Tag Archives: week 17

Week 17 Recap: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

Final: New York 19, Washington 10

Giants Redskins Football
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie finished the game with two picks.

In a game where the Washington Redskins desperately needed a win, it was the Giants who showed up in a big way and took the victory.  New York rode its defense as it has for the majority of the season and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was able to come away with the game-winning interception late in the fourth quarter to bring the Giants their eleventh win of the season.  Perhaps most surprisingly is that Big Blue kept most of their starters in for a majority of the game instead of resting them for the playoffs.  Speaking of the post-season, the Redskins are now eliminated from the dance and will have to stew in the bile of a crushing defeat until the 2017 season kicks off.

Washington’s offense was, for the most part, handled by the Giants defense.  They had just six first downs through the first three quarters and 4/12 on third down throughout the game.  Kirk Cousins was not great, but also not completely terrible.  He did not see some open receivers and was a little off on some of the throws.  There was plenty of pressure on him throughout the game accounting for some of this.  He was under duress when he floated the game-ending interception to Rodgers-Cromartie late in the fourth quarter and the throw was a bit behind the intended receiver as a result.  The offensive line was poor in this game and did nothing to bolster any kind of a rushing attack until late in the game when they began pulling their guards on sweep plays.  Again, Cousins did not receive optimal protection either and he had trouble getting the ball to open receivers since the New York secondary was in lock-down mode, even after Janoris Jenkins was pulled.  Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed were the standouts on offense for Washington.  Reed was a favorite target and did get open a bit underneath while Garcon was the man who converted a 3rd and 17 later in the fourth quarter that lead to a game-tying touchdown to Reed on the next play.  The lack of a running game is what ended up killing the ‘Skins shot at a postseason berth here because they were unable to find any kind of balance that would keep the offense unpredictable.

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins in action from Week 17.

The flip side to the story was how well the Giants’ defense played on the road.  They received huge performances from a lot of their men.  First of all, it was quite a bit surprising to see how much man-to-man coverage that they rolled out.  Washington normally thrives in these situations and they were unable to do so here.  The secondary was outstanding.  Eli Apple had one of his better efforts of the year, but it was Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who was making all of the splash plays on the back end with two picks (he also nearly blocked a PAT in the fourth quarter as well).  Up front for Big Blue, Damon Harrison was a monster and probably the best player from the New York defense in this contest.  He accounted for a couple of hurries and run stops as well as a sack.  He did a beautiful job sniffing out a screen pass by the Redskins that did have some promise with blockers out front in the final frame.  Keenan Robinson showed a lot with some solid form tackling and a nice sideline to sideline presence.  The Giants “D” was terrific and deserves a ton of credit for keeping the explosive Washington offense at bay.

The New York offense was not overly impressive here, but they were able to do some nice things, starting with a great effort running the ball.  This game resembled what the Giants were back in 2008 with a fantastic defensive performance coupled with a dominant running game.  Paul Perkins turned in the first 100+ yard rushing game for the G-Men on the season and did a lot of the dirty work behind the left side of the offensive line and Ereck Flowers, who had a nice game despite being flagged for yet another holding penalty.  Eli Manning did underthrow a few of his passes, but his waning arm strength did not look to be an issue late in the game when he hooked up with Tavarres King for a 44-yard gain that lead to the go-ahead and eventual game winning field goal.  The New York receivers were easily able to get open early in the game against some pretty soft zone coverage.  Josh Norman did follow Odell Beckham Jr. around for most of the game while OBJ was in there and while he did not let up an explosive play, Beckham did get the better of him quite a few times with good routes.  The Giants did fall into a bad lull in the second half offensively after they were so good in the first couple of quarters and this was mainly due to the fact that they were not able to run the ball with as much success.  When the ground game was cranking, New York was able to move the ball up and down the field, but the Redskins did catch on to this and once they shut the rushing attack down it was tough sledding for the #5 seeded team.  Going into the playoffs the Giants will have to be sure to address this spot because the offense yet again did not put up a lot of points.  Six of them came on the final play of the game when Trevin Wade picked up a loose ball and walked it into the end zone.

Eli Manning
Eli Manning made the plays he had to in the Giants’ 19-10 win over Washington.

