It was another disappointing season for the New York Giants in 2020, despite the arrival of new head coach Joe Judge.

The Giants endured a fourth consecutive losing campaign and have not tasted victory in a playoff game since winning the Super Bowl to conclude the 2011 season.

However, after going 1-7 in the first half of the year, the Giants went 5-3 down the stretch to finish 6-10.

That decent finish, which was helped by a competitive defense, coupled with some high-profile moves in free agency, has at least given Giants fans some reasons for optimism going into 2021.

We have looked at the best Stats Perform data to get a good look at what they need to do to become competitive again.
 

Offense

The offense was a key weakness for Big Blue in 2020, with Judge and new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett struggling to find a solution.

But while it is fair to suggest Daniel Jones does not look like an elite quarterback, it is hard to place much of the blame on his shoulders.

The Giants' offensive line was among the worst in the NFL once more, with number four overall pick Andrew Thomas enduring a rough rookie season as veteran Nate Solder opted out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While they had a varied group of skillsets at wider receiver, the unit lacked a true number one option.

A succession of injuries also meant the Giants rarely had all their key pass-catchers on the field at the same time. To make matters worse, star running back Saquon Barkley was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 2.

Jones played better than his headline statistics - 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions from 14 games, an 80.4 passer rating and 29th-ranked passing offense (189.1 net passing yards per game) - would suggest. 

The lack of a top supporting cast is highlighted by a total of 751 yards proving enough for Darius Slayton to be Jones' leading target, while with 423 yards on the ground, the QB was the team's second-highest rusher.

The Giants had just 36 passing plays of 20-plus yards, the second-lowest in the NFL.

But Jones thrived when they did open the offense up, providing hope for when he has better receivers to throw to and some more aggressive play-calling.

In passing attempts with 21-plus air yards, Jones had a passer rating of 135.4 – best in the NFL – completing 19 of 38 for five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Despite his success in that category, there were 21 other QBs who threw more deep passes, with Tom Brady topping the list with 86 attempts, statistics that should give Garrett food for thought.

Without Barkley as the O-line often struggled, the Giants had 46 runs of 10-plus yards and averaged 110.5 YPG, both figures which were below the league average.

Defense

The Giants' defense, though, was a surprising positive for the season.

Despite going into the year with concerns over a lack of star power and talent, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham put together a competitive unit.

Cornerback James Bradberry was a Pro Bowl selection after signing in free agency, while Leonard Williams enjoyed a strong season on the defensive line.

The Giants were ninth in points allowed (357) over the whole season. Even more impressively, they allowed just 138 points over the final eight games, the best total in the NFL over that span.

They were 12th in yards allowed per game (349.3) while 5.34 yards allowed per play was ninth in the NFL.

New York allowed only 52 big plays of 20-plus yards (ranked 6th) and just six of those went for touchdowns (equal 3rd).

They were better than league average with 22 takeaways and 40 sacks too – 11.5 of which went to Williams, who was playing on the franchise tag and also had 30 QB hits and 14 TFL.

Offseason

All of that meant the Giants went into the offseason with improving on offense as a priority and plenty to build from on the defense.

That defense got even stronger with the addition of former first-round pick Adoree' Jackson after his release from the Tennessee Titans, giving the team what looks like a strong cornerback pairing with Bradberry.

With Jabrill Peppers and last year's highly rated second-round selection Xavier McKinney at safety, the secondary looks strong.

Linebacker is a weakness, though the Giants are still looking good up front after Williams was retained on a three-year, $63million deal.

While that looks like a huge overpay, it does at least ensure the defensive line is well placed despite the departure of Dalvin Tomlinson, with Dexter Lawrence, their first-round pick in 2019 still in place. 

An elite edge rusher would complement those big bodies well and may well be an area of focus in the draft.

Offensively, the big splash was Kenny Golladay, seen as the top wide receiver to hit the open market, on a four-year, $72m deal. 

A low-cost flier was taken on speedster John Ross after the release of Golden Tate, while veteran Kyle Rudolph joined Evan Engram in the tight end room.

The offensive line remains a concern, particularly with guard Kevin Zeitler released, though Solder is back for 2021 on a restructured deal and there will be hopes of an improved sophomore year from Thomas.

With the number 11 pick in the draft, and many of the other teams near the top of the order eyeing a QB, the Giants are in a good position to land a key contributor at a position of need. 

If the Giants go receiver and bring in either Ja'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle to pair with Golladay and possession receiver Sterling Shephard, Jones will surely greet the move with delight.

Gregory Rousseau is among the options if the Giants look to fill their need at edge in the first round, while tackle Rashawn Slater could prove tempting if the Giants try to swing again for an offensive lineman.

