1. Carolina Panthers (1) – They had a tussle for about 5 minutes and since then have rolled up the Giants, rolled over the Giants, chewed the Giants up and spit them out. One has to wonder if a 40 burger is in the offing here. The Panthers pulled out to a 4 score lead and then went into hard core prevent and let a terrible Giant team all the way back to tie it. A late FG keeps them perfect but they should learn from this that prevent makes bad teams think they are good. An Ugly win.
2. Arizona Cardinals (2) – A pretty usual game plan for the Cards. They kind of mailed it in early and coasted along in a game that was way closer than it should have been. Then the Card D turned it on and started to pull the game away. Their young running back was given the rock over and over and he ran over the Eagles! This game was a blow out and the Cards looked set moving forward…until the best Safety in the NFL tore his mcl. What impact will the loss of the athlete formerly known as the ‘Honey Badger’ have on Arizona?
3. Seattle Seahawks (3) – Slow start by a sleepy D was aided by a strong response by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are close to putting this game on ice by early in the 2nd half. Seattle never really was challenged after the first 5 minutes. The D played well and Wilson put the game away. A good win that puts Seattle back in the playoffs albeit in a Wild Card slot.
4. New England Patriots (4) – Simply rolling over a nothing opponent. Yawn. Nothing to see here. The Pats won and covered at home against a team that didn’t have a chance. Another win.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (5) – The Chiefs have their destiny firmly in hand. Playing a team with nothing to lose and not much talent on O, D or coaching has helped their cause. Out in front early by being on the receiving end of errors and coaching mistakes. They can only make this close with serious 2ndhalf prevent. They didn’t prevent too much. They cruised out to an easy win and have the playoffs pretty well in hand. They just need to keep winning. A good win.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) – Pittsburgh D is kind of schizo lately. Today they are working a ‘don’t get beat deep’ scheme that is hurting them on nearly every play. The Offense is having trouble answering Denver and the D is getting ripped. Down by 10 in the first half they have a long road ahead of them in the 2nd half to win this game. The Steelers O stormed back and Big Ben hit Brown over and over and slowly and then quicker and quicker caught up and passed the Broncos. The D made the final stops and Pittsburgh won a key game and now have their playoff destiny in their hands.
7. New York Jets (7) – The Jets had to battle, mostly against themselves, for the whole game. They made mistake after mistake and with missed field goals, extra points, penalties and missed assignments and drops. The Jets were lucky to be playing a bad team to only be down by 1 at the half. They pulled it together a little in the 2nd half and managed to eke out a win. They keep alive and although this was very ugly it counts as a key W.
8. Green Bay Packers (9) – The Packers took their game on the road and have found much more inclement weather than they expected in the California, albeit northern California. Uncharacteristic sloppy play on O and characteristically sloppy play on D has the Packers in a tight battle with a young Raider team. Green Bay could still put this away if they clean up their game in the 2nd half. Green Bay had a hard time putting this away. They did but their issues at corner were badly exposed. Green Bay has clinched playoffs with a not pretty win but it counts. Rodgers barely got 200 yards passing to keep fans of his concerned.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (17) – The Bengals had a slow start but the D turned it up and McCarron has been efficient. The Bengals are not really facing a challenge and one gets the feeling this game is already over barring really bad prevent D. The Bengals played solid D for the whole game and McCarron was efficient and ran the offense well. It wasn’t a blowout but it was a decent win for a team that now clinches the playoffs.
10. Washington Redskins (11) – Awesome start, Cousins is superb and is leading the Redskins beautifully. Up to a large lead and one wonders what flavor of Slurpee RGIII might be selling from his push cart on the streets of DC. Cousins is the franchise QB and this team is on a roll today. A really nice win for Washington. Great O, solid D. They now have sole possession of first and can win the division if they win out.
11. Minnesota Vikings (12) – The Vikings are playing well from the start with solid pass, run, special teams and D. Out to a double digit lead the Vikings are off to a good start in their quest for playoff glory. The Vikings put this game away and did it pretty easily. Solid game by Bridgewater and the Viking D. A great win that puts them about one more win from clinching the Wild Card.
