NFL

NFL AM: Week 16 Saturday Observations

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There was a pair of games on Saturday with playoff implications. We’re going to look at what occurred and what it means going forward.

Redskins 27, Eagles 24

The Redskins came into Saturday’s game a complete mess with their starting quarterback already being benched by the new head coach. They played the role of spoiler to absolute perfection as RG3 was solid and efficient and they rediscovered the running game that helped the ‘Skins win the division title two years ago.

It appears that RG3 is not washed up (at the age of 24) and Washington needs to see this through.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Griffin. “I wouldn’t want to play with any other players. These guys mean a lot of me, and I can feel it in the locker room after the game.”

As for the Eagles, two missed field goals by Cody Parkey helped lead to their demise. They dominated the game statistically and Mark Sanchez played fairly well, although he was responsible for a pair of turnovers.

“We’re currently minus-9 in the turnover margin, so us having nine wins is really impressive for that,” Eagles’ safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “And really we were on borrowed time playing that style of football. If we had run the table in December with that kind of football, it would have been surprising, and it’s something we didn’t fix.”

This is a game that they’ll be thinking about during the offseason, which will seem to be an eternity.

Chargers 38, 49ers 35

Philip Rivers saved the season for the Chargers as the team overcame a 21-point halftime deficit.

The MVP candidate in the early part of the season overcame three interceptions, including a pick-six and led the Chargers down the field for a tying score after converting on fourth-and-8 and fourth-and-10 situations.

“Obviously, an unbelievable finish,” Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy said. “We had about as bad a first half as we could possibly play. … You saw a lot of emotion on the sideline throughout that second half — the excitement, the energy, the way we play football.”

San Diego scored 31 of their 38 points after halftime and their 49ers simply found a way to lose.

San Francisco has lost games in shootouts and defensive struggles this season, and even on bad calls. Where they routinely found ways to win during the first three years of the Jim Harbaugh era, they are losing as the era closes.

“Right now there’s not much to say,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a tough one.”

San Diego improved their record to 9-6 and will need a victory at Kansas City next week and a little help to earn their second straight playoff berth.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.