That NFC South battle in Atlanta on Thursday night was the start of another intriguing week of action. But which teams clinched playoff berths in Week 14?
Last week’s top team in the NFL Power Rankings will be looking to make it nine straight wins on Monday night in South Florida. The New England Patriots own a 10-2 record heading into their prime time clash with the Miami Dolphins. But what about the rest of the clubs near the top of the list? There were some keys showdowns on Sunday at Carolina (Vikings and Panthers), Los Angeles (Rams and Eagles) and Pittsburgh (Ravens and Steelers).
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If you haven’t noticed already, once a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs the focus shifts from their postseason chances to what the organization may be thinking come April of 2018. Of course, there’s still plenty of season left for most of these clubs and here’s how they rate from No. 32 to the top spot.
Last week: L, 27-21 (OT) vs GB
Last rank: 32nd
Recap: How about a little news. Make that a lot. Last week, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown was fired. Then the Browns hired John Dorsey as their new general manager. Head coach Hue Jackson will be back in 2018 but wide receiver Kenny Britt was quickly waived by the team. On Sunday, the Browns remained winless on the season when they couldn’t hold a 21-7 fourth-quarter lead. The Browns fell in overtime by giving up 20 unanswered points. And while rookie quarterback Deshone Kizer threw for 214 yards and three scores, he served up two picks – one of those in overtime.
Next Week: The Browns host the surging Ravens, who have managed to get themselves back in postseason contention after a midseason slump. Back in Week 2 at Baltimore, Jackson’s club was stifled by Harbaugh’s defense. Cleveland has dropped 17 of the last 19 meetings in this series dating back to ’08.
Draft Talk: Earlier this year, the franchise opted for defensive end Myles Garrett, safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku on the first evening of April’s draft. All three have made impressions as rookie but quarterback remains a question mark. Will the Browns use an early pick next year on someone to challenge Kizer?