Offensive Rookie of the Year: Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott has played really good, even if his stats don’t necessarily reflect that. The fact that he came into the offseason as the third string quarterback and ended up as the starter, even after Tony Romo was cleared to play just shows how good Prescott has been. He keeps his team in every single game and finds ways to win, no matter which team and which defense he is going up against. His ability to make plays on third down and late in the fourth quarter is staggering and should scare the other 31 teams that passed on him in the draft for many seasons to come.
Ezekiel Elliott, Carson Wentz, Malcolm Mitchell
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Joey Bosa
There aren’t that many defensive rookies that made a gigantic impact on games this season, with the exception of Joey Bosa. Bosa is a difference maker and has proved a lot of his doubters were wrong. His holdout at the beginning of the season was embarrassing for both the Chargers and Bosa, but he made up for lost time and should give Charger fans some hope. He only has five and a half sacks and 24 tackles this season, but his abilities and threat give something for opposing offenses to plan for each and every Sunday.
Comeback Player of the Year: DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray would be an MVP candidate if the Titans had two or three more wins. They are still in playoff contention in a bad division, and the reason for that has been DeMarco Murray. He is on pace to rush for somewhere around 1,400 yards and eleven touchdowns on the ground and even has had a touchdown pass on the season for ten yards. He is showing what made him so great back in Dallas and what Philadelphia missed on him last season. If he can continue to provide veteran leadership on the offensive side of the ball to a young Tennessee team, then the Titans should be a team for the rest of the AFC to worry about for the next few seasons.
Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco
Executive of the Year: Jerry Jones
What more can you say about the Cowboys offseason other than the fact that they drafted two players that are both under consideration for the MVP award in their first seasons. To this point in the season, they have only lost one game and are the only team to make the playoffs and it would take a major collapse for them to not have a first round bye in the NFC. They have the longest winning streak ever for this historic franchise. All of this should go to Jerry Jones and his staff because they turned a team that only won four games last season to one of the very best teams in the NFL in one draft.
Rick Spielman, Bill Belichick
Coach of the Year: Jack Del Rio
Jack Del Rio has done an outstanding job turning around the Oakland Raiders and making Derek Carr an MVP candidate. They are certainly playoff bound, barring any major meltdown, for the first time since 2002. He has made his team believe in themselves and has given them hope going forward. Their defense isn’t very good, but their offense and ability to stay in games is a product of Jack Del Rio and his coaching staff.
Bill Belichick, Jason Garrett
Offensive Player of the Year: Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is leading the league in rushing yards, rushes of twenty yards or more, fourth in yards per attempt, second in rushing touchdowns and the only running back that is averaging more than 100 yards per game. A lot of credit does and should go to the offensive line, but the thing that he specializes is extending runs and making people miss. He isn’t just a good running back though, he is also a good pass blocker and receiving threat. He is a complete difference maker for the Cowboys and is possibly the reason that they have only lost one game to this point in the season.
Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford
Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller
The Denver defense is one of the best in the league and that is mostly because of Von Miller. Von Miller gives other teams something that they have to worry about which then frees up the other side. If the other team doesn’t focus on Miller, then he will make the quarterback pay. His disruptions also make the secondary better because the quarterback has to get the ball out quicker and is more prone to make a mistake. The Denver hasn’t been very good on offense and the main reason that they are still in contention for a wildcard spot is because of Von Miller and his defense.
Marcus Peters, Lorenzo Alexander, Eric Berry
Most Valuable Player: Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys have the best record in the NFL right now and although some of that is because of Dak Prescott’s ability, most of it is thanks to Elliott’s. Elliott is the thing that other teams have to plan for. He takes the pressure off of the rest of the offense and allows guys like Cole Beasley, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant to face single coverages to allow Prescott to get the ball to whichever target he wants. The way that he finished runs and turns a no gain play into three yards or turns a three-yard play into five yards is something that not all running backs can do. All of the quarterbacks considered for this award are valuable, without Elliott, the Cowboys would have lost more than one game to this point in the season.
Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford
Since there are so many teams in the middle of the pack at this point in the season, the ATP mock drafts will have the twenty teams that are currently not in the playoffs until the end of the season.
There are nineteen or twenty teams that still have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs and one of those teams have already secured their ticket to the playoffs. There were some impressive games this past weekend and there should be more coming soon with the playoffs quickly approaching.
