NFL

Week 15 Game Notes

With week 15 behind us now (except for tonights game), the playoff picture didn’t get any clearer this weekend. The Broncos started the week off with a shocking loss at home to the Chargers.  This win kept the Chargers in the playoff hunt, but it also opened the door for the Pats to claim the #1 seed in the AFC.

  • The Pats had a great opportunity to go down to Miami and clinch the division as well as position themselves for the #1 seed in the AFC. Unfortunately a late drive by the Dolphins spoiled the Patriots’ day. Without Gronk out there, the room for error is very slim for the Pats. Their two most reliable receivers right now are Amendola and Edelman, but both those players have similar styles of play unfortunately. The Pats have no deep threat now since Thompkins and Dobson are injured making their offense a lot easier to cover. Ridley is gradually being reintroduced to the Pats’ offense while Vereen and Blount are seeing most of the action out of the backfield. After a few good weeks, Vereen was shut down by the Dolphins.  The Patriots have a lot of work to do before the playoffs but thank god they have Tom Brady. He will find a way to win with his limited weapons when it counts.
  • With the Patriots loss, that opened the door for the Bengals to claim the #2 seed but as soon as the game started you could tell they didn’t want it. They were bullied out there by the Steelers. The first quarter was just an embarrassment for the Bengals and they were not able to recover from that.
  • Apparently no one in the NFC East wants to win. The Eagles opened the door wide open for the Cowboys, but Romo decided that the pressure of leading the division this late in the season was too much for him to handle. The Eagles’ offense was working well yesterday, with Foles having another productive game. But their defense was a whole different story. Giving up 48 points to a team like the Vikings is inexcusable. If the Eagles have any intentions of winning games in the playoffs, they’ll have to figure that out.
  • With the Eagles losing the 1 oclock game, the Cowboys knew that a win at home against the Packers would put them into first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys had a monster first half, going up 26-3 at half time. Demarco Murray was rolling early on, picking up a first down almost every time we saw him with the ball. Unfortunately Romo decided he didn’t want to win and figured that keeping the ball out of Demarco Murray’s hand would help the Packers get back into the game. If the Cowboys just kept giving Murray carries in the 4th quarter, they would have run out the clock and won the game easily. If you look at the graph below, you can really see how hard it was for Romo to blow that game.

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  • There is nothing much to say about the Giants except for the fact that Eli Manning is AWFUL. As one of the highest paid QB’s in the league, he is having arguably the worst season out of any QB in the league. Out of the 35 QB’s with an eligible Passer rating, Eli Manning ranks 33rd. He has 25 picks this year, the most out of any QB. I have always said that Eli is one of the most overrated QB’s in the league and that he should never have received that contract. There is so much to prove that point but I think at this point everyone can agree.
  • One more game I would like to talk about is the Saints game. Their inability to win games away from home is very scary. Playing the Rams on the road should have been an easy win. They were playing a mediocre team in a dome so there is no reason they should have lost. Coach Fisher has done a great job with his team in St Louis but this game was lost by the Saints and not won by the Rams. With 2 early picks, Brees just handed the game to the Rams. After a big win against the Panthers last week, Brees just let them right back into the race for the division title. Losses to the Rams and the Jets on the road this year should really worry Saints fans.
  • The Playoff Picture looks like this right now:
    • NFC –
  1. Seattle 12-2
  2. New Orleans 10-4
  3. Philadelphia 8-6
  4. Chicago 8-6
  5. Carolina 10-4
  6. San Francisco 10-4
  7. Arizona  9-5
  8. Detroit 7-6
  9. Green Bay 7-6-1
  • AFC –
  1. Denver 11-3
  2. New England 10-4
  3. Cincinati 9-5
  4. Indianapolis 9-5
  5. Kansas City 11-3
  6. Miami 8-6
  7. Baltimore 7-6
  8. San Diego 7-7
  9. Pittsburgh 6-8
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