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The Hudsucker is an online magazine made up of unique and dedicated writers with fresh voices from across the country and overseas. Our team of writers are passionate and driven, bringing forth their personalities in each article. Since its inception in 2012, The Hudsucker has continuously proven how writing is our strongest fingerprint. By creating a smart and ambitious environment for readers, the digital magazine focusing on popular culture aims to be relatable through experiences and passions.

The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 16 – Race to the Finish

This year our writers teamed up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, they  shared their thoughts and highlights from some of the games they watched. Who were the winners in Week 16? Which team will come out victorious at the end of this 2013-2014 season? 

Today is the day–today, we meet up with the last week of the regular football season. The playoff picture will finally be set! And though it’s been an incredible journey watching all 32 teams compete for the playoffs, today marks the specific moment that will either make or break a team. Week 16 showed great clarity for the post-season playoffs with the evident fact that no team will finish better than 13-3 this year, with Denver and Seattle floating in realm of that mark. The 2013 season really has been an unpredictable one, especially with countless injuries shuffling the roster. As the games commence at 1 p.m EST, it’s no doubt that the teams will be playing like there is no tomorrow.

So as we wait for the games to start, let’s recap some of the plays from last week. How did Week 16 look? Our writers Chris Hill and Tania Hussain team up and share some highlights from their favorite games, what they thought of the plays and what’s ahead for the teams as the season ends here. 

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Image Credit: AP/Getty Images

Panthers, 17-13

Chris:

Drew Brees is a great QB, but he cannot be their savior on every away game. The defense needed a stop and if you have no run game, you will not win in the playoffs. Luke Kuelchy should have sewn up the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Carolina’s defense is miles above all the NFC South guys.

Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Image Credit: Indy Star/Getty Images

Colts, 23-7

Tania:

The Kansas City Chiefs may or may not be having some difficulty this season after having their consecutive wins snatched from them by the Denver Broncos. They have suffered now three straight losses at home, but are 7-0 on the road–that isn’t so bad considering they will be opening the playoffs outside Arrowhead Stadium and could open the possibility of a win against their opponent. Last week they played the Colts and suffered quite a bit as Indy and their QB Andrew Luck dominated the Chiefs. Luck has a knack for completing 70% of his passes, letting the Colts remaining the fourth seed in the NFL playoffs, sitting atop the AFC South with 10-5. It is a very weak division but there’s no denying how the Colts fight back in the nick of time. They have very impressive wins against some of the NFL’s best, like the Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Their games against the 49ers and the Chiefs show us that they are not afraid to play on the road either.

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens

Image Credit: NFL/AP Photo

Patriots, 41-7

Chris:

The Ravens cannot go anywhere in playoffs (if they get there) without an offense. This was the third game since Thanksgiving where they’re offense simply was below mediocre. Ray Rice hasn’t played long enough to retire, but Benard Pierce shows much more burst. Oh, someone tell Joe Flacco that playoffs started–maybe he’ll play more clutch.

The Pats offense always come through, doesn’t matter who is receiving or running. That being said, they need more play makers. It’s long since the day that Tom Brady and Randy Moss made history.

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

Image Credit: AP Photo/Getty Images America

Broncos, 37-13

Tania:

Magical night for Peyton Manning! It was history in the making as the Denver QB threw for 400 yards and made four TDs–he broke the record for most touchdown passes in a single-season, with a total of 51 now, passing New England Patriot’s QB Tom Brady. Of course, there is still today’s game to go as the Broncos take on the Raiders, but he was efficient in leading his team to a 37-13 victory over Houston, and clinching the AFC West title. Denver now gets the home field advantage and a first-round bye so they can rest up and re-examine their plays. It’s been seen that Manning’s field assets are TE Julius Thomas, and WRs Demaryius Thomas, and Eric Decker–those three create much clout for Manning’s passes and ultimately, winning plays.

The Texans didn’t perform as well this season and are currently at 2-13. They play Tennessee today, and well by the looks of it, it feels like the Titans will make this game memorable for themselves as the Texans have quite a bit of trouble with pass protection, offense, and let’s not get into their QBs. QB Matt Schaub was starting for the first time since October, taking place of the injured back-up QB Case Keenum. Schuab finished with 176 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions for the Texans. Good, but not good enough.

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles

Image Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Eagles, 54-11

Chris:

I think the Bears lack of any run stoppers is catching up to them. Their linebackers look slow and against the likes of Lesean McCoy, this outcome was inevitable. On offense, they simply didn’t click. It’s easy to say that McCown played better than Cutler, but the Eagles defense suffocated the pocket.

This Eagles team is gaining steam and fast–much like Chip Kelly’s offense. The management seems to have struck gold with Nick Foles – he really doesn’t make mistakes, just look at his passer rating.

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Image Credit: NFL/Getty Images

49ers, 34-24

Chris:

You know what I saw in this game? I saw what the Falcons would look like if they had been pass blocking the whole year…oh, and they still lost. People can blame the injuries and the play on the offensive line, but the way the Niners D played on the final drive shows the difference between a team who wants the win and a team who wills their team to win. Kudos to Navarro Bowman; kudos to Frank Gore.

Mike Smith has one more season to “out think” at least one playoff contending coach.

Who are you rooting for? What games did you watch? Let us know what you thought of Week 16 by sounding off in the comments below. What do you hope to see in today’s games?

About the Authors

___________________________________________

Tania Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief here at The Hudsucker, and a freelance writer at the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She has her own column over at NBC News’ Newsvine and has completed a manuscript awaiting to be published. She is a member of  The Canadian Authors Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada. Tania is an avid Colts, Elvis and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses. Follow her on Twitter as @westlifebunny.

Chris Hill graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of ‘nerdy’ things that would embarrass his wife. Follow him on Google+.

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