New England vs. Miami
As you might expect this was a dominant performance by the Patriots that undoubtedly gives them momentum heading into the bye week. Brady looked crisp and Edleman was a monster all game. It’s hard to see Miami making it past the wildcard without a super heavy dose of Jay Ajayi.
Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Jacksonville had this nearly in the bag at the half. Thanks to some impressive running by Corey Grant and impressive catches by Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson the Jags had built a 17-0 lead right before the half. The second half was another story. Frank Gore joined an elite group of rushers to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season after age 30. Andrew Luck went on to pick apart the Jacksonville secondary and lead a game winning drive.
Tampa Bay vs. Carolina
Tampa did everything they could to try and sneak into the playoffs but the odds were stacked highly against them. Despite winning their game the Bucs needed to many things to go right to make it to the postseason. They are definitely a team on the rise and should be in contention next year. There are definitely individual bright spots for the Panthers. One of them is Kelvin Benjamin. On the last drive of the game Cam Newton kept targeting Benjamin and he made impressive catch after catch. He could eventually be a top receiver if he had more consistent QB play.
Chicago vs. Minnesota
The Bears end the season with a whimper. The Vikings are in a tough position. Will Teddy Bridgewater ever play again? Is Sam Bradford their guy? Do they draft another QB this year or address their offensive line issues? Will Adrian Peterson be the same? What happened to the defense?
Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
The Factory of Sadness endures. Again. After getting off to a hot start the Browns offense made some critical mistakes. They included an interception, a high snap that got away from RGIII, a missed FG, and a fumble in the red zone in the last minute. It a classic example of a team beating themselves only this time it wasn’t even against the Steelers best players.
Buffalo vs. New York (Jets)
The Bills are a mess. The worst play of the year award goes to the kickoff that wasn’t fielded that ended up being a Jets touchdown.
Dallas vs. Philadelphia
Tony Romo looked good in 2 minutes of action. He should land with another team in the offseason. Mark Sanchez is awful. I really hope the Cowboys get knocked out immediately.
Tennessee vs. Houston
The Texans face a problem going into the playoffs. Tom Savage isn’t their QB but neither is Brock Osweiler it seems. Savage was not good and got hurt thus Osweiler has another chance to prove he’s worth the money.
Baltimore vs. Cincinnati
I guessed the Ravens packed it in. I expected a much better showing from them especially given the circumstances (it being Steve Smith’s last game). It was a loss without much effort from the team. I wonder if Baltimore will be in the market for a WR or CB in the draft?
Kansas City vs. San Diego
There is a lot of uncertainty about where the Chargers will be next year. A couple things are for certain in San Diego. . .they have their DE of the future and a solid RB. I think Kansas City could legitimately challenge New England in an AFC Conference race. Their defense shows up when they need them. Their offense leaves a few things to be desired but with a weapon like Tyreek Hill they are always one play away from scoring.
Oakland vs. Denver
Yeah, Oakland is in deep trouble without Derek Carr. I thought they would be more effective running the ball but it didn’t work against the Broncos. Matt McGloin got injured and the Raiders will be rolling with rookie Connor Cook against the Texans. I think that game could go either way.
Seattle vs. San Francisco
This was a weird game. The Seahawks are a strange team. All season they have not looked like themselves but you could count on them not to struggle against a clearly weaker opponent. The Seahawks struggled in this game against a bad team. I wouldn't be surprised if they were out in the 1st round.
Arizona vs. Los Angeles
LA better find their coach soon and turn around this team because they have suffered beatdowns all year long. The offense is non-existent and so is the defense. They are letting their number 1 pick be killed behind a bad o-line. Embarrassing. I really wonder if Arizona will be looking to draft Carson Palmer’s replacement this year. Palmer has not been himself all season despite this convincing victory. In the twilight of his career, I expect Arizona to formulate a plan beyond his time there.
Atlanta vs. New Orleans
I said it last week I’ll say it again. Atlanta is the team to beat in the NFC. Their offense is lethal and their defense is just good enough. For fans of football, I hope the Saints do something about their defense. There is something that just feels wrong about seeing a QB like Brees produce and not get anywhere because they are on a bad team. Before he retires I’d like to see the Saints make a serious run with Brees for old times sake.
Washington vs. New York (Giants)
I already gave my testimony. I watched this at the airport hungry and angry. I was embarrassed. Kirk Cousins broke my heart. But it's time to move on and be optimistic. Bet your butt Scot McCloughan is watching things unfold very carefully with the coaching dynamics and the players etc. I know we all wish this team was a Super Bowl contender in its second year with an adult running things but its gonna take a couple more years. I can’t wait for FA and the draft.
Detroit vs. Green Bay
Both teams are praising the redskins as they both advance to the playoffs. I hope Detroit gets farther than the Packers but something tells me they won't have enough juice.