Defensively for Washington, the team was pushed around a bit early on but they eventually got their bearings straight and were able to contain the Giants’ attack.  In the second half they really stacked the box and began to load the left side of the formation to cut down on the rushing attack that was pretty successful at the open.  The Redskins’ secondary was not great but was also very conservative and more concerned with guarding against the big play.  They did a good job with this until the aforementioned 44-yard completion to King.  Greg Toler was not too good in coverage, but Brashaud Breeland was, someone who had stepped his play up considerably over the final weeks of the season.  Also, as a side nugget, Mason Foster was everywhere in this game getting in on 17 tackles, 15 solo.  Ryan Kerrigan did leave the game with an injury in the first quarter and there was certainly a lack of a pass rush after he did exit.  All and all, the Redskin defense has nothing to be ashamed of in this game, they were not the reason why the team will be missing the playoffs at 8-7-1 following this heartbreaking loss.

The Giants will now hit the road and play the winner of the NFC North on the road in the wild card round.  Their offensive woes will need to be overcome if this team is going to make one of their runs towards the Super Bowl, but they certainly have the defense to keep them in many of the games they may be playing.  For the Redskins, this is a crusher.  Kirk Cousins had a great opportunity to lead his team down the field for the win and a playoff berth in the waning seconds, but was unable to do so and that is going to be a big black mark on their 2016 season.  He did end up throwing for nearly 5,000 yards this year and that alone could land him a big contract, but it is going to be tough to overlook the failure that was this game for the Redskins.  Their offense let them down when they needed a win the most.

Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed celebrates after his fourth quarter touchdown against the Giants.

The Skinny:

  • The Washington Redskins are eliminated from playoff contention with this loss.  A win would have earned them the #6 seed.
  • Washington could not run the ball for the majority of this game and only managed one rushing first down throughout the entirety of the contest.
  • The Redskins defense did a good job limiting the explosive plays and keeping the ball in front of them, but unfortunately they did not receive much help from their offense come the end of the game.
  • The New York defense was great yet again as they intercepted Kirk Cousins twice and held the Redskins to 4/12 on third down.  Washington was tops in the league when it came to not going three and out and the Giants forced them to do just that five times.
  • For the first time this year, the Giants offense had a 100+ yard rusher in Paul Perkins who has come on lately and is looking like he could be the lead back heading into the playoffs and next season.
  • The Giant offense is still very much a work in progress as the team managed only 13 points on that side of the ball.  Their game became predictable and easy to shut down in the second half and could be a problem come playoff time.
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2016 Season: Week 17 Preview

It is the end of the road for 20 teams after this week, and with the AFC all sealed up team-wise there is only seeding left to determine.  For the NFC, however, there is a lot to sort through still as the Packers, Lions, Buccaneers, and Redskins will all be fighting for the final two spots in the playoffs.  It should be exciting.  For the final time in the regular season, here are my picks.

Antonio Brown

Last Week: 9-7

Season: 135-100

Sunday, January 1st, 1:00 e.t.

Baltimore Ravens (8-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-9-1)

The Ravens fought hard but the Steelers stole a win and the AFC North away from them last week at Heinz Field in the final seconds.  Now Baltimore hits the road with a bad taste in their mouth.  That could mean motivation, but now this team has nothing to play for and I think they will come out deflated and the Bengals can take advantage of this playing at home.

Cincinnati 20, Baltimore 14

Cleveland Browns (1-14) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)

Cleveland finally has a win this year, and it took them 15 games to get it.  That was a good thing too because if they didn’t win that game this one wasn’t a great bet for them.  Although the Steelers essentially have nothing to play for, I think they will go out and get the “W” because that is the Mike Tomlin way.  Call this a warm-up game before they host Miami next week.

Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 9

Houston Texans (9-6) @ Tennessee Titans (8-7)

The Titans were stabbed multiple times in the chest last week losing their quarterback Marcus Mariota and their season all in one day.  This game could have been for all of the marbles, but instead it is a rather meaningless affair with everything decided between these two squads.  Still, with a decent defense and an offense that has shown a bit of a shriek with Tom Savage at the helm, I see the Texans walking away from this game with the season sweep.

Houston 29, Tennessee 17

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-8)

The Colts were finding somewhat of a rhythm on defense until they headed out to Oakland and got hammered.  This week should provide them with a good bounce-back opportunity against a Jacksonville team that is very inconsistent across the way.  Their defense should keep them in this one though but I certainly like Indy’s offense over the Jaguars’.

Indianapolis 22, Jacksonville 17

Carolina Panthers (6-9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)

The Panthers, and specifically Cam Newton, have been a mess this year as the 2015 MVP is completing just 45% of his passes over the past month.  On the road against a Tampa Bay team that needs to have this one seems like a tall task, but I’m smelling an upset.  Doug Martin will not be in this game due to a drug suspension and that could take some wind out from behind Tampa’s sails.

Carolina 30, Tampa Bay 22

Chicago Bears (3-12) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-8)

Matt Barkley showed us all that he is still Matt Barkley when he threw five picks against the Redskins last week.  Sure, the Bears were in come from behind mode and he had to force the issue a bit but it doesn’t change the fact that he can be reckless with the football.  On the road against a Viking defense that has been humbled lately, I like Minnesota to bounce back and play well.  Their offense has been watchable lately, even against some decent defenses.

Minnesota 18, Chicago 13

Dallas Cowboys (13-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-9)

The Eagles looked like a different team with Lane Johnson in at right tackle and their defense played the prototypical bend but don’t break style last week against the Giants.  The Cowboys ride into town having nothing at all to play for.  Jason Garrett won’t be resting his starters, but at the same time there won’t be a huge sense of urgency.  Playing at home, I think the Iggles can drop a NFC East foe for the second straight week.

Philadelphia 27, Dallas 17

Buffalo Bills (7-8) @ New York Jets (4-11)

Rex Ryan was shown the door Tuesday and now it will be Anthony Lynn taking over as head coach.  Remember when this guy was the running back coach at the beginning of the year?  Funny how he’s been on the rise while the only thing the Bills do well is run the ball.  The Jets can stop the run, but I just don’t think their offense has enough firepower to hold off the stampeded from Buffalo.

Buffalo 20, New York 10

New England Patriots (13-2) @ Miami Dolphins (10-5)

The Patriots and Dolphins are headed to the playoffs and in this game Miami won’t have anything to play for since they are locked in at the #5 seed.  New England, however, will have the #1 seed in their sights as a win will bring that to them.  Matt Moore has been solid in relief of Ryan Tannehill, but I don’t see him standing up to Tom Brady.  I also think the Pats will be able to run the ball against the ‘Phins which won’t bode well for the home team.

New England 35, Miami 21

Sunday, January 1st, 4:25 e.t.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) @ San Diego Chargers (5-10)

A Chiefs win and a Raiders loss will bring the AFC West crown to Kansas City so they should be playing with a lot of heart on Sunday.  This KC team can be scary because they have a suddenly explosive and playoff level offense to pair with their opportunistic defense.  The Chargers will likely be playing for the final time in San Diego on Sunday so they should be fired up, but I don’t like the mistakes their offense is prone to making and that prevents me from picking them here.

Kansas City 31, San Diego 24

Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-11)

The Cardinals shocked the world and clipped the Seahawks for the first time at home last week and will finish their season on the road against a Rams team that struggles to break 10 points most weeks.  David Johnson has his eyes set on breaking 100 scrimmage yards for each game in the 2016 season here also, and I think he will.  Arizona’s offense has gotten up off the mat over the last few weeks while the Rams continue to be stuck in neutral.

Arizona 31, Los Angeles 13

New Orleans Saints (7-8) @ Atlanta Falcons (10-5)

I was going to pick the Saints in an upset here, but this is a different Falcon team that is winning all of the games they should be when they have to.  They have a shot at reeling in the #2 seed, and I don’t think they will pass up that chance at home against the Saints who have nothing to play for besides spoiler.  Their defense has regressed some and that is not good news facing the best offense in football.

Atlanta 38, New Orleans 28

Oakland Raiders (12-3) @ Denver Broncos (8-7)

On the road in Denver with Mr. Matt McGloin doing his thing under center, it is tough to see the Raiders walking away with a win, but I think this Bronco team is in a horrible funk right now.  Their offense has been atrocious the last couple of weeks, and the defense has seemingly given up at times.  With noting to play for, don’t be surprised if they come out flat, even against a backup QB.

Oakland 23, Denver 12

New York Giants (10-5) @ Washington Redskins (8-6-1)

The Giants were able to move the ball against the Eagles, but three Eli Manning interceptions doomed the G-Men on the road.  Now they will be facing one of the better offenses in the league this week.  If Kirk Cousins passes for more than 370 yards, he will have a 5,000 yard season believe it or not.  I don’t think it will happen, but I do see Washington playing a good game and scoring some points against a Giant team that has still been showing struggles keeping up on offense.

Washington 26, New York 18

Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-13)

The Seahawks did have a minor hiccup last week at home against the Cardinals, but they will get an easy game on the road against the 49ers who can’t beat anybody outside of the Rams this year.  I think that Seattle will keep it held back on offense and try to win this game with their “D”.  They should get that running game cranking against a team that has been horrible in that department as well.

Seattle 24, San Francisco 13

Sunday, January 1st, 8:30 e.t.

Green Bay Packers (9-6) @ Detroit Lions (9-6)

This game could be a loser goes home scenario in addition to a battle for the NFC North title.  Ford Field should be rocking early, but I don’t think they will be late because this Packer storm is coming on strong and each week they are looking more and more like the 2010 team that won it all.  Aaron Rodgers has fought his way back into the MVP conversation and after seeing the bad effort put forth out of Detroits’ defense on Monday night, I don’t have much confidence in them being able to get the job done with all the marbles on the line.

Power Pick of the Week: Green Bay 34, Detroit 21

Week 17 Bonus Predictions

Sure Bet of the Week (13-2): Arizona over Los Angeles

Upset of the Week: Carolina over Tampa Bay

Offensive Player of the Week: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

Defensive Player of the Week: Khalil Mack, LB, Raiders

Rookie of the Week: Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs

Best Quarterback: Andrew Luck, Colts

Best Running Back: LeGarrette Blount, Patriots

2015 Season: Week 17 Preview

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 143-97

Sunday, January 3rd, 1:00 e.t.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6) @ Cleveland Browns (3-11)

Pittsburgh 36, Cleveland 13

Philadelphia Eagles (6-9) @ New York Giants (6-9)

New York 27, Philadelphia 19

Baltimore Ravens (5-10) @ Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)

Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 17

Washington Redskins (8-7) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-11)

Washington 28, Dallas 26

New Orleans Saints (6-9) @ Atlanta Falcons (8-7)

Atlanta 35, New Orleans 31

Tennessee Titans (3-11) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-8)

Indianapolis 22, Tennessee 14

New York Jets (10-5) @ Buffalo Bills (7-8)

New York 17, Buffalo 14

New England Patriots (12-3) @ Miami Dolphins (5-10)

New England 38, Miami 21

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) @ Houston Texans (8-7)

Jacksonville 19, Houston 16

Detroit Lions (6-9) @ Chicago Bears (6-9)

Detroit 29, Chicago 17

Sunday, January 3rd, 4:25 e.t.

San Diego Chargers (4-11) @ Denver Broncos (11-4)

Denver 27, San Diego 14

St. Louis Rams (7-8) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-11)

St. Louis 26, San Francisco 6

Seattle Seahawks (10-5) @ Arizona Cardinals (13-2)

Arizona 24, Seattle 17

Oakland Raiders (7-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-5)

Oakland 22, Kansas City 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) @ Carolina Panthers (14-1)

Carolina 34, Tampa Bay 24

Sunday, January 3rd, 8:30 e.t.

Minnesota Vikings (10-5) @ Green Bay Packers (10-5)

Green Bay 33, Minnesota 27

Week 17 Bonus Predictions

Upset of the Week: Baltimore over Cincinnati

Sure Bet of the Week (13-2): Pittsburgh over Cleveland

Rookie of the Week: Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens

Offensive Player of the Week: Eli Manning, QB, Giants

Defensive Player of the Week: Jamie Collins, LB, Patriots

Best Overall Offense: Green Bay Packers

Best Overall Defense: New England Patriots

Feel free to leave a comment stating what you think will happen in this weekend’s games!

Week 17: San Francisco 49ers 23, Arizona Cardinals 20- Post Game Thoughts

This game told me a lot about each of the teams involved.  First off, it told me that the 49ers are going to be a tough team to beat in the playoffs this year.  They currently ride a six-game winning streak (the longest in the league) and did jump out to a 17-0 lead early on in this game.  Secondly, the game told me that this Arizona Cardinal team is every bit as good as their record says they were.  They came all the way back in this one to force a 20-20 tie with less than a minute left.  Bruce Arians and company were not about to let San Fran walk all over them in front of their home crowd, and I thought that the Cards showed a ton of heart in this one.  Unfortunately a long LaMichael James kickoff return (following the Arizona field goal late in this game) did the team in.  This set Colin Kaepernick up with great field position, and he was able to lead his team down for the game-winning field goal.  Kap played very well in this game, as did Carson Palmer.  Palmer did a great job of erasing his early interception and giving his team a good chance to win this game.  I think it says a lot about the Cardinals and that they will be good for a long time to come as long as their players are committed to the system (as it seems like they are).  Anyways, they will miss the playoffs at 10-6 but can still feel good about the turnaround the team witnessed following an ugly 5-11 season a year ago.  For the Niners, they are going to be tough in the playoffs and they look ready to make a run all the way to the Super Bowl for their second straight year.

