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Welcome to the Week 16 grades!

This is the time of year when Santa is known for delivering, but he's not the only one, the NFL is also delivering on Christmas Day with the league's first-ever Monday tripleheader. 

In the first game, the Raiders pulled off the upset of the weekend by beating the Chiefs in Kansas City. The loss by the Chiefs means that they no longer have any chance of earning the top seed in the AFC, which means we could see Patrick Mahomes play the first road playoff game of his career in January if Kansas City can get out of the wild card round. 

In the second Christmas game, the Eagles held off a feisty Giants team that put a scare into Philadelphia by driving down to the Eagles' 26-yard line in the final seconds. The Giants weren't able to punch it in, though, and the Eagles were able to escape with a 33-25 win. 

In the final game of Christmas night, the Ravens made a statement by beating the 49ers 33-19. The win was so dominant that the Ravens will likely wake up on Tuesday as the Super Bowl favorite and Lamar Jackson will likely wake up as the MVP favorite. 

With that in mind, let's get to all the grades for Week 16, starting with the Raiders' Christmas shocker over the Chiefs:

Las Vegas 20-14 over Kansas City (Monday)

The Raiders didn't even put up 210 yards of offense, but they won this game because their defense pulled off a Christmas miracle by doing the impossible: They shut down Patrick Mahomes. The Raiders had Mahomes flustered for nearly the entire game on a day where they sacked him four times, with three of those coming from Malcolm Koonce. The Raiders were able to steal this game thanks to a wild sequence in the second quarter where their defense scored TWO touchdowns in seven seconds. First, Bilal Nichols returned a fumble for a TD, and then on Kansas City's next play from scrimmage, Jack Jones got a 33-yard pick-six. Offensively, Zamir White almost single-handedly carried the load by accounting for more than 70% of Las Vegas' yardage (145 of 205). Thanks to the win, the Raiders are suddenly STILL alive to win the AFC West.
It's not often you see the Chiefs get bullied in their own stadium, but that's exactly what happened in this game. Patrick Mahomes spent a good chunk of the game running for his life and although he's usually able to make some magic happen when he's on the run, there was no magic to be had in this game. His receivers simply couldn't get open and the Chiefs couldn't get anything going on the ground. Not only did the offense played bad, but the unit handed the Raiders two touchdowns in the second quarter with a pick-six and a fumbled handoff on a trick play. The Chiefs defense played reasonably well, but they got run over by Zamir White in the fourth quarter. The Raiders running back rushed for seven carries for 75 yards in the quarter to put the game away. The Chiefs have now lost four of their past six games and at the moment don't look like a team that's going to advance very far in the playoffs. 

Raiders-Chiefs grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Philadelphia 33-25 over N.Y. Giants (Monday)

This isn't a good football team, but we knew that already. Tommy DeVito was benched for Tyrod Taylor as he and the offense put up just three points during a first half where DeVito went 9 of 16 for 55 yards. The Giants had just 101 yards and had five pressures in the first two quarters as DeVito looked overmatched by an Eagles defense looking to turn the corner. Taylor brought some life back to the Giants with his 69-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton, but the Giants were in the game thanks to two Eagles miscues. The final score shouldn't have been as close as it was and the game shouldn't have come down to the final play, but the Giants continue to play hard for Brian Daboll.  
The Eagles put up 465 yards of offense and 33 points, yet something felt empty with the team's performance. Philadelphia didn't do itself any favors with the two turnovers that led to 15 New York points, but the Eagles were able to keep control of the game by running the football. The running backs had 13 carries for 88 yards in the fourth quarter, over half of the 170 yards the Eagles earned on the ground. Jalen Hurts went 5 of 7 for 77 yards in the fourth, including the 32-yard completion to A.J. Brown that set up the final touchdown. They weren't always efficient, but were able to get the 13 points they needed in the fourth to preserve the win.

Giants-Eagles grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Baltimore 33-19 over San Francisco (Monday)

The Ravens put the NFL on notice in what was a wildly impressive road win to inch them one step closer to locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The defense is what continues to be the backbone of Baltimore's stellar season and the unit tallied five turnovers in the win, including four interceptions off of Brock Purdy. They stifled one of the hottest offenses in the NFL and proved that they can go into a hectic playoff environment and come away with a win. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson may have put himself in the lead for the MVP award with his performance. He gave the Niners defense fits with his legs and was extremely efficient throwing the football, logging a 105.9 passer rating. 
This grade falls squarely on the shoulders of Brock Purdy. Four interceptions against any opponent, let alone a Lamar Jackson-led Ravens team, will put you in a position to lose, and that's exactly what happened with San Francisco. The 49ers were able to endure Purdy's three first-half picks and trailed the Ravens at halftime by just four points, but his final interception of the day helped spark a run for Baltimore that left the Niners in the dust. Defensively, the 49ers struggled to contain Jackson, particularly when he tucked the football and utilized his legs. The performances from Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle help keep the 49ers out of the "F" range. 

