This was a tough loss for Washington, particularly for our playoff chances. Fortunately, the losses by Detroit and Seattle have kept us alive for now. But we need to win our next 2 games to get in.
Taylor Heinicke played okay for the first 2 quarters but struggled after, throwing a pick and then fumbling away the ball. Finally, Ron Rivera had seen enough and brought in Carson Wentz — he came in and looked solid, moving the offense better and connecting with Curtis Samuel for a 20-yard TD.
The running game was ineffective; Brian Robison got 22 carries but only 58 yards. Kudos to San Francisco for shutting down the run. We did not use Antonio Gibson adequately; he got 5 carries for 10 yards. We need more balance and consistency in the ground game.
The Defense did pretty well containing San Francisco’s dynamic running backs, especially Christian McCaffrey. But George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk killed us through the air. I was happy to see Chase Young back; He looked pretty good and was disruptive.
WASH 20 — 49ERS 37
Next up, Washington hosts Cleveland. This is a must-win for Washington. As a result, it was made official that Carson Wentz will start for this game — this is the right decision; Wentz gives us the best chance to win the next 2 games. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
And for the rest of the league,
DALLAS 40 — EAGLES 34
The Cowboys threw a monkey wrench on Philadelphia’s path to clinch the NFC East crown. This is another mirage win for Dallas — Philadelphia fumbled this game. The Cowboys will not go far in the playoffs. Next, Dallas visits Tennessee. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
The Eagles missed Jalen Hurts in this game. Gardner Minshew had a decent game, throwing for 355 yards with 2 TDs and 2 picks. But the running threat that Jalen Hurts provides was missed. Their Defense allowed Dallas to look like a dynamic team, which they are not. Next, Philadelphia hosts New Orleans. Advantage, Philadelphia Eagles.
NY GIANTS 24 — VIKINGS 27
The Giants didn’t get all the referee breaks as they did on week 15 against Washington. Daniel Jones and company looked good, keeping this game close, albeit it was against a leaky Minnesota defense. I hope NY keeps on losing to benefit Washington’s playoff standings. Next, the NY Giants host Indianapolis. Advantage, NY Giants (rooting for the Colts).
The Vikings continue to find ways to win close games. Minnesota hopes to improve its playoff seeding with the NFC North title secured. Next, Minnesota visits Green Bay. Advantage, Minnesota Vikings.
CHIEFS 24 — SEAHAWKS 10
The Chiefs totally dominated Seattle. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce looked unstoppable. At 12-3, Kansas City is on track to finish the season on top of the entire AFC. Next, Kansas City hosts Denver. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs.
The Seahawks have now lost 3-games straight, and at 7-8, they are at risk of not making the playoffs. Next, Seattle hosts the NY Jets. Advantage, Seattle Seahawks.
LA RAMS 51 — BRONCOS 14
The LA Rams destroyed Denver. Baker has found the perfect Head Coach that can cater to an offense suited to his talents. Sean McVay will look to finish up this season on a positive note. Next, the LA Rams visit the LA Chargers. Advantage, LA Chargers.
The Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett as the scapegoat for the mess Russell Wilson has brought to Denver. However, their GM should’ve been the first to go. Anyhow, Denver will start the process of finding a new Head Coach earlier than expected. Next, Denver visits Kansas City. Advantage, Kansas City Chiefs.
BILLS 35 — BEARS 13
The Bills should be concerned with Josh Allen’s inconsistency this late in the season. The interceptions need to be cleaned up, or they won’t go far in the playoffs. At 12-3, they are battling Kansas City for the top seed in the AFC. Next, Buffalo visits Cincinnati. Advantage, Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bears are finishing up the schedule against their NFC North Division, hoping to play spoiler against Detroit and hurt Minnesota’s playoff seeding. I like the things I’ve seen from Justin Fields this season; their future looks bright. Next, Chicago visits Detroit. Advantage, Detroit Lions.
PACKERS 26 — DOLPHINS 20
The Packers have won 3-games in a row and are making a late-season push for a playoff spot. But, at 7-8, they need to win out and hope for other NFC teams to stumble along the way. Next, Green Bay hosts Minnesota. Advantage, Minnesota Vikings.
Tua had a decent first half, but the second half was a disaster. Plus, his health and constant concussions are troublesome. Tua needs to look deeply at his health and decide on his future. In addition, to make the playoffs, the Dolphins need to win out or hope for the Jets to lose one game. Next, Miami visits New England. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
JAGUARS 19 — NY JETS 3
The Jaguars are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. At 7-8. they are tied with Tennessee for the AFC South Division. Their playoff chances will likely come down to the week 18 game against the Titans. Next, Jacksonville visits Houston. Advantage, Jacksonville Jaguars.
The NY Jets have lost 4-games in a row, and surprisingly, they are still on the hunt for a playoff spot. However, Zach Wilson’s future is uncertain. Furthermore, their last 2 games are against teams fighting for playoff spots, so it doesn’t look good for the Jets. Next, the NY Jets visit Seattle. Advantage, Seattle Seahawks.
