The NFL regular season is over. After 17 weeks of action, it is now playoff season as teams dream of winning a Super Bowl.
Week 17 didn’t disappoint. With the playoffs starting this evening, let’s take a look at the action that transpired.
Doug Pederson Frustrates Entire Nation
The Washington Football Team hosted the Philadelphia Eagles knowing a win a would guarantee playoff football. If they lost, then the winner of the Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants game would make it through to the playoffs as NFC East champions.
New York beat the Cowboys 23-19, meaning the Giants were the team to win the division should Washington lose.
Washington led 17-14 in the fourth quarter, which was when Pederson threw a proverbial grenade into the New York Giants’ playoff hopes.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was not having his best game but equally was still effective, throwing for 1 interception and scoring two rushing touchdowns.
Pederson decided to bench Hurts and replace him with Nate Sudfield, a man with limited appearances since being drafted by Washington in the 2016 sixth round and joining Philadelphia in 2017.
This is despite Washington’s offense stagnating and the win was there for the taking for the Eagles.
As expected, Sudfield failed to galvanise the offense.
This brought into question the reason why Pederson made the move. Despite claims from the Eagles head coach that it was to see what Sudfield could do, it was more than likely an attempt to get a higher draft pick.
This not only infuriated the Giants fans but also may have lost the locker room.
Hurts will have been upset at being denied the chance to lead the Eagles to a fourth-quarter comeback. The other players will not be happy with the decision as players always want to win.
Tight end Zach Ertz looked to already be out the door but this could tip him over the edge.
This decision also robbed the nation of a spectacular end to the season. Fans always want to see the excitement in the final and 256th game of the regular season. This is why the game was put on Sunday Night Football:
Pederson may enter next season, if he is still head coach, on the tightest of leashes.
Offensive Player Of The Week: Derrick Henry (Running Back- Tennessee Titans)
Tennessee wrapped up the AFC South with a 41-38 win over the Houston Texans. Henry became only the eighth player in NFL history to reach the 2,000 rushing yard mark in a single season.
Henry managed the achievement with 250 rushing yards and two touchdowns as Tennessee denied the Indianapolis Colts the chance of the division.
He ends the regular season with 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, winning the 2020 rushing title for both yards and rushing touchdowns.
Defensive Player Of The Week: Leonard Williams (Defensive End- New York Giants)
Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams had an impressive day against the Cowboys with seven tackles, three sacks and one pass deflected.
If the aforementioned Doug Pederson incident had not taken place, this could have been a performance that guided the Giants to the postseason. With 11.5 sacks this season, Williams ends the season with the seventh highest total in the league.
Elsewhere In The League
The Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals missed out on the playoffs as the best of the rest in their respective conferences.
Miami lost to the Buffalo Bills and did not get the helping hand they needed from the teams around them in the playoff picture.
The Cardinals lost to the Los Angeles Rams, which meant that the Chicago Bears loss did not mean anything.
Both teams will take positives and a lot of pride for their improvements this season but will also wonder what could have been.
The Minnesota Vikings also beat the Detroit Lions 37-35, with both teams purely playing for pride.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins recorded four total touchdowns, 405 passing yards and a 70% completion percentage (28 from 40). Minnesota rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson caught for 133 passing yards.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for three touchdowns and one interception, 293 passing yards and a 64.5% completion percentage (20 from 31).
Detroit receiver Marvin Jones caught for 180 receiving yards and two touchdowns and the Lions recorded three games.
There are now just fourteen of the 32 teams left this season as playoff season begins.
This is the best time of the year for NFL fans as every game matters. Whether you are neutral or have a team involved, the excitement never ends.
NFL Week 17 Scores
Miami Dolphins 26-56 Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Ravens 38-3 Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers 22-24 Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings 37-35 Detroit Lions
New York Jets 14-28 New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys 19-23 New York Giants
Atlanta Falcons 27-44 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints 33-7 Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers 35-16 Chicago Bears
Las Vegas Raiders 32-31 Denver Broncos
Tennessee Titans 41-38 Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars 14-28 Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers 38-21 Kansas City Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks 26-23 San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals 7-18 Los Angeles Rams
Washington Football Team 20-14 Philadelphia Eagles