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Week 17 Open Discussion

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Seven teams have already clinched a berth in the playoffs. Seven more will join them on Sunday. 

In the AFC, five teams are fighting for the last four spots: 

  • The Browns (10-5) host the Steelers (12-3).
  • The Ravens (10-5) visit the Bengals (4-10-1).
  • The Dolphins (10-5) visit the Bills (12-3).
  • The Colts (10-5) host the Jaguars (1-14).
  • And the Titans (10-5) visit the Texans (4-11). 

The Titans can clinch the AFC South with a win; the Browns, Ravens, and Dolphins can clinch wild-card berths with wins. The Colts need to win and get some help.

In the NFC, three division championships and one wild-card spot (the Buccaneers) have been clinched. The NFC East won't be determined until the last game of the season. The Washington Football Team (6-9) can clinch the division with a win over the Eagles (4-10-1), but if they lose, the winner of an earlier game between the Cowboys (6-9) and Giants (5-10) will get the playoff berth instead. In the wild-card race, the Bears (8-7) can clinch a spot with a win at home over Green Bay (12-3). In Los Angeles, the winner of the game between the Rams (9-6) and the Cardinals (8-7) will get into the playoffs; the loser might get in too depending on what happens in the Bears game. 

Use this thread to discuss them all. 

Comments

135 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2021, 12:10pm

1 An 11-5 AFC could be out in…

An 11-5 AFC could be out in the cold.  A 6-10 NFC team could be in the playoffs.   Does anyone have any stats are the largest disparity between team that eked out a playoff berth vs teams that were left out?  A five game disparity HAS to be a record.

10 I think the record is three…

I think the record is three games in the Super Bowl era:

1967: Colts 11-1-2 vs Cowboys and Browns 9-5

1985: Broncos 11-5 vs Browns 8-8

2008: Patriots 11-5 vs Chargers 8-8

2010: Buccaneers and Giants 10-6 vs Seahawks 7-9

2 Disregard the comment.  2007…

Disregard the comment.  2007 Patriots were 16-0, Redskins were 9-7.  Seven games.  I am just going to go get another beer...

3 One last time, and then I…

One last time, and then I will shut up.  My question was, has the disparity between a team that got into the playoffs and a team that didn't ever been greater than 5?  (i.e. 6-9 vs 11-5). The 2007 example doesn't apply.  I am going to go sit in the corner now.   

6 GraveDigger...

You'd be more lucid if you switched to wine, TBH.

Beer is cheap and there's no nutritional value to it.

At least with a dry red, you'd get some heart health and it thins the blood out a bit.

 

8 There are plenty of vitamins…

In reply to by DIVISION

There are plenty of vitamins in any real ale. Decent low alcohol beers are essentially isotonic. The main benefit is from the alcohol not various pigments, though some red wines do probably have slightly more benefit.

https://camra.org.uk/learn-discover/learn-more/learn-more-about-beer/beer-and-health/

 

4 I don’t think so. I think…

I don’t think so. I think the best record to miss the playoffs is 11-5, which has happened  three times? New England in 2008 and I think both Denver and Cleveland at some point, if memory serves me correctly (too lazy to look it up right now). But I’m pretty sure a 12-4 team has never missed the playoffs. And I think the worst record to ever make the playoffs was 7-9 (for example, Seattle in the Beast Mode game). Even if those happened in the same year, that’s only a 4 game difference. And I’m not sure it’s happened in the same year...

5 Conventional Wisdom vs. Intuition.

Like the pundits have said, a healthy Cardinals team should be able to handle a beaten up Rams team playing a back-up, no healthy RB's and no Cooper Kupp.

I don't know which Cards team will show up.  I have no doubt that they can beat the Rams, and by quite a margin, but will they show up to play, ready to exploit the weaknesses that are there to be had?

The Packers will extinguish the Bears, thereby giving the Rams a backdoor birth.

The Cards will either be the 6th seed in the NFC or completely out of the playoffs.

If Kingsbury can't get this win, I think he's already on the hotseat in year 2.

Unofficially, I think he's already there based on what's happened this year.  If Steve Keim fired a rookie coach after one year, I have no doubt that he'd do it again if he loses faith in what Kingsbury is doing.  

