NFL Week 16 Top 5 Storylines

Adam OdekirkContributor IIDecember 24, 2011

NFL Week 16 Top 5 Storylines

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    This is one of the most exciting home stretches of an NFL season in recent history. Even the teams fighting for the worst record in the league are drawing huge interest and notoriety.

    Records will fall, playoff bubbles will burst and legends will be solidified in Week 16 of the NFL season.

    Here are the five best storylines of Week 16. Merry Christmas NFL Fans!

The Battle for New York

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    Rex wants to talk, and Tom just wants to play. 

    The Jets and the Giants are squaring off for a game that could decide the playoff fates of both teams depending on the outcome. Even without the added meaning from potential playoff implications, this game was going to be important.

    Mark Sanchez is looking to announce that he is as legitimate an NFL quarterback as his NYC counterpart Eli Manning

    If all the talking is not backed up, then Rex Ryan's seat could start getting hot, but that is nothing new for coach Tom Coughlin on the other sideline.

Who Stays Alive in the AFC West?

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    Every team in the AFC West is playing a must win game this weekend.

    Denver must win to keep control of their own destiny in the race for the division. 

    Oakland and Kansas City are going to hit the field and only one team can emerge with a chance to still win the division as they square off at Arrowhead Stadium.

    San Diego is trying to continue their now trademarked late season surge and keep their playoff dreams alive against the Detroit Lions who also have a lot on the line.

    The final scores today will paint the picture for how the "west will be won" in the final week of the season. All four teams will face a division opponent in Week 17.

The Assault on Dan Marino's Record Continues

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    Realistically, a big game by Drew Brees on Monday Night Football could take the record down with one more week still remaining.

    Still, Brady had a great passing game against Miami last time, so another inspired performance by Brady might put him in position to steal the record from both Brees and Marino.

    It seems clear that Marino's record for total passing yardage in a season will fall. The big question now is who will own the record?

    It's Brady vs. Brees, and the world will be watching.

Who Sucks Enough for Luck?

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers still have a lot to play for, but will the subtraction of Ben Roethlisberger mean that St. Louis can score a win in Week 16 and stay ahead of Indy?

    Meanwhile, Minnesota has a winnable game against Washington this week. Is Christian Ponder playing to keep Andrew Luck out of the minds of Vikings brass?

    It seems unlikely that either St. Louis or Minnesota would cut ties with their promising young quarterbacks, but with a prospect like Luck sitting on the board it will be interesting to see what these teams do in the final two weeks. 

Which Teams on the Bubble Pop Today?

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    With two weeks left in the season there are 22 teams still mathematically eligible for the playoffs this season.

    That makes for high drama in the NFL and many games that have huge implications for its competitors.

    Some of the more notable teams are the Giants, Cowboys, Falcons, Bears, Lions, Raiders, Chargers, Jets, Titans and Bengals...just to name a few! 

    There are a million different scenarios that COULD play out, but after Week 16 some teams will only have one fate...playoff doom.