DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears congratulates Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos after the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bears 13-10 in overtime. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Tim Tebow does it again, the Packers cruise to 13-0 and the Texans clinch the first playoff berth in franchise history. It's all here in the Week 14 NFL Debrief.
Week 14 in the NFL was...well, that was certainly something. Tim Tebow did what Tim Tebow does, the Cowboys lost in disappointing fashion (again), the Packers had a 31-point lead by halftime and the Texans clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history.
Here's more on what we saw in Week 14:
Tim Tebow does it again. I'm not sure the words written here will do this justice but, as we say after nearly every Broncos game these days, Tebow was miserable for three quarters and outstanding at the end of the game. Look at his numbers from the first three quarters compared to the fourth quarter and overtime:
First three quarters: 3-of-16 for 45 yards, one interception, 0 touchdowns.
Fourth quarter and OT: 18-of-24 for 191 yards, 0 interceptions, one touchdown.
Even more amazingly, the Broncos are now 8-5, leading the AFC West by one game and they control their own destiny. And this is all after starting the season 1-4. Sure, Marion Barber's critical errors down the stretch helped things for Denver, but this is the type of thing we're seeing every week from Tebow. You have to see it to believe it.
Packers move to 13-0 and look good doing it. Don't they always look good winning games? Aaron Rodgers and Co. are simply on another level and that was evident on Sunday when they scored on their first offensive play and ran up the score 31-0 before halftime. They go on the road to Kansas City next week, where they'll be heavy favorites, before finishing up at home against the Bears and Lions. The question is no longer whether they're the best team in the league this year. That much is obvious, they are. The question is where this team ranks in the all-time history of great teams.
Cowboys let the Giants back in the NFC East. The Giants had lost four straight games and faced what was essentially a must-win on Sunday night against Dallas. A loss by New York would have put them two games behind the division with three to play. The two teams kept it close throughout the game until it came down to a field goal for the Cowboys to tie it all up. Jason Pierre-Paul, who is quietly putting together one of the best defensive performances this season, blocked Dan Bailey's kick, sealing the win for the Giants. Bailey had made 26 consecutive field goals entering last week -- and now those two missed field goals have ended up costing the Cowboys two straight games.
The AFC North is a dogfight, as usual. The Steelers and Ravens both won on Sunday improving each of their records to 10-3 with three games to play. These look like two of the three or four best teams in the AFC and picking one of them to win the division is a near impossible task. Seriously, which team is better? I really have no idea. The Steelers end things at San Francisco, hosting the Rams and at Cleveland while the Ravens go to San Diego, host the Browns and then end things traveling to Cincinnati.
Houston clinches the first playoff berth in franchise history. The Texans have been the team that has the offensive firepower but somehow, someway they always find a way to collapse down the stretch. Not this year, though. Houston clinched the AFC South title marking the first playoff berth since the franchise started in 2002. What's even more amazing is that this team is as much about defense as they are offense. Missing arguably their best defensive player in Mario Williams, the Texans have catapulted into one of the league's premier defenses. It might be enough to get Wade Phillips in the head coaching talking during hiring season. Oh, and that fifth round rookie that can't lead the Texans to the playoffs? Yeah, T.J. Yates won again and threw the game winning pass at the end of regulation.
Maybe the Chargers actually have a chance. In 2008, the Chargers were 4-7 after 11 games and rallied to come back and make the playoffs. This year, the Chargers were again 4-7 after 11 games and, despite the Broncos winning every week, they sit just two games behind Denver in the AFC West. As good as Tebow Time has been, I wouldn't put it past any AFC West team to blow a division lead down the stretch.
Raheem on the hot seat. It wasn't that long ago that the Bucs were considered one of the up-and-coming teams in the league, a roster chocked full of young talent and a quarterback who was on the verge of hitting the next step. Now? They've lost seven in a row and there are serious questions regarding Raheem Morris on the hot seat, especially after the Jags scored 41 unanswered against Tampa Bay. It shows you how quickly things can change in the NFL. One day, Morris is one of the hot young coaches in the league and the next he's got a team that can't seem to win.
Speaking of hot seats, hello Todd Haley. The Chiefs head coach is working with a difficult situation -- starter Matt Cassel is out for the year and Kyle Orton is injured -- so you think he should get some slack. But Sunday's game was miserable to watch if you're a Chiefs fan (which I am). What made matters worse is that the Chiefs had seven penalties on one drive, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Haley himself. Sinking ship?
You get these types of calls if you're Tom Brady. This is the call I'm talking about. Late in the first half of the Patriots-Redskins game, Brady saw the pocket collapsing and slipped up the middle of the field and as he passed the line of scrimmage Redskins LB London Fletcher hit Brady, who was attempting to slide. There are rules protecting the quarterback if they're sliding but Brady hadn't hit the ground yet as Fletcher made contact with him. A penalty flag was thrown for Fletcher apparently hitting Brady in the head with his arm. The problem? Fletcher's arm never came near Brady's head. Again, if you're Tom Brady, you get these types of calls.
Three more chances for the Colts to complete 0-16. The Colts are now 0-13 after losing the Ravens on Sunday and they have three more games remaining en route to a winless record -- Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and at Jacksonville Jaguars. Judging by the way Indy has played all year, they should lose those games and move to 0-16 on the season. Think of the irony of this team going winless just two years after they declined to try and win a late season game in the 2009 season with an undefeated record. Incredible.