Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 16)

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Much like last week the NFL saw a chase for the record books but this time it was the chase of individual Records. Mainly it was one of the longest standing records in the NFL for QBs. In 1984 Dan Marino had one of the best careers by a QB as he threw for 5,084 yards in one season. This year this season was looked to be matched by not one but three QBs as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees were all on pace to break this single season record. Going into week 16 all three of these QBs were on the other side of 4,000 yards with two weeks left. If all three could average over 350 yards in the next two games they would be creeping close to Marino’s 27 year record. In week 16 Brady earned 304 yards that kept him on pace if he were to play in the last week of the season. Brady would need just 200 yards, which he has done in almost every game this year, to break the record. Aaron Rodgers was also on pace that could break the record but his last few games put him further back only averaging just above 200 yards per game. If he could get 300 yard in his week 16 game against the Chicago Bears Rodgers could have set himself up to break the record. He could not get this as he only managed 283 yards pushing him off pace as he ended the week with 4,643 yards and will likely not play in the last week of the season. As Brady and Rodgers looked at their chances in the record hunt Drew Brees was on a pace that nobody could match. Brees went into his week 16 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons with 4,780 yards and needed slightly over 300 yards in the game in order to break the record. Brees marched towards the record all night and at the start of the fourth quarter he was 30 yards away from breaking Marino’s Record. At the end of the quarter Brees needed 7 yards to break the record and brought his team to the 9 yard line with a chance to break the record through a TD. Brees did just that as he passed for the TD and broke the record that had been standing for over 20 years. Brees will likely pad these stats as he will probably play in the last week to add to his 5,087 yards that he earned in week 16. Brees has won the race to the record but these three QBs are also chasing a number of other records by the QBs. One of these will be the completion percentage record currently held by Drew Brees from the 2009 season. The record stands at 70.62% with all three QBs in or around that range, Brees stands at 70.7%, Rodgers is at 68.3%, and Tom Brady is at 65.6%. Another record is the passer rating record currently held by Peyton Manning who earned a 121.1 rating in 2004. All three QBs have a chance at this record but none more than Aaron Rodgers who is currently sitting in the record-breaking spot with 122.5 rating. Drew Brees sits at 108.4 and Tom Brady is at 105.1 putting them possibly out of the running. With this pursuit of records comes another big debate as the MVP race will come down to these three players. Drew Brees could be considered the best player after breaking the NFL yardage record and having another great season leading the best offence in the NFL. Brees is one of the favorites but his one big stat is the passing yardage while Aaron Rodgers beats him in almost every other category. Aaron Rodgers was the uncrowned MVP with the Packers going 13-0 but after the first loss Brees crept in to the conversation. Rodgers has the best passer rating in the NFL while also earning 45 TDs, Brees has 41, and only 6 interceptions, Brees has 13. Brady has an outside chance with the second most yards in the NFL, next to Brees, and a total of 36 TDs to 11 INTs. He is also a favorite among most of the NFL as the best QB in the league who has led a team with the worst defence into the playoffs. The MVP race will likely come down to Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees as both have had amazing seasons and have led their teams into the playoffs. An argument could be made for either of these QBs and I think only the fans of either team will argue the decision. With both of these performances this season and both teams going into the playoffs this postseason could be a very lights out month.

With the playoffs continuing to creep forward the race for playoff spots continues as some teams have clinched their spot while others will take their races down to the wire. In the AFC there is little changed as the New England Patriots and Houston Texans have had their divisions clinched a while ago. There are still two big battles in the AFC as the AFC North and AFC West are still not solved. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are currently tied for the AFC North with Baltimore having the tiebreaker. Baltimore will need to win or hope the Steelers lose to win the division and gain the 2nd playoff spot earning a bye. The Steelers will need the Ravens to lose the next week and will have to win their game if they hope to win the division. The consolation prize for the loser of the AFC North will be a Wild Card spot as they have clinched the wild card spot. In the AFC West the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders are tied for the division with one game left. Denver will need a win or a Oakland loss while Oakland will be hoping for Denver to lose and will need to win if they hope to take the division. The loser may have a chance at the wild card but will need the Cincinnati Bengals to lose as the Bengals will need to win if they want to clinch a playoff spot. In the NFC the battles are almost over as Green Bay and San Francisco had clinched their divisions long ago. The difference among the top two is that Green Bay has clinched the Conference meaning that they will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The newest member of the division winners was is the New Orleans Saints who beat the Atlanta Falcons to clinch the NFC South. There will be a battle at the top however as the 49ers and Saints will look to get the first round bye as the niners need a win or a Saints loss while the Saints need a niners loss and a win to get the bye. The biggest battle is in the NFC East as the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys will face off in the last week with the winner clinching the division and the loser hoping for an Atlanta Falcons loss to get into the last wild card spot. With only one week left in the NFL season there will be many very important games as few teams have their shot at the playoffs this year and some teams needing to win to get in. It will be an exciting week as all of the teams will begin preparing to travel to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI with the playoffs about to start.

