Inside The Wheelhouse: NFL Week 17 Thoughts


The Atlanta Falcons are the team to beat in the NFC playoffsLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out to me in from Week 17 in the National Football League!

– Sad to see a good coach like John Fox lose his job due to being surrounded by poor player personnel decisions. It’s the nature of the beast but he will land on his feet rather quickly. Unless Jeff Fisher loses his job then we are looking at John Fox as being the best coach available who was fired from the previous season.

– The Atlanta Falcons are the team to beat in the NFC side of the playoffs. Biggest weakness for this team is their lack of playoff experience. Could come into effect in the playoffs but it wouldn’t shock me if it doesn’t. This team gives off the feeling that they are going to be an top NFC mainstay for quite sometime.

[adinserter block=”2″]- Bucs end the season 10-6 and miss the playoffs. I never thought I’d write that sentence at the start of this season. This is a team that very well could be 12-4 next year, I like where this franchise is heading as we enter the next decade.

– While they are a 5 seed in the NFC side of the playoffs, the defending Super Bowl Champions are still a team to beat this year. I wouldn’t be shocked if they run the gambit and make their 2nd straight trip to “the big game.”

– The Jets got a win that they needed badly before entering the playoffs. Sure it was the Bills but it was still a motivating win. Now it’s time for Gang Green to live up to all of their hype.

– The Ravens could be the most feared team entering the playoffs because of how many weapons they have at their disposal. Only problem is they are now entering the playoffs with a rash of injuries to both sides of the ball. Baltimore is keeping their fingers crossed that Ed Reed can play in the playoffs.

– Detroit finishes the season with 6 wins and a stretch of wins to close out the year. Many Detroit Lions fans will be wondering “what if” when it comes to Matt Stafford leading this squad this year. Could have the Lions been a 9 or 10 win team if their first round pick was there? I think so.

– The Vikings season was not what most expected. When your in the public eye as much as they were it’s bound to catch up to you. This is now a rebuilding franchise and could take a couple years before they reach their highest level again.

– The Oakland Raiders went .500 this year. Add that to the list of things I never thought would happen this season.

– Kansas City enters the playoffs as a staggering team. While they play in arrowhead to start the playoffs I don’t know how much they have left in the tank. It hurts an offense when you know your offensive coordinator (Charlie Weis) is not returning next season.

– While Atlanta is the team to beat in the NFC, the New England Patriots are hands down, the team to beat in the NFL. If you want to win a Super Bowl you will have to beat New England this year.

– Could Tony Soprano really be fired by Miami?

– I think all the critics who say that Pittsburgh is going to be the best team in the AFC should calm down just a bit. Yes they won in convincing fashion in Week 17, but yes they beat the Cleveland Browns. That team really wasn’t playoff contenders and they knew this would be the last day of service for their head coach. Steelers are good but they still have to beat New England.

– Props to Chicago for playing their starters the entire game to try and stop Green Bay from making the playoffs.

– Is Green Bay the most dangerous team entering the playoffs? Yes (especially now with Baltimore hurt) as this team was not supposed to be in the playoffs weeks ago. Thanks to some miracles (Philly vs. New York in Week 15) and a big win in Week 16 (against New York), the Green Bay Packers are in. If the defense played as well as they did in Week 16 & 17 then look out Philly.

– Giants miss out on the playoffs after appearing to coast into it. They can only blame themselves for this season’s blunder.

– Chargers miss the playoffs so does that mean Norv Turner should be fired? I think so.

– Denver has a tough task going into the off-season with who should be their head coach and should they draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Not sure yet if Tebow is the guy in Denver, tough decisions to be made for the Broncos.

– Tough year for both San Francisco & Arizona. Those two franchises need a bounce back year next season. Arizona needs a quarterback, as does San Francisco. At least the Cards have a head coach right now. Jim Harbaugh to San Fran?

– Indianapolis is in the playoffs and like Green Bay, I did not think this was going to happen at one point. The Colts are a playoff team but not sure if they are as deadly as they usually are in the playoffs.

– Dear Titans ownership: Do not fire Jeff Fisher but part ways with Vince Young. Thank you.

[adinserter block=”1″]- Philadelphia struggles the final two games of the season and plays a tough Green Bay team in the first round. And if it wasn’t for a miracle in Week 15 they may have lost the final three games of the season. Are the Eagles as deadly as we thought they were? We will find out this Sunday.

– Jacksonville misses the playoffs, no shocker there. Could Jack Del Rio be out? That would be a shocker.

– Speaking of shocking Gary Kubiak is still the Texans head coach. Why? I don’t know. If Houston doesn’t start the season well next year look for him to be fired Wade Phillips & Brad Childress style.

– The Seahawks win 7 games in 2010. They win their division. They have home field advantage over a 11 win team in the first round of the playoffs. Blasphemy!

As always for more NFL coverage check out my sports podcast “The Wheelhouse” over at!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at and at @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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