What I learned from Week 17 of the NFL

Steelers 16, Ravens 13: Somehow, coach Mike Tomlin is keeping the Steelers alive again with playoff hopes in the final week of the season. Tomlin may also have a quarterback. Rookie Kenny Pickett capped off an almost unremarkable performance with a stunning winning touchdown drive. After a nudge down the center to move his ball inside the red zone, Pickett bailed left at the third-and-eight, driving back Nagy Harris near the left-front pylon with 56 seconds remaining. Pickett’s first-round draft pick was a clear indication of Pickett’s ability to improvise. For Baltimore, the loss will make it very difficult for him to beat the Bengals in his AFC North, but the Ravens have already qualified for the wild card.

Buccaneers 30, Panthers 24: The Panthers were the better team in three-quarters and changes. Sam Darnold played one of his best games of the season, with a beautiful ball in his placement where he scored three touchdowns. But that alone wasn’t enough to win the game, and Tom Brady and Mike Evans’ relentless targeting downfield for the Carolinas to conquer the division.

Falcons 20, Cardinals 19: Quarterback Desmond Ridder has gotten a little better in three starts, and that’s all the Falcons could hope for at the end of the season. It was difficult to play explosively, but Ridder got the ball out quickly and made efficient gains. But the Falcons were lucky that the Cardinals’ offense dried up. Arizona has started its fourth quarterback of the season. David Blau is a career backup who struggled to get more than 5 yards on one attempt in Cliff Kingsbury’s high school offense.

Lions 41, Bears 10: This was the real game of the quarter. Justin Fields said he ran over 100 yards in the first 15 minutes of play and literally put the Bears up to his 10. But that was all Fields and the Bears had on Tank. From that point on, the Lions pass rush terrorized Fields and the offense rained points on Chicago’s young defense. Detroit quarterback Jared Goff spread the ball to his 11 different targets, and Jamal Williams and Dundle Swift combined he ran more than 200 yards.

Saints 20, Eagles 10: The Eagles missed Jalen Hurts. Backup His quarterback Gardner Minshew wasn’t bad for most of the game. The Eagles more or less gave up the run, and Minshew crumbled in the fourth quarter, throwing a pick six when Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore jumped a slanted pass. The Eagles would probably be fine, but they should have won this game.

Browns 24, Commanders 10: The commander’s die roll at quarterback was bad. Carson Wentz threw two interceptions in the first half and did little to make up for them, and all the Browns needed was a consistent serve on Nick his Chub on his carry and a shot at his game passing. It was only his playing success.

Jaguars 31, Texans 3: Trevor Lawrence threw no touchdowns and threw one interception, but it didn’t matter at all. Lawrence was very efficient outside of interceptions and set up several drives for the Jaguars to end things on the ground. His three backs for Jacksonville scored, including rookie Snoop his Conner, who scored his first touchdown as a pro.

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