1. Dallas Cowboys (11-1; Prev. 1)
It was ugly, but the Cowboys were able to pull off their eleventh straight win and punch their ticket to the playoffs, thanks in part to the Arizona Cardinals. These next four games are going to be tough though, three of the teams that they are going to be facing would be in the playoffs if the season were to end today. The Cowboys are visiting the only team to beat them this season, the New York Giants. If Dallas is able to win this game, then they will win the NFC East.
2. Oakland Raiders (10-2; Prev. 2)
The Oakland Raiders now have the number one seed in the AFC based on win percentage against common opponents with the Patriots. Their offense still looks very potent, but they need the number one seed because it is hard to imagine this offense working as well in a cold weather environment. They have a tough schedule coming down the stretch, starting with the Chiefs in Kansas City this week.
3. New England Patriots (10-2; Prev. 3)
The Patriots defense had one of their best games of the season this past week against the Rams, but need to continue playing at that level going into the playoffs. The loss from Miami certainly helps New England’s playoff hopes. If the Patriots win this week against the Ravens and the Dolphins lose, then New England would be the next team to clinch a playoff berth.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3; Prev. 4)
The Kansas City Chiefs won a close game against the Atlanta Falcons thanks to Eric Berry and the defense. If their defense can stop the Atlanta offense like that, then the rest of the AFC should be careful going forward. The Chiefs are in good position for the playoffs, but have a tough last four games, starting this week against the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City.
5. Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1; Prev. 6)
Seattle reassured their dominance on Sunday when they completely dismantled the Carolina Panthers. They are in good position to have a first round bye with the Falcons losing, but with the Lions surging, they need to stay on their toes. Their schedule for the last three games is favorable as the only team that they will face with at least a .500 record is the Packers when they go to Green Bay this week.
6. Detroit Lions (8-4; Prev. 7)
Detroit might be the hottest team in the league, outside of Dallas. They have won four straight games, and their win against the Saints was their best win of the season. Their offense is clicking and they now have a two game lead, thanks to the Vikings losing last Thursday night. They do have a tough remaining schedule as they face the Bears in Detroit this week, but their last three games are against teams with a record of .500 or better.
7. Denver Broncos (8-4; Prev. 9)
The Broncos are back into the playoff picture with their big win against the Jaguars and the Dolphins big loss against the Ravens. This offense is concerning, no matter who is playing quarterback, and they need to figure out a way to get more production or they won’t have a run like they did last season. They have one of the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL, and it starts this week when they travel to Tennessee.
8. New York Giants (8-4; Prev. 5)
The New York Giants lost against the Pittsburgh Steelers and hurt their chances of overtaking the Cowboys for the NFC East. They had trouble scoring early against Pittsburgh and haven’t looked good in the last three weeks, despite winning two of the games. They need to play better this week as they welcome the Dallas Cowboys to town and if they lose, then there is no chance of them winning this division.
9. Baltimore Ravens (7-5; Prev. 10)
Baltimore won a huge game against the Dolphins and were able to be really good on offense. They are still in first place in their division and are on pace for a Christmas day game for the division against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This week, they are travelling to New England for a huge AFC matchup with the Patriots.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5; Prev. 11)
Tampa Bay is in the playoffs right now and are surging to take over the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC South. Their remaining schedule is fairly tough with the Cowboys on the schedule, but two of their next three games are against the Saints. If they can win this week, then they are in an even better position to win this division.
11. Atlanta Falcons (7-5; Prev. 8)
The Falcons had their hearts broken on Sunday when they took the lead at the end of the game, but game up a pick two to Eric Berry, especially since he had a pick six earlier in the game. they still have the division lead because they own the tiebreaker against the Buccaneers, but they haven’t played that well in recent weeks. Luckily, the rest of their schedule is favorable to the Falcons.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5; Prev. 15)
The Pittsburgh Steelers got a big win against the New York Giants and are still in position to take over their division. The tiebreaker is still going to the Ravens, but their game in three weeks could decide the division. The Steelers have a more favorable schedule and are going to visit the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
13. Houston Texans (6-6; Prev. 12)
Houston did not look good in Green Bay and are now on the brink of losing their playoff positioning. The Houston Texans had a hard time in the snow and Brock Osweiler is terrible. They still hold the tie breaker over the Titans and Colts, but they are going to face both of these teams in the next few weeks, starting this week in Indianapolis against the Colts.
