Aaron Rodgers told everyone that his team could run the table the rest of the way, and that's exactly what they did. On Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers completed that feat by taking down the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football, 31-24, to win the NFC North title. Before the game, both teams had already clinched a playoff spot with the Redskins' loss to the Giants. Rodgers threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, leading Green Bay to their sixth straight win. He has thrown 15 touchdowns and no interceptions during their win streak. Meanwhile, the Lions will go in as a Wild Card, failing to win the their first division title since 1993.
NFL Playoff Preview
The NFL Playoffs kick off this Saturday with the Wild Card round, and after Sunday, despite a majority of the games having no playoff implications, there were a few that set the table for the postseason. The Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout with their win over the Dolphins. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers, while the Raiders fell to the Broncos, giving Kansas City the AFC West title. They, along with New England, will have first-round byes. The Wild Card round on that side will see the Raiders battle the Texans on Saturday, and the Steelers host the Dolphins on Sunday.
In the NFC, the Falcons defeated their rivals, the Saints, to clinch the No. 2 seed. They will enjoy a first-round bye, just like the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys. As mentioned earlier, with the Redskins' loss, both the Packers and Lions got in, and with Green Bay's Sunday night win, they are division champs, and Detroit is a Wild Card. The Lions will visit the Seahawks on Saturday, while the Packers will host the Giants on Sunday.
Coaching Shake-Up in the NFL
As the NFL season comes to an end, it is now time for teams to take a look at their coaching situation, and in some cases, for the coaches to look at their own coaching situation. In Denver, head coach Gary Kubiak decided that his time was up, not only with the Broncos, but in the NFL. Kubiak announced that not only is he resigning from Denver, but he is also retiring from the NFL. The 55-year-old cited health issues for this decision, as he missed a week in October for a "complex migraine condition". In 2013, while coaching the Texans, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a mini-stroke. He went 12-4 last season with Denver, winning the Super Bowl in Peyton Manning's final season. He does have two more rings as an OC with Denver in 1997 and 1998.
Meanwhile, two struggling west-coast teams relieved their coaches following Sunday's games, including the San Diego Chargers firing head coach Mike McCoy. After Sunday's loss to Kansas City, San Diego ended the season 5-11, and went 28-38 overall in four seasons under McCoy. That included just one postseason trip in 2013, where they went 1-1. Elsewhere, the San Francisco 49ers fired head coach, Chip Kelly, following Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, dropping them to 2-14. The Niners lost a franchise-record 13 straight this season, and are now the first team since 1976-77 to fire coaches after just one season in back-to-back years. Kelly was only the second coach in franchise history with previous NFL coaching experience, as he won 26 games in three seasons with the Eagles.