NFL Week 16 Takeaways

Vikings stadium

Even though there are a ton of NFL teams that play their home games indoors, Week 16’s games were a reminder that weather plays a notable factor down the stretch. There were a lot of contests that unfolded at or below freezing temperatures, which many NFL fans affectionately call “football weather.”

Let’s take a look back at three important developments that took place during last weekend’s games.

Zach Wilson’s Fledgling Career

Even though it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing display of quarterbacking the league has ever seen, Zach Wilson was serviceable in Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. Head coach Robert Saleh was left with little choice but to go back to the embattled second year player, as fill-in starter Mike White was unable to take the field due a rib injury.

Wilson was given the nod in the New York Jets’ Thursday Night Football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, and the clock struck 12 for him in the second half. New York had immense difficulty moving the ball while the former BYU star was under center, so much so that Saleh pulled Wilson in favor of fourth string quarterback Chris Streveler.

Embarrassingly for the former second overall pick, Wilson watched as Streveler gave the Jets’ offense life. With such an underwhelming performance, Wilson’s name came up in conversations over the weekend involving some of the league’s biggest draft busts. It’s possible he’s played his final snap this season, and may not suit up for the Jets again.

Minnesota’s Continued Clutch Play

The Vikings have made plays when it’s mattered most all season, and that trend continued on Sunday against the New York Giants. Minnesota seemed to have the game in hand in the waning minutes, but the Giants were able to tie things up late in regulation. The Vikings didn’t flinch on the final drive.

The offense was able to do just enough to get into potential field goal range, although many wondered whether head coach Kevin Stefanski would allow kicker Greg Joseph to attempt a kick from beyond 60 yards.

Joseph trotted on to the field and knocked in a game-winning 61 yard field goal as time expired to defeat New York. Many fans are still not sold on Minnesota as a legitimate championship contender, but their resiliency continues to give supporters of the team hope.

Miami’s Slippery Slide

At one point, the Miami Dolphins were 8-3, and appeared to be solidifying themselves as one of the teams to beat in the AFC. Their dynamic offense, coupled with their talented defense, gave them a chance to hang with anyone in the postseason.

However, the Dolphins now find themselves holding on to the conference’s final playoff spot for dear life, as they dropped a fourth straight game on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers. The defeat happened in demoralizing fashion, as Miami seemed to have the game in hand. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw three fourth quarter interceptions that short-circuited any hope Miami had of reclaiming the lead.

It was later revealed that Tagovailoa suffered a concussion during the game, which might be his second or third such injury this season. While the initial concern surrounded his propensity to turn the ball over, attention has now shifted to his general health and well being.