PFF Week: Up North, Week 16
It’s your last chance to get caught up on the happenings at PFF before the next slate of games is upon us, and our new ‘PFF Week’ posts provide quick access to the week that was. The ‘Up North’ edition covers all things pertaining to the AFC and NFC North divisions for a one-stop Saturday shop built to keep you in the loop and on top of your football-watching game.
It’s officially crunch time. The last weekend to wrap up holiday gift shopping. The last weekend to figure out what to get your significant other. The next to last weekend to make an impact for your fans, coaches and owners if you’re an NFL player. For teams out of contention its evaluation time as the coaches look to see just who fits their system, who is still giving effort and who is worthy of a contract in 2014. For the lucky few playoff contenders that still have a chance to snare the golden ring, its go time.
Wrapping up Week 15
Wow. One minute you have the world eating out of the palm of your hand the next you’re looking up and wondering just what hit you. Every team in the AFC/NFC North had a hand in shaking up the 2013 playoff picture which looked pretty set going into the weekend. The Bears mathematically eliminated the Browns and the stunning play of Matt Cassel without his best player on the field sent ripples thru the NFC East. Green Bay’s snatched victory from jaws of defeat and along with Chicago pulled ahead of Detroit when they stumbled on Monday against the Ravens. Baltimore’s win combined Cincinnati’s loss to the Steelers, who despite being out of contention can’t be looked past, means the AFC North is up in the air. On a weekend where the top three seeds in the AFC lost the biggest winner were the fans as they get another week of meaningful football. More information is below via the ReFocused articles.
With such dramatic shakeups it’s only logical for there to be changes in the PFF Power Rankings afterwards. It’s also fair to note just who from these two divisions managed to land on Khaled Elsayed’s Team of the Week due to the upsets and just who landed on the PFF ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team. That said, there are two players that are still listed in the Race for Rookie of the Year that PFF readers need to check out.
A must read is this week’s The Third Phase article by owner Neil Hornsby as he offers his two selections for the Pro Bowl special teamers. Speaking of the glory that is the Pro Bowl, this week’s 32 Observations by Nathan Jahnke covers one player from each team that could be sent to their first Pro Bowl of their career. There is also the Secret Superstars by Gordon McGuinness which features a set of four players that made an impact on the weekend’s games who are usually below the surface.
The Signature Stats focus article for this week is actually a two-part piece. Concentrating on inside/outside rushers the first section of Between the Tackles, it takes a look at the top rushers in terms of inside and outside runs. The second section is concerned with the upper and lower performers in evaluating yards after contact.
Looking Ahead to Week 16
So what games are to be found in NFL viewers stockings this weekend? The Ravens hope to set up next week’s game vs the Bengals as a playoff elimination game by beating the Patriots. The Bengals need to reset themselves and overcome some late season injuries to beat the Vikings. The Browns and Jets are just playing for pride and the initial glance figures this to be a good defensive game. The Steelers are out to play spoiler vs Packers and put a series dent in their playoff hopes. The Lions find themselves in a must win game against the injury depleted Giants after their sour effort on MNF. The Bears find themselves flexed to SNF against the Eagles as they stand atop the NFC North… for now. More details on these games are available via the ‘3TFO’ links below.
Now while you are shopping don’t forget to pick up a subscription for someone you know that will appreciate the in-depth knowledge that PFF provides for just $26.99. There is also an awesome selection of PFF swag available for all and let’s be honest, it’s better than wearing knitted socks in your favorite teams colors from your Aunt Stella again for the holidays.