By: Paul Johnson
he regular season is over, and now it is time to gear up for the mess that is the playoffs. This is what everything has been building up to. So here are my takeaways from the final week of the regular season.
The Raiders are screwed. Two weeks ago the only team that was really likely to challenge the Patriots for the AFC had their franchise quarterback break his leg. Post Week 16 we all wondered whether or not they’d be able to survive without him. Based off of Sunday’s performance, no. 11 throws into his first start this season, Matt Mcgloin injured his shoulder, forcing the third string, fourth round, rookie QB to start. The Raiders fell apart, losing 6-24 to the Broncos. If they were playing anyone but the Texans next week I’d guarantee their loss. Maybe next year.
The Dolphins went into their game against the Patriots looking for a chance to prove that they can succeed. They lost. Heavily. Now, maybe it is a lot to expect of the measly 10-6 dolphins to defeat the 2 loss Patriots, but they’re going to have to if they want to be a legitimate postseason threat.
The Bills are a mess. After firing Rex Ryan you’d think the interim head coach would at least make an attempt to show why he deserves to be head coach with a win. Instead they chose to bench Tyrod Taylor, the man who should be their franchise quarterback. The Bills made the Jets look good. Think of that.
The Broncos still have the best defense in the league. Even though they missed the playoffs because of their frankly underwhelming offense, they held the Raiders to 6 points. Even though they were playing with their 3rd string quarterback, let’s respect what the Broncos have built. They’re a great organization and even though Kubiak is leaving we can be sure to see them bounce back next year.
The Panthers have the worst case of Super Bowl Fatigue ever. Cam Newton looks like a 13 year old out there, completing barely half his passes, and defenses have adjusted to his running game. He threw 19 touchdown passes to 14 interceptions, and 4 of those TD’s were against the absolutely awful 49ers.
Speaking of the 49ers, firing Chip Kelly after one year after handing him an awful team just shows how awful Jed York is. 4 coaches in 4 years. Coaches would rather go to the RAMS then the 49ers right now.
Odell Beckham Jr. may just be ready to mature. On the field at least. We’ve all heard of his exploits in Miami, but that doesn’t matter. Beckham v Norman has been what we’ve all wanted, but Beckham refused to bite when Norman did on Sunday. Is he ready to calm down and help win his team a championship? Because you don’t win championships through brash actions and tantrums.
Seattle isn’t the same team that has been dominant for the past 4 years. They nearly lost to the 49ers last week. Their offense is a mess, and their offensive line is a joke. Their defense is solid, but not quite the same without Earl Thomas. What happens when they play the Lions I don’t know, neither team is looking too hot, but I’ll bet you that the Seahawks don’t make the Super Bowl this year.
That is what I have taken away from the last week. If you’ve got any ideas or comments leave them in the comments. It’s playoff time so make sure to follow along as we get closer and closer to the Superbowl!