Washington vs. Dallas
A nationally televised ass whooping. What an embarrassing way to effectively end the season. Maybe we could have used a “code red” this year. If Gruden stays on I really hope he goes out and finds an offensive coordinator. In the modern NFL era there are very few head coaches that have excelled at HC duties as well as calling plays and from what we have seen this year Gruden stays in line with the majority. This is as good a time as any for Cousins to pad his stats to reinforce the leverage he has over the team. From the looks of it, the Skins aren't going to have a top 10 pick so I’m not sure why the brass seems confident in this ridiculous game of chicken they have going on regarding negotiations. We can always hope for the best and expect the worst I guess.
New England vs. Buffalo
This was another no contest. I still believe Tyrod Taylor is the best QB the Bills have right now but he couldn't get much going against the Patriot offense and ended up leaving the game because of an injury. The Bills defense looked pretty legit at the beginning of the season but have softened up a bit these past few weeks. The Patriots are exceptional at sticking to what works for them. The way they can interchange running backs with little to no drop off and achieve the same results should leave every other team envious. Brady is a brat but as long as he is in that offense I expect the system to work as planned.
Carolina vs. New Orleans
The best running back duo in football struck again. The Panthers really didn't have much of a chance in this one and couldn't match the Saints pace all evening. Cam Newton isn't Drew Brees and Christian McCaffery isn’t Alvin Kamara though you could make a strong argument the Panthers should be using him in the exact same way as the Saints use Kamara. The Panthers are in a critical position regarding the postseason. They can’t really afford more than one loss to be safe if they want to hold on to the wildcard spot they are currently in they must watch out for teams like the Falcons, Lions, and even Cowboys.
New York (Giants) vs. Oakland
This matchup held a surprise. Oakland is tied for 1st place in the AFC West with the Chargers and Chiefs. Who would have seen that coming with the way their season has gone? This matchup had a given as well - a Giants loss. Unfortunately for the NFC East it resulted in the firings of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. That's right guys potentially there will be no more Eli Apple’s or Ereck Flowers in the first round for the Giants. For a week at least they managed to alienate their fanbase and franchise QB. We’ll see what happens next with them in the offseason.
Cleveland vs. Los Angeles (Chargers)
The Chargers were automatically in the plus column for me when they wore arguably the best uniforms in the NFL. This started off pretty evenly for both teams Kizer threw a nice dart to Njoku and there were several Josh Gordon sightings (he looked good). Viewers should have known that in a QB matchup featuring Rivers and Kizer that Rivers would come out on top. The Chargers are the more complete offense as well but this was surprising to me when I watched this one all the way through. Kizer nearly led a comeback of sorts before he held onto the ball too long and got stripped by Bosa. The young guy has some fight in him. I really want to see him succeed but he’s going to need more help and a better environment than what Cleveland can provide it seems.
Kansas City vs. New York (Jets)
This was a really good game to watch. What a slide the Chiefs are on. I thought Smith, Kelce, and Hill played well for them on offense their defense really blew this one and gave up one of the better games statistically Josh McCown has had all season. They are going to have to turn it around quickly. In times like these I wonder if they question letting Dontari Poe leave. Bennie Logan is a fine player but they are missing that presence in the middle. The Jets are firmly out of things from where I’m sitting but they are still playing for something. Games like this are how Todd Bowles can make his case that he needs more time and resources.
Denver vs. Miami
Nothing really to see here with Denver. Maybe they need to start someone else and let Siemien come in and play the second half since he should some promise doing that last week. As a starter, he’s pretty bad. Miami feasted on the Broncos with Xavien Howard looking like he’s coming into his own at CB. Kenyan Drake also looked good on the ground for Miami and went for over 100 yards rushing. The deep threat Kenny Still had a few nice plays. He hauled in a deep pass only to fumble it and gave a chance to Denver to swing momentum (which didn’t happen). He made up for that play later by hauling in a deep TD pass. What do you think the Dolphins do at QB in the offseason between Cutler and Tannehill?
