Happy New Years Eve to one and all. The Stack is here after a thrilling final Sunday of the NFL regular season...at least a few games were thrilling. The playoff picture is set with all twelve teams in. Let's get right to some reaction now from all of Sunday's games in "the stack" for today, Monday, December 31:
Tampa Bay 22 Atlanta 17
Falcons said they were going to play their starters, and it cost them with injuries to two starters (Abraham and Robinson). Better to get a stinker out of the way before the playoffs where the Falcons lately have been stinky (0-3 under Matt Ryan).
Buffalo 28 New York Jets 9
Mercifully, the Jets season has ended and it ended just as it should...with the Jets putting together an abysmal showing on offense and not much better on defense. For both the Bills and the Jets, expect some changes during the offseason as something has to change for each franchise.
Cincinnati 23 Baltimore 17
Ravens rested some key starters for most if not all the game (Rice and Flacco). The Bengals didn't keep all of their starters in the game either. Basically this was a glorified preseason game with both teams wanting to avoid major injuries before the playoffs...and the Bengals won. Yeah!
Chicago 26 Detroit 24
The Bears had to win to have a shot at the playoffs and they did, though it wasn't pretty. They forced four turnovers but failed to convert those turnovers into a lot of points. They did win the game though and knocked the Giants out of playoff contention. The Lions season ends in much disappointment and there may be changes on the horizon, maybe for both teams.
Indianapolis 28 Houston 16
My how the Texans have fallen. They looked like a legit Super Bowl contender three weeks ago. Now, they look like one of the weaker teams entering the playoffs. Game changed when the Colts returned a kick for a TD after the Texans kicked a field goal to take the lead 16-14. Feel really good for Colts head coach Chuck Pagano for coming back and getting this win. He has battled through so much this year and his team has responded by battling through this season for him and they are now in the playoffs.
Carolina 44 New Orleans 38
I think if DeAngelo Williams (210 yards rushing and two touchdowns) can play even half as well next year, the Panthers could be pretty special with him and Cam Newton. For the Saints, a nightmare season ends. They'll be better next year.
New York Giants 42 Philadelphia 7
If the Giants had put up that type of effort in any of the previous few weeks, they wouldn't be watching the playoffs from home. For the Eagles, the Andy Reid era is done and likely the Michael Vick era as well. What an abysmal performance.
Pittsburgh 24 Cleveland 10
Not surprised the Browns lost give all of the injuries to their offensive starters. They'll be changing their operations (front office and coaching staff). The Steelers had a disappointing season, but they won't be making any changes to their operations. Steady had is why they are so good year in and year out.
Tennessee 38 Jacksonville 20
Thank goodness the season for both of these teams is over. At least the Titans made some history by scoring four touchdowns in five minutes without having their offense step onto the field (2 INT TDs & 2 punt return TDs).
Denver 38 Kansas City 3
Playing the worst team in the NFL, the Broncos would have won regardless if anything was on the line. But with a shot at the one seed, the Broncos wanted to be sure and they sure thumped the Chiefs to get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Not sure if Peyton Manning is the MVP though.
Minnesota 37 Green Bay 34
By far, the game of the day! Adrian Peterson was a beast and sadly finished nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson's all time rushing record of 2,105. The second half was thrilling as each team went back and forth (quite nerve-racking if you're a Vikings or a Packers fan) and this game had everything. In the end, the Vikings won and they are now in the playoffs where they will face...the Green Bay Packers. Hello friend!
New England 28 Miami 0
With Rob Gronkowski back, the Patriots are going to be very difficult to beat in the playoffs. Dolphins had no chance in this one. Patriots were looking for a first round bye and they got it.
San Diego 24 Oakland 21
At least the Chargers sent head coach Norv Turner out with a win. Still, this was a very disappointing season for the Chargers. The Raiders echo those sentiments.
Seattle 20 St. Louis 13
The Rams proved to be a difficult opponent, but the Seahawks got by the Rams and look as though they are going to be a tough out in the playoffs.
San Francisco 27 Arizona 13
49ers beat the Cardinals (shocking considering Brian Hoyer was starting at QB for the Cardinals), but kicker David Akers struggles have to be a major concern to them. Two more misses Sunday. He has missed kicks this year that he sure didn't last year. At least they have a first round bye to figure things out.
Washington 28 Dallas 18
The Redskins literally ran all over the Cowboys in this one. Alfred Morris is one outstanding rookie, rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. A lot of blame is going to fall on Tony Romo as well it should. He threw three interceptions and the last one was especially painful. Bad pass by Romo. But a lot of blame should go to the offensive line and wide receivers. The line could not protect Romo as the Redskins blitzed time and time again and the wide receivers failed to make any big plays. The Redskins win the NFC East and the Cowboys once again suffer a heartbreaking late season loss that leaves them watching the playoffs from home.
So now onto the playoff picture. Twelve teams are in the tournament. A few, I can safely say we did not see coming. Like the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins. The fun begins next Saturday. Here's the schedule:
Saturday, January 5th
#6 Cincinnati Bengals @ #3 Houston Texans 4:30 PM ET NBC
#6 Minnesota Vikings @ #3 Green Bay Packers 8:00 PM ET NBC
Sunday, January 6th
#5 Indianapolis Colts @ #4 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET CBS
#5 Seattle Seahawks @ #4 Washington Redskins 4:30 PM ET FOX
AFC Byes: #1 Denver Broncos, #2 New England Patriots
NFC Byes: #1 Atlanta Falcons, #2 San Francisco 49ers
Should be fun. The Stack most likely will not be posting tomorrow, New Years Day. So we will see you next year, haha. Thanks to all of the loyal readers. Hope you continue to read in the coming days, weeks and months.
Coming up later this week: NFL power rankings, playoff news, head coaching pink slips, college football bowl picks an more.