This was a brutal loss….. Dwayne Haskins was awful quarterbacking this team for 3 quarters, throwing for 154 yards with 2 picks and zero touchdowns. He was benched in the 4th quarter for Taylor Heinicke, who came in and moved the offense more effectively — connecting with J.D. McKissic for our only touchdown. It was evident that Heinicke was far more competent running Scott Turner’s offense than Haskins.
Our defense allowed 20 points in the first 2 quarters, and our offense could do nothing to climb out of the hole. The silver lining is that we kept Carolina scoreless for the entire second half of the game. We stepped up defensively in quarters 3 and 4, completely shutting out Carolina. But we could not capitalize on it and lost a chance to clinch the Division.
By the time the game had ended, It was pretty clear time had run out for Dwayne Haskins in Washington. Time after time, he squandered all the opportunities given to him. Look, Haskins is very talented and has a powerful arm, but he has failed to put it all together. The worst thing is that there seems to be no trade value for him and cutting him now was the only option. Waiving Haskins was the right call; I was surprised that it happened this fast; I thought it would happen in the offseason. However, Haskins has become a massive distraction for the team, and getting him out of the locker room was crucial, and now the focus is entirely on beating Philly Sunday night.
It is time to ride with Alex Smith for the last game of the season; he is the best option for our offense, even at less than 100%. If Smith cannot start, Taylor Heinicke should be a good option.
All we have to do now is win on Sunday against Philadelphia, and we will clinch the NFC EAST and host a playoff game. The Eagles are already eliminated from playoff contention and would want to play spoiler.
WFT 13 — PANTHERS 20
And for the rest of the league…..
NY GIANTS 13 — RAVENS 27:
Baltimore has been on a 4 game winning streak and is a game away from clinching a playoff spot. All they have to do is beat Cincinnati on week 17, and they are in.
The Giants have lost 2 in a row, and their only chance to make the playoffs is by beating Dallas next and hope for Washington to lose.
DALLAS 37 — EAGLES 17:
The Eagles got destroyed by Dallas. Phiadelphia had nothing to offer offensively, except for a huge play by Jalen Hurts to Desean Jackson for 81 yards. Carson Wentz may not be entirely out of Philly just yet, especially if Jalen Hurts struggles next Sunday.
The Cowboys are alive for the Division title, and all they have to do is beat the Giants and hope for Washington to lose.
SAINTS 52 — VIKINGS 33:
The Vikings are officially eliminated from the playoff hunt. This was a disappointing loss for Minnesota, and most surprisingly, their weakest link seems to be their defense and not their offense for a change. Mike Zimmer called this defense the worst he has ever coached. The Vikings have to put emphasis on upgrading their defense next season.
The Saints clinched the NFC SOUTH Division title, and now, to secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, they have to beat Carolina and hope for Green Bay to lose against Chicago next week.
DOLPHINS 26 — RAIDERS 25:
Miami struggled for most of this game and ended up benching Tua for Ryan Fitzpatrick, and it paid dividends. Fitzmagic gave the offense a spark to edge out the Raiders and keep themselves alive in the playoff race. All they have to do now is beat Buffalo on week 17.
The Raiders self-destructed in the last few weeks and got eliminated from the playoff hunt. Jon Gruden has some critical roster decisions to make for next season, and there is a good chance that Derek Carr may not be a Raider in 2021.
49ERS 20 — CARDINALS 12:
Arizona put themselves in a tough spot by losing this game. Their backs are now against the wall, and to the playoffs, they have to beat the Rams next week and hope for Chicago to lose.
San Francisco has been ravaged by injuries all year. They played in the Super Bowl last season, and now they are not even going to the playoffs. However, they are finishing up the season respectfully and looking to be bouncing back in 2021.
BUCCANEERS 47 — LIONS 7:
Tom Brady had a monster game, throwing for over 300 yards with 4 TDs and zero picks. Tampa Bay is back in the playoffs and is looking to secure the 5th seed spot by beating Atlanta on week 17.
