New England Patriots Keep Postseason Dreams Alive With ‘Monday Night Football’ Stand
The New England Patriots clung to the fight for a place in the NFL Playoffs on Monday Night Football, taking down the Arizona Cardinals 27-13. The Pats had some help, but all that matters at this point is the win.
The Cards lost QB Kyler Murray due to a serious injury in the first quarter, leading to the arrival of Colt McCoy. He put up a good fight, but errors and a lagging defense in the second half allowed the Pats to take charge.
New England increased its record to 7-6 with the win and, despite being next to last in the AFC East, they’re still alive in the fight for the postseason. They have a couple of tough games ahead, but are recharged with last night’s win.
Pats Gain Ground
For the Patriots, Mac Jones passed for 235 yards as he completed 24 of 35, although he also had one interception. Rookie running backs Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris each scored as the offense worked its magic. The defense, which was a little sluggish at first, shut out the Cardinals and forced two turnovers in the second half of the game.
McCoy came in for Murray after just one completion. He had success, putting up 246 passing yards in the air and showing that he wasn’t afraid to take a hit as he ran the ball. However, despite leading at the end of the first half, McCoy and the Cards offense came unglued in the second half.
An aggressive Pats defense ensured that Arizona couldn’t develop any offensive movement. A New England field goal by Nick Folk tied the game and a fumble recovery by linebacker Raekwon McMillan allowed the Patriots to move ahead on the scoreboard.
20 unanswered points for New England! Pierre Strong Jr. is the latest @Patriots rookie RB to score his 1st career TD.
— NFL (@NFL) December 13, 2022
Rookie running back Pierre Strong, having a successful night to cap a solid first year, sealed the game with the Pats final TD. That pushed them up to 27-13, and the Cardinals had no shot at recovering.
The win helped the Patriots get above .500, and also put them in seventh place in the AFC playoff picture. They jumped over the L.A. Chargers and the New York Jets, but can’t let off the gas now. New England still has to face division rivals Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills as they enter the home stretch.
The sportsbooks’ favorite won the game with relative ease once they began taking it seriously. The over/under of 43 wasn’t unrealistic, but the under continues to be the money play this season. If not for the turnovers, the total would have likely been around 24 points.
2023 Pro Bowl Makes History
A week ago, the NFL named brothers Eli and Peyton Manning as the head coaches of the NFC and AFC, respectively, for the upcoming Pro Bowl game next February. The retired quarterbacks, each with two Super Bowl wins, will make history as they take up positions alongside an NFL first.
On Monday, the NFL added other names to the coaching lists who will serve under the Manning brothers. For the NFC, DeMarcus Ware, former Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl winner, will be the defensive coordinator. The QB for the US Women’s National Flag Football team, Vanita Krouch, will be the offensive coordinator.
For the AFC, 12-time Pro Bowl player, Baltimore Ravens great and two-time Super Bowl champ Ray Lewis will be the defensive coordinator. In addition, for the first time in the history of the NFL, a female football player from Mexico will be a coach in the game.
Diana Flores, a flag football world champion and ambassador of the league, was a fundamental part of Mexico’s gold medal win at the World Games in Birmingham, AL, this past July. She will take the field as the offensive coordinator for the AFC in the Pro Bowl on February 5 of next year.
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