Eric Bieniemy could get more out of this offense based on what we're seeing with the Chiefs.

 

7 Hate to pick on language...

But "a backdoor birth" made me laugh so hard I cried. It's "berth", like a reservation.

Reminds me of the girl in 5th grade who tried to convince me that certain unnatural acts could actually lead to, er, what you said. :)

9 There is surely no way…

There is surely no way Baltimore loses to Cincinnati, nor Indy to Jacksonville. And if Cleveland cannot beat Pittsburgh's scrubs, the week after losing to the Jets, you would have to conclude they are doomed to missing the playoffs for eternity.

The real interest comes down to what sort of effort Buffalo will put forth against Miami. They've kept their cards close to their chest wrt resting starters, but you would have to assume they won't be putting Josh Allen (and others) in the firing line for any longer than is necessary.

I also feel like there's a chance Houston upsets Tennessee, if JJ Watt's post-match rant last week lit a fire under them. DeShaun Watson shredded the Tennessee defense earlier in the season. A nervous back and forth shootout could be on the cards for Titans fans. 

11 My guess is that Allen &…

My guess is that Allen & Diggs play the 1st, maybe 2nd quarter and that's it.  John Brown is back after being on IR and then COVID list so they will probably want to get him live reps with the starting unit, especially with Beasley week-to-week for the playoffs with a leg injury. 

 

Edit: And it looks like the BIlls are definitely resting Tre White and Jerry Hughes, so winning is pretty clearly not at the top of the agenda today.

12 Zac Taylor is a coward

Just punted on 4&7 down 10 at the Baltimore ~45. Embarrassing.

 

EDIT: and now he kicks a field goal on 4th and short at the Baltimore 20 down 17-0 in the final minute of the second quarter 

13 I tune in to NE-NYJ and the…

I tune in to NE-NYJ and the Jets' D is making the NE O look competent.

Then I flip to DAL-NYG and think "the Jets could have won the NFC East".

Meanwhile, I can tell from the ticker on the bottom of the screen that actual, NFL-quality football games are being played right now, but the above two games are the only ones being broadcast in my area.

*sigh*

16 Josh Allen simply cannot…

Josh Allen simply cannot miss. It has already been said many times, but his dramatic 3rd season improvement is unlike anything I have ever seen before.

19 Detroit hasn’t played…

Detroit hasn’t played defense in 3 seasons.  
 

By giving up a 40 yd TD pass with 4 seconds left in the first half, the Lions set the NFL record for total yardage given up.  The all time points allowed record is still 23 points away, but there’s still about 25 minutes left to play, so I wouldn’t count it out.

24 The ravens are 25 yards away…

The ravens are 25 yards away from setting a new record for rushing yards in a game. They have 399 yards, the record is 423, set in 1950

 

27 I don’t know if it’s mostly…

I don’t know if it’s mostly attributable to my lowered enthusiasm for NFL football in general, but I cannot recall a meaningful Bears/Packers game in my life as a fan that I’ve felt more apathetic about.

I predict that whether the Bears win, lose, or get blown out, two things are true: they won’t win a playoff game this year, and Pace/Nagy are back for 2021. So I find it difficult to care.

52 On top of the fun of just…

On top of the fun of just being in the playoffs, I'm happy because I think we underrate team reputation in free agency / disgruntled player issues, and avoiding the big choke narrative is important for the next few years of the Browns.

31 Congrats to the Browns

The last time the Browns were in the playoffs I was in my senior year of highschool. That's truly amazing

32 How NFC East

1st down Giants win and a fumble.  Ruling on field will save Giants

33 That was absurd. A game…

In reply to by jheidelberg

That was absurd. A game clinching first and a horrible unforced fumble that luckily gets awarded to the Giants. 

Now I just need the Eagles to win and my dream of a 6 win playoff team comes true

35 I’m secretly rooting for WFT…

I’m secretly rooting for WFT, Chicago, and Arizona to win their games so that this year’s putrid Lions team can say that 3 of their 5 wins were against playoff teams.  Although in reality, all three of those teams are deeply flawed and not really that good.  
 

