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Week 15 early game quick slants

DeSean Jackson AP

1. The Chiefs’ 27-13 dismantling of the Rams showed the difference between the AFC West and the NFC West.  Even though the 9-5 Chiefs have had their struggles in the second half of the season, their defense dominated this game.

Kansas City finishes with two games at Arrowhead Stadium, where they are undefeated.  I expect the division to come down to Chiefs-Raiders in Week 17.  Teams like the Patriots and Colts will be rooting for the Chiefs to keep San Diego out of the tournament.

2. It’s hard to overstate just how improbable and important the Eagles’ big comeback was.  With home games against the Vikings and Cowboys left, the Eagles have a terrific chance to get to 12-4 and be the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.  It’s a comeback that will be remembered forever in New York, and it sets up the Eagles to make an even more memorable playoff run.

3. Big Blue’s big gag job against the Eagles puts them at serious risk of falling out of the playoffs.  The Packers will be able to pass the Giants next week when the Giants go to Lambeau Field.  That should be a great game because both of these teams are playoff-caliber groups, but it’s likely only one will make it.

4. The Bucs finally blew a close game to a losing team after playing in so many tight affairs all year.  I hated Raheem Morris’ conservative play-calling when the Bucs were driving for a go-ahead field goal late in the game.  He didn’t go for the touchdown and trusted his banged-up defense too much.  It was very Herm Edwards-like.

This doesn’t end Tampa’s playoff hopes, but they’ll have to win in New Orleans in Week 17 and get a lot of help.  This is a young, thin team that has lost too many players.

5. The Rams can still make the playoffs, but Sam Bradford and their offense isn’t playoff ready.    Bradford is now under 6 yards-per-attempt on the season — only Jimmy Clausen is worse.  Bradford has thrown five interceptions with no touchdowns over the last three weeks.

6. Unless Seattle can win in Tampa Bay next week, the 49ers will make the playoffs if they close the season with two wins to get to 7-9.  Barf.

7. The Falcons only have to win in Week 17 against the Panthers to win the NFC South.  But Falcons-Saints next week still means a lot to New Orleans because the Saints would love to get the No. 5 seed.  That means starting on the road against the NFC West, where they will be heavily favored.

8. The Colts’ pass rush was a huge difference maker in the team’s win against Jacksonville.  Yes, the Jaguars offense eventually got rolling in the second half.  But it was too little, too late.  The Colts are just a different team at home and now control their fate in the AFC South.

Next week’s game in Oakland will be a tricky spot for the Colts.

9. Perfect day for the Panthers.  They got their second win against the Cardinals, but the Bengals also won.  That preserves the projected No. 1 pick for Carolina.

10. It was important for Jim Schwartz to get a road victory before this season was done.  The 26-game road losing streak was hanging over the franchise.  Getting rid of it allows the team to start fresh next year.  The Matt Millen streaks are all gone now!

11. Miami’s loss to Buffalo was a fitting way for their playoff hopes to end.  They can’t win at home and they can’t build on good performances.  They define mediocrity.

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18 Responses to “Week 15 early game quick slants”
  1. touchdownroddywhite says: Dec 19, 2010 7:20 PM

    A win next week would be big for the Falcons too as it should guarantee them home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but I am worried, seeing as how I’m pretty sure they clinched the division today. Even if they lose to the Saints and Panthers, I think the Falcons have more tie breakers.

  2. emmac13 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    I did not like Daboll last year. I wished he was gone. Today was the last straw with the defense. Rob Ryan got the guys to play well against the top teams. But their fundamentals deminish against poor teams. Honestly now I can say bye to Mangini and not question it. Losing to Buffalo and not rebounding and losing to Cincy says it all. Bring in Gruden and make Marvin Lewis Def. Coor.

  3. somesome says: Dec 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    What’s with all these points on games that don’t matter and leave a game between two playoff bound teams Ravens/Saints off?????
    Miami playoff hopes????
    Lions????
    Panthers/Cardinals????? DID ANYBODY EVEN WATCH THIS GAME?

  4. snake11s says: Dec 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    On Carolina keeping the first pick- That is Great because New England owns their 2nd round pick in addition to Oakland’s first and their own.
    3 picks in the first 33!
    Not only that they have Minnesota’s 3rd and Denver’s 4th!
    Put that all together with the roster they have and get ready for Dynasty part 2!!!

  5. gosuhgo says: Dec 19, 2010 7:23 PM

    The lions might not be in playoff contention but they’re doing their best to keep other teams in the same boat.

