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2016
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

2015
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

2014
Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

NFL Week 14 Recap

NFL+Week+14+Recap
Lindsay Armanini

As expected, Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season was full of nothing but drama. The Wild Card race in both conferences is as competitive as ever, multiple teams won who were underdogs, and injury problems for every team seem to never end.

Let’s recap the games in the Week 14 slate:

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots

On Thursday night, Belichick’s 2-10 Patriots took on the 7-5 Steelers in Pittsburgh. To the delight of Pats fans and to the horror of Steelers diehards, New England got the win in a close contest, 21-18. Quarterback Bailey Zappe put up some promising numbers under center, completing 19-of-28 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. He looks to be the replacement for 2021 first round pick Mac Jones, who has been a disappointment on offense this season. For the Steelers, backup Mitch Trubisky filled in for the injured Kenny Pickett, completing 20-of-33 and for 145 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Pittsburgh remains in the Wild Card race in the AFC after the loss, still maintaining a winning record.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday afternoon, an NFC showdown between the 5-7 Buccaneers and the 6-6 Falcons was a close one. While Falcons receiver Drake London had a monster game, snagging 172 yards on 10 catches and 11 targets, the team fell short to Tampa Bay, 25-29. One of the biggest plays of the game was an end-zone interception from Bucs defensive back Carlton Davis III, giving the Bucs a shot at a score. Tampa Bay now leads the NFC South and increases their chances of a playoff berth, while Atlanta finds themselves in the hunt for a Wild Card spot.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Rams

In Baltimore, the 9-3 Ravens and the 6-6 Rams had an overtime thriller. Lamar Jackson led Baltimore to a victory, throwing 24-of-43 for 316 yards and three touchdowns. The game ended in dramatic fashion after Baltimore punt returner Tyler Wallace ran it in for a 76-yard return touchdown, putting the Ravens ahead, 37-31. Baltimore remains atop the AFC North and looks to be the favorite for the number 1 seed. With the loss, Stafford and the Rams fall further down in the NFC Wild Card race.

Detroit Loins vs. Chicago Bears

Many expected that the 9-3 Lions would put a hurt on the 4-8 Bears at home, but a strong defensive performance and offensive success from Justin Fields and D.J. Moore gave Chicago a massive victory, 28-13. Fields threw 19-of-33 in the contest for 223 yards and one rushing touchdown, while Detroit quarterback Jared Goff went 20-of-35 for a touchdown and took four sacks. The Lions sit in first in the NFC North but have suffered a few bad losses in the past weeks, most notably their loss on Thanksgiving. The Bears, while winning their last two games, are still at the bottom of the division and are not playoff hopefuls.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts

Two AFC teams in the playoff hunt battled it out in Cincinnati. The 6-6 Bengals ended up taking down the 7-5 Colts in a signature win, 34-14. Backup quarterback Jake Browning looked impressive once again, offering 18-of-24 and throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. This was his second win for Cincinnati after the team’s loss of star quarterback and Heisman winner, Joe Burrow. Running back Joe Mixon and receiver Jamar Chase looked like themselves, putting up big numbers for the Bengals offense. Both teams now sit at winning records of 7-6, Cincinnati at the bottom of the AFC North and Indianapolis at the two seed in the AFC South. The two are hopeful for a Wild Card playoff berth.

Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

In Cleveland, the 7-5 Browns were in desperate need of a win over the 8-4 Jaguars to remain shoe-ins for the top Wild Card spot. With a clutch performance from backup Joe Flacco and an electric Cleveland defense, the hometown team just outlasted Jacksonville, 31-27. A notable performance came from tight end David Njoku, who snagged 8 targets for 6 receptions and 91 yards. The injured Trevor Lawrence still played with a high ankle sprain, but struggled to escape defensive end Myles Garrett and Cleveland’s aggressive D-line, getting sacked four times. The Browns sit just below the Ravens in the AFC North, while the Jags remain in first in the AFC South, both teams looking hopefully at a playoff spot.

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

The 1-11 Panthers fell yet again this season, this time to the 5-7 Saints in New Orleans, 28-6. Quarterback Derek Carr performed remarkably well (given his rib injury), completing 18-of-26 passes and throwing for two touchdowns. The Saints’ defense was tough to beat and surely put a hurt on the Panther’s discombobulated offense. The struggles for quarterback Bryce Young continued as he neglected to find the end zone and took four sacks. New Orleans sits in a three-way tie in the NFC South between Tampa Bay and Atlanta, while Carolina sits in last place of the division and are statistically eliminated from playoff contention.

