NFL Week 17 – On this overstuffed NFL Week 17 version of Walkthrough…
- The New England Patriots overcome their very own offense but once more on their technique to victory;
- The New York Giants and Detroit Lions exhibit how far they’ve are available in one 12 months;
- Cameron Jordan makes life arduous on Gardner Minshew, who makes clinching home-field benefit a lot more durable for his Philadelphia Eagles;
- Blaine Gabbert proves that whereas not all heroes put on capes, not less than one in every of them rides a Jet Ski;
and far more. However first…
Tom Brady within the playoffs? Aaron Rodgers one win away from the playoffs? Is not it now 2023? Aren’t these grouchy previous quarterbacks alleged to be toast? Should not they’ve ceded the stage to (looking NFC standings for a worthy also-ran), er, Desmond Ridder or somebody?
The playoffs should still be Rodgers-free: the Seattle Seahawks clinch the ultimate NFC berth with a win and a Packers loss to the Lions subsequent week; the Lions clinch with a win and a Seahawks loss. However the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in, because of Tom Brady’s three-touchdown efficiency in opposition to the Panthers in Week 17.
All of it goes to point out that changings-of-the-guard within the NFL hardly ever go easily. The Commanders can surge for a couple of weeks, then fade for need of a half-decent quarterback. The Panthers can play the second half of their season with delight, however delight solely goes to date with Sam Darnold at quarterback and no Jaycee Horn within the secondary. Jared Goff and Geno Smith at their very best can do little greater than make their groups the rivals of Rodgers or Brady throughout at their late-career ricketiest.
There’s one boogeyman within the NFC playoffs in Brady. Rodgers might make it two. How assured are you in Brock Purdy? A banged-up Jalen Hurts? Dak Prescott, who wants two first-half turnovers (sure, tireless Dak apologists, solely one in every of them is often his fault) to get warmed up? LOL Kirk LOLOL Cousins ROTFL?
Cowboys, Eagles, and 49ers followers who aren’t afraid of the boogeymen aren’t telling the reality. And Vikings followers have been mendacity to themselves for 4 months. The NFC playoff image is far more sophisticated than it seemed a couple of month in the past. And legendary quarterbacks hardly ever fade away with no struggle.
Sport Highlight: Inexperienced Bay Packers 41, Minnesota Vikings 17
What Occurred: The Vikings confronted an actual opponent, which meant it was time to get their overrated purple fannies pummeled once more.
Oh, that is not honest. The Giants had been a “actual” opponent, proper? And the Payments, after all, in that traditionally fluky comeback affair. Are the Patriots actual? Perhaps; we’ll get to them in a second.
You get the thought: the Vikings had a type of video games the place they performed just like the Houston Texans’ scout group within the first half, and the cosmos did not shift into auto-assist mode for them within the second half.
Josh Metellus blocked a punt to offer the Vikings the ball on the Packers’ 1-yard line within the first quarter, however they settled for a subject aim. From then on, it was all Packers: a Keisean Nixon kickoff return landing (he returned one 93 yards in Week 16), a Darnell Savage pick-six, three extra Kirk Cousins turnovers, 152 dashing yards from AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones, and many proof that the Vikings are poised to humiliate themselves within the postseason.
Justin Jefferson eliminated his helmet in disgust after a second quarter interception and accidentally clocked an official with it. No Vikings loss is full with out somebody fully shedding their composure in a approach that reminds us that they have not actually engineered all of this season’s comebacks by remaining cool and picked up beneath strain.
What it Means: The distinction between the Eagles, Cowboys, and Vikings (you already know the drill with the Purdy Little Niners):
- The Eagles are a wonderful group presently in a droop resulting from Jalen Hurts’ damage.
- The Cowboys are an excellent group that’s sometimes self-destructive.
- The Vikings are a below-average group that experiences occasional energy surges, advantages from Jefferson’s semi-regular heroics, and received virtually preternaturally fortunate a couple of instances.