  6. ccoolahan14 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:27 PM

    Count on Rosenthal to mention the Ravens win! I mean, the Panthers beating the Cardinals is definitely more noteworthy than the Ravens beating the 10-4 defending champs riding a six game win streak! Impossible to fathom how someone so incompetent/biased is allowed to continue to work for PFT (I noticed he hasn’t been writing Ravens blogs recently- is it because everyone has been pointing out his bias??). You are absolutely pathetic Rosenthal

  7. ccoolahan14 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:28 PM

    not mention*

  8. darthvader89 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:31 PM

    Way to totally ignore a hugely important and exciting Ravens-Saints game.

  9. emmac13 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:52 PM

    Desean Jackson talent through the roof. Maturity and brains question mark.

  10. daniel1963 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:54 PM

    #
    emmac13 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    I did not like Daboll last year. I wished he was gone. Today was the last straw with the defense. Rob Ryan got the guys to play well against the top teams. But their fundamentals deminish against poor teams. Honestly now I can say bye to Mangini and not question it. Losing to Buffalo and not rebounding and losing to Cincy says it all. Bring in Gruden and make Marvin Lewis Def. Coor.

    _______________________________

    Another brilliant Cleveland fan! You morons want Rome to be built in a day and when it can’t be done, you whine and scream for the coach to be fired.

    That’s really worked so well over the past decade, huh? You want to run Mangini out of town and hire your FIFTH coach since the team was reformed.

    Derek Anderson was right–you guys don’t deserve a winner. In fact, you’re such a lousy fan base, you don’t even deserve a team.

    Congrats Cleveland fans: you’ve made yourselves a laughingstock time and time again…..

  11. daniel1963 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:55 PM

    #
    emmac13 says: Dec 19, 2010 7:21 PM

    I did not like Daboll last year. I wished he was gone. Today was the last straw with the defense. Rob Ryan got the guys to play well against the top teams. But their fundamentals deminish against poor teams. Honestly now I can say bye to Mangini and not question it. Losing to Buffalo and not rebounding and losing to Cincy says it all. Bring in Gruden and make Marvin Lewis Def. Coor.

    _______________________________

    Another brilliant Cleveland fan! You morons want Rome to be built in a day and when it can’t be done, you whine and scream for the coach to be fired.

    That’s really worked so well over the past decade, huh? You want to run Mangini out of town and hire your FIFTH coach since the team was reformed.

    Derek Anderson was right–you guys don’t deserve a winner. In fact, you’re such a lousy fan base, you don’t even deserve a team.

    Congrats Cleveland fans: you’ve made yourselves a laughingstock time and time again…..

  12. tnsteve says: Dec 19, 2010 8:07 PM

    Here’s an early slant you missed: 8 of the 13 games today ended with the team with the worst record winning the games.

  13. macjacmccoy says: Dec 19, 2010 8:44 PM

    Falcons can still lose 1st place. The Eagles could go 12-4 and if the Falcons lose there next 2 they would be 12-4 and because the Eagles won the head to head matchup they would hold the tiebreaker. The Falcons could easily lose next week to the Saints. Then it would come down to Panthers game.

    Its doubtful that the Falcons would allow themselves to lose to the Panthers especially if they just lost to the Saints with home field advantage on the line. But this is the NFL anything is possible.

    I doubt it will happen but I can hope. GO Panthers!

  14. bucforever says: Dec 19, 2010 8:45 PM

    Tampa was really only a coin toss away from winning the game. If the NFL schedules these two young teams to play each other next year , it will be a great matchup. Hey, nobody to put on IR this week.

  15. larthedude says: Dec 19, 2010 9:28 PM

    If the Giants get beat by Philly and Dallas – they barely seem playoff worthy.

  16. ben6969 says: Dec 20, 2010 9:41 AM

    touchdownroddywhite says:
    Dec 19, 2010 7:20 PM
    A win next week would be big for the Falcons too as it should guarantee them home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but I am worried, seeing as how I’m pretty sure they clinched the division today. Even if they lose to the Saints and Panthers, I think the Falcons have more tie breakers.

    ————————————————-

    No, actually if they lose to us ( Saints ) next week, then lose to the Panthers, which there is a better chance that hell will freeze over, We would win the tie breaker because the first tie breaker is division record, which we would have only 1 lose, and the Falcons would have 2… See yall in the ATL on Monday, hope its not to cold to tailgate…

  17. umrguy42 says: Dec 20, 2010 10:12 AM

    Here’s some insightful analysis regarding Point 6 – everybody’s always talking about “the Niners can still make the playoffs” (I guess to justify making them their pre-season pick to win the division), but the Rams control their own destiny. If St. Louis wins its last two games, it doesn’t matter what Seattle or San Fran do.

  18. elyasm says: Dec 20, 2010 6:38 PM

    @snake11s
    Actually, the Patriots traded Denver’s 4th round pick to Seattle for Deion Branch. Otherwise, your post is accurate.

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