If the Rams win, the Jets getting their only two wins against a 10-6 and 11-5 team would be even weirder.

45 I haven't bothered checking,…

I haven't bothered checking, but the Jets are probably going to finish with more wins over teams qualifying for the postseason (or, if the Rams don't make it, at least teams with winning records) than some of the actual playoff teams.

 

Also, no matter happens what with the Jags today, we are going to see the strange occurrence of the only wins the worst two teams in the league had being over teams with winning records.

34 I don’t know if this is Matt…

I don’t know if this is Matt Stafford’s last game in a Lions uniform, but it was certainly a microcosm of his career.  Made some amazing throws, also had two dropped interceptions, still scored enough points to win most games, but ultimately let down by his defense.

38 The Vikings, falcons, Lions,…

The Vikings, falcons, Lions, Titans, and Texans : who is the worst group among them?

 

It's hilarious; in a previous era you would have 1 or 2 at the most such defenses. Now there a minimum of 4 or 5. 

 

Well done NFL

42 The 2020 Lions just gave up…

The 2020 Lions just gave up the most yards in NFL history, and they only came up two touchdowns short of the the 1981 Colts for giving up the most points in NFL history (although they beat the 2008 Lions for the franchise record).  
 

The Lions lap the field by a considerable margin for this year’s defenses.

50 Atlanta has improved…

Atlanta has improved markedly on defense since firing Dan Quinn mid-season. They aren't ranked anywhere near the bottom of the league according to DVOA. Houston is indeed godawful, as is Jacksonville. But Detroit is comfortably the worst by weighted DVOA. I'd have little hesitation in declaring them the worst defense in the league. 

53 I wonder at what point do…

I wonder at what point do you give up being a fan of a team. The Lions have seemingly been horrible on defense about as long as the Browns playoff drought. 

its one thing to be bad. Its another thing to be thoroughly embarrassing at the same stuff year after year. 

62 2011 and 2014 they had top…

2011 and 2014 they had top 10 defense by DVOA.  Not coincidentally, those are the only two seasons of the Stafford era where they won double digit games.  They suckered me into hoping that they could string together more than one season like that.

36 The Cowboys cost themselves…

The Cowboys cost themselves with a decision they made after scoring a TD in the third quarter. Down by 5, they went for the XP instead of two. This became relevant on their last drive, where they had to go for the TD instead of kicking a FG for the tie. It's even a little worse than it sounds because OT would favor the Cowboys since a tie would be almost as good as win in terms of qualifying for the playoffs.

48 Actually, Mike McCarthy made…

Actually, Mike McCarthy made an even bigger mistake when he failed to throw a challenge flag in the fourth quarter on what was called a completed pass that set the Giants up for a FG attempt. The play would have been overturned and the Giants pushed out out of FG range.

37 I didn’t even know until…

I didn’t even know until today that Chad Henne was still in the leagues. Why didn’t the Chiefs just keep Matt Moore?  I though he played pretty okay last year.

46 So with Kyler Murray in the…

So with Kyler Murray in the locker room with an injury, this win and in game between the Cards and Rams is a battle between John Woolford and Chris sometime or other.

60 Chris Streveler.  Really…

Chris Streveler.  Really surprised to see him in the NFL, but pleased for him.  He spent a number of years in Winnipeg but could never win the starter's job.  He did get some playing time off the bench, though, and in special "packages".

He's not much of a passer, although he is a good athlete.

47 Interesting Note on Colts OL

The Colts starting 5 o-lineman played every snap of last season and the first 3 or 4 games this season. Since Anthony Costanzo missed a game, the Colts have had 7 different players (including Costanzo again before he went on IR) take snaps at left tackle. 

126 Even half a Castonzo has…

Even half a Castonzo has been better than anything else they've rolled out there. Although this retired dude was way better than Webb from last week. That kid looks the part, but the technique is just not there in any way whatsoever.

64 I had come around to the…

I had come around to the idea that Matt Nagy probably deserves to keep his job, but kicking a FG down 21-13 on 4th and goal from the 2 stinks of a guy who’s just trying to keep the game relatively close as opposed to actually winning it.

