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NFL Week 16: 10 Things we learned

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincy Jungle gives you its weekly diagnosis of ten things we learned with this edition from the penultimate week of the 2014 NFL regular season. Without further ado...

  1. The Bengals can win a prime-time game! Bengals fans drew a collective breath of relief as Jeremy Hill and the defense secured a 37-28 win over the visiting Denver Broncos. It was Peyton Manning's first time throwing 4 interceptions since 2010, and his first time losing to the Bengals, period.
  2. The Cowboys had a statement win over the Colts, and the Eagles were upset by the Redskins. Could Dallas be prepping for a deep playoff run coming off an NFC East title?
  3. The San Diego Chargers are a team that knows how to FIGHT. After erasing a huge deficit against the home-town San Francisco 49ers, the Chargers continue to prove that they will not be a team to mess around with in the playoffs, should they find their way in.
  4. Next week's Sunday Night Football contest between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers will, for all intents and purposes, be the start of the playoffs for both teams. Both have clinched playoff berths, but the AFC North is still very much on the line.
  5. Seattle looks deadly. Going into the season finale with the NFC West lead, the Seahawks could very well be in a position for another deep playoff run. No one in the NFC wants to play Seattle with the way they have surged in the second half of the season.
  6. The Patriots won, but barely. In doing so, we saw two things: The first is that New England showed the ability to overcome adversity for a tough win, but the second is that the Patriots are certainly not without their flaws, specifically with pass protection and the secondary.
  7. When Aaron Rodgers isn't able to play like himself, have no fear. Eddie Lacy will carry the load, and he'll do it well. He gathered 99 yards and a touchdown to boost his stats for a stellar 2014 campaign.
  8. The Falcons and Panthers, following wins by both teams, will face off in Week 17 for a winner-take-all matchup to decide the NFC South crown. Whichever way it goes, we will have a team below .500 that hosts a playoff game.
  9. The Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens all lost very important games as their teams battled for potential wild-card slots.
  10. The Lions' game against Green Bay next week will decide the NFC North division after both teams won their respective matchups. Regardless of what happens, both teams have clinched a playoff berth.

Also, the Bengals beat the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Just in case we didn't mention that.