14 Takeaways from Week 14

The playoff race is on fire. Here are 14 observations from the past week of football.

  • Have the Broncos found their guy? Drew Lock impressed again, this time against the Texans. Although it’s only a two-game sample, he sure looks the part of an NFL starting quarterback.
  • Calls do occasionally go against the Pats. Any football fan knows that the Patriots have more often than not benefited from questionable calls. This time, they had a pair of obvious touchdowns ruled the opposite.
  • If only he started Week 1. Ryan Tannehill’s legend continues to grow. The Titans’ quarterback is now 6-1 since taking over the starting spot. Every game is more amazing than the last. If he had started Week 1, he may be in the MVP conversation.
  • Surviving a tough one. The Ravens and MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson had a true test Sunday against the Bills. They came away with the win, in larger part because of their defense.
  • But not for all. The Seahawks had the No. 1 seed in the NFC in their sights, but this turned out to be one of those “trap” games. MVP candidate Russell Wilson had his worst game in some time and the defense lacked intensity.
  • A win is a win. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on paper had an easy game against the Redskins. This game was closer than it should have been. On one hand, this proves Green Bay can win the tough games. On the other hand, the Redskins appear to have found consistency.
  • Game of the year. What many figured would be a preview of the NFC Championship game saw the 49ers deliver a blow-for-blow slugfest with the Saints in a game that totaled 94 points.
  • Out of Magic. Jaguars rookie quarterback sensation Gardner Minshew and the Dolphins’ veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick, although both still exciting to watch, weren’t able to come out with a win.
  • Duck trumps Cardinals. Steelers third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges got the win over the Cardinals and rookie sensation Kyler Murray. Murray looked like he did in the beginning of the season, but not like he has in recent weeks.
  • Oakland laid another egg. The Raiders looked geared for a strong playoff push just three weeks ago. After Sunday’s loss to the Titans, their third straight, their playoff chances are now slim to none.
  • Phil’s still got it. Many people, including me, were preparing for the benching of Philip Rivers. It happened, but only because he put the team in a situation where they could not lose, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Chargers’ rout of the Jaguars.
  • So does Eli. In his first start since getting benched for Daniel Jones, Eli Manning got what many viewed as his last start as a Giant. He looked to find the Eli of old, throwing two first-half touchdowns.
  • Bucs ride again. As has been the case since he came into the league, Jameis Winston had another inconsistent game, albeit a better one. He threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw three interceptions. His team survived a close one against the Colts.
  • Never second-guess your lineup. I lost my fantasy playoff game because I took out A.J. Brown in favor of Odell Beckham. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.

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