Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 16 in the National Football League!
– Enter every “Indianapolis Colts winning their 2nd game of the season” joke here.
– Merry Christmas to any AFC team facing the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs in 2 weeks. Maybe the easiest playoff victory over an underwhelming playoff team we have seen in quite sometime. Then again you could’ve said the same thing about the Seahawks last season and they did make it to the Divisional round…
– Denver failed to get it done in Week 16 and now must go into Week 17 shooting it out for the AFC West crown with the Oakland Raiders. Still have to figure the stars will continue to align for Tebow as he and the Broncos pursue a miracle run at the playoffs.
– I all but buried the Bengals a couple weeks ago losing hope in this team that has been one of the best bright spots this season and now they are the lead dog for the Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs. They play a Baltimore Ravens team in Week 17 who may be resting their starters next week. If so the Bengals will be one of the best stories in the NFL and the story that everyone is not talking about but should be.
– The Cardinals distant playoff run comes to an end in Week 16 as they have officially become eliminated from playoff contention. Entering the season I really liked this team for a come back year and even win the NFC West. Kevin Kolb appeared to be poised for a top notch quarterback and has not been at all. I guess they definitely knew something in Philadelphia that they tricked Arizona in believing.
– Tennessee still has a chance at making the playoffs in Week 17. Despite the meltdown from Week 15 they still can make the playoffs with losses to the Bengals and Raiders. Amazing that after that loss from last week they can still pull off an upset.
– Do you think Maurice Jones-Drew requests some sort of trade out of Jacksonville next season? This is a guy who deserves to be on a big stage showing off his talents and won’t be if he continues to play for the Jaguars. Good luck to the Head Coach who inherits this team next year.
– Oakland’s playoff hopes continue to cling onto Week 17 with the AFC West title on the line. Got to admit, like the Bengals, I basically buried this team weeks ago. They have proved me wrong and continue to make a run at the playoffs. I still like the Broncos winning the AFC West despite losing two straight horrible games.
– I have really loved what the Kansas City Chiefs have done with what they have had dealt to them this season. They have lost their star running back, starting quarterback and fired their head coach. Despite all that they were overtime loss away from still being in playoff contention in the AFC West.
– Damn Tom Brady is good. Down 17-0 at the half to the Dolphins and they come out of the gate in the 2nd half to score 27 points and only allow 7 points to the Fins to win a great comeback game. Once again the Patriots have played well but against teams that are not competitive. They may hold the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs but I like the Ravens/Steelers in the AFC Championship Game right now.
– Miami has been one of those great teams to watch this season with nothing to play for. They played that way again in Week 16. I believe this is a great franchise to head coach next year for whoever takes the job. Lots of talent to build off of for next season; this is a building franchise in progress.
– The New York Football Giants will lay claim to owning the city of New York for the next four years as they beat the Jets in Week 16. More importantly their playoff hopes remain alive as they will play in the most important Week 17 game with the NFC East crown on the line. Next week is a playoff game for the Giants and that’s a good thing for both Cowboys & Giants fans; remember when the Packers had their backs against the wall last season?
– Rex Ryan needs to worry about how his team plays in Week 17 and not what he needs to say in the papers. The Jets enter the final week of the season in the backseat of the playoff race behind the Bengals, Raiders and Titans. Things do not look good for the Jets as they enter the final week of the season, they had no life against the Giants.
– Steelers win a Week 16 game with Charlie Batch at the helm. They still have a lot to play for with a first round bye on the line next week should the Ravens lose. This Steelers team is dangerous and they are starting to make me believe that they could win the AFC Championship for a 2nd year in a row and this is coming from someone who believed the Ravens would be AFC Champs for 15 weeks, I still believe that but the Steelers are playing great.
– How does this Rams franchise continue to take steps backwards?
– I know Christian Ponder is the guy in Minnesota but Joe Webb could be a guy that another NFL franchise may take a chance on next season. He continues to shockingly impress me when he’s on the field.
– Washington has to be drafting a quarterback in the first round right? They need something other then Rex Grossman or John Beck. Started out great, like the Bills, but fell off quick.
– Watch out for the Carolina Panthers next season. I believe they could surpass the Atlanta Falcons next season as the 2nd best team in NFC South. They have looked great at the final stretch of the season, really reminds me of how the Lions looked as they were rebuilding the last couple of seasons.
