NFL SCORES: NFL Week 16 recap, scores and standings
Week 16 of the 2019 season is nearly in the books. The NFL saw games played on Saturday and Sunday and will have the final Monday night game of the season with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Minnesota Vikings for NFC North supremacy.
The Packers and Vikings are both battling for playoff position. According to the latest NFC playoff picture, both teams have clinched a playoff berth and would play each other in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Video: Top Catches from Week 16 | NFL 2019 Highlights
Here’s what went on around the NFL league this week.
TEXANS 23, BUCCANEERS 20
The Houston Texans clinched a division title with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night with a close win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Texans defensive back Bradley Robey had a pick-six on the night while Carlos Hyde had the team’s lone offensive score.
PATRIOTS, 24, BILLS 17
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots clinched their 11th AFC East title in-a-row with a win over the Buffalo Bills. Brady had 271 passing yards and a passing touchdown in the win. The Patriots are still in contention for a first-round bye while the Baltimore Ravens have already wrapped up home-field advantage.
49ERS 34, RAMS 31
The San Francisco 49ers picked up an emotional victory over the Los Angeles Rams with a game-winning field goal from Robbie Gould. The 49ers officially ended their six-year playoff drought.
The team’s hearts were heavy as they mourned the loss of C.J. Beathard’s brother who was fatally stabbed in Tennessee. Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game that Beathard told him to tell the guys to win the game.
BRONCOS 27, LIONS 17
Denver Broncos rookie Drew Lock had another solid outing as the team’s starter. He led the way with 192 passing yards and a touchdown pass to DaSean Hamilton to help secure the win over the Detroit Lions. Phillip Lindsay had 109 rushing yards and a touchdown to help seal the deal.
RAIDERS 24, CHARGERS 17
The Oakland Raiders kept their slim playoff chances alive with a divisional win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders needed the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans to lose while they won and both teams did what the Raiders had hoped. Derek Carr had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in the victory.
FALCONS 24, JAGUARS 12
The Atlanta Falcons were able to hold onto their 14-point lead at halftime to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Running back Devonta Freeman had two touchdowns before the Jaguars took a snap – one rushing and one receiving. Matt Ryan had 384 passing yards – the most he’s had since Week 4.
RAVENS 31, BROWNS 15
The Baltimore Ravens clinched home field throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens also knocked the Browns out of playoff contention with the win. Lamar Jackson had three passing touchdowns and 238 passing yards. He also rushed for 103 yards. He threw two of the touchdowns to tight end Mark Andrews.
COLTS 38, PANTHERS 6
The Indianapolis Colts spoiled the debut for Carolina Panthers rookie Will Grier. The Colts picked Grier off three times in the game en route to the blowout victory. Colts running back Nyheim Hynes had two punt returns for a touchdown. One came in the first quarter for 84 yards and the second came in the fourth quarter for 71 yards.
DOLPHINS 38, BENGALS 35
The Miami Dolphins picked up a clutch overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes in the game, including one to defensive lineman Christian Wilkens in the first quarter. Jason Sanders hit the game-winning goal. The win meant that the Bengals will pick first in the 2020 NFL Draft.
JETS 16, STEELERS 10
The New York Jets played spoiler against the Pittsburgh Steelers, putting a little roadblock in their path to the AFC playoffs. Sam Darnold had a touchdown pass to Robbie Anderson in the first quarter. The Steelers started the day with Devlin Hodges but replaced him for several moments with Mason Rudolph.
Rudolph then exited the game with a shoulder injury, giving Hodges a chance to finish the game. Rudolph had the Steelers’ lone touchdown – a 29-yard pass to Diontae Johnson.
SAINTS 38, TITANS 28
The New Orleans Saints continued their tear through the league with a big win over the Tennessee Titans. The loss means that the Titans still have yet to solidify a spot in the AFC playoffs. New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas set the record for most catches in a season with his 12-catch performance. He broke a mark previously set by Marvin Harrison. Thomas had 136 receiving yards and a touchdown to go with it.
