First of all, we hope you had a Merry Christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day cleared up the cluttered mess known as the NFL picture a little bit. are straight forward, while others take specific results to happen. The one thing that we left this week with is 9 playoff spots filled, with only 3 open slots remaining that only 6 teams are eligible for. I’ll go more into that later this week in a separate post, but with one week remaining lets evaluate the state of the NFL with this Week 16’s meaningful games.
Note: While Not Covered Here, the Browns lost did clinch the Number 1 pick. Unfortunately, they’re one Steelers loss away from going 0-16, they’re probably going to fire their coach, Kizer will not likely be given another year in Cleveland, and the overall state of your franchise leads me to believe you still have a long rebuild ahead of you. Well at least Cleveland still has LeBron James, for now.
Indianapolis Colts 16 vs. Baltimore Ravens 23
This game shouldn’t have been this close. The then 3-11 Colts shouldn’t have been in this game in the fourth quarter. While the offensive points and Joe Flacco’s passer rating looks good on paper, the offense relatively struggled against a mediocre Colts Defense. This was an important win though, as the only way the Ravens miss the postseason is for 3 outcomes not to go their way. Your the only 9-6 team in the WC picture as of this moment, but if you play next week like you did the Colts and you might be looking for help on the out of town scoreboard.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19 vs. Carolina Panthers 22
Congratulations, a two yard play that could’ve easily ended in a turnover instead ended in a TD and now you’re guaranteed a spot in the tough NFC playoffs. Honestly though, the Carolina Panthers are the Plaxico Burress of the NFC. There is absolutely a lot of high end promise in this franchise, but they find ways to keep shooting yourself in the foot. This is passable in Tampa Bay, but if you take this play against any of the (including potential) playoff teams and your season will end there. Next Week at the Falcons could be for the division and can see your division rival miss an opportunity for Super Bowl redemption. Then again, when opportunity is presented to Plaxico…
Detroit Lions 17 vs. Cincinnati Bengals 26
Huh, maybe Cincinnati should try to retain Marvin Lewis after all. After starting the season with an offense that failed to score a TD in the first two games, you’ve ended Week 16 not in the playoff picture, but taking out the resilient and yet hopeless Detroit Lions. The Lions weren’t going to do anything serious in the postseason, which is why this victory weeds out the week and we thank you for that. You now potentially have a similar opportunity to do that to the Ravens. While they might still get in through other potential outcomes, at least you could make them sweat with a 14 point lead a halftime. Hollow victories are still technically victories, Right?
Miami Dolphins 13 vs. Kansas City Chiefs 29
Both teams entered with a lot to play for in Week 16 and both teams left with nothing to play for in Week 17. These two teams though got to that conclusion differently. The Kansas City Chiefs caught a break by catching Jay Cutler at the right time (15/16 games of the year) and clinching not only the playoffs and the division, but are now locked into the 4 seed. Its time for Andy Reid to rest his starters and prepare for likely a dangerous WC team or the Tennessee Titans. On the other hand, the Dolphins are officially eliminated from postseason contention with this loss, although could continue Buffalo’s playoff drought with a Week 17 win. Fun Fact: That would be back to back years the Dolphins eliminated the Bills from postseason contention. Fun Fact: The previous fun fact was not a fun fact to any football fan in the WNY region.
Buffalo Bills 16 vs. New England Patriots 37
I wasn’t shocked to see the Kelvin Benjamin catch to be overturned, as the NFL catch rule doesn’t apply when the game involves the New England Patriots. Whether that was a catch or not, the Bills were probably going to lose this game. That was honestly expected and the Dolphins matchup next week will be more important to attempt to end this circa 1999 playoff drought. It won’t be a win and in like it would’ve been if they won this game, but they can manage to squeeze through with reasonable help. Patriots on the other hand are 1 game away from the 1 seed and playing the Bryce Petty starting Jets. Its going to be a very cold and bitter road to the playoffs for AFC teams this year.
Atlanta Falcons 13 vs. New Orleans Saints 23
2 Go In 1 comes out with a playoff birth and the other is likely able to get in next week. This game had high stakes, but the consequence for losing wasn’t that severe. This game was in the Saints control the entire way through the game, with the score being 20-3 by the end of the third quarter. At least the Saints didn’t score 8 more points to replay a recent postseason memory for the Falcons.
