Season’s Beatings: The Week 16 NFL Aftermath

By Ron Johnson

When this preview showed up a few days ago, we did not expect this type of madness. We did not expect teams to not show up when they needed to the most. In fact, we expected some of these things but not all of them.

Either way, we got a wild two weeks remaining in the league after this week’s fiascos. 

Rams, Seahawks Win, Move Closer to Postseason Berths

As if the cluster at the Wild Card was not a mixed bag already, say hello to the NFC West. Heading into Monday night, the division had not one, not two, but three teams aiming to clinch a spot in the playoffs. By Tuesday morning, two teams did their due diligence to increase their odds.

For the second straight week, the Los Angeles Rams showed their fortitude by staving off some vintage-Carr and holding off the Saints for a 30-22 victory to improve to 8-7 and move into the sixth slot of the NFC side of the playoffs. Almost two years after winning the Super Bowl and a year after failing to secure enough wins to materialize a spot to defend their crown, the Rams are in the driver’s seat of their own destiny. They now focus their attention on the New York Giants who almost gave the Cowboys a Christmas present on Monday night themselves before their showdown with the Niners in Week 18.

The Seahawks followed suit as they survived the Wrath of Henry to clinch a 20-17 win over Tennessee in the final seconds of Sunday’s contest to improve to 8-7 as well. The Hawks must be the luckiest team after shocking the Eagles last Monday night then surviving the Titans on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive. At press time, both the Rams and Hawks find themselves as sixth and seventh seeds respectively. 

Falcons, Bucs, Saints Set for Showdown for NFC South

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shined brighter than ever on Sunday as they let Rudolph’s red nose lead the way for a victory over the slumping Jacksonville Jaguars. Baker Mayfield has the Bucs thinking postseason as they took down the Jagas 30-12 in a very one-sided contest. A win over either the Saints next week or the Panthers in the regular season finale will lock the NFC South up for Tampa Bay. But there are still two teams hoping they collapse before then.

The Falcons did their dirty work as they knock off the Indianapolis Colts 29-10 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. At this point, the only way Atlanta gets in the postseason is winning the NFC South. With the Bears and Saints on their slate for the final two weeks, expect nothing and prepare for everything when it comes to this division. Either way, the Saints will have two chances to lock it up as well as they have the Bucs next week and the Falcons in the finale. 

Cowboys, Niners, Chiefs & Jags All Fall Down

The Dallas Cowboys are a team of destiny…in their own minds. This team has been unstoppable at home to this point, but not on the road though. Despite it not being a Madden-esque score, it was still very Madden-like as the Miami Dolphins won their first game against a team over .500 this season with a 22-20 victory. The win not only kept the pressure up on the Ravens, but it also dropped the Cowboys out of the No. 2 spot.

The Chiefs had only one job on Christmas Day: Win and they’re in. They must’ve missed this memo because they didn’t even show up on Christmas. The Raiders, who have never played on Christmas until yesterday, showed up and showed out on defense as they had a pair of defensive touchdowns (including a pick-six) to take down the defending champions who look more like a dysfunctional family than champions 20-14. 

After the Jags lost to the Bucs, it all came down to Christmas Night and a potential Super Bowl Showdown. And despite what Mike Florio said prior to the game, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens made him and the Niners look like they got coal in their stockings. Whether it was the disrespect they got from everyone or the fact that everyone considered San Francisco the super team, Baltimore was having none of it as they picked off Brock Purdy FOUR times to show that their defense was the highlight of the night in a 33-19 win to keep their spot at the top of the AFC with a showdown with Miami incoming on New Years’ Eve.

30 Years Long Overdue for Detroit

When most of us were younger, the Detroit Lions were one of the most intimidating teams in the league. We got to see the human highlight reel known as the Human Joystick. His name is Barry Sanders, and he had everyone flaunting those Lions jerseys. That was back in 1993, and it feels like 1993 now.

The Detroit Lions ran it back to that Joystick Era as they defeated the injury-riddled Minnesota Vikings 30-24 to lock up a playoff spot as well as the NFC North Division, their first division title in 30 years. After all this, it does appear that both the Lions and the Rams won the infamous trade from a few years ago that gave the Rams Matthew Stafford and the Super Bowl while Detroit got Jared Goff and a coach aiming for redemption…and kneecaps.

After a crazy Christmas Weekend, we try to navigate the final football week of 2023 before we try to get obliterated on New Years’ Eve. To this point the 2023-24 NFL Playoffs look like this: 

AFC Playoffs

  1. Baltimore Ravens
  2. Miami Dolphins
  3. Kansas City Chiefs
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars
  5. Cleveland Browns
  6. Buffalo Bills
  7. Indianapolis Colts

Bubble Watch: Houston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Denver

NFC Playoffs

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  5. Dallas Cowboys
  6. Los Angeles Rams
  7. Seattle Seahawks

Bubble Watch: Minnesota, Atlanta, Green Bay, New Orleans, Chicago

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *