Week 16 NFL Winners and Losers

Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterDecember 23, 2012

For all those Vikings fans who thought we were beating down on Christian Ponder this year, listen up. Ponder and the Vikings were huge Week 16 winners.

With a lot on the line for both teams, Minnesota went to Houston and beat the Texans, 23-6. Ponder did it all in a game where Adrian Peterson was held to "only" 86 yards rushing. The Vikings QB threw for 174 and rushed for 48 yards. He resembled the Christian Ponder of the first four weeks. And that's a good thing for Vikings fans. 

In the year of the rookie quarterback, is it no wonder the single-season passing yards record was broken? With a total of 4,183 passing yards, Andrew Luck has surpassed Cam Newton's one-year record of 4,051, and the Colts—2-14 last year and now 10-5—are ready to make a run in the playoffs. 

Speaking of records, how's about Calvin Johnson? Yes, the Lions were beaten badly by Atlanta on Saturday night, but Megatron had 225 yards and passed Jerry Rice for the all-time single season receiving record. 

On the losers side, the Steelers kissed their season goodbye at home by losing to the Bengals 13-10. Big Ben was pressured by a great front seven by the Bengals all day, he was sacked four times and picked off twice. Cincy is primed for a big run in the postseason.

 Greg McElroy finally got his wish, being the starting QB for the New York Jets. Be careful what you wish for. McElroy was sacked eleven times by the Chargers. Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow both held clipboards the entire game, despite the wildcat being run with WR Jeremy Kerley. Yes wildcat. No Tebow. The Jets lose 27-17, guaranteeing Rex Ryan's first losing season as a Jets head coach.  

Tampa and Josh Freeman are big losers in Week 16. Not only did the Bucs lose their fifth straight, but Freeman got picked off four times en route to a 28-13 loss to the Rams.

Check out our video above for more Week 16 winners and losers. Let us know in the comments below if we got it right or wrong.