New York Jets 7 vs. Los Angeles Chargers 14
The Chargers deserved to miss the postseason if they lost to Bryce Petty and the Jets. Another game this week that involved a postseason bubble team and a “football team” that should’ve been decided way sooner than it was. This might not cut it against the Raiders next week for the Chargers, and even a victory there requires a decent amount of help to make it in the playoffs. Good Luck to the Jets against New England, although all that will do is potentially play your way out of a franchise QB. I’m not saying the Jets should tank, but the army called and offered up their vehicles for Yankees tickets and the Jets would be stupid to not take that offer.
Los Angeles Rams 27 vs. Tennessee Titans 23
The Titans losing was potentially in their best interest, as a victory over Jacksonville gives them a stronger 9-7. It also forces other teams (Bills, Chargers) to root for other outcomes to sneak their way in. The Jaguars also are locked in to the 3 seed so they should be playing their backups, you’ve got this. You did lose 3 straight games to the Rams inferior opponents but should still have this. On the Rams side this win has clinched the NFC West and it looks like…Wait…Doug Marrone isn’t benching his starters and is playing to win. He knows this lost could lead you guys out of the postseason and cause the Titans HC to be fired for the collapse, I hate to admit it but that is a well thought out strategic move on the Jaguars front. I wonder why else he’d be so motivated to win.
Jacksonville Jaguars 33 vs. San Francisco 49ers 44
Oh, that’s why. Losing to a 49ers team that is looking a lot stronger than their record is nothing to be ashamed of, anymore. The Jaguars need to look for momentum in their Week 17 matchup. This match’s loss locked in the 3 seed for the Jaguars with the addition of the Steelers Victory and while it may look like they have nothing to play from a tangible side, Bortles 3 interceptions and the Defense’s weaknesses need to be addressed before the WC game or this team could suffer an early exit if they play a tougher opponent than the Titans. So, any other option it seems like.
Seattle Seahawks 21 vs. Dallas Cowboys 12
2 Go In, 1 comes out only to likely to be killed next week either bye their own ineptitudes or outside factors. In theory, a Week 16 death match on Christmas Eve should be a blast, but instead showcased why neither of these teams should play beyond the regular season schedule. Also, why was Jason Garrett’s job in question after this loss, it wasn’t his fault his star RB’s appeal to the NFL failed at the worst possible time and tough opponents put the Cowboys in a too little, too late position. At least Elliott now can argue for more compensation should he win his lawsuit against the NFL.
On a Side Note: Dak’s struggles won my RIT Fantasy League this year, so thanks Dak for costing your team because this couldn’t have been done by the Seahawks defense alone.
Pittsburgh Steelers 34 vs. Houston Texans 6
I’m very scared of the Texans next year. Sure, the Steelers did win this game by a lot and are now guaranteed a bye in the AFC Postseason at least, but can we talk about the way the Texans scored their 6 points. It was on the best TD catch of the entire NFL season made by DeAndre Hopkins. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y-346ULfoY
- It was better than the legendary OBJ catch (Fight Me).
- Yes Hopkins held, but it didn’t matter other than for Fantasy (Didn’t have him though) and overall amazement of Christmas Football.
- For all the talk on what is, and isn’t a catch (See last week’s post and above), I’m glad the officials got into the giving spirit and let this amazing grab stand.
When JJ Watt and Deshawn Watson return, no one is going to want to play the Texans. Jaguars better make the postseason appearance count, they might not return for a long time.
Oakland Raiders 10 vs. Philadelphia Eagles 19
It was the night of Christmas and all through the Stadium? Yeah, I’m not going through that for this game. This game was just unwatchable at times. Unless you were plowed Eggnog and/or other substances, Even if your an Eagles Fan, you didn’t have the will to watch this game live in its entirety. The amusement of this game for me was to watch these two potentially tough teams struggle to even get points on the board at times despite their field position. Congratulations to the Eagles for locking the 1 seed for the 2017 NFL Playoffs, your going to need it. As for the Raiders, at least you can ruin the Chargers season for sure with a win. After that, get ready for what possibly might be your last season in Oakland, and YOU’D BETTER AT LEAST MAKE THE POSTSEASON THIS TIME. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Bills Fan and I don’t want you taking our potential spot in the Playoffs next year. I just hate to see the Raiders tenure with Oakland and its fans go out on a wimper like this season will.