GIANTS 41, REDSKINS 35
Daniel Jones led the New York Giants with five touchdown passes in their overtime victory over the Washington Redskins. Jones also had 352 passing yards. His touchdown to Kaden Smith was the game-winner. Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins started the game but left due to an injury. He had two touchdown passes before his departure.
EAGLES 17, COWBOYS 9
The Philadelphia Eagles ruined the Dallas Cowboys’ hopes of winning the NFC East and kept themselves in NFC playoff contention. Eagles running back Miles Sanders’ 1-yard score in the third quarter proved to be just what Philadelphia needed to be pushed across the finish line. Carson Wentz helped with 319 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert. The Eagles need a win next week to win the division and make the playoffs.
CARDINALS 27, SEAHAWKS 13
The Arizona Cardinals pulled off an upset win over the Seattle Seahawks. Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake scored two touchdowns and Larry Fitzgerald had a touchdown catch from Kyler Murray in the win. Murray exited later in the game and was replaced Brett Hundley. Seattle coach Pete Carroll announced after the game that running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise are out for the rest of the season due to injury.
CHIEFS 26, BEARS 3
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the team with 251 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in their blowout win of the Chicago Bears. Kansas City held Chicago to one red-zone appearance the entire game.
1. z-Patriots (12-3)
2. x-Bills (10-5)
3. Jets (6-9)
4. Dolphins (4-11)
1. *Ravens (13-2)
2. Steelers (8-7)
3. Browns (6-9)
4. Bengals (1-14)
1. z-Texans (10-5)
2. Titans (8-7)
3. Colts (7-8)
4. Jaguars (5-10)
1. z-Chiefs (11-4)
2. Raiders (7-8)
3. Broncos (6-9)
4. Chargers (5-10)
1. Eagles (8-7)
2. Cowboys (7-8)
3. Giants (4-11)
4. Redskins (3-12)
1. x-Packers (11-3)
2. x-Vikings (10-4)
3. Bears (7-8)
4. Lions (3-11-1)
1. z-Saints (12-3)
2. Buccaneers (7-8)
3. Falcons (6-9)
4. Panthers (5-10)
1. x-49ers (12-3)
2. Seahawks (11-4)
3. Rams (7-8)
4. Cardinals (5-9-1)
What We Learned in N.F.L. Week 16
The Ravens clinched the top spot in the A.F.C., the Eagles beat the Cowboys, the Cardinals beat the Seahawks and Michael Thomas broke a celebrated record.
It was hard for Sunday to live up to Saturday’s thrilling action, but another huge Baltimore victory, an enormous upset in Seattle, multiple games that went to overtime, a change at the top of the N.F.C. East standings, and a major receiving record being broken gave the second day of Week 16 a massive impact.
Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s games:
Michael Thomas has a perfect Twitter handle. The superstar wide receiver goes by @Cantguardmike online, and he proves the accuracy of that name on nearly a weekly basis. In the Saints’ 38-28 victory over Tennessee on Sunday, Thomas had 12 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown — his ninth game this season with 10 or more catches.
More important, his 11th catch of the day broke Marvin Harrison’s 17-year-old record of 143 catches in a season. The Most Valuable Player Award is Lamar Jackson’s to lose, but Thomas, who did not slow down even when Drew Brees missed five games, could be the first wide receiver to receive votes for the award since Randy Moss in 1998.
Lamar Jackson can take the next few weeks off. With their 11th consecutive win, the Ravens clinched the top seed in the A.F.C., earning a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Their next meaningful game will not come until Jan. 11, which could lead to some rest for Jackson, who has virtually sewn up the M.V.P. with 3,127 passing yards, 1,206 rushing yards and 43 total touchdowns. In his postgame news conference on Sunday, Jackson said he would leave the decision of whether he plays against Pittsburgh in Week 17 to Coach John Harbaugh.
