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3 winners and 5 losers from Week 16 within the NFL

It’s actually dawning on me now what a blatant cash-grab the 17 sport common season is. I imply, all of us knew it was, however hell it’s actually feeling prefer it now.

Is anybody actually considering proper now “man, I completely need two extra video games of the common season.” Until you’re on the playoff bubble it is not sensible, and it’s simply artificially growing a season that wants to finish for a large number of causes. Maybe the lesson right here is: In case you nonsensically need gamers to maintain competing deeper into the 12 months, possibly wait till there in’t a worldwide pandemic.

Who am I kidding? That is the NFL, nothing issues greater than creating wealth.

So for the primary loser this week I’ve received to say it’s all of us. It doesn’t matter what crew you’re pulling for, every little thing feels meaningless. Within the NFC there are 5 groups who nonetheless have one thing to play for. Within the AFC that quantity is seven. Sure, I do know there’s seeding and residential discipline benefit to think about, but when we get to brass tacks this essentially signifies that the following two weeks are meaningless to 62.5 % of the league. That quantity will seemingly soar if we fast-forward to what may occur in Week 17, which may end result within the closing week of the common season solely mattering to a few or 4 groups out of 32. To make issues worse, that is the brand new regular.

Primarily we traded a meaningless preseason sport for a meaningless common season sport. Theoretically that every one comes out within the wash, however it feels quite a bit simpler to disregard soccer in August than January. I simply don’t like this. As a fan of the Panthers I simply need the plug pulled on the mess that’s 2021, and please fireplace Matt Rhule too.

Anyway, it’s what it’s. I do know whining about it gained’t obtain something, however that is soothing for my soul to scream into the void. Now, let’s bounce across the league to see what mattered in Week 16.

Winner: Wait … are the Colts among the best groups within the AFC now?

I believe this may actually get misplaced within the shuffle as a result of the sport occurred on Christmas Day, however rattling Indianapolis’ win over the Cardinals was spectacular. I do know Arizona is banged up, however so is each crew proper now.

No person within the NFL is benefitting extra from the 17 sport season than the Colts, who’ve turned from being a 1-4 crew on October 11, to now being 9-6 and actually accountable for their very own future. Within the final two weeks Indy faces the Raiders and Jaguars, which actually ought to quantity to 2 wins.

That may end the 2021 marketing campaign at 11-6. This season has progressed from the Colts being lifeless within the water, to a bubble crew, to now changing into a prime seed. Carson Wentz and Jonathan Taylor are doing sufficient on offense behind a stout offensive line, and the protection is exhibiting they will actually restrict a few of the finest offensives within the NFL — holding the Cardinals to 16 factors this week, whereas stuffing the likes of New England and Buffalo alongside the best way. This isn’t a “win by default” scenario. The Colts are incomes it, and appear to be simply getting higher and higher.

Loser: Oh, Ravens what’s you doing child?

I do know Baltimore has been harm ravaged this season, however I nonetheless don’t know when you can justify the collapse that’s been occurring over the previous month. The Ravens are 0-4 over this stretch, dropping three video games within the AFC North within the course of. I don’t suppose anybody would contemplate shedding to the Steelers, Browns AND Bengals the mark of a top-tier playoff crew, and yeah, this crew isn’t.

The Ravens are tentatively holding on to the No. 7 spot within the AFC playoff picture. With the Rams and Steelers but to return, I’m undecided if they’ve the ammo wanted to make it in 2021. It might be probably the most profound disappointment within the league for a crew as soon as anticipated to be elite.

And I believe it’s going to occur.

Winner: Joe Burrow, conquerer of worlds

All of us knew Joe Burrow was good, proper? I imply, his rookie season confirmed that he may completely be among the best groups within the NFL with just a little nurturing. Properly, that’s occurred in 2021.

It’s been a remarkably quiet 4,000 yard season for Burrow, who merely went off in Week 16 by throwing for 525 yards and 4 touchdowns in some of the excellent NFL video games you may ever see statistically. It pushed Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase over 1,000 on the season, giving the Bengals among the best younger offensive nuclei within the league.

This wasn’t simply an enormous particular person efficiency, however might be the distinction within the Bengals successful the AFC North a 12 months after being the worst crew within the league.

Loser: The Chargers’ plunging mediocrity

I can’t defend this crew anymore. They’ve change into a multitude. It’s not truthful that the Chargers will at all times be mired in middling seasons, however I don’t know what may presumably change it at this level.

Might they make the postseason with the Broncos and Raiders to go? Completely. Am I assured they may? Hell no.

Winner: The … Texans?

So hear me out: I don’t care if the Texans are one of many worst groups within the NFL, or that they beat the Chargers. The main target right here ought to be Davis Mills.

It’s not the form of rookie season that blows your socks off, however Mills has been completely strong for third spherical choose arriving on a franchise with a dearth of expertise like Houston. There’s loads of growth that also must occur, however he’s a rattling sight higher than anybody anticipated.

Houston nonetheless wants to repair its myriad roster issues, however at the very least quarterback tentatively seems to be prefer it would possibly have a future? Bizarre when you concentrate on it.

Loser: Matt Rhule’s optimism

That is so dangerous.

Information flash: Nothing is working in Carolina.

Loser: Washington … woof

Shedding? Unhealthy.

Shedding to the Cowboys? Unhealthy.

Preventing due to them? Actually dangerous.

Destroying your playoff possibilities within the course of? Welp.

It’s been a horrible, horrible, no-good few weeks since Washington appeared able to make a playoff push. That every one culminated on Sunday with a backbreaking loss.

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