Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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On the Rise, On the Fall – Week 16

Throughout the season, I discussed the stock of players after each week of the regular season. As we conclude the 2008 NFL year and fantasy seasons come to an end, I will make a twist to the article and discuss the playoff fortunes of teams around the league.

On the Rise

Atlanta

Falcons (10-5)

The Falcons are in the playoffs! The exciting team from the South has locked in a wildcard spot and has an outside chance for a first-round bye with a win over

St. Louis and a

Carolina loss to

New Orleans. Rookie QB Matt Ryan has led this team back to winning football. Free agent addition Michael Turner has had a tremendous season, as well as up-and-coming star WR, Roddy White. This trio, as well as the play of John Abraham on defense, has led them to January.

Miami

Dolphins (10-5)

The Dolphins have won four straight games, which were all close games, but three were on the road. It is never easy to win on the road in the NFL. They’ll need one more victory on the road (in

East Rutherford) on Sunday to clinch the AFC East and have one of the greatest turnarounds from a 1-15 season to a division title.

Miami has proved they can play anywhere as they have posted a 5-2 road record. After starting the season 0-2, the fish have gone 10-3 and are playing well on both sides of the ball.

San Diego

Chargers (7-8)

A 7-8 team on the rise? Sounds ugly, but the Chargers have won three games in a row, while the Broncos have dropped two straight.

San Diego can now make the playoffs with a win at home against the Broncos on Sunday night. Redemption from the Week 2 fiasco in

Denver is at stake. If the Chargers play to their potential, they can be dangerous in January. However, as we now expect them to win at home, will they put a fitting end to this 2008 season and falter?

Indianapolis

Colts (11-4)

That is eight straight wins for the Peyton Manning-led Colts, who will have to play their playoff games on the road this season. However, that won’t be a problem for a few reasons. Teams have showed they can win the Super Bowl away from home and the Colts are 6-2 on the road this season. No one wants to see Manning enter their building in January. If Bob Sanders can get healthy for the playoffs, beware of the Colts.

On the Fall

Arizona

Cardinals (8-7)

Losers of four of their last five, the Cardinals will look to regain some confidence in Week 17 as they try to get their offense back on track. They have looked awful of late and look like a team that will be one and done come playoff time, despite having home-field advantage in the first round.

Philadelphia

Eagles (8-6-1)

The Eagles could have controlled their own destiny with a win over the Redskins in D.C. on Sunday, but they fell just short. They will need help to make the playoffs in addition to a win against the Cowboys.

Tampa

Bay

Buccaneers (9-6)

Another team that looked like postseason football would be in their future was the Tampa Bay Bucs. They are not in the bracket below because of the quality of opponents they have played, but just three weeks ago they were 9-3. The December schedule got to them, but they still have life and the sixth seed if they beat

Oakland (take that to the bank) and the Eagles beat the Cowboys in Philly.

On the Fall – Collapse Version

Denver

Broncos (8-7)

See the

San Diego Chargers above. The Broncos have completely choked away a division title. I can’t decide what is worse – these guys or the team below.

New York

Jets (9-6)

The Jets were 8-3 and flying on top of the world after wins over the Patriots and the Titans on the road. What a difference a month makes as the Jets have gone 1-3 over their past four games and have pretty much solidified their plans for January – watching the playoffs from home.

 

That’s all for this week’s edition. If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at

pags2122@yahoo.com. Thanks for all of your e-mails so far!

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