With only a week remaining left in the NFL regular season, the race is on to solidify final playoff positioning before the postseason begins. The New Orleans Saints kept their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The win moved the Saints to an 8-8 record on the year, with a chance to make the playoffs with a win on Sunday against their arch nemesis, the Atlanta Falcons and a loss by the 49ers. We have detailed the Panthers game here in its entirety on this site so check out those articles for the full breakdown. For now, here’s a look around the rest of the division.
Buffalo 29 Atlanta 15
The Falcons were officially eliminated from postseason play with their loss to Buffalo on Sunday. The team went out swinging but the offense just went out. Even with the Falcons causing 3 turnovers on the afternoon, the Falcons could only manage to run 50 plays on offense for a grand total of 265 yards in the snow in New York. In the blistering conditions, QB Matt Ryan only mustered up 197 yards passing while the running game was non-existent. The defense tried to stand tall by picking off Bills QB Josh Allen 3 times, but the offense could do nothing with the extra opportunities. With Allen struggling throwing the football they turned to the running game which heated up the cold Buffalo field. The Bills ran for a season high 233 yards with Devin Singletary carrying most of load with 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. The win officially put the Bills in the playoffs while all Atlanta can do next week is play spoiler as they will look to ruin the Saints slim playoff hopes. They will host New Orleans Sunday afternoon in the Mersedes-Benz Stadium.
Tampa Bay 28 New York Jets 24
In a game where all the talk should have been about Tom Brady throwing another game winning touchdown, instead all the talk was about Bucs WR Antonio Brown throwing in the towel so to speak. In a weird situation, Brown decided to take his uniform off during the middle of the 3rd quarter, throw his gloves in the crowd and exit to the locker room. His day and his tenure in Tampa was over. That bizarre turn of events aside, there was a game still to play. A game where Tampa trailed for the entire game until the very end. The very end which seems as predictable as the sun rising in which Brady threw the game winning touchdown with 15 seconds to go. Brady finished the day with 410 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. The defense finally did their part for the Bucs by shutting the Jets out in the 4th quarter which allowed their offense to mount a furious comeback. Brady magic seems to be a real thing and more of it will be needed in the postseason if the Bucs are to defend their title. They finish off the season by hosting the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon.