NFL Week 12 – 32 Thoughts
With Week 12 officially over, let’s take a quick look around the league to see what’s going one.
Arizona Cardinals: Without Larry Fitzgerald, who was inactive due to injury, the Cardinals had no offense to speak of and it caught up with them in Seattle.
Atlanta Falcons: Giving up 475 yards at home to the Browns (yes…those Browns) is an embarrassment…almost as much of an embarrassment as Head Coach Mike Smith’s ability to manage a clock in the fourth quarter. How bad is the NFC South? The silver lining is that with the Saints losing on Monday Night, the Falcons are tied for first place in their division….WOOF!
Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore continued their dominance of sub.500 teams when they barely edged the Saints on Monday.
Buffalo Bills: A good division win for a team that had every opportunity and reason to fall flat on their face this week. Buffalo’s defense was way more than the offensively inept Jets could handle.
Carolina Panthers: After losing five in a row, the bye week might as well be the start of the off season.
Chicago Bears: In what very well may have been the biggest game in his NFL Coaching Career, Marc Trestman’s Bears forced three turnovers in the third quarter and handed Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers another loss. Mope-Watch: With another fumble on Sunday, Jay Cutler extended his NFL turnover lead to 18.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals finally beat the Texans….Unfortunately it was during the regular season and not during the playoffs when it really mattered. Game Stat: The Bengals are 7-0-1 when they score at least 20 points this season.
Cleveland Browns: Brian Hoyer overcame some costly interceptions and led the Browns down the field where they were able to kick a game winning field goal with no time remaining. Season Stats: Even though Brian Hoyer is 10-4 in last 14 starts with the Browns, nothing can cover up is league low 55.9 completion percentage.
Dallas Cowboys: After trailing 21 to 10 at halftime, Dallas outscored the Giants 21 to 7 in the second half to stay tied at the top of the division with Philadelphia. Stats are Stats: Dallas is 5-0 away from AT&T Stadium. They are the only team who has yet to lose a road game.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos scored 22 fourth quarter points to rally past the over matched Dolphins on Sunday. Denver uncharacteristically committed to the run and racked up 201 yards on 35 carries against the soft interior of the Dolphins’ defense. Game Notes: Peyton Manning is 8-1 after a loss since coming to Denver.
Detroit Lions: Winners of four of their last five and boasting the number one defense in the NFL, the Lions were upended, by 25 points, by the Patriots on Sunday. Conservative coaching from Head Coach Jim Caldwell put the Lions in a hole that they were not able to recover from. Game Notes: On Sunday, the Lions surrendered the most points allowed since Week 14 of last year (34-10 loss to Philadelphia).
Green Bay Packers: After beating their last two opponents by a combined score of 110-34, such a close game against division rival Minnesota makes you wonder if the Packers were looking ahead to their game against New England next week.
Houston Texans: The Texans could not get anything done offensively as Ryan Mallett struggled in his second career start. In his own words: “I didn’t play well. I couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn from 5 yards away”. Injury Report: Apparently Mallett played with a pectoral muscle issue in the game, which he injured in pregame warmups, and is lost for the season.
Indianapolis Colts: With 6 fumbles (3 lost) on Sunday, the Colts did everything they could to help the Jaguars win….Luckily, it was the Jaguars or else they would have been in serious trouble. Division Notes: The Colts have now won 11 straight division games.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Apparently, no one told the Jaguars Offense that the bye week is over. How bad was Jacksonville’s offense? On Sunday, the Jaguars gained 194 total yards….Andrew Luck for the Colts threw for 253 yards himself.
Kansas City Chiefs: Coming off a huge win against the Seahawks and a game against the division rival Broncos in Week 13, the Chiefs fell victim to the proverbial “Trap Game” against Raiders. Game Stat: After allowing no rushing touchdowns this season, the Chiefs surrendered two against the Raiders including a 90 yard scamper by Latavius Murray.
Miami Dolphins: After a quick start, Cameron Wake and the Dolphins defense ran out of gas in the fourth quarter as Peyton Manning and Denver’s offense rallied past Miami. With a chance to regain the lead late in the fourth quarter, Ryan Tannehill cracked under the pressure and turned the ball over deep in his own territory. That mistake essentially ended any chance of a Dolphins victory.
Minnesota Vikings: After falling down by a touchdown early, the Vikings, behind the arm of Teddy Bridgewater, made a game out of this match up. Unfortunately, the combination of Aaron Rodgers and Eddy Lacy were too much for the Vikings.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady and the Patriots celebrated Thanksgiving early by slicing up the Lions defense to the tune of 439 yards against the NFL’s number one defense. Though Week 11 star Jonas Gray did not see the field due to disciplinary reasons, newly signed LaGarrett Blount stepped in and rushed for 78 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns. Game Notes: Besides the fact the Patriots clinched their 14th consecutive winning season, they also have won 14 straight games against the NFC North.
New Orleans Saints: Having lost 3 in a row at home and having a 4-7 record, the Saints have found themselves tied for first place in their division…Ugh.
New York Giants: The game against Dallas was the tale of two halves: What the Giants could be….and what the Giants are. It’s fair to say with their eighth loss on Sunday, the Giants’ season is over and with it will be the Coughlin/Manning era in New Jersey.
New York Jets: Hard to imagine how Rex Ryan makes it to the end of the season after an embarrassingly uninspired effort against the Bills on Monday Night. Whether it is Michael Vick or Geno Smith, the Jets’ offense is pathetic. Stat of Perpetual Futility: Since 2011, the Jets are 8-15 after a win.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders snapped a 16 game losing streak, dating back to last season, against the Chiefs by absolutely man handling Kansas City’s offensive line. Somewhere you can hear the 2008 Detroit Lions pop the champagne (and/or Ripple).
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles scored on the opening kickoff and never looked back. Mark Sanchez played slightly better than last week but I am not sure if everyone will be jumping back on that bandwagon so quickly again. Unbelievable Stat: The Eagles have scored 10 times on Special Teams and Defense returns this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Coach Tomlin may need more than a week to figure out why his team plays down to its competition on such a consistent basis.
St Louis Rams: Tough loss for the Rams when Shaun Hill threw an interception in the end zone when they Rams could have tied the score with a field goal. Bad decision – Bad outcome.
San Diego Chargers: Chargers escaped with a victory over the pesky St. Louis Rams with a last minute Shaun Hill interception.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers overcame a sloppy offensive performance, where they committed 3 turnovers, to rally late against the Redskins. Unbelievable stat: Collin Kaepernick has thrown a touchdown in 18 straight games….trying a franchise record with Steve Young.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks bounced back at home by beating the division leading Cardinals. Schedule Notes: With 4 of their next 5 games against division opponents, the Seahawks could very easily put themselves back into the division lead very quickly.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sunday game in Chicago was classic Lovie Smith: Take a slim lead into half time, make absolutely no adjustments that help the team, and then get crushed in the 2nd half. And people wonder why Lovie is no longer in Chicago.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans have lost 9 of their last 10…their season is essentially over. However, Zach Mettenberger seems to be putting together a fairly good rookie campaign and should the franchise some hope for the future.
Washington Redskins: Another awful performance from RGIII (11 out of 19, 105 yards, 1 lost fumble and 5 sacks) sank the Redskins who were actually leading midway through the fourth quarter. Colt McCoy time???