Saturday, January 22, 2022

NFL Week 15 grades: Lions get an ‘A+’ for upset win, Raiders get a ‘B’ for wild Monday walk-off win

NFL Week 15 grades: Lions get an 'A+' for upset win, Raiders get a 'B' for wild Monday walk-off win

Here are the Week 15 grades for each team

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If only Jared Goff could face the Arizona Cardinals every week. 

Going into Week 15, the Lions quarterback had a 7-1 career record against the Cardinals, including 3-0 against Kliff Kingsbury, and he continued to terrorize them on Sunday. Goff threw three touchdown passes as the Lions beat the Cardinals 30-12 in what might go down as the most shocking upset of the 2021 season. 

If you’re wondering how surprising this win was, just consider this: It marked just the third time since 1970 that the team with the NFL‘s worst record beat a team with the best record (or tied for the best record) when each team has played at least eight games. 

On a paper, this game seemed like a total mismatch, but Goff quickly took that paper and set it on fire during a nearly perfect first half where he threw two touchdown passes. 

It was clear pretty early that the Lions might be able to pull off an upset in this game. On their first possession, Goff drove them 63 yards for a field goal. The only thing more impressive than that drive was what the Lions did on the next drive. Starting at his own 7-yard line, Goff led the Lions on a 93-yard jaunt that ended with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown

Goff has had some trouble taking care of the ball this year, but against Arizona, he was nearly perfect, going 21 of 26 for 216 yards and three touchdowns. His best throw of the day probably came on his second touchdown when he threaded the needle just before halftime to hit Josh Reynolds with a 22-yard score. 

The fact that Goff was so thoroughly able to outduel Kyler Murray was just as much of a surprise as the Lions’ win itself. 

The win over the Cardinals is a testament to what Dan Campbell is doing in Detroit. This team could have quit on him at any point this season — you know, like the Jaguars did to Urban Meyer — but every week, he has this team playing hard, and every week, it seems capable of possibly pulling off an upset. 

This upset was especially surprising in part because Arizona hadn’t lost a road game all season. Unfortunately for the Lions, there’s actually a downside to winning and that’s the fact that they no longer control the path to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the Jaguars losing, the Jags are now in line to get the pick if they lose out. 

Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 15. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on Kansas City’s wild win over the Chargers that was played on Thursday, be sure to click here.

Indianapolis 27-17 over New England (Saturday)

Patriots-Colts grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Detroit 30-12 over Arizona

Cardinals-Lions grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Houston 30-16 over Jacksonville

Texans-Jaguars grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Miami 31-24 over N.Y. Jets

Jets-Dolphins grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Dallas 21-6 over N.Y. Giants

Cowboys-Giants grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Pittsburgh 19-13 over Tennessee

Titans-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Buffalo 31-14 over Carolina

Panthers-Bills grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

San Francisco 31-13 over Atlanta

Falcons-49ers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Cincinnati 15-10 over Denver

Bengals-Broncos grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Green Bay 31-30 over Baltimore

Packers-Ravens grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

New Orleans 9-0 over Tampa Bay

Saints-Buccaneers grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Las Vegas 16-14 over Cleveland (Monday)

Raiders-Browns grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Minnesota 17-9 over Chicago (Monday)

Vikings-Bears grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

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