Right here is what we learned from Sunday’s Week 17 slate:
Miami Dolphins 27, New England Patriots 24
1. This turned into a fitting live to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s swish season because the actual quarterback in the AFC East. He ducked below innumerable would-be sacks on the system to 320 yards and a touchdown. His game-successful, 75-yard drive, capped with a Mike Gesicki touchdown with 24 seconds left, showed one thing Fitzpatrick does now not accumulate enough credit for: terrific decision-making together along with his calculated grief-taking.
2. The Patriots will be hosting a Wild Card Spherical game for the principle time since the 2009 postseason in tremendous phase on yarn of their protection wasn’t special on Sunday. The Dolphins had solutions for all the zero protection blitzes thrown their system, with DeVante Parker main the system. Now now not all of Parker’s eight catches for 137 yards got here against Stephon Gilmore, nonetheless Parker bought the larger of the matchup for loads of the day. Gilmore’s possibilities of a Defensive Player of the Year award likely went up in smoke along with the Patriots bye. The Patriots, who lived off turnover differential all season, finished the game minus-2 after no longer forcing a Dolphins mistake.
— Gregg Rosenthal
Tennessee Titans 35, Houston Texans 14
1. When Ryan Tannehill opened the fourth quarter by dialing up a fantastically placed 47-yard b**b in opposition to a toe-tapping A.J. Brown in double protection appropriate in entrance of the pylon, it felt care for the Comeback Player of the Year connecting with the Offensive Rookie of the Year for the spectacular play that will extinguish a half-hearted Houston effort and propel the Titans into the postseason. Tannehill transformed the Titans franchise, turning into the principle QB to lead the league in passer rating and yards per attempt since Matt Ryan’s 2016 MVP season. Even larger, he’s the principle to full no no longer as a lot as 70.0% of his throws at more than 9.0 yards per attempt since Joe Montana 30 years ago. Ascending to the No. 1 receiver impartial in Tannehill’s white-sizzling aerial a****k, Brown has averaged 111 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown over the past six weeks.
2. Imposing his will with a two-fetch lead, Derrick Henry overtook Cleveland’s Prick Chubb for the NFL speeding title by rampaging via the Texans protection for a fifty three-yard touchdown with three minutes closing. That jailbreak go pushed Henry over 200 yards for the day, placing his season whole at 1,540 ground yards in 15 video games performed after sitting out final week’s bout with a hamstring power. Now that Henry is wholesome and Tannehill is locked in because the chief of a massive-play offense averaging 30.4 aspects in his 10 starts, New England coach Bill Belichick can own his palms elephantine against dilapidated Patriots principal person Mike Vrabel and his excessive-flying Titans.
— Chris Wesseling
Philadelphia Eagles 34, New York Giants 17
1. On tattered wings, the Eagles flew to the NFC East title on Sunday afternoon. With Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson out and prime again Miles Sanders and factual guard Brandon Brooks sidelined in the principle half, the Eagles made attain with Philly memoir Boston Scott (three TDs, 130 whole yards) and Dallas Goedert. Carson Wentz modified into the principle Eagles QB to crawl for over 4,000 passing yards in a season surrounded by the likes of Greg Ward, Deontay Burnett and Josh Perkins as crawl-catchers. That Philadelphia even made the postseason given its hurt woes is a Christmas miracle and victory unto itself. Whether the Eagles’ backup offense can prolong against the NFC West loser subsequent week on the Linc is one thing even St. Prick (Claus or Foles) can no longer predict.
2. Gigantic Blue seen the actual and unhealthy from its prime-10 abilities against the Eagles. Daniel Jones went over 300 yards for the fifth time in his rookie season nonetheless furthermore committed two 2nd-half turnovers, including a fourth-quarter double-fumble that led straight to Philadelphia’s game-sealing fetch. Saquon Barkley broke off a 68-yard wunder-touchdown to tie it up in the third, nonetheless picked up appropriate 24 speeding yards on his 16 other carries. New York seen stable contributions from rookie crawl-catchers Kaden Smith and Darius Slayton again (12 catches, 148 yards mixed). The prolonged go is intellectual, or no no longer as a lot as seen, in East Rutherford. Will Pat Shurmur and his 9-23 file will be again in blue to inquire of it manifest into one thing bountiful?
