Dec 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field after setting the NFL single season passing yardage record against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. The Broncos won 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Takeaways From Week 17: Manning Is The Man

The Cleveland Browns made a huge mistake dumping Rob Chudzinski

Of all the head coaches on the hot seat entering week 17, one that was considered relatively safe in the minds of most was Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski.  Then, inexplicably, news came out the team had unceremoniously dumped him after only one season.  It is by far the most puzzling dismissal of the season.  While the Browns struggled at the end of the season, it seemed Chudzinski was building something offensively, and with a strong defense in place he might make some serious noise in 2014 if he got a quarterback.  Now the team is starting over again, and they may soon regret their decision.

The Chicago Bears may have an all-new defense in 2014

Injuries everywhere, the Chicago Bears defense fought hard to keep the Green Bay Packers at bay, but unfortunately they saved some of their worst gaffes for the biggest game of the year, and it all culminated in a busted coverage that gave the Packers a comeback win.  Their efforts to maintain the Lovie Smith defense was a nice idea, but clearly it hasn’t worked.  Changes are coming from every direction and no one would be surprised of 80% of the defense, including the coaching staff, is brand new next year.

Peyton Manning is the standard of all quarterbacks

Yes, the argument still stands that he only has one Super Bowl ring, but it also must be remembered that Peyton Manning has one more rings than quite a few Hall of Fame quarterbacks.  At the end of the day his greatness will exceed that minute issue of not winning more rings.  At age 37, “The Sherriff” has reached heights previously never dreamed of.  Not only has he set the standard for touchdowns passes in a season with 55, but he also took the passing yardage record for good measure with 5,477.  On top of that his Denver Broncos offense scored a record 606 points, which should earn Manning an unprecedented fifth MVP award.  All arguments at this point are weak.  He is the greatest ever.

New York Jets right to gamble on Rex Ryan

The worst thing a team can do to a rookie quarterback is force him to endure changes around him just as he’s coming into the league.  That is what the New York Jets had to consider with Geno Smith, on top of the fact that Rex Ryan, though missing the playoffs again has managed to keep his team competitive and playing hard.  The team seems content to let the coach have one more season to get his horses in place, particularly on offense in hopes he can break through in the AFC East and get back to the playoffs.  It’s a gamble, but a calculated one.

The Cincinnati Bengals are the most dangerous playoff team

Talent?  Check.  Spotless home record?  Check.  A growing hunger to win a playoff game?  Double check.  The Cincinnati Bengals put to rest any lingering doubts about their claim to the AFC North division by knocking the Baltimore Ravens out of playoff contention for the first time in the John Harbaugh era.  Now the Bengals bring their talent-laden roster to a playoff picture that doesn’t seem all that overpowering.  In fact, Cincinnati has already beaten four of the current AFC participants.  If that isn’t grounds for confidence, nothing is.

Tags: Chicago Bears NFL Peyton Manning Rex Ryan Rob Chudzinski

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