Let's follow what happend with the AFC South & NFC East, as the Redskins are flying high on their division and the Texans success at Indianapolis. Let's take a look at the events.
Week 15 Betting Recap
Let’s take a look at a pair of teams from the two weakest divisions in the NFL, both of whom put themselves in position to win the division and make the playoffs with key victories on Sunday. I’ll start in Washington, where the Redskins blew out Buffalo, improving to 7-7 and putting themselves in position to clinch the NFC East title with a win at Philly on Saturday.
The quotes coming out of the postgame locker room were as positive as anything I’ve read out of Washington in years. Defensive end Jason Hatcher: “I can’t make no predictions but we’re on to something. I said early in the season man, I kept saying it, but there’s something special about this team.”
Kirk Cousins was brilliant on Sunday, hitting 22 of his 28 pass attempts for 319 yards without a turnover; his sixth 300 yard game of the season. Left tackle Trent Williams: “He's definitely gotten better. We had faith in him the whole time. But he continues to grow and he's playing lights-out."
The betting markets have installed Washington as a three point underdog in Philly for Saturday Night’s Week 16 national TV affair. Some books have the Redskins at +3.5 on the NFL odds for that game. Williams, talking about that upcoming matchup: “We still have a dogfight in front of us. And we can't walk before we crawl, put it like that. We've got to focus on the Eagles.”
Defensive lineman Chris Baker concurred: “I plan on celebrating in Philadelphia. We have to take care of business. We have to be focused and take care of the details. It’s going to be a dog fight. …Hopefully we go up there and play the way we’ve been playing the last couple games…IIt feels great to be in meaningful December games and to take care of business the way we’re supposed to. There’s no greater feeling than to be in first place in December.”
Texans quarterback Brandon Weeden earned some redemption on Sunday, coming off the bench to rally Houston to their first ever win in Indianapolis following 13 consecutive defeats at Lucas Oil Stadium. Weeden had lost all three previous starts this season when he was the backup QB in Dallas before they cut him. He lost his only start in Dallas in 2014 and lost seven of his last eight starts in Cleveland in 2012 and 2013 before the Browns let him go.
Houston had signed Weeden less than a month ago as an insurance policy, which paid off following injuries to Brian Hoyer and TJ Yates. And it’s certainly not like Weeden lit up the Colts defense – it was the Texans stop unit holding Indy to 190 yards and ten points that made the real difference in the game. Still, Weeden rallied the team from a ten point deficit to win the game, snapping a two game losing streak for the Texans and catapulting the Texans into first place in the AFC South.
Head coach Bill O’Brien: “He's a pro, he acts like a pro, he carries himself like a pro, he is a pro. Look, I'm not sure he has the whole offense down pat, but I think he has enough that he can go in there and function." Weeden: “I've only been here a month, but I found out early in the week that we had never won here and I think guys were hungry. I think guys kind of knew what we were playing for and all that was at stake."
Defensive force JJ Watt: “Kind of the way we did it is more our style. You got T.J. going down and Weeden coming in and we just kind of grinded it out." WR DeAndre Hopkins, talking about Houston’s ability to grind through adversity: “We knew when we were 2-5 that we had a good team and we could turn this around. The Colts kept us in this division by losing a couple of games and we knew that we had to take advantage of it. That's what we did."