— Jeremy Bergman
Dallas Cowboys 47, Washington Redskins 16
1. The Cowboys’ offense turned into very familiar early Sunday nonetheless has its protection to thank for shutting down the Redskins and retaining Washington from capitalizing on Dallas’ offensive errors. Sooner or later, they figured it out and bought rolling to the blowout rep, which naturally dropped at thoughts: What if the Cowboys had performed care for this all season? We mustn’t overlook how they started this game, even though, on yarn of that is who the Cowboys are, or own been too continually in 2019, sadly. That’s why they are going to be house in January.
2. One has to wonder how Washington may per chance need performed with Dwayne Haskins below middle pretty than Case Keenum, who provides a mettlesome effort nonetheless merely is no longer equipped to beat the weaknesses that exist someplace else sooner or later of the Redskins’ offense. None of that mattered by the fourth quarter, because the Cowboys own been merely too worthy to beat on both sides of the ball. The play of first-spherical bewitch Montez Sweat (2.0 sacks Sunday) and undrafted rookie Steven Sims turned into encouraging, even though, and provides Washington a couple more reasons to be hopeful entering 2020.
— Prick Shook
Baltimore Ravens 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 10
1. Take into yarn it a fitting live to a dreary Steelers season. In a streaking rain in Baltimore, Devlin Hodges fired wayward balls, committed a killer fumble, and as it must be turned into called for a safety on an intentional grounding in the live zone unhurried to shut the scoring. Even though Pittsburgh bought the wanted inspire with a Tennessee loss (they did now not), the Steelers looked nothing care for a playoff crew in Week 17. A shut game modified into exact into a blowout unhurried because the Steelers offense did zilch for the final two and a half quarters. Hodges finished a sad 9-of-25 passing (36 p.c) for a futile 95 yards. The undrafted quarterback had no shot against the fiercely blitzing Ravens protection. Duck floundered in the rain as his crew’s playoff needs own been washed away. With Ben Roethlisberger returning in 2020, the Steelers will must tackle the backup predicament this offseason, so they beget no longer appear to be left in a the same grief without a hope from the offense in the match of yet one more hurt to the soon-to-be 38-365 days-extinct QB.
2. No topic Lamar Jackson, Rate Ingram and a bevy of starters sitting out, the Ravens still vastly stunned the Steelers to transfer to 14-2. Baltimore devoured up 223 speeding yards, with eight gamers getting carries. Gus “The Bus” Edwards led the system with 130 yards speeding on 21 carries, blasting via an correct Steelers protection that got here in allowing appropriate 102 yards speeding for the season. The ground efficiency gave the Ravens the all-time crew speeding file for a season, soaring past the 1978 Patriots. Of Baltimore’s 19 first downs, 15 got here on the ground Sunday. Robert Griffin III, making his first launch since Week 17, 2016, performed arresting main Greg Roman’s offense that ran the ball 44 cases. RGIII did now not stretch the discipline nonetheless did now not must, including 50 speeding yards on eight carries and passing for 96 yards on 11-of-21 passing with a unhurried meaningless deflected INT. The cherry on prime of John Harbaugh’s season-prolonged opus got here with the fetch still 19-10 with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter. Harbaugh called a fraudulent placed on a 4th-and-1 from his dangle 11-yard-line. Baltimore transformed to empty more clock. The no-dread Ravens head into the playoffs still churning with their 12th straight rep.
— Kevin Patra
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 31, Los Angeles Chargers 21
1. On the day when they passed up the Patriots to put off the AFC’s No. 2 seed, the Chiefs did no longer own one among their larger offensive afternoons. However running again Damien Williams looked as appropriate as he ever has, which on the entire is a boon for a deep playoff go. Williams’ 124 yards own been one timid of a occupation and season-excessive. Williams, terrified worthy of the 365 days by hurt, averaged more than 10 yards a clip thanks in tremendous phase to an 84-yard touchdown go. It turned into the principle of two rankings that every got here in the 2nd half and sealed the rep — and the 2nd seed.
2. There are uncertainties aplenty concerning the Chargers. This turned into per chance Philip Rivers’ final game (he went 31-of-46 for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for posterity’s sake if it turned into) with the Bolts. Who knows what’s subsequent for Melvin Gordon? And Austin Ekeler, who fell seven yards timid of changing into the fifth running again with 1,000 yards receiving, is a restricted free agent. However Keenan Allen, as soon as apparently plagued by injuries, turned into consistently smartly-known for the Chargers with minute fanfare to show masks for it. He started and performed all 16 video games — the third advertising and marketing and marketing campaign in a row in which he performed all 16 after taking half in appropriate 9 mixed from 2015-16. After a 9-settle on, one-TD, 82-yard showing Sunday, he has 104 catches, 1,199 yards and 6 rankings on the 365 days — a quietly sensational one for the Accelerate with one season left on his contract.
