Josh Rosen completed 12 of 23 pass attempts for just 87 yards as the Arizona Cardinals (3-12, fourth in NFC West and worst in the league) were crushed by the visiting Los Angeles Rams, 31-9. On the bright side, he did lead the team in rushing with 49 yards on four attempts. The Cardinals’ only touchdown pass came from Larry Fitzgerald, the first of his career. Although Rosen has obviously been having his problems, Fitzgerald believes he has the goods to make it with the team.
Free safety Nate Ebner appeared in 25 special team plays (86 percent) as the New England Patriots (10-5, first in AFC East and clinched the division) beat the host Buffalo Bills, 24-12. He made an assist on one tackle.
Strong safety Jordan Dangerfield appeared on three defensive plays (3 percent) and another 19 (66 percent) on special teams as the Pittsburgh Steelers lost on a late fourth-quarter touchdown by Drew Brees and the host New Orleans Saints, 31-28. According to ESPN, the Steelers, at 8-6-1, “have almost no chance to be a wild-card team. Their best path to the playoffs is with a Week 17 victory against Cincinnati, combined with a Ravens loss. They could theoretically be a wild-card team if they win, and the Colts and Titans tie.”
Mitchell Schwartz and the host Kansas City Chiefs (11-4, T-first AFC West) dropped their second straight, losing to host Seattle Seahawks, 38-31. Schwartz once again appeared on every offensive down (61) plus another five (15 percent) on special teams, even though he had missed practice sessions due to a knee injury. Brother (and former JFLer) Geoff contributed this piece to SB Nation, suggesting on ways the system needs to improve when it comes to picking offensive linemen for the Pro Bowl. I wonder if he would have done so had not Mitchell been snubbed?
Ali Marpet also appeared on every offensive play (80) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10, fourth, NFC South) plus another 5/19% on special teams in a 27-20 loss to the host Dallas Cowboys.
Greg Joseph connected on two field goals to help the Cleveland Browns beat the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, 26-18. With their 7-7-1 record (third, AFC North), the Browns have their best mark since they were 10-6 in 2007.