Week 17 of the season arrives and with it the expectation that there will be a Sunday and Monday full of emotion and emotion is fulfilled.
Also, above with the uncertainty caused by the growing number of Covid-19 infections among players and coaches, an element that has made it even more difficult to predict the results of the games. Absences open up too many non-calculable variables.
What can be seen is that clashes of the caliber such as the Bengals-Chiefs, Cowboys-Cardinals, Dolphins-Titans or Rams-Ravens, will give for a day that will be discussed for a long time.
As a finishing touch, the Browns-Steleers will be given on Monday, with high implications for defining the north of the AFC, but also what could be the last game of Ben Roethlisger and his terrible slaps in front of the Pittsburgh public. As it is, all that remains is to ask you to fasten your seat belts!
Does the season that Joe Burrow is having allows him to place him within the elite of young quartebacks alongside Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and LaMar Jackson?
SEBASTIÁN M. CHRISTENSEN / Twitter: @SebastianMCESPN
Joe Burrow is one of the quarterbacks I most enjoy watching play. But I think putting him specifically on the same level as Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen is still premature.
Since he’s in high school, you can see his personality and the fact that he is a positive leader. His arm is stronger than many claim, and he has a myriad of talented targets around him. I am happy that the Bengals are protagonists, to be able to see him in all or nothing games.
IVIS ABURTO / Twitter: @IvisAburto
Not yet, although Joe Burrow is on the right track.
To be among the elite of the new generation of quarterbacks, Burrow must prove that he can win and go far in the playoffs, an opportunity he will have in a few weeks.
Facing Mahomes and some Chiefs who need victory to stay in control of the, now more important, first seed, is a good opportunity for Burrow to savor from now on what will be his first Playoff experience.
ALFONSO MANCILLA / Twitter: @poncho_mancilla
He is not yet, but not because of a lack of talent, but because he has yet to show himself in the most important part of the calendar: the Playoffs.
Mahomes, Jackson and Allen are already in the MVP talks each year, plus they have been able to consistently make their teams to the postseason.
As Burrow succeeds, it may also be placed in this group.
PABLO VIRUEGA / Twitter: @PabloViruega
He is close to achieving it because since he came to the franchise he has put a greater explosion on the offense.
Last year we didn’t get to see much of him because of the injury, but what he showed us along with the additions and young talent he has in attack we assured that they would not be in the last places of the NFL, but we did not expect that this year they would be fighting the Division title.
Burrow is on his way to being in that elite group because he has the talent, leadership and personality, essential characteristics to be in a select group.
CARLOS NAVA / Twitter: @TapaNava
It is too early to consider him in that line in which Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are, and in which Josh Allen wants to be in the near future, whose inconsistency makes doubt if he is in the elite …
Burrow has played less than two seasons and has all the potential to rise high in the NFL, for something he was drafted as a first overall pick in the Draft, after being a collegiate national champion.
The 14 interceptions and 47 sacks for various reasons have to improve. It is more than good, but you have to show it in longer periods of time.
If the Dallas Cowboys convincingly defeats the Arizona Cardinals will it make them a true Super Bowl contender for the NFC? But if he loses, is it a sign that another failure will come in the Playoffs?
SEBASTIÁN M. CHRISTENSEN
I think they are already true Super Bowl contenders regardless of their result against the Cardinals.
His defense has undergone a major transformation from last year. Demarcus Lawrence came back very well after his injury, Randy Gregory has had a fabulous year and the impact of rookies Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons has been invaluable.
The criticisms regarding its offensive deficiencies have always been exaggerated in my opinion. Dallas is one of the best balanced teams in the NFL.
For a few weeks now, the Cowboys are already strong contenders for the Super Bowl and have shown it as they have recovered several players through injury, especially on offense.
In Dallas’ favor is the fact that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers steal the spotlight when it comes to top contenders in the NFC, which, in a way, should be positive for a Cowboys who may feel more loose without so much pressure.
On the other hand, a loss to Arizona would almost inevitably damage the chances of Dallas reaching the Playoffs in a privileged position, but not enough to anticipate a great Texas collapse in January … in the end, although to the downside, the The Cardinals have more than enough talent on their roster to stumble even the most painted at the worst time.
The outcome of the game is a double-edged sword for Dallas. To win, it will be said that it was “expected” when taking into account what was shown during the season.
But, if they lose, it could be seen as a reality check to their aspirations because they will play against a Cardinals that will offer the competition of a team that for much of the season had the best record in the NFL.
It will be at this point in the season that the hand of the head coach, Mike McCarthy, must be shown, who must make the best of whatever the result.
You don’t need to convince anyone, because those who don’t give Dallas credit for the season they’ve had will not give it away with anything.
Cowboys is a team that is currently second in the NFC and has a chance of finishing as the best. Of course, if you compare it to Green Bay and Tampa Bay, you have to fall to the figure of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and there who can compete or who in the NFC can?
The context is unfavorable for the Cowboys in all respects. If he wins, the vast majority of fans of other teams and even their own will point out that the Cardinals were at their worst, that they were down and that they were incomplete.
If they lose, many of even their own fans will go with everything under the leadership of coach Mike McCarthy, coordinator Kellen Moore, Jerry Jones and Dak Prescott.
That’s the history of the Cowboys. But it is a fact that the Cowboys have a team to compete with the best in the National Conference, although that does not ensure that they are the best or the worst.
The Cowboys, with good and bad teams, are a client of Arizona, which has beaten them five of their last six games …
Do the Miami Dolphins have a chance to beat the Titans at the level they have shown in their seven-game winning streak?
SEBASTIÁN M. CHRISTENSEN
Of course. The Dolphins defense is elite, and is now ranked first in the NFL in sacks, pressures and hits to the opposing quarterback.
While the Titans brought back AJ Brown, who adds more punch to that attack, without Derrick Henry they are still an average unit. Now, the Titans defense will be a real challenge for Tua Tagovailoa. I imagine a close game with few points.
No. While I am a firm believer that streaks strengthen the spirit and motivate even the worst team, it should also be considered that the Dolphins have beaten teams in crisis due to injuries or absences due to COVID-19 or that simply are bad.
That is not the fault of the Dolphins, who have done their job by beating the rivals they have faced, but having Titans in front that fight for the first seed in the AFC will make them suffer a hard blow of reality that will make them conclude that his streak is more useful for the 2022 season than for the next few weeks.
On paper, Miami will be able to measure up to you defensively, a unit that, according to this writer, has burdened the team during the seven-game winning streak.
Thus, the biggest challenge will be the one facing the offense, specifically quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The environment that he will face, as a visitor and before a team that will surely qualify, will be the baptism of fire and what shows what the player with the Miami jersey is made of at this moment.
He has no chance. Their victories in a row have been against poor quality opponents, except Baltimore, I understand that their defense has played at a good level, as well as Tua, but they had a hard time beating Saints.
Tennessee is a team with a good defense that will put pressure on Tua, who suffers from inconsistency in his game. Miami’s offense is not explosive and that will weigh on the game. Titans must win.
The Dolphins have a chance to beat the Titans because it is no accident in a league like the NFL that they have seven wins. But they will need a lot more offense than they have shown in this streak or at least last Monday.
In seven consecutive victories, Ravens are the only opponent with a winning record and as of Week 10, they have lost five of seven games, including the Dolphins.
The Dolphins will have to go for Ryan Tannehill and his offense as they have in the streak, in which they have allowed fewer points and yards per game than any other team in the NFL.