— Grant Gordon
Green Bay Packers 23, Detroit Lions 20
1. It wasn’t particularly magnificent, nonetheless Green Bay sealed up a predominant-spherical bye in the NFC and may per chance still take dangle of the No. 1 seed a long way from San Francisco if the Niners stumble in Seattle. The Packers hit the scene ineffective and sleepy on offense with an ice-chilly Aaron Rodgers throwing for 29 air yards over the principle 27 minutes. Aa-Rod pulled Green Bay out of a 17-3 hole, even though, with gorgeous scoring darts to Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. Rodgers furthermore tossed a bewitch with the game notched at 20-20 sooner or later of the two-minute warning, nonetheless returned one drive later to toddle the ball to Aaron Jones, who weaved deep into Lions territory to location up Mason Crosby’s game-successful discipline arrangement as time expired. The 2nd-half surge appears to be like to be like more spectacular exasperated about factual sort out Bryan Bulaga turned into lost to a concussion while middle Corey Linsley left with a again hurt. Quiet, the frightful first half raises concerns about this offense.
2. Detroit’s final tilt in a lost advertising and marketing and marketing campaign started with a splash of sizzle as wideout Danny Amendola flung a trick-play touchdown rope to signal-caller David Blough. The Matthew Stafford own-in did barely enough to inspire the Lions plan that 17-3 advantage, nonetheless furthermore tossed a killer fourth-quarter bewitch that location up Green Bay’s game-tying march. Chalk it up as yet one more problematic crumbling for coach Matt Patricia, whose club has led the league in blown leads over the past two seasons.
— Marc Sessler
New Orleans Saints 42, Carolina Panthers 10
1. Drew Brees modified into in a 253-yard, three-TD efficiency in the Saints’ 42-10 rep over the Panthers, giving him an NFL-file 547 occupation TD passes. The Saints are now positioned for a predominant-spherical bye; they’d excellent need the 49ers to both lose or tie against the Seahawks to stable it. Meanwhile, it turned into a delicate four-settle on, 37-yard day for Michael Thomas nonetheless, given how like a flash this one bought out of hand, his numbers appropriate ended up including more stature to the absurd 365 days he’s had. He finished his season with a brand unusual NFL single-season file 149 catches, 1,725 yards and 9 TDs.
2. Or no longer it is been Christian McCaffrey’s world this season and the Panthers are appropriate living in it. The dynamic RB tallied seven catches for 72 yards and 9 rushes for 26 yards and a TD en path to turning into the third participant in NFL history to achieve 1,000-plus bustle and receiving yards in a season. He is great the fourth RB in history to achieve 1,000 rec. yards.
— Jelani Scott
Chicago Bears 21, Minnesota Vikings 19
1. If the Mitch Trubisky generation ends in the offseason, it must transfer out with yet one more uneven efficiency, this time against Vikings backups. To his credit, Trubisky’s excellent crawl of the game got here on fourth-and-9 unhurried in the fourth quarter, an spectacular lob on the transfer to rookie Riley Ridley, to location up the game-successful discipline arrangement. The Bears offense still remained scuttled for a long way of the contest, settling for discipline targets repeatedly in the red zone. In the again of a sieve offensive line that bought whopped by Vikings reserves, Trubisky turned into scattershot worthy of the game and took four sacks, including a key sack-fumble to provide the Vikes their excellent lead unhurried. The QB finished with 207 yards passing and an 84.0 passer rating against Minnesota backups. On the plus side, Allen Robinson remains a drive, and David Sir Bernard Law performed his excellent game in weeks, plowing for 113 yards on 23 carries and the Bears’ excellent TD of the game. The rookie RB accounted for 57 yards on a 75-yard scoring drive to originate the 2nd half. Chicago fans have to be left wondering where that had been when the season turned into still in play.