14. Washington Redskins (6-5-1; Prev. 13)
The Washington Redskins lost a huge game on Sunday and are now on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Their defense gave up a lot of points and were unable to keep up for the entire 60 minutes. They have a favorable schedule and the only team that they are going to face with a winning record is the Giants in week seventeen. This week, they are travelling to Philadelphia to face off with the Eagles.
15.Miami Dolphins (7-5; Prev. 14)
The Miami Dolphins may have ruined their playoff chances this week when they couldn’t even be competitive against the Baltimore Ravens. They have to win at least three of their last four games and only one of their remaining opponents have a winning record. They have the Cardinals coming to Miami this week and need this win or they could be out for good.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-6; Prev. 16)
The Vikings lost a close game against the Cowboys and are now two games behind Detroit with only four games left to play. They have two games against teams that are also fighting for a playoff spot, but two games that should be fairly winnable for the Vikings. This week, they take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville and can’t afford a loss at this point.
17. Tennessee Titans (6-6; Prev. 20)
The Titans come out of their bye in a three way tie for the division lead with the Texans losing and the Colts winning. Hopefully the rest will help them with only four games left because they only have one opponent left with a losing record. This week, they have the Broncos coming in and need to control the ball to get the win.
18. Indianapolis Colts (6-6; Prev. 21)
The Colts showed up in a big way on Monday night and look like they could very well make a run for the AFC South. Houston losing and Tennessee on a bye gave the Colts an opportunity to capitalize and Andrew Luck came through in a big way. They only have one really difficult game left on their schedule and could knock off one of the other teams in first this week with a win against Houston at home.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7; Prev. 17)
The Eagles have fallen off in a big way and they need help if they want to make the playoffs. Their last four games are against teams that are all on the brink of making the playoffs or have already made the playoffs so it is hard to imagine them winning more than a game or two down the stretch. The only thing that they can hope for is that the Vikings lose a couple more games so the Eagles can have a higher pick. This week they take on the Washington Redskins in Philadelphia in what should be an interesting NFC East matchup.
20. Green Bay Packers (6-6; Prev. 23)
The Green Bay Packers got a huge win on Sunday, showing that they can still win big games in big fashion. Unfortunately, it might be too little too late for a team that is now two games behind for the division lead. They essentially need to win the rest of their games and hope that Detroit loses another game before they meet on New Year’s Day in Detroit. That is a tall task considering that the Packers are facing the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field this week.
21. San Diego Chargers (5-7; Prev. 18)
The San Diego Chargers lost on Sunday and are now three games behind the Broncos for the second wildcard spot with only four games left to go. None of their remaining games have a lot of value unless they want to jeopardize playoff positioning for either the Raiders or Chiefs. They are going to Carolina this week to face off with the Panthers in a pride game.
22. Buffalo Bills (6-6; Prev. 19)
The Buffalo Bills are now four games behind the Patriots and it is hard to imagine a scenario that they are able to make the playoffs. They should be able to finish their season around .500 and build some momentum going into next season when they can hopefully be healthy. The Bills are taking on the Steelers this week in Buffalo that maybe Buffalo can mess up the Steelers season.
23. Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1; Prev. 24)
The Cardinals are playing spoilers to the rest of the NFL at this point. There is little hope for them to get into the playoffs this season, but they are still trying to stop teams like Washington from getting a wildcard spot. They have had a disappointing season this year, but hopefully drafting the quarterback of the future or bringing in a veteran, like Tony Romo, would make this team a contender again next season. This week the Cardinals are facing another team with playoff aspirations that they could stop when they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1; Prev. 26)
The Cincinnati Bengals looked good on Sunday, despite another game without AJ Green. They are now two and a half games behind Baltimore and Pittsburgh and are facing both teams down the stretch, but it is unlikely that they will take the lead from either of those teams. Both of those games are at home, but they would need both teams to lose three of their next four and the Bengals would need to win all four of their remaining games. They are going to Cleveland this week to face the Browns in a game that they should win.
25. New Orleans Saints (5-7; Prev. 22)
The Saints are now two games behind for the wildcard and division, but have a chance to turn everything around with some help. The two teams ahead of them are going to be playing against the Saints in three of their next four games. If they win the rest of their games and the Falcons lose a game between now and week seventeen, then the Saints would be in, but that is unlikely. They have the first of their two matchups in three weeks against the Buccaneers this week in Tampa Bay.
