Breaking Down the Pivotal Moments of NFL Week 14
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Week 14 of the NFL regular season brought us some fantastic finishes across the country, including a number of games that were decided by the outcome of the final play.
There were four fourth-quarter comebacks in Week 14. The week's best games included a last second TD reception by Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles; a 13-yard TD pass by St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford; and a game-tying final drive in regulation by injured Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and backup Kirk Cousins.
Let's take a look at some of the best plays this week had to offer.
Kirk Cousins Sends the Game to OT
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The outlook for the Washington Redskins looked bleak after rookie phenom QB Robert Griffin III went down in the fourth quarter with a gruesome knee injury, courtesy of a hit by the Baltimore Ravens' Haloti Ngata.
But rookie Kirk Cousins assumed the spotlight and made some big plays in RGIII's absence to bring the Redskins back from a late 28-20 deficit.
The final regulation play from scrimmage concluded with an 11-yard TD hookup between Cousins and WR Pierre Garcon.
Ravens DB Chris Johnson lined up wide against Garcon but moved in to bracket the slot receiver after the snap. Garcon recognized the hole and scuttled back into the end zone, where Cousins lofted it to him beautifully.
On the two-point conversion, the Ravens sent their safeties wide to cover the pylons, and Cousins took it on a designed QB draw for the tie.
The Skins went on to win 31-28 in OT.
Sam Bradford Finds Brandon Gibson for the Game-Winning TD
Bradford won the day with a late strike.
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St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford capped off a masterful 14-play, 84-yard drive with a 13-yard TD strike to stun the Buffalo Bills late in the game.
Bradford threw a pass through a tight window to a leaping Brandon Gibson for the game-winning strike.
Gibson lined up on the short-side left opposite rookie Bills CB Ron Brooks, running a deep post route. The pocket collapsed around Bradford, but he managed to step up and throw a high strike where only Gibson could get the ball.
The pass sailed over CB Leodis McKelvin, who broke late on the ball, and out in front of Brooks. Gibson hauled it in, and though he came down hard on the tackle by Brooks, he was able to hold on for the winning score.
The Rams won 15-12.
Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin Snap the Eagles' Losing Streak
Nick Foles made a crucial play to win the game for Philly.
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When you've got a young, inexperienced QB in a crucial situation, there's one key all offensive coordinators hold dear: Simplify the game.
That's exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles did on the last play of the game for their QB Nick Foles.
With two seconds left in regulation, the Eagles called a designed bootleg to the right for Foles. That cut down on his progressions and forced him to either haul it in and run or look for an open receiver on the right side of the field.
The two receivers to his side were WR Jason Avant, who ran a deep out to the back pylon, and WR Jeremy Maclin, who ran a quick out.
Maclin established enough separation off the break to make the play an easy one for Philly. He hauled in the pass while managing to keep his body in bounds for the score as time expired.
Philly won it 23-21.