12. Denver Broncos (8) – Denver D has brought their A game and has been able to keep Pittsburgh mostly in check. Osweiler has shown that he can respond well to one bad game last week. He has looked solid and professional and led the offense driving for TD after TD after TD. A super first half and now we must see if Denver can keep it up in the 2nd. The Broncos had a 17-point lead and the best D in the league to hold it. What happened to the D? People will go on ad nauseum about how Osweiler never got any points in the second half but if the D had not allowed 24 unanswered points then Denver would have won. A bad loss I put solely on the Defense. It is no longer the best in the NFL.
13. Houston Texans (20) – The Texans are losing the field position game and that has them hamstrung on O. Yates has turned it over, there have been fumbles. Unless their D makes itself heard from and the O gets going their shot at the division will end. The Texans, down to their 7th string QB or such – ok 5th…stormed back to take a late lead. Now Brandon Weeden can put on his resume that he did lead a team from Texas to a victory in the NFL! I almost had given up hope but no the Houston Texans have slain their dragon! They for the first time EVER have beat Indy in Indy! Superb win and now they have the division in their control. They win out and they are in. Way to go Houston!
14. Indianapolis Colts (13) – Hasselbeck seems his best when kinda dinged up. He is leading the team effectively and with some decent D the Colts are in control. They need to keep it up but this game is going the way they would like it to. The Colts couldn’t muster any offense in the 2nd half and the D got beat when it really had to make stops and now Indy is out of first place. A bad loss and this may finally point to a changing of the guard. They now need help to make the playoffs. This team was a preseason Super bowl pick by many. What a mighty fall.
15. New York Giants (14) – For a few minutes the Giants seemed like they were battling. Now they are fighting for their lives as their bad D is being shredded. Can they keep it within 3 scores? The Giants went down 4 scores and then were able to score 4 against prevent D. That they still lost does mean that the Giants suck and are one game behind Washington and the light is getting dim for NY playoff hopes.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (10) – The Jags Excellent O hasn’t been able to get on track. They keep turning over the ball and the D is the missing link. A pretty bad start for a team that still had a shot at the playoffs if they got help. The Jaguars were able to make one drive but when the game was on the line they just couldn’t get it done. A bad loss that pretty much breaks the back of this young team. They will be heard from in 2016.
17. Oakland Raiders (15) – After a slow start the Raiders started to make themselves a part of this game. The D has been able to get key golden turnovers and Carr was able to drive the field late and bring the Silver and Black back within 1. If Oakland can keep the momentum going, they could yet steal this game from a demonstrably better team. Carr was able to hit Cooper over and over against bad corners but the D couldn’t make the key stops needed to keep them in this. They lost a game by 10 but they gave about all they could and it was a game effort.
18. Detroit Lions (19) – In a dome, on the road, the Lions found their O and tore up one of the most hapless D’s in the NFL. The Lions D was even able to harry and stop the Saints when they attempted to score. Solid D and a working O and even with huge prevent in the last half the Lions won a meaningless game. It was a win.
19. St. Louis Rams (23) – A team with nothing to play for found their ‘good game’ mantra and played lights out for 3 quarters. Incredible D, terrific pass and run and good special teams. This game was over by the end of the 3rd. They coasted out and let Tampa run the field but they won it. Another good win for a team that has had 3 games like this in amongst a lost season.
20. San Diego Chargers (25) – In playing in what could be the last ever home game in San Diego the Chargers are doing their home crowd well. Solid offense, good D and the Chargers could have a massive blowout if this continues. The Chargers won this game going away and that is what the team is doing. I have never witnessed the last game for an NFL team in their current city and it was kind of sad. The fans of San Diego supported the team, the San Diego city council didn’t. I think it will be odd to have the L.A. Chargers in the NFL. A good if melancholy win.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16) – Tampa came out flat and Winston had no answer to a fierce D. Before the smoke cleared at half time the Bucs were down about 4 scores. Tampa managed to put up a ton of meaningless points against prevent but the loss pretty much doomed this young team. They can look towards 2016 for the next step now.
22. Buffalo Bills (18) – Oh the Bills have issues. The D can’t seem to make any stops and their lack of effort is painfully visible sometimed. A terrible first half and this team’s faint playoff hopes are sinking fast. The Bills D is the reason this team lost today. The O did ok and did get within 10 but not having any effective D is why this team won’t make the playoffs.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (21) – The Eagles tried to come out with their ‘fast’ O game plan and the D tried to keep up and for maybe ten minutes it seemed to work. The Eagles then found out that their O doesn’t work against most any D and their D couldn’t stop a running back…they were blown out and find themselves still two wins from winning the division but it seems very unlikely.