In different phrases, the default setting for the Cowboys and Eagles is “good,” whereas the default setting for the Vikings is “mediocre.” The playoffs have a knack for restoring groups to their manufacturing unit defaults.
The Packers have been one of many NFL’s finest groups over the last three weeks, with their protection and (shock!) their particular groups choosing up the slack when their offense has began slowly. They’re poised to be the official Group No One Needs to Face within the NFC playoffs.
What’s Subsequent: A must-see Lions-Packers showdown at Lambeau and a season-ending Vikings shallowness workshop in opposition to the Bears in Soldier Area.
Sport Highlight: New England Patriots 23, Miami Dolphins 21
What Occurred: The Patriots manufactured one other injury- and penalty-fueled slopfest of a win in Foxborough.
Sunday’s victory was so much just like the Patriots’ losses to the Raiders (in Vegas) and Bengals over the past two weeks: a defensive landing (by Kyle Dugger, simply as in Week 15), some follow-the-bouncing-ball performs, a couple of “drives” by Mac Jones and the offense which had been principally protection lapses and go interference, a comeback after a flat first half. This week, nonetheless, nobody did something silly late within the recreation, although Matt Patricia tried his darndest by calling what seemed to be a “simply get sacked, Mac” play on fourth down with a nine-point lead.
Teddy Bridgewater (finger) received knocked out of the sport when making an attempt to make a sort out on the finish of Dugger’s interception return. Skylar Thompson made issues semi-interesting with a late landing however couldn’t transfer the offense for a lot of the fourth quarter. The Dolphins face an all-too-familiar quarterback dilemma getting into Week 18.
What It Means: The Patriots deserve the seventh seed within the AFC playoffs. Nothing much less, however completely nothing extra. They will clinch it by beating the Payments or through some daisy-chain situations.
The Dolphins had been with out Tua Tagovailoa, Terron Armstead, Xavien Howard, and Bradley Chubb on Sunday, so it is tempting responsible the newest chapter of their five-game shedding streak on accidents. It is extra correct responsible the entire streak on the Dolphins’ incapacity to regulate to any type of adversity this 12 months, from Tua’s accidents to opponents determining methods to partially neutralize Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
The Patriots know tips on how to scratch out wins. The Dolphins have been looking helplessly for a Plan B for the reason that begin of December.
What’s Subsequent: The Patriots host the Payments and the Dolphins host the Jets: two necessary video games, three playoff hopefuls, one really good group.
Week 17 Whip-Round Protection
Observations and insights from across the league throughout the NFL’s penultimate Sunday.
Phony MinshewMania has Bitten the Mud
The Eagles beat themselves with offensive line penalties and received outmuscled in each trenches in short-yardage conditions of their 20-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Most distressingly, nonetheless, Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen made the error of trusting Gardner Minshew to execute a pass-heavy recreation plan.
Minshew absorbed 5 sacks within the first half because the Saints climbed out to a 13-0 lead; the Eagles ran the ball simply twice and failed to choose up a primary down within the half. Sirianni and Steichen returned to the run within the third quarter for a field-goal drive (a landing run by Kenneth Gainwell was negated by a cheesy holding penalty), then it was again to the all-Minshew assault. A.J. Brown brushed a defender apart for a 78-yard catch-and-run to chop the Saints result in 13-10, however the subsequent two Eagles drives stalled earlier than Minshew uncorked a disastrous pick-six to Marshon Lattimore. Minshew was gradual to eliminate the ball, threw a couple of wild pitches, and demonstrated the bounds of his wishful-thinking elusiveness all through the sport.
