Week 15 winners, losers: Mac Jones, Patriots costly final play originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Is there anything better than a wild weekend of NFL football?
In Week 15, we witnessed one of the strangest endings ever seen on the gridiron, a historic 33-point comeback and an intense AFC East rivalry clash in the snow.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from Week 15:
Loser: Mac Jones
Did … that … really … happen?
The New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders appeared to be headed for overtime when quarterback Mac Jones handed the ball off to Rhamondre Stevenson near midfield with three ticks left on the clock in a tie game.
Stevenson, though, found an opening and lateralled the ball back to receiver Jakobi Meyers, who for some reason decided to chuck the football 30 yards across the gridiron to Jones.
Defensive end Chandler Jones caught it, pinned Jones to the turf and scampered to the end zone to keep the Raiders’ playoff hopes alive.
We’ll be watching for Bill Belichick to release all 53 players on the Patriots’ active roster on Monday morning.
Winner: Snow football
The weather outside was frightful, but it just made the football all the more delightful Saturday night in Buffalo.
The Bills hosted the Miami Dolphins in a blizzard at Highmark Stadium. Despite the conditions, quarterback Josh Allen threw for 304 passing yards and four touchdowns in the Bills’ 32-29 victory, clinched on a field goal in the final seconds.
There was a lot of chatter online leading up to the clash from Dolphins fans about how the Bills need to include a roof in their new stadium that’s expected to be open in 2026.
No way. Circle those wagons, Buffalo.
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are … fun?
Jacksonville took down the Dallas Cowboys on a 52-yard interception return in overtime on Sunday for its third win in the last four games. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has thrown for over 300 yards in all three wins, erasing the “bust” label that has been creeping up on the former No. 1 overall pick all season.
Jacksonville (6-8) now is just one game back of the Tennessee Titans (7-7) for first place in the AFC South with three games remaining, including a Week 18 battle against the Titans at home.
Loser: Matt Ryan
The Indianapolis Colts’ historic collapse was the last thing quarterback Matt Ryan needed.
The man that gets reminded of blowing a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI on a weekly basis was under center for the biggest blown lead in NFL history.
Indianapolis led the Minnesota Vikings 33-0 at halftime and 36-7 with 4:53 remaining in the third quarter before quarterback Kirk Cousins caught fire and led Minnesota all the way back.
Cousins threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-33 passing in the second half alone.
The Vikings erasing a 33-point deficit edged the Buffalo Bills’ miraculous 32-point comeback against the Houston Oilers in the 1992 NFL playoffs.
Goodbye, 28-3 memes in Ryan’s mentions. Hello, 33-0.
Loser: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers won their seventh straight game Thursday night with a 21-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks to clinch the NFC West, but Week 15 still found a way to sting San Francisco.
The No. 2 seed in the NFC would have belonged to the 49ers with a Vikings loss. It looked like a guarantee when the Colts entered halftime leading by 33 points. The 49ers Faithful already were picturing their plans for hosting multiple playoff games at Levi’s Stadium.
But the Vikings had other plans, and the Colts’ record-breaking collapse kept the 49ers in the No. 3 seed for another week.
Winner: Jerick McKinnon
There’s a budding star in Kansas City: 30-year-old running back Jerick McKinnon.
Over the Chiefs’ first 12 games of the season, McKinnon logged 447 total yards and scored one touchdown. But he and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes have found some late-season magic. McKinnon has logged 256 total yards and four total touchdowns over the last two games – wins over the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.
It’s looking like McKinnon might be the afterthought waiver-wire pickup that leads many managers to fantasy football glory the next few weeks