26. Carolina Panthers (4-8; Prev. 25)
The Carolina Panthers are done for the season, but Ron Rivera did the right thing by suspending Cam Newton for the first drive. The fact that Newton understood and was accepting of it just shows the respect that Rivera has in the locker room. They had a bad season, but they are facing the Chargers in what should be a fairly entertaining game.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-8; Prev. 27)
The Rams didn’t look good on Sunday against the Patriots and Jeff Fisher was rewarded with a two-year contract. Their offense couldn’t get any momentum against a defense that has trouble up front. They are going to have to get creative in the offseason since they don’t have a first or third round pick this season thanks to the trade with the Titans last season. The Rams are facing the Falcons and have the chance to play spoilers to Atlanta’s season.
28. Chicago Bears (3-9; Prev. 29)
Chicago actually looked really good on Sunday, granted it was against the 49ers, but a win is still a win. Jordan Howard is really exciting and possibly a top ten running back even with a subpar offensive line, a third string quarterback and some deficiencies at the receiver position. They might not win another game this season, but with Howard, a top five pick and hopefully a healthy defense, this team has a lot of positives in the future. They are travelling to Detroit this week to face a team that they beat earlier this season and have the chance to play spoiler to now.
29. New York Jets (3-9; Prev. 28)
The New York Jets got demolished on Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts and Todd Bowles seat is getting a little bit warmer. They need a change next season, none of their quarterbacks are very effective and it shouldn’t be that difficult, given all of the talent on offense. They have a game that they could win this week when they face off with the San Francisco 49ers.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10; Prev. 30)
The Jaguars lost again and there should be no way for Gus Bradley to keep his job, even if they won their last four games of the season. They have a good nucleus of talent, but their coaching and quarterback play are holding this team back and there needs to be a change for at least one of those problems next season. They are facing the Vikings this week and it is hard to imagine a scenario that the Jaguars come out of that game with the win.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-11; Prev. 31)
The 49ers looked really bad in the snow this past Sunday. They couldn’t move the ball, Colin Kaepernick was pulled after three quarters and only four yards passing. They need to find a way to turn this team around next year, but there might be too many holes for them to be back for at least three or four years. They have the Jets coming to town this week so maybe they can figure something out against another bad team.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12; Prev. 32)
The bye week really did nothing for the Cleveland Browns. They are still winless, they are still on pace to have the first pick in the next draft, and it is unlikely that either of those things will change between now and the end of the season. The one bright spot for the Browns is that the Eagles lost and if they are able to keep losing, then the Browns might end up with two top ten picks to turn this team around quickly. They have the Bengals coming to town this week for a game between two teams that are just playing for pride.
There should be another good slate of games this week and should clear up the playoff picture very soon.
1. Dallas Cowboys (10-1; Prev. 1)
The Dallas Cowboys played their most complete game on Thursday against the Washington Redskins. They took the lead four minutes into the first quarter and never gave it up for the rest of the game. Dak Prescott didn’t have the best game statistically, completing 71 percent of his passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, but also ran for 39 yards and a touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott was incredible again this week. He averaged nearly five yards per carry and had 120 total yards and two rushing touchdowns. Their defense gave up a lot to Kirk Cousins, but they made key plays when they needed to. They have another Thursday game next week when they travel to Minnesota.
2. Oakland Raiders (9-2; Prev. 2)
The Oakland Raiders were able to leave their game against the Panthers with another win this season. Derek Carr was able to throw for 315 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Their rushing attack was only able to rush for 55 yards and a touchdown. Their other touchdown came off of an interception return for a touchdown. Their defense did have trouble stopping the run on Sunday, giving up 129 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. They are still in control of their division and are still tied with the Patriots for the conference lead. They have the Bills coming to town this week in another interesting matchup.
