Victory is mine, victory is mine, great day in the morning, VICTORY IS MINE!!!! By "mine," I of course mean "the Green Bay Packers'," but WHO CARES, DALLAS LOST, ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD.
Should we start with Cowboys/Packers? Hell yeah we should!!
Holy shit, this game was TENSE. Dallas capitalized on a fumble by Aaron Rodgers to go up 14-7 early in the second, and a Green Bay field goal to close the half made it 14-10. A fumble by DeMarco Murray allowed the Packers to take the score to 14-13, and the teams traded touchdowns on the next two drives. Another Packers TD -- with a failed two-point conversion -- gave Green Bay their first lead of the game at 26-21 with 9:10 to go. (The Packers haven't trailed at home since Week 2 against the Jets.) Dallas drove down the field and found themselves on the Green Bay 32 on 4th and 2, and...
This was ruled a catch on the field, and Green Bay challenged it and won. Here's how the head ref explained the ruling after the game: "[The receiver] must maintain possession throughout the entire process of the catch. In our judgment, he maintained possession but continued to fall and never had another act common to the game. At the time he lands, the ball hits the ground, it comes loose, which would make that incomplete."
The other side of the argument is that Dez was making an "act common to the game" and lunging towards the end zone, in which case the ball coming out is meaningless because Dez is already down, so Dallas keeps the ball just shy of the goal line. This rule is also known as the "Calvin Johnson rule," thanks to this 2010 play being ruled an incomplete pass for the same reason.
Would the call going the other way have given Dallas the game? Not necessarily. Best case scenario: Dallas gets their TD and two-point conversion, and Green Bay has at least three minutes to score a field goal to tie and a touchdown to win. That's a lot of "if," but it was a hell of a way to end the game.
The Ravens/Patriots game also ended on a late fourth-quarter play gone wrong, but Baltimore had no one to blame but themselves. The Ravens went up 14-0 in the first, which turned into a 21-14 lead at halftime and a 28-14 lead just five minutes into the second half. The Pats came roaring back with touchdowns on consecutive drives, including this 51-yarder to Danny Amendola from Julian Edelman. Yes, you read that correctly.
New England pulled ahead to 35-31, but Baltimore got the ball with just over five minutes to play. At 1:46, the Ravens were on the Pats' 36 with a timeout left and decided this was a good play call on 2nd and 5.
See, this is the problem with not having a strong running game. If only the Ravens had a top-5 running back with an average of 5.4 YPC, they could have given him the ball to get the first down instead of taking a stupid shot at the end zone. Oh. Wait.
The Carolina/Seattle game was definitely entertaining, assuming your definition of "entertaining" includes watching the L.O.B. chew teams up and spit them out, which mine does. Here's a mini-montage for you.
Final score: 31-17 Seattle. Should have been 31-10, but they let the Panthers have a garbage time TD after that interception. Oh, and Russell Wilson had a nice little game, going 15/22 for 268 yards and 3 TDs, including this gorgeous 67-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse.
Finally, we come to Colts/Broncos, which...sorry, but I got accidental-drunk celebrating the Cowboys loss and didn't pay any attention to this game. Based on the 15,000 eulogies that have already been written for Peyton Manning's career, I'm guessing he had a rough game? *looks up stats* 26-46, 211 yards, and only one touchdown? Yikes. That won't win you games in the regular season, let alone the playoffs. Reports are that Peyton tore his quad and has been playing through it for the past month, which would explain his lackluster performances, but it could also just be a fairy tale Broncos fans are telling themselves as they cry themselves to sleep at night.
There are just two games next week: Packers @ Seahawks and Colts @ Patriots. Only three of those teams have a real shot at the Lombardi Trophy (sorry not sorry, Indy), but as far as I'm concerned, with Dallas knocked out: