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2022 The Greatest Story on Turf: Week 15

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

This week only the Greatest Story on Turf will be talking about the Storylines coming out of the games. Also, check back because this post will be updated as more games are played.

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16.Cardinals vs. Broncos

A Mid Off

This was a tough game to watch. It didn't mean anything for either team, and there were significant injuries on both sides. Broncos didn't have Russ or Sutton, and the Cardinals didn't have Kyler Murray. Then Colt Mccoy got hurt, and the third-string QB came in. The Broncos got their first win in a long time, but it was against a third sting Qb. Aside from the stats, the Broncos players racked up individually, this game didn't move the needle.

For the Cardinals, it was slightly more meaningful. The Cardinals have extended Kyler, Kliff, Keim's contracts. After extending the contract of the general manager, the quarterback, and the Gm, you would think the team would be in a great position. However, it's quite the opposite. The highlight of this trinity has been getting blown out by the Rams in round one of the playoffs. We aren't sure if Kyler is elite. We aren't sure if Keim has put together a good enough team, and we aren't sure if Kliff is actually a good coach. It seems like the Cardinals end up in the same position every year. If the Cardinals want to win a super bowl anytime soon they need to look real hard at those three guys and find out who is for real and who is a fraud.

Predicted Winner Broncos


15.Saints vs. Falcons

Standard NFC South

The Falcons rolled out Desmond Ridder and went as well as you would expect against the Saints. The Saints cruised through the game, putting up 21 on the Falcons. The final score looks close, but it wasn't. The Saints were in the lead the entire time. What does this mean for the NFC south? Who knows because it seems like nobody wants to win this division.

Predicted Winner Saints


14.Steelers vs. Panthers

Still Alive

Foreman may have killed fantasy manager's chances n the playoffs, but the Panthers still have a chance to make the playoffs despite losing to the Steelers. The Panthers are just one game out, and they control their fate. However, if the Panthers are going to make a playoff push, their run game and defense have to be a lot better than it was against the Steelers.

The Steelers have pulled out another victory, and they did it with Mitch at the helm. They are just two games away from preserving Mike Tomlin's winning season record and giving themselves a shot at making the playoffs. The Steeler's defense reappeared against the Panthers. The Steelers dominated the line of scrimmage, and they weren't just making tackles for a loss and sacks. They were ripping at the ball as well. The Steelers are hungry, and if they keep playing like this, they may just get their just deserts.

Predicted Winner Panthers, Actual Winner Steelers



13. Titans vs. Chargers

What Goes Around Comes Around

The Titans looked like they would easily make the playoffs by running away with their division, and the Chargers seemed to be on the road to missing the playoffs again. However, now the Chargers have got their receivers back, and their defense has made some massive improvement; their stock is rising. They are on the bubble of the playoffs, and they just got another win to Charge their playoff push. Now they did make some mistakes and turn the ball over. Plus, they weren't able to score many points on the Titan's defense which is a little worrisome. However, they made the big plays in the big moments and secured the win.

The Titans are falling down as the Chargers are climbing up. Now the Titans are just one game ahead of the Jaguars. Will they be able to hang on till to their playoff spot through the next few games? The Titans may be leading their division and on track to play in the playoffs again, but they don't seem like a team that can get past the first round. The Titan's secondary is vulnerable, and their offense doesn't have a knockout punch. Henry is effective, but he is not the trump card he once was.

Predicted Winner Chargers


12.Commanders vs. Giants

Maybe It's the Refs

The Commanders and the Giants played another tight game. Last time they played a tight game and went to overtime, and the game ended up being a tie. This time the Giants won, but what was the difference? The Refs made too much of a difference here. Down by a touchdown and extra two points, the refs wiped a touchdown off the board because of an illegal formation call that the Ref analyst on the commentary team said he would not have called. Then the refs swallowed their whistles on an obvious pass interference in the endzone, and that's how the game ended. The Commanders lose by one score, and the Giants move a little closer to clinching.

The Giants should feel good about the emergence of their number three overall pick Thibodeaux. He wrecked the game and was the player most responsible for the Giant's win. Dominant defensive end, a stingy defense with a gutsy Qb catching fire late in New York. Where have we seen this before?

The Commanders shouldn't be too discouraged. They battled hard, and yes, they made some mistakes, but they battled hard and might have won if a few calls had gone their way. They are still in the playoffs. They just need to play keep away with the rest of the NFC.

Predicted Winner Commanders, Actual Winner Giants


11.Browns vs. Ravens

Divisional Smackdown

The Browns are rolling. They have won two of their last three games, and the one they lost was to the defending AFC Champions. Also, many people have questioned if Watson was worth his contract, and he has been rusty. However, he is getting better and better each week. His Qb coach said he needs three weeks to get back in the swing of things, and I believe him. The Browns look like a team that is better than their record.

