Week 16 provided a number of games with playoff implications and setup a crucial Week 17. The Kansas City Chiefs locked down the top seed in the AFC, while the number one seed in the NFC remains up for grabs going into the final week.
Below is a look back at some Week 16 takeaways from the penultimate NFL week that was.
NFL Week 16 Takeaways
Packers Stay Hot in the Snow
The Green Bay Packers put together, perhaps, their best all-around performance of the season. With MVP candidate, Aaron Rodgers, continuing to torch opposing defenses, it was the Green Bay defense that set the tone. With the snow falling at Lambeau Field, this had the makings of a huge day for Tennessee Titan’s running back Derrick Henry. Instead, Mike Pettine’s group held King Henry to a quiet 98-rushing yards and held an equally hot offense to just 14 points. While they’ve yet to capture the number one seed, a win over the Chicago Bears next week will make the road to the Super Bowl go through Green Bay in the NFC.
Bills Continue To Look Unstoppable
In the finale of Monday Night Football, the Buffalo Bills continued to put the AFC on notice that they have Super Bowl aspirations. Josh Allen may not win this year’s NFL MVP award, but there are few quarterbacks playing as confident as Allen. After capturing their first division title in nearly three decades the Bills have their sights set on a Super Bowl appearance and win. And the man that’s going to take them is Allen, who put up aanother four-touchdown performance Monday night. Allen’s success can be linked to Stefon Diggs, and that pairing continues to be a duo that rivals Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill or Rodgers and Davante Adams.
Alvin Kamara and the Saints Get Revenge
The NFL has no shortage of explosive running backs, but few elevate an offense as much as Alvin Kamara. The New Orleans Saints exacted their revenge against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day when Kamara found the promised land a record tying six times. The last time such a feat occurred was in 1929 by the Chicago Cardinals Ernie Nevers. With Drew Brees also looking better in his second week since returning from injury, New Orleans is heating up at the right time. Not many defenses can prepare for both Brees and Kamara and teams will have to try to do just that in the playoffs.
Playoff Tom Brady in Full Effect
Tom Brady has had his ups and downs throughout his career, both with the New England Patriots and in his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But what always seems to happen is Brady shows up big in the playoffs. It’s impossible to count Brady out when he has orchestrated comebacks throughout his career. After the dominant thrashing of the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay fans should feel fairly confident. Even as a Wild Card team, Brady and company are going to be a tough out for whoever they draw in round one. Tampa Bay is heading back to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 after Brady threw for four touchdowns and 348 yards on Saturday afternoon.
The Chaotic Week 17 Coming Up
While some teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason there are a number of teams in both conferences that have some work left to do. The Miami Dolphins kept their season alive by beating the Las Vegas Raiders in a thriller on Saturday and just need a win in Week 17 to qualify for the postseason. The same goes for both the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens as both teams make the playoffs with a win on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in the NFC, the Chicago Bears can clinch a playoff berth by beating Green Bay, which will be playing for the number one seed, themselves. The door for the number one seed is also open for both New Orleans and the Seattle Seahawks should Green Bay lose.
However, some teams, including the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts, do not control their own fate in Week 17. There was plenty at stake in Week 16 but Week 17 is going to give many teams and their fan bases a rollercoaster of emotions.