Regardless of the route they go down, Jones' supporting cast has already been significantly improved. 

It is fair to say he has not had a great situation either during his college career at Duke or in his first two years as an NFL quarterback.

But going into his third season, Jones now has a platform to succeed and must show enough this year to prove he can be the man who is capable of bringing the Giants back to the top. 

If he cannot, both he and general manager Dave Gettleman will be facing an uncertain future.

The New York Giants have bolstered their roster with the signing of Pro Bowler Kenny Golladay, the NFL franchise announced.

Golladay – arguably the best wide receiver in this year's free agency – has reportedly signed a four-year contract worth $72million.

The 27-year-old spent his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he earned Pro-Bowl selection in 2019.

Golladay led the NFL with 11 touchdown catches in 2019, while twice exceeding 1,000 receiving yards.

A third-round pick in 2017, Golladay was limited to just five games for the Lions in 2020 due to a hip flexor strain.

The Giants have struggled, missing the playoffs for four straight seasons, while they have only managed one postseason appearance – a Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers in 2016 – since 2012.

But Golladay is excited about the future, telling reporters on Saturday: "Just hearing the vision that coach Joe Judge had and [co-ordinator] Jason Garrett had as far as the offense, that had me right there.

"And just walking around the building, everybody greeting me and with them pretty much telling me that they wanted me here and I'm expressing the same thing. It was kind of like a no-brainer and I'm glad it worked out."

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will benefit most from Golladay's arrival in New York.

Jones ranked 19th for completions (280) last season, while he was 31st for completion percentage (62.5), 19th for passing yards (2,943), equal 29th for touchdowns (11) and 13th for interceptions (10).

His passer rating (80.4) was only good enough for 30th position among quarterbacks – Packers star and MVP Aaron Rodgers (121.5) topped the list.

On playing with Jones, Golladay added: "He just said how good of a player that he thought I was, and I pretty much said the same thing about him.

"He also just said, 'We're trying to do something great here,' and that's what I'm all about.

"He's still kind of fresh in the league a little bit and I kind of want to grow with him. I'm still growing as a player and I feel like me and him can do some good things.

"We haven't gotten on the practice field yet, but me and him both are very excited."

As it turns out, Leonard Williams will be with the New York Giants for more than just the 2021 season. 

A week after the Giants placed the franchise tag on Williams, the two sides agreed to a three-year, $63 million contract on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The deal reportedly includes $45m fully guaranteed. 

A long-term deal was reportedly being worked on between the two sides after the Giants placed the non-exclusive tag on him last Tuesday. 

New York also placed the tag on him prior to the 2020 season and Williams played his way into a big pay day. The durable defensive tackle, who has missed just one game in his six-year career, ranked seventh in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, third with 30 quarterback hits and tied for sixth with 14 tackles for loss. 

The 2020 season marked Williams' first full season with the Giants after he was traded from the Jets midway through the 2019 season for a third and a fifth-round draft pick. 

Williams was the sixth overall pick of the 2015 draft by the Jets and it looked an astute selection after he made the Pro Bowl in his second season with seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

The next two seasons, however, Williams was a non-factor, finishing with seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2017 and 2018 combined. And after seven games without a sack and two tackles for loss in 2019, he was shipped to MetLife Stadium's other home tenant. 

He flourished last season in leading one of the NFL's most improved defenses while racking up the most sacks by a Giant since Jason Pierre-Paul had 12.5 in 2014. 

New York allowed an average of 22.3 points last season after giving up an average of 28.2 in 2019, and that decrease of 5.9 fewer points allowed per game was tied with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the third-best improvement in the league. 

The Giants went 6-10 last season but narrowly missed making the playoffs while playing in the dreadful NFC East won by the 7-9 Washington Football Team. 

They have not made the playoffs since 2016, and are without a playoff win since beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl after the 2011 season. 

New York Giants coach Joe Judge fumed after Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Washington Football Team and vowed that his side would never "disrespect the game".

Washington clinched the NFC East with a 20-14 win over Philadelphia as the Giants were eliminated from the playoff race, when a win by the Eagles would have seen Judge's team advance to the post-season.

Trailing 17-14 in the third quarter, Philadelphia passed on the chance to tie the game with a short field goal and took a fourth-down shot from the four yard line, which quarterback Jalen Hurts did not complete.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson then replaced starting QB Hurts in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field and back-up Nate Sudfeld completed only five of 12 passes for 32 yards and an interception.

"There’s a number of sacrifices that have been made by all of the players and coaches in this league," Judge said.

"There’s a number of sacrifices that come along as well with the family members of the people connected to them.