Jalen Hurts will now doubtless return, 100%-ready-or-not, to assist the Eagles salvage the highest seed within the NFC playoffs in opposition to a Giants group with nothing to play for. In a couple of weeks, the Eagles’ back-to-back holiday-season losses could also be a fading reminiscence. But when anybody writes a sentence in an offseason article alongside the likes of “Gardner Minshew deserves an opportunity to be the starter for the Jets/Raiders/Texans,” shut your browser window, delete your historical past, reformat your laptop computer, pour some memory-cleansing vodka photographs, and do every part else you’ll be able to to make sure that such foolishness doesn’t infiltrate your thoughts.
Do not Sleep on Seattle
It is tempting to have a look at the field rating of the Seattle Seahawks’ 23-6 victory over the New York Jets and assume that they benefited from a bunch of Jets turnovers. Mike White did throw two interceptions and had a fumble, however the fumble got here on the ultimate play earlier than halftime and had no actual influence on the sport, whereas his second interception got here whereas trailing huge within the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks received huge performs from their operating recreation (together with a 60-yard rush by Kenneth Walker to open the sport) and passing recreation to show one White miscue right into a 17-3 lead by early within the second quarter. That tilted the sphere sufficient to play ball-control offense whereas the Jets turned more and more one-dimensional. Jets turnovers had been as a lot a results of the Seahawks’ success as a trigger. Moreover, Jets receivers mishandled a couple of catchable passes, together with a Garrett Wilson drop on fourth-and-4.
The Seahawks might current a enjoyable problem to a division-winner in the event that they slip into the playoffs. The Jets will not be enjoyable in any approach, and they should face the fact that not all of their issues within the second half of the season stemmed from dangerous quarterback play.
Tom Brady is a Higher Quarterback than Sam Darnold
Sunday’s 30-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers was a 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory like every other, solely extra so. The Panthers took a 21-10 fourth-quarter lead however couldn’t maintain it, principally as a result of there was nobody to cowl Mike Evans (10-207-3) with Jaycee Horn injured. Darnold was due for a turnover spree, and he delivered with two turnovers in his personal territory and an interception close to the aim line. Brady had some senior moments, however Evans and Chris Godwin had been all the time open for him.
Brady and the Bucs did the NFL world a favor by clinching the annoyingly disagreeable NFC South: we will all safely ignore Panthers-Saints and Buccaneers-Falcons subsequent week. The Panthers, specifically, are far more fascinating now that we will deal with their teaching search and rebuilding mission as an alternative of slim Darnold-fueled playoff hopes. And nobody ought to ever be compelled to look at a Falcons recreation.
Brock Purdy vs. Jarrett Stidham was the Cotton Bowl we Deserved however By no means Received
Walkthrough didn’t get a protracted take a look at the San Francisco 49ers’ 37-34 extra time victory in opposition to the Raiders. A fast scan of the highlights and gamebook present Davante Adams incomes triple time—coming again for an underthrown bomb, shaking wide-open on a scramble, and so forth.—to make Stidham look efficient, whereas Josh McDaniels schemed up some 12 personnel passing alternatives with Andrew Waller again. Purdy, in the meantime, continues to profit from YAC in ways in which would make even Jimmy Garoppolo blush; the Raiders have defenders who can run and defenders who can sort out, however solely Maxx Crosby can do each. The 49ers seemed just a little weak on protection, nevertheless it’s not like every of the NFC division-leaders look invincible proper now. This recreation must be a hoot as a Tuesday morning movie session.
If McDaniels and the Raiders use this shut name to speak themselves into Stidham (two interceptions and a fumble) as a long-term quarterback choice, then they should battle the Broncos for final place within the AFC West till the tip of the last decade.
The New York Giants and Detroit Lions Have Come Such a Lengthy Approach
The Giants clinched the sixth seed within the NFC playoffs with a 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Daniel Jones managed the sport effectively, with two passing touchdowns and two extra touchdowns on 91 dashing yards, whereas rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux seemed to be everywhere in the subject within the first half.
