Week sixteen was highlighted by four major upsets and Charles Woodson’s last hoorah. The first upset was the Atlanta Falcons dethroning the Carolina Panthers, 20-13. MVP candidate Cam Newton and the passing game struggled mightily passing for 4 yards-a-clip where the Atlanta Falcons flew high especially, Julio Jones who caught nine for 178 yards and a touchdown. The second upset was the Ravens defeating the Steelers 20-17. Big Ben struggled mightily throwing two interceptions and Pittsburgh has nearly been eliminated from playoffs.
The third upset was the Jets defeating the Patriots 26-20 in overtime. After a Jets 17-3 lead over the Patriots, New England fired back knotting the game up at 20 all heading into overtime. An Erik Decker 6-yard touchdown catch ended the Patriots hopes for a win sealing the “w” for the gang green. The last upset on the Sunday slate was the Rams defeating the Seahawks, 23-17. Rams rookie Todd Gurley rumbled for 85 yards and a huge touchdown in the win.
Charles Woodson suited up for his last NFL home game as an Oakland Raider as the Raiders took on the Chargers at O.co coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 23-20 in overtime. Woodson totaled a couple tackles along with first rush of the year as well. Woodson is a Super Bowl Champion, 8X Pro Bowler, 3X first Team All Pro, 2X NFL INT Leader and 2009 Defensive Player of the Year.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals have won nine straight games defeating the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. Here’s my favorite play:
There are no more undefeated teams as the Falcons defeated the Panthers Sunday.
- Carolina Panthers (14-1): The Panthers suffered their first loss to the Atlanta Falcons, 20-13. Cam Newton struggled passing for 4-yards-a-clip, coughed up a fumble, and only ran for 46 yards on the ground. Carolina’s defense was awful giving up 300+ to Matt Ryan and 178 to Julio Jones.
- Arizona Cardinals (13-2): That red sea defense was an offensive nightmare for the Green Bay Packers. Arizona recorded nine sacks, five fumbles, an interception and two touchdowns in their 38-8 beatdown of the Packers. With the win, the Cardinals have clinched a First-Round bye in the playoffs.
- New England Patriots (12-2): Riddled with injuries, the Patriots lack of weapons offensively and defensively caught up with them in their 26-20 overtime loss to the Jets. The Patriots were outrushed 143-63 in the overtime loss.
- Cincinnati Bengals (12-3): The Bengals simply ran out oxygen in a thin-aired, nearly frozen, Mile High Stadium where Denver defeated Cincinnati 20-17 in overtime. Offensively, the Bengals were absolutely solid led by backup A.J. McCarron who passed for 200 yards and an incredible touchdown to A.J. Green, but poor tackling and a lack of offensive consistency domed the Bengals in the second half and overtime and the defeat on the Monday Night Football finale. On to the playoffs!
- Denver Broncos (11-4): It took an eternity but the Denver offense finally found its way in the second half and overtime defeating the Bengals 20-17 in overtime. Game balls go to DeMarcus Ware for recovering the game-winning A.J. McCarron fumble and Brock Osweiler who passed for 299 yards and a touchdown in the win. The Broncos clinched a playoff spot with the victory.
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-5): Nine in a row! The Chiefs defeated the Browns, 17-13. Kansas City was lead by Alex Smith who passed for 125 yards, rushed for 54 yards and totaled two touchdowns in the win. The Chiefs have secured a Wildcard playoff spot.
- New York Jets (10-5): J-E-T-S. New York defeated the Patriots, 26-20 in overtime thanks in part to a growing offense and great rush defense. The Gang green were lead by Ryan “My Beard V. The World” Fitzpatrick passed for 296 and three touchdowns including the overtime winner to Erik Decker in overtime.
- Minnesota Vikings (10-5): Skoal! The Vikings whooped the Giants, 49-17 behind Adrian Peterson grounding New York. Minnesota’s defense was as frigid as the weather on Sunday Night football, totaling three interceptions, two fumbles, four sacks and a touchdown in the win. As for AP, he rumbled for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.
- Seattle Seahawks (9-6): More like “Sloppy” Seahawks in their 23-17 loss the Rams at home. Seattle recorded five fumbles, an interception and four sacks in the defeat. The Seahawks were outrushed 104-60 too.
- Green Bay Packers (10-5): R.I.P. Packers offensive line. Nine sacks allowed along with five fumbles in their 38-8 beat down to the Cardinals. Green Bay totaled 77 passing yards in the loss. Yes, I said 77.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6): Big Ben was bad in the Steelers really bad loss to the Ravens, 20-17. Ben threw two interceptions, coughed up a fumble and was sacked thrice in the defeat. That’s not the only thing bad; with the loss the Steelers have almost eliminated themselves from the playoff picture.
- Washington Redskins (8-7): Hail to the Redskins! The Redskins 38-24 win over the Eagles secured the NFC East title and a playoff spot to the team that was predicted to finish last by nearly every sports media outlet. A big reason: the emergence of Kirk Cousins who passed for 365 yards and four huge touchdowns in the win.
- Houston Texans (8-7): Maybe Brandon Weeden just needed to start on a different team: because as Houston’s starter Weeden was brilliant passing for 200 yards and three total touchdowns in the 34-6 drubbing of the Titans. The Texans defense was elite to, recording an interception, sack and three fumbles.
