NFL 2023 season, Week 15

Allen, who threw for just 94 yards, passed for a touchdown and rushed for another for an NFL-record 10th game in a single season. The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the NFL and look unstoppable. Their latest conquest was a 45-29 shellacking of the Arizona Cardinals to notch their sixth straight victory. The 49ers also became the first division champion of the year, securing their second straight NFC West crown.

They moved one victory ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles in the win column, but the Eagles will have their chance to respond Monday night on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. As for the rest of the NFL, Week 15 saw plenty of movement in the playoff picture. Let’s look at where things stand with one game left on the docket. The NFL playoff races are as wild and confusing as ever, making the homestretch of the season one we will likely remember.

The AFC entered Week 15 with 11 teams boasting winning records and six with 7-6 records, the most for a single conference through Week 14 since 1970. The Panthers have been eliminated from playoff contention. They have the worst record in the NFL. When Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season finally drew to a close, the playoff picture was rather chaotic. Lamar Jackson’s ridiculousness, chemistry with Likely powers Ravens’ win.

The NFL’s Week 15 slate has been nothing short of dramatic.

Baltimore just got a reminder of what it is like to have Jackson available for the playoff push. He was electric Sunday night, his first time suiting up beyond Week 15 since 2020. He was not perfect through the air, committing one bad interception and amassing just 171 passing yards on the night, but he consistently made chain-moving throws or left defenders in his wake on highlight-reel runs when the Ravens required it.

Jackson paced Baltimore’s 251-yard rushing outing with 97 of his own. He combined the best he has to offer with his arm and legs on the play of the night when he shrugged off a Dawuane Smoot sack, dropped farther in the pocket to buy time and uncorked a long ball for Isaiah Likely to collect with a leaping grab between two defenders. He set up an eventual Gus Edwards touchdown to start off the final stanza, and it was also an indicator of the trust he has brewing for his backup tight end.

Likely led the team with five receptions and 70 yards. Jackson was also the recipient of Jackson’s lone TD pass, a tight-window laser and the TE’s second score in as many weeks. Mistake-prone Jaguars hit three-game skid. Jacksonville seemed hell bent on throwing this game away. The Jaguars reached the Baltimore 36-yard line or farther on four straight drives at one point, yet came away with a goose egg heading into halftime.

The first two of those possessions ended with missed kicks by Brandon McManus, while Trevor Lawrence was responsible for bungling the latter two.

First, while scrambling into the red zone, Lawrence seemingly juked himself out of the ball, fumbling it for Baltimore’s Arthur Maulet to scoop up. On the ensuing drive, a two-minute drill that reached the Ravens’ 5-yard line, the franchise QB woefully mismanaged the running clock after a 36-yard dime by forgoing a spike in favor of a shotgun pass to rookie Parker Washington, who gained 1 yard and stayed inbounds to send the clock to triple zeroes. Lawrence and Co. did play cleaner (comparatively) in the second half, but spotting the Ravens a 10-point lead with two quarters remaining proved too large a deficit.

On a night when Lawrence looked surprisingly unbothered by his high ankle sprain suffered two weeks ago and the Rayshawn Jenkins-led defense gave Jacksonville a shot, the Jags still dropped their third straight.