3. New England Patriots (9-2; Prev. 3)
The Patriots didn’t look particularly good against the Jets on Sunday, but they were still able to come away with the win. Tom Brady was able to complete 60 percent of his passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns, but had some troubles in the first quarter of the game. Rob Gronkowski left the game early on Sunday with an apparent back injury and should be worrisome to Patriots fans. LeGarrette Blount and Deion Lewis were able to combine for 91 rushing yards and no touchdowns against one of the better defensive lines in the league. their defense had trouble stopping Ryan Fitzpatrick and gave up two passing touchdowns. They were able to force two fumbles against the Jets, but shouldn’t have had that much trouble with Fitzpatrick. This week they have the Rams coming to town and they should be able to win.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3; Prev. 5)
The Kansas City Chiefs got a big overtime win on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Offensively, they only had two touchdowns and only kicked two field goals, both coming in overtime. Alex Smith threw for 220 yards and their running game was only able to get 83 yards, but they didn’t have any turnovers. Their defense let Trevor Siemian have his biggest statistical game of his career, but they were able to hold on for the win. They are still a game behind the Oakland Raiders, but are in sole possession of the first wildcard spot. They have a tough game this week when they travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons.
5. New York Giants (8-3; Prev. 7)
The New York Giants were able to win again, this time against the Cleveland Browns. They didn’t look particularly good going into half time, only up eight points, but they didn’t need to do much more against this team. Eli Manning only threw for 194 yards, but also had three touchdowns, two to Odell Beckham. Their running game combined for 104 yards, but no one looked really good running the ball. Their defense was able to get seven sacks and force three turnovers against the Browns. Their offense needs to play better down the stretch and into the playoffs if they want to go far this season. They are going to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in what should be a big game.
6. Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1; Prev. 4)
The Seahawks did not look good on Sunday against the Buccaneers. Their defense allowed two passes from Jameis Winston to Mike Evans for touchdowns in the first quarter and Seattle couldn’t score one through the entire game. Russell Wilson had a terrible game throwing the ball, completing 51.5 percent of his passes for 151 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was able to rush for 80 yards, nearly twice as much as everyone else on this team combined, but it wasn’t able to help them win. Their offensive line didn’t help much either, allowing Wilson to get sacked six times in the game. they need to play better down the stretch if they have any hopes of catching Dallas and the number one seed in the NFC. The Panthers are coming to Seattle this week and the Seahawks need to come away from that game with a big win.
7. Detroit Lions (7-4; Prev. 8)
The Detroit Lions won another game in the fourth quarter and are now in the driver’s seat for their division. Matthew Stafford did a good job, considering the defense that he was going up against. He only completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, but there were no turnovers from the Lions and was one of the reasons that they won this game. Defensively, they continue to look better each and every week. This week they are going to New Orleans to face the Saints.
8. Atlanta Falcons (7-4; Prev. 9)
The Falcons need to start playing like they did in the first half of the season if they don't want the Buccaneers to catch up with them. Their offense is still one of the top three in the league, but their rough defense is holding them back considerably. Their offense will have a tough matchup this week as they take on the Kansas City chiefs at homw.
9. Denver Broncos (7-4; Prev. 6)
The Denver Broncos lost a game that they desperately needed and are on the outside of the playoff picture at the moment, but played one of the best games so far this season. Trevor Siemian was able to throw for 368 yards and three touchdowns against a good Kansas City defense. Their running attack was able to rush for 124 yards and had their best game since CJ Anderson went down. The Broncos have a tough schedule down the stretch of this season, but this week they have a game in Jacksonville that they should win.
10. Baltimore Ravens (6-5; Prev. 13)
The Baltimore Ravens are in good position to make the playoffs, they just need to continue to win. They are still tied with the Steelers for the division lead and have the tie breaker, but that can turn around very quickly if things go sour for the Ravens. They have a tough challenge this week when they take on the Miami Dolphins.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5; Prev. 14)
The Buccaneers got a big win on Sunday when the Seahawks came to Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston looked good early, being able to connect with Mike Evans for two first quarter touchdowns and that was all that they needed to win the game. Doug Martin looked decent running for 87 yards, but had a fumble as well. The impressive thing about their win was how their defense played. They were able to sack Russell Wilson six times and force three turnovers to help with the win. With this win, they are only a game behind the Falcons for the division and half of a game behind the Redskins for the second wildcard spot. They have a tough game this week as they travel to San Diego for a game with the Chargers.
