Washington got robbed by the refs, simple as that. Still, Washington delivered an all-around uninspired performance. This game had crucial playoff implications, and we choked.
Taylor Heinicke struggled in the first half but played better in the second half and even provided a spark here and there, throwing for 249 yards with 1 TD and zero picks. Heinicke’s deep throw to Dotson was spectacular. But his fumble in the red zone killed us. Also, the O-line is a cause for deep concern; their protection is inadequate for any of our QBs, regardless if it is Wentz or Heinicke.
The running game was solid, but not enough carries for our RBs — Brian Robinson was the lead back with 12 carries for 89 yards but with no scores. I’m perplexed why we didn’t use Antonio Gibson and Curtis Samuel in running plays. The missed pass interference call at the end of the 4th Quarter robbed us of a chance to take this game into overtime. However, it should’ve never come to that.
Our Defense was supposed to be formidable against the run, but Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley kept gashing us, and we couldn’t stop them. Also, our pass rush is not where it needs to be. So I hope to God that Chase Young returns soon to give our Defense a much-needed jump start.
Washington squandered a unique opportunity to clinch a playoff spot, especially after a week off and how the scheduling was set up in our favor.
WASH 12 — NY GIANTS 20
Next up, Washington visits San Francisco. Kyle Shanahan loves to beat on Washington and stick it to Dan Snyder ( I don’t blame him). I think the 49ers are the most dangerous team in the NFC, ahead of Philly. And we are up against the wall here; this is a must-win to remain within striking distance of a playoff spot. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
And for the rest of the league,
DALLAS 34 — JACKSONVILLE 40
The delight I feel when Dallas loses is immeasurable, and this loss brought much joy to my Dallas-hating heart. But, unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived — Washington losing to the Giants helped Dallas clinch a playoff spot. Next, Dallas hosts Philadelphia. Advantage, Philadelphia Eagles.
Massive win for Jacksonville. Doug Peterson has coached his ass off to turn Jacksonville into a playoff contender in the AFC South. Next, Jacksonville visits the NY Jets. Advantage, Jacksonville Jaguars.
EAGLES 25 — BEARS 20
The Eagles are all about Jalen Hurts scrambling and making things happen; he scored 3 TDs on the run. However, Hurts left the game banged up. The Eagles have already secured the NFC East. As a result, they might rest Jalen Hurts for the remaining of the season and go with Gardner Minshew for a few weeks. Next, Philadelphia visits Dallas. Advantage, Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bears made this game close. Justin Fields continues to impress me with his scramble ability. If Chicago builds this team correctly, the future looks bright for the Bears. Next, Chicago host Buffalo. Advantage, Buffalo Bills.
PACKERS 24 — LA RAMS 12
The Packers needed this win badly; they are now back in contention for a playoff spot. But Green Bay will need to win out and receive tons of help to get in — Highly unlikely. Next, Green Bay visits Miami. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
Not surprisingly, the Rams are now officially out of the playoff race, although they were realistically out weeks ago. Baker Mayfield had some excellent moments, but there isn’t much to expect from this depleted team. So in the next few weeks, it will be about assessing their current roster. Next, the LA Rams host Denver. Advantage, Denver Broncos.
49ERS 21 — SEAHAWKS 13
The 49ers clinched the NFC West title. Brock Purdy has been a revelation for San Francisco; Kyle Shanahan has found his ideal backup to Trey Lance. Next, San Francisco host Washington. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
The Seahawks have lost 2 games in a row, and at 7-7, their playoff hopes are starting to fade away. Next, Seattle visits Kansas City. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs.
BENGALS 34 — BUCCANEERS 23
The Bengals rallied back from 17-3 at halftime. Joe Burrow threw 4 TDs to 4 different receivers. At 10-4, Cincinnati is 1 game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC East. Next, Cincinnati visits New England. Advantage, Cincinnati Bengals.
The Buccaneers wasted away a 17-3 lead at halftime; it was an epic Defensive debacle for Tampa Bay that not even the great Tom Brady could overcome. Todd Bowles seems over his head here. So maybe the sudden “retirement” by Bruce Arians was not a good idea after all. Next, Tampa Bay visits Arizona. Advantage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
CHIEFS 30 — TEXANS 24
The Chiefs won the AFC West for the 7th straight year, but they were pushed to the limit by Houston. Patrick Mahomes threw for over 300 yards with 2 TDs and no picks. However, their lack of a consistent running game is a cause for concern. Next, Kansas City hosts Seattle. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs.
