2016 NFL Regular Season Week 17 Recap

 

Wow, that was some NFL Regular Season, wasn’t it? There’s no way to describe the surprises that occurred during this season in the NFL. Some teams, like New England and Green Bay, ended up making it to the playoffs. Other teams, like Denver and Carolina, failed to sniff the playoffs. See below for a recap of every single NFL game in our Week 17 recap!

Editor’s Note: Check out our NFL Playoffs Wildcard Weekend Picks by Matt Ross and the Wilcard Weekend Betting Preview by DS Williamson

NFL Betting – Regular Season Week 17 Recap

Jacksonville Jaguars 20, Indianapolis Colts 24

The Jaguars fired coach Gus Bradley before Week 17’s game against Indianapolis. The good news for the Jaguars is that QB Blake Bortles finished the regular season by playing his best. In Week 16 Bortles threw for 325 yards and a TD. Versus Indianapolis, he threw for 301 yards and a TD. I don’t think the Jags are going to have any trouble finding a coach. There shouldn’t be a person on the planet who doesn’t want to work for owner Shahid Khan.

For the Colts, it was another disappointing season. Owner Jim Irsay may end up firing coach Chuck Pagano. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. Until the Colts get a viable offensive line, no coach will be able to get them ahead in the AFC South.

New England Patriots 35, Miami Dolphins 14

The Patriots are a solid favorite to win Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5. New England has a balanced offense with RB LeGarrette Blount behind the best quarterback to ever play the game in Tom Brady. What’s surprising is that, statistically, the Pats’ defense ended up as the best in the NFL after Week 17. New England’s D allows less than 16 points per game on average. That’s remarkable.

Miami is on the right track. Soon, though, the Dolphins are going to have to rebuild their defense. The offense appears set if QB Ryan Tannehill can return from the injury he suffered a few weeks ago, but…man, the defense is a mess! It’s time to get rid of DT Ndamukong Suh. He causes more problems than he’s worth. He had only 5 sacks this season.

Chicago Bears 10, Minnesota Vikings 38

The Vikings’ offense looked great in Week 17. Too bad it didn’t mean anything. The Vikings have a decent defense, but, like the Colts, Minnesota won’t go anywhere unless they get a decent offensive line. If the Vikings do that, they should contend for a playoff spot in 2017.

For the Bears, it’s all about the QB position. Chicago might want to consider moving up for Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or one of the other high profile QBs in this April’s Draft. RB Jordan Howard and WR Cameron Meredith are both solid. The defense has made great strides The Bears could be a playoff contender in the woeful NFC with a legit QB.

Buffalo Bills 10, New York Jets 30

As I suspected, the Buffalo Bills wouldn’t put up too much of a fight against the New York Jets in Week 17. I didn’t expect the Jets to win by 20 points. Both these teams could have bright futures. The Jets need a QB. They also need a key player in the secondary.

The Bills have one of the best young quarterbacks on their roster in Tyrod Taylor. Rumor has it that Buffalo doesn’t want to pay to keep Taylor. If that’s a fact, forget it. It won’t matter who coaches the Bills in the future. They need Taylor to have any shot at making it to the playoffs next season.

Dallas Cowboys 13, Philadelphia Eagles 27

Dallas rested their starters. That was a good move. It’s going to be difficult for Dallas to beat Atlanta, due to the Falcons’ offense, Green Bay, due to Aaron Rodgers, or the Giants in the NFC Playoffs. The Giants are the real danger to the Boys getting to the Super Bowl this season. New York has already beaten Dallas twice.

Philadelphia had a successful season. QB Carson Wentz is going to be much better next season. Not only that, but the Philly defense played a more effective system this year than it did last year. If Philly can fill in a couple of key positions, they could use a bruising RB since Ryan Mathews gets hurt so much, the Eagles might challenge in the NFC East in 2017.

Cleveland Browns 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Pittsburgh beat Cleveland with their back-ups. At least Cleveland got the much-needed victory last season. If I’m Cleveland, I’m thinking hard about drafting Myles Garrett, Texas A&M’s defensive end, number one in April. There should be a QB on the market (Tyrod Taylor perhaps?) that Hue Jackson can sign.

The Browns aren’t that far away from being a contender. The entire roster is young. The team has a shutdown corner in Joe Haden. The offensive line isn’t bad. If their rookies improve next year, and they get a great player like Garrett, they could jump up to 6 wins in 2017.

Pittsburgh should march to the Super Bowl. Sure, at times the team has looked terrible. But, two things happened to the Steelers in the second half of the season that must make their fans giddy. First, RB Le’Veon Bell showed that he’s the best all-around player in the NFL. Bell was unbelievable as both a rusher and a pass-catcher once on the football field. Second, Pittsburgh’s D improved to the point where opponents only average 20 points per game against it. Steelers are Super Bowl bound is what I’m predicting!

Carolina Panthers 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

I don’t want to write much about the Carolina Panthers. Their terrible play wasn’t a fluke. Denver not making the playoffs was sort of a fluke. But, Carolina being bad is just how good the team is now that Cam seems to have problems reading coverages and Carolina’s defense is a pile of garbage. Don’t be surprised if Carolina only wins 6 games against next season.

Tampa Bay is a total contrast from Carolina. The thing that Tampa desperately needs is a solid running back, someone to take pressure off Jameis. If they get that, Doug Martin isn’t it, the Buccaneers could challenge for the NFC South Division.

