from this game. New York was officially eliminated after this loss. Finally.|
|A-||Another monster game for Philip Rivers, who threw three touchdowns and only seven incompletions. Keenan Allen should win Rookie of the Year. That was the Chargers best defensive performance of the year.|
|Cincinnati Bengals 42, Indianapolis Colts 28|
|D-||Andrew Luck ended up with nice passing stats, but the Colts got handled Sunday. Luck was also the team's leading rusher with two carries for 32 yards. Yikes. Da'Rick Rogers was a very pleasant bright spot, at least.|
|B+||The Good Andy Dalton showed up Sunday and you could tell: the Bengals rolled the Colts up, and the quarterback play helped a ton. The defense dominated Andrew Luck and crew in the first half, too.|
|New England Patriots 27, Cleveland Browns 26|
|B-||Heart-wrenching loss for Cleveland after they dominated that game for 58 minutes and change. A questionable pass interference call really hurt them late. Josh Gordon continued his domination, while Jason Campbell keeps looking quite serviceable.|
|C-||Did they deserve to win that game? Maybe not, but such is life in the NFL. Tom Brady really, really struggled in the first half again before cranking things up. Losing Rob Gronkowski is going to hurt this offense a lot.|
|New York Jets 37, Oakland Raiders 27|
|D-||Nice games from Marcel Reece and Rod Streater , but when the Jets hang 30-plus points on you, things have gone very, very poorly.|
|B||Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass for the first time since October, Chris Ivory pounded the rock and the defense limited Oakland outside of one long Marcel Reese run. Good to see the Jets flash some life for the first time in a few weeks.|
|Kansas City Chiefs 45, Washington Redskins 10|
|B+||Dominant performance from Kansas City. Alex Smith didn't have to do much while Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis ran wild. Two return touchdowns as well.|
|F||Horribly embarrassing game at home; at least it wasn't in prime time. The Redskins special teams are a dumpster fire. And speaking of fire, how long does Mike Shanahan have left in Washington? Doesn't feel like long.|
|Baltimore Ravens 29, Minnesota Vikings 26|
|C-||Crazy game. Brutal loss. Insult to injury with Adrian Peterson going down with a foot sprain. Cordarrelle Patterson is really starting to come on late in the year.|
|C+||Season-saving victory for the Ravens. Says a lot that they barely could get by the Vikings at home. (And it doesn't say good things.) Clutch play by Joe Flacco late.|
|Green Bay Packers 22, Atlanta Falcons 21|
|D+||Another pretty good effort for a team that's really banged up. Matt Ryan and Co. keep remaining competitive in a lost season.|
|C-||This win keeps hope alive for Aaron Rodgers ' return. Nothing pretty about it but the Packers are just a half game out of the first place in the NFC North thanks to the way things shook out for them.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Buffalo Bills 6|
|F||How absolutely embarrassing. C.J. Spiller averaged 2 yards a carry and EJ Manuel tossed four picks. They also gave up a huge game to Bobby Rainey . Miserable day.|
|B+||Big effort from Bobby Rainey (22 carries, 127 yards) although Mike Glennon wasn't exactly gangbusters (9 for 25). This game was never close. Lavonte David doesn't get enough credit for how good he really is.|
|Miami Dolphins 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 28|
|C+||Finished off the Steelers season on the road in tough conditions. Ryan Tannehill tossed a trio of touchdown passes and Charles Clay once again had a great day. He's a really underrated weapon.|
|C-||Big day for Antonio Brown but he stepped out of bounds at the wrong time. Ben Roethlisberger had another strong performance but the defense couldn't keep the Dolphins out of the end zone.|
|Philadelphia Eagles 34, Detroit Lions 20|
|D||Disaster game in the snow -- talk about a setting that wasn't conducive for the Lions offense. Matthew Stafford couldn't pass and the Lions defenders couldn't tackle.|
|B||Slow start but Nick Foles eventually got going in the snow. He finally tossed an interception but rallied nicely. LeSean McCoy was an absolute monster, running 29 times for 217 yards. Philly keeps impressing every week.|
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