There’s lots of interesting wins on this NFL Week 14 from the first set of games. The Carolina Panthers stunned the Atlanta Falcons with a win; Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins led the team to an OT victory over the Baltimore Ravens and in another team facing a dark day, the Dallas Cowboys won against the Cincinnati Bengals as time ran out with a field goal kick.
Panthers (4-9) defeat Falcons (11-2) 30-20
With so many close wins this season, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the Falcons just couldn’t get it done on Sunday against the Panthers.
So what happened? Panthers quarterback Cam Newton showed up.
He passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns along with a 72-yard run touchdown. For the day, Newton had a career-high 116 rushing yards and his team had 475 total yards to avenge for its 30-28 loss against the Falcons on Sept. 30.
The Panthers led for the entire game, building up a 23-0 lead through the third quarter before the Falcons got on the board and attempted a comeback.
It was too little, too late.
As for Matty Ice, he had 342 passing yards and two touchdowns with a bad interception in the fourth quarter.
Redskins (7-6) beat Ravens (9-4) in 31-28 OT Win
While the team may have temporarily lost its starting quarterback Robert Griffin III to a right sprained knee, it did not lead to a losing game.
Backup Redskins rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins stepped in after RG3 finally left the game after getting battered all afternoon and marched the team to a win. Down 28-20, Cousins got a touchdown with 29 seconds remaining from an 11-yard pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon; he then got the two-point conversion himself to tie up the game and take it to overtime.
After the Ravens went three-and-out to start the extra 15 minutes of play, Redskins rookie cornerback Richard Crawford had a 64-yard punt return, which set up kicker Kai Forbath for a 34-yard field goal attempt. It was good and the Redskins won.
In addition to good rookie play by RG3, Cousins and Crawford, running back Alfred Morris had 23 carries for 122 yards and one touchdown.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was 16 for 21, 182 yards, three touchdowns and one pick.
The lingering question is how long will Griffin be out.
Dallas (7-6) Gets Late 20-19 Win Over Cincy (7-6)
For the second straight week, another NFL team played with heavy hearts. On Saturday, Cowboys defensive end Jerry Brown had been killed in an automobile accident. The driver was his teammate defensive lineman Josh Brent.
The Cowboys went out on Sunday, hungry for the win. Quarterback Tony Romo was able to lead his team from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and as the time on the clock ran out, Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey nailed a 40-yarder.
For the day, Romo had 268 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Dez Bryant caught the late fourth-quarter 27-yard touchdown pass to make it a two-point game, 19-17, with 6:35 remaining.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had 206 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception.