Mahomes for MVP? Jim Berry, Chiefs website
Just when you thought the NFL couldn't get any more exciting, week 17 said "hold my beer" and proceeded to wow us. Here's how I saw it play out:
- Chiefs' quarterback Pat Mahomes secured only the third 50 passing touchdown season in NFL history in their 35-3 dismantling of the Raiders. He's only in his first full season as the starting quarterback and is widely considered the frontrunner for league MVP.
-Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield broke the rookie passing touchdown record in a losing effort. He threw his 27th touchdown pass of the season as they tried to keep the Ravens out of the playoffs. Mind you, he didn't start the season. He had to "Wally Pip" Tyrod Taylor to get the starting job.
-In the "Loser Leaves Town" match, the Colts beat the Titans 33-17 to get the final playoff spot in the AFC. Props to the NFL for adjusting the schedule to allow for games this important to take place between division rivals and allowing it to be flexed into the Sunday night time slot.
- Jags executive vice president Tom Coughlin called running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon's behavior on the sideline "disrespectful, selfish, and was unbecoming of a professional football player." Fournette and Yeldon sat on the bench the entire game and generally seemed uninterested in the game as one was inactive and the other didn't play. Is this Coughlin being an old, or the players being millenials, or both?
-The Steelers barely edged out the Bengals 16-13 and missed the playoffs. One can point to their horrible loss to the Raiders a couple weeks ago, or the come from ahead loss to the Saints, or even their tying of the Browns on opening week. No matter how you slice it, this is completely on them.
-Rumor has it that the Dolphins may get rid of head coach Adam Gase. It would be a terrible decision considering what Gase has done for all the quarterbacks he worked with. If Ryan Tannehill had been healthy, their season may have turned out differently. I know of a certain quarterback and head coach combo that could use a guy like Gase.
-Without a shot at a playoff spot and only a little more than pride on the line, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers started the final game of the season against the Lions. He did not finish however because he was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a concussion. What a terrible way to start your offseason when you're also looking for a new head coach.
-The Skins were blanked by the Eagles 24-0. If that wasn't bad enough, they only put up 89 yards of offense! Their 68 yards passing was only nine more than Eagles leading receiver Alshon Jeffrey had. Their 21 yards rushing was three less than Eagles third leading rusher Darren Sproles totaled.
-Black Monday is already upon us. The Jets fired Todd Bowles and the Bucs fired Dirk Koetter. Several other coaches are expected to be let go. Among them are Cardinals coach Steve Wilks, who was only given one year to work with an inferior roster, Broncos' Vance Joseph and previously mentioned Gase in Miami.The playoffs are set and will be exciting to see. The road to the Super Bowl goes through New Orleans in the NFC and Kansas City in the AFC. Number one seeds have been nine of the last ten Super Bowl participants, but this season feels different. Guess that's why Herm Edwards gave us his famous line.
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
You can listen to The Killer B's with Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank every weekday on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 from 3 pm - 6 pm!