The Bengals won a game against the Ravens 23-17 that didn’t matter much…to anyone. In all fairness the Ravens had Flacco and Rice only play 2 series before sitting them out. Dalton had 1 TD and no interceptions while Tyrod Taylor (Flacco’s backup) had no TDs and 1 interception. This game was pretty boring, the only highlight was when Carlos Dunlap returned an interception off of Tyrod Taylor 14 yards for a touchdown. The Ravens will play the Colts at home in the 1st round of the playoffs while the Bengals play the dethroned 1st seed Houston Texans in Houston.
In typical Jets fashion they lost to the Buffalo Bills 28-9. The Jets didn’t get into the end zone one time, instead scoring 3 field goals. C.J. Spiller had a 66-yard catch and run for a TD and safety Bryan Scott ran 20 yards for a TD after intercepting Mark Sanchez. In a puzzling move Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired, but Rex Ryan is allowed to stay. I don’t understand! He’s a horrible coach and he can’t keep his mouth shut. It’s in my best interest though if they suck, so more power to them. The Bills fired head coach Chan Gailey and are in the process of interviewing prospective coaches, general manager Buddy Nix was allowed to stay but has been stripped of his duties. What’s the point of keeping him then? Maybe he’s related to someone. Both the Bills and the Jets finished the season 6-10.
The Steelers avoided having a losing record in nearly 10 years when they beat the Browns 24-10. Pittsburgh’s defense forced 4 turnovers to help them win for the 2nd time in 6 weeks. It was a disappointing season for the Steelers who lost last week and were eliminated from playoff contention. The Steelers finished the season 8-8 while the Browns finished the season 5-11. It is being reported that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is nearing a deal to become the Browns’ next head coach. I’ll let you know if and/or when a deal is finalized.
The Panthers beat the Saints in a game that had no bearing on either one of their seasons the final score was 44-38. Drew Brees and the Saints’ defense broke and set some records, which was good in one case and not so good in the other. Drew Brees threw for 396 yards giving him a total of 5,177 passing yards this season. He is the first player to ever pass for over 5,000 yards 3 times. His 4 TD passes gave him 43 for the year making him the first player with 40 TD passes in consecutive seasons. The Saints’ defense allowed an astounding 530 yards adding to a season total of 7,042 allowed yards. This broke a record set in 1981 by the Baltimore Colts; I’m guessing this isn’t a record you’re going to commemorate with a plaque. The Saints and the Panthers both finished the season 7-9.
The Bears needed a win and a Viking loss to make it to the playoffs. They secured the 1st one when they beat the Lions 26-24 in a pretty exciting game. Unfortunately (for Bears fans), the Vikings beat the Packers setting in motion the firing of Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith. The Bears’ win eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. The Lions turned the ball over 4 times and lost their 8th consecutive game. Remind me again why Jim Schwartz gets to keep his job? Cutler had a 19-yard run on 3rd down that helped Chicago run the clock out and secure a win. Chicago finished 10-6 and the Lions finished 4-12 (no seriously, why isn’t that coach getting fired?!?).
The Texans started Sunday being the 1st seed in the AFC. All they needed was a win over the Colts and they would secure a first round bye and home field advantage. The Texans underestimated Chuck Pagano and the Colts. The Colts handedly beat the Texans 28-16. The Texans led for a little while, but a 101-yard kickoff return swung the momentum the Colts’ way. Andrew Luck threw a 70-yard TD pass to keep the momentum going. Houston has lost 3 of their last 4 games. The Texans go into the playoffs as the 3rd seed and play the Bengals at home on Saturday January 5th. The Colts play the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday January 6th. Both will be interesting games.
The Tennessee Titans set an impressive record when they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-20. The Titans became the first team to have 2 players score twice on returns in a single game. Darius Reynaud scored on 2 punt returns and rookie linebacker Zack Brown returned 2 interceptions for TDs. The Jaguars had their worst season ever finishing 2-14; good news is that they’ll have an excellent draft picking position. The Titans won 2 of their last 3 games finishing the season 6-10. The Jaguars have fired their GM and the fate of head coach Mike Mularkey remains uncertain.
The Giants beat the Eagles 42-7 in a game that proved pointless for them when the Bears won and eliminated them from playoff contention. Michael Vick was back as the starting QB after Nick Foles broke his hand in week 16, it made little difference however as Eli Manning threw 5 TD passes. This was Andy Reid’s last game as the Eagles’ head coach and it looks as if he will be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Giants finished with a record of 9-7 and the Eagles finished 4-12.