Detroit has a lot of house cleaning to do in the offseason. The two most significant issues to address are the Head Coaching position and the future of Matthew Stafford.
SEAHAWKS 20 — RAMS 9:
Seattle clinched the NFC WEST Division title, and they are now hoping to lock in the top seed in the NFC by beating San Francisco on week 17 and hoping for Green Bay and New Orleans to lose.
The Rams are still in control of their own destiny here; all they have to do is beat Arizona to clinch a playoff spot or hope for Chicago to lose.
NY JETS 23 — BROWNS 16:
The Jets have put together two straight wins against the Rams and the Browns, two teams with winning records. They are surprisingly finishing the season on a positive note. But it will not be enough to save Adam Gase’s job.
The Browns are in a tough spot to clinch a playoff spot — they have to beat Pittsburgh on week 17 and need a lot of help from other AFC teams.
STEELERS 28 — COLTS 24:
The Steelers got back to their winning ways after losing 3 straight games. Pittsburgh is looking to secure the number 2 seed in the AFC, but it won’t be easy; they’ll need to beat Cleveland on week 17 and hope for Buffalo to lose.
The Colts are currently outside of the playoff picture looking in, but with a solid chance of still making it by beating Jacksonville on week 17 and hope for lots and lots of help from other teams. If Baltimore, Miami, Cleveland, or Tennessee loses, Indianapolis will clinch the final AFC spot. If Tennessee loses and Indianapolis wins on week 17, then the Colts are in and also win the AFC SOUTH.
CHIEFS 17 — FALCONS 14:
The Chiefs had a hard time pulling out this win, and they seem shaky heading into the playoffs. They keep winning games by narrow margins, but the good thing is that Kansas City has now clinched Home-field advantage throughout the AFC, and they get a first-round bye. Having the first round off will benefit Kansas City greatly.
Atlanta is finishing up the season playing good football and showing signs of contending next season — their final game is against Tampa bay.
BEARS 41 — JAGUARS 17:
The Bears have turned their season around and are within a game of clinching a playoff spot. All they have to do is beat Green Bay in week 17, and even if they lose to the Packers, they still can clinch a spot if Arizona loses against the Rams.
Jacksonville is now daydreaming about Trevor Lawrence and all the attention Jacksonville will receive during the offseason.
BILLS 38 — PATRIOTS 9:
Buffalo swept New England for the season, and they are now the clear cut dominant team in the AFC EAST for years to come. They are one win away from securing the number 2 seed in the AFC if they beat Miami on Sunday.
New England is imploding before our eyes. All those years of cheating and bending the rules are coming back to haunt Bill Belicheater and company. They are no longer the dominant team in the AFC, and I’m beyond static to state that. If next season turns into another losing season for New England, I predict Belicheater will be out.
PACKERS 40 — TITANS 14:
Green Bay is now one game closer to locking in the number 1 seed in the NFC; they just need to beat Chicago in week 17 or hope for Seattle to lose.
The Titans are still on top of the AFC SOUTH but need to win against Houston and hope for Indianapolis, Baltimore, or Miami to lose.
CHARGERS 19 — BRONCOS 16:
Justin Herbert should be a strong candidate for Rookie of the year — He has become the central piece of the rebuilding process in LA, and building the team around him should be their focus going into 2021.
The Broncos need to find a Quarterback next season, and there really isn’t much to get excited about Denver at the moment.
BENGALS 37 — TEXANS 31:
Cincinnati is playing hard for Zac Taylor and are finishing up the season playing solid football without Joe Burrow. They should be making some noise next season in the AFC NORTH.
The Texans have lost 4 games in a row, and the Bill O’Brien era’s side effects are still very much relevant in Houston. Deshaun Watson is one of the most talented young Quarterbacks in the NFL, which should be an attractive prospect for all the potential Head Coach candidates.