Claire Komarek, CBS Sports

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🏈 Football Five

  1. The young Packers are growing up. Green Bay beat the Chiefs, 27-19, to get to .500 for the first time since Week 4. Jordan Love threw three touchdown passes -- two to Christian Watson -- and a controversial (clearly incorrect) no-call late helped, too. This was the most points the Chiefs have allowed this season.
  2. The AFC playoff picture is a beautiful mess. As for winners, the Texans held on for a 22-19 win over the Broncos thanks to a late Jimmie Ward end zone interception, and the Colts kept pace with a 31-28 overtime win over the Titans that included two blocked punts.
  3. As for losers, the Browns -- starting Joe Flacco -- fell to the Rams, 36-19, and the Steelers lost to the Cardinals, 24-10Kenny Pickett (ankle) will miss a few weeks, and Jaylen Warren says Pittsburgh took Arizona lightly. The Steelers got an "F" in our weekly grades.
  4. Tyreek Hill had another historic performance as the Dolphins beat the Commandersscorigami-style, 45-15.
  5. The Lions went up 21-0 early, let the Saints back in the game and ultimately hung on for a 33-28 win. Derek Carr is in the concussion protocol.

🏆 Good morning to everyone but especially ...


The final year of the four-team playoff delivered its most drama ... and an enticing, controversial and exciting field: No. 1 Michigan will play No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl, and No. 2 Washington will face No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day, four weeks from today.

How did we get here?

We'll have plenty of time to break everything down, but these are the four, and they're full of storylines. Jim Harbaugh is back and looking for his first CFP win. Washington is playing its final game(s) as a member of the Pac-12, and it'll face its former coach in Texas' Steve Sarkisian. And Alabama ... well, it's Alabama.

New Year's Day can't get here soon enough.

😃 Honorable mentions

😡 And not such a good morning for ...

Getty Images


Never had an undefeated Power Five champion been left out of the College Football Playoff ... until now.

Florida State's dream 13-0 season -- save Jordan Travis' season-ending injury -- now has a nightmare ending.

The Seminoles dropped from No. 4 to No. 5 in the CFP Rankings despite a 16-6 ACC Championship Game win over Louisville. They won despite playing a third-string, true freshman quarterback. They won because they have a dominant defense. They did everything anyone could ask.

So, I don't want to hear how badly people feel for Florida State. I don't want to hear about how unlucky they are. I especially don't want to hear that this doesn't invalidate their season -- because that's exactly what it does. It takes all of their accomplishments and says, "Sorry, not good enough."

We love college football for many reasons, but perhaps the best is that every game matters. Or, at least, it used to. Now, I don't want to hear "Every game matters," and neither does Dean Straka. Here's more reaction:

Next year's expanded field will ensure a team like Florida State doesn't get left out in the future. But that won't make it right -- or even particularly close -- in the present.

😟 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 49ers thump Eagles in Philadelphia for statement win


We hailed it as the game of the week, maybe even a game of the year contender. And for a while, it looked like just that.

And then the 49ers turned it into a laugher.

San Francisco's stars talked the talk and then walked the walk in a 42-19 drubbing of the Eagles in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game.  

  • Deebo Samuel scored three touchdowns and had 138 yards from scrimmage, Christian McCaffrey had a score and 133 yards from scrimmage, and Brock Purdy threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns.
  • The defense might have been even better: The Eagles managed just 46 yards rushing, their fewest in a game since 2018.

Want to know why I've believed in the 49ers, even during that three-game losing streak? This is why. Purdy made some strong individual plays, but his biggest strengths were getting the ball to his playmakers -- the 49ers had 212 yards after catch, their most in a game this season -- and not turning it over. The Niners controlled the line of scrimmage and applied consistent pressure to Jalen Hurts. They went to Philadelphia and, after a slow start, punched the hosts in the mouth (quite literally -- Dre Greenlaw and Eagles chief security officer Dom DiSandro got ejected for a sideline scuffle).

Short and sweet, this was the most impressive win by any team this season.

🏈 Georgia vs. FSU among top non-playoff matchups

Getty Images / USATSI

If Georgia and Florida State are frustrated with how college football's version of Selection Sunday played out, they can take it out against one another in a few weeks. The first two teams out of the playoff field, the Bulldogs and Seminoles, will meet in the Orange Bowl, headlining the New Year's Six bowl games. Here are all of them:

  • Cotton Bowl (Fri., Dec. 29, 8 p.m.): No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Missouri
  • Peach Bowl (Sat., Dec. 30, 12 p.m.): No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 11 Ole Miss
  • Orange Bowl (Sat., Dec. 30, 4 p.m.): No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 6 Georgia
  • Fiesta Bowl (Mon., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.): No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 23 Liberty

    Here's the entire bowl schedule.

📺 What we're watching Monday

🏀 Iowa at No. 1 Purdue (M), 7 p.m. on Big Ten Network
🏀 Celtics at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏈 Bengals at Jaguars, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Pelicans at Kings, 10 p.m. on TNT