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How the rest of the NFC South fared in Week 14

The Saints stumbled for the first time in months.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It’s common knowledge in sports that if you take care of your own business you don’t have to worry about anybody else as far as the standings are concerned.

While this is entirely true, getting some help along the way is never a bad thing. This column will be completely dedicated to the results of the other three NFC South teams throughout the season; hopefully we’ll be able to bask in their failures together.

This article series’ sole purpose will be to take a look at the weekly performances of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers and to look at how the NFC South is shaping up week in and week out.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26, Minnesota Vikings 14

In a pivotal matchup as far as the NFC Wildcard race is concerned, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took care of business, and they were aided by four missed Dan Bailey kicks (three field goals, one extra point) in the process.

Following back to back punts to begin the afternoon, the Bucs closed the half out with three consecutive scoring drives to take a double digit lead into the half. When they came out of the half with another touchdown scoring drive, the normally run heavy Vikings just didn’t have enough juice to make a 17-point comeback.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying, however, as Kirk Cousins led a touchdown drive of his own on his first second half possession, but another missed kick by Bailey on the following drive served as a dagger, marking a comfortable win for Tampa.

Tom Brady had 196 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Ronald Jones had 80 rushing yards and a score. Mike Evans was the team leader with 56 receiving yards.

Cousins had 225 passing yards and a score. Dalvin Cook did well against a stout run defense with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. Irv Smith had a game high with 63 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Denver Broncos 32, Carolina Panthers 27

In a matchup between two struggling teams who aren’t really going anywhere as far as postseason is concerned, the Broncos got the better of Carolina.

It was a really ugly game which turned out to be exciting. After a first quarter punt-fest (one of which was recovered for a touchdown), each team traded touchdowns before the half.

The offenses took over in the second half with the Broncos scoring touchdowns on three of their final five drives and the Panthers getting points on four consecutive drives in a spirited comeback attempt. Just like they did in many of their games this season, Carolina had a chance to win it on their final drive but they didn’t get it done, turning it over on downs.

Drew Lock had 280 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Melvin Gordon had 68 rushing yards. K.J. Hamler only had two catches but they went for 86 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Teddy Bridgewater had 283 passing yards and no touchdowns, but he did score on the ground while adding 31 rushing yards. Mike Davis had 51 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Robby Anderson was the leading receiver with 84 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles 24, New Orleans Saints 21

This was maybe the most shocking scoreline of the day, as the Jalen Hurts era in Philadelphia began with an upset win against the top seeded Saints, who had won nine consecutive games coming into this week.

The first half went about as well as the Eagles could have hoped — they shut Taysom Hill and the Saints offense out, while their offense put up over 300 yards and built a 17-point lead despite a missed field goal to close out the second quarter.

The Saints tried to put together a comeback attempt, as their defense clamped down and their offense stepped up to the tune of three touchdown drives, but it just wasn’t enough. A fumble in Eagles territory on fourth down and a second missed Wil Lutz field goal of the game was one mistake too many.

Hurts was a true dual threat quarterback in this one, totaling 167 passing yards and 106 rushing yards while throwing a touchdown and losing a fumble. Miles Sanders used the strength of an 82-yard touchdown to power an afternoon which resulted in 115 rushing yards and two scores on 14 carries. Jalen Reagor had 46 receiving yards to lead the team.

Taysom Hill had a career high 291 passing yards and added 33 yards on the ground. He had two passing touchdown, one interception and one lost fumble. Alvin Kamara had 94 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown. Michael Thomas had 84 receiving yards.

Standings after Week 14

1. New Orleans Saints (10-3 overall record; 5-0 division record) - Next vs. Chiefs

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5 overall record; 2-2 division record) - Next at Falcons

3. Atlanta Falcons (4-9 overall record; 1-3 division record) - Next vs. Buccaneers

4. Carolina Panthers (4-9 overall record; 1-4 division record) - Next at Packers