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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Takeaways from week 18 of the 2022 NFL season

Top 10 Takeaways from week 18 of the 2022 NFL season

Publish Date: 01/09/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

What did we learn

1) The Lions get screwed by the refs in a game they didn’t even play in

We are used to seeing teams like Detroit get the short stick by the referees, and yesterday it happened to the Lions in a game they weren’t even playing. Many calls were questionable in a game the Lions needed the Rams to win. The worst was D.K. Metcalf poking a Rams player in the eye after an unsportsmanlike penalty against the Rams. If called, it would have negated the Rams’ personal foul. Instead, only the Rams’ penalty was called, basically ending the game as the Seahawks were put into field goal range. The Detroit Lions are certainly trending in the right direction in a division that seems ripe for the taking next year.

2) Aaron Rodgers is done in Green Bay

Brett Favre’s last pass for the Packers was an interception, and I am betting that Rodger’s last throw last night, which was an interception, will be his last play as a Packer. Sure he could go elsewhere, but the fact is that Aaron Rodgers no longer looks like Aaron Rodgers. The Packers need to rebuild their roster and they don’t need to do that with an almost 40-year-old quarterback who has shown a major decline this season.

3) There are too many teams in the playoffs

Last year’s expansion of the playoffs gave us two extra blowouts to watch in the first round of the playoffs, and it looks like we are headed in the same direction this season. The Miami Dolphins are in, and they are rolling with somebody named Skylar Thompson at Quarterback. Maybe Bridgewater or Tua will be ready next weekend, but either way, the Dolphins are not a playoff team and will be beaten badly by the Buffalo Bills next weekend.

It’s even worse in the NFL, where the Seahawks will play the 49ers. No world exists where the Seahawks are a playoff team. Geno Smith has played well this season, but the defense has issues, and I think they will get blown out by the 49ers. The NFL is all about money, and this is why almost half of the teams are now in the playoffs.

4) The NFL has screwed over the Bengals, and it looks like they may be headed to Buffalo

Cincinnati, much like Detroit, always seems to get the short end of the stick when dealing with the NFL. If Cincinnati and Buffalo win this weekend, that would mean Cincinnati would travel to Buffalo for a Divisional playoff game. Is that fair? The Bengals are treated like they lost to Buffalo on that fateful Monday Night. Why is no neutral site game or coin toss to decide home-field advantage? If the Bengals had beaten the Bills on that Monday night, they would be the two-seed right now. Instead, they would go to Buffalo.

Don’t get me wrong, Buffalo is being also screwed because of not finishing that game, but the Bills were the team that decided to cancel the game. In the end, the important thing for the NFL is to give their golden boy Patrick Mahomes the best possible chance to win.

5) Dak Prescott is not elite

The Cowboys were still playing for something in Washington on Sunday. They didn’t look like it! ย Dak Prescott was off the mark all day, completing 14 of 37 passes — career-low 37.8% — for a measly 128 yards with a TD and a pick-six. The running backs were non-existent, and the receivers could not get open. Now it is on to Tampa to play a Bucs team that has a losing record. Dak must play well and win this game or the Cowboys’ Owner Jerry Jones might implode. A loss to the Bucs and I am sure they become a player for Sean Payton.

6) Mike Tomlin is the best coach in the NFL

The Steelers were dead at the halfway point of the season, and then they turned it on and almost made the playoffs. The roster is not loaded with talent, but Tomlin is one of the best at getting something out of the players on his roster. Is Kenny Pickett the answer at quarterback? That question has not been answered yet, but it is trending in the positive for the Steelers, and if Pickett is the real deal, the Steelers could be a major threat next season.

7) This has been Patrick Mahomes best season

His receivers are all new for the most part, and he is using them all. He is not forcing the ball as much anymore and is doing a great job at running his team. I still have questions about the defense, but there is no question that Patrick Mahomes is improving right before our very eyes.

8) Russell Wilson is not done yet

Maybe the issue in Denver was not Russell Wilson? Since the departure of Nathaniel Hackett, Wilson has played somewhat better, and on Sunday, he looked like the Russell Wilson of old in beating the Los Angeles Chargers. Wilson’s rapport with his receiving duo ofย Jerry Jeudyย andย Courtland Sutton also can’t be written off in Year 2, the Broncos have an excellent defense and the issue this season was the offense. They could improve rapidly if the Broncos get the right coach at the helm.

9) Brock Purdy is for real, and so are the 49ers

Purdy continues to get the job done at a high level for the 49ers. The 49ers’ rookie QB went 15 of 20 for 178 passing yards and three touchdowns; this doesn’t look like just a feel-good story. This looks to be very real. If it is real the 49ers will end this season by playing in the Super Bowl with a man that was Mr Irrelevant not too long ago, and he is looking very relevant now.

10) Bears secure the first-round pick, let the games begin

You have to assume the Bears may want to trade the pick or go get a Will Anderson, but now the Bears will probably play games, making it seem like they could take a Stroud or Young. If they make it look like they want a Quarterback, they could drive up the pick’s value. In short, believe nothing the Bears say leading up to the draft.

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