Every week is a new week

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Every week is a new week

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs towards the goal line as New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) gives chase in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs towards the goal line as New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) gives chase in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Photo by TNS

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs towards the goal line as New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) gives chase in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Photo by TNS

Photo by TNS

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs towards the goal line as New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) gives chase in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS)

Story by TJ Wall, staff writer

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Some interesting stuff went down this past week in the NFL. Here’s some key takeaways:

No Team Is Invincible:

Some of the top teams in the league took a big, fat L this week which only goes to show that no one in the NFL is safe.

One of these matchups, and the most surprising in my eyes, is the game between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. If anyone were to place money on this game, I can guarantee you that 99.99 percent of people would’ve said the Patriots would win by a margin of at least 14. However, that wasn’t exactly what went down.

The Dolphins, led by quarterback Jay Cutler (yes he still plays somehow), defeated the Patriots 27-20. Cutler threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns while completing about 66 percent of his passes. The Dolphins’ running back, Kenyan Drake, also had a nice showing by running for 114 yards on 25 carries combined with his 79 receiving yards on five catches.

The Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, however, had an awful game. He only completed a little over half of his passes for 233 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions which is not good by any means for a quarterback of his caliber.

Other elite teams that managed to find a way to lose were the New Orleans Saints who lost to the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings who lost to the Carolina Panthers. While both of these two losses were against above average teams, it still goes to show that no team in the league is unbeatable.

Eagles lose Wentz:

The Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback, Carson Wentz, who is arguably the MVP of the league this year went down with a torn ACL this week while playing against the Los Angeles Rams and will be out for the remainder of the season and potentially even the very beginning of next season.

While the Eagles still managed to pull out the win, trouble still looms over Philly. The Eagles were looking to make a deep run in the playoffs this year after clinching the NFC East with a win over the Rams. However, with the loss of Wentz, their playoff run is looking like it may come up short of their expectations.

With Wentz out, quarterback Nick Foles will be looking to take the reins of the team. Although last time Foles had to come in as a backup in Philly, he had a touchdown-interception ratio of 27-2 which is outstanding so the Eagles’ future may be in good hands.

Shootout in Pittsburgh:

The Pittsburgh Steelers came out on top in a shootout against the Baltimore Ravens after erasing an 11 point lead in the fourth quarter. The final score was 39-38.

With their win against the Ravens, the Steelers clinched the AFC North and are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Steelers’ quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 506 yards and two touchdowns while completing about 67 percent of his passes. Running back, Le’Veon Bell, ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns and additionally caught nine passes for 77 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver, Antonio Brown, also had a stellar performance; he caught 11 passes for 213 yards.

One thing you can take away from this game is that the Steelers are a legitimate threat and should not be taken lightly by any means. My guess is that the Steelers and the Patriots will both meet up in the AFC conference championship and the Steelers will come out on top if they continue to play like they have been.

Playoff Picture:

AFC:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
  2. New England Patriots (10-3)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)
  5. Tennessee Titans (8-5)
  6. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

In the Hunt:

  1. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
  2. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
  3. Los Angeles Raiders (6-7)
  4. Miami Dolphins (6-7)
  5. New York Jets (5-7)
  6. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)
  7. Houston Texans (4-9)

My Prediction:

As of now, it’s looking as if the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots will be meeting up in the AFC conference championship. However, with the stellar defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars, I would not be surprised at all if they defeat the Patriots if they were to meet up.

Bold Prediction:

The Jacksonville Jaguars will end up being in the conference championship versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game will be close, but the Jaguars overcome in the end.

NFC:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-2)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
  4. New Orleans Saints (9-4)
  5. Carolina Panthers (9-4)
  6. Atlanta Falcons (8-5)

In the Hunt:

  1. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
  2. Detroit Lions (7-6)
  3. Green Bay Packers (7-6)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
  5. Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

My Prediction:

With the injury to the Philadelphia Eagles’ star quarterback, Carson Wentz, I believe they will falter and be eliminated from the playoffs earlier than they hoped for. To me, it’s looking like the Minnesota Vikings will face either the Los Angeles Rams or the New Orleans Saints in the NFC conference championship and the Rams will come out on top. However, I wouldn’t count the Seattle Seahawks out just yet.

Bold Prediction:

Aaron Rodgers will come back and potentially lead the Packers deep into the playoffs and totally mix up the NFC playoff picture if they’re able to make the playoffs in the first place.

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