2019 NFL season: GIVEMESPORT's top 5 takeaways from Week 17

So that’s it, we’re done. Another regular season is officially completed.

We now have our 12 playoff teams set and ready to compete for a place in Miami and they will begin the fight this weekend in the wild card matchups.

Shockingly, and for the first time since 2009, the New England Patriots will feature in the wild card round following an upset loss to the Miami Dolphins.

They will face a strong Tennessee Titans team that ground past the Houston Texans to secure their playoff berth.

Over in the NFC, a last-gasp goal-line stand from the San Francisco 49ers secured their place as the number one seed and will be joined in the divisional round by the Green Bay Packers.

The Seattle Seahawks, following the loss to the 49ers, will play NFC East champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, in the wild card following the Eagles’ bashing of the New York Giants.

Here are five things we noticed in Week 17:

Kitchens is out and so is Dorsey

The Cleveland Browns completed their miserable season on Sunday with a troubling loss to the worst team in the NFL right now.

The result cements them at 6-10 and also confirmed the sacking of rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens who can consider himself outcasted by a front office looking to protect themselves.

General Manager John Dorsey decided that promoting Kitchens from first-time offensive coordinator to head coach was the move and as such paid his own price with his departure on Tuesday.

The talent is all there – many still believe in Baker Mayfield – but they now need to generate a culture.

The Indianapolis Colts can attest to the impact of a strong-minded and experienced head coach/GM combination, especially with such a young and fiery locker room.

So, the Browns should go for the full overhaul and move forward with a harmonic, practiced structure.

The AFC North has a bright future

Despite a 2-14 season from the Bengals and the above struggles of the perennial sad-case Browns, the AFC North actually has a bright future ahead.

The Baltimore Ravens are a young roster with the greatest rushing offense of all time and the Pittsburgh Steelers are always there or thereabouts.

The Browns need to make the above changes, but they still have the pieces on the field to make a go of this next season.

And as for the Bengals, they can look forward to a rebuilt future with Heisman winner and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow alongside talented young rusher Joe Mixon.

Former Sooner Mixon registered his second straight 1,000-yard, zero fumble season in an offense without too much semblance of a passing attack.

Prediction: there will be two 10-win AFC North teams next year, watch this space.

Derrick Henry deserves to be the highest-paid running back in the league

You could probably have argued this before Week 17 but following, a 211-yard rushing, 3-touchdown performance and subsequent rushing title against the Texans, the point seems far more valid.

Henry has become the best pure runner in the league this season over Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette.

The impact of Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffery in the passing game is far higher than Henry but if you want a back to go downhill on short yardage, goal-line situations there is no-one better (or bigger) than the Alabama alumnus.

The Titans will not be attempting a contract extension until after the season so Henry will have to play his rookie deal for a few games more but be prepared to read that the Titans now have the big earner in the backfield come 2020.

Ryan Fins-magic is still Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dolphins front-office, listen up.

The victory over the Patriots and all-round quarterbacking performance of Fitz-magic (Fins-magic for now) has been incredibly impressive.

But do not be fooled by one of the greatest chameleons ever to play in the NFL.

Fitzpatrick has prided himself on tricking teams into giving him big deals with short spells of excellence under centre.

Now on his eighth team, the bearded-one has been an excellent bridge quarterback for Brian Flores as the head coach begins to generate his culture, but he should be no more than that.

If Josh Rosen is not hitting the mark for a future starter, then draft another because Fitz is not going to be the long-term answer.

An excellent back-up he is, a starting playoff quarterback, he is not.

Chandler Jones is the most underrated player in the league.

Jones has once again managed to notch a double figure sack season, on a Arizona Cardinals defense that is facing lots more running downs than passing ones.

Now his fifth successive 10+ sack campaign, Jones can easily be considered overlooked by both fans and peers alike.

Rarely in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year, No. 55 is as well-rounded a defensive lineman in the league as you’re likely to find, with the ability to stop the run as well as his hellacious pass-rush skills.

With Shaq Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers overtaking Jones on 19.5 sacks in Week 17, it seems unlikely that Jones will take home any awards again this year.

But just know Chandler, we’re thinking of you.

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