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Week 15 Winners and Losers

Another week is in the books and the playoffs are quickly coming into sight. The battle for playoff spots are starting to get really tight and these last two weeks are crucial. After this week, 12 teams are fighting over the remaining 8 unclaimed playoff spots. Let’s jump into this week’s winners and losers.

Winner #1 The Playoff Races

There were about 8 (9 if you for some reason were still counting the Raiders) teams hovering around the cutoff line for the playoffs entering this weekend. Every single one of them except the Minnesota Vikings won this weekend. This means that the majority of the games next week and quite possibly week 17 will have playoff implications. That can only be seen as a good thing with the drama of these races potentially coming down to the last plays of the season. As of right now only one game separates the 4th seed from the 8th team in the AFC. In the NFC the 5th seed and the 8th seed are separated by two with two games left to go.

Loser #1 Los Angeles Rams

Losing at home to the previously 0-13 Jets is a surefire way to get yourself in the losers section. The Rams as a team came out flat in an embarrassing performance that cost them their division lead. The defense couldn’t stop a sputtering offense and the Rams offense looked downright befuddled all afternoon. This is the type of loss that you can’t have when you are gearing up for the playoffs. The only good news is that the Rams can regain the division lead with a victory over the Seahawks next week. The way these two teams have played hot potato with the division lead maybe Arizona can steal it.

Winner #2 New England Haters

It’s been a long time coming, but for the first time in 11 years the Patriots will miss out on the playoffs. It has been something that most fanbases have been rooting for and it’s finally happened. Whether this means that the New England dynasty is well and truly over we shall see. But in the meantime most football fans can enjoy a postseason without seeing the Patriots.

Loser #2 Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders being in the losers section is starting to seem like a weekly theme for them. Losing in overtime to the Chargers just about sealed the Raiders fate. While they aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it will take divine intervention for them to make it. They need to win their last two games while having the 3-4 teams above them lose both of their games. To make things a bit more difficult the Raiders lost starting QB Derek Carr during the game. This was a must win game for the franchise and they blew it.

Winner #3 Kansas City Chiefs

One of the biggest winners of the weekend was the Chiefs. Not only did they win against a quality opponent, but also put a clamp on the number 1 seed in the AFC. After this weekend the Chiefs will have a two game lead over the Steelers and Bills with only two games left to go. The Chiefs already beat the Bills earlier this season and own the tiebreaker over them. That means only the Steelers can catch them now. A win next week against the tanking Falcons or a Steelers loss will see the Chiefs secure that vital first round bye.

Loser #3 Pittsburgh Steelers

The free fall continues for the Steelers as they lose their third straight game. This time to the woeful Bengals who have nothing to play for. The loss drops the Steelers into third place in the conference. Most worrying is how the team has played the last few weeks. Steelers QB Big Ben hasn’t looked his usual self as the offense has struggled mightily. The defense which was once a strong unit has been decimated with injuries. This team is in a serious funk at the worst time and their fans can only hope things turn around in time for the playoffs.

Bonus Loser: Jets Fans

Now I know this is a bit odd. How can Jets fans be losers when their team won? Well because the Jets won, they no longer are projected to have the number one pick. The reason this is important is because Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence will be available in the draft. He is the highest rated QB since Andrew Luck which is basically a franchise changing QB. It’s the classic winning the battle, but losing the war scenario for the Jets. Even when they win they lose.

Justin Walker

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