By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
We’re at the point in the season in which it doesn’t need to be explained anymore: Road games are tough to win.
In Week 15’s first 15 contests, visiting teams went 6-9. The biggest wins of the day went to the road teams, though, with New England upending Pittsburgh in a clash of AFC titans and Los Angeles detonating Seattle in a changing-of-the-guard victory. The few, but mighty, these road squads are.
Atlanta stands a pretty good chance of bringing that record to 7-9 when it faces Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football. The Saints went 7-9 in three straight seasons (2014-2016), and look at them now.
We begin with the league’s leader in rushing touchdowns, thanks to his Sunday performance. These are your greatest on the road from Week 15.
Greatest on the Road
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
We’ve featured him plenty here this season, for good reason. Let’s see…
League leader in rushing yards? Check.
League leader in rushing touchdowns? You bet.
Among rushers with 700 yards or more this season, only New Orleans’ Mark Ingram has a higher yards-per-carry average (5.1) than Gurley’s 4.6. He did a whole lot to boost those numbers on Sunday in a startling, emphatic win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Gurley toted the ball 21 times, gaining 152 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the process. Two of his three scores came from just a yard out, but the third — oh, the third — came on a 57-yard sprint through the Seahawks‘ defense to put the Rams ahead 34-0.
All three came in the first half, too. Talk about going into an opponent’s house and claiming ownership. Behind the efforts of Gurley, the Rams did just that on Sunday.
Also considered …
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Last week was a bummer for the city of Philadelphia.
Not to be sunk by a torn ligament, Philadelphia rallied as it usually does. The focal point of such rally? Familiar face and former hero of winter football Nick Foles, who was christened on a local advertisement as St. Nick Foles. Ah, Christmas puns.
Foles sure was magical, though, overcoming a slow start to throw the Eagles to a win over the lowly New York Giants. Foles compelted 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and four scores, spreading the touchdown passes among four different targets like St. Nick spread gifts to the people.
Christmas came early to the Eagles, and perhaps more is in store with Foles. No word on if he’s jolly.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos
I know, I can’t believe I’m typing this, either.
The rise, fall, rise, fall and brief rise of Osweiler is stuff of Hollywood. The quarterback went from backup sensation to massively disappointing free-agent addition, to irrelevant quarterback cut by the Browns of all teams, back to Denver, where he owned the starting job before losing it again. Seems like the string has run out on him, right?
Not on Thursday night. Osweiler replaced the injured Trevor Siemian and promptly led the Broncos to victory, accounting for all three of Denver’s touchdowns in a 25-13 win over Indianapolis. Osweiler was sharp, slicing and dicing the Colts‘ defense for 194 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-17 passing, and adding another on the ground with an 18-yard run to paydirt.
Denver won, and we’re again teased by what Osweiler could be, maybe, just perhaps. He sure looked the part on Thursday.