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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL Week 16: Top 10 Takeaways

NFL Week 16: Top 10 Takeaways

Publish Date: 12/26/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Week 16 of the NFL season was full of surprises and outstanding performances like every other week. The playoff race is still wide open, and whoever goes to the Super Bowl has no clear answer. Week 17 will be a fantastic ride as teams jockey for playoff positioning. So, what did we learn during week 16?

1) Where’s Deshaun?

So on Saturday afternoon, I watched the Cincinnati Bengals lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers without Joe Burrow, who suffered a season-ending injury. Joe Burrow was on the sidelines, supporting his teammates. On Sunday, I watched Joe Flacco continue his amazing run with the Cleveland Browns. I looked for the starter Deshaun Watson, who had a season-ending injury six weeks ago but was nowhere to be found. Why not? It seems Watson and his enormous guaranteed contract is no longer with the team since he can’t play.

Joe Burrow is a great quarterback and leader; Watson has proved that he is not a great leader as he sits back and collects his money. I’m sure he is rehabbing(Massages) while his team battles to make the playoffs. Would the Browns be playing this well if Watson had not gotten hurt? I don’t think so, the best thing that happened to the Browns was the injury to Watson. Will Flacco be able to continue this high level of play? Your guess is as good as mine, but Flacco has always been a great playoff quarterback.

Video: JOE FLACCO SHOULD BE COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR OVER DEMAR HAMLIN… HERE IS WHY

JOE FLACCO SHOULD BE COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR OVER DEMAR HAMLIN… HERE IS WHY

2) The AFC South is horrible

If CJ Stroud returns this week at one hundred per cent, I think the Texans will take the division. Either way, whichever team or teams qualifies from the AFC South will be beaten in the Wild card round. Gardner Mishew is average, and the Colts aren’t that good, sure; they won four out of five games coming into this week’s game against Atlanta, but they had beaten bad teams. The best team they played in the previous five weeks was the Bengals, who beat them 34-14.

Trevor Lawrence is a borderline bust; he is just way too inconsistent, and the Jags as a team are very average. The Texans are well-coached with what will be a big-time quarterback, so the Colts and Jags better win this division now because the Texans will own it starting next year. Also, can a Colts fan explain why Chris Ballard is still the general Manager in Indy?

Video: Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

3) Why would you fire Belichick or Tomlin?

Number one, who will you find out there that’s a better coach? Belichick completely coached the shoes off Sean Payton on Sunday Night. Sure, Belichick has been terrible at selecting players the last few years, but the man is still the greatest coach ever. I would keep him!

Tomlin has never had a losing season, but people want him fired! He is winning games with Mason Rudolph right now! Once again where do the Steelers find a better coach? They don’t; they need to make better player personnel decisions.

Video: Exclusive: Bill Belichick addresses Patriots locker room following thrilling victory in Denver

Exclusive: Bill Belichick addresses Patriots locker room following thrilling victory in Denver

4) The Chiefs are in trouble

The receivers have been dropping passes and lining up offsides all season, and now the offensive line has protection problems. Luckily, the defense is playing great and keeping them in games. That said, the offense is not good enough to get this team to the Super Bowl, as they are making constant mistakes and turning the ball over. Patrick Mahomes is becoming a crybaby about almost everything, and Travis Kelce looks to be showing his age.

Video: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

5) The Raiders have found their next Head Coach

Antonio Pierce deserves the job. Of course, two years ago, in a similar situation, Richard Bisaccia earned the job after taking over for Jon Gruden and leading the Raiders to the playoffs. Still, Raiders owner Mark Davis thought he needed Josh McDaniels. Mark Davis has always been an idiot, and he always wants to higher the splashy named Head Coach, and it always backfires on him. Hopefully, he has learned his lesson because Coach Pierce has already earned a legitimate shot at this job.

Video: Coach Pierce's Locker Room Victory Speech vs. Chiefs: 'We Believe!' | Raiders | NFL

Coach Pierce’s Locker Room Victory Speech vs. Chiefs: ‘We Believe!’ | Raiders | NFL

6) Does a Win over Dallas mean the Dolphins can beat good teams?

I would generally say yes, but watching the Dolphins struggle to punch it in the endzone was concerning. Maybe it just means the Cowboys can’t beat a good team on the road. Let me put it this way: a lot of questions were left unanswered by both of these teams, but Miami did win. A Miami win in Baltimore this coming weekend would answer all questions about them.

Video: Dolphins CLINCH Playoff berth with LATE comeback win | Game Recap | CBS Sports

Dolphins CLINCH Playoff berth with LATE comeback win | Game Recap | CBS Sports

7) The Buccaneers and the Rams are Dangerous teams

Everybody is talking about Baker Mayfield, but the Bucs’ defense is starting to look dominant, and combined with Bakers red-hot passing, the Bucs are a serious threat heading into the playoffs.

The Rams have two dominant playmaking receivers and Kyrien Williams at running back and Matthew Stafford at Quarterback. That’s more weapons than most teams have, and they won the Super Bowl just two years ago. By the way, they still have Aaron Donald on defense.

The Eagles and Cowboys look to be teams primed to lose to either one of these teams.

Video: Todd Bowles' Postgame Speech Following Jaguars vs. Bucs | Victory Sound

Todd Bowles’ Postgame Speech Following Jaguars vs. Bucs | Victory Sound

8) Why is Washington Coach Ron Rivera still not fired

Rivera should have been fired by the end of last season if not sooner, and now the team is a total mess. They did fight back from twenty points down to almost win, but Rivera’s poor clock management ended up losing them the game. How about this? Fire Rivers, hire a new coach and then go back to being the Washington Redskins?

Video: @commanders HC Ron Rivera speaks to the media after 30-28 loss to the Jets (12-24-23)

@commanders HC Ron Rivera speaks to the media after 30-28 loss to the Jets (12-24-23)

9) Bryce Young is not a bust, but he is in a bad situation

Being in a bad situation can make you a bust, but hopefully, his situation is starting to show signs of improvement.

Young hadn’t attempted a QB sneak before Sunday for fear that his size (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) would prove an obstacle, with Carolina using Andy Dalton (6-foot-5) instead usually sneaking the ball. However, Young proved against Green Bay that he is more than capable of keeping drives alive by gaining two yards on fourth down for Carolina to keep a drive alive and opening play-action passing to record 311 yards Sunday – his best day ever as a quarterback! He needs to be under center that’s what he does best.

Video: Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers Game Highlights | NFL 2023 Week 16

10) Finally, after thirty years, the Lions are Division Champions

Detroit beat the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday 30-24 as they ran the ball well, and Jared Goff threw it well. If this team wants to make a deep postseason run, though, the defense will need to tighten up. The Lions’ post-season hopes may depend more on their secondary than anything else. Either way it will be nice to see the Detroit fans get a home playoff game.

Video: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings | 2023 Week 16 Game Highlights

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings | 2023 Week 16 Game Highlights

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