CANTON,Ohio- Week 16 of the NFL! What a week it was! While it was a great week for some, it was a devastating week for others. Let’s review.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-
Giants vs Eagles- (My Pick-Giants)- (Winner-Eagles)- New York allowed Philadelphia to have a big first half. In the end, it was too much to overcome for the Giants. The Eagles end their two-game home losing streak.
Dolphins vs Bills- (My Pick-Dolphins)- (Winner-Dolphins)- Miami survives in overtime and locks up a spot in the playoffs. Meanwhile in Buffalo, Rex and Rob Ryan are both out of jobs.
Jets vs Patriots- (My Pick-Patriots)- (Winner-Patriots)- A 41-3 blowout that I expected. This game was over before it even began. New England is still playing for home field throughout the playoffs. They’ll need to win in the final week.
Titans vs Jaguars- (My Pick-Titans)- (Winner-Jaguars)- This game went in the complete opposite direction that I expected. Jacksonville knocked Tennessee out of playoff contention, but even worse, Marcus Mariota broke his leg during the game. But at least the Titans can build off a good season.
Vikings vs Packers- (My Pick-Packers)- (Winner-Packers)- This turned out to be a close game. Green Bay prevails and will now Play Detroit with the winner earning the NFC North title.
Redskins vs Bears- (My Pick-Redskins)- (Winner-Redskins)- Washington got a win on the road. This is what Washington needs for a playoff spot. Washington clinches a playoff berth: 1) WAS win + GB-DET game does not end in a tie. 2) WAS tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie.
Falcons vs Panthers- (My Pick-Falcons)- (Winner-Falcons)- Atlanta has clinched the NFC South. The Falcons can still lock up a first-round bye if they win plus a Seattle and Detroit loss.
Colts vs Raiders- (My Pick-Raiders)- (Winner-Raiders)- The Oakland Raiders won again, and in the process got one step closer to winning the AFC West. But, that came at a heavy price. Quarterback Derek Carr suffered a season ending broken leg. Now the Raiders playoff fate rests on the shoulders of backup Matt McGloin. If the defense can step up just a bit and Latavius Murray can carry more of the load, Oakland might still stand a chance. They still need to win one more game to lock up the AFC West.
Buccaneers vs Saints- (My Pick-Buccaneers)- (Winner-Saints)- Talk about letting an opportunity slip away! That’s what Tampa Bay did with this loss. The Buccaneers can still make the playoffs, but it’s highly unlikely. They’ll need a lot of help. A win by themselves plus a Washington tie and Packers loss.
Cardinals vs Seahawks- (My Pick-Seahawks)- (Winner-Cardinals)- Well, I’ll admit, I thought Seattle was going to blowout Arizona. Instead, the Cardinals were the team that kicked a game winning field goal. Now Seattle must win next week and hope that Atlanta will drop their final game of the season if they want to get a first round bye.
49ers vs Rams- (My Pick-Rams)- (Winner-49ers)- With a win over Los Angeles, San Francisco kept the #2 overall pick in the 2017, thanks to a miracle win by the Browns over San Diego. If the 49ers had lost, they would have moved up to the #1 overall pick.
Bengals vs Texans- (My Pick-Bengals)- (Winner-Texans)- All Cincinnati had to do was hit a field goal to win the game. Instead, the Houston Texans win the AFC South.
Ravens vs Steelers- (My Pick-Steelers)- (Winner-Steelers)- First off, what a game! Back and forth they went. But it was a slant route from Roethlisberger to Brown, with Antonio Brown extending his arms and the football over the goal-line that helped Pittsburgh win the AFC North. Baltimore now has missed the playoffs two consecutive years. While I don’t see John Harbaugh on the hot seat, I’m curious what changes will be made in Baltimore now. The next question for Pittsburgh? Who starts in the final regular season game when they host Cleveland. They cannot improve their playoff seeding.
Broncos vs Chiefs- (My Pick-Broncos)- (Winner-Chiefs)- From champions, to missing out on the playoffs. Once Peyton Manning called it a career, I didn’t have much faith in their current quarterbacks on the roster. On the other side, Kansas City now gives themselves a chance to still win the AFC West. They’ll need to win next week and hope the Raiders lose.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL-
Lions vs Cowboys- (My Pick-Cowboys)- (Winner-Cowboys)- Dallas earned the #1 seed in the NFC. Detroit will need to beat the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC North. If the Lions lose, they could possibly miss the playoffs all together. I’m sure Ford Field will be rockin’ next Sunday.
Chargers vs Browns- (My Pick-Chargers)- (Winner-Browns)- Just pinch me now. I said last week that I just couldn’t pick Cleveland. Do you blame me? Well, the long nightmare for Cleveland Browns fans of possibly going 0-16 is over. Thanks to a blocked field goal by Jamie Meder, a local guy, and a missed field goal by San Diego. I’m still personally shocked that Cleveland held the Chargers under 20 points. There’s that saying these days in Northeast Ohio that you can’t spell miracle with the letters CLE. And what’s a bonus for Browns fans? With the 49ers winning later in the day, the Browns stayed at the top of the 2017 NFL draft.
FINAL SUMMARY- I went 8-16. That’s terrible by my standards. My surprise losses? The Giants, Seahawks, Chargers and Titans.
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