Week 17: New Orleans Saints 42, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17- Post Game Thoughts

This was a much-needed win for the New Orleans Saints as they destroy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, 42-17.  Drew Brees had a field day in this one, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns.  New Orleans receivers were constantly beating the Tampa Bay safeties over the top in this game.  I was watching the highlights for this game and was amazed at all of the busted coverages and deep throws that victimized the Bucs (in what turned out to be Greg Schiano’s final game as the head coach).  Lance Moore got into the act early, and Kenny Stills later on.  As the Saints forge into the playoffs, they will need to find production from other wide receivers besides just Marques Coltson.  Right now, the offense is primarily run through him, the running backs, and Jimmy Graham.  Spreading the ball to different wide receivers will be key for the black and gold.  Anyways, this was a huge win because the team confidence could not have been all that high after they had lost three out of their last four games.  This helped them build some momentum as they head on the road to play the Eagles next Saturday.  Bear in mind that New Orleans has not won a road game since Week 12 this year, so getting a huge home win could help the team build some momentum.  For the Buccaneers, they made this one a game early, but simply could not keep up with the Saints.  I would normally say that is because the defense really failed down the stretch, but many teams struggle on that side of the ball when they travel down to the Super Dome.  Tampa Bay just faced these guys at the wrong time and place if you ask me.

Week 17: Seattle Seahawks 27, St. Louis Rams 9- Post Game Thoughts

The Seattle Seahawks wrap up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in this dominant win over Jeff Fisher’s St. Louis Rams.  This win, believe it or not, was huge for the ‘Hawks.  If they would have lost this game, they would have fallen from the #1 seed all the way to the #5 seed and would have had to play a bunch of road games in the playoffs.  Instead, they go out and handily beat the Rams and ensure themselves of the #1 seed in the NFC.  Marshawn Lynch had a nice afternoon, rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown.  The biggest play in the game was a Malcolm Smith 37-yard pick six in the first quarter.  That really set the tone for the game as the Seahawks defense simply went to work yet again in another dominant home win.  For the Rams, their offense was anemic all afternoon long.  They could not run the ball worth a lick (something the team was able to do when these two teams faced off a number of weeks ago), and the passing game was not all that impressive either.  It is clear that whenever the Rams are able to run the ball, they can grind out games.  However, if the offense has to be one-dimensional then the team is in trouble.  This is not a come-from-behind squad.  They are one that is better when playing with a lead (see the Week 15 game against the Saints for a prime example).  When you get down early, especially in Seattle, your team could be in a lot of trouble.  That is what the Rams faced this week and hence the 18 point loss.  Even still, I admire these guys for fighting hard over the final half of the season without their starting quarterback.  It is just too bad they have to play in the NFC West, the hardest division in football.

Week 17: Denver Broncos 34, Oakland Raiders 14- Post Game Thoughts

Peyton Manning caps his incredible 2013 season by passing for four touchdowns (giving him 55 on the season) and 266 yards, breaking the all-time record for passing yards in a season by one yard.  The 2013 Denver Broncos are not the highest scoring team in NFL history and the only team to put up over 600 points in a season.  So as you can see by the score of this game, it was another day at the office for Denver as they proved that they are the class of the AFC in a dominating win in Oaktown.  It looked like a seven-on-seven drill on Sunday as Peyton carved the Oakland secondary up, hitting on 25 of his 28 passes.  There was little to nothing the scuffling Oakland secondary could do to slow the future Hall of Famer down on this Sunday.  Manning was yanked at half time since his team was already up by a sizable margin.  Brock Osweiler came in and mopped up.  He didn’t look too bad himself.  The Raiders have to be disappointed with their defense now.  This is the third time an opposing quarterback has come into the Black Hole and surgically picked them apart.  Like I said before, the defense has the ability to play very well, but they are too inconsistent.  That is something that the team as a whole needs to get better at: playing consistently.  Terelle Pryor had an alright afternoon and if my vote counted, I would want to see what he could do next season.  However, there was not much the young buckeye could do since his defense was putting up little to no resistance towards the Broncos.  This truly was a beat-down in the bay and a fitting way for Denver to end their impressive 2013 season.