74 What an absolutely baffling…

What an absolutely baffling game from Nagy. It seemed like many of the third down playcalls were designed to setup fourth-and-short, which they went for (and got!) nearly every time. The times they didn't, they... kicked field goals? While trailing? Against a superior team? Like, what? I think all three of the field goals they kicked were the wrong call, but the one from the two yard line had me cheering, as a Packers fan.

70 This Bears-Packer game is…

This Bears-Packer game is such a perfect microcosm of what the Bears are. Trubisky’s interception technically ends the game, but they were all but out of it already. The defense showed that it is not by any means great, or even good against good teams. The offense is still not a credible NFL offense except against bottom 5 defenses.

Yet they’ll back into the playoffs at 8-8 (3-7 in their last 10 games) in the easiest season to make the playoffs in history, so I don’t expect a single change for next season.

73 Man, I would be frustrated…

Man, I would be frustrated as a Bills fan if instead of getting a bye as they would have in every previous season, they instead have to play a strong Titans team.

I really hate the expansion to seven teams. It's a step toward the mediocritization of the playoffs that afflicts the NBA and NHL and makes their regular season borderline pointless. Giving the teams near the top of the conference less reward is the other half of the problem.

86 I only saw the last few…

I only saw the last few minutes of this game. But the Texans did nearly everything to ensure Watson not only lost, but got injured too.

I am honestly not sure why they didn't just rest him once the season was lost.

87 It really highlights how…

It really highlights how little the leagues care about the integrity of the games, and how they will do anything to squeeze out a little more money for billionaire owners who have already multiplied their initial investment many times over.

At least the NBA plays a game where the better team almost always wins a 7 game series, so undeserving 8 seeds don’t usually pull off upsets. The NFL adding more teams to what is arguably the most random playoff is horrible. Can’t wait until we have the first sub-.500 SB winner.

110 Playoff Idea

I doubt that any league would accept something so fluid, but I like the idea of every team at 9-6-1 or better makes the postseason tournament, everyone who doesn't is out.  You then seed teams from the whole pool, not by conference.  

One of the things I really like about this is sometimes we see a good team knock someone out of the playoffs in the last two weeks, but there's no benefit for it.  By this method you could theoretically improve your chances in the playoffs with such a win.

113 That would be great. It’s…

In reply to by Dan_L

That would be great. It’s crazy to me that the 10-6 Dolphins are done while the 8-8 Bears and a 6/7 win NFC East team make it in. (And if Miami had won today, an 11 win team would be on the outside in the AFC).

In the NFL, there will never be remotely equal schedules no matter what, so why not just set a bar based on wins and make it simple?

117 Yeah, count me with the…

Yeah, count me with the people who prefer the division champion getting in, over some team that finished 2nd or 3rd in their division after playing a wildly different set of opponents.

This year's NFC East is an oddity, but I'll take it over letting ARZ in, which is the only realistic option (uncertain number of playoff teams is a non-starter for a TV-driven league, and allowing conference cross-overs just magnifies the difference in opponent sets).  

 

133 I agree that there's no…

I agree that there's no realistic way the NFL goes for an uncertain number of playoff teams, and I also agree that it is unlikely that they'd allow conference crossovers. But I don't see a major problem with conference crossovers, because outside of your own division (where all your opponents will be common except 2), crossing conferences matters less than whether or not your division played that division that season.

In fact, it's possible for a given NFC team and a given AFC team to have more games against common opponents than 2 teams in the same conference. For example, the Bears and the Cardinals had 3 common opponents (Rams, Lions, Giants); the Bears and the Titans had 6. Outside of one's own division, the vast majority of games will have been played against different opponents. Absent a huge overhaul of league schedules (the only remotely plausible one I could imagine is have every team in the conference play each other once, then do 1 game against the other conference), that's never going to change.

Regarding this year specifically...why do you feel that the 7-9 Washington Football Team is automatically more worthy of a playoff berth than the 8-8 Cardinals? The strongest argument for them, based on W-L record, is that they went 4-2 in their division while the Cardinals went 2-4. But the WFT's divisional opponents were a lousy 16-31-1, while Arizona's opponents were 28-20. (Also, I'm not arguing that metrics like DVOA should be at all involved in determining who makes the playoffs, but ARI was 13th in DVOA compared to 16th for WAS; also, DVOA has ARI having played the 17th hardest schedule while WAS played the 28th hardest schedule. So the numbers support the "eye test" that ARI is more deserving).

