The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 17

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 – Philly clinches 4th seed in NFC. Will host Seattle during wildcard weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants. Eagles win 34-17.

Ben Solomon for The New York Times

The Eagles were able to control their own destiny to earn their playoff spot. After conquering the Dallas Cowboys in week 16, Philly had to win their final game against the New York Giants to clinch the 4th seed in the NFC.

This game wasn’t a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. The Eagles didn’t take command of this game until late in the 3rd quarter. The Giants were down 20-17, and had possession of the ball. 

Quarterback Daniel Jones was unable to handle a low snap, and the Eagles recovered the ball on the Giants 2-yard line. Philly would punch the ball into the end zone on the following play. The lead would balloon to 34-17 by the end of the game.

The Eagles have been one of the most up and down teams this season. It was good to see them step up and dominate the most crucial quarter of their season.

Carson Wentz completed his first full season this year. He reached 4,000 passing yards, and broke the single season Eagles passing yards record. Wentz is also the first player to record 4,000 career passing yards without having 500 yards to a single wide receiver. 

Wentz and coach Doug Pederson have battled injuries and adversity all season. This offense has struggled for sure, but this tandem was able to get the job done over the month of December.

I believe Philly will be able to win their matchup with Seattle over wildcard weekend.

The Bad – Seattle Seahawks lose division title game, drop to 5th seed in NFC.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks. Niners win 26-21.

<img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/4gD6FVED_oFSBPxkOkgKyqtP3zOjQIF7gwIOrjwTQLZxTGbs8ARTYGiwFDEUJDZpmoa_MmEH9ahRuMl2ijybDKKtqA1e1uWXGeBKi9SFJRtUas_41nEkWdajunE9N0C3tcG774FC&quot; alt="<p>Seattle Seahawks' John Ursua, left, makes a catch at the one-yard line to give the team a first down with less than a minute left as San Francisco 49ers' K'Waun Williams tackles during the second half of an NFL

Stephen Brashear, AP

The NFC West has been a war zone the entire season. The third best team in this division is the 9-7 Los Angeles Rams. The Rams won’t be making the playoffs this year, after losing in the Super Bowl just last season

The two big dawgs in this division are the Niners and the Seahawks. Both teams have had outstanding performances from their respective players and coaching staffs this season. 

The Niners were able to travel to Seattle and claim the division title. They played a well-rounded game, and Jimmy Garrapolo made plays in the passing game to get them out to an early lead. 

The Seahawks offense took forever to get going. They were down 13-0 until Tyler Lockett found the end zone late in the third quarter. As usual, Russell Wilson still found a way to rally his guys late. 

Wilson and the Seahawks were able to scrap back into this game, and give themselves a chance to win on the last drive. With 2:18 left in regulation, the Seahawks worked their way down the field, but were ultimately stopped in the red zone.

The drive would end up covering 72 yards over 15 plays, but the Seahawks were denied on the 1-yard line. 

In the red zone, the Seahawks made life difficult for themselves by having a delay of game on 2nd & 1, from the 1-yard line. After two incomplete passes, the Seahawks were faced with 4th & 5.

Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was able to make the catch, but was stopped short of the end zone on 4th down. The ball was turned back over to the Niners with just 9 seconds left, and the game was over. 

The Seahawks had the chance to host a home playoff game and win their division. As a 5th seed, they will be traveling to Philadelphia during wildcard weekend.

The Ugly – Patriots lose home game against Miami. Finishes with the 3rd seed in conference, missing chance for wildcard bye.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots. Dolphins win 27-24.

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Patriots will be hosting a home wild card game for the first time since 2009. New England has been to 11 straight playoff appearances, and they are a team that usually has the first round playoff bye.

Going into week 17, New England was scheduled to earn the 2nd seed in the AFC if they could beat the 4-11 Miami Dolphins. The Patriots were treating this game as a must-win situation and played all of their healthy starting players.

The Dolphins were able to take care of the defending champions on the road. The Patriots offense started out flat, and the defense kept them in the game. As the New England offense got itself together, their defense began to unravel.

Tom Brady and the Pats offense gave the team a 24-20 lead with 4 minutes left in the game. The Dolphins had nothing to play for in this game, but were determined to get this win.

The Dolphins maneuvered their way back down the field. Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick found tight end Mike Geisecki in the back of the end zone to retake the lead with 24 seconds remaining in the game. 

Geisecki did a good job of winning his route against a safety in man coverage, on the 5-yard touchdown catch. The skinny post route from the 6’6” tight end would seal the deal on the regular season, for these two teams.

As the 3rd seed, New England is scheduled to face the Tennessee Titans in the wildcard round. The Titans are a surging team that has found their offensive stride since making Ryan Tannehil the starting quarterback. The Titans defense is also elite, and they threaten to knock New England out in the first round.

The Patriots could have avoided this wild card matchup by beating the worst team in their division. Instead, they have to try and stop the strong running game that the Titans present. I predict the Titans win this game in Foxborough. 

No Underrated Performance of the Week this week. Instead here are my wildcard weekend predictions!

  • Bills over Texans
  • Titans over Patriots
  • Saints over Vikings
  • Eagles over Seahawks

This will be a GREAT weekend of football.

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