With only one more week remaining in the NFL regular season, let’s take a look back at Week 16:
Player of the Week: Peyton Manning (DEN) – 32 of 51, 400 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Honorable Mentions: Andy Dalton (CIN), Philadelphia Eagles running backs,
Goat of the Week: Matt Cassel (MIN) – 13 of 27, 114 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 1 fumble
And a breakdown of some notable results:
– The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 17-10 and in the process ended Seattle’s 14 game home winning streak. The Cardinals and their fierce defensive front are now 7-1 in their last eight games and on Sunday held Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to 11-27, 108 yards and just the one touchdown. With a win in Week 17, the Cardinals will need only a Saints’ loss to reach the playoffs. The Seahawks can still secure the No.1 seed with a win over St. Louis in Week 17, or a San Francisco loss, as the Niners will be taking on the aforementioned Cardinals.
– Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts took down the Kansas City Chiefs 23-7 in a potential AFC playoff matchup. After their loss, the Chiefs, Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers are now a combined 0-4 vs. the Colts this season. Against all of their other opponents though they are a combined 45-9. With only seven more yards, Andrew Luck will pass Panthers QB Cam Newton for the most passing yards in a players first two seasons. The Colts can clinch a first round bye with a win next week as well as losses by both the Patriots and Bengals.
– The Jets beat the Browns 24-13 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ in a pretty meaningless game. Jason Campbell played really badly for the Browns. Oh, and there’s at least some chance that Rex Ryan may not coach again at MetLife.
– Tony Romo may have herniated a disk in his back, but he led his Cowboys to a 24-23 victory over the rival Redskins in Washington and now they will play for the NFC East title Sunday Night versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Pierre Garcon’s efforts deserve recognition as he caught 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.
– The Carolina Panthers clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 with a 17-13 win over the New Orleans Saints in front of more than 70,000 fans in Charlotte. Cam Newton and the Panthers offense did not have their greatest game, but they did just enough including a game winning touchdown drive capped off by a Domenik Hixon touchdown catch to secure the victory. With either a win next week or a New Orleans loss, the Panthers will clinch the NFC South title and a first-round bye.
– Need to bounce back from a tough loss? The Denver Broncos did, and they got the perfect solution; a matchup against the Houston Texans. The Broncos took the victory with a 37-13 win and can now clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win or a Patriots loss next week. Among his four touchdowns was the record setter that gave Peyton Manning the most touchdowns in a season, taking the record back from Tom Brady
– After a 23-20 overtime win, the New York Giants ended the Detroit Lions playoff hopes. The Lions have now lost five of their last six, and recent reports suggest Jim Schwartz may be out of work soon.
– The New England Patriots completely dismantled the Baltimore Ravens, winning 41-7. With a win in Week 17, the Pats can clinch a first round bye and with a win and a Broncos loss, New England will clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Ravens will need a win and help from either San Diego or Miami in order to reach the playoffs.
– It was a very snowy day at the Frozen Tundra in Green Bay, but without Aaron Rodgers the Green Bay Packers fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 38-31. Le’Veon Bell carried the Steelers all day (pun intended) and amassed 124 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. The Packers – with or without Rodgers – will face the Chicago Bears on Sunday, with the winner capturing the NFC North title.
– Remember all of the hype that surrounded Chip Kelly and what his offense would look like heading into the season? Well it was the entire Philadelphia Eagles team that was on display Sunday Night versus the Chicago Bears, as the boys from the City of Brotherly Love won 54-11. Nick Foles was very solid for Philadelphia, going 21/25 for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no picks while the Eagles running backs combined for 260 yards and four touchdowns.
– The San Diego Chargers took down the Oakland Raiders by a final score of 26-13 and kept their playoff hopes alive. Oakland failed to develop anything on the ground, totaling only 59 yards. With a win in Week 17 as well as losses by Baltimore and Miami, the Chargers can sneak their way into the playoffs.
– Ryan Tannehill was quite awful and the Buffalo Bills shut out the Miami Dolphins, winning by a score of 19-0. Tannehill finished 10-27 for 82 yards and zero touchdowns. Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals for Buffalo as the Dolphins playoff hopes were narrowed significantly. The Dolphins must win in Week 17 and either be joined in the win column by the Chargers or see the Ravens lose in order to reach the playoffs.
– And on Monday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers pulled off the win over the Atlanta Falcons in what may be the last game at Candlestick Park, ensuring their return to the playoffs. The victory was keyed by a bizarre interception returned for a touchdown by Navarro Bowman, making up for his inability to recover the Falcons’ onside kick just minutes earlier.