Week 14 in the NFL certainly was filled with tons of excitement.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles took a big step forward by throwing the winning touchdown pass on the final play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kirk Cousins came off the bench to lead the Washington Redskins to another big win in overtime over the Baltimore Ravens.
And Dan Bailey’s winning field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals as time expired allowed the Dallas Cowboys to pay tribute to a fallen teammate with an emotional win.
But while there were plenty of Week 14 studs, there were just as many duds out there in the NFL.
Here were the most boneheaded plays, calls and quotes from the latest Sunday in the league.
Chalk this one up as both a boneheaded play and call on behalf of the Tennessee Titans.
Following an Indianapolis Colts punt that pinned them down on their own 1-yard line in the third quarter, the Titans elected to try and throw their way out of the bad field position.
It turned out to be a bad idea.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker dropped back and locked on to his receiver on the right side. The end result? Colts cornerback Cassius Vaughn stepped in and scored the easiest pick-six of his entire life—a three-yard interception return for a touchdown.
That score gave the Colts their first lead of the afternoon and swung the momentum totally in Indianapolis’ favor.
The bad, turnover-happy Jay Cutler showed up against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, much to the dismay of Chicago Bears fans.
First, Cutler threw late and over the middle—a cardinal sin for a quarterback—just three minutes into the game. That bad throw was intercepted by the Vikings’ Josh Robinson, who returned it inside the Chicago 5-yard line.
Shortly after that, Adrian Peterson hit pay dirt to give the Vikings their quick 7-0 lead. Then, with 3:30 left in the third quarter, Cutler committed the same cardinal sin again.
This time, safety Harrison Smith returned Cutler’s interception all the way for a 56-yard touchdown that proved to be the winning score. The only reason Cutler didn’t throw more picks was because he left the game shortly thereafter with a neck injury.
Believe it or not, the Kansas City Chiefs had all the momentum in the first quarter of their game against the Cleveland Browns.
Already up 7-0 thanks to a Jamaal Charles 80-yard touchdown run, Kansas City was primed to go up 14-0 when it faced a fourth-and-short inside the Cleveland 10. The Chiefs have two whole wins this season and had nothing to lose by going for it.
They could’ve handed the ball to Charles or the bruising Peyton Hillis, who surely would’ve been motivated to stick it to his former team, given how ugly his departure from Cleveland was.
But Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel went conservative, sending Ryan Succop on the field to attempt a chip-shot, 27-yard field goal. Crennel’s faith in Succop was promptly unrewarded when the veteran kicker clanked his attempt off the left upright.
That’s certainly one of the shortest field goals fans will ever see an NFL kicker miss.
Patrick Peterson forgot to bring his hands to Seattle.
The normally sure-handed Peterson lost two fumbles on punt return attempts in the Arizona Cardinals’ 58-0 beatdown to the Seahawks. With 6:30 left in the second quarter, Peterson muffed a Jon Ryan punt inside the Seattle 10.
That fumble eventually was pounced on in the end zone by Malcolm Smith, giving Seattle a commanding 31-0 lead. And just before the end of the half, Peterson fumbled again deep in Seattle territory.
The Seahawks recovered, giving quarterback Russell Wilson enough time to hit tight end Zach Miller for a 24-yard touchdown pass that gave Seattle a 38-0 halftime lead.
We’re not done bashing the Arizona Cardinals yet.
Another boneheaded move committed by Arizona was electing to fly up to Seattle to face the Seahawks. Had they known their matchup with the Seahawks was going to result in a 58-0 pasting—an all-time low mark for the franchise—they likely would’ve elected to stay home and have a lazy Sunday instead.
Technically, though, Arizona did have a lazy Sunday. The Cardinals almost had as many turnovers (eight) as they did first downs (10).
Ken Whisenhunt’s team has now lost nine straight games after starting the season 4-0. Do you think Larry Fitzgerald is regretting staying with the team now?
Sure, he has his money. But he’s wasting away playing with the awful quarterback tandem of John Skelton and rookie Ryan Lindley.
Never would Pittsburgh Steelers fans have figured that David Paulson’s posterior would hurt their team so badly.
But that’s exactly what happened midway through the third quarter for the Steelers against the San Diego Chargers. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass on his own goal line.
He was trying to hit a wide receiver screen to Antonio Brown. However, the backwards pass hit Paulson—the Steelers rookie tight end—in the butt as he was blocking.
The ball bounced into the end zone, where San Diego’s Quentin Jammer fell on it to give the Chargers a 27-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Baby got back—but not in a good way for Mike Tomlin’s team.
As Jamie Foxx once said, blame it on the Henne.
Chad Henne was driving the Jacksonville Jaguars down the field for the tying score against the New York Jets. The Jags were inside the New York 40 with roughly 25 seconds left in regulation.
That was when Henne lofted a pass towards the end zone. The only problem was that there were no Jaguars receivers in the area.
But Ellis Lankster was there. He secured the easy interception to seal the victory for Gang Green.
Through the first quarter and a half against the Green Bay Packers, everything was going right for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.
Then, Stafford decided he wanted to be on the next edition of NFL Films’ Classic Football Follies compilation. With just over six minutes to go in the first half at Lambeau Field, Stafford dropped back to pass.
But Stafford didn’t have his fingers on the laces of the ball. The pigskin slipped out of Stafford’s grasp during the throw.
He subsequently botched the attempt to recover his fumble, and Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels picked up the rock and rumbled 43 yards for a touchdown that got Green Bay back in the game.
That one play pretty much summed up the frustrating 2012 season for Jim Schwartz’s team in a nutshell.
It’s one thing for a teammate to urge an NFL player to fight through an injury.
It’s a totally different can of worms for a pampered NFL owner to tell that player the same thing.
And that’s apparently what happened after last week’s Cowboys-Eagles game when Dallas owner Jerry Jones had a tiff with defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (via Sports Illustrated). Word is that Jones confronted Ratliff about returning from his groin injury in a quicker manner, telling Ratliff, “We need you.”
That didn’t sit too well with Ratliff, and rightfully so.
It’s nice that Jones is concerned about getting one of his more vital defensive players back on the field. However, questioning Ratliff’s toughness through innuendo isn’t the way to go about it.
This certainly does nothing to help a Cowboys locker room already reeling from the tragedy of teammate Jerry Brown’s death over the weekend.
This is the last slide concerning the Arizona Cardinals’ embarrassing Sunday in Seattle, I promise.
However, it was very interesting when star Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s father took to Twitter to vent about Arizona’s awful 58-0 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.
Among other stinging comments, Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. called Arizona’s performance “pathetic” and accused them of quitting.
The elder Fitzgerald’s tweets do nothing to help his son’s standing within the Arizona locker room. It likely will put the dynamic receiver in the awkward position of having to explain his father’s comments to upset teammates.
Of course, this isn’t little league baseball. Nobody in the Cardinals locker room is going to go home crying because a prominent sports writer (whose son happens to be the franchise player) accused them of quitting.
However, surely this isn’t the kind of nightmare season Fitzgerald signed up for when he chose to become a Cardinal for life back in the summer of 2011.
And Fitzgerald’s father isn’t helping his son’s cause by fanning the flames in this instance.