Detriot vs. Baltimore
At one point Detriot looked like they were going to close the gap but this one ended in ugly fashion once Jake Ruddock had to come in for an injured Matt Stafford. A bad stat flashed on screen during this game and it revealed that the Lions have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2013 (Reggie Bush). I’m gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that the Lions will be in the RB market during the draft since Abdullah, Riddick, and Zenner haven’t done much as runners. Baltimore’s defense is showing up at the right time for them and is helping to carry that team. Let’s also appreciate the role Alex Collins has played for the team as their new primary rusher. Collins has shown this year. I think the Ravens have a couple underrated backs between Collins and Allen.
Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay
This was a bit of an ugly one. I just realized Desean Jackson must be hurt - I haven't seen him in action for a few weeks now? That certainly hurts the Bucs offense but they have some big issues regarding the consistency of QB play. Somehow Jameis Winston was able to recreate that god awful interceptfumble he did in college in this game. Both offenses were off and Brett Hundley looks to be going 2 steps forward 2 steps back from week to week. Somewhat ironically the run game was the difference for the Packers. Jamaal Williams had over 100 yards on the ground and Aaron Jones sealed the deal with a TD run in overtime. The Packers are going to have to get it going if they want a chance to catch up with Carolina and Seattle.
Minnesota vs. Atlanta
Case Keenum is clutch as well. After Matt Ryan and Julio Jones went on a tear this week they did very little against the Vikings. All credit to the Vikings defense for shutting down one of the best receivers in football. The defense only allowed 1 3rd down conversion this game. The Vikings are on a roll. The Eagles better watch out!
San Francisco vs. Chicago
Garrapolo is getting way to much credit for this win but I guess since its a win people have to find someone to point to. Watching this game he def made some nice throws but meh - I guess it will take time for me to warm up to him. The 49ers won this one purely on field goals the player of the game should be Robbie Gould.
Houston vs. Tennessee
Tom. Savage. Is. Not. An. NFL. Starter. When Savage has to throw the ball 40+ times you’re gonna be in trouble. Houston isn't helping him out either regarding balance. Lamar Miller is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry over the last three games and only has 3 TDs on the season. You can’t let Savage throw it as the bulk of your offense and think you have a chance to win. Tennessee is still managing to get by. Anyone have a lead on their strength of schedule? I just get the sense they have gotten a lot of breaks regarding opponents. To their credit, they applied the opposite strategy the Texans used and relied on their running game. Derrick Henry and Demarco Murray combined for over 200 yards rushing + a Mariota score.
Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis
Brissett had his worst game of the season against this Jag defense. The Jags sacked Brissett 4 times and picked him off twice. Blake Bortles reverted back to his 2015 self they might have something here if they can keep it up.
Arizona vs. Los Angeles (Rams)
Boy, Sean McVay and Wade Phillips really have the Rams rolling. The Ram offense has been very balance all season with Todd Gurley approaching the numbers he put up in his rookie season that put him on the map in the NFL. I find it highly ironic that the results we see on the field are part and parcel to what some skins fans have been asking for in the way of hiring decisions for years. Oh well. I always forget how seeding works so this may be a moot point but it would be nice to cheer for the Rams to beat the Eagles in the playoffs. I don’t particularly care for the Cards but I do hope they get a QB next season so Larry Fitzgerald can go out in style and with something to be proud of.
Philadelphia vs. Seattle
The Eagles can be beaten. The key is a consistent and relentless pass rush and that's what Seattle had in store for Carson Wentz on Sunday night. They never really let that Eagle offense get into a rhythm and Russell Wilson took care of things for them in the passing game. Just a couple weeks ago some thought the Seahawks were “done” they still have a chance to win their division and at minimum look like they are taking one of the wildcard spots. The legion of boom might be dismantled but the pass rush is alive.
Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
This game was filled with brutal hits. JuJu Smith-Schuster LAYED OUT Vonteze Burfict. George Illoka put a hit on Antonio Brown and Shazier got hit in the head with an elbow. It seems like when these two teams meet some helmet to helmet stuff always goes down. It’s regrettable that Ryan Shazier seems to have sustained a serious injury to his back. I wish him nothing but the best. I really liked the wrestling celebration on Le’Veon Bell’s TD. And on the play where Brown sustained that tough hit, he hauled in a clutch TD. This makes two weeks in a row that the Steelers have won on a FG at the end of a game.