The regular season is now complete, and what a finish. Hopefully, the games on super wild card weekend prove to be as entertaining as the games last weekend. The biggest losers last week were the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals, all they had to do was win, and they were in; they lost, and spectacularly, I might add, especially if you were a Dolphin. As they enter the playoffs, Buffalo showed that they are the real deal, annihilating Miami 56 to 26, proving once again that Tua Tagovailoa isn’t ready for the big stage. I don’t think if Ryan Fitzpatrick played, it would have been any different, so my heart goes out to him, but thanks for making it entertaining Fitzamagic. Here’s hoping you play another year on another team. I hear the Patriots are shopping around at the quarterback position. Speaking of which, we can finally put to rest who was the reason for the Patriots success all these years. Tom Brady has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007; Brady, 43, finished with over 4600 yards passing (3rd) and 40 touchdown passes (2nd). The Patriots, meanwhile, finished with a 7 and 9 record and were wildly inconsistent all season long.
What a wild and highly debatable finish in the NFC East. This division is like lousy TV; it’s so bad that it’s entertaining. The Washington Football Team came away as the division winner with a 7 and 9 record; this will be the 4th time a team under .500 has made the playoffs; oddly enough, Coach Ron Rivera has been the coach on two of those four teams. Big props are due to Rivera, who was battling cancer this year while coaching games. He did a heck of a job and deserves a lot of praise. Alex Smith, Washington’s quarterback, will undoubtedly be comeback player of the year, and I couldn’t be happier for Smith. What this team did this season, record aside, is special. Of course, their 7th win, which catapulted them over the New York Giants to win the division, is under extreme scrutiny by players, coaches, fans, and broadcasters, alike. It seems everyone all of a sudden is a Giants fan! To be crystal clear here, the New York Giants feel they were robbed of a playoff berth; the Giants have a record of 6 and 10, and they should be ashamed of themselves for even entertaining the notion that they are a playoff-worthy team. They were losers of three straight games, leading up to Sunday’s narrow win over the Cowboys. In short, they blew their chance, not once or twice, but three times. But don’t tell this to everyone else who wants Superbowl winning coach Doug Pedersen fired. Pedersen in the 4th quarter pulled his starting quarterback, who wasn’t playing very well. Jaylen Hurts completed only seven passes in three quarters on 20 attempts, for a total of 72 passing yards, with one interception. This is not the sign of a QB who is clutch. Pedersen decided to go to a backup quarterback who had minimal playing experience, stating that he deserved to play at some point in this game. A fact he mentioned earlier in the week. It is worth noting this game meant everything to Washington and New York, but nothing to Philadelphia, except a loss, would have them picking 6th in the draft, and a win would have them picking 9th. 10 coaches out of 10 would lose that game from the get-go to gain three draft spots, and they wouldn’t face the current scrutiny Pedersen is facing. But we should all be mad at Pedersen for doing what’s best for his club in the long run, in a game that meant nothing? As the saying goes, Giants fans, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. Maybe try for seven wins next season.
Although, in my mind, Derrick Henry deserves the MVP this year, it looks like it will go to Aaron Rodgers at this point. I’m not taking anything away from Rodgers; his team drafted a quarterback in last year’s draft who is seen as the franchise’s future. With fire raging inside him, Rodgers passed for 4300 yards (7th), threw 48 Touchdowns (1st), and had a 70.7 completion rate (1st). This was indeed an Aaron Rodgers MVP season, and if you took him off the Packers, they would most likely be a 7 and 9 team like the Bradyless Patriots. That said, Derrick Henry ran for over 2000 yards and amassed 17 touchdowns runs; he carried on his back the Tennessee Titans to a division championship, who finished the season at 11 – 5. If you were to take Henry off that team, they would also be a 6 or 7 win team. So how does one decide whose contribution was more important? Rodgers didn’t win passing yards, and they had a weaker schedule than the Titans, but alas, Rodgers will win it, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen.
Players of the week
- Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
26/41, 399 YDS, 4 TDs – 1 INT
- Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
30 CAR, 253 YDS, 2 TDs
- Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit Lions
8 REC, 180 YDS, 2 TDs