It was a formidable Giants victory, however the Colts performed their half with extra of Jeff Saturday’s signature hungover-substitute-teacher teaching methods. Saturday referred to as a timeout on fourth-and-1 from the Giants’ 5-yard line within the first quarter, then kicked a subject aim. Nick Foles threw a pick-six earlier than getting knocked out of the sport in favor of Sam Ehlinger, who would in all probability wrestle to make a USFL roster. Matt Ryan, in the meantime, stays a political prisoner of no matter is happening behind the scenes in Indy.
This time final 12 months, the Giants had been the group whose coach embarrassed himself and the group in distinctive and unprecedented methods every week. So the Colts ought to look to the Giants as function fashions, and the Giants and their followers must be thrilled with how far Brian Daboll has taken them.
The Lions remained within the playoff chase with a formidable 41-10 drubbing of the Chicago Bears. The Lions took care of their enterprise on each offense and protection however received an help from a sputtering opponent. Justin Fields rushed for 109 yards within the first quarter to steer the Bears to 10 early factors, so Matt don’t-call-him-Nagy Eberflus and his employees determined to desert Fields’ designed-running menace altogether so he might go 7-of-21 spraying passes to Byron Pringle and N’Keal Harry.
Just like the Giants, the Lions received a chance to gauge simply how far they’ve come on Sunday.
A Wentz is a Wentz is a Wentz and Therefore, it By no means Makes Sense to Rely on a Wentz
Expensive Washington Commanders,
Within the wake of Carson Wentz’s completely in-character three-interception efficiency in a 24-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns which kneecapped your playoff hopes, here’s a delicate suggestion:
Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell. Sam Howell.
Followers in every single place of soccer and meritocracy.
Across the League
Some notes on the Sunday morning information dump.
Raiders Plan to Store Derek Carr within the Offseason
You do not say?
Giants Plan to Supply Multi–Yr Contracts to Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Perhaps it is one thing like two years at $16 million with incentives for Barkley and two years at $40 million for Jones, like-it-or-lump-it. In any other case, this feels like a John Mara-level “our dedication to continuity in any respect prices is what made us nice as soon as”-level feat of roster-building incompetence.
Jets Have Little interest in Buying and selling Zach Wilson, Also Per RapSheet.
Translation: Jets have no real interest in additional tanking Wilson’s commerce worth, which might presently internet them a conditional seventh-round choose someday after the occasions of Mad Max: Fury Highway.
Trey Lance Had a Second Surgical Process on his Ankle.
Trey Lance, sadly, won’t ever be greater than an city legend.
Monday Night time Soccer Will Begin Later than Typical to Accommodate the Rose Bowl
The Bengals-Payments recreation will begin at 8:30 p.m, not 8:15, which is able to place kickoff at across the 5:45 mark of the third quarter of the Rose Bowl versus the 6:30 mark, as a result of school soccer video games are too lengthy. Walkthrough will go to sleep in the midst of the primary quarter of MNF as an alternative of the tip of the primary quarter like we normally do.
Week 17 Awards
Defender of the Week
Cameron Jordan sacked Gardner Minshew thrice to maintain the Saints’ ultra-slim playoff hopes alive and drive the Eagles to play significant soccer in Week 18.
Honorable Point out: Cleveland Browns security Grant Delpit intercepted Carson Wentz twice, however Wentz interceptions solely earn half credit score right here in Walkthrough.
Offensive Line of the Week
David Bakhtiari is again (once more) at left sort out for the Packers, and it confirmed on Sunday because the Packers racked up 163 dashing yards and allowed only one sack. So let’s hear it for Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan Jr., and proper tackles Zach Tom and Yosh Nijman, plus all of the backups who completed the sport. Strike up the imaginary band, fellas:
PLEASE take a look at Josh Myers enjoying the air triangle within the again 😭 pic.twitter.com/MrFnRJwSF6
— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) January 1, 2023
Walkthrough is fairly certain that is air bass drum Myers is enjoying, not triangle. If not, the Sons of Walkthrough are marching band pit percussionists, so there might be triangle shaming on this area.
