The Dime Package: 10 Thoughts from NFL Week 17

The 2016 NFL season wrapped up with two teams clinching playoff spots and two coaches getting fired in NFL Week 17.

The NFL regular season has finally concluded, making way for the 2017 NFL Playoffs. NFL Week 17 set the stage for the postseason, deciding the NFC North champion, seeding, and the ever-important momentum.

Of course, only 12 teams make the NFL Playoffs. Subsequently, 20 teams around the league are left wanting after NFL Week 17. They’re looking for changes, eyeing the draft, and hoping for a better future.

So what can we make of everything that happened in NFL Week 17? The Dime Package returns for one final time in the regular season:

1. The New England Patriots reinforced the perception nationally that they are the favorite to win it all heading into the playoffs. New England absolutely dominated Miami from the opening kickoff. Sure the Dolphins got within a score, but you never felt the Patriots were going to lose the game.

2. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons are the two teams that people are seemingly forgetting about in these playoffs. That’s a mistake, because both teams are talented enough—especially on offense—to make a deep playoff run.

3. If the Pegula family was hoping to sell Buffalo Bills fans on Anthony Lynn as the next coach of the Bills, they did the man a disservice when they forced him to start E.J Manuel at quarterback. Manuel as to be expected was terrible and was benched at the start of the fourth quarter. The Bills lost to the hapless New York Jets, 30-10. Needless to say, the Bills are a mess, and Lynn might want to consider taking other interviews.

4. Speaking of the Jets. The team announced that head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Mccagnan are both returning in 2017. Good! They should. Unlike other owners around the league, Jets owner Woody Johnson recognizes that patience is a virtue when it comes to rebuilding a team.

5. Sadly, the Oakland Raiders are beyond snake bitten. First they lose Derek Carr for the season and now backup Matt McGloin is out with a shoulder injury. It appears that rookie Connor Cook will start next weekend against the Texans in the Wild Card Round. Oakland has gone from Super Bowl contender to a team that could be one and done. Sad.

6. Locking up the NFC’s No. 3 seed, the Seattle Seahawks barely hung on to beat a bad San Francisco 49ers team. They will host the Detroit Lions on Saturday night in the Wild Card Round. Seattle just isn’t as intimidating as they’ve been in recent years. Sure, they could beat anyone, but I don’t think they are better than the Dallas Cowboys or Falcons. I’m not sure they are better than the Green Bay Packers or Seahawks.

7. The Chargers played their last game in San Diego yesterday. They are “bolting” for Los Angeles in two weeks. Sadly, they couldn’t give the fans a fond farewell.

8. Kirk Cousins did cost himself millions of dollars with his performance against the Giants. That being said, the Washington Redskins should re-sign him. Cousins will be the best quarterback in the open market and in the draft. It’s not even close.

9. The Packers would have been the team no one wants to play in the playoffs, but they don’t have anyone left who can play corner. So I don’t think they’re a legit contender.

10. Lastly, some quick thoughts on Sunday’s coaching moves.

Chip Kelly: It wasn’t working and you could see it after one season. Normally, I would oppose firing a coach after one season, but Kelly was a bad fit.

Mike McCoy: McCoy actually did a good job with a mediocre roster, but he didn’t win enough finishing with a 27-37 record. The Chargers had to move on from McCoy. They couldn’t move forward with him, especially if they are moving to Los Angeles.

Gary Kubiak: If Kubiak’s health was an issue, he needed to move on. Retiring was the right move. The Broncos have a talented roster—they are the defending Super Bowl champions after all. The Broncos job will be popular with most of the available candidates. John Elway will want someone who matches up with his philosophy.

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