Week 15 Saturday Open Discussion

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 15 - It's a special Saturday full of NFL action! First, the Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1) visit the Minnesota Vikings (10-3). Then the Baltimore Ravens (9-4) visit the Cleveland Browns (5-8). And in the main event, the Miami Dolphins (8-5) visit the Buffalo Bills (10-3). Use this thread to discuss the game. You can also join Football Outsiders writers and readers on the official Football Outsiders Discord server.


76 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2022, 11:03am

#9 by coltsandrew // Dec 17, 2022 - 6:54am

I don't expect the colts to win, but I would certainly be more than amused if they do. As for picks,

Min 35 - Ind 13

Cle 17 - Bal 19

Buf 24 - Mia 12

Points: 0

#10 by Will Allen // Dec 17, 2022 - 8:38am

If the Colts rack up 450 yards in offense today, without the Vikings being up by 20-plus points, McConnell ought to fire Donatell before Sunday afternoon rolls around. For whatever reason, this bunch is nearly Cottrell-like, in its inability to grasp what they are trying to do on defense. No reason to delay the inevitable.

Points: 1

#17 by Xexyz // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:23pm

At this rate the Colts won't even have to get to 300 yards today to blow out the Vikings.

Points: 1

#20 by Kaepernicus // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:43pm

You have been on point all year about this Vikings team. They are one of the healthiest teams in the NFL and clearly worse than any other playoff team, except maybe the Giants, in the NFC. Seems like SF, DAL, or PHI would be double digit favorites if they meet in the playoffs.

Points: 1

#11 by Sacman // Dec 17, 2022 - 12:42pm

Between the 4 quarterbacks from the Ravens and Browns, Tyler Huntley has the best QBR, completion %, and ALEX rating. 

Jacoby Brissett has the best DVOA rating of the 4, and is relegated to the bench. Why? Because the Browns arguably made one of the worst signings in nfl history, imo.

I guess that they have to play him with such a contract. 

How the Browns are favored by 3 today is beyond me.


Points: 1

#13 by Paul R // Dec 17, 2022 - 1:48pm

The first quarter of a game is like the opening rounds of a boxing match. Both sides try out different attacks to see what works and what the other guy is doing. As a fan, I don't sweat too much or celebrate too much if one side lands a punch or two in the opening rounds because that's something that will be adjusted for and neutralized later. But the Colts are having one of those freak games where every lucky punch has landed and now the Vikes have a 20-point deficit. So, as a Colts fan, I'm cautiously optimistic. 

I've had my eye on Jelani Woods all season. 6'7" rookie TE with good hands. It's nice to see him make a big play.

Points: 1

#14 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:01pm

It’s one thing to go down 3+ scores against teams like DAL and PHI…but against a 4 win team when you’re trying to clinch the division ?

Points: 0

#15 by JoelBarlow // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:09pm

The Colts have a foundation 

Points: 0

#16 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:20pm

Holy crap, and now Cousins throws a pick six.  30-0 Colts.  Are the Vikings going for worst DVOA ever for a 10+ win team?  That would be quite an accomplishment, I suppose.

Points: 0

#18 by Stendhal1 // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:39pm

If only the Vikings had a QB noted for coming back from huge deficits— like, ironically, Frank Reich or Andrew Luck.

Will Allen, you sure called this one long ago.  I’m sorry to say that because I was hoping your team would come through for you.

Points: 2

#19 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:41pm

This collapse looks like the result of the FOMBC curse, yet not a single Vikings fan on this site was ever unrealistic about what this team actually was.

Points: 1

#52 by Moridin // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:56pm

Yeah, if anything it seems more like a FOMBB (blessing). I guess since we've been humble about it the whole time, the 'football gods' have pulled out the stops on keeping the 1 score streak going. Though this was an extreme correction to keep it going.

Points: 2

#48 by dmb // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:21pm

Cousins did already have a 24-point comeback under his belt from his time in Washington (the "You like that!?" game against Tampa).

Points: 0

#21 by Paul R // Dec 17, 2022 - 2:51pm

Twice in the first half, Matt Ryan called time out in the red zone and walked to the sidelines to talk it over. Both times, Coach Saturday took no part in the conversation. Just gave Matt a fist bump and walked away. I guess it makes sense given Saturday's lack of experience as a play caller. I just don't recall ever seeing that before.

