nfl-week-16-best-bits:-burrow-haunts-baltimore-again

NFL Week 16 best bits: Burrow haunts Baltimore again

Joe Burrow was at again on Sunday night

Joe Burrow was at again on Sunday night

Joe Burrow came back to haunt the Baltimore Ravens once again, four more teams clinched playoff spots as the Kansas City Chiefs won a sixth straight division title, Dak Prescott was back to his best for the Dallas Cowboys and Davis Mills’ Houston Texans shocked the Los Angeles Chargers.

We reflect on Sunday’s Week 16 action around the NFL, which also included half-time corgi races…

WEEK 16 RESULTS

New York Giants 10-34 Philadelphia Eagles

Baltimore Ravens 21-41 Cincinnati Bengals

Los Angeles Chargers 29-41 Houston Texans

Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys' 56-14 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 16 of the NFL.

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Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys’ 56-14 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 16 of the NFL.

Highlights of the Dallas Cowboys’ 56-14 win over the Washington Football Team in Week 16 of the NFL.

Los Angeles Rams 30-23 Minnesota Vikings

Buffalo Bills 33-21 New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-6 Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions 16-20 Atlanta Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars 21-26 New York Jets

Chicago Bears 25-24 Seattle Seahawks

Chicago Bears secured a thrilling one-point win over the Seattle Seahawks with this stunning catch from Damiere Byrd on a two-point conversion play.

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Chicago Bears secured a thrilling one-point win over the Seattle Seahawks with this stunning catch from Damiere Byrd on a two-point conversion play.

Chicago Bears secured a thrilling one-point win over the Seattle Seahawks with this stunning catch from Damiere Byrd on a two-point conversion play.

Pittsburgh Steelers 10-36 Kansas City Chiefs

Denver Broncos 13-17 Las Vegas Raiders

Washington Football Team 14-56 Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers 17-20 Tennessee Titans (Thursday)

Cleveland Browns 22-24 Green Bay Packers (Christmas Day)

Indianapolis Colts 22-16 Arizona Cardinals (Christmas Day)

BURROW BLUDGEONS BALTIMORE

Santa’s sack came up empty on the first play of the opening drive Sunday when Joe Burrow miraculously shook off a thumping hit from Broderick Washington for an ‘I’m alive?!’ escape and subsequent 10-yard completion to Tee Higgins.

It set the tone for a day on which Burrow was irrepressible, irresistible and the haunting Christmas spirit to Baltimore’s Ebenezer Scrooge. A Baltimore led not by Lamar Jackson, not by Tyler Huntley, but by third string quarterback Josh Johnson.

Burrow completed 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 143.2 in the 41-21 win, having gone 18 of 21 for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.

Combined with his 416 yards and three touchdowns in Week Seven’s 41-17 win, the former No. 1 overall pick has now connected on 60 of 84 passes for 941 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception against the Ravens this season.

Only five quarterbacks have ever thrown for upwards of 400 yards and more than three touchdowns against Baltimore in a game, Burrow now in the company of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Eli Manning.

Tee Higgins was prime beneficiary of a monster day for his quarterback as he made 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular 52-yard grab in tight double coverage to set up his one-yard score.

You could take an injury-stricken Ravens defense into account, but Burrow dismantled many of their starters earlier in the season.

The Bengals look well-primed to clinch the AFC North title over the final two weeks, boasting one of the most dynamic left, right, uppercut offenses in the conference led by their silky smooth signal-caller.

WHO CLINCHED A PLAYOFF SPOT?

Highlights from the Kansas City Chiefs win against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season.

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Highlights from the Kansas City Chiefs win against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season.

Highlights from the Kansas City Chiefs win against the Pittsburgh Steelers from Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season.

– With their rout of the Steelers the Chiefs became the first AFC team to officially secure a playoff spot as their eighth straight win clinched them a sixth successive AFC West division title. They can secure home-field advantage in Week 17 with a victory over the Bengals along with a loss for the Titans against the Dolphins.

– The Super Bowl champion Bucs will continue the defense of their crown in January after winning the NFC South for the first time since 2007 with Sunday’s victory against the Panthers.

– A win over the Vikings saw the Rams guarantee at least a Wild Card spot and leaves them in a position to become NFC West champions in Week 17 should they beat the Ravens and the Cardinals lose to the Cowboys.

– Arizona finally locked up their first playoff berth since 2015 courtesy of the Rams’ victory over the Vikings after the Cardinals were beaten by the Colts on Christmas day. A three-game skid means their hopes of a division title are slipping away. More importantly, their form looms as a major concern heading into the postseason.

– Elsewhere the Seahawks, Giants and Panthers became the latest teams to officially be eliminated from playoff contention.