BENGALS 22 — PATRIOTS 18
The Bengals were leading 22-0 at halftime, and then New England woke up and put up 18 unanswered points. Cincinnati was extremely lucky to walk out with a win here. Next, Cincinnati hosts Buffalo. Advantage, Cincinnati Bengals.
The Patriots almost stole this game with a second-half rally. New England is still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, but realistically, they don’t have a chance. Next, New England hosts Miami. Advantage, Miami Dolphins.
BUCCANEERS 19 — CARDINALS 16
The Buccaneers ended their 2-game losing streak; It took an overtime Field Goal to edge out Arizona. Tom Brady had a rough game, throwing 1 TD and 2 picks. Tampa Bay is barely hanging on to the top of the NFC South by 1 game ahead of Carolina. Next, Tampa Bay hosts Carolina. Advantage, Carolina Panthers.
The Cardinals were without Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy, so they went with 3rd stringer Trace McSorley. Arizona put on a valiant effort, but they run out of luck in OT. The Cardinals organization needs to reevaluate many things going into 2023. Next, Arizona visits Atlanta. Advantage, Atlanta Falcons.
TEXANS 19 — TITANS 14
The Texans got their much-deserved 2nd win of the season. This coaching staff is doing the right thing. They are catching up with these young players; they are playing hard and competitive football. And even though this is a losing season, they are staying right on track to pick high in next year’s NFL Draft and rebuild. I see signs of a potential contender. Next, Houston hosts Jacksonville. Advantage, Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Titans losing Ryan Tannehill for the season due to injury was a crushing blow to their playoff chances. In replacement, Malik Wills struggled, throwing for 99 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 picks. As a result, the Titans have lost 5-games straight and are sliding out of playoff contention. They need to win their next 2 games to save their season. Next, Tennessee hosts Dallas. Advantage, Tennessee Titans.
PANTHERS 37 — LIONS 23
The Panthers are making a massive push for the NFC South Division title. Their top players delivered the goods — Sam Darnold threw for 250 yards, 1 TD, and zero picks. And D’onta Foreman rushed for 165 yards and 1 TD. Carolina is on track to sneak into the post-season — and they even brought back Josh Norman off the couch. Next, Carolina visits Tampa Bay. Advantage, Carolina Panthers.
The Lions’ playoff hopes took a big hit with this loss. Jared Goff continues to impress; he threw for 355 yards with 3 TDs and zero picks. At 7-8, Detroit has to win out to get into the post-season. Next, Detroit hosts Chicago. Advantage, Detroit Lions.
STEELERS 13 — RAIDERS 10
The Steelers paid tribute to Franco Harris’s memory by beating the team he helped defeat 50 years ago with his famous immaculate reception. At 7-8, Pittsburgh is mathematically alive for a playoff spot. Next, Pittsburgh visits Baltimore. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders had another stinker of a game and buried their chances to return to the playoffs. Derek Carr had an awful game, throwing for 174 yards with 1 TD and 3 picks. It was announced that Josh McDaniels has finally benched Derek Carr over Jarrett Stidham for the week 17 game. Next, Las Vegas hosts San Francisco. Advantage, San Francisco 49ers.
LA CHARGERS 20 — COLTS 3
The LA Chargers have won 3 games in a row, and at 9-6, they have already clinched a playoff spot. The Chargers are looking to roll into the playoffs on a winning streak fueled by an improved Defense. Next, the LA Chargers host the LA Rams. Advantage, LA Chargers.
In a few weeks, the Colts have gone from bad to worst. At this point, Indianapolis is playing for draft picks. They need to finish the season strong and win some games. Next, Indianapolis visits the NY Giants. Advantage, NY Giants (rooting for the Colts).
SAINTS 17 — BROWNS 10
The Saints needed this win badly to remain alive for the playoffs. It was a nasty, cold day in Cleveland, but New Orleans found their run game late and edged out a crucial victory. Next, New Orleans list Philadelphia. Advantage, Philadelphia Eagles.
The Browns are out of playoff contention and looking to improve their roster in the offseason. Deshaun Watson is getting some valuable playing time to get the rust off. These last 2 weeks, Cleveland will look to play spoiler against teams hunting for a post-season berth. Next, Cleveland visits Washington. Advantage, Washington Commanders.
RAVENS 17 — FALCONS 9
The Ravens clinched a playoff spot. They should continue to start Tyler Huntley and rest Lamar Jackson for the playoffs. However, the drama between Baltimore’s front office and Lamar’s new contract will continue to dominate headlines. Next, Baltimore hosts Pittsburgh. Advantage, Baltimore Ravens.
The Falcons’ decision to go with rookie QB Desmond Ridder over Marcus Mariota has not paid off. They have essentially squandered their slim playoff chances by making this QB switch. Next, Atlanta hosts Arizona. Advantage, Atlanta Falcons.