Well here we are, the official end of Week 17 of the National Football League season, and oh what a day it was. Here is my final weekly roundup of regular season professional football. Enjoy.
There was not a speck of snow on any of the fields but there were eliminations from the post season during the final week of the NFL season. The Steelers did not survive yet they did everything they could do, Peyton Manning and the Broncos broke more records in their finale, Aaron Rodgers was another hero late in the game and the Eagles won the NFC East. There were also six head coaches that lost their jobs. More on that in tomorrow’s blog.
We start off again in the NFC:
Carolina 21 Atlanta 20:
The Panthers are the real deal, confirming what most of us knew all along, young stud quarterback Cameron Newton is in the process of doing what fellow young stud Colin Kaepernick did for himself last season, we think. Scary part is, now they both have an opportunity to do what Kaepernick nearly did last season (win the Super Bowl). I believe that one of these to QBs will probably face Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl in New York in February. Bet on it.
Cincinnati 34 Baltimore 17:
The joke is over in Baltimore. The Ravens have officially been stopped. They aren’t going anywhere, Joe Flacco has more money than he will ever need but has no more football to play until next summer. The Bengals ran all over his team yesterday. It was close for awhile, but the Bengals are now the team to watch out for starting next weekend. Victim number one could be the Chargers. Andy Dalton is starting to look like a hero in Cincy. All of the sudden I want to live and work in Cincy.
Tennessee 16 Houston 10:
Possibly the one game yesterday that nobody probably cared about, battle of two trainwreck teams, both had high expectations going into September now look at them. Houston ends their season with a 14th straight loss.
Indianapolis 30, Jacksonville 10:
Seventeen points for the Colts in the opening quarter is more than enough to do the Jags in. Better luck next year Jags, who I bet are probably still debating signing Tim Tebow. Honestly could they be any worse with him? Next up for the Colts is a wild card date with the Chiefs. I don’t like either of them.
New York Jets 20 Miami 7
Now we also all know that Miami was not much of a threat, we do know that Carolina in the NFC is, but Miami in the AFC is not. They sure looked good for most of the season but one of the games that affected how the Steelers made out made this fun to watch. Don’t think anyone out there expected the fish to survive and even fewer of us expected the Jets to do anything good either. One day QB Ralph Wilson will be good in this league. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill had three interceptions.
Minnesota 14 Detroit 13
Another game that nobody who is excited for the playoffs likely had any vested interest in. Detroit, I don’t know what happened to them, but news that Calvin Johnson wasn’t going to play didn’t whet my appetite for this one, the Vikings were in no better shape to do anything good either. Not surprising that this game was decided by one point. Now they both get to sit back and figure out what the hell went wrong. Just in: Leslie Frazier has just been fired in Minnesota.
New York Giants 20 Washington 6
Thank God we don’t have to hear any more debating about what to do with RGIII, or Kirk Cousins, or Mike Shanahan, or the Redskins team name, or…whatever else they can think of to bitch about. This just in: Turn out it won’t be Mike Shanahan. He just got fired.
Pittsburgh 20 Cleveland 7
One of the four games that a lot of us had to be watching. There were four games yesterday, each one directly affecting the other, all in the AFC. Pittsburgh needed to win obviously, they needed San Diego, Baltimore and the Dolphins all to lose too. The Steelers were not far off from a miracle yesterday, but in the end it was the Chargers that got all of the help. Starting out 0-4 is partially what led to this for Pittsburgh. Le’veon Bell on the other side is a huge bright side for a team proud in football tradition.
Green Bay 33 Chicago 28:
One of the most important, and probably most-watched games on the schedule yesterday, two NFC games yesterday would determine the division leader/winner. Late in this one it looked like Jay Cutler and the Bears just might do it, then Aaron Rodgers stepped up and once again made a lot of people wonder ‘Brett, who?’ Rodgers converted on a late 4th down chance and scored. The two teams traded shots all game long. The only thing that would have made this any sweeter would be if it was at Lambeau Field. Next up, the 49ers.
New England 34, Buffalo 20:
Some teams needed New England to lose this game. What were those people thinking? New England doesn’t lose games like this. Give Buffalo the credit though, they scored 20 points without quarterback EJ Manual. This team will be good next year. New England won its 13th straight home game against Buffalo, including 12-0 since Gillette opened in 2002.
New Orleans 42 Tampa Bay 17:
Drew Brees has no trouble destroying the lowly Buccaneers, who can be credited too, with scoring two touchdowns against a clearly superior football team in the Saints. Brees led with 381 yards and four TDs. Tampa Bay ends a strange season with four wins but showed glimpses of promise through the down stretch. Since week 10, they beat Miami, Atlanta and Detroit (week after week after week) then beat Buffalo two weeks after, then finished off with 17 points in New Orleans. Hmmm maybe Josh Freeman was the problem. Find out next year.
San Francisco 23 Arizona 20:
Seventeen first-quarter points for the 9ers were too much for Arizona to overcome despite the success they have had on home turf this year. They put up 13 points in the fourth quarter to come to within a field goal of tying the game but SF prevailed. SF now finishes with the NFC’s 5th seed.
San Diego 27 Kansas City 24 OT:
All of the friggin games that Kansas City won easily this season and they could not win this one!?!? Disgusted I am. The one team that won nine straight games to open the season and they could not beat the Chargers. Stupid field goal kicker Ryan Succop couldn’t even hit from 41 yards out with four seconds left in the game, when he just missed the goal post and gave the home side Chargers a chance to win it in overtime.
Seattle 27 St. Louis 9:
Was it even possible for the Seahawks to lose this game? The Rams have absolutely nothing going for them. They will probably be QB Brady Quinn’s last pitt stop too. I expect they will probably release him any day now, even though he hardly played. On the other side of things, Seattle ensured the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through the Pacific Northwest.
Denver 34, Oakland 14:
Broncos beat the Raiders for the top seed in the AFC. The Broncos (13-3) were nearly perfect in building a 31-0 halftime lead before coach John Fox gave Manning and some other regulars the second half off to rest for the first playoff game two weeks from now in Denver.
Philadelphia 24 Dallas 22:
Kyle Orton seemed poise to do what Tony Romo could not do, then Orton wound up doing what Romo usually does, and that is throw a huge interception and kiss the ball game goodbye. Orton in fact looked great for the entire game, then threw the ball slightly behind his intended receiver and it was bye-bye playoffs. Dallas had two key 4th down attempts, the first one failed miserably as they tried a playaction-pass on a 4th-and-one and wound up turning the ball over not far from midfield. On their next 4th down play, Orton found receiver Dez Bryant who found the end zone and all of the sudden Cowboys were back in it, they obviously went for the two-point convert but Orton’s throw was low.
AFC Wild Card Round: Chargers at Bengals
Chiefs at Colts
NFC Wild Card Round: Saints vs Eagles
49ers vs Panthers