React and exaggerate to everything that happened in the games on Sunday afternoon of week 17 …
Things that made me dizzy
Baker leads the Browns to the playoffs: As for symbolic ways to end a long playoff drought, this was pretty perfect. I pride myself on being the most cynical idiot in the media and even I had goose bumps …
The Giants deserve the NFC East: I mean this in the non-sarcastic sense. They are the only one of the four teams in the division who can argue that they underperformed this season. We’ll find out if the football gods agree tonight.
Leonard Williams saves … something. Dave Gettleman’s reputation ?: The much-maligned commercial acquisition was a monster all season, including three sacks in the regular season finale against Dallas. Symbolically, Williams made the play of the season for the Giants with his capture of Andy Dalton in the first and goal from the 7, setting up the game-ending comedy of errors (although the play itself was simply a broken guard).
Josh Allen eats the souls of dolphins: The last three years included bad enough that Josh Allen comes to power in a medium-sized city, but there is a special category for those who just two months ago argued that Tua Tagovailoa, not Allen, was the best quarterback in the AFC. East.
Isaiah McKenzie goes crazy: Three touchdowns in a seven-minute span during the second quarter – two receptions and an 84-yard punt return. The best team in the AFC East is the Buffalo Bills. The second best team is the Buffalo Bills backups.
Cam’s Foxboro Finale: The Patriots had 404 yards of offense and 28 points in a season-ending victory over the Jets. To be clear: it wasn’t good enough this season. But the characterization that it was a disaster or even a mistake is unfair. All of this would have played out differently if the defense had provided better complementary football; Instead, due to exclusion options and free agent defections, they went from one of the best in the league in 2019 to one of the worst in the league in ’20, and / or there was some sort of supporting cast. for Newton. And if we played hypothetical, Football Team would have been much better off hiring him instead of Kyle Allen if they weren’t as keen on developing Dwayne Haskins as they revealed themselves. That said, with roughly four starting quarterbacks entering the league in April, Newton wouldn’t settle for a jumper / mentor job in ’21; I would be lucky to get it.
The Ravens are a Top-Five team: It wasn’t a killer row of opponents, but they have won five in a row with an average margin of victory of 19.4 points. No one should want to be part of this team in the playoffs. (Surely not, what, my 7-year-old is supposed to chase JK Dobbins?)
Matthew Stafford shines again for the franchise that never deserved it: Thirty-five points with a few player offense, only to lose. If Stafford wants to stay while the Lions go through the years-long process of undoing the Bob Quinn Era, that’s his decision. He will turn 33 in February. We hope that the NFL’s most underrated superstar gets to play his prime in an organization that is actually functional.
Nick Gates: He was in the head of the Cowboys defenders all afternoon. Or, as the kids say, here’s my chippy (or, if they don’t say that, they should) …
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The perfect ending of the Giants-Cowboys NFC East: A sack of Andy Dalton with a broken protection, followed by a fall by an open CeeDee Lamb, followed by an intercepted Dalton prayer, followed by Wayne Gallman, who just needed to fall, be stripped by some kind of poltergeist, followed by the different Officials awarded that fumble to different teams, followed by officials who ruled that Gallman had recovered the fumble with his butt, to the Adventure Time drop ball. It’s the only way it could end.
Wayne Gallman’s Fumble: This was after Gallman won the first try and simply had to go down and finish the game. Gallman ruled a recovery, which may or may not be true (probably not true). But it certainly saved Gallman from being a shot for life.
One last missed chance for Mike McCarthy: He held onto the challenge flag for his life after a third-down pass in the fourth quarter to Dante Pettis was incorrectly declared complete. The lack of a challenge led Graham Gano to connect on a 50-yard field goal to stretch the Giants’ lead to four, rather than Riley Dixon getting to punt. The game (essentially) ended with Andy Dalton’s red zone interception a few minutes later.
Tua problems: It was another disappointing performance, in which the Dolphins didn’t move the ball against the Bills’ first-team defense, then barely moved it against Buffalo’s backups. There were a couple of knockdowns, but this performance was as ugly as the box score numbers indicate (6.2 yards per attempt, 3 interceptions, 62.5 rating). Overall, Tua’s first season in the NFL was marked by overly cautious decision-making, a lack of pocket presence, mediocre talent, an inability to create his own time and space, and a complete lack of confidence in reads. which would otherwise be simple. The Dolphins will have a top-three pick in April, and looking from the outside, it’s just not a valid argument that he’s a better prospect than more physically gifted talents like Justin Fields, Zach Wilson or Trey Lance. Tua was considered the high floor prospect, but it’s probably time to re-evaluate what constitutes high floor as the “traits versus production” debate leans a lot toward “traits” in the later draft classes.
A bitter end for dolphins: The future looks promising for Brian Flores’ team, but Sunday showed just how wide the gap is between Miami and Buffalo (as well as Miami and Buffalo, the second stringer) when it comes to the future of the AFC East.
Evan Engram Hands: His athleticism makes him such a weapon, and his tendency to not only throw easy passes, but to deflect them straight into the air when he does, makes for a mess. On an easy pitch-and-catch tilt in the third quarter, he hit it into the hands of a Dallas defender, and the Cowboys capitalized with a touchdown shortly after. He followed with a brutal downfield fall in a first and 25 in the next series.
Sweet revenge slips from Mason Rudolph’s clutches: Just over a year after Myles Garrett nearly embedded his helmet permanently in his skull, Rudolph kept the Steelers in Cleveland. It was a two-point conversion (which probably should have been flagged as pass interference) for tying it with just over a minute to play.
Mike Evans’ left leg: She couldn’t put weight on him after a non-contact injury late in the first quarter. The Bucs will travel to meet the NFC East champions next week.
The age of Adam Gase comes to a merciful end: The Jets led the Patriots in the second half, and a win would have given Gase wins over Bill Belichick with Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler. and Saint Darnold. Now, as you know, in the Book of Revelation …
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Moments that we will tell our grandchildren
This Jaylon Smith does: I’ve never seen someone so active while participating in a fight without actually fighting. At least he seems to be taking advantage of the Billy Blanks VHS set that Ben DiNucci got all of his teammates for the holidays.
Andy Dalton’s hand is trampled: He’s delivered the backhand and eventually bleeding through his glove after Leonard Williams stepped on it late in a fight in the third quarter.
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What will we talk about this week
Steelers-Browns rematch !: Will Ben Roethlisberger or Mason Rudolph start with the Steelers? Or Joshua Dobbs? Or Tommy Maddox? Or Bubby Brister? We’ll have to wait and see. But the rematch in Pittsburgh will have to do with Baker Mayfield’s ability to handle what should be heavy pressure from a rested Steelers defense.
Intrigue in picks 2 and 3: The Jets and the Dolphins (who own the Texans’ selection) have every reason to cut their losses and leave their last 5 quarterbacks behind. So … the intrigue is really what another franchise would give up for Sam Darnold or Tua Tagovailoa right now (if either team can land a Josh Rosen-type deal to Miami, a Day 2 pick, they should take advantage of it).
Stafford and Matt Ryan futures: If you play matchmaker, Ryan reuniting with Kyle Shanahan would provide a level of stability that the 49ers don’t have with Jimmy Garoppolo. And Stafford would elevate the Patriots, Steelers, Bears or the football team to Super Bowl contention.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.