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Around the NFL: What we learned in Week 15

We're in the stretch run now, and several teams still have a lot on the line. The Chargers or the Rams may have just played their last game in their current respective cities, the Cardinals lost their defensive spark plug, and this just in: the Browns are still bad. See what else we learned in Week 15.

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Odell Beckham, Jr. earned his one-game suspension.

It wasn't just the roughly 73 incidents between Beckham and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, although Beckham's attempted decapitation of the defensive back was probably the anvil that broke the camel's back. No, I imagine it's been slowly building, what with all the swings he's taken at defenders in his first two years in the league. It's a shame, too, because he's probably the second-most gifted receiver in the league behind Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. There is so much potential, but right now he's going down a road that makes Terrell Owens look like a mere nuisance. If he gets his head straight, he and Brown will spend the next several years battling it out to be the best there ever was. If not, it will be a real shame, and a waste of some great talent.

The Cowboys may have been a house of cards from the beginning.

Entering the season, Dallas was the NFC East favorite and was supposedly stacked with a good amount of talent. They started off alright, but when quarterback Tony Romo went down with what would end up being the first of two collarbone injuries, the wheels came off in a hurry. There were a few almost-wins in the time he was out, that was it. He came back, and things looked better, but then he went down again. Looking back, though, it's possible that this was a bad team all along that was elevated just enough to pick up a few wins while he was under center. The reality is the team has little depth anywhere, and they don't seem to be rallying around one another. Conversely, when Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger went down with injury, his team went 2-2, and might have done even better had they not tried to shoehorn Mike Vick into an offense in which he was destined to struggle. Why? Because the team was deep enough elsewhere to pick up Roethlisberger's slack, and they played the games for each other rather than for themselves. Dallas, though, seems to reflect the personality of the team's owner, Jerry Jones. That's not a compliment.

Sending Matt Hasselbeck back onto the field at this point qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.

Seriously, Indianapolis. What did the guy do to you? All he wants to do is sit on the front porch and chase away would-be vandals with a .22-caliber rifle while rocking in his chair and telling stories to the gullible neighborhood kids. But you still insist on sending that frail old man back into the fire, Sunday after Sunday. He hasn't finished a game without injuries in December, and it's not like those things heal by getting knocked around more. Look, let's be honest: your season has quickly devolved into a dumpster fire. The only reason you are still in the hunt is because the AFC South as a whole makes your own dysfunction look like a presidential inauguration ceremony. But you've been knocked from your perch. So can we call a spade a spade and accept that your season isn't going to be resurrected by one of the stunt doubles from Grumpy Old Men? Let it go, Elsa.

It's been a tough year for quarterbacks.

I'm having a hard time recalling a year when so many quarterbacks lost starts, or even just significant portions of games, due to injury. The list is long. Just off the top of my head, without looking it up, I can think of the following names: Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Vick, Landry Jones, Geno Smith, Tyrod Taylor, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, T.J. Yates, Marcus Mariota, Peyton Manning, Sam Bradford, Tony Romo, Nick Foles and Case Keenum. Mariota and Yates are the latest casualties and both are done for the year, thpoough in Mariota's case, it;s precautionary. Why not, when you have nothing left to play for except a new coach? Plus, it gives backup Zach Mettenberger a chance to audition for a possible starting job in 2016. He might have opportunities in San Francisco, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

With two weeks to go, there are still 12 teams that could win their division.

That's a slightly skewed number, though, because six of them are in the AFC South and the NFC East. Only Dallas is eliminated in the NFC East, and the Titans are the only ones out of the running in the AFC South. Other teams that could still win their divisions are Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (AFC North), Denver and Kansas City (AFC West) and Green Bay and Minnesota (NFC North). Of those teams, the least likely to win their division is Pittsburgh, who need the Bengals to lose out, including a season-ending game against the lowly Ravens. The more likely scenario is that Pittsburgh gets a wild-card spot, but the number-five seed is not out of the realm of possibilities. Thanks to their win over Denver, and with Denver playing the Bengals in week 16, the Steelers will lock down the five seed if they win their two remaining games against the Ravens and the Browns, Denver loses one more game (not all that unlikely) and Kansas City wins out on a cupcake schedule. That would give the Chiefs the AFC West crown, and the Steelers would win the tie-breaker over the Broncos thanks to Sunday's win. In fact, should Denver lose both of their remaining games, and the Jets win at least one, the Broncos will miss the playoffs entirely, four weeks after being in contention for the top overall seed.

There is no College Football Bonus! this week. There is has been no meaningful college football, therefore there is nothing of consequence to discuss. It will return next week as the bowl-game schedule gets a full head of steam.

And finally...the Steelers' win over the Broncos on Sunday showed this team doesn't know how to quit.

If you read the first-half game thread on this site on Sunday, you would think the Steelers just got knocked out of the playoffs, the stock market crashed and Tom Brady slapped every fan's mother. Fortunately, the team believes in themselves and each other, and it showed. They went into the locker room at halftime like a team that was down by 14 points at home (because they were). They came out like they were leading by 14, and spent the next 30 football minutes beating the Broncos into submission. A defense that couldn't stop a sneeze in the first two quarters forced six three-and-outs on nine Denver possessions in the second half, and gave up just a single third-down conversion after giving up eight before halftime. Oh, and the offense was pretty good too: they were the first team all season to score 30 points and throw for more than 300 yards against the Broncos. It was the sixth straight game in which they scored 30 or more points, and it was the second week in a row they did it against the best defense in the league at the time. They are good, and still improving. If the offense keeps rolling, and the defense merely shows up, this is going to be a tough team for anyone to beat from here on out.