The NFL season has been quite an exciting one this year, and as the playoffs draw closer, each and every game is becoming more and more important. The competition was at an ultimate high this past week, which made for some fantastic finishes.
As in nearly every week this season, there were the normal injuries, comebacks, and broken records, but in this week, Mother Nature decided to play a key role with several game being played in snow storms. Despite the many games played in the snow, offense was on full display. Week 14 set an NFL record for most touchdowns scored with 104.
By the end of the week, there was much for fans to cheer and mourn about. With that being said, here is the best and worst from NFL Week 14.
You can follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at @MitchKunzler.
The Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon in a game which the Philadelphia franchise is now referring to as the "Snow Bowl." The name suits the game quite well because the entire game was played in about six inches of snow. The officials even had to stop the game at one point to dig to find the goal line.
While the snow made it difficult for the Eagles to get going in the first half, running back LeSean "Shady" McCoy made sure that he used the snow to his advantage. He juked and spun his way down the field and Lions defenders miss with regularity. By the time the game had ended, McCoy racked up a franchise-record 217 rushing yards. He also scored two touchdowns.
The 34-win coupled with the Dallas Cowboys' loss Monday night moves Philadelphia (8-5) into first place in the NFC East.
According to NFL.com, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. For a player who is already known as injury-prone, this comes as a big blow to both Gronkowski and the Patriots.
The Patriots have been decimated by injuries all season, but this injury to the Pro Bowl tight end may end up being the straw that broke the camel's back. As the list of quarterback Tom Brady's targets grows shorter and shorter, so do the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has taken a lot of criticism over the years for performing poorly in games played in a cold temperature. Manning suited up on Sunday in 10-degree weather against the Tennessee Titans, and many of the critics predicted another sub-par performance.
Manning made a statement. He threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns in Denver's win over Tennessee.
If Manning can continue to light up the scoreboard in cold weather, then the Broncos have a great shot at going to the Super Bowl.
Arizona Cardinals rookie cornerback Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL and LCL on Sunday, and it will prove to be a devastating loss to the Arizona secondary. Arizona has had an up-and-down season, but one consistent bright spot all season has been the play of Mathieu, who was second on the team in tackles.
For a rookie corner who looked to have such a bright career ahead of him, this injury raises questions about the type of player Mathieu will be when he returns. As for the Cardinals, they can only hope that they have a replacement that can fill such big shoes.
Sunday's game in the snow between the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings had one of the most explosive finishes in NFL history. While the whole game was quite electrifying, it was the final 2:05 that took the breath away from football fans everywhere.
With 2:05 remaining in the game, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a quick touchdown strike to Dennis Pitta to put Baltimore up 15-12. On the next possession, Vikings running back Toby Gerhart ran 41 yards for a touchdown which gave Minnesota the lead, 19-15. On the ensuing kickoff, Ravens returner Jacoby Jones returned the ball 77 yards for yet another Ravens touchdown, moving Baltimore ahead 22-19 with 1:16 left.
Continuing, Vikings quarterback Matt Cassell answered on the next drive with a 79 yards pass to Cordarrelle Patterson for yet another Minnesota touchdown. Finally, with four seconds left in the game, Flacco found Marion Brown for the game-winning touchdown to give the Ravens the 29-26 win.
Whether it was a Vikings fan, Ravens fan, or an NFL fan in general, everyone was awe-struck at such a wild finish. It will be a game to remember for years to come.
Antonio Brown's mistake ruins Steelers' wild play
In yet another match-up in the snow, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Miami Dolphins in a nail-biting game that went down to the wire. The stage was set for one of the most exciting plays in NFL history, but instead it would end in a very embarrassing manner.
On the final play of the game, the Steelers had the ball on their own 26-yard line. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger snapped the ball and immediately afterward the clock hit zero. Roethlisberger threw the ball down field to receiver Emmanuel Sanders who threw a lateral pass to a teammate before he could get tackled. Pittsburgh then proceeded to lateral the ball four separate times to keep the play alive. Finally, the ball found its way into the hands of speed receiver Antonio Brown. Brown rocketed his way down the sideline past several Miami defenders into the end zone.
As he was celebrating the final touchdown, the officials blew the whistle and ruled that Brown's foot had stepped out of bounds on the way to the score. After reviewing the play, sure enough, Brown's foot had barely landed out of bounds, therefore the touchdown was negated.
"I thought I had it clean," Brown told ESPN.com. "I thought I separated really good getting to the sideline, but it didn't seem quite enough."
With yet another week in the NFL in the record books, the regular season is approaching its end. With the playoffs just around the corner, the games will continue to carry greater importance.
With the exciting moments at every turn this season, Week 15 looks to be yet another great one. Great as Week 15 may be, Week 14 definitely set the bar high.