NFL Week 17 Preview: Ravens and Dolphins Prepare to Settle Things Like Gentlemen

The Miami Dolphins proved to their many doubters they could handle the spotlight on Christmas Eve by rallying to beat the Dallas Cowboys. But can the Dolphins do it again? Miami, a once proud franchise that won two of the first seven Super Bowls, hasn’t won many memorable games since the 1980s.

The Dolphins have an opportunity to win the AFC East Division for the first time since 2008. Miami can also cement itself as the top seed in the AFC if it can beat the Baltimore Ravens this weekend. But it won’t be easy for the Dolphins.

The Ravens looked like the best team in the NFL on Christmas Day. Baltimore beat up San Francisco on the road and made 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy, considered by many to be a strong MVP candidate, look like he didn’t belong on the field. The Ravens forced him to throw four interceptions.

Miami is in danger of losing the AFC East crown if it loses this game. The Dolphins have to play Buffalo to wrap up the season, and if the Bills win in Week 17, the race will tighten up. Up-to-date sports news shows both teams have a lot to play for in this one.

 

Buccaneers Inch Closer to NFC South title

 

 

The NFL Comeback Player of the Year should be split up among several players this season. However, the voting structure likely won’t allow for the sharing of the award. While the favorite to win the award entering the season, Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin didn’t play much after his health scare last year, there are several intriguing candidates who have played well down the stretch.

Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield could make his statement this weekend by leading the Buccaneers past the New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South Division. Tampa Bay has won four straight games, and the previous meeting between the teams 26-9 on Oct. 1 on the road. Mayfield has been heating up over the past few weeks.

Against Green Bay on Dec. 17, Mayfield recorded a perfect passer rating in Tampa Bay’s win. Mayfield’s strong performance hasn’t just been against mediocre teams. During an important game with Jacksonville last week, Mayfield completed 74.3 percent of his passes and finished with 283 yards and two touchdowns. New Orleans hasn’t had the same level of luck bringing in an established veteran quarterback with success elsewhere.

The Derek Carr experiment has flopped for the Saints. While Carr has thrown for three touchdowns in his previous two starts, New Orleans still lost to the Los Angeles Rams last week. Considering what the Saints paid for Carr in free agency, New Orleans was hoping for better than a 7-8 record. 

 

Stroud’s Health Big News in Houston

 

 

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has been a revelation for Houston. After years in the darkness following the Deshaun Watson scandal, the Texans finally had hope. But then Stroud suffered a concussion in Week 14 and has been out two weeks due to symptoms of the hit.

Entering Houston’s Week 17 matchup with Tennessee, the Texans need a win to stay in the Wild Card race. Black sports news show Stroud has been progressing and is expected to play. Houston doesn’t want to rely on veteran quarterback Case Keenum.

Keenum led the Texans to a 19-16 win over Tennessee in Week 15 but struggled mightily against Cleveland last weekend. The Texans will be matched up with a last-place Titans team that is 1-6 on the road this season. Tennessee has worked with veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill and rookie Will Levis this season. The Titans’ offense has never found any sort of identity.

 

O’Connell Needs to Complete Some Passes

 

On the road, the Las Vegas Raiders pulled off a stunning win over the Kansas City Chiefs Monday. But rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell had little to do with it. While football is a team game, current sports news shows that the Raiders will need more from their signal caller to play spoiler against Indianapolis on the road this weekend.

O’Connell didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter. The Raiders surprised everyone by scoring two defensive touchdowns in seven seconds to stun the AFC West Division-leading Chiefs. Heading to Indianapolis won’t be an easy challenge for the Raiders.

While the Colts are playing with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis is sitting in the last Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Colts can’t afford another loss, as the Steelers and Texans are lurking behind them in the standings.

 

Rudolph Looks for Redemption

 

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph appeared doomed to be remembered for the worst moment of his life. A few years ago, Rudolph and Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett got into an on-field tussle that ended with Garrett smashing Rudolph over the head with his helmet. Rudolph only made one start in 2021 and didn’t play at all in 2022, despite knowing the system better than Kenny Pickett or Mitch Trubisky.

Last Sunday, Rudolph helped the Steelers keep their season alive with a 34-11 win over Cincinnati. He passed for 290 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team. There was some chatter that Pickett may return this weekend against Seattle, but it’s hard to say Rudolph hasn’t earned another opportunity.

Pickett was inefficient before he got hurt, and the Steelers must beat the Seahawks to keep their hopes alive. Seattle is a franchise that can relate to Rudolph’s plight. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith spent a long time on the sidelines before getting his first chance to experience success.

Smith guided Seattle to the postseason last year while facing the pressure to replace Russell Wilson under center. According to top sports news today, the Seahawks hold the last NFC Wild Card spot but can’t afford to slip up.

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