Week 16 NFL Observations


With 16 weeks in the books and just one week left of action before the postseason, we have plenty of teams tuning up for the playoffs while others are trying to figure out what they have on their rosters.  Here is a quick rundown of every team that played this weekend.

New York Jets 26, New England 20 (OT)

The Jets are a dangerous team in the postseason, assuming they can get there.  They can run the ball, play defense and they have a great wide receiver tandem.  This is a rematch that the Patriots don’t want any part of….The Pats have Tom Brady, a great set of linebackers and not a lot else remaining.  That could spell trouble in the postseason, although they’ll be the betting favorite to get to the Super Bowl.

Houston 34, Tennessee 6

The Texans are about to clinch the AFC South…without a real answer at quarterback.  Let’s not think this is a sign of things to come in the NFL or if QB’s aren’t really that important.  It’s just an anomaly in a terrible division….The Titans were hoping for more out of Zach Mettenberger in his audition for the rest of the league.   

Kansas City 17, Cleveland 13

The Chiefs could actually win the AFC West after starting 1-5.  This is an amazing job by Andy Reid, but will their soft closing schedule hurt them when they play real competition in January?….The Browns are no closer to finding out what they have at quarterback and they should definitely bring Josh McCown back next year.

Indianapolis 18, Miami 12

The Colts lost Matt Hasselbeck for a fourth consecutive week and could be down to Stephen Morris to finish their season against Tennessee.  What a nightmare season for Indy, and Chuck Pagano won’t be brought back….The Dolphins have much more talent than their win-loss record would suggest.  They need a shakeup in the organization.

Detroit 32, S.F. 17

Speaking of teams that are more talented than their record, the Lions should be in division title contention, not Top 10 draft pick contention.  Jim Caldwell will probably stay, but how can the Lions fan base have any confidence in him?….The 49ers are back starting from scratch and it will be a long way up when you look at that roster.  Jared Goff could change things in the Bay Area.

Buffalo 16, Dallas 6

The Bills have a lot of reasons to be optimistic next year: Tyrod Taylor has been very good, they have weapons all over their offense and a very good defensive mind in Rex Ryan.  Better days are ahead….The Cowboys ignored the quarterback position for years despite Tony Romo’s lengthy injury history.  That will change in the offseason.

Chicago 26, Tampa Bay 21

The Bears have overachieved in terms of talent on the roster, and they will be okay even after they lose Adam Gase….The Bucs have the wrong head coach, and a good amount of talent on the roster.  Kwon Alexander will give that defense a shot in the arm next season.  

Atlanta 20, Carolina 13

The Falcons won “their Super Bowl” on Sunday and the defense has played better in recent weeks.  Despite the six-game losing streak, they had a nice bounce-back season…..This isn’t a good loss for the Panthers, as they’ll have to risk injury to the starters again next week against Tampa Bay, just to try and keep home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Baltimore 20, Pittsburgh 17

The Ravens have pieces, but they haven’t stayed healthy.  The development of Kamar Aiken has been a nice find for Baltimore and should help them next year….The Steelers were a flawed team this year and they were going to be the chic playoff pick assuming they got in.  Now they’ll need a Buffalo miracle.

New Orleans 38, Jacksonville 27

The Saints offense is still very explosive with a healthy Drew Brees.  Unfortunately, the defense is so bad that it will take them too long to be mediocre again.  It’s time to move Brees and embrace the rebuild….The Jaguars find ways to lose games to teams with inferior talent.  The safety play in Jacksonville is the worst in the NFL in many years.

St. Louis 23, Seattle 17

The Rams could finish 5-1 in a division that boasts two playoff teams (neither of which are the Rams).  They’re head-scratching enigma’s, and will continue to be as long as Jeff Fisher is the head coach….Seattle is deeply flawed with their offensive line and that will keep them from repeating as NFC champs.

Arizona 38, Green Bay 8

The Cardinals really look like the best team in the NFL, and they might have the best coach in the NFL….Aaron Rodgers has been a mediocre quarterback this month and the lack of weapons is really affecting his play.

Minnesota 49, New York Giants 17

The Vikings defense is playing at a high level, but they need to be able to throw the ball better to beat anyone in the postseason….The Giants roster is terrible outside of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham.  They were lucky to win six games.

Denver 20, Cincinnati 17 (OT)

The Broncos made the least amount of mistakes on Monday night, but they aren’t a true contender until Brock Osweiler gets better.  With that said, it’s tough to envision Peyton Manning being better at this point in his career…..The Bengals are wasting the best roster in the NFL with a backup quarterback who isn’t up to the task.  It’s really a shame that Andy Dalton can’t play; this could have been his year to make a postseason run.

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.