NFL Week 14 Ups & Downs

3 up-

Green Bay Packers

This is a team getting hot at the right time. A few weeks ago Rodgers hated his teammates and his teammates hated him. Mike McCarthy was in danger of losing his job, they had no running game, no one liked them, their stadium was old, they needed to cut the entire defense, etc etc. Okay, maybe not all that, but seriously, there were some problems. Now suddenly, they are man-handling Seattle by 28 points? The entire season doesn’t matter if you win in December, and the Packers look primed to do just that. Of the teams on runs right now, the NFL should fear this team the most. When Aaron Rodgers is under center, anything can happen.

New York Giants defense

The Giants defense has single-handedly turned them into a contender. Very few teams are going to be able to move the ball on the current Giants defense. The Cowboys had something to play for on Sunday, as they could have locked up the number one seed. Instead, the Giants defense pressured Prescott and shut down Elliott. On Sunday night, the Giants laid out the blueprint for what it takes to beat the Cowboys. Stuff the run and force Dak to beat you through the air. The only thing that concerns me about this team is the offense. The defense can play with the best of them, but the offense, specifically Eli, turns the ball over and doesn’t score a ton of points. Regardless, a win against Dallas, is a big win.

New England Patriots

Of all the teams in the AFC, there are only 2 or 3 teams that present problems for the Patriots. In my opinion, the play style of the Ravens was one of the main reasons they were one of those three. Then Monday night rolls around and they got stomped on. If you watched the game you know the final score doesn’t tell the whole story (as is true with almost any game). Two special teams gaffes cost the Patriots a double digit lead and made it look like it was a close game. Look, I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a Patriots fan, but what they do and have been doing for years is incredible. Chris Hogan wasn’t good enough to play IN BUFFALO. Malcolm Mitchell got passed by the entire league 4 times. Man, greatest dynasty of the 2000s in any sport?

3 down-

Broncos

If I remember right, this is their debut in the “down” column. This team needs a QB badly. Its obvious Brock wasn’t the answer, but the team is struggling without a proven QB under center. The defense can only carry you so far before you have to score some points. 10 points against the Tennessee Titans tells me there is something wrong. The running game hasn’t helped much either as Booker has been nowhere to be found. With the loss to the Titans, the road to the playoffs becomes tough and winning the division is dang near impossible. With the Raiders, Chiefs and Patriots all playing solid football, and a few teams on there heels, the reigning super bowl champs could be on the outside looking in.

Indianapolis Colts

This is one of the most promising franchises in the NFL, and Ryan Grigson is at the helm. Until that changes, the Colts will continue to be the team that “should be” but never is good. In a must win game versus a division opponent, the Colts got beat by a Texans team that scares no one. They need an offensive line, they need a defensive line, they need linebackers. Basically this team needs almost every position. Luck is an amazing talent, but until this GM and HC are gone, they will continue to be nothing more than “promising”. With that loss and the Titans win, hope for the playoffs is pretty much gone. Hard to watch a guy like Luck completely waste his talent in Indy.

Ryan Tannehill

He was right in the middle of the resurgence of his career, and then Sunday happened. The hit was low and a flag wasn’t thrown. To add insult to injury, Tannehill blew his ACL and is done for the season. Not only was this looking like a career year, but the team around him was playing well. With the Ravens loss on Monday night, the Dolphins are in good position to capture a wildcard spot in the AFC. Missing Tannehill down the stretch will cost them dearly but Gase has breathed life back into the organization. Hopefully Tannehill can come back strong next year with a few extra draft picks on either side of the ball. Keep in mind they have done all this without the best safety in the NFL (in my opinion) Reshad Jones who has been on IR. Rough end to a promising season for Tanne.

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