The Bucs beat 1st NFC seed the Atlanta Falcons 22-17. Even though Atlanta had secured a first round bye and home field advantage, all of the starters played the whole game. Hopefully, this doesn’t come back to bite Mike Smith on the behind as defensive end and Atlanta’s best pass rusher John Abraham left the game with an apparent left ankle injury. He couldn’t put weight on it and was helped off the field. Only time will tell if this will have an effect on the Falcons in the postseason. Atlanta’s starting corner Dunta Robinson was also hurt in Sunday’s game and left with a head injury. The Falcons have a first round bye and a chance to rest for the second round of the playoffs. The Bucs finished the season with a mediocre record of 7-9. It is my recommendation that Tampa Bay look for a new QB or QB’s coach because Freeman isn’t getting it done. Interesting news is that Bucs’ QB coach Ron Turner was hired by Florida International, so now the Bucs can hire a new QB coach. Well good luck, they’re going to need it.
The Broncos secured the 1st seed in the AFC when they beat the Chiefs 38-3 and Romeo Crennel was fired. The Broncos have strong momentum going into playoffs as they have won 11 games in a row. Good news for Chiefs fans is that at 2-14 the Chiefs will have 1st pick in the draft in April. Denver gets rest time with a first round bye. They also secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It looks as if the Broncos are the team to beat in the AFC, but I guess time will tell.
The Vikings beat the Packers 37-34 to secure the last wild card spot in the NFC. The loss put the Packers at 3rd seed in the NFC. It also forced a rematch in the 1st round of the playoffs at Lambeau Field. It will be an interesting game indeed! Adrian Petersen rushed for 199 yards, which was only 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. I was really rooting for him, maybe next year. Both QBs had a combined 7 TDs through the air, that’s quite a bit. It was definitely a passing game, I wonder if their playoff game on Saturday January 6th will be the same?
The Patriots secured the 2nd seed in the AFC with their win and subsequent shutout over the Miami Dolphins 28-0. The Patriots had a season high 7 sacks and Ryan Tannehilll had no TD passes and 1 interception. Rob Gronkowski played for the 1st time in 5 weeks and had a TD reception. Brady finished the game with 2 TD passes and no interceptions. The Pats have a first round bye and time to rest up and try to get rid of some of their plaguing injuries. The Dolphins finished the season 7-9 and with a losing record for the 4th straight season. Reggie Bush is a free agent this year and it’s imperative that the Dolphins be able to resign him at a decent price. If not, their offense will take a serious hit.
In a game I’m pretty sure nobody cared about, not even Raider or Charger’s fans, the Chargers beat the Raiders 24-21. It was Norv Turner’s last game as head coach and miraculously Philip Rivers didn’t throw an interception. Another miracle was the fact that the Raiders were able to get into the end zone. Michael Spurlock returned a kickoff and a punt and became the first Charger’s player to do so. There was a big and interesting fight between Chargers’ linebacker Takeo Spikes and Raiders’ running back Mike Goodson, both were ejected, show some discipline people! You’re supposed to be professionals! The Raiders finished 4-12 while the Chargers finished 7-9.
The 49ers beat the Cardinals 27-13 and secured the 2nd seed in the NFC and the NFC West title for the 2nd consecutive year. Micheal Crabtree had a career high 172 receiving yards and Colin Kaepernick had a career best 276 passing yards and 2 TDs to give the 49ers a first round bye. The Cardinals finished 5-11 and is now looking for a new coach after Ken Whisenhunt was fired. Reid interviewed, but he is going to be the Chiefs’ new coach. The search continues! Good luck Cardinals!
The Seahawks beat the Rams 20-13 in a game that didn’t matter much since the Seahawks had already clinched a wild card spot. Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s record for most TD passes by a rookie at 26. Seattle finished as the only unbeaten team at home in the NFL. They travel to play the Washington Redskins on Sunday January 6th. The Rams put up a good fight, Wilson was sacked 6 times, but unfortunately their offense couldn’t do much. The Rams finished the season 7-8-1.
The Redskins clinched the NFC East and a playoff berth with their win over the Cowboys, final score was 28-18. Tony Romo proved yet again why he is expendable after he threw 3 interceptions in a key game. Dallas finished 8-8 and missed the postseason for the 3rd straight year. The Redskins host Seattle on Sunday January 6th and have won 7 games in a row since their bye week. The Redskins rallied from a 3-6 record to be division champions and playoff contenders. It will be an interesting game on Sunday with 2 QBs who are both on a hot streak. Seattle isn’t the best team on the road, but it is anybody’s game.