Week 17 Viewer's Guide: What to watch in Steelers-Dolphins, mail
I would be remiss not to encourage you to watch the San Francisco 49ers taking on the St. Louis Rams in this time slot. It is a good chance to see if the 7-8 Niners can have their first non-losing season since 2002 as well as take a look at the Rams to see if they are making any progress or should just be excited about the chance to possibly draft
But if you aren't compelled to watch that one and don't feel the need to watch the Vikings likely hammer the Giants, I would keep my eyes on the Pittsburgh-Miami matchup. The Dolphins have come from behind two weeks in a row only to fail to make the necessary plays in the end to get the victory. The real problem is falling behind to begin with and they still aren't getting good enough play from their secondary or a consistent pass rush to slow down opposing passing attacks. That's not good news with
To most of the country, this game is about playoff seeding and little else. As somebody that grew up near Philadelphia and played for the Cowboys, I know better. Both of these teams desperately want to be NFC East champs, host their opening playoff game, and have a chance, especially in Philly's case, of a first-round bye. But aside from all that this is the Eagles vs. the Cowboys and to these two teams and their respective fanbases that means everything.
It will be interesting to see how close to the vest these teams play this game with the looming possibility of a rematch on the horizon. If one of the coaching staffs identifies a tendency and sees something they really feel like they can exploit, do you waste that this week or save it for down the line? My guess is both teams will pull out all of the stops in order to have a playoff home game.
These are two of the hotter teams in the NFL right now, both capable of going on an extended January run. Ultimately these two franchises will deem this season a success or failure based upon how long that run goes, not who gets to wear the division champ t-shirt all offseason. Keep an eye on the tight ends in this matchup,
The Jets couldn't possibly lose a "win and you're in" game at home against a team playing a pretty meaningless game, could they? All you need to do is ask any Jets fan that question and they will be quick to point out that these are, after all, the Jets. As a result, they are not taking anything for granted, least of which a battle against a tough 10-win team in the Giants Stadium finale.
The problem for the Jets is the Bengals aren't necessarily considering this game to be pointless. In fact, if the Patriots lose to the Texans earlier in the day the Bengals may play their starters in order to secure the third seed. So that means Jets fans are in the awkward position of rooting for the Patriots to win.
Either way, the Jets need to continue their recipe for success which is pounding the football with
Time to delve into this week's mailbag ...
The Raiders are proof why nobody should try to bet NFL games. They won four games where they had no shot and lost several others, some badly, to teams they probably should have beat. But as far as what you said about them having those four quality wins, that is no fluke. If they only had one or maybe two like that you could put it into that category. But not four.
I am pretty sure Shanahan will want to run the zone blocking scheme and have it led by an assistant like
For a downtrodden team, the goals are probably more modest but every team at least talks about making the playoffs. If you haven't made the playoffs in a long time, Super Bowl talk seems kind of silly and the guys don't really buy it. But given the way new teams always sneak into the postseason out of nowhere, that seems like a tangible goal to anyone.
I highly doubt it. Cowher wants to have final say over personnel which is a problem because so does