Best: The Detroit Lions finally won a game! There will be no 0-17 team (or in this case 0-16-1 team)! They had the largest lead they’ve had all season at the half, leading the Vikings 20-6. Minnesota nearly came back and won, like so many other Lions opponents have done in the final seconds. They went down and scored a TD to put themselves up 27-23 with 1:50 left in the game. But they left too much time on the clock for Jared Goff to walk down the field and score the walk-off touchdown as the clock hit 0:00. The 11-yard TD pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown was his first even touchdown reception, and it could not have been more memorable. I have never been happier for a team to get a win all year. If you need a pick me up, go watch the various videos of the players, coaches, family, fans, and their play-by-play announcers’ live reaction to the first win. Congratulations Detroit. Enjoy the win. You earned it.
Worst: The Chargers and Bengals are frauds. The Bengals are the bigger frauds as they lost this week. It feels like every time i have faith in either team, they shatter that faith. I picked the Bengals to win this game, and when I checked in to see hoe the game was going, the Chargers were up 24-0. My first reaction was disbelief. I did not expect a blowout like this. The Bengals must be pretenders. When I check the game an hour later, its 24-22! Now I’m thinking that the Chargers are going to blow this game after the massive lead they had. The Chargers must be pretenders! Then it turns out the Bengals couldn’t do anything after scoring 22 unanswered points, because then they let the Chargers score 17 unanswered points, and the game ends 41-22. It started as a blowout, looked like it would be an exciting finish, then ended as a blowout anyway. My point is both these teams are frauds and they are incapable of playing 4 quarters of football. However, each team has garnered enough wins this season to most likely land a playoff spot and in doing so, will most likely be one-and-done. Unless they play each other, which will probably result in the NFL’s first ever playoff tie and the world will collapse in on itself.
Best: Minshew Mania made his triumphant return on Sunday, and he did not disappoint. With an ankle injury sidelining Jalen Hurts, the man with the mullet was thrust into the starting role the morning of the game and completed 80% of his passes for 242 yards, two TDs and a 133.7 passer rating. Minshew has never been a bad quarterback, he’s just been on awful teams. In just 25 games, he has thrown for 5,783 yards 39 TDs and 11 INTs, with a passer rating of 94.4. But his overall record is 8-13 because he played for the Jags. He could’ve won the starting role in Jacksonville, had Urban Meyer not been the head coach. The kid can ball. The Eagles aren’t as bad at the 2020 Jaguars, but they are by no means a good team. I can only hope Minshew gets the chance to prove himself with a talented roster around him. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’ll get the chance as HC Nick Siriani announced that Jalen Hurts is the starter when he heals up. Oh well, maybe another team will appreciate Minshew Mania, and either trade for him or pick him up in 2023, when his contract expires. Hell, if guys like Sam Darnold, Joe Flacco and Teddy Bridgewater can be traded for, it should be easy to trade for a good quarterback.
Worst: Houston became the first team to win the honor of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Thats right. The Detroit Lions are still in the playoff hunt, baby! Cue the Lloyd Christmas meme. With the Lions finally winning a game, the Houston Texans take the title of the worst team in the league. Despite having one more win than Detroit, they have been shut out twice, failed to score a TD in 4 games, and have only scored double digit points in 6 games. They are 28th in passing yards, 25th (tied) in passing touchdowns, 28th in rushing yards, 30th in rushing touchdowns, and 31st in total touchdowns scored with 11. Here are some players that have more touchdowns than the Houston Texans: Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon, James Conner, Cooper Kupp, Austin Ekeler. Thats just the offense. I’m honestly not sure if even Desean Watson could help this team. Not that he wants to, he’s probably got his hands tied with other things. I’m astounded that this team won as many games as they have. This organization is horrendous, from top to bottom, from the ownership to the 5th string players. There is not a single player, coach or executive worth anything. The best the players and coaches can do is try to collect a check and maybe some decent film for the next season, because this team needs a complete overhaul.
Best: We witnessed a game Monday night that we only get to experience once every decade or so. I’m talking about weather games so bizarre and so rare that it effects any gameplan any coach may have prepared. Some prime examples include the Lions vs. Eagles Snow Bowl in 2013 where they played in a snowstorm, the Fog Bowl between the Eagles and Bears in the 1988 Divisional Round, where you literally could not see the game, and the Ice Bowl between the Packers and Cowboys in the 1967 Championship Game. This extreme weather game had winds up to 50 MPH, a kickers worst nightmare. This game would decide the AFC East division leader, and quite possibly who took control of the number one seed in the conference. The Bills pass heavy offense was grounded due to the poor weather conditions, but windy weather was the perfect storm for the Patriots dominant run game. I can’t even really fault the Bills for this game, as their biggest strength was rendered obsolete, and they struggled to adapt to the conditions. The statistics of this game are incredible. Mac Jones was 1/1 for 12 yards at the half and 2/3 for 19 yards by the end of the game. New England ran the ball 46 times for 222 yards. At one point they ran the ball 32 straight times. Buffalo knew they would run the ball. They knew that Belichick wouldn’t risk throwing the ball. Mac Jones isn’t known for his arm strength, yet they still managed 4.8 yards per carry. Mother Nature must be a Patriots fan, because with that win, New England moved into the number one seed in the AFC, and one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Worst: The Carolina Panthers had a bye this week, yet they still managed to land on this list, and not in the good way. Shortly before Sunday’s games, news broke that they had cut ties with Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady. The Panthers official twitter account stated that they had “parted ways” with Brady. The wording here is key. They didn’t say fired or released, which would indicate that he lacked the ability to run the offense any further or that he was incompetent at his job. Parting ways seems to be a neutral phrase, that they agreed to the decision. All in all, this was a shocking decision. The organization really believes that he wasn’t good enough to bring out the best in his QBs. Keep in mind that his QBs have been Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, Cam Newton (for two games) and PJ Walker. Not exactly the cream of the crop. Also keep in mind that he was considered a prime Head Coaching candidate not even a year ago. David Newton, an ESPN Reporter for the Panthers, tweeted out that Matt Rhule wanted the Panthers to rush 30-33 times a game. While they do have one of the best RBs in the league, it’s prudent to point out that he is also incredibly injury prone thanks to receiving so many touches. He was just put on IR for the second time this year, ending his 2021 season with only 7 games played, and 10 total games played over the past two seasons. Brady has never had the chance to work with the best weapon this offense has. Many people put the blame on Matt Rhule for the teams struggles, not Joe Brady. But this seems like a desperation move by the staff to save their jobs, and any time a team is in desperation mode, a house clearing is not far behind.