"To disrespect the effort that everyone put forward to make this season a success for the National Football League, to disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players to win...

"We will never do that as long as I am the head coach of the New York Giants."

The Green Bay Packers will hope to seal the top seed in the NFC when they face rivals the Chicago Bears, but the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks will be ready to pounce on any slip-up.

A tie on Sunday would be enough for the Packers to secure a first-round bye in the postseason, though they would also receive it regardless of their own result if the Seahawks fail to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

If the Seahawks are to head straight into the Divisional Round, they need to beat the 49ers and hope the Packers lose and the Saints fail to win against the Carolina Panthers.

New Orleans, meanwhile, need a victory over the Panthers to coincide with the Packers losing to the Bears and Seattle beating San Francisco.

Division titles are up for grabs in the AFC South and NFC East, with the Tennessee Titans and Washington Football Team looking to hold on and top their sections, while the Cleveland Browns will be aiming to reach the postseason for the first time since 2002 when they face a Pittsburgh Steelers side without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

 

FEATURED GAME

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – Sunday, 4.25pm

- This will be the third Week 17 meeting since 2010 for the long-time rivals, and the previous two were critical games. In the 2010 campaign, the Packers needed to beat the Bears at Lambeau Field to make the postseason; they won 10-3 and went on to win Super Bowl XLV. The teams met in Week 17 three years later in Chicago; the Packers' 33-28 success earned them the NFC North crown and eliminated the Bears. 

- A win over Chicago would secure the NFC's top seed for Green Bay – as well as a second consecutive 13-3 season. The Packers have posted back-to-back seasons of 13 or more wins only once, in 1996 and 1997 with Brett Favre at quarterback. In the Super Bowl era, only one team has had consecutive seasons with at least 13 victories and no Super Bowl appearance: the Saints of 2018 and 2019.

- Aaron Rodgers has 51 touchdown passes against the Bears in his regular-season career, second only to Favre's 60. Including the 2010 NFC Championship Game, Rodgers is 20-5 versus Chicago for an .800 winning percentage, the fourth highest by any QB versus a single opponent since 1950 (minimum 25 starts; postseason included).

OTHER KEY GAMES

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers – Sunday, 4.25pm

- Alvin Kamara rushed for six touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day, tying the NFL record set by Ernie Nevers in 1929. Kamara's 58 scrimmage TDs rank as the third most by a player through his first four seasons all-time (Terrell Davis – 61, LaDainian Tomlinson – 60).

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, 4.25pm

- After hurting the Arizona Cardinals' postseason chances with a 20-12 win at State Farm Stadium on Saturday, the 49ers will hope to play spoiler for a second straight week. A win over Seattle on Sunday would give San Francisco a 4-2 record within the NFC West, which would be a division-best – even as they finish in last place.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans – Sunday, 4.25pm

Tennessee will clinch its first AFC South title since 2008 with a win, or an Indianapolis Colts loss versus the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. A win over Houston would also tie the Titans franchise record for road wins in a season (currently 5-2: 6-2 in 1996, 2000, 2008).

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts – Sunday, 4.25pm

Indianapolis and Jacksonville both have eight players with over 250 receiving yards this season, the only two teams in the NFL with as many. The Jaguars had never had eight players with 250 receiving yards in the same season before, while the Colts had it happen once before (2016, eight players). If they are to snatch the AFC South division title, Indianapolis need to win and hope Tennessee fail to match them, or tie and see the Titans lose.

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles - Sunday, 8.20pm

Washington have lost six of their past seven games against the Eagles, including three straight on the road. Their lone success came in Week 1 this year after they scored the final 27 points of the game and won 27-17. A tie would be enough for Washington to clinch the NFC East division title, as long as the Dallas Cowboys fail to beat the New York Giants.

ELSEWHERE…

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants – Sunday, 1.00pm

Daniel Jones has not thrown an interception in 162 consecutive pass attempts, the longest active streak in the NFL and the third-longest streak by a Giant in the past 30 seasons (Eli Manning – 176 in 2014, Phil Simms – 173 in 1993). To reach the playoffs, Dallas needs a win and for Washington not to match them, or a tie and a Washington loss. New York need a win and a Washington loss.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – Sunday, 1.00pm

Nick Chubb is averaging 5.45 yards per carry this season and has run for 11 touchdowns. He is set to will become the second player in NFL history with 5.0+ yards per carry and 8+ rush TDs in three straight seasons, joining another Browns player in Leroy Kelly (1966-68). With a win or a Colts loss on Sunday, the Browns would snap their 17-season playoff drought, which is tied for the longest in the NFL since the merger (1970-86 Saints, 2000-16 Buffalo Bills).