Points: 1

#22 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2022 - 3:35pm

Only a 15 point game now. 13 min left in 4th. Shades of Super Bowl LI?

Points: 0

#24 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 3:58pm

Now a one score game, but O’Connell fails the analytics test by not going for two when down 9.

Points: 2

#23 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 3:55pm

What’s the purpose of a Jaelen Raegor?

Points: 0

#76 by andrew // Dec 18, 2022 - 1:46am

Wasn't there a Raegor Targaryn in House of the Dragon or something?

Points: 1

#81 by jonsilver // Dec 18, 2022 - 10:52am

Nah...a search on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Main_Page) doesn't find a Raegor Targaryen (you left out the e)...of course, if you meant this as a pure joke, I fell for it....

Points: 0

#25 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 3:58pm

This would be an epic collapse by the Colts.

Points: 0

#27 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2022 - 3:59pm

Would be biggest collapse or biggest comeback, previous record is 32 points.

Points: 1

#28 by Kaepernicus // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:06pm

Between this Vikings game and the Cowboys game a few weeks ago the Colts may be approaching the worst 4th quarter team of all time. This is just insane to watch live.

Points: 0

#29 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:08pm

Brutal blown call on the fumble return TD called back. The refs have had a few questionable calls - on either team - but that wasn't even close. The only thing I did wonder slightly was if Sullivan's knee might have been down and contacted when he made the recovery, but 1) though close, I don't think it was, but 2) the call was the offensive runner down by contact I think.

Points: 1

#31 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:19pm

Well that was stupid. Colts just wasted a timeout on the 0.01% chance they could get the defense to jump, then go for it anyway, as they should have done in the first place. Because one little wrinkle was that even if the Vikings scored and converted, the Colts had all 3 timeouts to get into FG range. But they just blew that.

The refs give a truly terrible spot on the sneak, apparently ruling that his forward progress was stopped before the second surge put him clearly past the line. Questionable forward progress rulings go around, questionable forward progress rulings come around, I guess.

Points: 2

#32 by Cythammer // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:22pm

It would kind of be funny if it ended in a tie now... Would it still count as a comeback for record purposes? Or is simply not losing not enough?

Points: 3

#35 by Kaepernicus // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:25pm

I think it already qualifies as a comeback since the score is tied. Even if they lose it should still be considered the biggest comeback ever.

Points: 0

#33 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:23pm

Is it possible for in interim coach to get fired on the bus ride home?

Points: 1

#39 by Chuckc // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:30pm

Has a team ever fired their coach in a season twice?

Points: 1

#34 by apocalipstick // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:23pm

I guess Jeff Saturday isn't the answer and Matt Ryan is still washed like Aunt Bessie's bloomers.

Points: 2

#36 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:25pm

Did Okereke intentionally let Cook score there? Looked like he had him wrapped up then let him go. I'm half inclined to think that might have been intentional, to preserve more time for their own drive since Cook would've been down at the 1 anyway. That would've just let them waste time before scoring anyway.

(For the record, I don't think it's ever wise to intentionally let the other team score, but the way the Colts defense is playing there is a grim sort of logic to it. Although that discounts the way the Colts offense is also playing...)

Points: 0

#37 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:27pm

I don't think you take that gamble if they need a TD

Points: 0

#38 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:29pm

Full credit to the Vikings for continuing to believe their own BS every week, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s BS. This team is 20% smoke, 30% Jefferson, and 50% mirrors. 

Points: 5

#40 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:44pm

Not even the Vikings’ own fans around here believe their BS.

Points: 0

#56 by jmaron // Dec 17, 2022 - 6:25pm

no sensible Viking fan thinks this team is as good as Phil, Dall, SF or the strong AFC teams, but shit can happen, so might as well play the games. 

Points: 1

#61 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 17, 2022 - 7:56pm

It's as if they're a .500 team whose "if only" prayers were all answered in real time.

"If only Justin Jefferson had held on to that ball on fourth-and-18 against the Bills."

"If only Dalvin Cook hadn't been tripped up on the last drive against Indy."


I'm sure gamblers can't wait to wager a large sum of money against this team if/when Dallas or San Francisco come to town.

Points: 2

#41 by Cythammer // Dec 17, 2022 - 4:52pm

It would a letdown if Indy still won after all that.

