Ok, here is the thing, Dallas got lucky in this game, simple as that. They caught Washington with an insane amount of starters out of this game. Some due to Covid protocols and some to injuries. On the other hand, Dallas came in almost at full strength.
Nevertheless, Washington had a lot of issues getting their offense going. The running game was non-existent; all running backs struggled to get some traction on the ground. The Offensive line had a hard time providing holes and dealing with Micah parsons and the constant pressure from Dallas. Adding to the lackluster running game was the absence of JD McKissic; he was ruled out before the game.
Also, the O-line could not protect the QB like in the previous 4 weeks. Taylor Heinicke was under distress for most of the game; he was inaccurate, and his ball placement was way off — it seems like the pressure from Dallas got to him mentally. Heinicke ended up leaving the game to a knee injury and was replaced by Kyle Allen.
Allen played well for the most part, mostly because I don’t think Dallas had a game plan for him. Still, the offense was not as effective as during the winning streak.
Curtis Samuel played but did not contribute much in this game. He has been slowly getting back into action from a groin injury that kept him out for most of the regular season. Terry McLaurin was shut out and eventually was ruled out for the remainder of the game due to a concussion. Not having TE Logan Thomas was crucial, and his absence will be felt during this last stretch of the regular season. Thomas has a torn ACL and is not expected to return until the 2022 season.
The defense held its own and kept this game from getting out of hand, but missing Casey Toohill and Montez Sweat made a difference.
On top of all the injuries, we have also lost our star DT Jonathan Allen to Covid protocols. This absence sucks and will be rough for the defense. Plus, there was news about a positive Omicron test from a tier 3 employee. According to NFL covid policies, Tier 3 employees are not supposed to come into contact with tier 1 employees (players and coaches). But we will see how things develop in terms of more positive tests.
All in all, we still have 4 games left, and all of those 4 games are within the division. Washington has got to win out and lock in a playoff spot. Next up, we play Philly. The Eagles are 6-7, and I’m sure they will love nothing more than to play spoiler and overtake us in the playoff hunt. We have to beat Philly!
WFT 20 — COWBOYS 27
NY GIANTS 21 — LA CHARGERS 37
The LA Chargers have put together solid back-to-back wins and set up a must-see divisional matchup against Mahomes and company. The Chargers are 8-5, and they have 3 divisional games left in the regular season, so winning the AFC WEST is within reach. Next up, LA hosts Kansas city. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs
I never thought I would say this, but I actually feel sorry for fans of the NY Giants. This team is a complete mess, and deservingly so. Their clown ownership has been getting on my nerves for years. Plus, Joe Judge is not NFL head coaching material; he is a position coach at best. Next up, NY hosts Dallas. Advantage, Dallas Cowboys (but I hope NY wins)
VIKINGS 36 — STEELERS 28
Minnesota was comfortably leading 29 – 0 late in the 3rd quarter and looked like the game was over. I briefly turned away from the game, and when I came back to it, Pittsburgh had cut the lead, and the game was 20 to 29. The Vikings’ defense continues to underperform from week to week— they allowed Big Ben to make some crucial plays and make this game closer than it should have been. Next up, Minnesota visits division rival Chicago. Advantage, Minnesota Vikings.
The Steelers are the most inconsistent team in the NFL, and at times they seem to be dysfunctional and undisciplined. At 6-6-1, Pittsburgh has to win out and get some help to make the playoffs. Next up, Pittsburgh hosts Tennessee. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
CHIEFS 48 — RAIDERS 9
Kansas City has now won 6 games in a row, setting up a crucial matchup against the LA Chargers on week 18. The Chiefs are playing better defense, making all the difference this late in the season. Next week, Kansas City visits the LA Chargers. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders are such a mess right now, which is insane considering all the talent assembled on all sides of the ball. However, it is safe to say that significant changes are coming to Vegas next season. Next week, Las Vegas visits Cleveland. Advantage, Cleveland Browns (but I hope Vegas wins).
49ERS 26 — BENGALS 23
San Francisco is having a late-season surge, and they have a legit chance to make the playoffs, but injuries continue to haunt them. Next week, San Francisco hosts Atlanta. Advantage, San Francisco 49ers
The Bengals took this game into overtime but couldn’t hang on and neutralize Jimmy G from torching them in OT. As a result, Cincinnati has lost 2 games in a row, and they are at risk of falling out of the playoff race. Next week, Cincinnati visits Denver. Advantage, Denver Broncos.
BROWNS 24 — RAVENS 22
Cleveland caught a huge break when Lamar Jackson left the game injured. This win saved Cleveland’s season, and with 3 divisional games remaining, they could still win the AFC NORTH division. Next up, Cleveland hosts the Las Vegas Raiders. Advantage, Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens without Lamar Jackson are a completely different team, and their post-season hopes rest in Lamar’s health. Next up, Baltimore Host Green bay. Advantage, Green Bay Packers.
