And all it took was the San Diego Chargers, who aren’t exactly a great team, playing bad and missing two field goals in the fourth quarter, one that should have been made. That’s all! So we will now go another year without a team joining the 1976 Buccaneers and the 2008 Detroit Lions as part of Team Winless. It was close though. Here’s the funny part: the Niners also won (beating a hapless Rams team in front of a half-filled stadium), meaning the Browns are still in the #1 draft slot. So all in all, the best day for Cleveland Browns fans in quite some time.
Hey let’s get on to the rest of the recap shall we?
- The Giants botched a chance to at least put some pressure on the Cowboys by losing to the Eagles. And they looked bad doing it. They are still a team to watch in the postseason but that kind of effort can’t give fans any confidence.
- The entire AFC playoff picture basically figured itself out this past weekend, much to the chagrin of Commissioner Gingerhammer and the NFL front offices. It means there is very little to look for when it comes to playoff seeding in the AFC. This is not good for ratings at all.
- What was Rex Ryan doing? He got way too cute with trying to ice the kicker and missed calling the timeout by just a fraction of a second. The long field goal was good, sending the game into overtime and the Dolphins ended up winning, stamping their invitation to the dance and sending Buffalo home and Rex Ryan (probably) to the unemployment line.
- Marcus Mariota AND Derek Carr are now out for the season with broken/fractured fibulas. A terrible set of events for the Titans and Raiders franchises. The Titans at least have no shot at the playoffs but the Raiders will now have to make a go of it with Matt McGloin and Connor Cook. Good luck since I can’t see this ending well in their first playoff trip in over a decade.
- Member when I said that the Minnesota Vikings were one of the elite teams in the league? I member. And I take it back. They are now exactly where many thought they would be. Hovering around the .500 mark and out of the playoffs. And it’s painfully obvious that Sam Bradford will never be the answer at quarterback. Only a stop-gap measure and only for maybe half a season at most. He tricked us all DAMMIT!
- Speaking of coaches getting shitcanned, I can’t foresee any scenario that allows Marvin Lewis to keep his job. I think the Bengals need some change since they should have been a LOT better than they were this season, considering the talent they have.
- Great de facto AFC North title game between the Ravens and Steelers. The Steelers won to clinch the division but it wasn’t easy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Big Ben and his merry men go far in the playoffs.
- I feel bad for the Lions. I really do. For most of the season they have played well and have controlled the NFC North. Now, after a late-season swoon, they have a winner-take-all game for the division title against the surging Packers next week. Also, whoever loses that game is out of the playoffs completely if the Redskins can somehow defeat the Giants. That would be a quick and massive fall from grace for a franchise that is known for being primarily awful for its entire existence. There is a part of me that hopes they win so at least they can guarantee their playoff spot.
Alright this coming Sunday is the final week of the regular season. All games on Sunday (New Year’s Day). Other than the Green Bay-Detroit matchup it is a very slim schedule for huge games since most of them have very little implication. The Giants-Redskins game is important and we need to keep an eye on the Bucs-Panthers game but other than that….meh. I know the NFL was hoping for a crescendo this week after one of the worst first halves of a season in history. They won’t get it so hopefully the few games that matter have a lot of intrigue and aren’t all blowouts.
There is more bowl action today. Four games on tap and multiple games every day through the end of 2016 when we have the College Football Playoff semi-finals. Enjoy the games everyone!