When asked for his plans, Harbaugh said he would meet with the team’s player leadership council this week to determine if Jackson, or any other starters, will sit in a game that has no importance to Baltimore but is crucial for Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes.
Regardless of what happens with Jackson, the 20-day wait for another meaningful game could be hugely beneficial to running back Mark Ingram II, who left Sunday’s game with a calf injury.
The future looks bright in the N.F.C. East (we promise). The NFL ’s worst division will end up with a “champion” that goes 9-7, at best, and depending on how things go for the Giants next week, it could have two teams with 12 or more losses. But nothing in the NFL is more important than having a good quarterback, and there is plenty of reason to believe that all four teams are solid in that regard.
The Cowboys are trying to lock Dak Prescott into a contract extension, and the Eagles, who took the division lead on Sunday, believe Carson Wentz can get back to superstardom. At the bottom of the division, an overtime game this week between the Giants and the Redskins showed that those teams’ rookie quarterbacks, Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins, might have a lot of good football ahead of them, as well.
Exciting does not equal good. Circled on the schedule remarkably early this season as a game to avoid at all costs, Sunday’s matchup between the Dolphins and the Bengals turned into something of a thriller. Miami took a huge lead only for Cincinnati to fight its way to overtime with 16 points in the final 29 seconds of the fourth quarter by way of a touchdown and 2-point conversion, a successful onside kick, and another touchdown and 2-point conversion.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton combined for 815 passing yards and eight touchdowns, and the Dolphins ended up winning, 38-35. But don’t let the gaudy statistics fool you: They came as a result of poor defense, and the only thing that mattered on either side was the Bengals’ loss guaranteeing them the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, which will likely be used on Louisiana State’s Joe Burrow.
The playoff field is nearly set — but Week 17 is huge for Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Dallas. Ten of 12 spots have been claimed, with mostly seeding to be decided in the season’s final week.
But the Titans, who moved into the A.F.C.’s second wild-card spot despite losing to New Orleans on Sunday, will have what amounts to a play-in game against the Texans, as they hold a tiebreaker over Pittsburgh. Dallas, meanwhile, threw away what was once a commanding lead in the N.F.C. East by losing to Philadelphia, 17-9, and the Cowboys will need to beat the Redskins, and have the Eagles lose to the Giants, in Week 17 to squeak into the playoffs.
NFL Week 16 Top Performers
Top Passer: Daniel Jones
When we last saw Jones he was following up a 2-0 start to his career with an eight-game losing streak in which he threw 15 touchdown passes and committed 16 turnovers. In his first game back from an ankle injury he was terrific, putting up huge numbers during regulation and removing all the drama from overtime by finishing off a smooth 66-yard drive with a 3-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Kaden Smith.
NFL Top Runner: Kenyan Drake
The Air Raid offense places an extreme emphasis on passing the ball in an attempt to maximize efficiency. With that in mind it makes perfect sense for Coach Kliff Kingsbury to abandon his preferred style and pound the ball on the ground, as Drake is averaging an absurd 6.6 yards a carry over his last two games. If Drake and Kyler Murray can keep up their stellar play of the last two weeks, the ultracompetitive N.F.C. West is going to be a free-for-all over the next few years.
NFL Top Receiver: Michael Thomas
Julio Jones had more yards, and Tyler Boyd had more touchdowns, but when a receiver breaks a major record that stood for 17 years, and still has a week left to add to it, that puts him ahead of the pack.
The NFL ’s first single-season record for receptions was set by Ray Flaherty, who had 21 catches for the Giants in 1932 — the first season the league tracked nonscoring plays and a year before a rule change created what is known as the forward-pass era. The record has been broken 18 times since and Harrison’s reign was the second-longest to Charley Hennigan, who pulled down 101 catches for the Houston Oilers in 1964 — a record that stood for 20 years before Art Monk of the Redskins topped him with 106 in 1984.