The Ravens, on the other hand, looked horrendous. When they couldn't knock the opposing starting Qb out of the game and had to play in a normal game script, they scored three points all game. They are clearly not even close to the same team when Lamar is gone. Unlike the 49ers, the Ravens don't have many great offensive weapons for Huntley to lean on. Lamar is the key to unlocking the Raven's offense, and even Lamar is limited from doing all he could by the Raven's personnel. The Ravens are trending toward missing the playoffs again.

Predicted Winner Browns



10. Bears vs. Eagles

Very Interesting

This seemed like a no-brainer. The Bear's defense has been horrible, and Justin Fields has no help. The Eagle's defense is great, and their Qb is the leading MVP candidate. Obviously, the 12-1 Eagles are going 13-1, and they did. However, the Bears made the Eagles sweat much more than I thought they would. Hurts had multiple turnovers to the Bear's defense, while Fields had zero turnovers. The Bears only ended up losing by five, and I have to wonder if better teams will see something about the Eagles that the Bears were able to exploit and use it against the Eagles.

The Bears should be very excited about what the Bears could do next year. They are going to have a great draft spot and tons of money and cap space to acquire players to build a Super Bowl-caliber team. However, I gotta say it looks like the Bears are tanking. In two critical moments, the Bears made boneheaded decisions. When their drive stalled on the thirty, they decided to punt rather than kick. They trusted giving the ball back to Hurts more than Santos making a field goal. Then on a critical third down, the Bears went cover zero, and Jalen Hurts ran untouched to the endzone. It's frustrating to think the Bears would throw away a chance at a statement victory like that.

Predicted Winner Eagles


9.Rams vs. Packers

The Rams have become relevant again with Baker Mayfield. He had the comeback win over the Raiders, but he came back to earth against the Packers. The Packers won, and it wasn't particularly close. However, I will say that Baker had a decent showing. Watching the game, I don't think anyone would say the Rams lost because of Baker. The Rams just aren't very good. However, at least Baker has given Rams fans a reason to watch.

The Packer's side of this game was very interesting. The Packer's boat raced the Rams pretty easily, and now they are sitting at 6-8, and now there is some chatter that the Packers could make a playoff push, and they could. If they win out, they will have a chance, and winning out is definitely not out of the question. Although if the Packers want to win out they should note how well the game went when they depended on their running backs.

Predicted Winner Packers

8. Chiefs vs. Texans

Wake Up Call

There has been a lot of chatter about firing the Texans coach, Lovie Smith, but Lovie is the third coach for the Texans in as many years. It's clearly not a coaching problem. It's a talent problem which is the gm's job, and nobody is talking about him losing his job. Also, I don't see how you could watch the Texans nearly beat the Chiefs and Cowboys and think that they won't get better when more talent is added to the roster. Lovie has his team ready to play, and they are competing every game, no matter who's out there. Reminds me a lot of Dan Campbells Lions last year. The Texan's fans and organization need to be patient.

The Chiefs should be shooting up in their beds in a cold sweat. They almost just lost to the worst team in the league, and they are supposed to be Super Bowl front-runners. The Texans probably would have beaten the Chiefs if Davis Mills had any type of ball security. The Chief's defense is not very good. Also, like I've been saying every week, when Kelce isn't on point, this offense looks mortal. In this game, he was alright. He had zero touchdowns but over 100 yards, and you can see that reflected in the result. His stat line is mixed, and so was the result of the game. The Chiefs won but barely and in overtime to the worst team in the league. The Chiefs have been very lucky the last few weeks. They lost to the Bengals, and then they almost lost to Russel Wilson's Broncos, but then he got hurt before he could finish the job. Now the Chiefs are going to overtime with the Texans and winning by the skin of their teeth. I think it might have done the Chiefs some good to lose to one of these lesser teams to wake them up so they can adjust for playoff football.

Predicted Winner Chiefs


7.49ers vs. Seahawks

The Real Deal?

Brock Purdy faced his third test on Thursday. He proved he could come in a game and win when nobody saw him coming. He proved he could start a whole game and win. Now he has proved he can win when the defense has tape on him. He wasn't amazing against the Seahawks. The second half was rough for Purdy, but he has proved he can play. I'm not going to doubt him unless he takes a significant step back. Also, the 49ers have a chance to reach their ultimate goal as well. The 49er's defense may not have the numbers yet, but it feels like a historic all-world defense is on the field when you watch them play.