Ravens-49ers grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Detroit 30-24 over Minnesota

The Lions clinched their first division title in 30 years and they did it because their offense was on fire during this game. From Jahmyr Gibbs (100 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns) to David Montgomery (69 total yards, 1 TD) to Amon Ra St. Brown (12 catches, 106 yards, 1 TD), the Lions' best players all came up with multiple clutch plays. On the other side of the ball, the Lions defense struggled at times, but the unit came up with big plays whenever the Lions needed one. Not only did they sack Nick Mullens four times, but they also picked him off four times with two of those coming in the fourth quarter. The Lions are now guaranteed to host a playoff game for the first time since 1993.
Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell decided to start Nick Mullens this week and that gamble backfired almost immediately. Although Mullens put up decent numbers (411 yards, two touchdowns), he also made several back-breaking mistakes, with most of that coming in the form of his four interceptions. One of those picks came in Lions' territory in the final minute of the game. Mullens got no help from a Vikings rushing attack that only totaled 16 yards. Brian Flores' defense also struggled to slow down the Lions offense. The Vikings playoff hopes are now hanging by a thread.  

Lions-Vikings grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Atlanta 29-10 over Indianapolis

The Colts picked a bad week to pull a no-show on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Colts scored a touchdown on their opening drive, but then they did almost nothing after that. A big reason they couldn't move the ball is because Gardner Minshew was struggling with his accuracy on a day where he only completed 54% of his passes. The return of Jonathan Taylor also didn't do anything to spark the Colts offense. The bigger problem for the Colts is that they surrendered 177 yards on the ground to a Falcons rushing attack that didn't even hit the 100-yard mark in any of its past three games. 
The Falcons made a gamble by starting Taylor Heincke this week and that gamble paid off with Atlanta's offense playing one of its more impressive games of the season. Arthur Smith finally got everyone involved: The Falcons had seven players who totaled at least 25 yards of offense. Bijan Robinson caused some serious problems for the Colts defense on a day where he totaled 122 yards on 19 touches. The only reason the Falcons didn't get an "A+" here is because they struggled in the red zone with zero touchdowns on three trips. However, they did get the win, and that's all that matters when you're fighting to stay in the playoff race. 

Colts-Falcons grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Seattle 20-17 over Tennessee

The Seahawks offense had a quiet first half with under 100 yards of total offense, but the unit rebounded during a second half where it scored on every possession. A  big reason that happened is because Geno Smith threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns over the final two quarters, including a game-winning TD pass to Colby Parkinson with just 57 seconds left to play. Defensively, Boye Mafe (two sacks) led a pass rush that beat up on Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked six times. The Seahawks didn't need Santa, because they had Smith to deliver in this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. 
The Titans seemed to be in control of this game at halftime, but then their defense forgot to show up for the second half. After holding the Seahawks to just 93 yards in the first two quarters, the Titans surrendered nearly 200 yards in the second half. A big reason that happened is because they couldn't get off the field on third down with the Seahawks converting 5 of 6 third downs in the second half, including 3 of 3 on their game-winning TD drive in the final minutes. Offensively, the Titans finally got their rushing attack going, but they didn't get much from Ryan Tannehill, who threw for just 152 yards. 

Seahawks-Titans grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

N.Y. Jets 30-28 over Washington

For three quarters, it looked like this game was going to be a blowout, but the Commanders did come back to take the lead before choking down the stretch. Although the scoreboard says this game was close, Washington looked bad for a good chunk of this game: The defense couldn't stop the run, the special teams melted down with a blocked punt and a fumbled punt return and Sam Howell got benched before the third quarter was over. Jacoby Brissett did give Washington a spark, which makes you wonder why he wasn't the starting QB. Although the Commanders clawed back from a 27-7 deficit to take a 28-27 lead, the defense couldn't stop Trevor Siemian from leading a game-winning drive. This team deserves coal in its stocking. 
Greg Zuerlein delivered an early Christmas present with a 54-yard field goal to give the Jets the win. The kick saved New York from what would have been an extremely embarrassing loss. The Jets blew a 20-point lead in the second half before Zuerlein's kick. Although the Commanders score 28 points, the Jets defense actually played pretty well in this game. The defense set the early tone when Tony Adams picked off Sam Howell on the second play from scrimmage. From there, they beat down on the Commanders offense for three quarters before Howell was eventually benched. The Jets special teams also had an impressive day with a blocked punt and fumble recovery on a punt return. The Jets ended up getting 10 much-needed points off the two special teams plays. Offensively, Breece Hall carried the team on his back with 191 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. This was a nice bounce back for the Jets after getting shut out in Week 15. 