The Seattle Seahawks claimed their first NFC West championship since 2016 after topping the Los Angeles Rams.

Seattle sealed a four-year first in the NFL thanks to Sunday's 20-9 victory at Lumen Field, where the Seahawks kept alive their hopes of finishing with one of the NFC's top two seeds.

Aaron Rodgers flexed his muscles and team-mate Davante Adams starred in the Green Bay Packers' rout of the Tennessee Titans.

There were also wins for the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Chargers.

 

SEAHAWKS IN NFC WEST-CLINCHING WIN

For the fifth time under head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks got their hands on the NFC West crown.

The Seahawks (11-4) used a resurgent defense to see off the Rams (9-6), holding Los Angeles to just six points in the second half, while sacking quarterback Jared Goff – who reportedly suffered a broken thumb – three times.

"There were times during the season where everybody had enough statistics to go ahead and blow us out, and like we weren't worth anything on defense," Carroll said.

"But this defense is good, and they've shown it and they've declared it. This is the kind of defense that we've played in years past when we really had good teams down ... the stretch."

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was 20-of-32 passing for 225 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, while he also rushed for a TD on three carries.

 

RODGERS' PACKERS DOMINATE

Huge performances from MVP hopeful Rodgers and wide receiver Adams fuelled Green Bay's 40-14 demolition of the Titans at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers showcased his MVP credentials by going 21 of 25 for 231 yards, four touchdowns and one interception for a 128.1 passer rating.

The Packers quarterback had his 13th game with a 100-plus passer rating this season, tying himself in 2011 and Patrick Mahomes in 2018 for the most such games in a single season in league history, per NFL Research. Both Rodgers (2011) and Mahomes (2018) finished as that season's NFL MVP.

Adams caught 11 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the third player in NFL history to have 100-plus receptions and 16-plus receiving TDs in a season.

He also recorded his ninth successive Sunday Night Football appearance with a touchdown – breaking a tie with Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski for the longest such streak in NFL history.

The Packers improved to 12-3 but still need to beat the Chicago Bears in their final regular-season game to clinch the NFC's number one seed.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill completed just 11 of 24 passes for 121 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while Tennessee star Derrick Henry was restricted to 23 carries, 98 yards and no TDs.

 

COWBOYS STAY ALIVE

The Cowboys remain in the hunt in a wide-open NFC East after defeating rivals the Philadelphia Eagles 37-17.

Coupled with the Washington Football Team's (6-9) 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Cowboys (6-9) still have a chance to win the division.

The Cowboys need to beat the New York Giants in Week 17, while the Eagles must take down Washington in order for Dallas to top the NFC East.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert set a new single-season rookie record for touchdown passes in the 19-16 victory against the Denver Broncos.

Herbert broke the record when he threw his 28th TD of the season in the second quarter, while he joined Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes as the only players to record 4,000 passing yards through their first 14 starts.

 

Week 16 scores:

New York Jets 23-16 Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens 27-13 New York Giants
Cincinnati Bengals 37-31 Houston Texans
Chicago Bears 41-17 Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs 17-14 Atlanta Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers 28-24 Indianapolis Colts
Seattle Seahawks 20-9 Los Angeles Rams
Dallas Cowboys 37-17 Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers 40-14 Tennessee Titans
Carolina Panthers 20-13 Washington Football Team
Los Angeles Chargers 19-16 Denver Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs are certain to be top seeds in the AFC as the Pittsburgh Steelers produced an impressive comeback in Week 16 of the NFL season.

Despite stuttering of late, Pittsburgh will now win the AFC North after a come-from-behind victory during Sunday's six-game early schedule.

Wins for the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears leave both franchises at the front of the queue to reach the postseason, and while the Cleveland Browns remain in the hunt, too, they blew a big opportunity as they went down to the New York Jets.

The Jacksonville Jaguars' playoff hopes had long since ended, but the franchise can now plan for their long-term future after a 14th straight loss means they will have the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

There was a record-breaking outing for Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, while the evergreen Frank Gore reached a major milestone.

 

RECORD-BREAKING KELCE STARS FOR CHIEFS

So now it is official: Kansas City are number one in the AFC, the defending champions securing a bye with a 14th victory in the regular season.

It was far from straightforward, however, as they scrapped to a 17-14 triumph over the Atlanta Falcons, who saw Younghoe Koo miss a late field-goal attempt that would have forced overtime. 

Atlanta had led 14-10 until the Chiefs claimed the lead just prior to the two-minute warning, Patrick Mahomes hitting Demarcus Robinson for a 25-yard touchdown. The score was enough to make sure of Kansas City's 10th comeback win of the campaign.

