10 Things You Need to Know from Week 17
Welcome to Monday morning. Before you get into the swing of the holiday festivities, check out what you might have missed from Week Seventeen. Here’s what you need to know from the Sunday games this week.
The Monday after the final Sunday of the regular season has become known as Black Monday with multiple head coaches routinely losing their jobs. This year is no different. After Hue Jackson and Mike McCarthy were fired during the regular season, these coaches have all been canned following their team’s game: Marvin Lewis, Adam Gase, Vance Joseph, Todd Bowles, Dirk Koetter and Steve Wilks. That leaves the Browns, Packers, Bengals, Dolphins, Broncos, Jets, Buccaneers and Cardinals all looking for new head men, and the day is far from over.
Allen x 5
Bills rookie QB Josh Allen ended the season on a high note, leading his team to a blowout victory over the Dolphins and contributing five touchdowns along the way. Allen passed for 224 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 95 yards and two more scores. Buffalo had a trying season, but things are looking up as the offseason begins.
With the Saints resting starters, including QB Drew Brees, QB Teddy Bridgewater started his first game since 2015. With the former Viking set to enter free agency following the season, this was his chance to showcase his game. Things did not go as planned. Bridgewater passed for just 118 yards and a touchdown and New Orleans got blown out by the Panthers. Bridgewater is not certain to be handed a starting job as a free agent this offseason.
It should’ve been an easy day for Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette in Week Seventeen. The former top-five pick sat out with multiple nagging injuries but his behavior on the sidelines drew the ire of Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin. A post-game report also said the team had informed Fournette that his future guaranteed money in his contract had been voided by his earlier suspension. This could be the beginning of the end of the Fournette/Jaguars marriage.
In his final game of the season, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffered a first-half concussion which ended his year. Not only did the disappointing Packers fail to make the playoffs, they ended the season with a shutout loss to the lowly Lions. With WR Randall Cobb entering free agency and the status of veteran TE Jimmy Graham uncertain, Rodgers’ pass-catching corps could look very different in 2019.
Fitz Catches (Final?) TD
The Cardinal surprisingly kept the game close with the Seahawks, nearly pulling off the upset. Future Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald caught a 15-yard touchdown in what might have been the final game of his career. Fitz is expected to take some time in making his decision about a possible retirement. It is unclear if the Cardinals change at head coach would be viewed as a negative or positive as far as Fitzgerald is concerned.
Foles Injured, Eagles Win
The Eagles needed to win and get help from the Bears to make the playoffs. QB Nick Foles and the offense made the first part look easy, cruising to a 24-0 win over the Redskins. It was not without issue though as Foles suffered a chest injury, forcing him from the game. With a sizable lead, Foles did not return and the team suggested the injury was not serious. Now all Philly needed was for the Vikings to lose.
The Vikings needed to defeat the Bears in a home game and they would advance to the playoffs. Chicago had little motivation and were essentially picking their first-round opponent with their decision about how to manage their starters’ playing time. QB Mitch Trubisky and company played the entire game and pulled away in the second half to win by two touchdowns. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins passed for just 132 yards and one touchdown and there was no Minnesota Miracle.
Ravens on the Run
The Ravens were also in a “win and in” situation facing the Browns. If Baltimore defeated the Browns, they would not only secure their playoff spot but eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention. After the Steelers had already narrowly defeated the Bengals, they watched the final minutes of the CLE/BAL closely. After building a comfortable lead against the Browns, rookie QB Baker Mayfield led a comeback that nearly shocked the Ravens for the second straight year. In the end, the Ravens running game was the difference as Kenneth Dixon rushed for 117 yards, QB Lamar Jackson added 90 yards and two scores and rookie RB Gus Edwards ran for another 76 yards. The Ravens held on and are in the playoffs, ending the Steelers season.
Colts Lock up a Spot
In the final game of the day, the Colts rather easily dispatched of the Titans team playing without QB Marcus Mariota. QB Andrew Luck passed for 285 yards and three touchdowns and RB Marlon Mack totaled 119 yards and a touchdown. With the final AFC playoff spot on the line, the Colts came away from Nashville with a 33-17 win and the sixth seed in next week’s playoffs, matching them up with the Texans.
Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.