Scully's NFL Notebook: Packers push Cardinals for top playoff spot
An exciting slate of games accompanied festivities over the holiday week, and the calendar now turns to December. That means crunch time for playoff hopefuls in the NFL.
Enjoy this week’s NFL Notebook!
Dallas searches for answers
After falling behind early, and trailing by 11 points in the second half, Dallas rallied to force overtime against Las Vegas last Thursday, but the Cowboys punted on their first possession in the extra session and lost for the third time in four games.
A historic streak ended Thursday when Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw an incompletion in overtime vs. Raiders. Prescott began his overtime career with a streak of 20 straight completions. He's now 20-of-21 for 220 yards, three TDs and a 149.9 passer rating after regulation. pic.twitter.com/mM76ZJXdDA— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 28, 2021
Dallas lacked offensive cohesiveness most of the game, and a tumultuous campaign appears to be wearing on the Cowboys.
Team chemistry has been shaken by injuries and COVID-19 absences, and Dallas must find its ground game after being held below 85 rushing yards in the last three losses.
Dallas can still turn things around. But with four important divisional games remaining, and a home matchup against Arizona, Dallas must beat injury-riddled New Orleans on Thursday night to keep the faith.
51 game-winning drives and counting
Leonard Fournette rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries, Rob Gronkowski caught a team-high seven passes for 123 yards, and Tom Brady extended his record by orchestrating a 51st regular-season game-winning drive in Tampa Bay’s big road win at Indianapolis.
Tom Brady notches his 51st game-winning drive in the regular season. Only Drew Brees (53) and Peyton Manning (54) have more in NFL history. https://t.co/vPoNOEOUlZ— Sports by Tampa Bay Times (@TBTimes_Sports) November 28, 2021
The Buccaneers overcame a 10-point halftime deficit, and snapped a two-game road losing streak, and Tampa Bay is getting healthy late in the season.
Brady will get Antonio Brown back soon, and the defending Super Bowl champs may continue to gain momentum.
Rodgers outplays Stafford
Despite a toe injury, Aaron Rodgers turned in a sharp performance, throwing for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Green Bay outclassed the Los Angeles Rams in a pivotal home game.
After losing two of three, Green Bay stayed one game behind Arizona for the top spot in the NFC. Los Angeles had the bye week to prepare, following consecutive losses, and had to win to stay in the NFC West race, but the Rams proved sloppy in all phases.
#Packers swept the NFC West, a division with three teams currently holding playoff spots.— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) November 29, 2021
A striking difference between quarterbacks was on full display.
Similar to his experiences in Detroit, Matthew Stafford turned in another inconsistent performance against Rodgers, missing receivers and tossing his third pick-six of the season.
Bengals bludgeon Pittsburgh
Cincinnati has outscored Pittsburgh 92-37 in their last three meetings, and Sunday’s affair quickly turned into a snoozer, as the Bengals jumped out to a 31-3 halftime advantage.
One game behind Baltimore in the AFC North, the upstart Bengals have big home tilts remaining against the Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday), San Francisco (12/12), Baltimore (12/26), and Kansas City (1/2).
Game of the Week
Tue, December 7 2021, 1:15 AM
Is New England a legitimate Super Bowl contender?
We’ll get an indication Monday night, when the surging Patriots bring a six-game win streak to Buffalo.
Buffalo, which has lost three of six following a 4-1 start, faces a must-win scenario after falling a half-game behind New England in the AFC East standings.
It should be a terrific matchup.