1) The Cowboys do it…again. Seahawks prove what they are
I mean seriously, could you have more of a Cowboys game than this? This tweet of mine pretty much sums up my thoughts:
The Cowboys had chance, after chance, after chance to get back into the game once the Seahawks went up 14-12 and failed in the most Cowboys fashion possible. At this point, Dak doesn’t look close to last year’s Dak, Dez continues to be Dez and Jason Garrett continues to be painfully just above average. Is this the season Jerry Jones finally makes some big changes to the team? This luxury box walkout would make it appear so:
Meanwhile, the Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive. What became clear was that if they do get there, they aren’t making a deep run like they have in past years. This team relies on Russell Wilson to a painful extent and their banged up defense is bound to cost them at some point.
2) Falcons gift Saints a win
I picked Atlanta to win this game and the reality is the Saints didn’t win it, the Falcons lost it. Where do you want to start? Stupid penalties and bad coaching riddled the Falcons all day long. Dan Quinn is going to be under fire after this game and he deserves every second of it.
Atlanta for some reason decided to go for it on 4th and goal at a time in which a field goal would have made it a two possession game. Now why would they want to do that, huh? Give credit to their defense because they held New Orleans offense in check, but the rest of the team looked focused on their presents tomorrow morning.
3) Tom Brady looks shaky, but Patriots cruise
Yes the Patriots, won. Yes, they are still probably going to cruise to the AFC Championship and win it. However, that all could be thrown up in the air if Tom Brady all of a sudden doesn’t look like himself and that is exactly what is happening. He has thrown interceptions in five straight games — for the first time since his second year in the league — and has a total of six during that window.
Sure it’s a lot of small things, but Brady has made a lot of mistakes this year that he flat out hasn’t throughout his career. Would I still bet on them doing everything I listed above? Yes. At this point I think New England is getting to the Super Bowl, but even if the final stats say otherwise, Brady does not look like himself.
More on tomorrow’s show.
4) Panthers win, but aren’t a Super Bowl team
Carolina is now 11-4. Whoopie doo. Ok, sure I’ll give them some credit because they have exceeded by expectations by a mile. However, they are not a Super Bowl team…or even close for that matter.
A Super Bowl caliber team doesn’t get a safety called back because of a stupid penalty and then allow a 3rd and 12 on the very next play; and this isn’t an isolated event. To add onto their issues, their defense is becoming more and more of a liability that will hurt them against a good offense.
5) Winston and Mariota look like a waste of picks
Remember when these two were picked one, two in the 2015 draft. The talk back then was about which one off them would develop. The reality now is, ‘Will one of them develop?’
Mariota threw yet another interception today to set his TD:INT ratio at 14:16 for the season. Every single game the third-year player finds a way to make an inexcusable decision that makes you mind mumblingly mad if you’re a Titans fan or even just an NFL fan.
Winston meanwhile absolutely blew a gasket at the end of the game after he blew a fourth quarter lead. This is a microcosm of why if he doesn’t change his mindset in a hurry, we will be talking about his potential instead of his legacy.
6) Gurley enters MVP race as Rams clinch
In 2017, non-quarterbacks usually aren’t even realistically in this conversation, but at this point, how can Todd Gurley II not be? He is just the third player in NFL history to have over 2,000 yards from scrimmage, 10 rushing TDs and five receiving TDs in a season which puts him in the grouping as Marshall Faulk and OJ Simpson. At the end of the day is he really doing to win MVP? Probably not, but the fact that he is even in the conversation in insane.
His team also clinched the NFC West for the first time since 2003 and looked real good in the process of doing so. As much as I was bought in on them as a regular season team, I doubted how much a playoff threat they really are. At this point, I am becoming closer and closer to believing they actually could be able to win a round or two.
7) Great tight ends prove greatness
While the finally stat sheet (five receptions for 67 yards and a TD) for Rob Gronkowski might not be his most impressive, the tight end was unstoppable in man-to-man coverage and made several pivotal key plays for the Patriots. Gronk now has over 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth time in his career and has pretty much cemented his legacy as the greatest of all time for tight ends.
Meanwhile, the second best tight end in the league, Travis Kelce, also didn’t have the most impressive day statically — four receptions for 47 and a TD — you have to watch to truly understand the value of these TEs.
At this point, it’s up to someone else to uncrown these two as the best of their class.
8) Chiefs raise expectations…again
Kansas City clinched the division for the second consecutive year and some fans trusts in the process…again. For the past three years the Chiefs have gone on some regular season winning streak that has the NFL world abuzz about their playoff potential just to have them be a let down. I mean when Alex Smith and Andy Reid are leading your team what do you expect? The same annual occurrence will inevitably happen again.
9) Lions eliminated and Chargers should have been
Detroit didn’t deserve to make the playoffs, but I certainly didn’t expect them to lose to Cincinnati either. The Lions are now 2-3 in their last five games with their only wins coming against the Bucs and Bears.
Today the Lions look flat from the beginning while Matthew Stafford somehow got outplayed by Andy Dalton.
10) I tried to tell you about this kid
How many times do I have to tell you about Jimmy Garoppolo. The kid is the real deal…PERIOD:
At this point he is 6-0 as a starter and has changed everything in San Francisco. It is only a matter of time until fans nationally start to recognize what he’s doing.
What I really like about Jimmy G in this game was him making a mistake, throwing an INT and coming right back to rebound. He has all the sign of a cold blooded killer.
–Article by Nick Friend
Tomorrow: The SWN Show and podcast with reaction to NFL week 16
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