The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 16

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

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Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Packers’ defense stands up on Monday Night Football. Green Bay solidifies themselves as elite team of NFC North. 
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings. Packers win 23-10.

 Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are the least respected 12-3 team in the NFL. It’s not difficult to understand why. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown signs of regression. They have a lack of explosive offense weapons on offense, and their defense has struggled to stop the run at times this season.

With all of that being said, this team is still 12-3, and will clinch a first round bye in the playoffs if they can win in Week 17.

Green Bay held strong against the 10-5 Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. This win secured the divisional crown, and put them in a prime position to make a deep playoff run.

The Packers defensive line overwhelmed the Vikings offense. Vikings’ Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked five (5) times in this game, and the Vikings offense totaled a measly 132 yards for the game.

The Vikings were without star running back Dalvin Cook, but they did have their two star receivers available to them in this game. Adam Thielen was targeted four (4) times and did not make a single catch, while Stefon Diggs only had three (3) catches for 57 yards. 

The Packers defense has continued to play at a high level late in the season. They have not allowed more than 15 points in any game, during the month of December. If this team can keep that momentum on defense, they will be a dangerous opponent to play against, come playoff time.

The Bad – Wounded Seahawks can’t get going against Cardinals. Hawks fall to 5th spot in NFC playoff seeding.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks. Cardinals win 27-13.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The NFC playoff picture will be a toss up until the last week of the regular season is played. The Seahawks are in the middle of a heated race with the 49ers for the divisional crown. After week 16, the Saints, Packers, and 49ers all have a record of 12-3.

The Seahawks missed their chance at getting to 12-3, after losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals. This loss drops them to a wildcard spot in the NFC playoff bracket, which means they would be looking at an away game against the winner of the NFC East as the 5th seed.

The Seahawks still have a chance to win their division, but this loss probably cost them their chance to grab the top seed in the conference. With the amount of injuries they currently have, they would have benefited from having a first round bye in the playoffs.

The Cardinals pass rush gave Russell Wilson problems all game, as he was sacked five (5) times. The pass rush, along with good coverage from the Arizona secondary, limited the Seattle passing attack. Wilson completed just over 50% of his passes and gained just 169 yards through the air. He ended the game averaging just 5.5 yards per attempt.

Running the ball wasn’t an option either for the Seahawks. During the second quarter, running back Chris Carson suffered a hip injury. Later in the same quarter, backup running back C.J. Prosise exited the game with a broken arm. After the game, Pete Carroll announced that both players were done for the season.

The Seahawks run defense was also exposed on Sunday. The Cardinals ran for a total of 253 yards on 40 attempts in this game. The Seahawks will have to stop the run, no matter which team they face in the playoffs.

Seattle has a chance to bounce back after a subpar effort against Arizona. They have signed running back Marshawn Lynch in hopes of replacing the injured members of the backfield. They face the 49ers next week, and the winner takes the division title. The Hawks need to win this game and save themselves from a road trip, on wild card weekend.

The Ugly – Cowboys come out flat in battle for NFC East. Prescott and the offense gets grounded in Philadelphia.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles win 17-9.

Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Cowboys fans set themselves up for heartbreak if they had hope in this football team. The team suffered its 8th loss of the season at the hands of their bitter division rivals in Philly.

The Cowboys continued their trend of not showing up in big games. The team looked unmotivated, uninspired, and most importantly, unprepared. 

Compared to Philadelphia, Dallas was relatively healthy in this football game. Their quarterback, Dak Prescott, was injured last week during their win to the rams and was clearly affected in this game. Outside of Prescott playing injured and an injury to linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas had most of their star players available.

I predicted that Dallas would win this game, and I wasn’t confident that it would be a close game, either. The Cowboys had just come off of a strong performance against the Los Angeles Rams, and racked up 44 points in the blowout.

They must’ve left their offense in Dallas, because they were unable to find the end zone against the Eagles. This same Eagles defense had trouble stopping Redskins’ rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, the week prior.

The Eagles played with a different level of intensity than the Cowboys in this game. Credit Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson, for having his guys ready to play. The winner of this game was most likely making the playoffs, and the better coached team came away with the win.

How many more seasons will Cowboys’ fans have to endure the Jason Garrett era?

Underrated Performance of the Week – Daniel Jones, Quarterback, New York Giants

From a national standpoint, I’m sure no one was paying attention to this lousy game. 

The two basement dwellers of the NFC East faced off on Sunday afternoon, but the Giants rookie quarterback was able to catch fire.

Daniel Jones finished the game completing 28 of 42 pass attempts, for 352 yards and five (5) touchdowns. The biggest takeaway was the lack of turnovers! No fumbles, no picks thrown.

Watch all five of his scores, here!

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