Week 16: Review- Early Games
The last few weeks I’ve tried to “get into it”, a bit. This week, I have very little time I’m afraid, so I shall be keeping it brief. It will be early though!
Miami Dolphins 0 Buffalo Bills 19
Where to start. Ok firstly congratulations to Buffalo’s Defensive line. I criticised them last week for not putting any effort in, but this week they definitely showed up, in particular Kyle Williams who had a great game. Also Thad Lewis should have a job in the league as at the least a serviceable backup who won’t turn the ball over unnecessarily. But let’s quickly talk Dolphins…wow. That was dreadful and with performances like that, there is no way they deserve a playoff spot. A lot of very good work over the previous few weeks, undone with a dreadful performance. When the Dolphins season is over they will need to address the glaring issues. No. 1 on that list should be the Run game, which had a woeful 14 yards. If this is the bitter taste that’s left in the Dolphins mouth at the end of the season Philbin could be looking for another job. I personally still have faith in him, but results like this are simply unacceptable.
New Orleans 13 Carolina Panthers 17
Unquestionably game of the Earlies and will probably end up being the game of the day. In a tense battle between 2 NFC South Rivals, it was the team that made the fewest mistakes that won. Carolina’s Defence deserve a lot of the credit in this one, but it will be Cam Newton that will take the spotlight after leading the game winning drive at the end. Either way it’s a great result for Carolina and was good enough to lead them into the playoffs. What I liked about it though was it, was the kind of drive we see to take a win all the time in the playoffs and proves to me that they could have a little success in the post season. The Saints have some worries, there’s no denying it and could struggle come January.
Minnesota Vikings 14 Cincinnati Bengals 42
This game had more morals relevant to me than an episode of Saved by the Bell. For starters, I shouldn’t make predictions…I have cursed so many underdogs to a loss this season. Lesson learnt. Secondly…Never underestimate the Red Rider. The more I watch the Bengals the more I realise that Dalton and… The Red Rider, are 2 completely different people. The problem is you never know when…The Red Rider will strike. In every game the Bengals must be terrified they’ll just get Dalton. Outside of some heroic QB play though, AJ Green had a stand out game with a truly outstanding catch despite having most of the Vikings Secondary hanging off him. All in all a great result for a team about to hit the playoffs. For the Vikings, what tonight proved was they definitely haven’t found the answer for their QB situation and will probably have to address it through the draft. Also they could probably do with a few weapons, which outside of the Running Back spot, seems to be a big problem for this team.
Denver Broncos 37 Houston Texans 13
Before I get into the game, Congratulations to Peyton Manning. Throwing 51 Touchdown passes is an insane stat and truthfully it felt like this season he could do it 1 game. Peyton is looking good heading into the playoffs after a slight stutter at the start of the month. In truth though, this game was a lot closer than it looked right up until the 4th, where the Broncos took full advantage of some poor QB play from Schaub, who at most probably has 1 more game in a Texans uniform. Another season like this is unacceptable with that level of talent.
Tennessee Titans 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 16
I am a fan of a Division rivalry that is played with class and respect for the opposition, even if both teams have had pretty disappointing seasons and this was no different. For starters, it was nice to see Brad Meester on the receiving stats for the Jags in his last home game before he retires. Secondly, these are 2 teams I greatly enjoy watching and look forward to seeing some progress for these 2 teams next season. If both teams pick up a decent QB they could be on to a winner. Particularly for the Titans who appear to have a young dynamic receiving Corp for the future, even without Kenny Britt. Particular Kudos though goes to the Jags, who have not only been close to winning a large chunk of games, but did actually manage to win some and push them up in the league to not only, not the worst team in the league, but not even the worst team in the Division. All this after a number of pundits thought they couldn’t even win one.
Indianapolis Colts 23 Kansas City Chiefs 7
I learnt a number of things from this game. 1) Indianapolis only beat the big teams, which is good news for Colts fans with the playoffs looming. 2) Peyton Manning SHOULD be the league MVP, despite some bad performances, he hasn’t had games where he’s shown up for 1 play. I am very much still a Charles fan, but Peyton has earned it. 3) Alex Smith sometimes just wants to be a little maverick; in this game it meant throwing a couple of picks, which I would imagine he remedies next week. 4) I have regularly slated the Colts D, but in this game they seemed to know exactly what to do and could prove a force to be reckoned with in the Post Season. All in all though, both these teams should be looking forward to the Playoffs.
Cleveland Browns 13 New York Jets 24
Oh so that’s whose worse…
OK so I can’t just leave it at that. Let’s start with the return of good Geno, which has to give some encouragement to the top brass at the Jets that their draft was not a total waste of time. The Browns have had a pretty good season that they’ve used to (hopefully), assess what they need and can now use the 700 draft picks they have to drastically improve the team. I expect that the Browns will improve considerably more than their opponents today.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 St Louis Rams 23
Quinn, Ogletree and Long. 3 of the best Defensive players in the NFL and they’re playing on the same team. The NFC West could have a new Superpower next year if the Rams keep playing this good and maybe look at an upgrade at QB. The Bucs made far too many mistakes in this game, which is what ultimately cost them the result. For Tampa Bay the season is nearly over and it’s at this point a lot of questions get asked about the start of the seasons and a lot of finger-pointing will take place. Make no mistake; the Bucs will be VERY interesting to watch in the Off Season.
Dallas Cowboys 24 Washington Redskins 23
So before we all go crazy over Romo again let’s try and keep a calm head. All he did in this game was play pretty much the same game as last week, but make the mistakes towards the start and the good plays at the end. I guess what I’m saying is maybe we (all of us, yes that includes you), shouldn’t have been so quick to criticise him last week, that way we might not think he’s the second coming Dan Marino, when he closes a game. It is also worth remembering that this was against a bad Washington team, where the Coach will more than likely have already cleared his desk. This is what Garrett will probably be doing if the Cowboys don’t make the post season.