NFL

Week 15 NFL Observations

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Find out news, notes and nuggets from each NFL team that played this weekend in a brief two-minute read.

Minnesota 38, Chicago 17

Teddy Bridgewater was stellar in Sunday’s victory when Adrian Peterson left with a knee injury.  Peterson is supposed to be fine and they will obviously need him for the playoffs.  It’s good to see Teddy have another big game throwing the football.  Perhaps the Arizona game gave him a boost of confidence?….The Bears were blown out with Jay Cutler playing well and the running game averaging nearly five yards per carry.  That’s how bad the roster is.

Atlanta vs. Jacksonville

The Falcons did just enough to win a game against a subpar Jacksonville squad. Julio Jones is the toughest cover in the league and Devonta Freeman is the real deal at running back.  Better days are ahead for the Birds….The Jaguars are so bad on defense that Blake Bortles has to play perfect football for them to win.  He made very few mistakes, but every one of them is compounded.

Houston 16, Indianapolis 10

The Texans may have lost another quarterback, but won the war against the Colts and probably the AFC South title.  If Brian Hoyer can’t come back, their minuscule chance to win a playoff game goes down to zero…..The Colts need to just shut down Andrew Luck for the rest of the season as they’re going nowhere now anyway.  Chuck Pagano likely has two games left as head coach.

Carolina 38, New York 35

Cam Newton has been on a completely different level over the past five games and it’s tough to imagine the team losing to anyone as long as he’s healthy.  So should they sit him in preparation for the playoffs?  Absolutely not!….The Giants season ended in disaster as Odell Beckham lost his mind.  As great as he was all year, this will probably be the lasting memory.

New England 33, Tennessee 16

The Pats appear to be getting healthy at the right time and they are clearly the class of the AFC with Andy Dalton out for Cincinnati.  There’s not much to learn about a win over the Titans….Tennessee lost Marcus Mariota for the season and this might not be that bad of a thing.  They get to showcase Zach Mettenberger a couple more times for a potential trade.

Washington 35, Buffalo 25

I’m not sure Kirk Cousins deserves a huge new contract, but he definitely deserves another shot to see if he can build on the success he’s had of late.  My gut feeling is that the ‘Skins are heading toward quarterback purgatory….It would have been interesting to see what the Bills record would be if they hadn’t been hit so hard with injuries.

Kansas City 34, Baltimore 14

Are the Chiefs good or are they just better than the bad teams they’ve been beating up on?  This is the year that Alex Smith wins another playoff game….The Ravens may have found another piece in former UCF wide receiver Kamar Aiken.  Add him to fellow former Knight Breshad Perriman and Joe Flacco will have some weapons next year.

Seattle 30, Cleveland 13

Russell Wilson is as hot as anyone playing quarterback not named Cam Newton.  Wilson has taken his game to a new level, as has Doug Baldwin, who is one of the game’s best route runners.  They might have a better shot at winning the Super Bowl than they did even last year…..The Browns will be trying to win in 2016 with a new head coach and a pair of very good backup quarterbacks.  It’s time to invest in another first-round signal caller, but don’t use the 22nd pick this time.

Green Bay 30, Oakland 20

The Packers still aren’t hitting on all cylinders defensively, but they will be a tough out in the playoffs.  If they could make a run to the Super Bowl, this would cement the greatness of Aaron Rodgers….Derek Carr will be a good quarterback, but he’s making a lot of mistakes.  Possibly from a tired arm.

Pittsburgh 34, Denver 27

Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the NFL.  He’s not the biggest or fastest, but he’s an impossible cover and an unbelievable worker.  The Steelers have as good of a chance as anyone to win the Super Bowl….The Broncos were held scoreless in the second half for a second consecutive week.  Brock Osweiler has been figured out.

San Diego 30, Miami 14

In the San Diego swan song, the Chargers played their best football of the season.  There will be a lot of changes next year and hopefully Mike McCoy survives, but we don’t think he will….The Dolphins are a complete mess, but there’s talent there.  The right head coach can make a quick turnaround.

Cincinnati 24, San Francisco 14

A.J. McCarron was functional and with the rest of that roster, he doesn’t need to be much more than that.  Teams will stack the box and force him to beat them, same as at Alabama….The more Blaine Gabbert is asked to do, the more he looks like the Jacksonville Blaine Gabbert.  Draft a new QB, 49ers.

Arizona 40, Philadelphia 17

Arizona has so many weapons that the emergence of David Johnson is simply icing on the cake.  If they don’t win a playoff game this season will be a huge disappointment….Sam Bradford played reasonably well, but the Eagles just don’t have the roster talent to compete with teams like Arizona.  We’re looking at you, Chip Kelly.

Detroit 35, New Orleans 27

The Lions are winning just enough to keep Jim Caldwell employed.  When you look at the rest of the potential openings and lack of great candidates that might not be a bad thing…..The Saints obviously need a rebuild and a trade of Drew Brees would likely help that along.  They probably won’t go that route.


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.