Interesting Observations From Week 14 in The NFL

Eugene Adams

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With week 14 in the books, there are only 3 weeks left until the end of the regular season. The battle for playoff spots is heating up. So is the race to the bottom, aka the #1 pick. Here are some interesting stories coming out of Week 14. 

Dan Bailey 

To say that Dan Bailey had a bad day would be an epic understatement. He missed every single kick he attempted (3FGs and 1 PAT).

Bailey's one silver lining is that the Vikings lost by 12 points, so the 10 points he left on the field did not technically cost them the game. 

If you take away the last two games, Bailey has been solid this season.

Last two game:

4 Missed FGs
3 Missed PATs

Rest of the season:

10 of 12 FGs
26 of 26 PATs

Everyone involved hopes that Bailey will snap out of this rut. Just in case he doesn’t, the Vikings seem to be exploring their options by bringing Taylor Bertolet in for a tryout.

Lirim Hajrullahu

Dan Bailey’s rough day was not negative kicker news of the week. 

Lirim Hajrullahu was cut from the Panther's practice squad.  

Lirim Hajrullahu was born in Gnjilane, Yugoslavia. His family came to Canada when he was 8 years old. He kicked for 6 seasons in the CFL. This year he tried to make the jump to the NFL. 

Unfortunately, he was cut by the Rams during training camp. Now he has been cut over work visa issues by the Panthers. 

Getting cut for any reason sucks, but it especially sucks when you get cut for something completely out of your control. 

Hopefully, he will get another shot with another NFL team in the future. 

NFC East

The worst division in football also happens to be one of the most competitive. Even though all four teams have a losing record, the battle for 1st place (and a playoff spot) is coming down to the end. 

This weekend 3 out of the 4 teams won (the giants did not). 

Taking us from

Last week 

  1. Washington Football Team (5–7)
  2. Giants (5–7)
  3. Eagles (3–8–1)
  4. Cowboys (3–9)

To:

Current Standings

  1. Washington Football Team (6–7) (4 straight wins)
  2. Giants (5–8)(1 game behind)
  3. Eagles (4–8–1)(1.5 games behind)
  4. Cowboys (4–9)(2 games behind)

The Washington Football Team has now won 4 straight games. At 6–7, they are the only team in the division with a chance to finish with a winning record. 

Shockingly, the 4–9 Cowboys are still alive for a division title. 

Remaining Schedules

Washington Football Team ( Seahawks (9–4), Panthers (4–9), Eagles (4–8–1)) 

Giants (Browns (9–4), Ravens (8–5), Cowboys (4–9)) 

Eagles ( Cardinals (7–6), Cowboys (4–9), Washington (6–7)) 

Cowboys (49ers (5–8), Eagles (4–8–1), Giants (5–8)) 

Chance to win the division

Washington Football Team: The Washington Football Team has the best chance to win the division for 2 reasons: 

  1. They have a 1 game lead now. 
  2. Their upcoming opponents have a losing record (17–21–1)
  3. They play with a winning record (Seahawks) and are only one week removed from a loss to the 5–8 Giants.

Giants: The good news for the Giants is that they are only 1 game back. The bad news is that they are the only team in the division who’s remaining schedule have a combined winning record. (21–18)

Eagles: Being 1.5 games back with 3 games to go is not ideal. But, the Eagles are not out of the running for two reasons.

  1. Their upcoming opponents are a combined 18–22
  2. They finish the season against Dallas and Washington. So they will have the chance to add wins to their records while adding losses to their division rivals. 

Cowboys: Being 2 games behind with only 3 left to play does not provide great odds. The Cowboys have going for them because of their opponents' combined (14–24–1) record. 

My prediction: This division is Washington’s to lose. However, if the Eagles can get past the Cardinals and Washinton stumbles, the season finale (Eagles vs. Washington) could determine who goes to the playoffs. 

Tank for Trevor

To be honest, I don’t actually think any players would ever tank intentionally. But, let's be honest: there are many fans out there that would not mind their teams losing a few more games this season. 

Only three teams left in the running for the #1 pick. (Jets, Jaguars, and Bengals)

Current standings 

  1. Jets (0–13) (Lost 13 Straight)
  2. Jaguars (1–12) (Lost 12 Straight) (1 game behind)
  3. Bengals (2–10–1)( Lost 5 Straight)(2.5 games behind)

Remaining Schedules

Jets (Rams (9–4), Browns(9–4), Patriots(6–7)) (24–15)

Jaguars (Ravens(8–5), Bears(6–7), Colts(9–4))(23–16)

Bengals (Steelers(11–2), Texans(4–9), Ravens(8–5))(23–16)

Chance to get the #1 pick

Jets: There is no question about it. The Jets are in the driver's seat. Two of the three teams they play next have winning records and a lot to play for. They finish the season against the Patriots, a team that they have plenty of experience losing to. 

Jaguars: The Jaguar's upcoming opponents have a combined record of 23–16. This gives them a very real chance at finishing the season 1–15. Unfortunately for Jags fans, 1–15 might be 1 win too many. 

Bengals: Even though the Bengals are technically in the running for the #1 pick, it won’t happen. They would need to lose all of their remaining games (which they might do), the Jets would need to win all three (not going to happen), and the Jaguars to win two games (probably won’t happen). Fortunately, the Bengals already have their QB of the future (Joe Burrow), assuming he recovers completely from knee surgery (all signs point towards him making a full recovery).

Interesting Week 15 Matchups 

Bears (6–7) vs. Vikings (6–7)

Both teams involved have slim playoff chances. The loser of this game will have no playoff chance. It will also be interesting to see if Dan Bailey can bounce back from two rough games in a row. 

Seahawks (9–4) vs. Washington Football Team (6–7)

This will be a difficult game for Washington. However, if they can find a way to win, they will have a stranglehold on their division and the playoff berth that comes with it. 

Chiefs (12–1) vs. Saints (10–3)

If you can only watch one game next week, this would be a good one to watch. As hard as it may be to believe, this is the only game of the week that features two teams with winning records. With both teams fighting for first-round byes, they both have a lot to play for. 

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Certified Personal Trainer | Certified ESL Teacher |I mostly write about all things Southern California, but I also cover national topics.

Fontana, CA
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