NFL Sunday Week 17 Review
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, December 30, 2019
Toronto, ON – Week 17 marks the final week of the regular season, and with it comes clarity. The standings become final, and the playoff matches are set. This week saw some surprises once again, but let’s start with the battle for the NFC West.
San Francisco vs. Seattle
The 49ers defence stopped the Seahawks on the one-yard line in the dying seconds, as San Francisco captured the NFC West title with a 26-21 victory. They now have home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs and are the No. 1 seed in the conference for the first time in 22 years. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 34 yards on 12 carries in his first game since October of 2018. Seattle will play Philadelphia in the wild-card round.
Miami vs. New England
For the first time since 2009, the Patriots will have to play on the opening weekend of the playoffs. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left to stun the defending champions 27-24. New England has never made it to the Super Bowl while playing in the wild-card round. They’ll play the Titans next weekend in the wild-card round.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City
Patrick Mahomes threw for 174 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 Chiefs win. With the win and the New England loss, Kansas City collects the first-round playoff bye. In what could have been Philip Rivers’ final game for the Chargers, the Chiefs held him to 281 passing yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Green Bay vs. Detroit
The Packers trailed by two touchdowns in the second quarter, and never led in the game until a game-winning 33-yard field goal from Mason Crosby as time expired. With the 23-20 win, the Packers earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. Detroit finished the season with nine straight losses, their longest such streak in a season since going 0-16 in 2008.
Cleveland vs. Cincinnati
The Bengals ended their terrible season with a 33-23 victory over the Browns. Andy Dalton threw for a touchdown and ran for one as well in what was likely his final start as a Bengal. Cincinnati, at 2-14, matched the worst record in its history, but it’s not all bad for the Bengals. They’ll have the first overall pick in the draft for the first time since 2003. Cleveland fired head coach Freddie Kitchens later on Sunday after a 6-10 season, as they extended their playoff drought to 18 years.
Chicago vs. Minnesota
The Vikings were resting most of their regular starters in preparation for the playoffs, and the Bears came out on top 21-19. Mitch Trubisky converted on fourth-and-nine with 2:36 left to extend the drive. It set up a game winning field goal from 22 yards with ten seconds left by Eddie Pineiro, which was his fourth field goal of the day.
New York Jets vs. Buffalo
The Jets missed the playoffs for a ninth straight season, but that didn’t stop them from picking up a win over the playoff-bound Bills. Sam Darnold found Jamison Crowder for a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Jets defeated the Bills 13-6. Buffalo will travel to Houston to take on the Texans in the wild-card playoff round.
Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
This game needed overtime, and it’s one that Jameis Winston will likely want to forget. He threw his 30th interception of the season to Deion Jones on the opening play of the extra frame, and Jones returned it for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 28-22 win. Winston became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 30+ touchdowns and 30+ interceptions in the same season.
New Orleans vs. Carolina
The Saints dominated the Panthers in a 42-10 victory. Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns along with 253 yards, and Alvin Kamara ran for two touchdowns in the win. The Panthers ended the season with eight consecutive losses. Christian McCaffrey joined Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the third player in NFL history to record both 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. New Orleans will play Minnesota in the wild-card round.
Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
Even without key starters like Lamar Jackson, the Ravens defeated the Steelers 28-10 behind a strong defensive performance. Pittsburgh needed a win along with a Tennessee loss to Houston to clinch a playoff berth, but both of those scenarios failed. The Steelers have now missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-2013.
Tennessee vs. Houston
Ryan Tannehill threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns as the Titans defeated the Texans 35-14. The Texans, who were locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC, rested quarterback Deshaun Watson and other starters. Houston will play Buffalo next week, and Tennessee will face off against New England.
Philadelphia vs. New York Giants
An injury-depleted Eagles squad managed to win over the Giants by a score of 34-17 to give the Eagles the NFC East crown. Philadelphia running back Boston Scott ran for three touchdowns in the second half in the victory. The Eagles closed the regular season with four straight wins and their second division title in three seasons.
Washington vs. Dallas
Dak Prescott threw four touchdowns to propel the Cowboys to a 47-16 win over the Redskins, but it didn’t mean as much with the Eagles win. Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Eagles in week 16. Washington, who finished the season at 3-13, secured the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
Oakland vs. Denver
The Raiders bleak playoff hopes came to an end after a close 16-15 loss to the Broncos. The Raiders scored a late touchdown and could’ve tied the game with an extra point, but head coach Jon Gruden elected to try for the two-point conversion. But Derek Carr’s pass to Hunter Renfrow was knocked out of the air by Shelby Harris, sealing the Denver win.
Arizona vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams ended their tenure in the Coliseum on a winning note, dispatching the Cardinals 31-24. Jared Goff passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns, ensuring the Rams their third straight winning season. Larry Fitzgerald had four catches for 45 yards in what could be the final game of his 16-year career.
Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Gardner Minshew threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns as the Jaguars closed out the season with a 38-20 win over the Colts. Colts running back Marlon Mack ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns in the opening half.