2. With Minnesota locked in on the No. 6 seed, Mike Zimmer sat nearly all of his starters on both sides of the ball. The coach must be ecstatic with the fire his backups performed without a topic coming up appropriate rapid. Mike Boone had a wild game in the regular-season finale. The running again turned into Boone-or-bust, if you please. Boone scampered for 59 yards on the principle play of the game. He followed that by botching a pitch for a fumble on the following play. On the following possession, he bobbled a settle on that turned into picked off. Each and each turnovers resulted in Chicago discipline targets. Boone, then again, bounced again, blasting off for yet one more 41-yard go unhurried in the 2nd quarter. For the game, Boone compiled 148 yards (126 in the principle half) on 17 carries for 8.7 yards per carry and the Vikes’ excellent TD (sorry to all fantasy footballers who wanted that efficiency in Week 16). Minnesota’s offensive line, taking half in mostly reserves, opened appropriate holes against the Bears’ entrance. With Dalvin Cook slated to near for the playoffs, Zimmer needs to be happier with how his go game performed this week.
— Kevin Patra
Cincinnati Bengals 33, Cleveland Browns 23
1. When these two teams met in Week 14, the Browns wanted a comeback to rep, and Bengals running again Joe Mixon turned into left feeling care for his crew had a victory jog via its fingers. They performed care for they wished to be definite it wouldn’t happen again. At the live of a 2-14 season, that is extremely encouraging for first-365 days coach Zac Taylor, who can sit up for an offseason for the entrance place of work to upgrade the roster and bolt Sunday’s momentum into 2020.
2. After 16 weeks of struggles with and questions about why the enormous performs weren’t coming from the Browns’ effectively-equipped offense, they arrived. Baker Mayfield accomplished dream-care for touchdown passes to Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Right here is what the Browns’ offense turned into speculated to be. Too unhealthy it got here in Week 17. Too minute, too unhurried turned into the theme Sunday for the Browns, who must first learn the destiny of their coach in the following 24 hours and then figure out easy steer clear of the concerns that filled nearly all the game — and the season — between the enormous performs.
— Prick Shook
New York Jets 13, Buffalo Funds 6
1. Enjoying in unsavory stipulations on the side road at New Period Field, the Jets managed to accumulate one final rep for the 2019 season, arresting to 7-9 on the 365 days. After two dear misses, kicker Sam Ficken redeemed himself on a 47-yard boot to place the Jets up by 10 with a minute while to transfer and in the discontinuance clinching the W. The kick likely saved Ficken’s job as he’s been inconsistent sooner or later of the season. No topic being an inconsequential game for both squads, the Jets still put up an correct battle in the regular-season finale.
2. The Funds opted to relaxation most of their prime gamers prematurely of subsequent week’s wild-card look. Alternatively, Josh Allen still bought the starting nod and Sean McDermott trotted the QB out for 2 possessions earlier than subbing in backup quarterback Matt Barkley unhurried in the principle quarter. Barkley, who lit up the Jets in his final matchup, tossed two interceptions and succumbed to some turnovers. The signal-caller marched the offense down the discipline on a final-likelihood drive, in the discontinuance settling for a discipline arrangement.
— Andie Hagemann
Atlanta Falcons 28, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22 (OT)
1. The Falcons (7-9) may per chance’ve received the game nonetheless Jameis Winston received by making history on the present time. In a keep that turned into excellent fitting for this game, Winston threw a game-shedding bewitch six in time past legislation to remain the 365 days because the principle quarterback to own 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season. Winston furthermore modified into the principle passer in Buccaneers history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a single season. The Bucs furthermore finished the season 7-9. Though the crew is anticipated to carry Winston again for the 2020 season, after the game coach Bruce Arians knowledgeable reporters that his bewitch-six “does now not inspire” his evaluate.
2. With the Falcons already eradicated from the playoffs and coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff returning in 2020, there wasn’t worthy for the crew to play for. The Falcons put the principle aspects on the board with a tool play to Ty Sambrailo for a 35-yard TD. Sure, you read that factual: Ty Sambrailo. The offensive sort out’s TD turned into the longest scrimmage TD by a participant weighting no no longer as a lot as 300 pounds in NFL history. Now on to subsequent season.
— Lakisha Wesseling
Jacksonville Jaguars 38, Indianapolis Colts 20
1. Most definitely the Jaguars felt free after the firing of Tom Coughlin, or even they realized they’d one final likelihood to place Doug Marrone’s job. Either system, Jacksonville performed with renewed vitality in the final two weeks and battled again to put off the lead over Indianapolis in the 2nd half through the use of the arm of Gardner Minshew and the efforts of its protection. The Jaguars’ forcing of two Jacoby Brissett fumbles completely swung the game of their settle on and equipped proof that issues may per chance no longer be so unhealthy in Duval County in any case. We will inquire of what that does for Marrone’s future.