12. Houston Texans (6-5; Prev. 10)
The Texans had a bad game on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Brock Osweiler did not look good, throwing for 246 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He was able to rush for one, but that doesn’t balance all of the bad play that he had. Lamar Miller was only able to rush for 57 yards and also had a costly turnover. Their defense was able to get an interception from Philip Rivers, but also gave up three touchdown passes as well. This team hasn’t looked particularly good lately and need to turn it around before they lose their grip on the division lead. They are going to Green Bay this week and need a big win to turn their fortunes around.
13. Washington Redskins (6-4-1; Prev. 11)
The Redskins played a tough game on Thursday, but couldn’t leave Dallas with the win. Kirk Cousins had a career day, throwing for 449 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Reed was excellent, catching ten passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns. DeSean Jackson had 118 yards and a touchdown, but most of those yards came from his 67-yard touchdown reception. The problems with this team was their inability to was to run the football and stop the Cowboys offense. Rob Kelley only rushed for 37 yards and they couldn’t stop Ezekiel Elliott. Despite the loss, they are still in good position to make the playoffs and won’t be facing any team quite like Dallas for the rest of the season. This week, they are travelling to Arizona to face the Cardinals.
14.Miami Dolphins (7-4; Prev. 17)
If the regular season ended today, then the Miami Dolphins would be in the playoffs, thanks to how well they have played recently. Jay Ajayi didn’t have his best game of the season against the 49ers, but he was able to rush for 45 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill had his best game in recent history, able to throw for 285 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Their defense should cause some worry, giving up 193 rushing yards and letting Colin Kaepernick throw for 296 yards and three touchdowns, but they were able to get two turnovers in the game. Their defense needs to play better down the stretch if the Dolphins want to keep their playoff spot and this week they are going to Baltimore for a big AFC matchup.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5; Prev. 16)
The Steelers did a good job on Thursday against a wounded Colts team. Their defense was able to take advantage of the fact that Andrew Luck was out because of concussion protocol. They were able to force two interceptions and only allowed seven points to the Scott Tolzien led Colts. The Indianapolis defense was unable to slowdown Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Roethlisberger was able to connect with Brown for 91 yards and three touchdowns and Bell was able to rush for 120 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers have a tough game this week as the Giants are coming to town in what seems to be a must win game.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-5; Prev. 12)
The Vikings gave up the game to the Lions on Thursday. They had several chances to win, but couldn’t get the job done. Sam Bradford completed 84 percent of his passes for 224 yards, but he couldn’t throw a touchdown and had one very costly interception. They had 82 yards and seemed to be running the ball well, but no one could really break out. Their defense did a good job, holding the Lions to thirteen points up until the interception from Bradford. They couldn’t get any turnovers of their own so the turnover battle was very costly. They have a tough game this week when the Dallas Cowboys come to Minnesota on Thursday.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6; Prev. 15)
The loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night really hurt the Eagles season. They are now five games out of the division with five games left. There is still hope for them to get a wildcard spot, but they have five teams ahead of them because of records and head-to-head wins. If they don’t win the rest of their games this season, they probably won’t make it because it looks like a team will need at least ten wins to get in.
18. San Diego Chargers (5-6; Prev. 18)
The San Diego Chargers were able to get a big win against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Philip Rivers looked good, throwing for 242 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception. Melvin Gordon only rushed for 70 yards, but they didn’t need anything more against the Texans. Their defense was able to take advantage of Osweiler, forcing three interceptions and not allowing a passing touchdown on their way to the victory. The Chargers have a bit of a challenge this week as the surging Buccaneers are coming into San Diego on Sunday.
19. Buffalo Bills (6-5; Prev. 19)
The Bills still have a chance to make the playoffs, but have to have a lot of things happen for them to get in. They need Miami and Denver to start losing to make it even possible for Buffalo. This week, they have a tough challenge as they are going to face off with the Oakland Raiders.
20.Tennessee Titans (6-6; Prev. 22)
The Titans have to hope for some losses to their division rivals this week, It is very possible that the winner of this division could end the regular season with only eight wins. The Titans have their bye week this week and can hopefully come out healthy for the homestretch into the playoffs.
21. Indianapolis Colts (5-6; Prev. 20)
The Indianapolis Colts had the misfortune of playing against the Steelers without their starting quarterback. Scott Tolzien was only able to throw for 205 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions and his running game didn’t help him any either. They were only able to combine for 91 yards on the ground and couldn’t get into the endzone. their defense had trouble against the Steelers and gave up three touchdowns through the air and one through the ground. Fortunately for the Colts, the Texans lost so they are still only a game behind, but now the Titans are half a game above the Colts as well. This week they are going to face off with the Jets and need the win to stay in the race.