Seahawks lost a crucial game, but they played pretty well against the 49ers. They are right on the edge of the playoffs, and as a fan of the NFL, I hope they make it. After the season they have had, it would feel wrong if they didn't end up being a playoff team. They have that signature scavenger energy that has been a staple of Pete Caroll's Seahawks. They never feel out of any game, and even though they fly under the radar, they are a pretty dangerous team. I know there are no moral victories in the NFL, but the Seahawks only lost by one score, and I don't think anyone lost faith in the Seahawks after that performance.

Predicted Winner 49ers


6. Bills vs. Dolphins

On The Path to Greatness

The Bills won another tight game, and while it's tempting to criticize them for having such tight games, I can't. The Bill's last four out of five wins have been close games. A big criticism of the Bills has been that they can't win close games, and they have done that. All of the Bill's losses were close games where they lost by two or three. The Bills have become more diverse since their two-game losing streak. They run more, and they have become a smarter football team. Plus, they are the number-one seed in the AFC. It doesn't look how some fans thought it would, but the Bills are very much on track to win the Super Bowl. The Bills have always had the knockout punch. However, you can't just depend on knocking every team out. The Bills have become better situationally. The Bills can come back from a deficit, and they win close or blow teams out. The Bills are the cerebral monsters of the NFL. Plus, it's looking like the playoffs will go through Buffalo, so the rest of the NFL better watch out.

The Dolphins played better than they did in the Chargers game, but once again, they were outcoached. Mike McDaniels struggled on third and short over and over again. They only converted 37 percent of their third downs and only ran 37 percent of the time compared to the 62 percent pass rate. The Dolphins ran ten times in the entire second half. Despite the fact that running backs were doing great. The Dolphins give up on the run game way too easily. Mostert had 121 yards on the ground, Amed had 43 and a touchdown, plus the team was averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Also, the Dolphin's short passing game was less present than it should have been. Mike McDaniels needs to adjust fast if they want to remain in the playoffs. Plus, once they get in, it only gets harder.

Predicted Winner Dolphins, Actual Winner Bills


5. Bengals vs. Bucs

How Far Are You From the Super Bowl?

The Bucs are miles away from their Super Bowl form. Because of that Super Bowl and all of Tom's success, nobody wants to call him out. Everyone wants to blame the new head coach. However, Tom was terrible in this game. The Bucs had a 17 to zero lead, and they gave it back. Tom let down the defense. He threw picks and fumbled. It was awful. Easily his worse game of the year. Also, another thing people don't talk about is how Tom's tampering and fake retirement affected the team. In year two of the Bucs season, players were taking pay cuts because they believed in Brady and what they were doing. The season didn't end up with a Super Bowl, but they got pretty close and played well.

This season there have been quite a few changes Bucs. Arians mysteriously moves up to upper management when Tom comes back. Gronk retired but was looking at playing with the Bengals instead the Bucs. Suh went to the Eagles to win another Super Bowl. Beasley came to play with Tom, then retired, then unretired to play with the Bills. Alex Cappa went to another team Ryan Jensen got hurt. Also worth noting Antonio Brown is gone and suddenly seems pretty pissed with Brady. It could just be an AB thing, or it could be a symptom of a larger problem.

Tom Just doesn't seem dialed in this year. He goes to weddings instead practice, and the team has a losing record. He's undermining his coaches by changing the game plan, and it's not working at all. Despite Tom retiring and unretiring, tampering with the Dolphins, and planning to leave the Bucs and the Bucs having a losing record, they still have a chance to win the division and contend. However, will making the playoffs even matter with the way this team is playing?

The Bengals, on the other hand, are dialed in and focused. They overcame a 17-0 deficit, and they seem exactly like the Bengals team that made it to the Super Bowl last year. Except they are more experienced, stronger, and wiser. The Bengals could do a lot of damage in the playoffs.

Predicted Winner Bengals


4. Lions vs. Jets

Turnaround

The Lions and the Jets are fun teams to watch because they are both reformed trash cans. For years they have been the bums of the league, but now they are both serious contenders. Both teams have built explosive offenses and stout defenses. The Jets are a little better on defense, and the Lions were a little better on offense. So this was an interesting matchup to watch. In the end, the Lions won, and they have now gone from 1-6 to 7-7. It's an incredible turnaround. Dan Cambell seems to be the coach we all hoped he was. Now, if the Lions can get two more wins, they could get back to the playoffs for the first time in a long time. You can't help but root for Detroit.

