NFL playoff image finally gets clearer, and why Lakers look lost

Hi everyone! It is Zach Pereles back after the holidays. It was great to have some free time, but I’m happy to get back to my normal Sunday schedule of sticking to the couch for 10 hours and bringing you all the NFL (and other sports) news the next day. morning.

Let’s get right to the point.

Hello everyone but especially to …

THE BENGALS OF CINCINNATI, BUFFALO BILLS AND LOS ANGELES RAMS

A whopping 525 passing yards (the fourth largest ever in NFL history). Four touchdown passes. Zero interception. These were Joe burrow’s Sunday stats like The Bengals won a resounding 41-21 victory over the shorthanded Ravens. Cincinnati did a great job making sure there wouldn’t be any disappointment against a The Baltimore team that created Josh Johnson – signed a week and a half ago – as a quarterback and entered the day on a three-game losing streak.

This one was personal, writes NFL insider Jason La Canfora:

  • La Canfora: Maybe that’s because Joe Burrow was a strange snub in the Pro Bowl, despite having a great season after an ACL tear last November, and lost to the struggling Ravens and injured quarterback Lamar. Jackson. Maybe it was just to show a longtime AFC North tyrant Maybe it was an indication that they were fed up with hearing about being the Bungles and wasting opportunities for to secure a place among the AFC’s elite. Maybe it was just because. Ravens on Sunday, it was a kick that never stopped.

Totalized burrow 941 passing yards in two games against the Ravens this season, an NFL record for most passing yards against a single opponent in a single regular season. Cincinnati controls the AFC North at 9-6 – a match in front of the Ravens – and with Baltimore and Pittsburgh sweeps already in hand.

This is the theme of today’s “hello” section: teams taking the lead in their division.

Joining the Bengals in this category are the Invoices and Rams.

the Invoices went to Foxborough and got a statement 33-21 victory over the Patriots. Josh allen was exceptional with 314 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and 64 rushing yards. When Buffalo needed his caller at his best, he delivered, writes NFL expert Tyler Sullivan:

  • Sullivan: Overall, the Bills totaled 428 yards of total attacking, led by elite play from Josh Allen. Whenever Buffalo needed a pitch or a run, the fourth quarterback year was able to do it. He extended the game with his legs and had 20 passes that resulted in a first down. “

As the Bills took control of their division through their quarterback, the Rams did it despite their quarterback. Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions, but Sony Michel ran for 131 yards and a score and Brandon powell returned a punt for a touchdown in a 30-23 victory over the Vikings.

It was far from perfect, but no one will ever complain about a road win that landed a playoff berth and put Los Angeles in charge of NFC West after Arizona’s loss on Saturday night.

Honorable mentions:

And not so good morning for …

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Every season there are good wins and bad losses. And then there are inexplicable losses.

This is what the Chargers on Sunday: A disastrous 41-29 loss to the Texans.

  • Justin herbert threw two interceptions, including a choice of six to Tavierre Thomas.
  • Houston recorded a season high 189 yards rushing, including a Rex Burkhead’s 149, a career high.
  • Keep in mind that coming in this week, Houston is averaging 77.4 rushing yards per game this season – the latest in the NFL.
  • Davis Mills threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns, had no interceptions and took only one sack.

The Chargers had more time to recover from a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs last Thursday, and even without Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Joey Bosa, this result against this type of competition at this point in the season is horrible.

the Chargers moved from sixth to eighth in AFC playoff standings, too much. As the Rams celebrate a playoff berth, the other LA team suddenly looks on the outside.

Not-so-honorable mentions:

Cowboys win NFC East, historic dominance of Washington

Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys won the NFC East. Sunday evening, they showed that they had much more ambitious plans.

Through fierce defense and an invigorated offense, Dallas jumped on a Led 21-0 over Washington, had a franchise record tied 42 points at halftime and finished a 56-14 with ease. It was the biggest win for either team in the rivalry’s history.

How dominant was this performance? the The Cowboys’ eight touchdowns were scored by seven different players, and they scored in all three phases of the game:

But the best sign for Dallas was a guy not listed above: Dak prescott out of a slump of months of uneven play. If he can keep his momentum going in the playoffs, that takes Dallas to a whole new level, writes our cowboy expert Patrik Walker:

  • Walker: “If this is the Cowboys’ version of the playoffs, watch out… Prescott set the stadium on fire with 320 passing yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, 142.6 passer rating and 21 yards. to the ground on four attempts in the first half alone. “

The only fight Washington showed all night was the only defensive lineman Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen came on the sidelines. It was the franchise’s second biggest loss in the past 60 seasons. It’s bad.

LeBron James made history over Christmas, but Lakers look lost

usatsi

No Kevin Durant (or Kyrie Irving, or Joe Harris, etc.), no problem for the Nets. Corn a lot of problems for the Lakers.

Brooklyn entered the newly christened Crypto.com Arena and dominated the Lakers 122-115 the day of Christmas. the The Lakers have lost five games in a row and look lost on both sides, but mostly defensively, writes NBA scribe Colin Ward-Henninger.

  • Ward Henninger: “The furious late return was great and all, but that didn’t hide the fact that the Lakers were absolutely appalling defensively – again… [L]lack of attention to detail (and sometimes lack of effort)… led to poor defense for the Lakers during their losing streak. “

If there was a consolation prize, James lebron became NBA’s all-time top scorer on Christmas Day.

He was not the only star to shine brightly. Giannis Antetokounmpo return of health and safety protocols with a monster performance to lead the Bucks to 19-point win over Celtics. During this time, Stephen curry reach a career high on Christmas Day with 33 points as the The Warriors scored an impressive victory at the Suns.

What we watch on Monday

?? Bulls in Hawks, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
?? Dolphins at Saints, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
?? Clippers nets, 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV