NFL Analysis


7 min read

Biggest Winners, Losers From NFL Week 14

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) walks on the field after defeating the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to the NFL playoffs, the games are starting to mean a little more. There was a ton of incredible action on Sunday, including several games that came down to the final play. But who impressed us the most in Week 14? And which players and teams left the most to be desired? Let’s get into the winners and losers from another fantastic week of football.

Winner: Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Going into Week 14, Brock Purdy was the MVP favorite on most sportsbooks. After Week 14, he is the probable favorite, which is probably right. Purdy had another monster performance, helping lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 28-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. They've won five games in a row, all by double-digits. They've scored at least 27 points in all five wins and are 10-3. 

Purdy finished the game with a 122.1 passer rating, throwing for 368 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged a whopping 13.6 yards per attempt and leads the league in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt, yards per completion, passer rating and QBR. 

San Francisco’s offense is quarterback-friendly and loaded with weapons. But the numbers Purdy is posting are incredible. He deserves all of the credit and attention he is getting. The 49ers' offense has never been this dynamic in the Kyle Shanahan era. Purdy is getting better with each start and is 17-0 when he, Deebo Samuel, and Trent Williams finish the game. 

With four weeks to go, Purdy is the MVP favorite.

Loser: Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are one of the most challenging teams in the NFL to figure out. There have been games where their offense has been outstanding, and there have been others where the offense hasn’t shown up. Unfortunately, this was another of the latter in Week 14.

Jared Goff completed 20 of 35 passes for 161 yards (4.6 yards per attempt) against the Chicago Bears. He had two key turnovers and was sacked four times as the offense couldn't get going. It was the third time in seven weeks that Goff posted a passer rating less than 70 (54.6 vs. Bears this week). Chicago created pressure up front, completely messing up Goff from the start of the game.

The Lions are likely to be the No. 3 seed in the NFC, but it’s hard to trust them with how inconsistent Goff has been. After an incredible 2022 season, Goff has regressed this year.

Winner: Joe Flacco, QB, Cleveland Browns

Joe Flacco had an up-and-down performance against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. For the most part, the veteran quarterback held his own. He had an awful interception that essentially ended the game, but he gave the Cleveland Browns competent quarterback play in a pinch.

In Week 14, Flacco was the reason the Browns won. Despite Cleveland missing its top three offensive tackles, Flacco had a fantastic performance against the Jaguars. He led the team to 31 points while throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns. 

Flacco threw many of his passes at or near the line of scrimmage, but that is primarily a result of Kevin Stefanski’s offensive scheme. The Browns are a screen-heavy team that also uses a lot of boot actions for their tight ends.

The difference between Flacco and Dorian Thompson-Robinson or P.J. Walker is his ability to throw the ball in the middle of the field beyond 10 yards. He can drive the ball on slants, digs and in-routes, something that the other quarterbacks haven't been able to do for the Browns. Take a look at his passing chart via the NFL's Next Gen Stats, and you'll see quite a few passes completed beyond ten air yards: 

Flacco wasn't perfect. He missed some receivers and had an interception that let the Jaguars hang around. But he played his best game in years, and now, the Browns sit at 8-5. 

Coming out of Week 14, the Browns are the No. 5 seed in the AFC and still aren’t out of the AFC North divisional race. Flacco will be the team’s starter the rest of the way, giving Cleveland a real chance to compete in the postseason.

>>READ: Playoff Seeding After Week 14

Loser: Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are a disaster on offense. 

They can’t block. Their wide receivers don’t get open, and nobody can consistently catch the ball even when they do. The offense doesn't do the quarterback any favors, and it never helps him get in a rhythm. And yet, Bryce Young was arguably the biggest loser from Week 14. 

The Panthers managed to score just six points. They did not get into the end zone despite rushing for more than 200 yards. Young was a disaster anytime he dropped back to throw. He completed just 13 of 36 passes for 137 yards (3.8 yards per attempt). When you factor in his sack yardage, the Panthers had 99 passing yards on 40 dropbacks.

Young missed a wide-open Jonathan Mingo on a seam route right before halftime that would have cut the Saints' lead to 14-10. Instead, the Panthers turned the ball over on downs a few plays later. 

One of Young’s best traits coming out of Alabama was his poise.  He completely lost it. Every play looks like a fire drill, and there is no sense of “calmness” from the rookie quarterback.

The Panthers will give Young the 2024 season to show he can be a franchise quarterback, but nothing has been positive from the No. 1 pick this season. He looks lost and has lost all confidence. It's been a disaster of a rookie season for Young and the Panthers.

Winner: Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets

After being benched in favor of Tim Boyle, the New York Jets returned to Zach Wilson in Week 14. And surprisingly enough, this might have been the best performance of Wilson’s career.

Taking on the Houston Texans, Wilson completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. This performance was even more impressive because it was pouring and windy at MetLife Stadium, and the other quarterback on the field (C.J. Stroud) struggled with the elements. 

Wilson looked calm and comfortable for the first time this season. He kept his composure even when flushed out of the pocket and made several big plays down the field. The Jets still likely will move on from Wilson this offseason, but seeing him play so well in this situation was encouraging. It’s been a rough season for the Jets, but getting a win over a playoff-caliber team has to feel good.

Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars Defense

With Trevor Lawrence limited due to a high-ankle injury, it was up to the Jacksonville Jaguars' defense to win this game. They failed to do that, and worse, they were ultimately the reason Jacksonville lost. That’s been the case in back-to-back weeks.

The Jaguars allowed Jake Browning and the Cincinnati Bengals to rack up 491 yards and 34 points in Week 13. And six days later, they allowed 31 points and nearly 400 yards to Flacco and the Browns. Cleveland had 74 plays on offense and converted all three fourth-down attempts.

Coverage busts all over the field resulted in several big plays for the Browns. Flacco even missed several passes to wide-open receivers, and it’s a surprise the Jaguars didn’t allow more points. They forced three turnovers, but it didn’t matter. The Browns rallied and put up points whenever they needed them. 

The Jaguars are still the favorites to win the AFC South, but their defense is starting to become a significant issue. If they can't stop quarterbacks like Jake Browning and Joe Flacco, they will have no chance of advancing past the first round of the playoffs. Jacksonville has to figure things out fast on that side of the ball, and it’s vital with Lawrence injured.