Five quick takes looking back on Week 16 in the NFL:
1. Going into the final Sunday of the season, 16 of the 32 teams have been eliminated from the playoffs. Two playoff teams are set. The Saints will be the top seed In the NFC and their seeding can’t change. And the Cowboys are locked in fourth seed. Three other NFC teams – Rams, Chicago and Seattle – are in playoffs, but their seedings could change. Either Minnesota or Philadelphia will get the other slot. In the AFC, New England, Houston, Chiefs and Chargers are in the playoffs but their seedings could change. The Ravens win the AFC North with a win over Cleveland and the Colts and Titans meet in the final game with the winner getting in. Pittsburgh needs a win over the Bengals and a Ravens loss to win the division.
2. Arizona and San Francisco go into the final day of the season in the first two slots in next year’s draft. But Arizona could fall to third and the 49ers fifth if they win depending on what happens in the other games. The New York Jets could still claim the top spot with a loss but could drop as far as fifth with a win depending on the other results. They are the only team besides the Cardinals and 49ers with a shot at the top pick. Oakland and Detroit are fourth and fifth but either one could go as high as second with a loss and as low as ninth win a win.
3. The Saints are in the best position to win the Super Bowl after their 31-28 win over Pittsburgh. They’re an indoor team and can win the Super Bowl without going outdoors since they are the top seed and the Super Bowl will be played indoors in Atlanta. No weather worries for the Saints.
4. The legend of St. Nick – that is what they call Nick Foles in Philadelphia — continues to grow. He threw for a team record 471 yards against the Texans to pull off a 32-30 victory and keep them alive in the playoff race. They make it if they beat the Redskins and the Vikings lose to the Bears. Could Foles come off the bench to lead them to the Super Bowl two years in a row? It seems implausible, but December and January are Foles’ time.
5. The Houston loss combined with the Patriots 24-12 victory over the Bills put them in position to get the second seed and a first round bye. All they have to do it beat the Jets in their finale. Tom Brady continues to look like an old Tom Brady instead of the Tom Brady of old as he threw for only 126 yards and a touchdown with two picks. But the Patriots are compensating with a running game as Sony Michel ran for 126 yards. Brady doesn’t look like he’s poised for his sixth Super Bowl ring, but you can never count him out.