28 Dec Week 16 Recap with Matt Lownes
The NFC Least will come down to Week 17 with the eliminated Eagles hosting the Washington Football Team on Sunday Night Football! The Giants will host the Cowboys in a 1:00 pm E.T. affair, which could lead to some serious drama on SNF.
Currently, the Giants, Cowboys, and Washington Football Team all have a chance at the division after Week 16, and my prediction is that the Cowboys will win the division by beating the Giants and having the Eagles defeat WFT.
Aaron Rodgers Ices Titans
The Green Bay Packers will most likely be the top seed in the NFC playoffs after defeating the Titans last night in the snow. Rodgers went 21 of 25 for 231 yards, four touchdowns passes, and an interception. While Rodgers may not win the MVP award due to magic Mahomes, Rodgers is having an incredible season at age 37, celebrating his birthday December 2.
This season Rodgers has a 70.3 completion percentage, 4,059 yards, 44 touchdowns (two away from a career high) and only five interceptions. Is this the best Aaron Rodgers we have seen? Yes it is, as he has full command of the offense, excellent playmakers to throw to, an above average offensive line.
Davante Adams had three touchdown catches last night and is almost, statistically speaking, having the best season by a Packers wide receiver ever. The Packers are the NFC favorite to make the Super Bowl, and this year Rodgers and the offense are hot going into the playoffs.
The Titans just need to win next week against the Texans to make the playoffs, so forgetting about last night is mandatory. They played bad in a snow game with a quarterback that has always been in warm weather. It cannot happen again in the playoffs, but I am optimistic that the Titans had a bad game and will rebound in Week 17.
Colts blow 17-0 lead, Steelers revive offense.
After a demanding 17-0 lead, the Colts stopped running the football, could not get anything going through the air, and let the Steelers outscore them 28-7 to finish the game. I do not understand why the Colts stopped running the ball, as Jonathan Taylor looked really good in the first half.
This has been a problem with the Colts throughout the season, they play really good football on both sides but do not play four full quarters of good football. The Colts absolutely have to win in Week 17 versus the Jaguars to have a chance at making the playoffs, but they have no one to blame but their selves if they do not make it.
After losing three straight games, the Steelers managed to wake up after being down 17-0, and Big Ben and company got the job done against the outstanding Colts defense. Here is the problem – Big Ben threw the ball 49 times! The Steelers cannot get the run game going, as they ran the ball 14 times yesterday for only 20 yards.
If the Steelers have any thought of winning a Super Bowl they absolutely have to get their run game going, or they’ll be a fast exit in the playoffs.
Haskins Cut by WFT
Dwayne Haskins has been cut by the Washington Football Team after a miserable week for the former first round pick. Unfortunately for Haskins, it has absolutely nothing to do with this play, although his performance throughout his career has been mostly up and down. Immaturity is the main reason behind cutting Haskins, and Haskins did not have the benefit of being drafted by Rivera or current management.
Haskins has no one but to blame but himself for constant immaturity issues over the past week and season. Getting benched in Washington’s loss to the Panthers is a new low for Haskins as he was replaced by former XFL starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke. First, he was caught at a strip-club without a mask on. Second, he skipped the mandatory Starting QB Media session after being benched yesterday, instead leaving the stadium and driving home.
Eventually the Washington PR Team got Haskins to do the session from his house, but the former first round pick completely embarrassed himself on and off the field this week, questioning his maturity in a week where Rivera removed him as a team captain. In another sad tale of “what happened to…”, we can only hope Haskins turns it around fast or else we may be watching Haskins in The Rock’s XFL next year.
In 16 career games and 13 starts, Haskins has thrown for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and has fumbled 12 times, losing eight of them. Not great Bob. While no one can accurately say what will happen with Haskins’ football future, for now he is a free agent and someone will most likely give him a shot at making a roster in 2021.
Jets Stun Browns, lose Lawrence Sweepstakes
The New York Jets are out of the Trevor Lawrence race after stunning the Cleveland Browns this week. While that is enough talk about the Jets, the Browns legitimately could go 11-5 and miss the playoffs. The Browns will face the Steelers Week 17, needing a win and help to make the playoffs.
The Browns were missing four receivers and a linebacker due to COVID-19 and starting left tackle Jedrick Wills due to an illness, but the Browns should be ashamed they ran the ball as little as they did -18 carries for 42 yards – when your team arguably has the best running back duo in the league is not going to cut it.
Like the Colts, the Browns can only blame themselves if they do not make the playoffs. Losing to the Jets in week 16 is inexcusable, regardless of COVID-19 issues and injury issues. Baker Mayfield did the best he could but still fumbled the ball twice, both of which are inexcusable for him in this type of game. He had to play elite football, and he did not.
NFL Condensed Soup
Andy Dalton and the Cowboys knocked the Eagles out of the NFC Least race, winning 37-17. The Cowboys are hot and should be taken seriously going into Week 17. Jalen Hurts is proving to be a starting quarterback in this league. This year Hurts has thrown for 989 yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions, and has a QB Rating of 85.7 in 14 games and 3 starts. The quarterback controversy is real in Philly, and we will not hear the end of it anytime soon.
The Saints crushed the Vikings on Christmas, as Alvin Kamara ran for six touchdowns. Vikings need help on defense.
On Saturday, the Bucs cruised to a 47-7 victory over the COVID-19-plagued Lions, the 49ers stunned the Cardinals, and the Dolphins thrillingly benched Tua for Fitzmagic, resulting in a game-winning drive with 22 seconds left in the 4th quarter. The Raiders need to stop playing for field goals and fix their defense in 2021.
Major props to C.J. Beathard for starting and beating the Cardinals almost a year to the day of his brother’s tragic death in a bar fight.
The Chiefs were heavily contained by the hard-fighting Falcons, but got the 17-14 win and will have the 1st seed in the AFC playoffs.
The Bears “revenged” themselves of Mike Glennon, crushing the former Bears starter and current Jaguars starter 41-17. The Jaguars will get Trevor Lawrence…constant pain for Jets fans. I hope it works out for Lawrence in Jacksonville, but the Jags are just as poor of a franchise as the Jets. Good luck Trevor.
The Ravens crushed the Giants 27-13 and are hitting on all cylinders at the perfect time. Giants could draft at number three overall, or win the division and pick 17th or worse in the 2021 NFL Draft. Wild times for Giants fans.
The Bengals and Texans agreed defense was optional, as Brandon Allen led the Bengals to a 37-31 win. The Dolphins own the Texans’ first round pick, and would be the second team ever to make the playoffs and have a top five pick in the NFL Draft.
The Chargers beat the Broncos 19-16 and successfully hit a game-winning field goal without any major drama whatsoever.
The Seahawks defense stepped up as they won 20-9 over the Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff has a broken thumb according to Ian Rapoport and may not be able to play Week 17, which could ultimately end the Rams’ season.
Finally, my MNF prediction: Bills 31 Patriots 21. The Patriots have pride to play for, while the Bills want to keep their winning ways, and I think the Bills are a better football team all-around compared to the current Patriots team.
Matt’s Life Advice
As soon as the NFL regular season ends, I will be dropping some mock drafts over the playoffs and offseason, so there is that to look forward to.
2020 has been a rough year for everyone. My advice to you is enter 2021 with a completely new mindset. Set some goals for yourself that can be completed within 30 days, and remember to have fun doing the little things that you enjoy! Have a great week everyone!
Diehard Penn Stater, and unapologetic Jets fan.
Graduating from Penn State in 2019, his love for football is as strong as his hatred for Ohio State and the New England Patriots. “I’ll name my first-born son after Sam Darnold if he can win us a Super Bowl.”