24. Miami Dolphins (22) – The sad sack Dolphins look sadder than usual. Tannehill has been ok but the mistakes and penalties on D have combined with simply bad D and they are getting blown out a by bad Charger team. The Dolphins were thoroughly manhandled and although they got a late score vs. prevent it was a pretty badly played game by a pretty bad team. Bad loss.
25. New Orleans Saints (24) – The Saints have a terrible D. If you have any questions, please review the first half video of this game. They made the Lions look like the greatest show on turf. Detroit ran roughshod all over the Saints D. They fired their D coordinator and that didn’t help. This team now has an aged QB with a foot injury, a head coach who has been given his ‘look for another job if you feel like it’ papers and they ran up some cheap points against prevent but they didn’t get enough and another loss followed.
26. Atlanta Falcons (29) – The Falcons are playing like the team with a shot. Their O is on point and the D is playing very feisty. The Falcons are out to a nice lead and could have this game put away if the D keeps playing tough. The Falcons D got beat to get the game tied but Matty Ice didn’t melt today. Atlanta was able to do just enough to win this game. This is superbly meaningless for a Falcon team that is all but done this year but it was a win.
27. Cleveland Browns (26) – Manziel brought the Browns out fast and scored the first points to the shock of a home crowd. The D was not able to capitalize on the opportunity and has let Wilson rip them time and again. If Cleveland isn’t careful their fast start may be a distant memory in what could be a blowout. This wasn’t as bad as a blowout as it could have been but it was a big loss and Cleveland did well to just lose by as much as they did.
28. Baltimore Ravens (27) – The Ravens have nothing to play for and are playing that way. Harbaugh went for it on his on 15 and failed and that pretty much defines how this Raven team is playing. They also are wearing a pretty ugly pair of pants. Down a ton and pretty much not trying today. The Ravens never really were in this and lost out quietly. A team that is beyond circling the bowl. I do note they have now lost 2 in a row by WAY more than 7 so I hope they keep track of that stat now.
29. CHICAGO Bears (28) – The BEARS have made mistakes and cannot afford to make them to have a shot in this game. The O can’t really get it going and the D is making classic BEARS D mistakes and unless Cutler pulls one out of his butt this could be over early in the 2nd half. This game was over. The Bears simply had no answer for the Vikings O and the D just isn’t up to stopping much of anyone. Another ugly loss in an ugly season.
30. Tennessee Titans (30) – Not really having a chance in this matchup they are playing badly and have turned it over. This one is over and it’s not even a blowout yet. The Titans were able to keep the game competitive for most of the second half but faded in the end. It was no 58-0. Losing by 17 is a moral victory for this team in a game like this.
31. Dallas Cowboys (31) – How ‘bout ‘dem Cowboys? What a great performance by Cassel. The ridiculously bad pick he through got him benched for a never was. Kellen Moore did throw a TD but the ‘Boy D lost the game with key errors. In the end the GIF to see is Tony ‘I suck’ Romo watching as Moore throws a ‘Hail Jerry’ and Romo is so excited and jumping, thinking Dez might catch it…then it is like someone tosses a bucket of cold water on Romo as the pass is picked off and Dallas is DEAD. The Cowboys are eliminated officially and GREG HARDY IS A SCUMBAG. Oh and Tony, are you still seeing Brady in February? Perhaps you and your wife going to have brunch with Tom and Giselle about the 19th or something?
32. San Francisco 49ers (32) – A bad team is playing bad and it doesn’t seem like Gabbert and company have any shot of scoring any points against the Bengal D. This could end ugly. It wasn’t so ugly. SF simply was out played by a kid QB who has never started in the NFL and SF’s O was unable to do much at all. Basically the worst team in the NFL lost another.
As always, I love all thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements. I appreciate someone reading my views. I would also offer my analysis work to ESPN as some of theirs need help or I will take cash, preferably tens and twenties!
Merry Christmas to all the readers!
Mr. N. the BEARS Fan