In these weekly previews, I’ll highlight the results that I found shocking from the previous week, as well as preview the game I am most looking forward to from the weekend ahead. As we get later into the season, I may add some other sections to this, including playoff positioning and a look forward to the upcoming draft.
The Top Games From Week 16
New Orleans Saints 31 – Pittsburgh Steelers 28
The Saints clinched a first-round bye with the victory, while the Steelers fell out of the playoff picture after the loss, falling behind the Baltimore Ravens (for the AFC North title) and the Tennessee Titans (for the second wild card), who had both won Saturday.
The Steelers entered the fourth quarter, leading 28-24. And for most of the fourth quarter, that lead remained in place, with the Steelers failing to add points, while the Saints went 3-and-out and had a blocked field goal. After that blocked field goal, the Steelers were holding onto the ball, trying to get a first down to run some time off the clock. On 4th-and-5, the Steelers seemingly lined up to punt, only to fake the punt and come up a yard short.
The Saints took control of the ball with 4:06 left on the clock at the Pittsburgh 46 yard line, and unlike their opponents, they were able to run down the clock, driving the field and scoring a touchdown with 1:25 left on the clock. This left the Steelers with plenty of time left to score, and after a converted 4th-and-15 (upheld on review), the Steelers were on the drive to at least attempt a game-tying field goal. Instead, JoJo Smith-Schuster fumbled after a reception, allowing the Saints to fully run out the clock and earn the victory.