22. New Orleans Saints (5-6; Prev. 25)
The New Orleans Saints are fighting for their season and need to pretty much win every game in order to make the playoffs. Drew Brees is playing some of the best football of his career, but it doesn't seem to be enough to get this team over the hump. they have a big game this week against the Lions in a big NFC game.
23. Green Bay Packers (5-6; Prev. 23)
The Packers still have a chance at saving their season, thanks to their Monday night victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. It won’t be easy, but with their last three games within their division, if the Packers can win out and the Lions slip up, then the Packers could steal a playoff spot. They need to take care of business this week against the Houston Texans in Green Bay.
24. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1; Prev. 21)
It seems like the Arizona Cardinals have given up on the season. Carson Palmer cannot get on the same page with any of his receivers and it cost them on Sunday. Teams are starting to attack the run and make Palmer have to beat them. They have a tough game this week as they are facing the high powered Washington offense.
25. Carolina Panthers (4-7; Prev. 24)
The Panthers had a good offensive battle against the Raiders on Sunday. Cam Newton only competed 48.3 percent of his passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns, but had a very costly interception returned for a touchdown. Their running game did a pretty good job though, rushing for 129 yards and three touchdowns to keep them in the game with Oakland’s offense. Carolina’s defense did a pretty good job against the Raiders compared to other teams around the league. They held Derek Carr to just two touchdowns and were able to force two turnovers. The Panthers find themselves in a tough hole to climb out of and are now three games behind the Falcons for the division lead with only five games left. They have a tough game this week as they are going to face the Seahawks in Seattle.
26.Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1; Prev. 26)
The Bengals are playing for pride at this point and need to figure out what they have on this team. There are questions about Andy Dalton, especially without AJ Green. He needs to figure out a way to get the ball to Tyler Eifert or they are going to have a rough time for the rest of the season. This week, they have a matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-7; Prev. 27)
The Rams are looking really bad and they look like they won't even get to their standard seven wins this season. They have tough matchups for rest of the season, especially this week when they go to New England. The worst part is that they don't even have a first round pick this year so it is going to be really hard for them to rebuild this team.
28. New York Jets (3-8; Prev. 28)
The Jets lost another game, but they had their chances to win against the New England Patriots. Ryan Fitzpatrick had one of his better games of the season, throwing for 269 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. He did have a lost fumble in the game, but him only having one turnover is actually good compared to what he has done previously in the season. They had a lot of trouble running the ball as they were only able to get 64 yards and no rushing touchdowns. Their defense did a pretty good job, restricting Tom Brady and all of his weapons, but they just weren’t good enough to get the win. They have the Colts coming in for a visit this week in what looks like it might be a pride game.
29. Chicago Bears (2-9; Prev. 29)
The Chicago Bears are on pace for a top five pick. Their receivers can't catch and they are going to have to rely on Jordan Howard if they want to win another game this season. Luckily, they are going up against the worst rushing defense in the league this week when they go up against the San Francisco 49ers.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9; Prev. 30)
The Jaguars are out of the playoff picture and it is hard to imagine Gus Bradley keeping his job and it will be interesting if they pick up the fifth year option for Blake Bortles. They have the Broncos this week and they are going to have a hard time.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-10; Prev. 31)
The 49ers may not have a chance to make the playoffs, but that doesn't mean that they have given up on their season. Colin Kaepernick looks like he is coming back to form, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns to go with his 113 yards on the ground. They have a winnable game this week as they travel to Chicago for a game with the Bears.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-12; Prev. 32)
The Cleveland Browns lost their twelfth straight game and only have four more chances to get a win this season. Josh McCown looked decent, throwing for 322 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, but had two fumbles in the game. They were only able to rush for 58 yards, but neither of their running backs could get any touchdowns. Their defense had troubles in general, allowing Eli Manning to throw for three touchdowns and a total of 27 points. This week they are on a bye and hopefully, they can get healthy and maybe surprise a team for a win.
My name is Sean, I have been a fan of the NFL for at least 25 years and want to get my thoughts out to the public. Please visit the main site for more posts