Gregg Rosenthal's latest look at the AFC Playoff Picture tells the tale of a conference nearly locked down for postseason play.
If the Texans take care of business, though, either Weeden or Brian Hoyer would play the wild-card round, leaving the long-lost Browns to ponder how two of their starting signal-callers from 2013 became postseason darlings. It's no less awkward in Cincinnati, where McCarron's significant wrist sprain means fans could be treated to a glorious taste of Keith Wenning in January.
For years, the AFC playoffs were anchored by the likes of Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco. Not this time, though, unless Big Ben and the Steelers improbably flip-flop with the Jets in Week 17. We don't see that happening with the way Fitzpatrick is playing of late, guiding Gang Green on a five-game win streak that has New York entering January as a legitimate threat to mine deep into the postseason. Who?
It's not a complaint. Honestly, it's a beautiful time. We've watched the same cast of signal-callers seek glory one year after the next -- why not someone new? Wouldn't it be great to see a hard-working, all-in veteran like Fitzpatrick do the impossible?