It was hat and t-shirt week in the NFL
The good, bad and ugly from NFL Week 16
Week 16 of the NFL season was hat and t-shirt week as several teams clinched division titles and playoff spots. Here a few things I observed:
-The Patriots captured their 10th consecutive AFC East division title with their 24-12 win over the Bills. The only other pro sports team to have a run like this was the Atlanta Braves in MLB. Whether you love, hate or are indifferent about them, you have to respect what they've done. Like the old saying goes "If you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin!" Or is it: "It's only cheatin if you get caught!"
-The Cowboys wrapped up their third NFC East title in the last five years following a 27-20 win over the Bucs. Although they haven't made it past the divisional round since 1995 (the last time they won a Super Bowl), this team seems poised to possibly make that a thing of the past.
-The Browns beat the hapless Bengals 26-18 behind another big performance by rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. He went 27 of 37 for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Even receiver Jarvis Landry threw a 63-yard bomb to Breshad Perriman. The Browns are an exciting young team. Let's hope they find the right coach to steer this ship.
-Apparently there was a "situation" between Bills coach Sean McDermott and his star running back LeSean McCoy this week that led to McDermott benching McCoy. McCoy admitted as much but didn't elaborate. One must speculate as to whether there will be a parting of the ways this offseason, or this was a one off.
-Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota went down with a stinger in their 25-16 win over the Skins. The thing that makes this fall under "The Bad" you ask? We may be subjected to a Blaine Gabbert versus Andrew Luck "Loser Leaves Town Match" when the Titans play the Colts next week for a playoff spot.
-I wrote this article before Monday Night Football because nobody gives a damn about a Broncos (6-8) versus Raiders (3-11) game. Well, their family members might care. The NFL needs to do something about the MNF schedule. I know people buy tickets and plan around these games, but I have an idea about how to fix it. Be looking for that article soon.
-As ballsy as the Chargers played last week to beat the Chiefs, was as bad as the Ravens made them look. They were held to just 10 points, less than 200 yards total offense, and Phillip Rivers went 23 of 37 for 181 yards with two picks and was sacked four times. In other words, they pissed away their chance at the top seed in AFC.
-The Jags beat the Dolphins 17-7. It was so ugly, the teams combined for 427 total yards of offense, 4.06 yards per play average, and 20 penalties for 192 yards. This was the type of game in which the family members left early.
-Skins decided to cut safety D.J. Swearinger following disparaging remarks he made about defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. Swearinger was named a Pro Bowl alternate this year and had one year remaining on his contract. I guess saving $4.5 million dollars on next year's cap and a headache in the locker room was more important.
We will have to wait and see how the folks at 345 Park Avenue in New York decide how the schedule will play out for week 17. The league tries to make sure the last couple weeks of the season mean as much as possible to keep people interested. Playoff spots and seeding will be on the line and I'm looking forward to it.