2020 NFL Week 16 was a week where the top four teams clearly showed themselves. It was also a week where some teams saw their playoff hopes fade or even disappear. Nonetheless, there are still four teams that are above the rest, and four teams that need to make New Year’s Resolutions. Without further ado, here is Four Up and Four Down for 2020 NFL Week 16:
Kansas City Chiefs Clinch Top Seed in AFC After 2020 NFL Week 16
The Chiefs had an uneven performance against the Atlanta Falcons. That being said, they were able to get away with the 17-14 victory. Kansas City has simply found ways to win games the past few months. Not exactly world beaters, the Chiefs have not won a game by more than six points since their Week 8 victory over the New York Jets. Yes, the Chiefs have been the best team in the NFL to this point. But there may be minor deficiencies that a better team may be able to expose against them. Miami forced them into mistakes in Week 14, for example. They could not score touchdowns against Denver in Week 13. It will take an opponent forcing multiple mistakes to beat the Chiefs. Nonetheless, there is more and more reason to believe that this team is beatable.
2. Buffalo Bills
Buffalo completed the final part of usurping power in the AFC East from the New England Patriots by destroying them 38-9 on Monday night. Josh Allen may get some MVP votes, deservedly so. Stefon Diggs has probably been the second best receiver in the NFL this season after Green Bay’s Davante Adams in terms of impact on a team. The defense has kept opponents in check the past few weeks.
The Bills had four straight primetime games, which could be seen as a barometer for if they are ready for the big stage. They passed that test with flying colors, as they won by an average margin of almost 20 points. Their urgency to get the job done against their past two opponents, both of whom are inferior, shows that this team has matured since their playoff debacle against the Texans last year. Buffalo should be a trendy pick to go far in the playoffs this year. However, it will be interesting to see how this team responds once the postseason actually starts.
3. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay put together their most complete performance of the season in their 40-14 demolition of the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field Sunday night. Aaron Rodgers was near-perfect, minus an interception. It seems like no one in the league can stop Davante Adams either. Whenever Adams was matched up against Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson, it was impossible for Jackson to stop Adams. Malcolm Butler did not fare much better either. Nonetheless, the Packers can clinch the number-one seed in the NFC. Their opponent: a desperate Chicago Bears team that they beat 41-25 in Week 12. A team fighting for the number-one seed versus a team fighting for a playoff spot should produce a great Week 17 game.
4. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees may not have to do as much for the Saints to be successful this postseason. They easily have the best offensive and defensive line combination in the NFC if not the NFL. New Orleans can run the football down other team’s throat. Alvin Kamara is such a versatile player that he can beat teams on his own, like he did to the Vikings on Christmas Day with a six-touchdown performance to start 2020 NFL Week 16. After the 52-33 victory, the Saints have positioned themselves for a top-two seed if they can beat the Panthers this weekend.
They will be rooting hard for Chicago against Green Bay, as playing in the snow would be a huge disadvantage for the Saints. Tennessee is a prime example of how teams that do not play in snow normally struggle mightily in the snow. However, a run game and a defense that can pressure a quarterback can travel, and it will be interesting to see (if the Saints play Green Bay) if they can live up to that challenge.
Four Down: Jaguars Win The Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes
29. Houston Texans
The Texans lost to the lowly Bengals at home 37-31 on Sunday. I could write some stuff about this team, but JJ Watt summed it up perfectly:
30. Philadelphia Eagles
When a quarterback you drafted in the second round accounts for over 400 yards of offense and your team still lost by 20, maybe you can figure out there were other positions you had to address in the offseason. Carson Wentz has contributed to the Eagles’ downfall for sure. Head coach Doug Pederson did not do Wentz any favors with play-calling while he was in. Howie Roseman has made questionable draft decisions the past few seasons. The roster as it is currently constructed cannot get the job done. Carson Wentz’s trade value has plummeted, but the Eagles probably should trade him at this point. Jalen Hurts, at this point, will probably be the starter for Philly next season.
31. New York Jets
Well, the New York Jets have effectively played themselves into the number two pick. They lost their first thirteen games. Then they won two games so they would not be the worst team in the league. The fact the Jets have won their last two games shows the players did not quit on Adam Gase. Some teams in the Jets’ situation would have phoned it in. The fact that they showed their will to win and have shown they are consummate professionals. A lot of respect should be given to the players for keeping on despite the team’s struggles this season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars won the “Tank for Trevor” sweepstakes thanks to the Jets finally becoming a competent football team the past few weeks. There have been talks about former Giants GM Jerry Reese becoming Jacksonville’s new leader of their front office. Also, Urban Meyer has been rumored to possibly make the jump to the NFL after saying he retired from coaching two years ago. The former Florida Gators coach would be a popular choice. Meyer would probably want the opportunity to coach Trevor Lawrence in the NFL (a lot of coaches do). There are talented pieces at skill positions for Lawrence. If the right pieces are put in place, Lawrence will have a chance for early success. However, he may struggle if he is not given adequate time to adjust to the NFL game.
Do you agree with Four Up and Four Down after 2020 NFL Week 16? Tweet us, @unafraidshow, with your thoughts.