The Jets lost after a missed field goal to end the game and made their playoff road harder. However, Zach Wilson may have saved his career with this game. He looked like the Zach Wilson that the Jets thought they were getting. He was mobile and able to escape would-be tacklers. He was accurate, and he made many explosive plays down the field. The coach has a real conundrum on his hands. Which Qb should he go with? Honestly, I'm not sure, but I will say one thing. Zach isn't a rookie anymore. If Wilson gets the reigns back, he needs to step up. He shouldn't need Mike White to keep coming in and stealing the spotlight to make him play better. Zach needs to stoke that fire internally and maintain this level of play throughout the season.

Predicted Winner Jets, Actual Winner Lions


3. Cowboys vs. Jaguars

They Are at it Again

The Cowboys had a scare last week against the Texans, but everybody said it wasn't a big deal and that the Cowboys should be commended for their comeback. Not me, though, I said that the Cowboys would pay for their mistakes if they play like that against better teams. What happened in the very next game? The Cowboy's defense gave up 40 points to the Jaguars, and Dak threw multiple interceptions, and now the Cowboys are farther back in the hunt for the one seed. They were so focused on the Eagles that they looked past their opponents. Micah Parsons is doing podcast about the Eagles when they haven't even caught up to the Vikings. The Cowboys are a playoff team, but they have given us no indication that this year will be any different from every other year.

The Jaguars have really come alive in the second half of the season. I have to give credit to Doug Pederson, who knows how to dig a team out of a hole and win. Also, the gm did a great job getting weapons and building a defense. Also, Trevor Lawrence has broken out. Jaguars fans should be very excited right now. The Jaguars are building something special.

Predicted Winner Cowboys, Actual Winner Jaguars


2. Raiders vs. Patriots

WTF!?

Let's just get to it. The Meyers throwback at the end of the game was one of the worst plays of all time. The Patriots have been doing well all game, and then the players decided they know better than the future hall-of-fame coach and try to make something happen instead of just going down and going to overtime. Meyers runs backward with the ball and then tries to throw it to Mac Jones, who had nobody around him to lateral it to. But that wasn't a problem because the ball never made it to Mac Jones because it was taken out of the air by Chandler Jones and then taken back to the house for a game-winning Touchdown.

The Patriots need to decide what they want their future to look like. They lost Tom because of Belicheck, and things deteriorated without him. Defensive coach Matt Patricia is calling offensive plays. The team isn't built well. The once-scary team mostly just beats up on weaker teams. One of the reasons this game even got to a tie was that Bill's defense gave up a long Td to the Raiders. The defense isn't as good as it used to be, the players aren't as sharp and situationally aware, and the Patriots haven't felt like a true contender in years. Sooner or later, the Patriots organization has to decide if they want to continue on like this.

The Raiders deserve some credit too. They demonstrated the Raider's signature Moxy against the Patriots. When the Patriots beat up on the Raiders, they hung in the fight and kept fighting till they got their opening, and then they landed a knockout punch.

The Patriots took away Adams, and so the Patriots showed they could get it done with other guys. However, I will say Jos McDaniels could have tried harder to scheme Adams open, and he will need to do that in the future because the Raiders need their best receiver in the biggest moments. Nevertheless, the Raiders found a way to just win, baby. Revenge game achieved.

Prediction Patriots, Actual Winner Raiders


1. Colts vs. Vikings

Not Gonna Lie They had Us in the First Half

Colts and Vikings might have just had the best game of the year. The Vikings went down 33-0 in the first half, and it looked like it would be one of those games again. However, the Vikings showed grit and determination never before seen in the NFL when they made the biggest comeback in NFL history and won the game 39-36 in overtime. Unlike the Cowboys, who made a comeback on the worst team in the league after playing with their food, the Vikings actually came back on a team that stood a chance at resisting. Everyone on the team deserves credit for this win. The defense deserves credit for holding the Colts to three points in a half after giving up 33 in the first half. The offense deserves credit for roaring back and scoring 36 after being shut out. The special teams unit deserves credit for rallying from that blocked punt touchdown and pinning the Colts back against their own endzone multiple times, and winning the game with the final field goal. The coach deserves credit for keeping his team together and making that comeback. It's not great that the Vikings found themselves in this predicament, but it says a lot about this 11-3 Vikings team that they rallied.

For the Colts, this was an epic failure. It's the verified biggest choke job in the history of the NFL. Many people were ready to laugh at the pushback on the Jeff Saturday hire after they beat the same Raiders team that lost to Baker after one day of practice. However, I wonder if those same people have been satisfied with Saturday's performance since then. The Eagles came back and beat the Colts, The Steelers outsmarted the Colts, The Cowboys delivered one of the biggest blowouts of the year to the Colts, and now they have given up the biggest comeback in history to the Vikings. Things are getting worse and worse for the Colts each week.

Predicted Winner Vikings

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