– What are the chances Raheem Morris is coaching the Bucs next week? Has to be less then 50% right? Or do they just put him out there “just because” since it’s the final game of the season. This team has been horrible in the 2nd half of the season.
– Baltimore is still in driver seat for the AFC Championship in my opinion but like I said the Steelers are creeping up on them. I’m interested to see if they enter Week 17 playing the Bengals with all their starters since a first round bye is on the line. I would guess they will be playing at full strength to avoid playing in the Wild Card round and being on the road for most of the playoffs.
– Peyton Hillis has looked great the last couple of weeks since his return. Do you think he is playing for that free agent contract for the off-season? He is not coming back to Cleveland.
– Congrats to the Detroit Lions on making it into the playoffs for the first time since 1999. This franchise has been through a lot since the last time they were in the playoffs and this is bittersweet for the franchise & their fans. Not sure yet how they will do come the playoffs but this a moment I hope the Lions and their fans soak in because this has been a long time coming for them.
– San Diego’s playoff run comes to an end in Week 16 as they went back to the way they have played for most of the season against the Lions. San Diego gave it a good run to play after January 1st and now they enter Week 17 to play spoiler against the Raiders. I expect them to play at full strength and make the Raiders earn it in what has to be Norv Turner’s last game as head coach of the Chargers.
– Philadelphia gets the win in a pointless game as their season is officially over now and won’t play beyond January 1st. They currently have 7 wins and can finish it up with 8, imagine what “the dream team” could have done if they played this well for the most part of the season. Andy Reid is safe in Philadelphia, sorry Eagles fans.
– I do not like the Cowboys chances in the NFC East title game next week against the Giants. Tony Romo’s hand will plague the Cowboys for the next week and despite sitting most of their starters in the Week 16 loss the momentum is not in their favor. I have to give the edge right now to Giants in Week 17.
– San Francisco continues to make me a believer despite the hiccup they had a couple weeks ago. Not sure how far they will go with Alex Smith as Quarterback but that may not matter if the Niners defense shows up from here on out. They are a very interesting team to watch with a ton of potential but a team that could be the NFC’s version of the Houston Texans.
– Seattle’s playoff hopes have come to an end and you got to give this team a ton of credit for what they were able to accomplish at the end of the season. This team would be something if they actually had a quarterback they could call their own. Marshawn Lynch continues to look great this season; he is right up there with Alex Smith as the NFL’s comeback player of the year.
– Green Bay gets a much needed win over the Bears to avoid any home field advantage meltdowns to finish out the season. They have the home field advantage now throughout the NFC playoffs and can rest their players in Week 17 against the Lions who will probably do the same. A banged up Green Bay getting close to two weeks of rest could prove to be deadly come the NFC Divisional Round game.
– Injuries have not given head coaches free passes this season to keep their jobs and I don’t think Lovie Smith gets a break in Chicago either. They still lost five straight after going 7-3 before Cutler’s injury and will miss the playoffs this season. I think it’s time for a change at the head coach position for a very talented team. From an off-season perspective I will also be interested to see if the Bears can re-sign Matt Forte to a long-term deal.
– You can talk about the New Orleans Saints clinching the NFC South division, you can talk about how they are still in the running for a first round bye in the NFC playoffs but there is one thing that should be discussed about the Saints from Week 16 and that is Drew Brees. Brees breaks the single-season record for most passing yards in a season, a record that many thought may never be broken again. Brees is an amazing person and deserves this moment in Week 16. Oh and the Saints are looking like the favorites in the NFC entering the final week of the season.
– Despite the loss against the Saints, the Falcons still clinch a playoff spot thanks to the Bears loss against the Packers. Atlanta will probably be facing the winner of the NFC East Division game against the Giants or Cowboys with the Niners likely winning in Week 17 making the Saints the #3 seed. Atlanta has played well but I’m not sure if they are that “Wild Card team to look out for” just yet, they need to beat good teams, something they have struggled with all season long.
Join Bower, “The Sweet Nasty” Chris Cause & myself every Sunday for more NFL & Fantasy Football talk over at www.wheelhouseradio.com!
Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday at www.wheelhouseradio.com.
Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site.
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