Particular Teamer of the Week
Keisean Nixon is a former Raiders particular groups gunner who got here together with coordinator Wealthy Bisaccia within the offseason. He had returned simply six kickoffs in three NFL seasons getting into 2022. Nixon now leads the NFL with 30.0 yards per kickoff return and has gained back-to-back Walkthrough particular groups honors. Be careful for these Packers, of us.
Honorable Point out: The Buccaneers’ victory over the Panthers received wobbly late within the fourth quarter, and a foul punt snap almost gave the Panthers nice subject place whereas down by simply six factors. However Tom Brady pushed that little button on his belt buckle that makes actuality bend to his needs, and punter Jake Camarda was inhabited by the ghost of Sammy Baugh:
Bucs punter Jake Camarda saves a possible catastrophe of a punt!
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
Greatest Supporting Actor in Somebody Else’s Spotlight
Somebody fetch the fireplace extinguisher for Panthers cornerback CJ Henderson please?
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 1, 2023
Uh-oh. Perhaps fetch some aloe-based burn cream too.
BRADY. EVANS. THIRD TD TODAY!
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
By no means thoughts. Simply seize a type of whisk brooms which can be used to comb the ashes out of fireplaces.
Burn This Play (Patriots Version)!
Overheard on the Patriots sideline on Sunday.
BILL BELICHICK: We’re dealing with fourth-and-4 on the Dolphins’ 29-yard line. Imma ship within the subject aim unit so we will take a 12-point lead and take a late Dolphins subject aim out of the equation.
MATT PATRICIA: Do not do it, Coach. I’ve the right play for this example.
BELICHICK: Are you certain? The Dolphins are out of timeouts. Now we have been making conservative choices all 12 months to cowl up on your feeble offense. Heck, possibly I’ll simply punt.
PATRICIA: No! Hear me out. We empty the backfield.
BELICHICK: Nicely, that sounds dangerous. Mac Jones is not precisely Cam Newton.
PATRICIA: And we movement Tyquan Thornton to the appropriate so we flood that aspect of the sphere with 4 receivers.
BELICHICK: Seems like we’re making issues simple for the protection.
PATRICIA: And we roll Mac proper, too.
BELICHICK: We ARE making issues extremely simple. However you may ship somebody deep, proper? Worst involves worst, Mac can simply arm punt.
PATRICIA: Nicely, Kendrick Bourne will run a clearing route, however Jones might be trying to get the ball to one in every of three receivers bunched close to the sticks alongside the appropriate boundary.
BELICHICK: Three receivers in the identical place? That feels like a foul design idea.
PATRICIA: Oh, don’t fret sir. You see, Mac might be rolling instantly into the enamel of a blitz, leading to a sack.
BELICHICK: Is not a sack worse than a missed subject aim on this scenario?
PATRICIA: I am gonna want you to get all the way in which off my again on that, sir.
BELICHICK: Oh effectively, you are the pretend offensive coordinator, Matt! Run the play and possibly we’ll get roughing the passer or go interference, our two most dependable strategies of gaining yardage.
PATRICIA: You bought it, Coach! There isn’t any approach this play will backfire and provides the Dolphins a slight probability at a late comeback.
Common Matt Patricia play name pic.twitter.com/pKELFaPxT9
— Barstool Sports activities (@barstoolsports) January 1, 2023
Burn This Play (Bears Version)!
The Lions determined to hurry zero defenders with 5 seconds left earlier than halftime whereas main the Bears 24-10. A smart tactic: the very last thing the Lions wanted in that scenario was Justin Fields scramble magic. The Bears absolutely knew they will not face a lot go rush, so that they despatched everybody into the tip zone for a Hail Mary, proper? Mistaken:
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 1, 2023
Try these “route” “ideas.” The Bears are hoping to execute some type of mesh in the midst of the sphere, however to what finish? They’d zero timeouts; even when somebody caught the ball in the midst of the sphere and ran straight to the sideline, time would have expired. And NOBODY runs a deep route, which could not less than have cleared out some area.
