The final week of the season causes much uncertainty heading into the playoffs
- Being a Jets fan must hurt right now. All they had to do was win and they would be playing Cincinnati. They just upset the best team in the league while the Steelers lost to third string players. It once seemed improbable the Jets would even have a shot but they did, and they blew it. They just looked bad a majority of the game. Many called the Jets the team to not take lightly in the playoffs but first they had to make it there. The Steelers on the other hand were not about to be embarrassed again. They marched into Cleveland and didn’t even make it close. At one point in time the Steelers had their own destiny in their hands until that destiny was handed over to the Jets, who then handed it back to the Steelers. The back half of the season the Steelers and Jets switched in and out of the power rankings which is fitting for both teams. The Jets being the scrappy leftovers trying to prove their worth while the Steelers were fighting through adversity all season. The rest of the AFC should be a bit scared. Now that Big Ben is in the playoffs you can count on them playing tough and making a deep run. Ben Roethlisberger knows how to play in the post season which gives him an edge on many of the new teams playing in unchartered territory.
- A part of me expected the Seahawks to play the Cardinals tough to go in the post season and low and behold Russell Wilson returned to regular form dismantling a feared Arizona defense. Carson Palmer looked flustered and never got anything going to keep pace with Seattle who never let up. Luckily Arizona will still get one week off to make proper adjustments so it doesn’t happen again. The big question becomes can they handle the pressure that comes with being a favorite in the playoffs. Seattle knows that pressure all too well which in my book makes them favorites in any game the play from here on out.
- It was only a matter of time before the Broncos put Peyton Manning back in after he was cleared to play. Brock Osweiler wasn’t even playing terrible. He played an average game for an NFL quarterback. The way social media and sports outlets were talking would have made you think Manning single handedly saved the game for the Broncos would that is about as far from the truth you can get. He looked rusty and only attempted ten passes. The running game was the real hero for the Broncos which led them to the number one seed. Crazy considering two weeks ago they were still playing just to even get into the playoffs. Now that they are in, there is no doubt in my mind thatManning will continue to get the start. No matter how he played, when you have future hall of famer on your roster, you start him.
- The Chiefs finished off one of the best runs of the season by winning their tenth straight game. The thing that worries me about Kansas City is that they have only beaten one team over .500. Sure it is mightily impressive that they went on such a streak but they had very little competition in front of them. They may have caught a break by going up against the Texans who struggled all season long. After that, they are in a world of trouble. Sure the Broncos are the team that they knocked off but expecting it to happen again would be a fools bet. And if they take on the Patriots you can go ahead and mark that as a loss. They had a great run the back half of the season but I am afraid the Cinderella story will come to an early end.
- The Patriots are limping into the playoffs after losing their fourth game in six weeks. Just a reminder, Tom Brady is still the quarterback and Bill Belichick is still the head coach. This team should be able to easily make it to the conference championship game no matter who they play in the divisional round. I am of a firm believer that playoff experience is a very real thing and is a reason you see so many of the same teams go the distance year after year. The nerves are down because they have done it before. Sure momentum may help you get into the playoffs but once you are here, it becomes a different beast. And if there is one team that has that beasts’ head on their mantle it is the Patriots.