Week 16 Recap, Week 17 Preview: A Holiday Double Feature
Recap and Preview in one piece? Why the heck not? Happy Holidays from Spogo!
Week 16 Recap: The Noteworthy… and not so Noteworthy
Week 16 is always a great week for teams trying to squeak their way into the postseason. It can be exciting. If you’re a Giants fan, it can be as painful as smashing your hand in a car door. Like, a big car. A Suburban. Smashing your hand in a car door is painful enough, but doing it two weeks in a row is even worse. Maybe this playoff-deciding week left you with a holiday present, mine just left me with a bruised hand and some broken fingers.
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Both of these teams showcased one thing on Sunday: neither is close to becoming a contender. This game was so sloppy, I occasionally checked my guide info to make sure it wasn’t some holiday prank, or I was watching the new NFL Developmental League. McElroy proved he’s just what we thought, not great, but new, so he didn’t draw boos like Sanchez did. Personally, I think Sanchez had the best game of anyone. He didn’t play a snap, avoided the punishment that McElroy ended up taking (11 sacks?!), and looked very engaged in diagramming coverages from print outs. He looks good with a playbook and clipboard in his hand. He better get used to it.
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I looked back at my preview for Week 16 and laughed. Well, I wasn’t completely wrong, there was some early scoring. It just wasn’t the Patriots doing it. When Justin Blackmon caught a TD pass from Chad Henne to take a 7-0 lead, I thought it was a fluke, but when the first quarter ended 10-3, I had to consult the internet to make sure CBS wasn’t reporting it wrong. It seems like the Pats had their holiday party the night before and everyone was hung-over. Brady had two interceptions in this contest, but had thrown a combined six in the fifteen games prior. If I’m a Pats fan, I’m not terribly worried. Sometimes, you don’t win pretty, and this was just one of those times. But I seriously wish I could have seen the Gronk at that party…
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll just looks smarter and smarter as the weeks go on. He has to be considered for the Coach of the Year award. This guy has
taken a lowly touted rookie QB, and made him into a solid starter, and transformed a team that was 7-9 the past two seasons, into a team no one wants to match up against. They’ve scored 58, 50, and 42 points the last three weeks. If I’m in the NFC, I do not want to draw this team in the first round. On the other side, the 49ers just haven’t been able to be consistent. They are playing like a better version of the Giants. Flashes of greatness marred by susceptibility. They’ll need to buckle down to be effective in the postseason.
Week 17 Preview: What This Weekends Games Mean For The Playoff Picture:
This is when people start to scratch their heads. You get those if, when, maybe scenarios that make this game as easy to understand as a cricket score. I’m here to try to make your lives a bit easier and simplify this process. Hey, dummy, this one’s for you.
RGIII and the Skins currently are in the playoffs. Whether they stay there, will depend largely on how they play on Sunday. If the Redskins go on to beat the Cowboys on Sunday, they’ll win the NFC East. If they lose, they leave their fates up to the Vikings and Bears, who would both need to lose for them to secure a wild card spot.
Every inch of my body is screaming for a Tony Romo fourth quarter choke on Sunday, to reinforce the fact that he doesn’t have the crunch-time game that his numbers contradict. No team in the NFL has a simpler playoff picture: win, and they’re in. On Sunday Night Football, we’ll see if Romo can step up and lead this team to the playoffs.
Adrian Peterson has kept them in the hunt with his near record-breaking season, and now they have the chance to make the playoffs by just winning on Sunday. Unfortunately they play the Packers, who have been performing at a high level the past few weeks. If they do fall to the Packers, they’ll need the Giants, Bears, and Cowboys to all lose to stay in.
New York Giants:
This year’s Giants team failed to do something they did last year: turn it on. It almost seemed like they were just expecting to magically play marvelously down the stretch, and come away with a playoff birth. Now, they find themselves in a pickle. They do not control their destiny. In fact they need all of these to happen to make the playoffs: Win vs. the Eagles with the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears all losing. While this isn’t impossible, it’s definitely improbable. Hell, Osi Umenyiora is already talking about playing his last game as a Giant. This can’t end well.
Yeah I’m lumping this together because the AFC is boring. All the teams are already decided. Only the positioning is up for grabs. Right now Houston and Denver sit in position to grab the first round bye, with New England trying to snatch a piece of this two-team pie. If these three teams all win on Sunday, Houston and Denver will keep their byes. However, if one of them were to lose, the Pats would slide up and take their position. The Pats would need both Denver and Houston to lose to gain home-field advantage. Sorry Pats fans, Denver plays KC on Sunday, it’s not going to happen.
Non-Playoff Picture: The Draft
This years draft could not be less star-studded. Unlike last year, in which the number one and two picks were incredible talents, this year will not be remotely close to that. Right now Kansas City is set to have the number one pick, with Jacksonville close behind. KC really needs a QB, because they’re starting Brady Quinn right now, which is laughable. Unfortunately there are no great prospects at the QB position, which will force them to take something else. Even the trade value of these top picks will not remotely touch what they were last year. So even if the bad teams think they’re winning the race to the first pick, it’s kind of like being first in line to see the new Schwarzenegger movie The Last Stand: extensively more to be embarrassed of, than excited about.