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NFL: JAN 07 Jaguars at Titans

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We’ve reached the end of the 2023 NFL regular season and while 14 teams are still alive and kicking, for the majority of the teams and their fan bases their seasons ended on Sunday.  We’ve still got playoffs and a Super Bowl to play so we’re not done with the pigskin just yet but let’s dive into the best and worst of NFL Week 18.

Bad Scary: The Jacksonville Jaguars Choke Away Playoffs, Division

At one point this season the Jacksonville Jaguars were 8-3 and one of the top teams in the AFC.  Fast-forward to the Monday after Week 18 and the Jaguars are 9-8 and saw any hopes of the playoffs dashed when they stumbled against the Tennessee Titans to finish the season with a complete meltdown.  The Jaguars dropped five of their last six games, their lone win being against the woefully inept Carolina Panthers.  It’s a devastating setback for the Jaguars, who had the chance to take hold of an AFC South that seemed to be influx but now with the Texans winning the division and taking strides with C.J. Stroud and the Colts coming up short but hoping to rebound with a fully healthy Anthony Richardson next season it seems like the Jaguars window of dominance may have slammed shut before it ever truly opened.

Bad Scary: The Pittsburgh Steelers Are…Playoff Bounds?!?

How did this happen?  No, seriously, how did this happen?  What did we do to deserve watching yet another Pittsburgh Steelers game this year?  The Steelers were the ninth seed to start the weekend and needed some help to have a shot at making the playoffs.  Apparently, the four-leaf clovers and Terrible Towels worked because their win over a Ravens squad that rested a ton of starters combined with the Jaguars unbelievable choke against the Titans sent Mike Tomlin and company to the postseason and a date with the Buffalo Bills.  Let’s hope it’s a quick exit.  No offense to the Steelers faithful but I just can’t be excited about watching Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett or Mitch Trubisky attempt to play quarterback anymore.  The offense is boring and definitely leaned heavily on their defense.  T.J. Watt is likely out for a few more weeks which means Pittsburgh would have to win a couple for him to play again.  Please no.  Blowout the quarterback room and get back to me in a season or two.

Good Scary: Jameis Winston, Saints Take Things Into Their Own Hands

The decision to get Jamaal Williams a touchdown in the final minute of a complete blowout led to a screaming match at midfield between the now fired Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and Saints coach Dennis Allen.  Allen said the team disobeyed the kneel down call and opted to let Williams get in the end zone.  Does that sound great for team chemistry and faith in the coach?  No.  But was it entertaining?  Hell yeah!  Jameis Winston said postgame that it was a “team decision” for the play call but clearly Allen is not a part of those team decisions.  Do the Saints likely have issues?  Yes.  But from 30,000 feet away I enjoyed watching it and if you’re Arthur Smith: QUIT BITCHING AND STOP THEM!

Bad Scary: The Packers (Gulp) May Have Done It Again

I can’t believe I’m going to type these words.  I can’t believe I might actually have to admit it and I hate that this may be the third time it’s happened in three quarterbacks, but the Green Bay Packers may have another stud at QB.  Jordan Love flew under the radar it seems when it comes to MVP votes and what not, but his 4,159 yards are 7th-best, his 32 touchdowns are second-best behind Dak Prescott, and he threw only 11 interceptions this year. He carved up the Bears twice this season and did it rather easily, especially with playoffs on the line in Sunday’s finale.  Any other franchise…..literally any other can have the Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love transitions but why does it have to be the Packers?  His first year as a starter, the youngest roster in the NFL. It sure seems like the Packers are going to continue their dominance.  And if the NFL is scripted, I would like a re-write to this Packers-Bears rivalry because it’s nauseating having the same story year in and year out for 30+ years.

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