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NFL Betting: What We Learned from Week 16 (2020)

by December 28, 2020
Tua Tagovailoa

Week 16 produced some wild outcomes, with some records falling and some incredible comebacks. But before we turn the page to Week 17, let’s take one more look back to Week 16 and see what we learned.

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Dolphins Might Need A New Quarterback

It’s still very early in the Tua Tagovailoa era in Miami. However, with the team now holding a top-four pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, they might be eyeing his replacement. Sounds crazy, right? Maybe, but as we’ve seen with other rookie quarterbacks like Josh Rosen, you might be better to cut bait early and admit the mistake.

Look, Tua still has lots of time. If the draft was today, I wouldn’t draft a quarterback and move on from Tua. At the same time, there have to be some very serious concerns. On Saturday, Tagovailoa had just 94 passing yards against the Las Vegas Raiders defense, which has been picked apart by everyone over the last month. You can’t blame the cast, either, as Ryan Fitzpatrick came in and carved them up immediately.

Tagovailoa’s numbers are deceiving. He’s thrown 10 touchdowns, has just two picks, and he’s won a lot of games. At the same time, he’s had some real clunkers like the Raiders game, the Denver Broncos game, and even the performance against the New England Patriots. He’s had 10 catchable interceptions dropped, according to Pro Football Focus, and he’s already been benched twice. The coaching staff knows.

He’s got time to turn it around, but the front office has to be wondering if he’s a franchise-caliber quarterback. If not, they might look in a different direction.

Falcons Need To Start From Scratch

Another week, another stingy loss for the Falcons. Sure, they covered the spread, so bettors should be pleased, but they blew a win at home. Of course, this comes as a surprise to no one because this is what they do.

At this point, the Falcons need to start from scratch. They’ve tried tweaking the roster and making personnel changes, but it’s not working. They still have that going-to-lose mindset whatever the lead, and they simply don’t show up in the fourth quarter.

This team needs wholesale changes, and while it’s tough to say, that might mean moving on from Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, gutting the team for parts, and letting the bottom fall out so that they can clean house and restart.

Bengals Continue To Be Scrappy

Not many people are talking about Zac Taylor as a head coach, but you have to give this guy some credit. The Bengals entered the season short on talent and have been dealt some big blows with injuries to running back Joe Mixon and quarterback Joe Burrow.

However, there is absolutely no quit in this team. They’ve now won two in a row and continue to fight. Keep an eye on this squad as one who can have a big turnaround in 2021 and possibly push for a playoff spot. Five of their losses are by one score, so with a better cast and an easier schedule, they just might be able to get to .500 or qualify for the postseason – if everything goes right – next year.

Colts Aren’t Good Enough To Win The Super Bowl

The Colts entered Sunday’s affair with Pittsburgh having won three in a row and five of six, but their loss to the Steelers shows that they are simply overmatched against the better teams in the NFL. Think about it: they blew a 24-7 lead at Pittsburgh. They had that lead with five minutes to go in the third against a team that failed to score 20 points in any of their previous four contests. However, the Steelers got off the mat and stormed back quite easily.

The Colts are just one of those teams that’s good enough to take care of the Jacksonvilles and Houstons of the NFL. And they’ll occasionally beat a winning team like the Green Bay Packers or Tennessee Titans. However, in the playoffs, they’re going to see winning teams each and every week. They might win a game or two if the circumstances are right, but they’re not good enough to string together consecutive wins and earn the crown.

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Dave Golokhov is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Dave, check out his archive and follow him @davegolokhov.