Week 16 was a stark reminder for bettors that must win doesn’t mean will win. Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles, who start off this week’s recap of things we learned from the NFL.
Chip Kelly Just Doesn’t Have The Complete Package
Yes, Chip Kelly has guided the Philadelphia Eagles to back-to-back winning seasons but he’s delivered no playoff wins. They essentially blew the NFC East down the stretch of the season with their three-game losing streak, including a particularly stinging loss in Washington on Saturday. Sure, the Eagles will finish the year with at least nine wins but remember, the last coach had plenty of winning seasons and still got canned. Kelly is expected to bring this team to the next level.
Right now, this team just doesn’t have the whole package. Yes, the passing game is plug-and-play with whoever is at wide receiver and whoever is at quarterback, but the running game and defense – again – are not consistent. This worked for Kelly in college but so far, it hasn’t worked in the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens Are Not Going To Do Anything In The Playoffs…If They Even Get In
There’s a reasonable chance the Baltimore Ravens make the playoffs. They host the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 and the scheduling could just work out. Regardless if they make it in or not, this team is broken. It’s a bit surprising because when you look at what their biggest weaknesses were last season – the passing game and the offensive line – you see improvements in both realms. But the issue is that their secondary is among the worst in the NFL, they have to survive without their best run stuffer as Haloti Ngata is suspended, and they aren’t a good road team. The latter figures to be the biggest problem as they’ll have to go on the road multiple times in the playoffs to succeed. Right now, it just doesn’t look like they’re capable of getting it done.
Luck Can’t Do It All For The Colts
Andrew Luck is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL but it’s become all too evident that he can’t go it alone. Luck has been forced to do that for quite some time now and while it works against bad AFC South teams, it doesn’t work against teams with a winning record and it won’t work in the playoffs. Against Dallas, the Colts had a single rushing yard, which is nothing short of embarrassing. That put Luck in a tight spot, which explains why he went 15-of-22 for only 109 passing yards and two interceptions.
On the year, they average just 103.2 rushing yards per game. Unless that number goes way up in the playoffs, the Colts season won’t be lasting very long.
Steelers Are Still An Enigma
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a playoff berth and once again showed us just how much of an enigma they are. Battling for a playoff spot against a quality Kansas City Chiefs team, the Steelers won and were in complete control most of the game. That now makes it three wins in a row after they handled the Atlanta Falcons with ease last week and crushed the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 14.
And while they are 10-5, this team is still an enigma. Their losses this year have come to Tampa Bay (at home), Cleveland, NY Jets and New Orleans (at home). Those teams are all pretty bad. Even so, the Steelers have taken care of the rest of their schedule and are pretty hot right now. We know that when they’re on, they’re one of the best teams in the NFL. When they’re off, they can literally lose to anyone. The way this league works, don’t be surprised if they make the Super Bowl. Even with those ugly losses, they have more than enough talent to be kept in mind when making your NFL Picks.