New York Jets vs. Houston Texans

With a concussion injury to star rookie QB C.J. Stroud, the 7-5 Texans didn’t have enough to compete with the 4-8 Jets. Houston suffered a crucial and devastating loss, 30-6. The return of New York quarterback Zach Wilson proved to be the right call, as he completed 27-of-36, threw for 301 yards, and earned two touchdowns. He found Breece Hall for 10 carries, 9 targets and 8 receptions, earning him 86 yards and a touchdown. Without Stroud, the Houston offense struggled immensely. They now find themselves tied with the Colts for second in the AFC South, one game back from Jacksonville. The Jets still sit at third in the AFC East, two games back from the Bills.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Minnesota Vikings

Watching the late afternoon matchup between the 6-6 Vikings and the 5-7 Raiders was sort of like watching paint dry. The game went completely scoreless through three quarters. With 1:57 left in regulation, Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph sealed a 3-0 victory with a 36-yard field goal. Both defenses did their jobs effectively, but both offenses practically went ice cold. Hot-streak quarterback Josh Dobbs struggled, only competing 10-of-23 and for a mere 63 yards. He found the bench in the fourth quarter, when backup Nick Mullens took over the reins and was later announced the starter for week 15. The Vikings now sit two games back from the Lions in the NFC North, still a large part of the Wild Card picture. Las Vegas’s chance at a playoff berth slims with the loss, as they fall to the bottom of the AFC West.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

A hard-fought battle between Purdy’s 9-3 49ers and Geno’s 6-6 Seahawks ended with a late win for the 9ers, 28-16. The NFC West rivalry caused a little scuffle in San Francisco, as both 49ers Corner Deommodore Lenoir and Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf were ejected late in the game. Mr. Irrelevant put up strong numbers for the San Fran offense once again, going 19-of-27 for 368 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Deebo Samuel connected with Purdy for seven receptions, 149 yards, and a touchdown. Christian McCaffrey was electric on the run, racking in 16 carries for 145 yards, his longes run being 72 yards. The 49ers look to be true contenders in the NFC for the top spot, while the Seahawks take their fourth loss in a row and fall further down to third in the division.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills

The reigning Super Bowl Champions took on a familiar AFC rival in a highly anticipated matchup that has a past full of controversy. In a shocking series of events, and a questionable penalty during the 8-4 Chief’s final drive, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid fell just short to the 6-6 Bills. The MVP quarterback was visibly frustrated off the field after failing to convert on fourth down in the final possession, handing the ball back to Buffalo to kneel on a 20-17 win. The controversy came from a third down touchdown play that got called back when Chief’s receiver Kadarius Toney lined up offsides. While it was a legal call, Chiefs players were frustrated that officials did not give Toney a warning of his positioning, which they did do throughout the duration of the game. From here, Kansas City finds themselves without a first round bye or a home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs, something Patrick Mahomes has never played without his whole career. With the win, the Bills sit two games behind the Dolphins in the East, very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers

One of the hottest teams in the NFL faced one of the coldest, and the results were not a surprise. The AFC matchup between the 6-6 Broncos and the 5-7 Chargers proved that the Denver offense under head coach Sean Payton is clicking, and Los Angeles head coach Brandon Staley has failed his offensive talent miserably. The masterful Russel Wilson lit up the Chargers in scoring, completing 21-of-33 for 224 yards and two touchdowns, leading his group to the 24-7 win. A season-ending hand injury to talented quarterback Justin Herbert has practically crushed all hopes of the Chargers for making a run at the playoffs. Their only touchdown came from running back Austin Eckler, whose 10 carries, 5 receptions and 100 yards was the only ray of hope for his team. The Broncos now happily sit one game back from the Chiefs in the AFC West.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Another anticipated game between two NFC teams and Super Bowl hopefuls, the 10-2 Eagles and the 9-3 Cowboys, was not the Sunday Night action we expected. Dak Prescott passed his most difficult test this season with flying colors, leading America’s team to a definitive 33-14 win over their division rival. Dallas looked stronger on all sides of the ball. Prescott went 24-of-39 for 271 yards and two touchdowns, while the Cowboys secondary shined against the passing talent of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Many questions surround Philadelphia’s ability to be a playoff threat in the NFC, losing their top spot in the division and struggling in their last few game. While both teams sit at 10-3 and look confidently at the playoffs, Dallas surely feels that they have the edge over the green, black, and white.

Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans

The first of Week 14’s two Monday Night games featured an AFC matchup between the 9-3 Dolphins and the 4-8 Titans. While many expected the talent of Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Tyreek Hill to dominate the matchup, the home team fell just short to Tennessee at home, 28-27. Rookie quarterback Will Levis looked promising, completing 23-of-38 for a whopping 327 yards a touchdown. He led his team down the field late in the game to get his first signature win. The orange and teal still put up numbers on offense, but the defense came up short and couldn’t give the team the edge. A 9-4 record still puts the Dolphins atop the AFC East by two games, and their playoff hopes remain. For the Titans, the win might still not be enough for playoff hopes, as they sit at the bottom of the AFC South.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers

The final game of the Week 14 slate was definitely must-see TV. The 4-8 New York Giants matched up against the hot 6-6 Packers in a game many thought Green Bay would conquer. But New York backup quarterback Tommy DeVito stole the show and led his hometown team to a huge win, 24-22. Running back Saquon Barkley put up great numbers for the offense, offering 20 carries and 8 receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Packers quarterback Jordan Love still offered 25-of-39 and 218 yards for one touchdown, but once again, a last second field goal forced them to come up just short. A shot at the playoffs still looks dim, as Green Bay sits three games back from Detroit, and New York sits five back from Dallas.

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About the Contributor
Lindsay Armanini, Staff Writer
Lindsay Armanini is a first-year staff writer for The Rambler. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching sports, listening to music, and baking cookies. After graduating this spring, she hopes to continue writing and plans to major in either Sports Journalism or Sports Medicine  
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