2. The Colts are yet one more crew that will likely inquire of again on the third quarter of the season with massive regret, on yarn of they merely did now not attain enough to rep when most wanted. They went again to utilizing the go Sunday, totaling 132 yards, nonetheless may per chance now not shield as a result of the two Brissett fumbles. After a 10-game stretch in which they lost seven, the Colts are formally on the purpose where they must put off a laborious inquire of at their future below middle — and accumulate wholesome someplace else forward of the 2020 season.
— Prick Shook
Oakland Raiders 15, Denver Broncos 16
1. Save for the outlier that turned into 2016, the Raiders’ final season in Oakland concluded care for the opposite 10 seasons this past decade: with a whimper. With the Titans having received their game, Oakland’s postseason destiny had already been determined nonetheless the likelihood to remain the 365 days on a excessive show masks turned into still on the desk. With below 15 seconds to transfer, Derek Carr (24/38, 341 yards, TD) chanced on rookie Hunter Renfrow on a three-yard toss to location the stage for a doable game-successful two-point conversion. As Carr dropped again to crawl on what turned into Oakland’s first two-point attempt of the season, Broncos nose sort out Shelby Harris batted down the crawl, slamming the door shut on the game and the Raiders’ topsy-turvy generation in the Bay Dwelling. Because the crew prepares to transfer to Las Vegas, assessing what key pieces will produce the outing will be a predominant middle of attention in the offseason. Offensive Player of the Year Candidate Josh Jacobs ignored the finale with a shoulder hurt and an sickness nonetheless he’ll with out a doubt be a phase of the future. The identical may per chance additionally be acknowledged for rookie DEs Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, as well to tight live Darren Waller, who finished his breakout advertising and marketing and marketing campaign with 5 catches for 104 yards. Oakland’s as soon as-promising season soured like a flash over the final month nonetheless they’ll now transfer on as their unusual palace awaits.
2. Ready for the future furthermore sounds care for appropriate suggestion for the Broncos (7-9). A day after it turned into reported that Vic Fangio will end in Denver, the crew handed Oakland (7-9) its fifth loss of their final six video games and pork up their house file to 5-2. Second-365 days RB Phillip Lindsay (18/fifty three) made history because the principle undrafted participant to bustle for over 1,000 yards in every of their first two seasons. Rookie QB Drew Lock went 17-of-28 for 177 yards and a fetch, positioning himself because the ability QB1 for 2020 with the injured Joe Flacco already seeming to be on the outs.
— Jelani Scott
Los Angeles Rams 31, Arizona Cardinals 24
1. For the Cardinals (5-10-1), Week 17 turned into more about one final award season push for Kyler Murray and Chandler Jones. The younger gunslinger remains a main candidate in the Offensive ROY dialog, and it looked evident to this viewer that they are going to own been on his thoughts as he threw the ball 42 cases, the most he’s thrown since Week 10. Murray accomplished 26 of those attempts for 325 yards and two TDs to shield firm with 2 picks. Despite the very fact that a rep would’ve clearly been the most traditional outcome, Murray can dangle his hat turning into excellent the 2nd rookie QB– the principle being Cam Newton in 2011, to don’t own any no longer as a lot as 3,500 passing yards and 500 speeding yards in NFL history. Jones, Arizona’s premier linebacker, made his final pitch as a DPOY candidate with two tackles, QB hit and two passes defensed; he finished his 365 days with a league-excellent 19 sacks. Will it be enough to push both over the head? Wager we are going to have to wait and inquire of.
2. And appropriate care for that, the Rams (9-7) live their up and down season with an up and down game. Jared Goff ended the game going 29-of-Forty five and 319 yards, and finished with three TDs for the principle time in a game this season. Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee own been Goff’s predominant targets, combining for 15 catches, 183 yards and two rankings. Todd Gurley chipped in 68 yards and 20 rushes and finished with out a TD for the fifth time. A 365 days after reaching the Abundant Bowl, the Rams’ season will live with them missing the postseason no topic placing together a third straight successful season. The purpose of curiosity now will shift to locking up Jalen Ramsey, who ignored the game with a knee hurt, prolonged-time frame and gearing as a lot as own a leap-again 2020.
— Jelani Scott