Dez Bryant leads explosive Cowboys to blowout win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Sunday of Week 17 offered us an appetizing slate of extremely important matchups for more than a few road squads. Some prospered, and some faltered.

Carolina’s defense played the game of its collective life, terrorizing Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons‘ offense and the tri-county area of Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett on Sunday. If I could give the award to the Panthers‘ defense I would, but I have to pick names, and it’s hard to decide between Roman Harper‘s 31-yard pick six, Tre Boston‘s 84-yard pick six and Thomas Davis‘ 33-yard fumble return.

San Diego, on the other hand, choked away the simplest of paths to a playoff berth, falling to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium when all they needed to do was win, and they were in.

And then, of course, there’s the career performance put on by Geno Smith in Rex Ryan‘s final stand, a statistical masterpiece in Ryan’s swan song.

I can tell you can’t wait to scroll down. Let’s get to the stars of Sunday, the best away from home. Continue reading

Brian Hoyer, Browns historically great in road victory

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Well, we’ve reached a new low. Road teams struggled mightily in Week 5, going 3-10 on Sunday, and if it weren’t for a record-setting comeback, Alex Henery being the Detroit Lions‘ only option at kicker, and Dick LeBeau‘s defense confusing a rookie quarterback late in a close game, we might have had our first winless week for those away from home. Luckily, the traveling stars of the week made it a little bit respectable for road teams as a whole.

Whether it was room service food, the effect of a hostile crowd or uncomfortable beds (never at a Courtyard Marriott, of course), something threw off the road squads. But despite slim pickings, there were still some standout performers. Here are the week’s best.

Greatest on the Road …

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns

Let’s be honest: Brian Hoyer may have sat behind Tom Brady for a portion of his career, but he isn’t Tom Brady, and probably never will be. But let’s take a quick look at Hoyer’s final stat line: 21-37, 292 yards, three touchdowns, one interception.

Pretty good numbers for a guy who has spent most of his career as a backup, right?

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