Points: 0

#42 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:04pm

Vikings complete the comeback! I fully expect them to get destroyed in the playoffs though.

Points: 0

#46 by Xexyz // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:19pm

In true Vikings fashion, they'll win their first playoff game convincingly, there will be a bunch of talk about how they've proven they're not frauds, then in their next game they'll get annihilated.  

Points: 2

#54 by apocalipstick // Dec 17, 2022 - 6:21pm

And some Vikings fans will whine that Jefferson 'doesn't show up in big games'.

Points: 0

#60 by Scott P. // Dec 17, 2022 - 7:38pm

This Vikings season is the best counter to the 'if you can't win the Super Bowl, the next-best outcome is getting the #1 pick' crowd. Even if the Vikings don't win it all, this has been an entertaining-as-heck, fun football season, and their fans should absolutely lap this up. 

Points: 3

#44 by Cythammer // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:14pm

Cousins gets a career high in passing yards in a game where he had 43 total at the half.

Points: 3

#45 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:14pm

Wow, what a game. And congrats to the Vikings! The headline will be the net 33 point comeback, understandably, but it was also 36-7 with about 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, which is almost as impressive a situation to overcome.

If I'm Jim Irsay, I know it's not really feasible to fire the entire coaching staff and cut the entire roster at this point... but I might try it anyway.

Points: 1

#47 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:20pm

Maybe Saturday shouldn’t have had that call with Kyle Shanahan…

Points: 1

#55 by jmaron // Dec 17, 2022 - 6:23pm

Coming back from 33-0 at the half is crazy, doing it when you start the half with a 3 and out, toss an Int when your backup receiver stops running his route, have a fumble recovery TD missed by refs and a 51 yd punt returned reversed on a face mask, leading to a 65 yd field position loss. You would think every thing would have to go right to even conceive of such a comeback. 

In OT before the final FG to win, I turned to my wife and daughter and said "you do realize the greatest comeback in history, rests on the foot of a Vikings kicker". I was very shocked when he made the kick. 




Points: 3

#49 by Kaepernicus // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:30pm

Kirk just played the best game of his career. His DVOA/DYAR splits by half are going to be insane. He looked like Zach Wilson in the first half and prime Drew Brees in the second half. He did a lot of it under pressure too. That was a great game for him.

Points: 1

#51 by Moridin // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:51pm

wow, I still can't believe the Vikings Colts game... also, I was half expecting the Vikings would somehow get jobbed on that final penalty (while they were discussing) and the clock would get run off.

That was the most extreme tale of 2 halves I've ever seen. WTH to both teams.

Points: 0

#53 by Moridin // Dec 17, 2022 - 5:57pm

Also, have to say, I can't believe the new record for biggest blown lead isn't going to be held by the Falcons.

Points: 2

#83 by jonsilver // Dec 18, 2022 - 10:58am

"still held by defenses Matty Ice watched from the bench"  there: fixed it.

Points: 0

#57 by jmaron // Dec 17, 2022 - 6:31pm

I understand people thinking the Vikings are mediocre at best and just lucky, I think most sensible Viking fans think that as well, but if your team is down 1 score in the 4th quarter to the Vikings in the playoffs, and you tell me you aren't a little worried, you're lying. 

Points: 1

#59 by AFCNFCBowl // Dec 17, 2022 - 7:32pm

At this point if the Vikings have possession down one score in the 4th quarter, there is a 0% chance that the other team wins.

Points: 2

#62 by Stendhal1 // Dec 17, 2022 - 8:40pm

With what happened today I’d be worried being up by 7 points in the fourth quarter 😊

Points: 2

#63 by Stendhal1 // Dec 17, 2022 - 8:54pm

It’s now simple for the Clots (miss you raiderjoe) fans.  If Irsay hires Saturday as the full time coach after the season, you can kiss the franchise goodbye — there’d be no chance of success.  Heck, at this point Jeff might not warrant an interview.

Points: 1

#77 by kolonalkurtz // Dec 18, 2022 - 4:05am

Ahhh, Raiderjoe. So missed. 


Did anyone ever figure out the spelling/typing thing?


Points: 0

#64 by IlluminatusUIUC // Dec 17, 2022 - 9:35pm

Miami showed up with the power running attack expecting a blizzard, but the snow missed the stadium. So they are running it anyway to great effect. 

