Tara O’Leary, Staff Writer |
With the regular season winding down and the playoffs on the horizon, things are really starting to heat up in the NFL. Week 13 saw headlines coming from both on and off the field as teams continue to fight for their postseason spots.
The 10-2 Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Raiders on Sunday in what was their first game without Kareem Hunt. The young running back was released by the team on Friday after a video of him pushing and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel was released by TMZ. Following the February altercation, Hunt had lied to the Chiefs organization about what had happened. After the video surfaced, Kansas City decided to cut ties with the 23-year-old, stating, “Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt. At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue… several members of our management spoke directly to him. Kareem was not truthful in those discussions. The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.” Hunt addressed the situation in an interview with ESPN on Sunday, “I just want to let the world know how sorry I am for my actions.” He then went on to say that he doesn’t blame Kansas City for releasing him and there are “no hard feelings” between him and his former team. Hunt faces a minimum six game suspension and could potentially be picked up by another organization. The Chiefs look to move forward with their push to the playoffs. “We’ve got one goal,” said Hunt’s replacement, running back Spencer Ware. “And that’s to win the Super Bowl.”
After yet another disappointing defeat, the Green Bay Packers have fired head coach Mike McCarthy. The news came within hours of their loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. “The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers,” said team President Mark Murphy. “As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately.” McCarthy had led the Packers for 13 seasons and finished with a record of 125-77-2. Under his command, the Packers had seen a lot of success, including a Super Bowl victory in the 2010 season and a dominant 15-1 record the year after. Green Bay struggled last year as they spent time without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers due to injury. However, even after Rodgers’ return, the Packers are sitting at a disappointing 4-7-1. “It is frustrating because I really like our squad,” said Rodgers following Sunday’s loss. “I think there’s better days in the future for this squad. We’re just going to have to go through this tough period right now and stick together.” For the remainder of the season, Green Bay has selected Joe Philbin as their interim head coach. The Packers will be looking to get back on track next season and hope to reach another Super Bowl in the near future.
The Giants narrowly pulled out a win on Sunday against the Bears. With little time left and Chicago down by seven, the Bears lined up for an onside kick. Knowing that would happen, the Giants sent their star receiver, Odell Beckham, out on the field. However, when the ball was kicked and bounced right in front of New York’s best pair of hands, OBJ hesitated and the Bears recovered. Luckily for Beckham, the Giants were still able to get the win. Still this hasn’t stopped people from critiquing his effort on the play. “I can dive in there and still not get the ball. It was a very tough call,” Beckham said in response. “Nobody should ever question my effort or my heart.”
With a win over the Detroit Lions, the Rams have clinched the NFC West Division title for the second year in a row, making them the first team to clinch a division title this year. With one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league, they look to also secure a first round bye in the playoffs. Only one of their remaining opponents currently has a winning record, while the Rams sit at 11-1.