TITANS 20 — JAGUARS 9
ok, let’s not overreact here — Tennessee beat and shut out the worst team in the NFL. The score should have been higher. The Titans have 3 regular-season games in a row left in the schedule against playoff-contending teams, and by week 18, we will have a better idea of how good this Tennessee team is. Next week, Tennessee visits up and down Pittsburgh. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
Urban Meyer sucks, simple as that. He has got to go, and Jacksonville needs to find a real NFL-caliber coach, not some College hack of a coach who never had any pro-football experience. I don’t care how much he won at the college level — the NFL is the big league, and not everyone is cut out to coach there. Next week, Jacksonville hosts Houston, another mess of a team. Advantage, Houston Texans.
SEAHAWKS 33 — TEXANS 13
Seattle is rebounding nicely after getting beat down by my Washington Football team on week 12 and have now put together 2 solid wins. At 5-8, Seattle is not entirely out of the wildcard race, but they will have to win out and get some help to grab a playoff spot. Next week, Seattle visits LA. Advantage, La Rams.
The Texans are just playing out the schedule, hoping to land a good draft spot for the 2022 NFL draft. A complete and deep rebuild is in order for Houston. Next week, Houston visits Jacksonville. Advantage, Houston Texans.
BUCCANEERS 33 — BILLS 27
Tom Brady still owns Buffalo. It got dicey in the 4th quarter for Tampa Bay as Buffalo tied the game and took them to overtime. But Brady threw a 58-yard pass to Breshad Perriman to seal the deal. Next up, Tampa Bay host New Orleans. Advantage, New Orleans Saints (they own Tom Brady during the regular season).
Tough loss for Buffalo; they needed this win badly to remain relevant in the AFC playoff hunt. The good thing is that 3 out of the 4 games remaining in the regular season schedule are against losing teams. Next up, Buffalo hosts Carolina. Advantage, Buffalo Bills.
PACKERS 45 — BEARS 30
The Packers played from behind for most of this game, but once the 3rd quarter came around, Green Bay opened up a can of whoop-ass all over Chicago and never looked back. Next week, Green Bay visits Baltimore. Advantage, Green Bay packers.
Chicago has to continue to build around Justin Fields; he can be both dynamic and mistake-prone, so adding better pieces to compliment him will be crucial for his development. Next week, Chicago hosts Minnesota on Monday Night football. Advantage, Minnesota Vikings.
SAINTS 30 — NY JETS 9
Field goals and rushing TDs were the keys to victory here for New Orleans. They ended their 5-game losing streak and, at 6-7, still have a chance to get into the playoffs. Next up, New Orleans visits their arch-rival Tampa Bay. Advantage, New Orleans Saints.
The NY Jets have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, and they can now just play out their schedule and look to build towards next season. I have a feeling the NY Jets will be much improved come 2022. Next up, NY visits Miami. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
FALCONS 29 — PANTHERS 21
Atlanta has some fight still left in them, and as nuts, as it sounds, they are still alive in the NFC playoff race. Next week, Atlanta visits San Francisco, a massive game for both teams with playoff implications. Advantage, San Francisco 49ers.
The Panthers are a disaster under Matt Rhule, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a change is made at the end of the season. Cam Newton is not really the issue here; the firing of Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady was just an excuse but not the solution. Next week, Carolina visits Buffalo. Advantage, Buffalo Bills.
BRONCOS 28 — LIONS 10
Denver looked formidable, beating up on the 1 win Detroit Lions. The Broncos seemed inspired to win this game — I’m sure the sudden passing of Demaryius Thomas played a factor here. Next up, Denver hosts Cincinnati. Advantage, Cincinnati Bengals.
Even though they are not the worst team in the 2021 NFL season, Detroit will probably end up with the number 1 pick in the 2022 Draft. The Lions have building blocks available to improve in 2022. Next up, Detroit hosts Arizona. Advantage, Arizona Cardinals.
LA RAMS 30 — CARDINALS 23
This was a must-win for LA — The Rams delivered a dominant primetime performance on Monday Night Football. Matthew Stafford threw for 287 yards with 3 TDs and zero picks. Cooper Kupp had 13 catches for 12 yards and 1 TD — safe to say Kupp is the best wide receiver in the NFL this season. The Rams defense was exceptional, pressuring and keeping Kyler Murray at bay for most of the game. Next week, LA hosts Seattle. Advantage, LA Rams.
The Cardinals missed a huge opportunity to sweep LA, but no big deal, no reason to panic; at 10-3, Arizona is still one game away from clinching the NFC WEST. Next week, Arizona visits Detroit. Advantage, Arizona Cardinals.