Saints vs. Buccaneers: Jameis Winston threw three picks and got just 7.1 YPA but had 363 passing yards and added 32 rushing yards and a score. He also tossed this touchdown and added a two-point conversion with fewer than 10 seconds left…Alvin Kamara nearly didn’t return this kickoff, but it was a good idea he did so. He ends the season with the most receiving yards by a rookie running back ever and will be in the conversation as a top-five pick in drafts next year…A home game (with a high over/under and as near TD favorites) against a beatable Panthers secondary followed by a possible trip to Philadelphia to face a Carson Wentz-less Eagles team next, New Orleans should be a popular target in playoff leagues.
Packers vs. Lions: Matthew Stafford had a huge game and finished the year getting a career-high 7.9 YPA with a 17:3 TD:INT ratio at home. Here’s Stafford catching a two-point conversion…It’s too bad Green Bay looks likely to enter 2018 once again with an unsettled backfield…Marvin Jones now has six touchdowns in five career games against the Packers…The Lions have now gone 68 straight games without a 100-yard rusher (the second longest active streak is Seattle with 20).
Jets vs. Patriots: Tom Brady finally looks to be in decline (and I say this while he just became the oldest QB ever to lead the league in passing yards), but that might not be enough to prevent the Patriots from winning another Super Bowl…Dion Lewis (who ran an awful lot like Le’Veon Bell on Sunday) will be a very early pick in fantasy leagues that use the playoffs…I’m upset the Jets didn’t go through with their threat to play Christian Hackenberg…James Harrison had two sacks because of course he did.
Texans vs. Colts: T.Y. Hilton finished with just 14 yards, marking his 12th game this season with fewer than 60. It was a prime matchup, and Hilton’s DFS price was enticing, so this hurt, although Jacoby Brissett is partially to blame, as the QB missed him with a wide open deep throw early on…The Colts attempted an onsider to open the second half…These two teams sure would look a lot different if healthy.
Browns vs. Steelers: I buried JuJu Smith-Schuster on my ranks (and suggested owners bench him) with news that Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell were sitting, but the rookie wideout recorded nine catches for 143 yards with a TD despite Landry Jones throwing to him. JJSS looks like the real deal…Josh Gordon had a 55-yard TD called back when it was ruled he stepped out at the three, and it’s going to be interesting to see where he goes in 2018 drafts…This Corey Coleman drop to secure Cleveland’s 0-16 season was brutal.
Washington vs. Giants: Facing a banged-up defense, Kirk Cousins managed just 4.3 YPA with no scores and three picks. It’s a poor finish to an otherwise terrific year in which Cousins made himself a lot of money…Josh Doctson ended the year getting 98 yards on 23 targets over the final two games…The Giants held a 12-0 lead with 12:42 left in the first quarter.
Bears vs. Vikings: Latavius Murray has 20 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons, and there’s a legit chance Minnesota becomes the first team to play in its home stadium in the Super Bowl…Adam Thielen scored four touchdowns on 142 targets this season…This Bears punt return TD featured some trickery.
Cowboys vs. Eagles: Sunday marked the first scoreless first half in a game since 2011 in the 6-0 barnburner. Few No. 1 seeds in recent memory have entered the playoffs with more question marks than the Eagles…I still think Dak Prescott is good, but I’m willing to question my original high stance on him. He’s probably just OK…Dan Bailey missed an extra point as well as a short field goal…I will be in far too many fantasy leagues once again next year. Dez Bryant won’t be on any of my teams.
Bengals vs. Ravens: Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco combined for 4.7 YPA yet tossed five touchdowns with just one interception, as this divisional game was improbably the highest scoring of the week…A.J. Green got 17 yards on 10 targets against a Baltimore secondary missing Jimmy Smith…With their season on the line, the Ravens had the Bengals backed up to a 4th-and-12 at midfield with less than a minute left, and then this happened.
Bills vs. Dolphins: It’s odd a playoff team willfully started Nathan Peterman at QB at one point this season, but so is the case with Buffalo…David Fales didn’t get a passing grade, and it would be lame if LeSean McCoy is unable to play in the Wild Card round…Miami recovered its fourth onside kick of the season.
Panthers vs. Falcons: Greg Olsen got one catch for 10 yards on nine targets during one of the worst lines of the season…Atlanta’s defense is underrated, but it will be a tough task playing in Los Angeles on Saturday night…Matt Bryant made a 56-yarder and finished the year 8-for-9 on 50+ yard attempts…Pretty crazy Matt Ryan went from winning the MVP to not throwing more than two touchdowns in any game this season (he attempted just five fewer passes this year). Everyone points to the Rams improvement with Jeff Fisher’s departure (and it’s funny to do so), but the opposite has been true for Kyle Shanahan leaving Atlanta.
Jaguars vs. Titans: Good thing Jacksonville has the league’s best defense, because the team’s quarterback enters the postseason having thrown five interceptions over the past two games, ending the year with a poor 7.0 YPA mark…Derrick Henry was shutdown on the ground (1.8 YPC), but his first game as a feature back was a success thanks to this 66-yard screen pass he took to the house.
Raiders vs. Chargers: What a total Chargers year. I can’t say I’m happy to watch the Titans play over them in the postseason…Well, Jon Gruden coming back to coach should be entertaining…Philip Rivers had a big game, throwing for 387 yards and three scores, and remarkably finishes the year with negative two rushing yards. That is not an easy thing to do…Keenan Allen turned 12 targets into 133 yards and a TD while also recovering a fumble (during Melvin Gordon’s only fumble this season) for another score. He averaged 11.3 targets over the final seven games, when he scored five TDs…This 87-yard TD toss to Amari Cooper looked easy.
Cardinals vs. Seahawks: Seattle went 1-3 down the stretch and missed the playoffs, while Chandler Jones ends the year with 17 sacks…My John Brown breakout call before the season wasn’t one of my better predictions.
Chiefs vs. Broncos: I liked Denver as a sleeper DST play this week, which played out fine thanks to a lucky defensive score on a botched QB/RB exchange, but Pat Mahomes mostly lived up to the hype and played well, getting 8.1 YPA while throwing to backups on the road against a tough defense during his first start ever…C.J. Anderson saw another 18 carries but got just 3.4 YPC and exited immediately after reaching 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career. De’Angelo Henderson was the surprising Denver back to score…Kareem Hunt made the most of his lone carry, running for a 35-yard TD while winning the NFL’s rushing title, becoming the first rookie not taken in the first round to do so since the merger.
49ers vs. Rams: Jimmy Garoppolo threw two picks but got 8.8 YPA with no sacks and led the 49ers to 34 points and yet another victory. Jimmy G is likely going to be among the top 5-7 quarterbacks taken in 2018 fantasy drafts…Despite resting their starters and scoring just 13 points during the finale, the Rams became the first team ever to go from finishing last in ppg one season to first the next…Call me crazy, and normally I don’t like to go out too far on limbs, but I like the 49ers as a sleeper team next year.