Scully's NFL Notebook: Cowboys dominate division foe
No team made a bigger statement than Dallas in Week 16, obliterating Washington by a 56-14 margin. Equipped with the league’s highest-scoring offense (30.5 points per game), the Cowboys are healthy and scary on defense.
Randy Gregory, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Micah Parsons don’t allow opposing quarterbacks time in the pocket, and Trevon Diggs leads the NFL in interceptions (11). Dak Prescott appears to be back in top form, as well.
The top-heavy NFC playoff race will be fascinating, and here are some additional topics for this week’s NFL Notebook.
Buffalo gains steam
Buffalo reasserted its claim upon AFC East superiority, defeating New England 33-21. Josh Allen got it rolling, throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 64 rushing yards, and Micah Hyde picked off a pair of passes.
The Bills are hitting their best stride as the playoffs approach. Since trailing Tampa Bay 24-3 at halftime in Week 14, Buffalo has outscored the opposition 88-44.
Miami’s historic turnaround
Miami dominated New Orleans on Monday night, holding the Saints to 164 total yards in a 20-3 win, and stretched its win streak to seven. The Dolphins' defense is peaking, recording eight sacks, a pair of interceptions, and a touchdown against the Saints.
The #Dolphins had six sacks with four-or-fewer pass rushers in their 20-3 victory over the Saints, the most sacks on non-blitzes in a game this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 28, 2021
The Dolphins lead the NFL with a 11.0% sack rate on non-blitzes during their seven-game win streak.#MIAvsNO | #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/M56jBtnxIY
Now 8-8, the Dolphins became the first team to win seven in a row after losing seven straight in the same season, and advanced into one of the Wild Card spots in the AFC.
They’ve beaten bad teams, none in the playoffs presently, but Miami will finish against a pair of divisional leaders, Tennessee and New England (tied for first).
Following an overtime home loss to Kansas City, the Los Angeles Chargers failed to show up in Houston last week, losing 41-29 as a 13-point favorite. That dropped them out of a Wild Card spot.
Los Angeles started the season fast, compiling a 4-1 record, and still led the AFC West in late October, but it has faded down the stretch.
Now 8-7, the Chargers can still salvage their playoff hopes by beating Denver and Las Vegas in the final two weeks.
Game of the Week
By defeating Baltimore, Cincinnati took the lead in the AFC North. Joe Burrow, who threw for 525 yards and four touchdowns last week, has an abundance of skill players at his disposal, and the Bengals are intriguing due to their firepower.
Sun, January 2 2022, 6:00 PM
Kansas City will provide a class check on Sunday.
The Chiefs will bring an eight-game win streak to the Jungle, rising to the top of the AFC in the process, and they haven’t secured the first-round bye yet.
It should be an exciting Game of the Week.