Bear in mind performs like this when the Bears group begins signaling that Fields is the issue, not the answer.
Burn This Play (BCS Semifinals Version)!
Walkthrough has reached the age and/or degree of semi-permanent insobriety that we stroll into rooms and instantly overlook why we entered them. Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy is simply too younger for such points, but he triggered a Philly Particular on the aim line, solely to overlook that he was alleged to run a route into the tip zone and determined to do some sightseeing as an alternative.
McCarthy’s leisurely stroll into the flat apart, beginning this play with two receivers to the appropriate simply makes it extra doubtless that one in every of them stays house, and McCarthy ventures out of the pocket so early that TCU cornerback Josh Newton (24), in zone protection anyway, spots precisely what’s going on.
This Philly Particular try by Michigan did NOT go as deliberate pic.twitter.com/GIItXzoeWu
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) December 31, 2022
The signature Philly Special was filled with subterfuge to cover the truth that the ball was going to Nick Foles. Fashionable variations of the play virtually include flashing TRICKERATION billboards. Get some new concepts, you copycats.
Rando of the Week
Blaine Gabbert and his brothers raced out on Jet Skis to rescue a family when their tourist-adventure helicopter splash-landed and sank close to the Davis Islands on Thursday.
That was a fully true sentence a couple of factor that occurred within the last days of the Yr of Our Lord 2022, and it concerned Gabbert, Actual American and essentially the most forgotten of the forgotten backup quarterbacks, throughout every week when a lot of his friends had been making ready to make emergency begins. (Hey, Mark Davis’ funds and Jim Irsay’s moodswings rely as “emergencies.”
Thank heavens it was Gabbert performing the rescue.
- Tom Brady would have rescued everybody in his Bradycopter, however then invited the household to stick with him, have dinner, play some ping-pong, please, this home is so huge and empty.
- Aaron Rodgers would have splashed water from his speedboat on the determined household, then defined Social Darwinism to an appreciative Joe Rogan on subsequent week’s podcast.
- In keeping with each single member of the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson would have raced from his nook workplace to his parking area and drove off to do an impressive job rescuing the household, they usually stand behind Wilson 100%.
- Dak Prescott would ultimately rescue the household, however not earlier than crashing his Jet Ski twice.
- Josh Allen would use the tiny wings on his heels to fly over the waves like Namor to rescue the household. 5 hundred toes from shore, nonetheless, he would needlessly hurl them into the mouth of a close-by shark.
- Justin Herbert wouldn’t make it off the pier as a result of Joe Lombardi forgot to fuel up the Jet Skis, however Movie Snob Twitter assures me Herbert can raise a helicopter out of the water with one hand and does not should show that he can achieve this to anyone.
- Kyler Murray could be on the market as quickly as he accomplished a couple of extra ranges of Jet Ski Simulator.
- Lamar Jackson
is simply too injured to experience a Jet SkiWOULD LET THAT FAMILY DROWN BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE A LONG-TERM CONTRACT.
- Kirk Cousins would wait till the helicopter was fully submerged earlier than sending Justin Jefferson to the rescue. After Jefferson swam out to hold the household again one by one, Vikings followers would declare Cousins deserves a medal.
- Carson Wentz is an achieved Jet Ski driver. Critically. Walkthrough lined the man for years; of us like to Jet Ski round these lakes up in North Dakota. So he might deal with a rescue simply effective. Are … are Blane Gabbert and Carson Wentz the identical individual? That may clarify a lot.
- Matt Ryan was the helicopter.
- Deshaun Watson holds his hand out to a drowning individual. “Eh, no thanks. I am going to take my probabilities with the ocean as an alternative.”