Here are 10 thoughts after watching the Week 15 games from Sunday.
1– The 49ers are officially done. It isn’t a surprise really seeing how this team has struggled in the past month. Even though the defense played well for most of the game, it was the offense that forced the team into tough spots. The first half they had some signs of life with a strong running game but ultimately, the offense (especially the pocket protections) looked like what they have been like this past month: lost. With that said, the season is over for the team. The playoffs are out of the picture and the questions about Jim Harbaugh’s future continues to grow stronger by the daily. The Seahawks are just a better team and the 49ers are struggling to even put together a successful game plan to win games.
2– This is the problem the Eagles have going forward this year. Mark Sanchez is serviceable but not the quarterback you feel like you can trust to lead your team. His two interceptions and his inability to make the best pocket throws can hurt them. Of course last night’s game was still one of his better performances of the year, but it still wasn’t enough.
The Cowboys looked great last night. The offensive line gave Tony Romo great pocket protection and DeMarco Murray had a strong performance. With all that along with Dez Bryant’s three touchdowns, this is the kind of showing that makes the Cowboys dangerous. I can’t figure out this team still but they are 7-0 on the road this year. That’s impressive.
3– The most impressive thing about Peyton Manning over the years is even though he doesn’t have a great game (and he was sick yesterday) he still knows how to get it done. Watching the Broncos yesterday reminded me that the team is fully loaded with talent and they don’t need to Manning to do everything for the offense. Give Demaryius Thomas the ball and he can handle the rest. That’s why the Broncos are now the AFC West division winners.
The Chargers aren’t a bad team either but they are just so close to being such a strong team to fear. Their early success had me thinking that they could challenge the Broncos but it’s clear they are not there yet. Not yet.
4– Well, the Vikings defense played real well. However, the offense hurt them. I think that the Lions showed that they can also win a gritty game. They should have gotten more out of their offense but at this point of the season, enough is good enough for this team. The Lions are a team to watch out for.
5– I’m not concerned about the Packers. As long as Rodgers doesn’t have these kind of mistakes in the playoffs, they’ll be fine. This four-turnover thing was just a one-game occurrence.
And hey, Buffalo is still in this thing with Uncle Orton leading the way!
6– Let me tell you about this Patriots defense. All year long, they have been pretty solid. It’s hard to really notice it since the story for this team is all about the offense with Brady and company. But just take a look at what this defense did yesterday and you an see that the special teams and the secondary looked really strong. I wouldn’t sleep on this defense. They helped the Pats win another division title. That’s impressive.
7– You see, Johnny Manziel is very talented. But he is also very raw. So raw that the Bengals had a field day just pressuring him in every sense of the way. Also, they wanted to remind Manziel it’s not easy playing with the big boys. Are the Bengals that good or was the Browns performance that bad? I’ll take the latter.
8– The Colts are division champions and they grinded out a win against the Texans. It’s still impressive to see this Colts team win with such young talent. And they got what they needed despite the Texans being forced to play Tom Savage at quarterback. Good win for the Colts.
9– Even though the Jaguars are struggling, they showed some signs with special teams creativity. But other than that, their offense is so bad right now and the rookie Blake Bortles is still so raw despite all the starts he’s had this year. On the other hand, the Ravens didn’t look all that great either but still managed to muster out a win. At this point in the season, good enough is good enough.
10– Who would have thought Alex Smith would have that kind of day for the Chiefs offense? Nobody! It wasn’t pretty early, but the second half was a good showing by the offense and they are still in the hunt.
I started the Vikings defense over the Patriots defense yesterday. The Vikings scored 1 point. The Patriots scored 20 points. I am now eliminated from the playoffs because of that move. I will not be playing in the Shiva Bowl. What a shame.