We start our recap this week with the Pittsburgh Steelers clash against the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh needed a win to stand a chance of getting in the playoffs whereas the Browns on the other hand had absolutely nothing to play for except pride.
The big pre game news for the Browns was that Johnny Manziel would not be playing due to being under the league's concussion protocol. It is also rumoured that he just did not show up for the game either, if that was the case then you can guarantee he will not be playing for the Browns next year. To see how this game played out check out the highlights below:
As you can see Pittsburgh got that much needed win meaning that if the Jets were to slip up and lose to the Bills they would miss out on the playoffs! Going into this game you would definitely give the edge to the Jets especially after their victory last week against the New England Patriots but one of the reasons we love the NFL so much is that you just never know what is going to happen on any given sunday!
Well that takes care of who got the final AFC playoff spot but there was still a few things that needed to be settled like who would get the first round bye and homefield advantage and who would win the AFC South!
With that said let us look at the battle for homefield advantage, New England just needed a win against the Dolphins and they would ensure that the road to the Superbowl in the AFC would go through Gillette Stadium. Here is the highlights from their game against the Dolphins:
That loss for the New England meant that Denver could steal the number one seed and home field advantage with a win over their divisional rivals the San Diego Chargers. The game did not start so well for the Broncos because in the first half alone they gave away five turnovers. To see how this game played out with Peyton Manning returning to the field from injury in the second half:
With that win Denver sealed homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and all that remains in the AFC is to find out who won the AFC South. Going into the week Indianapolis not only needed a win but they also needed Houston to lose along with several other results to go their way. Basically Houston where as good as in regardless of what happened in their respective games and for the first time I can remember the Colts fate was sealed by a game outside of their own conference which was just bizarre! For reasons I am still looking into the New Orleans Saints victory over the Atlanta Falcons meant the Colts had no way of reaching the playoffs.
That wraps up the AFC action of meaning from the weekend and to recap the final six repping the AFC in the playoffs are Denver, New England, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas and Pittsburgh.
We come on now to the NFC and despite all the playoff teams being locked and loaded from last week there was still a small matter of the NFC North title up for grabs along with homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Let’s start the NFC roundup with the aforementioned title game for the NFC North between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. This was an intriguing game because you had to wonder could Minnesota stop Aaron Rodgers or perhaps more importantly could the makeshift offensive line for Green Bay stop the Minnesota pass rush. To find out how this one played out check out the highlights below:
With that loss Green Bay drop to the fifth seed for the playoffs and they also now avoid Seattle until a potential conference championship rematch at Lambeau field. The cynical side of thinks that they may have deliberately lost this game as it makes their route to the Superbowl that little bit easier!
The final thing to settle playoff wise was homefield advantage in the NFC for the duration of the playoffs. If Carolina won then they would keep their number one seeding and remain the team to beat in the NFC, see what happened in their game against the Buccaneers by watching the highlights below:
And so the Panthers have sealed their own fate with Victory over Tampa Bay and remain the number one seed. Let’s do a quick recap now for the NFC on who has made the playoffs: Carolina, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington, Green Bay and Seattle.
Well that wraps it for the blog for another season but be sure to check out our podcast ‘Spitball’ which will keep you up to speed on all things NFL related until after the Superbowl itself on Sunday 7th February 2016.
Until next season football fans stay safe, take care and ‘Thanks for Stopping By’.
Adri 'BallHawk' Mallows