Kelce also caught a touchdown pass as he made NFL history, surpassing George Kittle's single-season receiving yardage record for a tight end. It was his 11th TD reception on the year, matching the franchise record for the position, set by Tony Gonzalez back in 1999. 

BIG BEN CHIMES IN DURING COMEBACK

It seemed the Steelers were in danger of a fourth successive loss when they trailed the Colts 24-7 in the third quarter, only to sensationally respond with 21 unanswered points. 

An offense that had failed to reach 20 points in their four previous outings suddenly came to life, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson, Eric Ebron and JuJu Smith-Schuster to complete a remarkable comeback. 

As for the Browns, they are still yet to officially end their long playoff drought after a shock loss on the road.  

Running back Gore became just the third player to reach 16,000 rushing yards in NFL history - a feat only previously achieved by Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) -  as the Jets held firm in a dramatic finish, a Baker Mayfield fumble on a fourth-down scramble ending a potential game-tying drive for Cleveland. 

RAVENS SOAR, BEARS ROAR

The Ravens appear to be rolling into the postseason after stretching their winning streak to four games - another against Cincinnati next week and they will seal a wildcard berth. 

Lamar Jackson threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-13 victory against the fading New York Giants. The NFL's reigning MVP also ran for 80 yards, helping Baltimore reach 100 yards rushing on the ground for the 38th consecutive game. 

The Bears are also now in control of their own destiny. After the Arizona Cardinals lost on Saturday, Chicago thrashed the Jaguars 41-17 to improve to 8-7.

All they need do to make the playoffs is defeat divisional rivals Green Bay in Week 17. Jacksonville, meanwhile, can start planning for that first-round choice next April.


Week 16 scores

New York Jets 23-16 Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens 27-13 New York Giants
Cincinnati Bengals 37-31 Houston Texans
Chicago Bears 41-17 Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs 17-14 Atlanta Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers 28-24 Indianapolis Colts

Daniel Jones is poised to start for the New York Giants when they face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Giants quarterback has been struggling with ankle and knee injuries, leading to him missing the 20-6 Week 15 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Backup Colt McCoy stepped in for Jones in that game, as well as the end of their surprise win over the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month.

But NFL.com reports that second-year pro Jones has been deemed fit enough to start after his condition improved throughout the week in practice.

With two games to go, the 5-9 Giants are chasing the NFC East leading Washington Football Team (6-8) ahead of their trip to Baltimore.

It is also a game with playoff implications for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, who currently sit outside of the AFC Wildcard spots despite holding a 9-5 record.

The Giants have failed to score 20 points in each of their last four games, while the rolling Ravens have averaged over 40 across three straight wins over the Dallas Cowboys, Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.

While Jones has not enjoyed a vintage season – his 78.2 passer rating ranks 32nd of 36 qualifying QBs – he represents the Giants' best chance of an upset.

Logan Ryan declared "I'm here to stay" on Christmas Day after signing a new three-year contract with the New York Giants.

NFL Network reported safety Ryan has agreed a deal that is set to earn him $31million.

The 20-year-old confirmed he has received the best Christmas present he could have wished for.

He tweeted: "A Christmas Morning we’ll never forget. The @giants and I just agreed to a new 3 year deal. IM HERE TO STAY."

Ryan signed a one-year deal worth up to $7.5million with the Giants in August following the expiry of his Tennessee Titans contract after the 2019 season.

He has thrived under Giants head coach Joe Judge, who he worked with during his time with the New England Patriots.

New Jersey native Ryan proved to be a shrewd acquisition following an injury sustained by rookie Xavier McKinney and he has now been rewarded for an impressive start to his Giants career.

Ryan has made 83 tackles, three forced fumbles, an interception and a sack since signing for the Giants, who are 5-9 in the NFC East.

Baker Mayfield insists the Cleveland Browns are "not done yet" after clinching a 10th win on the season, putting them on the brink of ending the NFL's longest playoff drought.

Cleveland improved to 10-4 thanks to a hard-fought 20-6 triumph at the New York Giants on Sunday, aided by a clinical performance from their starting quarterback.

Mayfield completed 27 of his 32 pass attempts for 297 yards and two touchdowns as he won for a fourth straight outing on the road.

In those games, the 25-year-old has a 76.2 per cent completion rate and a passer rating of 138.2; the only other quarterbacks to succeed with 75 per cent of their passes and post a 135.0+ passer rating across four road starts in the Super Bowl era are Steve Young (1994) and Tom Brady (2007).

Yet Mayfield is refusing to get too carried away just yet, with the Browns still not quite certain of a first postseason appearance since 2002.

