Once again the team no one wants to face, Seattle is one win from the playoffs

Seattle Seahawks Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Vikings 7 – Seahawks 21

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.

Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.

What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.

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Packers playoff hopes will be made or lost in Chicago

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
Green Bay Packers Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan //@Lucyrk78

It was pretty strange not seeing Mike McCarthy on the sidelines Sunday when the Green Bay Packers welcomed the Atlanta Falcons.

And while it’s still too early to make any big statements on the future of this season for the Packers, we have to love seeing the team put up a season-high 34 points.

I feel like the Packers played with more energy than they have so far this season, and definitely executed more efficiently than they have been. Is this Joe Philbin’s doing? Were they players responding to something they’ve wanted to have happen for as long as us fans have?

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Meet Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Finalist, Trey Burton

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

Since 1970, the Man of the Year award was given to players who went over and beyond in outstanding community service on and off the field, and still perform with extreme excellence on the field. It was renamed after the Chicago Bears greatest running back of all-time in 1999.

Alongside Payton, who won his award in 1977, is Dave Duerson (1987), Mike Singletary (1990), Jim Flanigan (2000), and Charles Tillman (2013). Former Bears Julius Peppers (Panthers) and Robbie Gould (49ers) are also finalists for their prospective causes.

This year, the Chicago Bears have chosen tight end Trey Burton as their nominee.

I want to address the work that Burton has been pouring his heart and soul into, and that is the International Justice Mission. This organization aims at eliminating slave trade.

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After a slow start, Giants still have a chance at the playoffs

Marquita Quinones
NY Giants reporter

By Marquita Quinones // @LatinLove729

Giants 40 – Redskins 16

What a season! Who would have thought with the start that the New York Giants had they could even be having thoughts of a playoff run. But, believe it or not, there is still hope. Very slim, but hope.

It seems as though after the bye week the Giants have started to find themselves. In the past 3 weeks, the Giants have had a close loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, and two good wins, one against the Chicago Bears and the latest impressive win against the Washington Redskins. The Giants have improved their record to 4-1 after the bye.

Now, if the beating they gave Washington was a glimpse of what might be if given the chance to enter the playoff season, the Giants may be in good shape. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.

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Dolphins pull off “Boise” for the win against Patriots

Lisa
Lisa Johnson,
Miami Dolphins Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

Dolphins 34 – Patriots 33

Let me first start out by saying…”Alright Miami!” because that was my very first thought after watching the Dolphins pull off a miracle last play to win the game. I could hear good ole Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich’s voice in my head.

A fitting end to a very typical AFC East match-up. A game that saw nine lead changes, which now stands as the second most in an NFL game.

Don’t think many fans would have expected that outcome when it comes to a shoot-out with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

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Houston is T.Y. Hilton’s second home

Julie Voigt, Indianapolis Colts Reporter

By Julie Voigt // @JulieNoted_NFL  

Colts 24 – Texans 21

“This is my second home.” Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton tells the media after a victory over the AFC South Division leading Houston Texans.  And course, what a game performance from Hilton!

For the seventh straight season, Hilton has at least 800 receiving yards, making this the longest active streak in the NFL.  Also, Hilton broke a tie with former Colts’ WR and Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison for the most 150 yard receiving games in the Colts’ franchise history.  

On Sunday vs the Texans, Hilton caught 9 of 12 targets for 199 yards.  “He’s a baller, man. He’s a baller. It’s always an honor to play with.” Colts QB Andrew Luck tells Colts.com reporter Jake Arthur. “We all know T.Y.’s a tough guy.  Sometimes the best packages come in small sizes.”

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Titans keep playoff hopes alive by beating the Jaguars

Karen Christensen, Tennessee Titans Reporter

By Karen Christensen //@ksc47

Titans 30 – Jaguars 9

Thursday Night Football in Nashville was all about Titans’ running back Derrick Henry. Period.

At the beginning of the season, Henry had stated that he wanted to be known as a premiere back. He had not had a stellar season, with RB Dion Lewis getting more yardage and carries each game.

But Thursday night it was all about Henry and he did not disappoint.

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Christian Kirksey is Cleveland Browns nominee for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Kate Arhar
Cleveland Browns Reporter

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

What is your “Why?”  That is the question Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey asked his teammates during training camp. It became a highlight of this season’s edition of the HBO series Hard Knocks. 

And part of his “Why?” has always been combining football with community service, giving back to those who helped him and being a role model for our youth.

Originally drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Kirksey has become a leader in the locker room and a real presence in the community. His Kirkoland Foundation was established to help children, both in Cleveland where he plays and in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was born and raised.

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Bears-Rams matchup has familiar feel

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

The Chicago Bears will be hosting the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday night at Soldier Field and Bears fans are both excited and nervous.

And for good reason.

The Rams are the number one seeded team in the NFC with a record of 11-1. The Bears hold the 3rd seed spot at 8-4 and currently first in the NFC North division.

With Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky back under center, after he sustained a shoulder injury against the Minnesota Vikings, it will be interesting to see what kind of game churns out. Currently, the Bears have a 5-1 record at home and fans have been coming out in droves to bring some noise to opposing teams.

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Matthew Stafford is the Detroit Lions nominee for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Sonja Greenfield Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

“To whom much is given, much is required”

That was something that my mom used to always tell me as a kid, and sometimes now even though I consider myself grown!  But honestly, it took until I was grown to really understand what this meant.  Now that I really get it, I think it’s a wonderful way to describe the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been the leader of this Detroit Lions team for 10 seasons.  He has been a comeback player of the year, his name has been tossed around in both MVP conversations and trade conversations among fans.   But one thing you can’t deny about John Matthew Stafford is his commitment to the Detroit community.

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