75 Packers Franchise records fall today

Several Franchise records fell today and a few others were threatened. Adams set his records in just 14 games thanks to the injury early in the year (which would have made Jim Taylor happy, I'm not sure he ever  .

  • Rodgers 48 TDs broke his own franchise record for TD passes which he set at 45 back in 2011 (which broke Favre's 39 in 1996).
  • Rodgers 70.7% completion percentage breaks his 68.3% from 2011.
  • Adams 115 receptions breaks Sterling Sharpe's record of 112 set in 1993.
  • Adams 18 TDs ties  Sterling Sharpe's 18 from 1994, and gets him out of the 2nd place tie with Don Hutson who had 17 in 1942 (yeah I had to bold 17 TD receptions back in 1942)
  • Robert Tonyan's 11 TD ties Paul Coffman's 11 TD in 1983 by a TE.
  • Pretty sure Aaron Jones set a new yards/attempt rushing record (at least 100 carries) at 5.5.

I think I missed another one but it's still a little nuts to see some of those fall for a franchise that's been around this long.  

79 Derrick Henry

Titans win on a field goal that just went in (hit the upright). The replay showed Derrick Henry visibly saying "he missed it" and then "oh shit" before taking a sigh of relief. Wild ending.

82 Alright  its time to figure…

Alright  its time to figure out the NFC Least champ! Is it WFT or the Giants? For the right to get pulverized by the Bucs!

83 Packers D has been playing…

Packers D has been playing quite well of late. Savage and Amos especially, but Barnes and the edge rushers have kicked it up a notch from their early season play. Alexander of course is outstanding and has been for most of the year. They’re never gonna be an awesome unit, but if they can just pull off a Falcons-style 3 game run of good play this team has a great shot at a Super Bowl.

92 Agreed it's become serviceable to OK

Barnes is a huge part of that. He missed most of November with injuries. His return has really helped. The playing time shift with the three edge players (Gary, Smith, and Smith) helped too. Gary got more time and Preston a fair bit less a Z a little bit less and it's helped all three of them. He also stopped putting Preston in coverage as much. Some of that ties into using Amos as the dime LB which he could do because of Savage stepped it up and all the CB were healthy so they weren't having to go really deep on the secondary depth chart when they pulled a LB off the field.

It has also coincided with the supposed players meeting with Pettine and asking him to keep things simpler. Stories like that are often just fluff, but this one came out just after the Colts game and that is when things started to turn around (it did help that the offenses they faced after that weren't as good, or were the the Titans in snow). But it has seemed to be a real thing.

Coverages look better, edge contain on runs actually happens more often than not, splash plays are more frequent. I don't see as many odd calls. They tend to line up and execute. There are stunts and blitzes and coverage disguises still sure, but it's not as complex. I'm all for that when the secondary is as young as it is. Of the 10 CB/S on the roster you have 2 rookies, 2 second year players, 3 third year, 1 fourth, 1 fifth, and 1 sixth year. It's not the youngest but it's not super experienced.

I agree the ceiling on this D is maybe cracking the top 10. They are playing close to that down the stretch here. If they keep that up or even just play around the the level of an average NFL defense the team has as good a shot as any at a deep run. The bye and the small advantage of home field will matter some too.

It's made the team a lot of fun to watch. It's not the 2010 defense and it's not the 2011 offense, but it's close to the 2011 offense and it's not a complete disaster on defense. Really makes the games enjoyable for a fan. Really the teams that put up a lot of points are pretty good offenses. Minnesota put up 34 and 28 - 9th in offensive DVOA and averaged 26.2 p/g. Tampa put up 38 - 4th in offensive DVOA (29.9 p/g). Colts 34 -14th (28.2). Saints 30 - 7th (29.9). Chicago put up 25 in the first meeting and they are only 25th but did average 23.7 p/g, but no one else has put up more than that. So they kept most of the good offenses they faced to within one score of what they averaged. When you have the highest p/g offense in the league that's a defense that is doing enough.

