This has been one of the most entertaining NFL seasons I’ve ever experienced. It’s my first year covering the NFL, and I’ve never paid as much attention to the game like I do now, but I feel like we are getting weekly upsets, fights, last minute scores, and HUGE games with playoff implications. I mean we get a Monday Night Football game to decide the NFC North, how do you beat that?!
Let’s recap the games from Sunday. ***Only doing games involving teams with playoff implications***
Ravens 31 – Browns 15
The Ravens have clinched the top seed in the AFC after taking care of the Browns on Sunday. They started slow but Lamar Jackson turned it on towards the end of the second quarter and that’s all she wrote. He had 17 rushes for 103 yards and added 238 yards passing with 3 TD’s. Mark Andrews had one of his most impressive games of the season, and that’s saying a lot considering he has been one of the best tight end’s in football. The Ravens had 12 players named to the Pro-Bowl this week, which led the NFL, and out of the 12, 8 were drafted by the team. Can’t say enough about how good Ozzie Newsome and the front office of the Baltimore Ravens has been. The Browns fall to 6-9.
Saints 38 – Titans 28
The Saints remain in the hunt of the first seed in the NFC after an impressive second-half offensive performance leads them past the Tennessee Titans. The Titans took an early 14-0 lead, but could not do much more after that. The Saints caught fire in the second half with Brees, 3 TD’s, and Thomas, 135 yards and a TD. Michael Thomas is having an unreal season at wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints.
Tannehill continues his magical season with 272 yards and 3 touchdowns. We can’t blame their stalled offense totally on Tannehill, as not having running-back Derrick Henry did not help the teams rhythm on offense. The Titans remain alive for the playoffs, but they need to take care of business against the Texans, who have already clinched a playoff spot, in Week 17.
Steelers 10 – Jets 16
The Steelers have a terrible QB situation. They are currently playing musical chairs with Mason Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges. After QB Ben Rothlisberger was hurt in the beginning of the season, Mason Rudolph replaced him, he played really bad, and then he gets benched. The “Duck” replaces him and does really well and continues as the starter, as Mike Tomlin said best:
Fast forward to the Bills game, Duck Hodges throws 3 interceptions and the Steelers lose. And then Tomlin, who has been great this season, splits reps at QB all week in practice, gives Hodges no confidence, and then is surprised when he struggles early and he has to replace him.
While Tomlin has been handed a difficult task in replacing a hall of fame QB with backups, I have a feel that Tomlin is just plugging either guy in and saying a prayer. Is it all Tomlin’s fault that both guys haven’t played well? I assume not, but splitting reps just discourages the starter and it can defeat rhythm.
The Steelers, 8-7, can make the playoffs if:
1. They beat the Ravens in Baltimore.
2. The Titans lose against the Texans.
Is it doubtful? Yes. Is it impossible? No.
Cardinals 27 – Seahawks 13
It was a weird day for upsets as the Seahawks lost to the Cardinals in Seattle. The Seahawks are banged up, with starters on both sides of the ball missing games.
Seattle lost both Chris Carson and C.J Procise to injury in a matter of minutes. Both will be out for the rest of the season. They join Duane Brown, Jadaveon Clowney, Quandre Diggs, and many more players who are currently sidelined with injuries. To make things even worse, the Seahawks travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers for the division title next week.
I think it’s time Seattle put the ball into the hands of their superstar QB to get the job done on Sunday against the 49ers. Russell Wilson has the big contract, and he needs to perform in those types of games. I can not wait to watch that game.
Eagles 17 – Cowboys 9
The mainstream media constantly shits on him all season, and he went out there and flat out delivered the last 3 weeks. Wentz finished 31-40 with 319 yards and a touchdown. It says a lot about the Eagles coaching staffs confidence in Wentz that he threw 40 times to 3 active WR.
The Cowboys are dead. Jason Garrett should be fired before the playoffs are over. I am starting to think about who they’ll hire. I will give my guess on the podcast this week.
I thought the Eagles defense really stepped up on Sunday. Malcom Jenkins, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox all established the tone early, and the young guys brought the energy when they needed it.
The Eagles still need to get a win in New Jersey next week against the Giants to win the NFC East officially, but it’s more than possible. They could also win with a Cowboys loss.
Chiefs 26 – Bears 3
Mahomes is back. I’ve been saying it all year: We take Patrick Mahomes for granted. He is consistently great. He battled through a lot of injuries this season, but he has showed that when healthy, there aren’t many quarterbacks better than him, if any. He finished with 251 and 3 TD’s (1 rushing) as the Chiefs took care of the Bears on Sunday night.
The Chiefs are still in contention for a playoff bye. If the season ended today, however, they would face the Titans in the playoffs round one. That would be a great matchup, as we already saw them play in week 10, when the Chiefs lost to the Titans 35-32.
Week 17 shall be a fun one. Stay tuned.