The (Monday) Morning After: A Giant win

NEED TO KNOW
  • Giants prove they're a force to be reckoned with
  • Miami upsets; 49ers beat Saints; Falcons keep on truckin'
The (Monday) Morning After: A Giant win

Every week, the women at HerGameLife.com bring you the highlights, lowlights, and good fights from the weekend in pro football. HerGameLife is the premiere online destination for ladies who love sports, featuring football news from a female perspective, game day fashion and recipe ideas.

(Pictured above: The facemask obscures it, but we're pretty sure that's quality #ManningFace being displayed during the Giants' clutch win over the Pack.)

49ers 31, Saints 21: In a rematch of one of the most exciting playoff games of last season, the Niners and Saints did not disappoint. With a quarterback controversy for the 49ers, rookie Colin Kaepernick quieted the naysayers, leading his team to a win in one of the loudest, most hostile environments in the league. The Saints didn't go down without a fight, but Drew Brees had an off night, throwing two interceptions, both returned for scores by the Niners D. The game might have been costly for both teams, the Niners possibly losing Kendall Hunter and Kyle Williams to injuries, the Saints potentially taken out of the wild card race. The repercussions of this game will be felt for both teams for weeks to come. -- Jennifer Chan @jenniferleechan

Bears 28, Vikings 10: In this long-standing division rivalry, Chicago’s latest “Monsters of the Midway” came to play, while Minnesota’s “Purple People Eaters” remained a distant memory. The Vikings appeared to be off-kilter from the start when the Bears defense sacked Christian Ponder on the first play. Shortly thereafter, an Adrian Peterson fumble seemed to mark the return of Chicago’s imposing defense. Despite a fumble from Matt Forte, which led to a Minnesota field goal, the Bears established the run game early, marked by two touchdowns for Michael Bush. The Bears got a much needed win to stay atop the NFC North, albeit at a price with injuries sustained by Devin Hester and Matt Forte. There will be little rest for the weary, as the two teams will meet again in just two weeks. -- Laurie Pechie @lpechie

Rams 31, Cardinals 17: Arizona Cardinal running back Beanie Wells was back in the game after almost two months. He started the game off brilliantly with two touchdowns, helping the Cardinals ease over the Rams 17-14 at the half. Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley had his first NFL start for the Cardinals and when it was all said and done, he ended the game with four key interceptions, two of which resulted in scoring touchdowns by St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jackson. Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford’s two touchdowns and the use of running back Steven Jackson were also key factors in the first win the Rams have had since the last time they played the Cardinals during Week 5. -- Krisi Fortner @red_sea_queen

Browns 20, Steelers 14: Christmas came early for the Cleveland Browns as the Steelers offense turned the ball over eight times, with each running back fumbling once. The Steelers are hurting without Big Ben at the helm and Charlie Batch could possibly find himself out of a job come December after that showing. The Browns took advantage of the Steelers' misfortune and put 17 points on the board off turnovers, even with the Steelers defense playing well. Trent Richardson kept fantasy owners happy and helped the Browns do just enough to come away with the win. They move to 3-8 on the season, while the Steelers drop to 6-5, and the hunt for the final AFC wildcard spot just got interesting. -- Meredith McCracken @twoshoesmagee

Giants 38, Packers 10: David slew Goliath, but it would take more than a slingshot, a disabled O-line and a pressured quarterback to stop these Giants. It was a game of gaps and physical receiving that led to a painful outing for the Green Bay Packers’ secondary. Aaron Rodgers was pummeled Sunday night for an uncomfortable five sacks. Arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, he could not find a way to dig his franchise out of the 28-point hole that the absence of Clay Matthews or Charles Woodson seemingly dug them into. Eli Manning, on the other hand, silently made a statement for New York fans struggling between the intrigue of Tim Tebow and the credibility of a Manning son. Leave the gossip columns to the NY Jets: Eli will take the glory. – Joye Pruitt @joyethewar

Ravens 16, Chargers 13:  "Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the middle." That's the little ditty of a play that helped the Ravens beat the Chargers. San Diego was up 13-10 with 1:37 left in regulation and the Ravens were facing a 4th and 29 from their own 37. All the Chargers had to do was stop them from picking up the first down and game over, right? Good luck with that. Ravens QB Joe Flacco completed a short pass to Rice and the rest is history. Rice picked up the first down that allowed rookie kicker Justin Tucker to kick the game into OT and eventually the game winner. The Ravens offense struggled mightily all afternoon. They needed divine intervention to win and they got it. -- Crystal @rvngirl

