Wednesday Morning QB (Week 15)

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The playoff race is getting tighter as the days move on and the spots begin to go away for everyone else.

These are the weeks where teams get their last chances to make the playoffs and take one of those coveted spots to play January football.

It becomes tougher as the weeks move on though as the spots are less and the games are played a lot differently at this time of year.

Still, teams and players will do just about everything to try to get that win and make the playoffs.

That includes playing a game with a key player despite his not fully healed collarbone injury.

The Green Bay Packers were looking like a sure thing this year as their playoff streak was going to continue.

They may not have been the best team in the league but with Aaron Rodgers, they always seemed to find a way to win.

They were going to have a fight in their own division but it seemed like they were going to find a way to the playoffs with Rodgers leading the way.

Then in Week 6, Rodgers took a big hit against the Vikings that resulted in him breaking his collarbone.

The injury sidelined him for 7 weeks and the Packers were never really the same as Brett Hundley was simply not good enough to keep them going forward.

They struggled without Rodgers but stayed just inside the playoff race just with enough time for Rodgers to recover.

He was ready to start in Week 15 although he was not reportedly 100% but just enough to be able to suit up for the team.

He wasn’t necessarily at his best in the Week 15 game against the Carolina Panthers but he certainly made the team look different.

They were in it right until the end but turnovers ended their chance of winning the game and put their playoff chances at slim to none.

A win by Atlanta on Monday night ended their streak of seven straight seasons with a playoff game and the lost season was complete.

Then the Packers made a decision that showed exactly what teams and players are willing to do in order to make the playoffs.

The Packers placed Rodgers back on Injured Reserve only a week after taking him off of the list to play in Week 15.football-sidebar

It clearly shows that Rodgers was never really all that ready to play and that both the team and the player risked it to see if they could make the playoffs.

Without that chance, Rodgers will no longer play this year as the Packers leave him to rest up and heal throughout the off-season.

The reports were that he wasn’t 100% healed when he played in Week 15 and the fact that he went right back on IR shows that he wasn’t.

The Packers are far from the only team that would do something like this and Rodgers is far from the only player to want to play and give his team a chance.

That is the importance that the playoffs hold for these teams and for the players it is exactly why they are in the NFL.

Even without the ability to make the playoffs, Rodgers was not happy with being shut down for the rest of the season.

There is really no reason for him to play anymore and still, he wanted to be out there because he is just that competitive.

That is every player in the NFL as all of them are talented but they are NFL players because of their competitiveness.

That competitive nature can be big for players as it allows them to constantly put together great performances by will.

It can also hurt them as Rodgers may figure out in the coming months after being batted around against the Panthers.

The hits he took could have done more damage for the future of his career but his competitiveness kept him in.

For now, though the Packers are headed in a different direction as they are looking for the offseason and not the familiar pull of the playoffs.

Plenty of other teams are in the same spot as despite their efforts they are looking at a long off-season without a chance at the Super Bowl.

 

Fifth Quarter

First Down on Paper

The Oakland Raiders are not a happy team right now after losing a very important game to Dallas. The loss put them in a bad spot heading into their final two weeks as they are further away from making the playoffs after the loss. One of the biggest players of the game came when Dallas got a crucial first down late in the game thanks to a unique decision by the refs to use a piece of paper to determine whether or not the Cowboys had reached the stick. That didn’t help the Raiders get the time they needed and in the end, they failed to make good on their opportunity late to take the loss.

Panthers for Sale

This week Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was mired in a scandal after reports of sexual misconduct surfaced. The reports continued to pile on and the scandal snowballed eventually leading to Richardson putting the team up for sale. Richardson has not had the best run as of late and so things might be changing and in a big way as a few big names have thrown their names into the ring. Chief among them is P. Diddy who claimed to be very interested in buying the team and then was joined by Steph Curry. Diddy’s interest also came with a claim that he would sign Colin Kaepernick but Kaepernick threw his name in alongside the ownership group.

Carousel Continues to Turn

The New York Giants truly started the coaching carousel a few weeks ago when they fired Ben McAdoo and created the first opening. That carousel continues to turn as the season comes to an end with more teams making decisions to go a different way. That was the case this week after Cincinnati was officially eliminated from the playoffs. Marvin Lewis was fired ending the longest tenured coach’s time in Cincinnati. After years of success, the Bengals always found it tough to fire him but without any success in the playoffs and now missing the playoffs the decision was easy as the Bengals go back to the drawing board.

week15-standings

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