Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 14 in the National Football League!
- Nice win for the Broncos on Thursday Night as they continue to play like the hottest team in the NFL. Only issue is their schedule is extremely weak, I wonder how much it will affect them come playoff time.
- I really have enjoyed how this St. Louis Rams team has played these last couple of weeks. If they can continue to finish this season strong they will become a nice threat in the NFC West next season. Only concern I continue to have with this team is whether or not Sam Bradford is the true answer at quarterback.
- Heartbreaking loss for the Bills in Week 14. I would assume the loss all but finishes any potential playoff hopes they had in 2012.
- Dallas has inserted themselves back into the NFC East with a big win against Cincinnati in Week 14. The Cowboys played a really good game against a really good team in the Bengals and they aren’t even the “media darlings” right now as Washington continues to get all the hype!
- Tough loss for the Bengals but they are thankfully still in the AFC Playoff race after the Steelers lose in Week 14. I really like this team’s chances when you have a decent QB with a big-time receiver. Cincy’s defense is also very underrated, don’t count this team out after a tough loss to Dallas.
- The Cleveland Browns have won three straight games and no it’s not the preseason.
- Where should this Chiefs team rebuild during the offseason? They nearly have a guaranteed top-3 pick in next year’s draft but I don’t think this is the QB class to draft someone in the 1st round.
- How about the Indianapolis Colts getting 9 wins this season!? Could they pull a 2009 New York Jets in the playoffs and do well while being led by a rookie QB? I’m starting to really like them as a sneaky playoff pick.
- If the Titans can give Jake Locker some solid weapons in the offseason this could be a surprising borderline playoff team in 2013. Despite some inconsistent troubles this team is definitely building in the right direction.
- Don’t count out the Minnesota Vikings just yet! Huge win for them against the Chicago Bears with their season on the line. The Bears were banged up but a-win-is-a-win and this will certainly help Minnesota’s confidence.
- The Chicago Bears are in trouble and making these final three games very interesting. Tough breaks like losing kicker Robbie Gould before the game begins is something you just cannot control. Lovie Smith could be looking for a job in the offseason should this continue.
- Nick Foles became a hero for the Eagles on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay and is doing what he can to end this season on a good note. I’m sure many Eagles fans weren’t happy with the win as the thought of Andy Reid staying another year could make their heads explode.
- A loss like this one for Tampa Bay could all but end any chance they have at making the playoffs this season. After being one of the hottest teams in the league a month ago they have had a rough stretch these last couple of weeks. Hopefully this young team uses it as a learning lesson.
- My sports fan intuition tells me that Washington will win the NFC East. Call me crazy but when you win games like the way Washington did versus Baltimore it becomes one of those “mean’t to be” situations.
- Baltimore cannot enter the AFC Playoffs playing the way they have in recent weeks. They have a huge game versus Denver in Week 15 and need a HUGE win to get back on track. If they can’t get the win then it could be leading to an early playoff exit this year.
- If Carolina needed a game to make it feel like their 2012 season wasn’t a complete “wash” then it was this game. Cam Newton looked like…well, let’s be honest…Cam Newton. It’ll be intriguing to see how they build off this big win for the rest of the season.
- Atlanta just cannot lose games like this if they want to avoid “can Atlanta finally get it done in the playoffs” discussions! Mind-boggling loss for a team that has looked really good in recent weeks. I wonder how much of Matt Ryan telling Carolina to “get off their field” in Week 4 helped motivate this loss.
- What’s more shocking: the Jets aren’t completely out of AFC Playoff discussions or that Mark Sanchez lasted the entire game as the QB?
- Jacksonville is a really bad team but I believe this would’ve been a completely different outcome had Cecil Shorts been healthy. Chad Henne did not have his deep threat available today on offense and the Jets secondary is pretty horrible.
- So is San Diego doing what they can to keep Norv Turner employed or are the Steelers just that bad? Talk about an outcome nobody saw coming.
- Pittsburgh does not deserve to be in the playoffs and at the end of the season I don’t think they will have that #6 spot. Shocking loss for a Steelers team that I thought was really starting to turn the corner after that big win versus Baltimore in Week 13. I believe the Bengals are a better team right now then the Pittsburgh Steelers when looking at potential #6 seed teams.
- San Francisco reestablishes itself as a top NFC team after a nice win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. I still think they are the best all-around team in the NFC but they are starting to show signs of being human.
- Miami has had a decent season thus far but they still have a lot to work on. I believe head coach Joe Philbin can turn this team around once he starts to get the right kind of guys in his offensive system. Look for Miami to continue focusing on some more WR threats for Ryan Tannehill heading into 2013.
- Talk about momentum. These are the type of games you want to play with just three games to go and you fighting for a playoff spot. Seattle could surprise us all as a strong playoff team should they make it this year.
- If you are Larry Fitzgerald there is no way you want to play for this team until they get you a decent Quarterback, right?
- New York continues to hold onto their slim lead in the NFC East after a dominating win against New Orleans in Week 14. The Giants are a baffling team lately as they play extremely well every other week it seems. They have a Week 15 matchup against Atlanta in what can give us a playoff glimpse into what both these teams can possess come January.
- What an embarrassing loss for the New Orleans Saints. Weeks ago it appeared they were making a miracle run at the playoffs and then once they got to .500 it all crumbled to pieces. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the NOLA.
- Big win for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night as they can now clinch the NFC North with a victory over Chicago in Week 15. This team is starting to really put it together since their loss to New York back in Week 12. The running game is improving, the offensive line is getting better and the Packers are starting to get healthy…watch out.
- Detroit hasn’t beaten the Packers in Lambeau since 1991 and this is the 3rd straight game where the Lions had a lead of 10 points or more & lost. I really think there needs to be a coaching change in Detroit at the end of the season; this team should be playing much better then this.
- What happened to Houston!? They had a chance to make a very bold statement in the AFC and let the opportunity slip through their fingers. Horrible performance and hopefully this is a wake-up call for the Texans.
For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at 979espn.com!
You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com
You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JeffPeck979ESPN
“LIKE” 97.9 ESPN on Facebook: www.facebook.com/979espn
“LIKE” The Bower Show on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bowershow
“LIKE” The Still Real to Us Show on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thestillrealtousshow