There was good and bad news that hit a lot of teams in Week 16. Playoff contender Tennessee suffered a major blow before a key matchup in Week 17. Playoff participant Oakland suffered a blow that should end their Super Bowl dreams early. There was good news for a few teams, though. See below for my NFL Week 16 Recap.
NFL Betting – Regular Season Week 16 Recap
New York Giants 19, Philadelphia Eagles 24
The Giants finally dropped a game. I’m not too worried about the score since Giants’ QB Eli Manning threw 3 interceptions. I still believe that Eli and the G-Men are ready to make a Super Bowl run come playoff time. The emergence of RB Paul Perkins, who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, has a lot to do with it. Philly has a great base to build upon. The Eagles should be a force in 2017.
Atlanta Falcons 33, Carolina Panthers 16
The implosion of Carolina’s defense is something to behold. But the real implosion in Charlotte must do with last year’s league MVP, QB Cam Newton. I feel terrible for those season long fantasy football players, like my brother, who decided to keep Cam on their teams. Think about it. 2015’s NFL MVP has a 77.5 QB rating. He’s thrown 18 TD passes to 11 picks this season. For Atlanta, the fact that Matt Ryan completed passes to 10 different receivers in this game should give hope to Falcon fans that ATL could march to the Super Bowl in 2017.
Miami Dolphins 34, Buffalo Bills 31
The emergence of Bills’ QB Tyrod Taylor as one of the better signal-callers in the NFL won’t be enough for coach Rex Ryan to keep his job. Taylor was phenomenal versus an okay Miami defense when throwing for 329 yards and 3 TD passes. It wasn’t enough. The problem with the Bills this season is that it has a bad defense. Miami rushed for 261 yards against Buffalo’s D in Week 17. The Dolphins are in the playoffs in coach Adam Gase’s first season.
San Diego Chargers 17, Cleveland Browns 20
The Browns won their first game of the season. It was a spirited effort by Cleveland who held the Chargers’ usually high-flying offense to only 17 points. It’s hard to imagine San Diego not making some big moves during the off-season. They should consider a back-up plan for QB Phillip Rivers, whose TD to INT ratio is 14 to 12 in the last 6 Charger games. Cleveland QB Robert Griffin III is too injury prone to be the answer in Cleveland. He suffered a concussion in Week 16.
Washington Redskins 41, Chicago Bears 21
I thought Chicago’s defense would step up. Instead, Washington, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, stepped it up. QB Kirk Cousins was as good as he’s ever been versus Chicago’s D. Cousins rushed for 2 TDs and 30 yards while throwing for 270 yards and a TD. Washington rushed for a total of 208 yards versus the Bears’ terrible defense. Chicago QB Matt Barkley threw 5 interceptions. There are signs that if Barkley can take care of the football, he could turn into a viable starter in the NFL. That’s a massive, huge, if.
Tennessee Titans 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 38
Wow. A game after losing their coach, Gus Bradley, the Jaguars came out fired up on offense and defense. The Jags limited the Titans to 58 rushing yards. It was a terrific performance. Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles threw for 325 yards and a TD. The bad news for the Titans is that QB Marcus Mariota went down with a broken leg. That’s horrible for Tennessee…for next season since the Titans have been eliminated from the playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings 25, Green Bay Packers 38
The Packers’ offense obliterated the Vikings’ defense at Lambeau in Week 16. Rumor has it that the Vikings freelanced on defense during the loss to the Packers. When a coaching staff loses that kind of respect, it’s not a good thing. Minnesota could lie down like a tired pig in Week 17 now that Green Bay knocked them out of the NFC Playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts 25, Oakland Raiders 33
Raiders’ QB Derek Carr went down with a broken leg, just like Mariota did. That’s terrible news for the Raiders who are 12 and 3. Oakland has had an unbelievable season, but without Derek Carr it’s hard to see them doing much in the playoffs. Indy QB Andrew Luck threw 2 interceptions in the first half against the Raiders. Unless you have a decent offensive line in the NFL, you’re not going to make it to the playoffs. The O-Line has been the Colts’ Achilles Heel for two years running.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, New Orleans Saints 31
The Saints played a real game in Week 16. It held a decent offense to only 24 points. QB Drew Brees threw only 1 TD pass and less than 300 yards (okay, he did throw for 299 yards), and the Saints won the game. New Orleans has the building block to be a contender. They need to continue to work on the defense. Tampa Bay could still make the playoffs if things go their way in Week 17.
Cincinnati Bengals 10, Houston Texans 12
Houston QB Tom Savage isn’t going to win his fantasy owners any games, but he looks perfectly suited for the Texans. That could lead to Houston, who won the division with the victory over Cincinnati and Tennessee’s loss to Jacksonville in Week 16, upsetting some better teams in the playoffs. Houston’s defense is good enough. Savage doesn’t make mistakes. Cincinnati? They were terrible throughout this entire season although Andy Dalton to Brandon LaFell was great again. Lafell caught 6 of 10 targets for 130 yards and a TD.
San Francisco 49’ers 22, Los Angeles Rams 21
The San Francisco 49’ers are so good that they beat the L.A. Rams. I have the right to be somewhat of a jerk. I’ve lived in Los Angeles since 1997. A lot of us weren’t too happy about the Rams coming to town. We wanted either Oakland or San Diego. Sure, the Rams have fans here but those fans are more fair weather than Raider fans. In any case, L.A.’s offense is so bad that it could only muster 99 rushing yards versus San Francisco, whose defense allows an average of 176 rushing yards per game.
Denver Broncos 10, Kansas City Chiefs 33
Kansas City was terrific against the rival Broncos only a week after losing to Tennessee. The Chiefs have a shot to win the AFC West Division and secure a bye should they win in Week 17 and should Oakland lose in Week 17. Denver has some decisions to make over the summer. The first is how to protect whichever QB, Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch, they decide to go with in 2017. The line can’t run block, which means that defenses blitz Denver quarterbacks way too much.
Baltimore Ravens 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 31
The Pittsburgh Steelers refuse to lose. That’s what happened this game. It was a back and forth affair with the Steelers finally coming out on top because they simply refuse to lose. Pittsburgh’s defense has become much better at stopping the rush. That’s good news for Steeler fans. Baltimore has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Detroit Lions 21, Dallas Cowboys 42
The Lions fell apart in Must Win Game 1 versus the Dallas Cowboys this past Monday night. But, Detroit can win the NFC North with a victory over the rival Packers in Green Bay in Week 17. There’s also a chance that Detroit could get a bye should Atlanta lose to New Orleans. Dallas is in playoff form. They have to be careful not to peak too much in Week 17.