"It's something that until I got in my rookie year, I didn't realise how hard it was to win in the league," Mayfield said after the victory.

"It's something to be proud of [in reaching 10 wins], but everyone in there [the locker room] is like, 'Yeah, 10 wins, but we're onto the next one'. 

"It's a notch on the belt but then we move on. We're not done yet. That's the best part of this team, we just move onto the next one.

"We're in the mentality right now that we control our own destiny. So long as we take care of our own business, we will be where we want to be. That's all we can do right now."

In a media call where he produced several references to the band TLC, Mayfield added: "As long as we don't go chasing waterfalls, we're going to be in the game."

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski praised his quarterback, who twice led 95-yard scoring drives against a Giants team restricted to a pair of Graham Gano field goals.

"I thought he was outstanding. He was dialled in," Stefanski said.

"It was what I expect from him - and what he expects from himself, how he practices. I really thought he was sharp."

Cleveland are back in New York again in Week 16. A victory over the Jets will see them reach 11 victories in a single season for the first time since the franchise's rebirth in 1999.

The Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak in the NFL, while Kyler Murray inspired the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs improved to 13-1 thanks to a hard-fought win over the New Orleans Saints, who welcomed back Drew Brees.

Meanwhile, Murray and Jalen Hurts put on a show as the Cardinals overcame the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cleveland Browns took another step towards a playoff spot and the New York Jets' wait for a first win came to an end.

 

CHIEFS TOO GOOD FOR SAINTS AS BREES RETURNS

Mahomes and Brees both threw three touchdown passes as the Chiefs recorded a 32-29 victory.

A ninth straight win helped the Chiefs improve to 13-1, and they are on track to secure the top seed in the AFC.

Mahomes completed 26 of 47 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, while he was sacked four times.

The Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to win six straight games by six points or fewer, as per Stats Perform.

Brees, returning from injury, made the worst start of his career by going 0-for-six. He finished 15 of 34 for 234 yards, three TDs and an interception.

The Saints (10-4) are ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) in the NFC South.

 

CARDINALS OVERCOME EAGLES IN THRILLER

Murray helped the Cardinals (8-6) remain on track for the playoffs with a 33-26 victory over the Eagles (4-9-1).

The Cardinals QB was 27 of 36 for 406 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while also rushing for 29 yards and a TD.

Making his second start, Hurts almost inspired the Eagles to another win, also throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another.

Murray and DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 20-yard pass with just over seven minutes remaining for what proved to be the game-winning score.

According to NFL Research, Murray is the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era aged 23 or younger to throw for 400-plys yards and have a 125-plus passer rating in a game. The previous three (Dan Marino, Jared Goff and Mahomes) reached the Super Bowl in that season.

 

BROWNS BOOST PLAYOFF CHANCES, JETS WIN

The Browns made it 10 wins in a season for the first time since 2007, brushing past the New York Giants 20-6.

Baker Mayfield starred, completing 27 of 32 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

The Jets' wait for a first win of the season came to an end with an upset 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

However, the success hurt the Jets' chances of landing Trevor Lawrence in the draft, with the Jacksonville Jaguars (also 1-13) now in position to get the Clemson Tigers quarterback

 

Week 15 scores:

Green Bay Packers 24-16 Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-27 Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens 40-14 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 41-33 San Francisco 49ers
Indianapolis Colts 27-20 Houston Texans
Miami Dolphins 22-12 New England Patriots
Chicago Bears 33-27 Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans 46-25 Detroit Lions
Seattle Seahawks 20-15 Washington Football Team
Arizona Cardinals 33-26 Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets 23-20 Los Angeles Rams
Kansas City Chiefs 32-29 New Orleans Saints
Cleveland Browns 20-6 New York Giants

The Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints lock horns in the standout match of NFL Week 15.

Defending champions the Chiefs (12-1) already have the AFC West division title in the bag and can secure a first-round bye if they win on Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers lose and Buffalo Bills fail to win.

The Saints (10-3) could wrap up the NFC South division title, while the Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans are looking to secure playoff berths.

With the use of Stats Perform data, we preview the action this weekend.
 

