NFL Week 15 Superlatives: Gather 'round the campfire and show some holiday spirit

Welcome to Week 15 NFL Superlatives, our new-this-season Monday spin around the league to highlight or re-live some of the best (and occasionally worst) things that happened on and off the field on Sunday (and, in this case, Saturday):

Best Holiday Spirit: Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers’ return after a broken collarbone didn’t exactly go as planned for the Packers, but before their loss to the Panthers, several members of the team traveled to Charlotte in style. At least eight players, including receivers Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, dressed in Christmas- and winter-themed suits. Now that’s a colorful crew.

Best Campfire Tale: Philadelphia Eagles

Gather ’round, friends, and we’ll tell you the tale of an NFC-leading team that lost its MVP candidate quarterback for the season and discovered that their backup quarterback might be able to carry them to the Super Bowl after all. After Trey Burton’s first-half touchdown, he and two teammates sat around the spinning football, pretending to warm their hands. As celebrations go, it was kind of fire (sorry, couldn’t help it).


— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 17, 2017

Best Trash Talker: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

There was a lot of news coming out of this franchise on Sunday, little of it good. But amid the gathering storm, Cam Newton (who seems to pop in this space almost weekly) was in control of his team and had quite the clapback for Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews, who thought he knew which play the Panthers were dialing up:

This is EPIC from @CameronNewton.

Clay Matthews: It's that wheel route, it's that wheel route

Cam Newton: You been watching film, huh? That's cool. Watch this

— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) December 18, 2017

Junior Class President: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley has alluded to the Rams’ issues under the Jeff Fisher regime before, but man – what the heck were they doing with Gurley last season? A Pro Bowler as a rookie with over 1,100 yards rushing, Gurley’s production fell off mightily in 2016. But this year, with a new coach and a new energy around the Rams, Gurley is reaffirming why he was a top-10 pick in 2015. He was a one-man wrecking crew against the Seahawks, with four touchdowns – three rushing, one receiving – and 180 yards from scrimmage.

Best Holiday Performance: Detroit Lions

For many New Yorkers, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the iconic Rockettes, is an annual tradition. But the Lions brought a little bit of Radio City to the Motor City on Saturday night, high-kicking in the end zone to celebrate T.J. Jones’ first-half touchdown.

Watch out @Rockettes

The @Lions have been practicing.

: #CHIvsDET | NFL Network

— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 16, 2017

Worst Loser: Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans

Yes, losing sucks. And losing 45-7 to a division rival really sucks. But after the Texans’ loss to Jacksonville, a game that saw Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles complete 72 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no picks, Houston’s Clowney said Bortles is “trash” when asked about the quarterback. Really? He’s trash but posted a 143.8 quarterback rating against you and your teammates. So what does that make you?

Most Coordinated Couple: Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon, New England Patriots

At this point, there aren’t many people in the world McCourty has spent more time with than Harmon. The two were teammates at Rutgers for a season, and have been teammates with the Patriots for five; they’re both safeties, which means they have position meetings together, and this year, they’re both team captains, which means even more time together. Maybe that’s why they arrived at the team facility for their trip to Pittsburgh coordinated for Christmas – Harmon (who caught the game-sealing interception against the Steelers) in a deep red suit with a red tie, and McCourty in a dark green suit with a black tie.

Most Likely to Accessorize at Home Depot: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

It takes a lot of hardware to gussy up a leather suit with as many studs as the one Brown wore to Heinz Stadium on Sunday, before his Steelers hosted the Patriots (and, unfortunately, Brown’s first-half injury). Eddie Murphy circa “Raw” would be proud (Google it, kids).

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