Coming Down the Stretch with NFL Week 16

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nfl week 16-2014

When the Thursday Night game was slated to be between two 2-12 teams, the Titans and Jaguars, I fully expected it to be a snooze fest, but I was mildly surprised to find that it was competitive and actually held my attention. Titans’ quarterback Charlie Whitehurst started off playing well, making the most of his chance to start an NFL game. However, Blake Bortles led his team to a comeback in the second half to secure the victory. It may not have been the greatest game ever played, but considering it was two teams with absolutely nothing to play for, I have to give them props for being professionals and doing their jobs. That’s not always something that can be said about an NFL team and its players.

I don’t know what the deal is with the 49ers and why they are playing, shall we say, uninspired football. They had the Chargers on the ropes, they should have put them away, but instead they let them hang around and send the game into overtime and win it. I suppose it is a combination of things that is making a team filled with talent play like they are the other Bay Area team; whatever the issues are the ownership is clearly going to have to make some changes if they expect to compete with the other teams in their division. Seattle, Arizona and even St. Louis are playing good football and the 49ers can’t afford to lag behind.

Speaking of the Bay Area, congrats to the Raiders for pulling off the upset win over the Buffalo Bills, who appeared to possibly be suffering from a hangover after their upset win over the Green Bay Packers last week. Derek Carr appears to have some potential for being their franchise quarterback as long as the Raiders fire their GM and if they can somehow manage to hire the right coach, and that’s a big if.

The Saints are terrible and like the 49ers I don’t know exactly what their problem is either. There don’t seem to be any major differences between this year’s team and last year’s team, but for some reason the Saints can’t win. They used to be unbeatable at home but they have lost more games this season in their Superdome than they have won. Rob Ryan’s defense is terrible, but they were terrible last year as well. The head coach is still there, Drew Brees is still there, Jimmy Graham is still there, but the winning is not. I’m not a Saints fan but their season-long lackluster performance is a real head-scratcher to me.

The Monday Night Football game was great. I thought for sure the Bengals were going to poop their pants as they usually do in big games, but they proved me wrong. The defense was all over Peyton Manning and {gasp} confused him, causing him to make errant throws. In fact, he had four interceptions in the game. Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton made a few mistakes and his offensive teammates lost a couple of fumbles, but even with these errors, the Bengals were still able to get the victory. No doubt their confidence received a major boost on Monday night and they could be a real pain in the neck for whichever team they face in the playoffs. But before the playoffs they have to face off against the Steelers on Sunday to determine who will be the AFC North Division champ. As Terrell Owens would say, “Get your popcorn ready.”

NFL week 16 2014