Our Thoughts – 2014 NFL Week 16 Recap

Our Thoughts NFL Week 16 Recap 2014

Most fantasy football leagues ended yesterday. So if people seem weirdly upset today, give them a break. It just means that A.J. Green (Bengals WR) probably lost them their fantasy playoff game. #There’sAlwaysNextYear

(We’re not allowed to talk about Frank Gore or A.J. Green in our house right now. They are on Momma O’s naughty list this year.)

Here’s what we thought about week 16 in the NFL…

Jacksonville (21), Tennessee (13) – This was a battle of teams with only two wins each this season. Jax rookie QB Blake Bortles was playing through a foot injury, but managed to make enough plays to put the Jaguars on top. Jax needs to upgrade their offensive line this offseason – they let Bortles get sacked four times, which set the franchise record for sacks allowed in a season. With another loss, Tennessee stays in the running with Tampa Bay for the first draft pick next year.

Washington (27), Philadelphia (24) – This loss basically eliminated Philly from having any chance at making the play-offs as a wild card. QB Mark Sanchez threw an interception and lost a fumble – bringing his total to 13 turnovers in 8 games. He’s also getting sacked more than QB Nick Foles did because he holds onto the ball too long while he tries to figure out what the defense is doing. The goat of this game could be Philly’s kicker, Cody Parker – he missed two field goals, which would have given Philly the win, or Philly’s cornerbacks – the Eagles have allowed as many big plays down the field as any team in the league. Washington QB Robert Griffin III was un-benched after back-up Colt McCoy was lost with a neck injury and responded with his best game of the year.

San Diego (38), San Francisco (35) – We actually turned this game off when the Chargers were down 21 points and we were upset because both of us and Mom had put 49ers RB Frank Gore on our bench for our fantasy play-offs (based on his performance so far this season, that’s where he belonged!). Figures the guy had his best game of the season. In fact, despite the 49ers rushing for 355 yards, which was a franchise record, the Chargers came back to force OT and win by kicking a field goal that resulted from a fumble by the 49ers. The Chargers can now earn a wild card play-off spot next week with a victory over the Chiefs. Chargers QB Philip Rivers deserves credit for bringing this team back when he was playing without his leading WR and working with his fifth-string center.

Carolina (17), Cleveland (13) – Cleveland QB Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) did not show any inspiring play before leaving the game with a hamstring injury in the second quarter. Cleveland’s offense seemed to flow more when Brian Hoyer came in to replace him. Panthers QB Cam Newton made some great plays in his return to the field after missing a week due to injuries he sustained in a car crash. He also called out Panthers fans as “classless” for cheering when Manziel got hurt. The Panthers will play the Falcons in Atlanta next week, with the winner of the game being crowned the NFC South champion and heading to the play-offs.

Detroit (20), Chicago (14) – The Lions were lucky to come out with the “W” in this one – QB Matt Stafford threw two red zone interceptions and there were lots of sloppy errors on their part. If they play like that next week against the Packers, they will not win the division and be slated in as one of the wild card seeds in the playoffs. Lions WR Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. Megatron, reached over 1,000 receiving yards for the fifth straight season, which is a team record. Bears QB Jimmy Clausen, playing in place of the benched Jay Cutler, looked surprisingly comfortable but would have looked even better if Bears wide receivers didn’t drop so many of the passes he threw them.

Houston (25), Baltimore (13) – The Ravens might have cost themselves a play-off spot with this loss. After we mentioned last week how QB Joe Flacco and new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak were a great match, they could not handle the Texan’s defensive plan, and it didn’t help that they lost two starting members of their offensive line. The Texans drew up a great game plan for quarterback Case Keenum, their fourth starting quarterback of the year due to injury, and who was unemployed until the Texans called him last week. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson became the 10th player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes. As for “What J.J. Watt Did” – he became Houston’s all-time franchise leader in sacks, and he did it in 20 fewer games than the previous record holder.

Miami (37), Minnesota (35) – The Dolphins squeaked by with a win with only seconds remaining in the game as they blocked a punt for a safety (2 points), but were still eliminated from the play-offs due to the outcomes of other games. Vikings rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater has shown growth over the season, and if the team can strengthen his offensive line, he could be even better next year. The Dolphins also announced that coach Joe Philbin will keep his job – there have been lots of rumors circling due to the Dolphin’s so-so record and drama under his leadership the past two years.

