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Week 17: Winners and Losers

CeeDee Lamb continued his phenomenal 2023 season in Week 17.


Chicago Bears

In Week 17, the Bears took down the Falcons at home in convincing fashion AND got the first overall pick in next year’s draft locked up with another Carolina loss. Despite being out of the playoff picture, the Bears are quietly 5-2 in their last seven weeks and will have an opportunity to spoil Green Bay’s season when they meet the Packers at Lambeau next week. Justin Fields has been playing quite well at quarterback, and right now, it’s very difficult to predict how they’ll use their first overall pick next year. Even without the pick, though, excitement is mounting in Chicago. If the defense can continue to play well next season, this team should be much more competitive in 2024, regardless of who is under centre.  

CeeDee Lamb

Ceedee Lamb’s remarkable year continued on Saturday night, as the Cowboys receiver recorded 13 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown in Dallas’ win against Detroit. Since Week 6, Lamb has gone under 100 yards only four times and has just three games without a touchdown. He’s also caught at least six passes in every game but one. With Dallas regaining the top spot in the NFC East, there’s a good chance that this team could play multiple postseason games at home this year. If that’s the case, look for Dak and Ceedee to lead the way offensively yet again for the Cowboys.  

Baltimore Ravens

We knew that the Ravens were good, but did we know they were THIS good? In Week 17, Baltimore captured the top seed in the AFC by dismantling the Dolphins in a rout, winning 56-19. Lamar Jackson threw for 321 yards and five touchdowns in the game, which basically cemented him as the season’s MVP. John Harbaugh’s Ravens are now 10-1 in their last eleven games and the coach will be able to sit his star players this week before a first round bye if he chooses to. With the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals all going through their issues this year, it may finally be Lamar Jackson’s time to rise above the competition in the AFC playoffs. 


Philadelphia Eagles

The Cowboys’ win was a big one on Saturday night, but Philadelphia’s shocking loss to the Cardinals was even bigger. Five weeks ago, the Eagles were sitting pretty at 10-1 with an MVP frontrunner under centre. Now, they’ve lost four of their last five games and currently hold the first wild card spot while questions are coming for everyone. Jalen Hurts certainly hasn’t been great during these last five games, but his play is far from the biggest issue with the team. Defensively, Philadelphia has been getting dominated and has allowed an average of over 30 points in their last five outings. This team isn’t what we thought they would be right now, and they’re running out of time to figure it out.  

Seattle Seahawks

Last week, they were on the inside looking out. Now, the Seattle Seahawks are on the outside looking in after a Week 17 loss to the Steelers. Geno Smith and the offence did their part, but the same could not be said for the defensive unit, who couldn’t slow Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren down at all. The two running backs combined for 40 carries, 198 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, breaking tackles on seemingly every play. Now, the Hawks will have to get a win in Arizona and hope that the Bears can take down Green Bay. We’ve seen this team compete with good NFC teams this year, but if they’re going to tackle the way they did against Pittsburgh, they may not even get through the Cardinals.

Carolina Panthers

Finally, we’ll go back to the Carolina Panthers. In terms of organizations that don’t have anything to be excited about right now, I don’t think anyone is topping Carolina. Bryce Young hasn’t been great, their first overall pick in next year’s draft is headed to Chicago, and in Week 17, owner David Tepper was recorded tossing his drink at Jaguars fans. Tepper has quickly become one of the least popular owners in the league this season, and now, there’s only another reason to dislike him. Young may end up being a decent quarterback in the NFL, but the organization needs to get him some help immediately. If they can’t make strides in the offseason, another two-win season may be coming their way in 2024.  

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