In my estimation, there wasn’t a lot of difference between the top defensive front performers this past weekend, so I decided to go just go with my gut for Hoss this time around. There were several teams playing for their playoff lives and the guy I ultimately chose showed up big time in one of those games to help make sure his team made it to the postseason.
The Denver/Kansas City game was effectively a loser-leave-town match. The stat sheet may not have shown it, but Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford’s performance was a big part of why the Broncos won’t get a chance to defend their Super Bowl crown this season.
It’s funny because just last week I brought up how well Ford had played the first half of this season filling in for an injured Justin Houston and how he had fallen off a tad bit since Houston’s return. With Houston out again on Sunday, Ford again found his inner Beast Mode and went to town on the Broncos. He didn’t record a sack during the game and he technically only had two tackles, but Ford’s impact on the outcome was much greater than that when you watch the film.
Dalton, 28, is having a career-best season for the Bengals with 25 touchdowns, six interceptions and an NFL-leading 107.4 passer rating entering Week 14. Against the Steelers, he threw just five passes, completing three for 59 yards with an interception (his seventh of the season) before leaving with the injury.
Dalton appeared to suffer the injury while making a tackle after throwing the interception, jamming his right hand in the process.
The backup for the Bengals is former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He never played as a rookie and has appeared only in clean-up duty for the Bengals in 2015, completing 3 of 4 passes for 22 yards. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is their emergency backup quarterback.
Cincinnati leads the AFC North with a 10-2 record and can clinch the division with a win against the 7-5 Steelers.