Commanders-Jets grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Green Bay 33-30 over Carolina

The Packers almost gave this game away with a nightmare performance in the fourth quarter, but Jordan Love saved the day by engineering a drive for Ander Carlson's game-winning field goal in the final minute. Although Love wasn't perfect on the day, he did come up with several key plays: Love totaled three touchdowns (two pass, one rush) and all three of them came on third down. Aaron Jones also played a big part in the win with 127 yards, which marked the first time this season that he's gone over 100 yards. With the win, the Packers are suddenly very much alive in the NFC playoff race. 
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Panthers were trailing 30-16 and they looked to be left for dead, but then Bryce Young delivered some magic. The Panthers rookie was nearly perfect in the fourth quarter, completing 13 of 16 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Even though the Panthers didn't win, it was an encouraging performance from their rookie QB. The Panthers might have the worst record in the NFL, but they definitely haven't given up on the season. 

Packers-Panthers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Cleveland 36-22 over Houston

Talk about a team win. The Browns defense picked off Case Keenum twice, while Joe Flacco and Amari Cooper morphed into Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Flacco threw for 368 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, while Cooper caught 11 passes for a franchise-record 265 yards and two touchdowns. He became just the second player in NFL history to record a 200-yard receiving game for three different teams.
Case Keenum was pulled from the game in the fourth quarter after throwing for 62 yards and two interceptions. In came Davis Mills who attempted to spark a comeback with 149 passing yards and two touchdowns. Did DeMeco Ryans make the right decision with whom he started under center in place of C.J. Stroud? Defensively, the Texans couldn't stop Flacco and Cooper, although it's worth mentioning they were down multiple members in the secondary.

Browns-Texans grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Tampa Bay 30-12 over Jacksonville

This was a disaster from start to finish for the Jags. Although Trevor Lawrence was able to play, he didn't do much. The Jags QB threw two interceptions during a first half where Jacksonville couldn't do anything right on offense. The Jags turned the ball over four times with the Bucs scoring 21 points off those turnovers and that was the main difference in this game. From missed field goals to failed fourth downs, the mistakes just kept on piling up in this blowout. Everyone in this organization deserves a lump of coal in their stocking after this loss.
This was a statement win for the Bucs, who dominated this game on both sides of the ball. Tampa Bay's defense was especially impressive: Not only did they pick off Trevor Lawrence twice, but Devin White and YaYa Diaby came up with a huge strip-sack of Lawrence to start the second half (White also had one of the two interceptions). The offense ended up getting three touchdowns from those Lawrence turnovers, which put the game out of reach. Offensively, Baker Mayfield continues to be one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL. Mayfield picked apart the Jags defense to the tune of 286 yards and two touchdowns with Mike Evans (seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns) and Chris Godwin (six catches, 78 yards) combining for most of that. With four straight wins, the Buccaneers are definitely getting hot at the right time. 

Jaguars-Buccaneers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Chicago 27-16 over Arizona

This game got off to a disastrous start for the Cardinals and they weren't able to recover from that. The Cardinals punted on each of their first three possessions and by the time they got the ball back for a fourth possession, they were already down 21-0. The Cards defense got streamrolled on the ground for 250 yards, which is the most that Arizona has surrendered in a game since 2018. Every time it looked like the defense was going to make a stop, Justin Fields would come up with a big play. The only silver lining here for the Cardinals is that a loss isn't the worst thing for them since it improves their draft standing. 
If the Bears still aren't sure whether Justin Fields is their QB of the future, he's doing his best to prove that he can be the franchise QB in Chicago. In a battle of mobile quarterbacks, Field outplayed Kyler Murray. Fields scrambled his way to 97 yards and a touchdown and his running also opened up things for Khalil Herbert, who rushed for 112 yards. Although Field struggled with his accuracy, he was nearly perfect throwing to Cole Kmet, who caught four of his five targets for 107 yards. This was a solid all-around win for a Bears team that now has a very real chance to reach eight wins after starting the season 2-7.  