84 Is everyone SO sure the…

Is everyone SO sure the Lions are worse than the Texans? That last game blowing deep shot. Just vomiting all over themselves

93 Man the NFC East screwed the Dolphins

Ravens and Browns were both 4-0 against the NFC East (and Pitt was 3-1). Had they played one of the legit football divisions from the NFC it's likely they would have each had another loss or maybe two. With just one loss the tie-breakers come in and I'm not sure exactly where they fall. I give the Ravens and Browns credit for the 7-5 conference records, but the NFC East helped inflate records. Then you add in that the Bengels were so bad they went 0-3-1 against the Least and gave them each 2 more wins...

So yeah I'm not sure what to think of the Browns and Ravens who managed to 5-5 against teams not from the NFC East or the Bungles. DVOA tries to cover it giving Clevland the easiest schedule and Baltimore the 5th easiest schedule. This last week BAL playing CIN might swap those spots, not sure yet. I think I mostly trust the overall DVOA ratings that say BAL is a good not great team. CLE is below average to poor team, and Miami is an above average to good team. Though Miami having everything to play for and getting destroyed today, maybe not so much, even if it was against the #3 weighted DVOA team.

95 Don’t weep for them too much…

Don’t weep for them too much. The Dolphins got the Jets twice, the Jags, and the Bengals. They also got the infirmary 49ers.

They were 5-6 against professional teams. The Rams are their only victory against a team with a winning record.

97 As painfully funny as it…

As painfully funny as it would be to have a 6-10 division champ hosting a playoff team, I can't help but root for WFT for the Rivera and Smith storylines. Plus that D of theirs has the potential to give the Bucs a game, something which I doubt the Giants can do.

98 This season we almost have…

This season we almost have an NBA Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference-level lopsidedness comparing playoff teams. Miami are a better team than the NFC East division winner, the Bears, and the Rams. (They beat the Rams in a game this year, and won both their games against the Jets.)

Throw out the NFC East division because that's a disaster, but how did the Bears make the playoffs?

102 They beat Tampa. The Bears…

They beat Tampa.

The Bears are basically what their record says -- they were 1-6 against playoff teams and 7-2 against non-playoff teams.

Miami was 1-3 against playoff teams and 9-3 against non-playoff teams.

 

109 Actually as was pointed out…

Actually as was pointed out to me in post 95, Miami may not be as good as I thought or as good as you think either.
Not sure it's fair to say Miami is better than the Rams. Yes they have the head to win, but then I could say the Raiders are better than Kansas City. Also not sure it's fair to say they are better than Chicago.

The Rams are the only good team they beat. Chicago's best win, TB, is better than Miami's good win (LAR).

Miami ...................... Chicago
1-4 vs top 10 ........... 1-5 vs top 10
3-0 vs mid 10 .......... 3-2 vs mid 10
6-2 vs bottom 12 ..... 4-1 vs bottom 12

So is that much different?
Chicago played a 0.7% DVOA schedule through week 16 and finished vs 24.1% GB
Miami played a -5.9% DVOA schedule through week 16 and finished vs 20.7% BUF

Is it crazy to think Chicago wouldn't have gone 10-6 vs Miami's schedule and Miami 8-8 vs Chicago's? Chicago played 7 teams with 10+ wins. Miami played 5. Chicago played 2 games against teams with 4 or fewer wins. Miami played 4. Miami finished with 2 more total wins playing 2 fewer 10 win teams and 2 more 4 win teams. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Ranks of course are going to change based on week 17 results

To break it down 
Miami Wins - 1 top 10 (LAR), 3 mid 10 (SF, ARI, LV), 6 bottom 12 
#31 JAX (1-15)
#12 SF (6-10)
#32 NYJ (2-14)
#8 LAR (10-6)
#14 ARI (8-8)
#27 LAC (7-9)
#32 NYJ (2-14)
#29 CIN (4-11)
#23 NWE (7-9)
#20 LV (8-8)
Miami Losses - 2 bottom 12 (NE, DEN), 4 top 10
#23 NE (7-9)
#5 BUF (13-3)
#6 SEA (12-4)
#30 DEN (5-11)
#4 KC (14-2)
#5 BUF (13-3)