- Buffalo Bills (7-8): The Bills grounded the Cowboys rushing for over 236 yards and two touchdowns in Buffalo’s 16-6 win over Dallas. The duo of Mike Gillislee (93 yards and a touchdown) and Karlos Williams (76 yards and a touchdown) lead the way.
- St. Louis Rams (7-8): The Rams have had the Seahawks number this season, recording win No. 2 over Seattle, 23-17. How you ask? By making the game sloppy; seven fumbles between the two teams, sacking Russell Wilson four times and running the football behind Todd Gurley’s 85 rush yards and a touchdown.
- Oakland Raiders (7-8): The silver and black let Charles Woodson and the Raiders ride off in the sunset defeating the San Diego Chargers, 23-20 in overtime. Latavius Murray ran the ball well rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown in the win.
- Indianapolis Colts (7-8): Frank Gore turned back the clock rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts 18-12 win over the Dolphins. But more importantly, Indianapolis’s defense came back into form recording six sacks, a pick and held Miami to just 82 yards rushing.
- Atlanta Falcons (8-7): Back-to-back wins for the Falcons and this one, being the biggest of their season: dethroning the undefeated Panthers 20-13. Matt Ryan was red-hot passing for 306 yards and a touchdown. And How about Julio Jones? Jones hauled in nine receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
- New Orleans Saints (6-9): The Saints offense is plain ridiculous when clicking on all cylinders. Drew Brees was money passing for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Saints 38-27 win over the Jaguars. Tim Hightower rushed for 122 yards and two scores and receiver Brandin Cooks hauled in five receptions for 123 yards and a score in the victory.
- Detroit Lions (6-9): The Lions air-raid offense defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 32-17. Matt Stafford passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Game ball goes to Matt Prater was extremely accurate kicking four field goals and totaling 12 points in the win.
- Chicago Bears (6-9): The Bears picked up their fifth road win defeating the Bucs, 26-21. Chicago’s defense and special teams get the game ball. The Bears defense forced a sack, interception and five fumbles and kicker Robbie Gould totaled four field goals and 12 total points in the victory.
- New York Giants (6-9): R.I.P. Giant defense. Holy cow, the team is bad defensively giving up 368 total yards in a 38-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football. Speaking of awful, hey there Eli Manning. Without Odell Beckham Jr, Manning threw three interceptions and the offense, as a whole was out of synch the entirety of the game. Out of synch pretty much sums up the Giants season to this point.
- Philadelphia Eagles (6-9): The Eagles flew south, having virtually no run game against the Redskins, in their 38-24 defeat. Philadelphia rushed for just 45 yards and their defense was M.I.A. The Redskins totaled 418 total yards including four through the air in the Eagles loss. At least, Chip Kelly will always have a spot open in college football.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9): Third straight loss for Tampa Bay as they fell 26-21 to the Bears Sunday. The Bucs were sloppy fumbling five times, and interceptions and a sack in the loss. Tampa Bay’s defense was also just as bad giving up 174 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Alas, the future is bright for this young squad.
- Baltimore Ravens (5-10): The Ravens played spoiler the Steelers playoff aspirations defeating the Steelers, 20-17. Game Balls goes the Javorius Allen who totaled 114 yards and a key touchdown along with the Ravens defense channeling their years of past. Baltimore forced two interceptions, a fumble and three sacks in the win.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10): The Jaguars left their defense in Florida in their 38-27 loss to the Saints. Jacksonville’s biggest inaptitude was the run game as they were outrushed 135 to 65. Game Balls go the young receiving due of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Robinson hauled in six receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown and Hurns hauled in eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns respectively.
- Miami Dolphins (5-10): 361 yards offensively and just one touchdown to show for it? Ouch. Oh and 82 total yards rushing: double ouch. Miami’s defense is also just as bad as they applied zero pressure to either Colts quarterbacks and made Frank Gore look in his prime. The Dolphins lost 18-12 to the Colts.
- San Diego Chargers (4-11): Close losses have destroyed the Chargers this season: nine of the Chargers elven total losses were by eight points or less. This game, no different another loss at the hands of the Oakland Raiders, 23-20 in overtime. Game ball goes to Dontrelle Inman who hauled in eight receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown in the defeat.
- Dallas Cowboys (4-11): The Cowboys defenders frozen up in a chilly Ralph Lauren Stadium as they surrendered 236 yards and two touchdowns in a 16-6 loss to the Bills. Game Ball goes to Darren McFadden who rushed for 99 yards in the defeat.
- San Francisco 49ers (4-11): San Francisco has zero cornerbacks and safeties that can cover anyone. It showed in their 32-17 loss to the Lions Sunday. At least he quarterback position is semi-stable with Blaine Gabbert, who had a solid outing passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns in the deafet.
- Tennessee Titans (3-12): The Titans recorded 30 yards rushing and gave up a sack to a “one-armed” J.J. Watt. Needless to say they lost 34-6 to the Texans and I’ll just stop there.
- Cleveland Browns (3-12): Johnny Football was anything but a football player in the Browns 17-13 defeat to the Chiefs. Johnny Manziel passed for a mere 136 yards averaging over 4-yards a clip, an interception and a 35.3 QBR Rating. Ouch.