The Texans took the Chiefs into overtime and almost stole this game. At 1-12-1, Houston is on pace to land the number 1 overall pick in 2023’s draft. Next, Houston visits Tennessee. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
BILLS 32 — DOLPHINS 29
The Bills were trailing 21-29 in the 4th Quarter, and then, it started to snow, and Buffalo took off. The Bills officially clinched a playoff spot, but the Division is still up for grabs. Next, Buffalo visits Chicago. Advantage, Buffalo Bills
Miami was looking to end their losing streak and seemed destined to sweep Buffalo this season. But the weather conditions were their undoing. At 8-6, Miami is still alive in the playoff hunt. Next, Miami hosts Green Bay. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
LIONS 20 — NY JETS 17
The Lions have won 3 games in a row, and at 7-7, they are making a late playoff run. Jared Goff is having a solid second half of the season. Next, Detroit visits Carolina. Advantage, Detroit Lions.
The Jets have lost 3 games in a row and are at risk of failing to make the playoffs. The uncertainty at the QB position is a factor here. Next, the Jets hosts Jacksonville. Advantage, Jacksonville Jaguars.
RAIDERS 30 — PATRIOTS 24
Jakobi Meyers gifted the Raiders this win with a dumb play at the end of the game. At 6-8, Las Vegas has a slim chance of making the playoffs. Next, Las Vegas visit Pittsburgh. Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders.
There was no time left, and it looked like we were going into OT. But the insane decision by Jakobi Meyers to lateral the ball cost New England the chance to win this game. The stiff arm by Chandler Jones on Mac jones and scoring on his former team was poetic. Next, New England hosts Cincinnati. Advantage, Cincinnati Bengals.
LA CHARGERS 17 — TITANS 14
With this win, the LA Chargers are back in the AFC playoff picture and have an excellent chance to sneak in as the last seed. Next, the LA Chargers visit Indianapolis. Advantage, LA Chargers.
The Titans are dangerously at risk of losing the top spot in the AFC South to Jacksonville. Their week 18 matchup against Jacksonville might be for the Division title. Next, Tennessee hosts Houston. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
STEELERS 24 — PANTHERS 16
The Steelers’ formula was to run the ball with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren; they combined for 124 yards and 2 TDs. Even Mitch Trubisky was effective in moving the ball around, not throwing any picks. Next, Pittsburgh host Las Vegas. Advantage, Las Vegas Raiders.
Carolina missed an opportunity to gain crucial ground in the NFC playoff hunt. At 5-9, they have to win out and hope for Tampa Bay to stumble along the way. Next, Carolina hosts Detroit. Advantage, Detroit Lions.
VIKINGS 39 — COLTS 36
The Vikings were down 33-0 at halftime and somehow managed to put together the biggest deficit comeback in NFL history. Kirk Cousins ended up with 460 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 picks. Receivers KJ Osborn, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen combined for 321 yards and 3 TDs. Next, Minnesota hosts the NY Giants. Advantage, Minnesota Vikings.
This was an epic collapse for Indianapolis, and Matt Ryan has now been a part of two historic choke jobs. Also, the Jeff Saturday experiment is not working out. Indianapolis is a mess. Next, Indianapolis hosts the LA Chargers. Advantage, LA Chargers.
BROWNS 13 — RAVENS 3
The Browns leaned on Nick Chubb and their ground game to give Deshaun Watson his first victory as a Cleveland Brown. At 5-9, Cleveland has a slim chance of making the playoffs, but it is improbable. Next, Cleveland hosts New Orleans. Advantage, New Orleans Saints.
Baltimore struggled without Lamar Jackson, and at 9-5, they are still one game behind Cincinnati. They need Jackson back to solidify their playoff position. Next, Baltimore hosts Atlanta. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.
BRONCOS 24 — CARDINALS 15
The Broncos won a game without Russell Wilson. Brett Rypien showed some grit by surviving JJ Watt’s relentless pressure and delivering a much-needed win. But Wilson will be back for week 16. Next, Denver visits the LA Rams. Advantage, Denver Broncos.
The Cardinals are without Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy. So they went with Trace McSorley, who threw for a pathetic 95 yards and 2 picks with no scores. Massive changes are coming to Arizona. Next, Arizona hosts Tampa Bay. Advantage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
SAINTS 21 — FALCONS 18
The Saints ended their 2-game losing streak and essentially saved their slim chances of making the playoffs. At 5-9, New Orleans needs to win out and hope for Carolina and Tampa Bay to lose. Next, New Orleans visits Cleveland. Advantage, New Orleans Saints
The Falcons decided to bench Marcus Mariota and go with rookie Desmon Ritter. This was a bold move, considering that Atlanta is still mathematically in the playoff hunt, and Mariota gives them a better chance to sneak in. Ritter finished the game with 97 sad yards. Next, Atlanta visits Baltimore. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.