Chicago Wins - 1 top 10 (TB), 3 mid 10 (ATL, CAR, MIN), 4 bottom 12
#26 DET (5-11)
#25 NYG (6-10)
#17 ATL (4-12)
#2 TB (11-5)
#18 CAR (5-11)
#24 HOU (4-12)
#19 MIN (7-9)
#31 JAX (1-15)
Chicago Losses - 1 bottom 12 (DET), 2 mid 10 (IND, TEN, MIN), 5 top 10
#10 IND (11-5)
#8 LAR (10-6)
#1 NO (12-4)
#13 TEN (11-5)
#19 MIN (7-9)
#3 GB (13-3)
#26 DET (5-11)
#3 GB(13-3)

100 Why is NBC acting like this…

Why is NBC acting like this game is high tense drama? (Why did they even pick this game to broadcast? And for next Saturday night they picked the NFC East division winner too!) The Washington and Giants fans at home know that if they win the division they're getting destroyed by Tampa next week.

 

NFC East combined record barring a tie in tonight's game: 23-40-1

Removing the division games, so combined record vs. the other 28 teams in the league: 11-28-1

103 Bills-DolphinsRams…

Bills-Dolphins

Rams-Cardinals

Steelers-Browns

Packers-Bears

 

We're in the last game of the season watching 2 teams with a combined 10-19-1 record.

105 All of those teams except…

All of those teams except the Cardinals could’ve been locked into the playoffs based off of other results. It matters that this game happens last. So I suppose yes there was one other game with guaranteed playoff stakes for one team, but nobody wants to watch Cardinals Rams especially when there was guaranteed to be at least one backup QB and maybe two.

107 "...but nobody wants to…

"...but nobody wants to watch Cardinals Rams"

In comparison to Washington and Philly? There's no great intrigue in this game. Yeah, if Washington wins they make the playoffs. The problem is them and the Giants absolutely suck, so it doesn't matter which of them moves on to next week. This is like trying to find high drama in last game of the NBA regular season where 2 teams 15 games under .500 battle over the #8 seed.

108 Well...Philly and Was are…

Well...Philly and Was are huge NFL markets. All four NFC east teams are huge NFL markets. When I started watching the nfl, Washington was the largest market in the league.

 

So in addition to the point I made below, you are going to choose the bigger market

106 Bills-Dolphins: there was a…

Bills-Dolphins: there was a fear that the Bills would rest their starters so it would be uncompetitive ( which it was, but not how we thought)

Rams-Cardinals: If the bears lost, there was a chance the Rams would rest starters

Steelers-Browns: Steelers rested starters

Packers-Bears: if the Seahawks lost, the Packers could have rested starters. If the Cardinals lost, this game had no meaning for the Bears so they could have rested starters.

 

WFT had no choice to play it straight and the Eagles need to see what they have in Hurts.

111 Doug Pederson

I would love to understand what madness led to him benching Hurts for Nate Sudfeld. Like why....

Hurts COULD be your answer going forward. So could Wentz. But Sudfeld..what is he going to tell you?

If the goal is to screw over the Giants, why not start Nate from the start?

115 Inside of 2-minutes, leading…

Inside of 2-minutes, leading by 4, NYG puts the ball on the ground in their end of the field, but recovers (maybe, but per the refs they did).

Inside 5-minutes, leading by 6, WAS has now put the ball on the ground twice in their end of the field, but recovered both.

Way to close out the division championship, guys.

 

116 Ive seen a disproportionate…

Ive seen a disproportionate number of NFC east games this year. This is very much a perfect representation of what a horrible, unwatchable horror show that division has been. After TB destroys WFT next week, I will be glad that coffin will be officially slammed shut

119 Wow, so much for Riverboat Ron

a 28 yard punt, when one yard would put the game away?  He deserves to lose, but because it's Philly, he probably won't.

123 Yes.  How was that fair to…

Yes.  How was that fair to Sudfeld, even?