Cardinals-Bears grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Miami 22-19 over Dallas

The Cowboys lost on Sunday by the narrowest of margins, on a field goal with no time remaining. Their offense came alive late, rattling over 13 points on their final three drives, including Dak Prescott's go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks over Jalen Ramsey. However, their defense didn't do enough to keep the Dolphins off the scoreboard, allowing them to consistently get close enough for field goals. Offensively, a dry spell that lasted from the second quarter to their first drive of the second half ended up doing them in as the Dolphins continued to rack up field goals. It was one of the Cowboys' better road game showings of the year, but it wasn't enough to win.
This game was a slog for the league's top scoring offense as Miami had to settle for five field goals from Jason Sanders. However, those field goals were also a sign of offensive consistency, something that eluded the visiting Cowboys. Defensively, they came up with a clutch fumble recovery on the opening drive for the game's only takeaway. It wasn't pretty at times, but Miami got the job done, earning them consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since five in a row from 1997-2001. Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

Cowboys-Dolphins grades by Garrett Podell (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

New England 26-23 over Denver

I don't think we can go any higher than this, given the myriad ways they tried to blow this game. But Bailey Zappe shook off the game-opening strip-sack to put together an efficient performance, the defense mostly held the Broncos in check, and Chad Ryland exorcised his demons by nailing the game-winning kick.  
They lost to the Patriots. And basically put their playoff hopes in a coffin.  

Patriots-Broncos grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Buffalo 24-22 over L.A. Chargers (Saturday)

The Bills got the win, which is what matters, but they didn't look great in Week 16. Buffalo quickly went down 10-0 to the lowly Chargers, turned the ball over three times and needed a game-winning drive to defeat Easton Stick as double-digit favorites. The secondary allowed Stick to create multiple splash plays while the offense was inconsistent at large. Allen had a couple of perfect drives, but also missed some easy throws while James Cook fumbled twice.
L.A. was right in the mix until the very end. Easton Stick threw for 210 yards and rushed for a touchdown while L.A. forced three turnovers. What ultimately did the Chargers in was going 4-for-14 on third downs and 1 of 3 in the red zone. Then, the defense couldn't stop Buffalo's offense on what was the game-winning possession. A much, much better performance compared to what we witnessed last Thursday.

Bills-Chargers grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

Pittsburgh 34-11 over Cincinnati (Saturday)

The Steelers dominated from start to finish while putting their three-game losing streak in the rearview mirror. Pittsburgh was aggressive on both sides of the ball, as backup Mason Rudolph fired touchdown passes of 86 and 66 yards to George Pickens. Defensively, Pittsburgh forced three turnovers that the offense turned into 17 points.
Cincinnati didn't look a team that was fighting for its playoff lives. The Bengals gave up way too many big plays on defense and self-destructed several times in the red zone. In fact, Cincinnati was 0 of 3 in the red zone compared to Pittsburgh going 2 of 3. Jake Browning, who played extremely well the previous three weeks, looked overwhelmed en route to throwing three picks.

Bengals-Steelers grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)

L.A. Rams 30-22 over New Orleans (Thursday)

The Saints couldn't get out of their own way in this game. From bad coaching to bad quarterback play to bad defense, the Saints had a little bit of bad everywhere. Offensively, Dennis Allen showed some faith in his team by going for it on fourth down three different times, but the Saints came up empty on each attempt. The one that hurt the most came on a failed fourth-and-5 just before halftime. After Saints missed out on the conversion, the Rams immediately proceeded to drive for a TD in just 35 seconds, which put New Orleans behind 17-7 at the half. The Saints had four different possessions in this game where they drove inside of the Rams' 42-yard line, but weren't able to score a single point. Defensively, the Saints had no idea how so slow down Puka Nacua, who totaled 180 yards and a touchdown. Although the Saints did get back in this game late, the fourth quarter wasn't pretty. Trailing 30-7, the Saints should have been in a hurry, but instead, they inexplicably put together a six-minute scoring drive. Also, after cutting the lead to 30-22. Allen called for an onside kick even though there was still 3:53 left on the clock. At 7-8, the Saints are now hanging on by a thread in the playoff race.  
Puka Nacua might have just put himself in the lead in the race for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. The Rams receiver went off against the Saints, catching nine passes for 164 yards and a touchdown. Nacua accounted for exactly half of Matthew Stafford's 328 passing yards in the game. The fact that Stafford even hit that number was impressive, because the Saints had gone 40 games without giving up 300 yards passing to an opposing team. The scary thing about the Rams is that they're rushing attack is suddenly just as dangerous as their passing attack and Kyren Williams showed why. The running back, who leads the NFL in yards per game, bulldozed his way to 104 yards. The Rams did struggle some on special teams -- they missed a field goal and they had a punt blocked -- but almost everything else they did was impressive. The Rams are starting to look like the one NFC team that everyone will be looking to avoid in the playoffs.

Rams-Saints grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)