FEATURED GAME

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints - Sunday, 4.25pm (all times Eastern)

- The Chiefs hold a 6-5 advantage over the Saints - including wins in the last two meetings. Both of those games were close – a 27-24 OT win in the last meeting in New Orleans in 2012, and a 27-21 home victory for KC in 2016.
- The Chiefs have won eight games in a row, 10 straight road games, and 21 of their last 22 - including postseason contests. They have won five consecutive games by six points or fewer.
- The Saints saw their nine-game winning streak snapped with Sunday’s 24-21 loss in Philadelphia. New Orleans allowed 400-plus yards for the first time this season and was gashed for 246 yards on the ground – the most allowed by the team in its last 96 games.
- Travis Kelce needs three receptions to reach 600 for his career, 10 catches to reach 100 for the season, and 100 yards for a team-record seventh 100-yard receiving game in 2020. He needs 128 receiving yards to top George Kittle's mark of 1,377 yards in 2018 – the top single-season figure ever by a tight end.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Seattle Seahawks at the Washington Football Team - Sunday, 1pm

- The Seahawks had a season-high in points with their 40-3 win over the New York Jets last week, while also posting their largest victory in any game over the last eight seasons. It was Seattle's eighth game this year with at least 30 points, setting a new franchise record for 30-point games in a single season.

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants - Sunday, 9.20pm

- New York have won six of the last seven meetings between these teams dating back to 1991. Cleveland have scored more than 13 points in just two of those seven games. The Browns' last road win against the Giants came in Week 13, 1985 (35-33).

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins - Sunday, 1pm

- The Patriots lost 24-3 to the Rams last Thursday, the team's fewest points since a 16-0 home loss to Buffalo on October 2, 2016. That ended New England's streaks of 17 straight seasons with 10+ wins and 11 straight division titles, both of which were the longest such runs in NFL history.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings - Sunday, 1pm

- The Vikings' 19-13 win in Chicago in Week 10 halted the Bears' four-game winning streak in this series. Chicago have prevailed in the last two meetings in Minnesota and have not won three straight there since 1983-85.

 

ELSEWHERE...

Philadelphia Eagles at the Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 4.05pm

- Former division rivals in the NFC East, the Eagles and Cardinals have faced off 117 times in regular-season play, with the Cards holding a 57-55-5 edge. This will be just the fourth visit to Arizona for the Eagles in the last 19 seasons; their last road win over the Cardinals came on November 4, 2001.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the Bucs' 26-14 win over the Vikings last week, giving him 30 for the year - his most since 2017 (32). This is his eighth season with 30+ TD passes, the fourth most all-time behind Drew Brees (10), Brett Favre (9) and Peyton Manning (9).

Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to another NFC North title, while Russell Wilson dominated the New York Jets.

Rodgers continued his good form as the Packers overcame the Detroit Lions 31-24 on Sunday, clinching the NFC North for the second straight year.

Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks were untroubled by the Jets, who slumped to 0-13.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to a second straight loss and Jalen Hurts inspired the Philadelphia Eagles on his first NFL start.

 

RODGERS HELPS PACKERS CLINCH

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and went 26 of 33 for 290 yards in the Packers' win, while also rushing in for a score.

The quarterback connected with Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan, Green Bay seeing out their win despite the Lions closing to within seven twice in the fourth quarter.

Adams caught a receiving TD in an eighth straight game, which is tied for the third longest streak in a single season in the Super Bowl era, as per NFL Research. Only Jerry Rice (12) and A.J. Green (nine) have had longer streaks.

As the Packers improved to 10-3, Detroit fell to 5-8 – including 1-5 at home – and saw quarterback Matthew Stafford replaced by Chase Daniel due to an upper-body injury.

WILSON WONDERFUL AGAINST WINLESS JETS

Seattle were untroubled by the Jets as Wilson completed 21 of 27 passes for 206 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a 40-3 thrashing.

Wilson recorded his 15th career game with four-plus touchdowns, tied with Peyton Manning for the second most such games in a player's first nine seasons in the Super Bowl era, as per NFL Research. Only Dan Marino (16) has more.

The Seahawks star checked out in the third quarter for Seattle, who joined the Los Angeles Rams on a 9-4 record in the NFC West. Seattle and Los Angeles meet on December 27.

BILLS BEAT STEELERS, HURTS SHINES

The Buffalo Bills handed the Steelers a second straight loss with a 26-15 victory to close in on a first AFC East title since 1995.

Josh Allen was 24 of 43 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and Stefon Diggs had 130 receiving yards and a TD.

Now 10-3, the Bills moved clear of the Miami Dolphins (8-5) and New England Patriots (6-7) in the AFC East.

Handed their first loss of the season by the Washington Football Team last time out, the Steelers (11-2) are still clear of the Cleveland Browns (9-3) and Baltimore Ravens (7-5) in the AFC North.

In the defeat, the Steelers set an NFL record with a sack in 70 consecutive games. Pittsburgh surpassed the 1999-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers' all-time mark.

Replacing the struggling Carson Wentz, Hurts inspired the Eagles to an upset 24-21 win over the New Orleans Saints, whose nine-game winning streak was ended.

Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries.

