Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 16)

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There is one week left in the NFL and one week left for teams to make their last stand for the playoffs. That last stand for the playoffs would become that much more important after week 16 of the season when almost nothing was solved. Week 16 would be a week full of drama and for many teams it was a week full of ups and downs as many team believed their hopes to continue playing were dashed only to be revived moments later. This is the way every year should end in the NFL as there is still plenty to play for and few teams will be resting their star players come week 17. In the AFC Week 16 would give plenty of answers for a lot of teams as many teams clinched their spot in the playoffs but there are still a number of questions yet to be answered. The conference would see week 16 start with three of the four divisions open with only Indianapolis taking their division. Meanwhile the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs would be the only other teams to clinch a spot in the playoffs. This week the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Cincinnati Bengals would all join the Colts as the division champions. There is still plenty to fight for in Week 17 as the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos will need to win to earn first round byes while the AFC wild card is still open. Only the Kansas City Chiefs have taken a wild card spot while the Miami Dolphins are holding the other spot. The Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers will all need to win and need Miami to lose if any hope to make it into the playoffs while Miami holds their fate in their own hands in week 17. The NFC is almost the complete opposite of the AFC as there were more questions than answers in week 16. The stage was set for many teams to solidify their space in the playoffs but not many took their chance to earn that spot. The NFC would only have one team that clinched a spot in the playoffs as the Seattle Seahawks would be the only team with a playoff spot. Week 16 would see the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers clinch a spot but no teams would guarantee where they will finish. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks will fight it out in Week 17 for the NFC West title with the Seahawks unable to clinch in week 16 and another loss and a San Francisco win pushing them to the wild card and out of home field advantage. The Carolina Panthers would take over the NFC South lead in week 16 and are one win away from clinching the division while the Saints look to hopefully take advantage of a Carolina loss to take the division. The Chicago Bears would be another team that did not take advantage of their chance to clinch a division. With the Green Bay Packers losing the Bears just had to win to clinch the NFC North but a 54-11 drubbing by the Philadelphia Eagles would leave the door open for week 17 when the Bears and Packers face off with the winner taking the division and a playoff spot while the loser will end their season. The NFC East is not much clearer as the win by the Eagles would give them a better hold of the division but would not win them the division. The Eagles will now have to win in Week 17 if they want to clinch the division and eliminate the Dallas Cowboys from contention. Meanwhile the Arizona Cardinals are sitting just outside of the wild card and hoping that they can overtake New Orleans to earn a spot in the playoffs in the wild card. The NFC is a mystery heading into Week 17 and there is plenty to answer as teams play their last game of the season and hope that they can clinch their playoff spot. Week 17 will be an interesting once again this year as there is a lot up in the air and waiting to be figured out with one win or loss ending or continuing the season.


Fifth Quarter:
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 16)

Manning Does it Again
Peyton Manning has continued to impress this year as he would earn the single season NFL TD Record in Week 16 throwing his 61st TD of the season and breaking Drew Brees’ record and putting his name in the record books once again

Plenty to Play for
The season is about to shut down and for two coaches that is not a welcome sign as the end of the season could mean the end of their time in on the sidelines as Rex Ryan and Jason Garrett could find themselves out of a job after week 17

Last Game for a Legendary Park
A legendary stadium would host a game for the last time in Week 16 as Candlestick Park would close its doors after Sunday’s game for the last time with the 49ers moving to Levi’s Stadium in 2014


Playoff Outlook 

American Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. d-Denver Broncos (.800)
2. d-New England Patriots (.733)
3. d-Cincinnati Bengals (.667)
4. d-Indianapolis Colts (.667)
Wild Card:
5. w-Kansas City Chiefs (.733)
6. Miami Dolphins (.533)
In the Hunt:
7. Baltimore Ravens (.533)
8. San Diego Chargers (.533)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (.467)
Out of the Running:
10. New York Jets (.467)
11. Tennessee Titans (.400)
12. Buffalo Bills (.400)
13. Oakland Raiders (.267)
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (.267)
15. Cleveland Browns (.267)
16. Houston Texans (.133)

National Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. w-Seattle Seahawks (.800)
2. w-Carolina Panthers (.733)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (.600)
4. Chicago Bears (.533)
Wild Card:
5. w-San Francisco 49ers (.733)
6. New Orleans Saints (.667)
In the Hunt:
7. Arizona Cardinals (.667)
8. Dallas Cowboys (.533)
9. Green Bay Packers (.500)
Out of the Running:
10. Detroit Lions (.467)
11. St. Louis Rams (.467)
12. New York Giants (.400)
13. Minnesota Vikings (.300)
14. Atlanta Falcons (.267)
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.267)
16. Washington Redskins (.200)

d-Clinched Division
w-Clinched Wild Card


Key Scores:
Carolina Panthers 17 – 13 New Orleans Saints
– The Panthers had one last chance to take charge of the NFC South and they would take full advantage of it as they would beat the Saints in a tight game and take over the lead of the division heading into the last week of the season

Pittsburgh Steelers 38 – 31 Green Bay Packers
– The Packers would try to continue their unlikely playoff run without Aaron Rodgers but they could not get past the Pittsburgh Steelers making their playoff hopes slim while the Steelers took the win and kept their hopes alive

Philadelphia Eagles 54 – 11 Chicago Bears
– The Bears had a chance to win the division with the Packers losing a few hours before but they would not come close to taking advantage as they would be routed by the Eagles and would leave the door open for the Packers

San Francisco 49ers 34 – 24 Atlanta Falcons
– The 49ers would clinch their spot in the playoffs after a strange season and the win would also keep their hopes alive of winning their division with a Seattle loss the day before helping them to a very important week 17


Next Week:
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins (Sunday December 29th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Miami Dolphins did not see themselves in this position when the season started but now they hold a wild card spot and are hoping to take the win against the Jets to clinch the spot and return to the playoffs

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears (Sunday December 29th; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Packers have had a great run without their star QB and now they have a chance to take the division if they can beat the Bears while the Bears are hoping to take the win and hold on to their playoff spot and prevent a comeback

St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks (Sunday December 29th; 4:23 pm ET)
– The Seahawks have had a few weeks to win the division but they have not been able to take advantage and they are leaving it to the very last week as a win clinches the division and home field advantage

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday December 29th; 8:30 pm ET)
– The Eagles have had a great comeback after a bad start to the season and now they are in a perfect position to win the division if they can beat the Cowboys while Dallas is hoping to steal the division away in the last week of the season

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