Atlanta (30), New Orleans (14) – In the cellar that is the NFC South, the Falcons kicked the Saints out of play-off contention, ensuring the winner of next week Atlanta/Carolina game with walk away with not only the division titles, but a losing record with only 7 wins. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan hasn’t been holding this team back but his performances have gone unnoticed with the team’s less than stellar record. While the dome in New Orleans used to offer the Saints an almost unfair home advantage, this was their fifth straight home loss of the season. QB Drew Brees and TE Jimmy Graham should be locked in a room together this offseason and forced to get their fung-schwei back together – more often than not this season, they have not been on the same page and it’s hurt the offense.

New England (17), New York Jets (16) – What a great rivalry game – and perhaps the last one with Rex Ryan as the Jets’ coach. Many assume he will be on his way out after another losing season. The Jets could use a decent quarterback – Geno Smith followed the same pattern of playing well but then had one or two critical mistakes that cost them the game. The Jets gave the Pats all they could handle, but in the end their win guaranteed them a first round play-off bye week. They became the first team in league history to do so for five straight seasons.

Pittsburgh (20), Kansas City (12) – Pittsburgh secured their trip to the play-offs with this victory, which left the Chiefs needing some help and to win some tie-breakers next week to make it there themselves. The Chiefs still need help at WR, while the Steelers defense is coming into their own. The Steelers game against the Bengals next week will determine the winner of the AFC North division.

Green Bay (20), Tampa Bay (3) – Despite being sick, QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers clinched a play-off spot with their victory and their game next week against the Lions will determine the winner of the NFC North division. On the flip side, with their 13th loss of the season, the Buccaneers kept themselves in contention for next year’s first draft pick.

New York Giants (37), St. Louis (27) – After a rough start to the season and being knocked out of play-off contention, the Giants finally look like they’ve decided to start playing football. The most exciting thing about the Giants overall this season has been rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. We can’t not mention the tussle in this game that got four players ejected. The Rams still have a long way to go and have been very inconsistent this season – they shut out opponents two weeks in a row but then let the Giants pile on 514 yards of offense in their own house.

Dallas (42), Indianapolis (7) – Didn’t see this one coming – the Cowboys jumped out to a 28-0 lead by halftime and never looked back, clinching the NFC East division title. League leading rusher RB DeMarco Murray played despite having surgery on a broken hand last Monday. QB Tony Romo also had his fifth game out of the last six with a passer rating over 129.0 (which is really good) and pushed him past Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers for the league lead. Colts QB Andrew Luck was pulled from the game in the third quarter once the Colts were so far behind. The Colts don’t have a running game and he missed his leading receiver T.Y. Hilton, who was out due to injury. The Colts offense was on fire the first nine weeks of the season before their bye, but since returning they’ve struggled and don’t have the momentum teams desire going into the play-offs.

Oakland (26), Buffalo (24) – Everyone still seems to be surprised when the Raiders win, but they are 3-2 over their last five games. (Maybe the win was karma for this kind act by the team this week.) While rookie QB Derek Carr doesn’t have much talent to work with on offense, their defense is feisty. Rookie defensive linebacker Khalil Mack is a star. The Bills are no longer in play-off contention with this loss, extending their NFL record for the team with the most years since a playoff appearance. They need a new quarterback – journeyman Kyle Orton is not the answer. He did bring the team within two points, but also threw two picks.

Seattle (36), Arizona (6) – The Cardinals have quarterback issues and have to hope that Drew Stanton is ready to return for the play-offs. This loss might have cost Arizona the NFC West division, as well as the top seed in the NFC, which would make them a wild card entry and force them to play their post-season games on the road. Seattle has been steamrolling its opponents over the last five weeks. Their offense is clicking and their defense is back to its suffocating self. They look just as good, if not better, then they did at the end of the last regular season before they went on to smother the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati (37), Denver (28) – Didn’t see this one coming either. The Bengals finally proved that they could win a big prime-time game. Thanks to the Broncos’ injury-laden defense, Cincinnati was able to run the ball up and down the field all night. Denver QB Peyton Manning did not look like himself, throwing 4 touchdowns. There was a lot of Manningface and now there are a lot of questions about his arm strength and the Broncos offense in general. The game had implications for more than these two teams – it gave the Pats the 1st seed for the AFC in the playoffs.

Thanks to our new email followers this week. If you would like to join them and experience the joy of The Snap in your inbox, enter your email in the box on the right side of the screen.

We wish you and your families the happiest of holidays! Don’t worry – we’ll still be Snapping and posting new content over the next two weeks. Let’s face it – we don’t know what else to do with ourselves when we have time off from work.

– Val and Michelle

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