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Fourteen years and 19 days ago Doug Flutie connected with Gerard Phelan on a Hail Mary as time expired to give the Boston College Eagles an improbable win over the Miami Hurricanes. It will forever be known as the “Miracle in Miami” and no other occurrence will ever take its place in sports lore.
Even the losers get lucky sometimes. Week 14 was a bit wacky, as six of the eight teams residing in the basement of their division were victorious. Some of the games were meaningless (Jets over Bills) or not even upsets (Lions over Cardinals), but the others altered the playoff landscape.
The 49ers forgot that they were tanking for the #1 pick and beat the Broncos, reducing Denver’s probability of making the playoffs to 4 percent. The Browns took down the Panthers, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive (more on that later), while dropping Carolina to the 7th spot in the NFC.
The Giants destroyed a Sanchize-led Washington team for their second straight win, delaying their own playoff elimination and erasing any ideas the ‘Skins had about getting a wild card spot without a quarterback.
And then there was the biggest upset of the day, the Raiders somehow remembering how to play football and beating the Steelers 24-21. Pittsburgh continues to have no running game with James Conner hurt and Le’Veon Bell le’vegone, as this loss drops them to 7-5-1.
The biggest winners in the AFC this week were the Chiefs. They squeaked out an overtime win over the Ravens while the all the other division leaders lost. KC is now 11-2 (while the Texans and Patriots fell to 9-4) and is in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed.
The Chiefs will not win a playoff game this year. They will lose to either the Steelers or Chargers in the Divisional round. Maybe Mahomes’s inexperience will finally catch up to them, maybe the loss of Kareem Hunt will be too significant, or maybe Andy Reid will just use all of his timeouts in the 3rd quarter.
One way or another, the road to the Super Bowl will once again go through Foxboro, Massachusetts. I’m right until I’m wrong.
Chicago has some bad men on the defensive side of the ball. On Sunday night they made the Hollywood Rams look incredibly human:
The Bears kept the league’s most potent offense out of the end zone en route to a 15-6 victory. One more win and they have clinched the NFC North for the first time since 2010. How long ago was 2010? Back in 2010 Sean McVay was a 24-year-old assistant tight ends coach and our president wasn’t an unindicted co-conspirator in multiple felony convictions!
The Rams loss means that the Saints are back in the #1 seed in the NFC. They close out the season with the Panthers, Falcons, and Panthers again, making it very likely that they finish 14-2 and play their playoff games in the Superdome.
Drew Brees is one of the favorites to win the MVP award this year, but I could also see it being his final season. If the Saints can make it to the Super Bowl, then it would be a perfect way for Brees to ride off into the sunset. He could set every Super Bowl passing record, and maybe his team would win. Or maybe they wouldn’t. But that isn’t important, as long as he has those personal statistical achievements.
It was a bounce-back week for the PNFLPR’s favorite quarterback. First he revealed that he found out about his coach’s firing while he was “spending time with his folks” (!!!) and then he went and actually played well for a change.
First, football: Rodgers was definitely not going to let people think that he was actually the problem in Green Bay and not Mike McCarthy. He was predictably sharp in an easy win against the Falcons.
Second, family: He casually mentioned (certainly not on purpose or at the behest of his PR team) that he has reconciled with his parents. I give this family a lot of grief, but good for them, especially so close to the holidays.
No word on Jordan though…
It looks like the Seahawks will be taking a walk on the wild side after notching their fourth straight win. They have a two-game lead on a group of NFC playoff “contenders” that are all spiraling: The Eagles seem to have quit, the Vikings can’t score, the Panthers have lost five straight, and the Redskins are starting Mark Sanchez at QB.
Seattle is also a contender for Playoff Team I’m Most Excited To Bet Against In January, along with the Chiefs and Texans.
Back in October when Jerry Jones traded a 1st round pick for the disgruntled Raiders receiver, everybody thought he was crazy. Granted, everyone thought he was crazy before the trade, because he is a senile old man. But now he is a senile old man with a star wide receiver!
Cooper caught 10 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboy’s win over the Eagles. Since switching teams he has been a different player, and is one of the main reasons why Dallas has won 5-straight and has an increasingly comfortable division lead.
No matter how many more catches and touchdowns Amari amasses this season, his more improbable accomplishment will be somehow saving Jason Garrett’s job.
I would have given this spot to “Derrick Henry Fantasy Owners,” but I don’t think there are any. The Titans running back entered Thursday night’s game against the Jaguars averaging under 40 yards per game. He had only scored five total touchdowns all season… and then he went full Beast Mode. Henry steamrolled what’s left of Jacksonville’s defense for 238 yards on only 17 carries and he found the end zone four times.
He’ll post likely return to fantasy obscurity, but at least now he can tell his grandchildren that he was once list in the Prompt’s NFL Power Rankings. It will likely go down as his greatest individual achievement.
Believe it or not, the Browns are still mathematically not eliminated from the playoffs. It took me a while to figure it out, so please check my work…
First they would need to win out, beating the Broncos, Bengals, and Ravens…
…and then if the Steelers lost to the Patriots, Saints, and Bengals…
…at the same time that the Ravens are also losing to either the Bucs or the Chargers…
…then the Browns would win the AFC North!
So, it is possible for the Browns to make the playoffs…but…
Also Receiving Votes: Miami Dolphins, Andrew Luck, Saquon Barkley, George Kittle Fantasy Owners and Matt Patricia’s Beard.