 

Standings:

 

American Football Conference:

Division Leaders:

1. z-New England Patriots (.800) [East]

2. y-Baltimore Ravens (.733) [North]

3. z-Houston Texans (.667) [South]

4. Denver Broncos (.533) [West]

 

Wild Card:

5. y-Pittsburgh Steelers (.733)

6. Cincinnati Bengals (.600)

 

In The Hunt:

7. Oakland Raiders (.533)

8. Tennessee Titans (.533)

9. New York Jets (.533)

 

Out of the Running:

10. San Diego Chargers (.467)

11. Buffalo Bills (.400)

12. Kansas City Chiefs (.400)

13. Miami Dolphins (.333)

14. Cleveland Browns (.267)

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (.267)

16. Indianapolis Colts (.133)

 

National Football Conference

Division Leaders:

1. *-Green Bay Packers (.933) [North]

2. z-San Francisco 49ers (.800) [West]

3. z-New Orleans Saints (.800) [South]

4. New York Giants (.533) [East]

 

Wild Card:

5. y-Detroit Lions (.667)

6. Atlanta Falcons (.600)

 

In the Hunt:

7. Dallas Cowboys (.533)

 

Out of the Running:

8. Seattle Seahawks (.467)

9. Chicago Bears (.467)

10. Arizona Cardinals (.467)

11. Philadelphia Eagles (.467)

12. Carolina Panthers (.400)

13. Washington Redskins (.333)

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.267)

15. Minnesota Vikings (.200)

16. St. Louis Rams (.133)

 

*-Clinched Home Field Advantage

z-Clinched Division

y-Clinched Wild Card

 

POW Awards:

 

American Football Conference:

Tom Brady, QB (AFC Offensive POW)

58.7% cmp

304 yds

1 TD (2 rsh TD)

0 INT

85.8 rtg

 

Robert Mathis, DE (AFC Defensive POW)

3 tkl

2.0 sck

0 PDef

1 FF

 

Richard Seymour, DT (AFC Special Teams POW)

0 tkl

0 sck

0 FF

2 BK

 

National Football Conference:

Drew Brees, QB (NFC Offensive POW)

59.0% cmp

307 yds

4 TD

2 INT

96.8 rtg

– Broke Dan Marino’s NFL Single-Season Passing Yards record

 

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE (NFC Defensive POW)

5 tkl

2.0 sck

0 PDef

0 FF

 

David Akers, K (NFC Special Teams POW)

4/5 FG

53 lng

1/1 XP

13 pts

 

Key Scores:

New York Giants 29 – 14 New York Jets

– The Battle of New York meant everything to both teams as the Giants needed to win, and have Dallas lose, in order to take over the NFC East division while the jets needed a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive but the Giants became the best team in New York for this year

 

Philadelphia Eagles 20 – 7 Dallas Cowboys

– The Cowboys needed to win in order to keep their hold in the NFC East with the Giants winning earlier but they ran into the Philadelphia Eagles who were eliminated from the playoffs with the Giants win earlier in the day

 

Green Bay Packers 35 – 21 Chicago Bears

– The Packers recovered from their first loss of the season with a dominant second half performance against their longtime rivals the Chicago Bears and with the win the Packers got a Christmas Present by clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs

 

New Orleans Saints 45 – 16 Atlanta Falcons

– The New Orleans Saints clinched the AFC South with a win over the Falcons but even more amazing was the 307 yards that Drew Brees threw in the game giving him the single season record for most yards breaking Dan Marino’s 1984 record

 

Next Week:

San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams (January 1st; 1:00 pm)

– The Niners will need to win this game or have the New Orleans Saints lose if they hope to earn a first round bye in the playoffs but the struggling St. Louis Rams will try to become spoilers to their division rivals

 

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (January 1st; 4:15 pm)

– Both the Bengals and the Ravens are in a win and you’re in situation as the Raven will look to take the win and the AFC North Division while the Bengals will look to get the win to clinch the AFC Wild Card

 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos (January 1st; 4:15 pm)

– The Denver Broncos will need to win against the Chiefs to clinch the AFC West and complete the amazing season turnaround with Tim Tebow under centre but the Chiefs will be looking to put another upset under their belt two weeks removed from giving the Packers their first loss

 

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (January 1st; 8:20 pm)

– This game is for everything as the Giants and Cowboys will play their final game with the winner taking home the NFC East division title and a playoff spot while the loser will need some help to get into the wild card

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