NFL: Week 17

By: S. Davis

kubiak

The playoffs are a week away so all the intrigue is inching closer, day by day. What else can be said about the unfortunate events that saw both Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr suffer leg injuries that knocked them from their rosters? Two of the most promising players going down with broken legs on the same weekend of action? It’s tough to recover from, particularly for a Raiders team that was poised to make some real noise in the postseason; something the franchise hasn’t done since 2002.

What can we say about the coaching vacancies (thus far)? Jeff Fisher was kept around, let’s say, two years too long so that was justified. Rex Ryan? I don’t feel as confident about that decision. Make no mistake, I’m not a cheerleader for the guy by any means but TWO seasons is just not enough time for a head coach to turn around a program. I could see if he won a handful of games over two seasons but the Bills have been competitive under his leadership. Surprisingly, they’ve been pedestrian defensively – which is the side of the ball that Ryan has built his resume on – and that was alarming for a team that has to play perfect just to place second in the AFC East. I think he was worthy of another year at the helm but the Bills are such a successful franchise so they must have an answer somewhere.

Gary Kubiak is coaching his last game for the Denver Broncos due to health and that is a great opening for coaching candidates on the open market. Even though the defending champions will be watching the playoffs like the rest of us, they will be on the shortlist of contenders next year once they find stability at the quarterback position. Defensively, they are still elite; offensive balance will make them a terror once more.

Finding a good head coach is difficult but if management pulls the plug too soon how can they learn what they truly have? There’s a reason why bad teams are bad, instability and a musical chairs philosophy at head coach; all the dysfunctional teams have that common characteristic.

Week 17:

Baltimore 23 @ Cincinnati 26
Houston 14 @ Tennessee 16
Carolina 13 @ Tampa Bay 17
Jacksonville 20 @ Indianapolis 33
New England 40 @ Miami 24
Chicago 20 @ Minnesota 23
Buffalo 14 @ NY Jets 19
Dallas 17 @ Philadelphia 23
Cleveland 19 @ Pittsburgh 20
New Orleans 24 @ Atlanta 27
NY Giants 27 @ Washington 20
Arizona 24 @ Los Angeles 3
Oakland 14 @ Denver 27
Kansas City 24 @ San Diego 20
Seattle 35 @ San Francisco 21
Green Bay 35 @ Detroit 33

Last Week: 11-5
Season: 153-87

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