He became the second quarterback all-time to beat a team on a winning streak of nine-plus games on his first career start, according to Stats Perform. He joined former Ram Ron Jaworski (1975).

Week 14 scores:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-14 Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals 26-7 New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs 33-27 Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans 31-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 30-7 Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears 36-7 Houston Texans
Denver Broncos 32-27 Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts 44-27 Las Vegas Raiders
Seattle Seahawks 40-3 New York Jets
Green Bay Packers 31-24 Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Chargers 20-17 Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 New Orleans Saints
Washington Football Team 23-15 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills 26-15 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the AFC West division title for the fifth straight year with a 33-27 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, while Derrick Henry made history.

After a shaky opening quarter in which Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions – as many as he had on the season entering Week 14 – the 2018 MVP propelled the Chiefs from behind at Hard Rock Stadium.

Tua Tagovailoa completed 28 of his 48 passes for 316 yards and had a rushing touchdown to make the final period interesting, but Super Bowl champions Kansas City held on for another narrow win.

Henry was crucial as the Tennessee Titans bounced back from their defeat to the Cleveland Browns last weekend, becoming the first player in NFL history to have four games with 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in an 31-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Minnesota Vikings lost 26-14 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to slip to 6-7, meaning the Arizona Cardinals – who beat the New York Giants 26-7, moved above them into an NFC Wild Card spot.

Their defeat also left the door open for the Green Bay Packers to guarantee they will top the NFC North by at least securing a tie at the Detroit Lions.

 

CHIEFS CLING ON

Miami's defense came out the blocks flying, with Mahomes throwing an interception, being sacked for a 30-yard loss by Jerome Baker and fumbling a snap on his opening two drives.

Mike Gesicki's seven-yard touchdown and a field goal after Mahomes was picked off for a second time – the first time he had multiple INTs in a single game since the Super Bowl – put the Dolphins up 10-0 in the second quarter.

The Kansas City signal-caller helped turn things around, though. Tyreek Hill rushed into the end zone and received a 44-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes after Travis Kelce's TD.

Mahomes may have thrown for 393 yards and two touchdowns but he ended the game with three interceptions for just the second time in his career, while Miami quarterback Tagovailoa finally threw his first pick in the league after 153 pass attempts.

HISTORY FOR HENRY

Henry had 215 yards and two TDs on 26 carries as the Titans comfortably overcame the Jaguars.

The running back has now registered triple figures rushing in nine consecutive road games, with only Hall of Famer Barry Sanders' having experienced a better streak (10 from 1996 to 1997).

Victory never looked in doubt for the Titans after A.J. Brown hauled in a 37-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill with one hand for the opening score in the first quarter.

Jacksonville struggled to get their offense going but James Robinson became only the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

PLAYOFF PICTURE CHANGES

Dan Bailey's kicking let down the Vikings against the Buccaneers. He was 0-for-three on field goals and 0-of-one on extra points, the first scoreless player to do that since John Aveni for Washington in 1961.

Buccaneers star Tom Brady finished 15-of-23 passing for 196 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.

The Vikings slipped behind the Cardinals after Arizona won at the Giants, for whom Daniel Jones lost 52 yards in sacks – he suffered six in total – and fumbled three times.

New York could finish the weekend behind Washington in the NFC East, while the Dallas Cowboys' 30-7 success at the Cincinnati Bengals launched them back into the playoff hunt.

 

Week 14 scores

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-14 Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals 26-7 New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs 33-27 Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans 31-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 30-7 Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears 36-7 Houston Texans
Denver Broncos 32-27 Carolina Panthers

Russell Wilson lamented "one of those days" after the Seattle Seahawks were stunned by the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Seahawks fell to a 17-12 loss to mark perhaps the worst result of the Pete Carroll era.

The Giants went into the game 4-7, while the NFC West-leading Seahawks were looking to extend their advantage.

But the Giants – using backup quarterback Colt McCoy – had other ideas against Wilson and the Seahawks, who were outscored 14-0 in the third quarter.

Wilson struggled on home turf in Seattle, where he was sacked five times and finished 27-of-43 passing for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

"It was one of those days," said Wilson. "For me, I'll go study the film and see where we can get better.

"I'm super confident about where we are, what we're doing.

"I think that we've got to be cleaner. Hopefully, we get healthy again, we need to be healthy.

"That's part of this game you know and you want your guys to be healthy across the board."

The Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams are now level atop the NFC West with 8-4 records after the latter beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-28.

Coach Carroll admitted he had some soul-searching to do.

"It's just an uncharacteristic feeling that we're not putting any points on the board," he said.

"I need to look at the film to figure out what the heck happened and why it was like that. It just isn't like that.

"None of us have seen us play like that, so it was very difficult."

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