Losing on the last play of the game was bad enough for Tampa Bay. Watching essentially every major rival for the NFC's wild-card spots pick up wins meant Sunday's loss to the Eagles all but ended the Bucs' postseason hopes.
For at least a week, the New England Patriots will not have to answer any questions about their makeup or how they measure up against their own expectations. Monday's 42-14 win over the Houston Texans proved that New England is still the class of the AFC and that it should be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender.
To call the New England Patriots' performance against the Houston Texans a statement would seem to cheapen what happened on the Gillette Stadium turf Monday night. It was more like the Patriots took their banners off the rafters, put them on the 50-yard line, and rubbed the Texans' collective nose in it before a national audience.
A 27-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday ensured the Tennessee Titans will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Still, coach Mike Munchak said his main focus is on the final three games of the season -- not his job status.
Against Green Bay, Detroit offered a national audience a glimpse of both the good play that reminds Lions' fans of the team's available talent, and the maddening, self-defeating errors that have led to the team's current five-game losing streak.