Houston Texans 17, Tennessee Titans 24

The Texans aren’t a bad team. What Brock Osweiler needs to do is stop throwing interceptions. Or, Tom Savage must stop getting concussions. I think Houston at least makes it to the AFC Divisional Playoffs this season. Next season? Who knows? J.J. Watt should be back. So, a much-improved Houston team could be on the horizon.

Tennessee is on the cusp of being one of the better teams in the AFC. There are two things that the Titans desperately need to happen to become an elite team. The first is obvious. QB Marcus Mariota, one of the most impressive players I watched this season, must come back strong from his broken leg. If Marcus does that, the offense is going to be set. Second, the defense needs a shut-down corner. If that happens, Tennessee should win the AFC South and lose only 5 games in 2017.

Baltimore Ravens 10, Cincinnati Bengals 27

The Bengals finally got it going. Too late. Much, much too late. What happened to Andy Dalton this season? I have no clue. In this game, he was great. Baltimore was a huge disappointment this season. I’m not sure what the issue is. There was a point during the season when I thought the Ravens might make it to the playoffs where they would subsequently leave all teams in their wake. Both the Ravens and Bengals should be competitive next season in the second deepest division in the NFL, the AFC North.

New Orleans Saints 32, Atlanta Falcons 38

Atlanta is my second choice to win the NFC and go to the Super Bowl this season. From my perspective, the Falcons are as solid of a team as any in the NFC. The one difference is that their defense plays zone coverage, which my number one choice to win the NFC and the Super Bowl, doesn’t do. Matt Ryan, FYI, is my NFL MVP. So, even though I’m a Saints fan, I’m not going to hate on Matty Ice because of it.

As far as my beloved New Orleans Saints are concerned, all they really need to do is get healthy on defense, stay healthy, and make sure that coach Sean Payton stays with them. If they do those things, New Orleans should battle with Atlanta and Tampa Bay for the NFC South Division in 2017.

New York Giants 19, Washington Redskins 10

Hail to the Redskins? I don’t think so. Unfortunately for Washington and their fans, Washington lost straight up 10 to 19 as a -7.5 favorite in a game they needed to win. Washington’s missing something. I’m not sure what it is because I’m not sure if it’s a player. It might be coaching.

The New York Giants are going to win Super Bowl 51. Yes, I truly believe that. The Giants’ have exactly what you need to win a Super Bowl: a Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and the best defense in the NFL. Sound crazy? That’s exactly how Denver won Super Bowl 50.

Seattle Seahawks 25, San Francisco 49’ers 23

If you’re a Seahawks’ fan, you must be wondering how well you’re going to defend against teams like Atlanta, Dallas, Green Bay and the Giants. Oh, wait, Seattle’s losing straight up this week to Detroit. Yep. I just wrote that.

The San Francisco 49’ers fired Chip Kelly after one season. What, exactly, did they expect? They handed Kelly one of the absolute worst, I mean worst, NFL rosters that I’ve ever seen. If the 49’ers played in the AFC, they would have lost every game. Chip’s probably happy. Did you see how many openings there are in college football? Stanford might be looking for a football coach after San Francisco’s front office gives David Shaw the keys to their Edsel.

Oakland Raiders 6, Denver Broncos 24

The Raiders are the longest shot on the board of the teams in the playoffs at 60 to 1 to win the Lombardi Trophy. It makes sense. The Raiders had one of the best seasons they’ve had in a long time. But, they’re down to rookie QB Conor Cook. That sucks.

Denver lost their coach over the weekend. Gary Kubiak decided to retire due to health reasons. I don’t blame him. He’s been part of the NFL since I’ve been watching it. At least, it feels like he has. In any case, Denver becomes the premier place for every NFL coach available. It doesn’t get any better than working for John Elway.

Arizona Cardinals 44, Los Angeles Rams 6

The Cardinals punctuated a disappointing season by demolishing the Los Angeles Rams. The one thing to point out about this game is that the great Larry Fitzgerald punctuated his hall of fame career with 5 catches for 43 yards and a TD. Fitzgerald goes out on top. He caught 107 passes for 1,023 yards and 6 TDs this season. Larry played his entire career with the Cardinals. Good luck to you in retirement, Mr. Fitzgerald!

Kansas City Chiefs 37, San Diego Chargers 27

KC’s offense has turned into one of the best units in the NFL. That’s great. But, what’s up with the D? How did it allow the Chargers to score 27 points? Granted, the Chiefs could turn it on in the playoffs. Then again, either Big Ben or Terrific Tom could burn them for 400 yards and 3 TD passes. We’ll have to wait and see.

The San Diego Chargers fired coach Mike McCoy. No worries. There are very few coaches who wouldn’t want to sign on with San Diego. Phillip Rivers has at least two decent years left. RB Melvin Gordon proved he’s one of the best running backs in the NFL this season and the defense is on the right track.

Green Bay Packers 31, Detroit Lions 24

Damn, Green Bay has gotten good at the right time! Aaron Rodgers has been unreal in GB’s last 6 games. If the Giants don’t win the Super Bowl, I think that Green Bay will. In fact, my Super Bowl future bets rest solely on the NFC Wildcard game between the Packers and the Giants.

Detroit should beat Seattle. Seattle’s defense isn’t good enough to contain QB Matthew Stafford and the Detroit passing game. I have no faith that Seattle’s defense can get it done versus Detroit. Both of these teams are set up for success in 2017.