Points: 0

#65 by ChrisS // Dec 17, 2022 - 9:41pm

Heck of a comeback by the Vikings, what a collapse by the Colts. Started to watch the Ravens game but he who shall not be named was on my TV and I deleted the recording.

Points: 1

#82 by herewegobrowni… // Dec 18, 2022 - 10:53am

If you're talking about Watson, gotta get used to it if you're watching anyone playing the Browns.

What he did during what appears to be just a stretch from 2020-2021 was awful, but it doesn't seem likely that he screws up again. 

Points: 0

#84 by jonsilver // Dec 18, 2022 - 11:03am

Perhaps not in exactly the same way, maybe not...he may not touch the same hot stove again...however, those who feel they are entitled tend to develop new ways to show their feeling...

Points: 0

#66 by IlluminatusUIUC // Dec 17, 2022 - 10:22pm

Mitch Morse with a head injury and a history of concussions, so that's not great. 

Points: 0

#75 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 18, 2022 - 12:34am

They need to draft a new center in April and come up with the next Lindebaum or Humphrey. He can start at guard if needed; Morse gets injured often enough that the rookie will end up at center sooner or later. 

Points: 0

#78 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 18, 2022 - 8:13am

I'd take the next Wood at this point. Of course, Bates was also hurt, so you're really down to center #3

Points: 0

#79 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 18, 2022 - 8:13am

I'd take the next Wood at this point. Of course, Bates was also hurt, so you're really down to center #3

Points: 0

#67 by IlluminatusUIUC // Dec 17, 2022 - 10:45pm

I don't know what it is about McDermott, but man his teams tend to stack mistakes in short bursts. Blown tackles, brainlock penalties, leaving Tyreek untouched at the LOS with no safety coverage, all in the span of like 7 plays. 

Points: 0

#68 by herewegobrowni… // Dec 17, 2022 - 11:02pm

First real comment on "the other" undercard:

Watson appears to continue to be trending in the right direction, but still needs to see sacks coming better

4 total missed FG - 2 each from Tucker (!! And not 60+ yarders either) and York.  Snow and wind had some effect but still should've all been makeable

Chubb nearly gets to 100 on the ground, unheard of with the current Ravens D.

Ravens able to move the ball with Dobbins, but many turnovers + several failed 4th downs

Points: 0

#69 by apocalipstick // Dec 17, 2022 - 11:05pm

I think Buffalo is starting to make the same mistake KC often commits: assuming that your QB will do something inhuman about six times a game.

Points: 0

#74 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 18, 2022 - 12:33am

I think they need a real offensive coordinator. They also need to teach Allen the “wrong” reads for RPOs, because he absolutely sucks at them; he constantly hands off when the end is crashing down the line and keeps it when the end is waiting for him. So maybe teaching the reads to him arse-backward will allow them to finally gain some yards. 

Points: 2

#70 by apocalipstick // Dec 17, 2022 - 11:24pm

Yes! Snowmageddon!

But why do coaches forget the first lesson of snowball? Vertical passing is easier than horizontal passing in snow.

Points: 1

#71 by luisguilherme // Dec 17, 2022 - 11:47pm

Miami does not practice in snow for some obvious reason. 

This is Bills season. It was clear when the referee threw the flag for DPI when no bodies were touching yet. 

Points: 0

#73 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 18, 2022 - 12:31am

I think the flag came out early because that defender or the other one was already getting (rightfully) flagged for illegal contact. When the contact continued as the ball came down, they changed it to pass interference. 

Points: 1

#80 by apocalipstick // Dec 18, 2022 - 8:26am

No one practices in snow. There's a reason NFL teams build practice domes.

The DPI is an example of why you should go deep in snow. Miami would have a better chance at creating a big play or DPI with Tyreek Hill running downhill against a DB on a slippery field than they would by asking him to go backward, plant his feet on the slick turf, then go forward. The player who has to change direction on a slippery field is at a marked disadvantage. 

Points: 1

#72 by Digger // Dec 18, 2022 - 12:20am

Allen can do things with his arm or with his legs that are just astounding.   I don't know how far the Bills can go, but Josh Allen is more than willing to get everyone to climb aboard and go for a thrill ride.


Points: 1

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