Bengals 34, Raiders 10:  And the third time was the charm in a football game turned boxing match as the Bengals literally beat up on the Raiders. They kept the Raiders off the scoreboard in the first half and won the first round. Oakland charged back in the third quarter to win the second round. However, the refs won the third round after taking away a fourth quarter Raider fumble recovery for touchdown and giving the Bengals three chances to convert a third down. A melee on the field resulted in three players being ejected before Andy Dalton threw this third touchdown of the day to secure a Bengals TKO over former Bengals QB Carson Palmer and the reeling Raiders.  -- Valencia Walker @ChocLadyBengal

Jaguars 23, Titans 19:  Even last-minute antics couldn’t help pull the Titans over the Jaguars. For the Jaguars, this win is exactly what they needed after a heartbreaker last weekend against the Texans. With starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert placed on injured reserve for the Jags, Chad Henne stepped in and threw two touchdowns. Titans running back Chris Johnson was unable to break out for any explosive plays, and only racked up 80 rushing yards. The loss leaves the Titans at 4-7, questioning their inconsistency though the weeks. The Jaguars, on the other hand, 2-9, finally have something to smile about after winning their first home game this season. – Lahari @Lahari_S

Colts 20, Bills 13:  The Bills came to Indy looking to up the ante on their wildcard spot chances, but they left with a grimmer future and a 4-7 record.  Sunday was the day of the receivers for the Colts.  Rookie T.Y. Hilton opened the game with a record-setting 75-yard touchdown on a punt return, putting the Colts up 7-0.  The touchdown well ran dry in the second quarter as the teams traded field goals. The Bills came within one score of the Colts in the fourth quarter, but were unable to close the gap. Indy was happy to wrap things up with a W as head coach Chuck Pagano watched from a sky box in Lucas Oil. -- Ashley Kirklen @AKirklen

Falcons 24, Buccaneers 23: If razor companies are looking for someone to be the new face for close shaves, Matt Ryan is their guy. Ryan and the Falcons cooled off a Tampa Bay team that had been heating up the last few weeks, escaping with a 24-23 win on the road. Ryan’s high completion rate made up for his two turnovers (an interception and a fumble) and continued his trend of fourth quarter scoring drives. Julio Jones’ ankle showed no signs of injury as he gained 147 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown pass. Atlanta remains tied with Houston for the NFL’s best record at 10-1, but critics wonder if their skin-of-their-teeth play style will hold up in the playoffs. – George Atkins @girlgeorge84

Dolphins 24, Seahawks 21:  The Dolphins came into Sunday on a three-game losing streak. The disappointment was nothing new for Fins fans that have experienced years of failing seasons. However, the Dolphins seemed to pull this one off with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill as their general. The sprinklers came on during the third quarter, soaking players as they lined up for play, which may have actually given the Dolphins that extra oomph to get the job done! Soon after, Tannehill answered a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown by Seahawks running back Leon Washington with a score to tie the game at 21-21. The game depended on Dan Carpenter for Miami. He kicked a 43-yard field goal for the win with nary a second to spare. -- Julia Chongarlides @j_chonga22

Broncos 17, Chiefs 9: The 8-3 Denver Broncos won this game, but not as smoothly as expected. The Chiefs have yet to win a home game (1-10 this season overall), and came out fighting. The crowd was rockin’ and the Chiefs started strong with two quick field goals and an interception. Nothing spectacular, but the start was enough to ignite hope for Chiefs fans and leave Broncos fans very nervous. Momentum seemed to change and the Broncos outscored the Chiefs 17-3 in the last three quarters, leaving poor KC without a single touchdown. With this win, the Broncos are closer to clinching the division, while the Chiefs extended their now eight-game losing streak. -- Maddy Wold @maddywold

HGL Crystal Ball:

Panthers vs. Eagles: Sometimes Monday Night Football is a spectacular clash of play-calling and brute strength with league-wide implications. And sometimes Monday Night Football is the 2012 Panthers (2-8) against the 2012 Eagles (3-7). These games promise entertainment in their own right: The teams are equally matched in their almighty suck. Who will turn the ball over more? Which defense will panic first and most often? How many penalties will we see for such infractions as 12 men on the field, excessive timeouts, and captains not appearing for coin toss? With Carolina QB Cam Newton in a sophomore slump and Philadelphia’s infamously unforgiving fans in near-mutiny against head coach Andy Reid, this week’s MNF is a must-see for sad drama fans. -- Mary Beth Ellis @blondechampagne

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