Playoff Picture

AFCNFC
Clinched Playoff SpotKansas City Chiefs (11-4)Green Bay Packers (12-3)
Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)
Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
In The HuntTennessee Titans (10-5)San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)
Buffalo Bills (9-6)
Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
New England Patriots (9-6)
Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
On The BubbleLos Angeles Chargers (8-7)New Orleans Saints (7-7)
Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
Miami Dolphins (7-7)Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)Washington (6-9)
Cleveland Browns (7-8)
Denver Broncos (7-8)

STAT ATTACK

  • The Cowboys’ 56 points against Washington are more than the 46 the Giants have managed across their four games in December
  • Trevon Diggs collected his 11th interception of the season to tie the Cowboys’ single-season record with Everson Walls
  • Patrick Mahomes is the first quarterback since 1970 to win 11 or more games in four of his first five seasons
  • Justin Jefferson passed Odell Beckham Jr. (2,755 yards) for most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history
  • Kyle Pitts’ 949 receiving yards are the second-most all-time by a rookie tight end, leaving him needing 128 to pass to break Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s record
  • Josh Allen is the first player in NFL history with 100-plus passing touchdowns and 20-plus rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons

STAR PERFORMERS

Rook quarterback Zach Wilson took off on an enormous 53-yard touchdown run for the New York Jets against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Rook quarterback Zach Wilson took off on an enormous 53-yard touchdown run for the New York Jets against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Rook quarterback Zach Wilson took off on an enormous 53-yard touchdown run for the New York Jets against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

William Gholston reminded that he is more than just a run-stuffer as he recorded 2.5 sacks in Tampa’s win over the Panthers, while Antonio Brown marked his return from suspension with 10 catches for 101 yards as welcome reassurance following the loss of Chris Godwin for the rest of the season.

Isaiah McKenzie flourished in the absence of Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley with a career-high 11 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo’s win over the Patriots, for whom Damien Harris rushed for 103 yards and three scores.

At the heart of Houston’s upset win over the Chargers was further hope the Texans could be onto something with Davis Mills as the rookie quarterback finished 21 of 27 for 254 yards and two touchdowns. Veteran running back Rex Burkhead starred on the ground with 22 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Jackson impressed in the absence of Austin Ekeler for the Chargers with 162 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns.

Watch Hunter Renfrow's impressive diving touchdown catch for the Las Vegas Raiders against the Denver Broncos.

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Watch Hunter Renfrow’s impressive diving touchdown catch for the Las Vegas Raiders against the Denver Broncos.

Watch Hunter Renfrow’s impressive diving touchdown catch for the Las Vegas Raiders against the Denver Broncos.

Zach Wilson out-dueled Trevor Lawrence in a battle of the top two Draft picks as he went 14 of 22 passing for 102 yards and a touchdown as well as rushing for 91 yards and an incredible 52-yard dash to the house.

Elsewhere Dallas dominated Washington behind the best of Dak Prescott, who threw for 322 of 330 total yards and four touchdowns to post a 142.8 QB rating in just the first half.

Cooper Kupp logged his 10th 100-yard receiving game of the season and fourth straight with 109 yards in the Rams’ win over the Vikings, while former first-round running back Josh Jacobs went off for 129 yards off 27 carries to help the Raiders get past the Broncos.

CORGI RACES

Christmas-themed corgi races at half-time of the Rams-Vikings matchup. Doesn’t get much better than that – thank you, NFL.

TEMPERS BOIL OVER

A scuffle breaks out on the Washington Football Team bench as Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne lock horns during their heavy defeat to the Dallas Cowboys..

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A scuffle breaks out on the Washington Football Team bench as Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne lock horns during their heavy defeat to the Dallas Cowboys..

A scuffle breaks out on the Washington Football Team bench as Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne lock horns during their heavy defeat to the Dallas Cowboys..

A dismal night for Washington was summed up when teammates Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne had to be separated after getting into a skirmish on the bench.

Head coach Ron Rivera said he had spoken to both players after the game and that there would be no punishment for either.

“I’ve talked with them and as far as I’m concerned, that’s where it’s gonna stay,” he said.

INJURY REPORT

– Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards Helaire exited the second half of Sunday’s win over the Steelers with a collarbone injury, before safety Tyrann Mathieu was also ruled out with a quad problem later confirmed as a contusion.

– Jaguars running back James Robinson suffered a torn Achilles in Jacksonville’s defeat to the Jets.

Russell Wilson finds D.K. Metcalf with this stunning 41-yard touchdown pass in the snow during the Seattle Seahawks defeat to the Chicago Bears.

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Russell Wilson finds D.K. Metcalf with this stunning 41-yard touchdown pass in the snow during the Seattle Seahawks defeat to the Chicago Bears.

Russell Wilson finds D.K. Metcalf with this stunning 41-yard touchdown pass in the snow during the Seattle Seahawks defeat to the Chicago Bears.

– Bills offensive lineman Ike Boettger departed with a torn Achilles against the Patriots.

– Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore sustained a groin injury against the Bucs, while Tampa Bay pass rusher Shaq Barrett suffered what is believed to be an MCL sprain.

– The Giants lost offensive tackle Matt Peart to a knee injury in their loss to the Eagles, who saw running back Miles Sanders (hand), safety K’Von Wallace (hip), cornerback Steven Nelson (hand) and running back Jordan Howard (stinger) all exit.

Braxton Berrios took flight for the New York Jets on this incredible 103-yard kick return against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Braxton Berrios took flight for the New York Jets on this incredible 103-yard kick return against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Braxton Berrios took flight for the New York Jets on this incredible 103-yard kick return against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

– Chargers linebacker Drue Tanquill exited with a leg issue against the Texans.

– Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett (chest) was ruled out against the Bengals, who lost defensive end Cameron Sample to a hamstring injury.

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