5 Biggest Takeaways from Week 14 of the NFL

Let’s look at the biggest takeaways from week 14 of the NFL

1. The Patriots lucked out

It looked like New England had the potential to lose their first round bye after an embarrassing loss in Miami. However, the Texans and Steelers also lost. A Texans’ win would’ve vaulted them into second place and a Steelers’ win would’ve set them up to pass the Pats if they could beat them in week 15. Now, if the Patriots win out (which is likely against the Steelers, Bills, and Jets), they are guaranteed the two seed. The one thing that this loss does is make it nearly impossible for the Patriots to catch the Chiefs for the one seed, meaning the AFC should go through Kansas City. 

2. The Bears defense is legit

The Bears faced off against the Rams in what could be a potential NFC championship preview. Many people didn’t give the Bears a chance because of the Rams’ high powered offense. However, the Bears defense showed why it’s elite and held the Rams to just 6 points. This was the first time in McVay’s two seasons that the Rams didn’t score a touchdown. It was also the Rams lowest point total of the season. Their previous low? 23 points. Even on a night when Mitch Trubisky looked below average at best, the Bears were able to beat one of the best teams in the NFL by two scores. They certainly now deserve respect and should be in the conversation as an NFC contender. 

3. The Cowboys made a great trade

A lot of people trashed the Cowboys for trading a first round pick for an inconsistent receiver like Amari Cooper. I personally thought it was a good move. Since the trade, the Cowboys are red hot and Cooper looks like an All-Pro. On Sunday, Cooper tallied over 200 yards and scored the last three touchdowns of the game, including the game winner in overtime. Once again, Gruden trades a young, talented player who’s playing at an elite level elsewhere. If these picks don’t pan out, he’s going to take a lot of heat for his decisions. 

4. The Steelers might miss the playoffs

After a rough start to the season, the Steelers got hot and won six straight games. Since then, they’ve lost 3 straight. They now sit at 7-5-1, which is good for first place in the division. However, their next two games are the Patriots and Saints. If they lose both of those, their best case scenario is 8-7-1. The Ravens have two winnable games in their final three against the Browns and Buccs. If they win both of those, they might win the AFC North and the Steelers could miss the playoffs. 

5. The Vikings are in trouble

The Vikings announced today that they fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. This came after a 21-7 loss to the Seahawks on Monday night, where the only TD was a garbage time score at the end of the game. The Vikings were a game away from the Super Bowl last year and hoped that upgrading at quarterback would get them over the hump. After giving Kirk Cousins a full guaranteed contract worth almost $90 million, that hasn’t been the case. The Vikings are 6-6-1 and at risk of missing the playoffs. Their offense is ranked 24th in ESPN’s offensive efficiency rankings. Maybe firing DeFillipo will spark the team to win their final three and squeak into the playoffs as the six seed. Otherwise, they may look back at the signing of Cousins as a colossal mistake. 

-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)

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