Best: Move over CMC, move over Alvin Kamara, move over Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Ezekiel Elliot. There’s a new running back in the NFL, and his name is Jonathan Taylor. Taylor exploded onto the scene yesterday becoming the first rusher to reach the 1,000 yard mark on the season, with 185 rushing yards and 4 TDs. He ended the day with 204 total yards and 5 total TDs. He had recorded 100+ scrimmage yards and 1+ rushing TD in 8 straight games, tying LaDainian Tomlinson for the longest streak in NFL history. The dude is the best RB in the league not named Derrick Henry, whom I had winning the NFL MVP. But now, I think that award should go to another RB. Think about it, has any QB this season really run away with the award yet? Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Pat Mahomes have all had really bad games this year. Kyler Murray cant stay healthy. Enter Jonathan Taylor, who has consistently played great football since week 1. He’s the best player on the Colts and without his production they would already be out of the playoff race. Give it to someone who deserves the award and is actually the Most Valuable Player on his team.
Worst: The Titans were the first place team in the AFC. The Texans were the last place team in the AFC. The Titans lost. Go sit in the corner Tennessee and think about what you’ve done.
Best: Minnesota fans rejoice! Your team had a commanding lead on the number one seeded Packers and you didn’t blow it! You came close. You almost blew it. But you finally won a close game. Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t go down easy, he came back and tied it up with 2 minutes to go. But your offense, lead by Kirk “Plexiglass” Cousins, drove down the field to set up the game winning field goal as time expired. Justin Jefferson went off recording over 100 yards receiving in the first quarter, and 169 by the end of the game, while also catching 2 TDs. This team is not as dead in the water as most thought, myself included. All 5 of their losses have been by one score or less. If they can close games like they did against Green Bay, this team has a shot of making a deep playoff push.
Worst: The Bears had an opportunity to snap their 4-game losing streak against a Lamar Jackson-less Ravens team. Matt Nagy entered the game on very thin ice with the Bears organization, but a win would definitely thicken that ice. But somehow, against a backup QB making his first career start, coming off of a bye week, AND AT HOME, his offense fails to produce more than 13 points. John Harbaugh was able to produce a better offensive game plan with Tyler Huntley as his QB than Matt Nagy was able to with Justin Fields, and he had 2 weeks to prepare. Questionable decisions mixed with porous play calling was simply too much for Bears fans to endure. In the middle of the game, there were chants of “Nagy sucks” and “Fire Nagy”. I think the fans have had enough. But at least you’ll have a top 10 pick in the next draft to select a WR or an OL. Oh, wait…
Best: Despite suffering a loss at home, Carolina has to feel great about their future at the QB position this year. The offense really needed someone like Cam earlier in the year. He injects life into a dead offense. His much-anticipated arrival was met with roaring cheers from the fans. It’s clear that this team is already much better with Superman back home. He had arguably his best game since his departure in 2019. Newton completed 21 of 27 passes throwing 2 TDs. He also ran for 46 yards and TD. Unfortunately, his homecoming was spoiled by the Washington defense stymying them on 4th down late in the game. Newton may not fix all of the problems in Carolina, but an upgrade at QB is a good start.
Worst: What is up with Seattle? Russell Wilson was outplayed by Colt McCoy. The score may not show it but Arizona dominated this game in every phase. Seattle has way too much talent on offense to only score 13 points in the last two games. So what is the problem? Where is Russell Wilson avoiding defenders and throwing a dart on the run to his receivers? Where is DK Metcalf Mossing defenders? Why isn’t Tyler Lockett able to get any separation? The offense had more life with Geno Smith at the helm. In Smiths three starts this year, he completed 55 of 78 passes for 571 yards and 4 TDs. In Wilsons’ last three starts, he has completed 45 of 82 passes for 520 yards, with 1 TD and 3 INTs. Wilson’s escapability and his ability to throw on the run was what set him apart from other QBs for so many years. He still displays the ability to escape the rush, but his throws are inconsistent and off-target. Maybe his finger injury is still hindering his ability to throw. But it seems for the first time in 10 years, Seattle will be watching the playoffs from their couch.