Was it tanking for draft choice?  Not sure one or two draft spot positions matter more than giving Hurts the experience of trying to win a close game.  With Wentz seemingly on his way out, Hurts' development is presumably job one for PHI.

EDIT: apparently the L pushed PHI up 3 spots.  Maybe that's a big enough move to make the tanking decision the right one.

124 Random Thoughts

No mention of Henry cracking 2,000 yards.  Most people thought the Titans were crazy giving him that contract.  Looks like he is one of the exceptions.  Quite the work horse back.

Really happy to see Alex Smith come back and play after that horrible injury.  Classy player.

Hat’s off to the coaching staff of the Niners.  With all those injuries and in that division to be in almost every game but a few and play so competitively all season was impressive.  Hopefully they are healthy next season and will reclaim the division.

Hey that Brady guy, he is pretty good.  Everyone on this site wrote him off and thought it was him and not the lousy supporting cast last season.  Well, when you have actual WR’s, it does make a difference.  40 TD’s, over 4600 yards, led the league in completions to targets 20 or more yards downfield (36).  Way more deserving of a pro bowl vote than K Murray.  If he keeps this up, how long can he still play?

Great to see the Bills do so well, the fan base has suffered under the Patriots reign which is now over.  Josh Allen - wow just wow.  The improvement over the 3 years.  Reminds me so much of Jim Kelly.

 

128 Derrick Henry is the closest…

In reply to by amin purshottam

Derrick Henry is the closest thing I've seen to what Bo Jackson was before the injury. Just incredible. Hope he doesn't go out the way Bo did and we get to keep watching this...and I say that even as a fan of a team in the same division.

129 We'll get to talk about the …

In reply to by amin purshottam

We'll get to talk about the "Curse of 370" for the first time in while anyway. We'll have to see if Henry can keep it up after such a heavy workload. Of the 2000 yard backs, Dickerson, OJ, and Peterson all managed to have at least a few more elite years (though OJ and Peterson did so on way fewer carries). Sanders followed up with a season just shy of 1500 yards, but a career low YPC and retirement. Davis was done afterwards. Chris Johnson and Jamal Lewis were never elite backs again.

And yeah Brady is doing something that has never been done. I forget what the statistic was, but going into this season, I think there were fewer that 20 TDs total from QBs in their age 43 or older season. And George Blanda accounted for most of those with 12 (6 of those in 1970). You figure the wheels are going to have to fall off soon, but clearly it wasn't this year (though look at Peyton Manning's 2014 for an example of how quickly someone can go from "on pace for one of the greatest seasons ever" to "this guy is done".

 

130 Miami has to at least be…

Miami has to at least be thinking about Zach Wilson or Justin Fields if one of them slides to that Houston pick, right?  Tua looks awful when he is forced to throw downfield and the whole "bench him for Fitzmagic when we're losing" thing makes it clear that the coaching staff knew this and doesn't trust him even a little bit right now. 

 

Just realized that the Houston pick is #3 - Miami is guaranteed a choice QB if they want to take one.

134 many of these playoff odds…

many of these playoff odds simply can’t be "correct".  for instance, the Titans.  0.8%?   the same could be said for other teams.  The Rams at 0.3%?  once in 300 times or so?  Come on…at the very least, it just intuitively does not pass the "smell test".

yeah, everyone has their models, but the titans were a team a few plays away from going to the super bowl last year, and yes, a very questionable defense, but teams with weak defenses and great offenses are much more apt to make a run than vice versa.  Well you guys wrote the book on that.

they are a 3.5 point dog against the ravens, which translates to about 40% chance of winning.  if they win, and they play the bills, they will likely be something on average a 5 point dog, and 35% chance of winning, if they win that, they will be on average a 7 point dog, and a 30% chance of winning, and if they win that, they are anywhere from 35 to 60% to win the super bowl.  Lets call it 45%.    If we multiply these probabilities, we get pretty close to 2% and that is further away from 0.8% than one realizes.  It is 250% of 0.8%.  again, 2% passes the smell test.  0.8 does not.  yes, sometimes the smell test is sufficient.

But not always.

I have a Master’s in math and have created all kinds of models.

Please hire me in some capacity. 😊