Wind? What wind? Kirk Cousins and the Redskins jerseys wideouts defied Mother Nature, executing big-play post and seam routes with ease against an undermanned Packers secondary. Pierre Garcon jersey and Jamison Crowder — who both went over 100-plus receiving yards — were the beneficiaries of two fourth-quarter Cousins missiles that sailed crisply through a thick head wind and went for at least 53 yards. Cousins (375 yards, 3 TDs) went over 300 yards in the air for the 16th time in his career, breaking Sonny Jurgenson’s franchise record. It goes without saying that Captain Kirk has a lucrative future ahead of him, and Washington will be the better for it.
It wasn’t just the passing game that lit Green Bay’s defense aflame. Rob Kelley jersey had his third consecutive monster outing, running for 137 yards and three touchdowns for his first career 100-plus-yard game. With Matt Jones sidelined, Kelley has taken the starting running back role by force. His head-down, straight-away running style makes him one of the league’s most difficult backs to bring down and puts the ‘Skins in easy down-and-distance situations on every drive.
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Jared Cook returned from his seven-week absence with a bang. The tight end, acquired by the Packers in the offseason, had by far his best game in the green and gold and his best since Week 1 of 2013. Cook finished with 105 yards on six catches and a team-high 10 targets, providing Aaron Rodgers with a consistent receiving threat in the middle of the field. His fourth-quarter fumble in Washington territory cemented Green Bay’s loss, but wasn’t enough to dampen a promising return.
The controversial, ambiguous, no good, very bad catch rule nearly reared its ugly head again. Jordy Nelson’s game-tying second-quarter touchdown grab was nearly called back on a challenge because Nelson didn’t fully possess the ball in the end zone. Though the right call was eventually made, the play brought to mind Odell Beckham’s non-catch against the Patriots, one that was ruled incomplete upon review.
What’s a fumble in field of play is a TD in the end zone. But do that in a reach for the end zone and it’s not a catch. Silly and confusing.
There’s not much left to say about the sad state of the Packers’ offense, but let’s go to the numbers. It was a night of firsts for Rodgers. Sunday was the first time in his career that the Packers went three-and-out on their first three drives. In response, Rodgers led the first 17-play scoring drive of his career. With the loss, Green Bay secured its first four-game losing streak since Rodgers took the reins in 2008. #First.
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The crowded NFC playoff picture cleared up with Sunday night’s result. The Redskins remain in the sixth seed, with wholesale NBA jerseys and a half-game lead over the Vikings, while Green Bay, falling to 4-6, is on the outside looking in, alongside the Rams, cheap MLB jerseys, Panthers and Saints.
Here’s what we learned from their 27-27 showdown on Sunday…
1. Now we see why teams aren’t afraid to dole out good money to consistent kickers. The authentic Bengals-Redskins jerseys and game could have been over several times if it weren’t for a missed extra point by Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent earlier in the game or a hooked game-winning attempt in overtime by Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins. It will be interesting to see if there were any hot takes about field conditions at Wembley Stadium. Otherwise, an eight-hour flight home is a long time to contemplate a missed kick from 33 or 34 yards out.
2. Cincinnati tried not to linger on the unfortunate offseason injury to Tyler Eifert’s ankle and did its best to construct an offense during his absence. But in his true season debut — Eifert played sparingly last week in an attempt to warm himself back up — we saw glimpses of the oft-dominant offense that helped the Bengals win the division a year ago. Eifert finished with nine catches for 102 yards and a beautiful, leaping 15-yard grab in the red zone. Cincinnati was bottoming out near the goal line this season but now has a massive target for opposing defenses to consider. Arrivals like this also sometimes break up the coordinator equivalent to writer’s block, as evidenced by a slick QB bootleg drawn up by Ken Zampese jersey in the third quarter.
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4. Jamison Crowder jersey is finally getting an opportunity in Washington’s offense — so look out. His progress and development seems to mirror the way the Giants utilized a young Victor Cruz five years ago. Crowder led all Redskins receivers with eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown — his second straight week over the century mark. He is so much more than a burner, with a quick snap to his routes that makes him very difficult to cover on outs and come-backs.3. Josh Norman was a definite upgrade at cornerback for this defense, and while A.J. Green’s numbers suggest otherwise — nine catches for 121 yards — it was stunning to see how hard Cincinnati had to work to get Green the ball when Norman was in coverage. The Redskins corner was on and off the field Sunday with a few minor injury scares and in those brief moments, Andy Dalton would not look anywhere else. Norman was over-aggressive at times — three of the five penalties called on him were accepted — but his positioning and instincts were phenomenal. The Fox broadcasting team called it a poor game because he “dropped” a pair of interceptions, but the truth was that only a few corners could have gotten to those NFL jerseys in the first place.
Another week has come and almost gone, and the road teams have something to hang on their collective mantles, right above their stockings and wedged between framed photos of an awkward Eli Manning jersey face, Antonio Brown’s most memorable touchdown celebrations and shots of Bill Belichick’s sideline attire, arranged like your favorite seasonal catalog. Want to buy Belichick’s winter hat, cut from the oppressive clutches of elastic? Mail in the order form and a check, and you can pair it with your long-sleeved hoodie cut into a short-sleeved hoodie for the deal of the century at just $29.99 plus shipping.
But enough with your holiday wardrobe selections. As the road teams deck the halls with boughs of holly, they can gather for a family photo with big grins displaying their pride in their Week 14 performances. That’s right — this week, the squads away from home went 7-8 with Baltimore owning a Monday night chance to ship a gift of a .500 week back to road team headquarters. As gifts are wrapped, eggnog is sipped and candy canes unwrapped to be enjoyed, we take a look at the week’s stars on the road.