NFL Week 16 Winners & Losers: Was Resting Peyton Manning a Good Idea?

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NFL Week 16 Winners & Losers: Was Resting Peyton Manning a Good Idea?
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

By Derek Lofland.

The six NFC teams that will compete for a Super Bowl appearance are set. The New Orleans Saints (NFC South), Minnesota Vikings (NFC North) and Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) have won their divisions. The winner of next week’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys wins the NFC East. The loser joins the Green Bay Packers as the other wild card. Final seeding is up in the air as only the New Orleans Saints have clinched a first round bye.

The AFC division winners are set. The Indianapolis Colts (AFC South) have home field advantage wrapped up. The San Diego Chargers (AFC West) have secured a first round bye. The New England Patriots (AFC East) and Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North) have won their divisions and will host first-round games.

The wild card is very complicated, but very simple at the same time. If the Baltimore Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders they are in the dance, and if the New York Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals they are also in the dance.

If that does not happen five other teams (Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers) suddenly have playoff life in tiebreakers procedures that it might take a book to explain.

Let’s look at the action from Week 16.

MVPs of the Week:

QB Tom Brady looked like the 2007 quarterback that threw 50 touchdown passes and won his first MVP award. Brady went 23-for-26 with 267 yards passing, four touchdowns, zero picks and a QB rating of 149.0.

RB Jonathan Stewart showed that he could carry the Panthers’ running back load going for 206 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown.

Finally, WR Roddy White had a great game for the Atlanta Falcons going for nine receptions, 139 yards and two touchdowns. That Falcons win gives them a shot at their first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history...

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