Cowboys’ assertion win; Packers’ playoff hopes nonetheless alive; Lions fall flat: 3 up, 3 down

A weekend stuffed with soccer scheduled across the holidays, what might be higher! Which groups noticed Santa this weekend and which had the Grinch come go to? 

Try my replenish and down report from Week 16. 

UP

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are one of the best group within the AFC heading into the ultimate two weeks of the season. They’ve received seven straight video games, together with a win in opposition to the Chiefs. The Bengals offense seems to be unstoppable with Joe Burrow throwing darts across the discipline. What has made their offense higher this season is that they’ve relied far much less on the 50/50 go down the sidelines for his or her explosive go choices. As an alternative, Burrow is main a passing assault that’s extra methodical with the flexibility for his or her playmakers to create as soon as the ball is of their palms. The Bengals pair their offense with a stout protection that is sitting simply exterior the highest 10 in effectivity. Nonetheless, they’re very good within the second half of video games and are in a position to clamp down on the opposing offense when it issues most. The very best “thing” the Bengals do is they do not make errors. They don’t flip the ball over a lot. They don’t make psychological errors. They don’t have blown coverages on protection. There’s high quality to not shedding video games and letting your opponent make these errors.

Inexperienced Bay Packers

It is a Christmas miracle. The Inexperienced Bay Packers, left for lifeless simply three weeks in the past after their eighth lack of the season, are presently inside hanging distance for a wild card berth. The Packers have received three in a row, beating the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday for a formidable sixth win of the season. With the Lions, Giants and Seahawks shedding, that win on Sunday places the Packers only a recreation again for the ultimate wild-card spot with two residence video games left to complete the season.

The Packers have gotten up to now with an ease within the schedule earlier than the Miami recreation, together with topping the Rams with Baker Mayfield. Nonetheless, Sunday’s win is a kind of that propel groups to the postseason. The Packers seemed destined for a loss late within the second quarter. They had been down 10. Their offense was so disjointed. Aaron Rodgers could not discover open receivers, and when he did, somebody dropped it. The run recreation was hit and miss. The protection was getting gashed by the Dolphins offense and hadn’t gotten a cease all recreation. Nonetheless, the Packers compelled a fumble close to halftime, turned that into three factors and did not look again. They scored to open the second half, compelled three Tua Tagovailoa interceptions and received the sport by six factors. The Packers want some assist in entrance of them, however they’re again within the hunt.

‘This was particular’ — Aaron Rodgers discusses Packers’ win

'This was special' — Aaron Rodgers discusses Packers' win

Aaron Rodgers speaks with Pam Oliver concerning the Inexperienced Bay Packers win that retains his group within the playoff hunt.

Dallas Cowboys

In what appears like a uncommon prevalence, the Cowboys received a recreation they had been speculated to win. The Dallas hosted the Eagles lacking star quarterback Jalen Hurts and Dallas wanted this recreation to show they’re a contender within the NFC. Dak Prescott threw an early interception, then settled in for an impressive efficiency in opposition to a superb Eagles protection, ending 27 of 35 for 347 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys run recreation added over 100 yards as effectively.

The Cowboys protection has regressed some and did not play significantly effectively in opposition to Philadelphia. It could fear me within the playoffs. What the Cowboys did was pressure turnovers, with three of these being Eagles fumbles. An important a part of this win was the boldness it should give the Cowboys heading into the postseason. They’re nearly locked into the 5 seed and can journey to the NFC South winner for wild card weekend realizing they’ve already overwhelmed the NFC’s one seed. That is highly effective.

Dak Prescott throws for 3 TDs as Cowboys edge previous Eagles in thriller

Dak Prescott throws for three TDs as Cowboys edge past Eagles in thriller

Dak Prescott introduced his A-game as he threw for 347 yards and three TDs within the Dallas Cowboys’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

DOWN

The Quarterbacks Wilson

Zach Wilson of the Jets and Russell Wilson of the Broncos are the 2 worst beginning quarterbacks within the NFL. Each obtained benched this weekend and each shouldn’t play one other down this season. Zach Wilson clearly has regressed on this second season, which is tough to do contemplating he wasn’t that good as a rookie. Russell Wilson has utterly combusted this season, and the Broncos commerce for him is trying like one of many worst in league historical past. What each have in widespread is it seems they don’t seem to be widespread within the locker room, which makes their state of affairs a lot worse.

Gamers perceive a few of their teammates aren’t good. However in the event you’re unhealthy, you higher be likable, in any other case everybody will tune you out. And in the event you’re unhealthy, you higher take accountability. Gamers can stay with poor gamers who take accountability and work to enhance. Are we seeing that with both Wilson? Each of those quarterbacks want to take a seat down for the remainder of the 2022 season, take a psychological relaxation and put together for 2023.

Detroit Lions

Simply when America begins to heap well-deserved reward on the Lions, they flip into the Lions. The Lions entered their contest in Carolina in opposition to the Panthers with six wins in seven video games. They beat the Packers, Giants, Jaguars, Vikings and Jets. High quality opponents and high quality wins. Then got here Sunday, when the Panthers kicked their butts 37-23, and the sport did not really feel even near a 14-point distinction. The Panthers, led by Sam Darnold, had 570 yards on offense. The Panthers had two operating backs achieve over 100 yards. The Panthers protection didn’t enable the Lions to hurry the ball successfully and made it troublesome for Jared Goff to get comfy within the pocket. This loss hurts the Lions’ playoff possibilities as a result of their competitors for a wild-card spot all additionally misplaced. If the Lions had received, they’d be accountable for their future. Now they must win and get assist, not one of the best spot to be in.

Panthers accumulate 320 speeding yards in victory over Lions

Panthers accumulate 320 rushing yards in victory over Lions

The Carolina Panthers made a press release, speeding for 320 yards and three TD in a 37-23 victory over the Detroit Lions.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins had been 8-3 and the darlings of the NFL after eleven weeks. There was discuss of the Dolphins successful the division and with the ability to problem for the AFC title. Tua was getting MVP dialogue. Tyreek Hill was on monitor to win offensive participant of the 12 months. One month later and the Dolphins are combating for the playoffs after 4 straight losses. It is not the losses that fear me. They’re 8-7 and possibly the place you’d count on them to be after 15 video games with a brand new coach, new roster items unproven quarterback. It is how they’re shedding that’s the fear. 

Tua has returned to the quarterback most of us believed him to be. He is superb throughout the construction of the offense, however exterior of that, he will battle. He isn’t seeing the protection as effectively within the final month and his three interceptions within the second half in opposition to the Packers value his group the sport. There isn’t any resolution both. It is basic items. Overthrows and never studying coverages. He is obtained to enhance at these items shortly or the group is not making the playoffs.

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Geoff Schwartz performed eight seasons within the NFL for 5 completely different groups. He began at proper sort out for the College of Oregon for 3 seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 choice his senior 12 months. He’s an NFL analyst for FOX Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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Dallas Cowboys

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