NFL Scores Week 17: Teams That Made Biggest Statements in Regular Season Finale

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 30: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts passes the ball against the Houston Texans during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The final week of the NFL season often creates some odd results, but this Sunday's games also saw some convincing wins for a few teams.

With the playoffs approaching, every team is trying its best to make a statement. Those can come in all shapes and sizes, but it starts with an impressive performance on the scoreboard.

Each team's regular season finale held a different meaning, but there was something to be said by every team involved.

Let's take a look at three teams that made the biggest statements on Sunday.


Indianapolis Colts

The Colts defeated the Houston Texans on Sunday in the most impressive win of the weekend. Not only did the win come in Chuck Pagano's return to the sideline, but it came against a daunting Texans team.

There's no doubt that Houston was reeling entering Sunday's contest, but it still had a chance to earn the No. 1 seed with a win. Rather than give it to the Texans, the Colts played an excellent game on both sides of the ball.

Andrew Luck delivered another excellent performance with Pagano at the helm, and Indianapolis continued its momentum entering the postseason.

No one should look forward to playing this team right now. Luck has the offense rolling, and Pagano's presence gives the Colts a different aura about them.


New York Giants

Granted, Sunday's 42-7 win came against the Philadelphia Eagles, but any win would be impressive for this team right now.

The Giants didn't just win, they seemed like a team that wanted to win. Effort was there on both sides of the ball, and the team played as one cohesive unit.

Eli Manning has struggled throughout the season, but he made the big plays on Sunday. He hasn't played like a leader as of late, but he delivered a big game when his team needed it the most. It must have help to get into the playoffs, but a loss would have eliminated it without questions.

Philadelphia struggled this season, but it would have loved to send the Giants packing in its final game. Instead, New York handled its business and took home the decisive victory.


Denver Broncos

I don't care if the Broncos' 38-3 win came against the Kansas City Chiefs or not. Denver still took care of business.

When you hold this team's game up against the likes of Houston, it's clear which team is ready to begin its playoff journey. The Broncos are poised to make a run, and they showed exactly why on Sunday.

Even though the Chiefs aren't a fair gauge of how good Denver is right now, crazy things happen in the season's final week. It's easy to lose focus and drop an unnecessary game, but the Broncos did exactly what they came to do.

There's no doubt that Peyton Manning's focused presence behind center has a lot to do with this team's success, and it shined through again on Sunday. The All-Pro quarterback showed why he's leading the most dangerous team in the NFL with the postseason right around the corner.