by Ryan Meehan
This is a much shortened version of the wrapups that have been run up to this point. I want to get down to business from here on out, and want people to know the short version of what really happened. This weekend was a week where we had a lot of drama to say the least, and given Saturday morning’s events it was very hard to focus on football. But let’s give it the abbreviated college try anyway and see what we can do.
Falcons 23, Saints 13
If you saw any of this, you’d know that it was very ugly and poorly rehearsed. Drew Brees threw five picks, and as much as I hate to say it this seems to be a trend with the Saints this year. I’m not sure if it’s guys missing their routes, or him not being as dialed in as he had been in previous years, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that without Sean Payton around that he’s not as focused as he usually is. The Falcons sneaked out another win, and they’re still in the driver’s seat in the NFC. Can’t see how close the games are in the standings, and that’s a big help for Atlanta.
Seahawks 23, Bears 17
This doesn’t shock me near as much as some people around this area who seem to think that the Bears have this immunity to inconsistency, which is insane. This is going to sound crazy, but I think that the weather is responsible for the Seahawks feeling too comfortable. I live here in Illinois and it has been warm and very humid, and we all know Seattle plays very well at home. The Bears really dropped a perfect opportunity to get up on the Packers at home, and now they are no longer in control of their own destiny. Cutler looked decent but I think there was a lot of confusion on third downs where they needed to advance. Chicago has to be able to put points on the board if they want to hang with the Giants, Falcons, and Packers amongst the NFC elite.
Texans 24, Titans 10
No real surprise here…although the Colts won the Texans weren’t able to secure the division title, but they did clinch a playoff berth. That’s about all there is to say though. The Texans, Pats, and Broncos are all going to be jockeying for the top two spots. Tennessee I had hope for a couple of weeks back but they still have more issues than I had originally thought.
Colts 35, Lions 33
If you’ve seen the highlights from this game, you might think that Andrew Luck had an incredible day. In the end he pulled out the victory but 24 for 54 (4 TDs, but 3 INTs) is pretty much questionable at best. First step after Indy loses Wild Card weekend is going to be to go out and get a big name free agent running back. As for the Lions, they are 4-8 which is funny because that’s the record I figured the Colts would end up having right about now. The Lions might be the biggest disappointment of the year save Philadelphia. Think about this: On the final play: They knew Andrew Luck was a right handed quarterback, they had five guys over there, and Donnie Avery caught the ball at the nine yard line and still got in. Luck even headed upfield to block for him. For all the shit that the Lions’ defensive unit talks, that’s humiliating.
Rams 16, 49ers 13 (OT)
For a second here, I thought that this game was also going to end in a tie. I’m not sure what the exact statistical probability of two teams tying twice in the same season would have been, but I do know that it would have been hilarious. I am starting to become a huge fan of Greg Zuerlein, the kicker for the St. Louis Rams. He hit the game tying field goal and then when Akers missed in overtime, he hit another one to finish the Niners off. Never would have thought that the Rams would have San Francisco’s number but one tie and one Rams victory later, I stand corrected. Not to keep with the kicker talk, but how about David Akers blowing two kicks in both of the aforementioned games? He’s had a great career but kickers drop off quite suddenly, and it looks as if he’s having the same kind of year that Vanderjagt had when he got traded from the Colts to the Cowboys before Parcells finally cut him off.
Broncos 31, Buccaneers 23
I’ve heard some to-do on some of the forums about how Peyton Manning shouldn’t be the MVP because he’s won too many close games, and that’s pure hogwash. There is nobody that deserves it more than him, and is more valuable to their team than he is. This was still an impressive win, because Tampa Bay was fighting for their playoff lives. The Broncos are probably the best team that nobody is familiar with at the moment, but you’ll be seeing a lot of them here soon. The Bucs are not going to make the playoffs, which is a shame because they have a lot of scrappy guys who I hope don’t leave a lame market that could put together a great winning season.
Bengals 20, Chargers 13
The Bengals have looked very hot recently and I can definitely say that they are on the rise. Even with the Steelers taking down Baltimore, they have gained some ground in the hunt and they’ve done it by being smart and not playing like a team that can afford to make mistakes. That way when they run into a team like Oakland, they can force the opposition into making mistakes, and that opposition will beat itself for them.
Chiefs 27, Panthers 21
There’s an elephant in the room…everybody knows what it is… Except for Dubs who I though wrote a great piece on it here: http://dubsism.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/what-we-need-to-learn-from-the-jovan-belcher-tragedy/ I thought that overall everyone pretty much said what you’d expect them to say afterwards, but I guess I’m still a little rattled by the fact that not more has been brought up about the struggles of the coaching staff, because they actually saw it happen and that’s not something you can just forget about happening. It’s always going to be in the back of your mind somewhere, and that’s just one of the many reasons why it’s such a touchy issue.
Patriots 23, Dolphins 16
The Patriots were going to win this division anyway, but after the team beat Miami on Sunday it was clinched mathematically. New England is pretty much a lock to win games like this so not a whole lot to say other than I’m a little surprised they didn’t score more.
Bills 34, Jaguars 18
This game had zero playoff implications as New England had already clinched at the same time of day. I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that neither of these teams will make the playoffs in 2013.
Jets 7, Cardinals 6
From the “Bet you aren’t going to give a shit about this one” department, the Jets and the Cardinals put on a show for soccer fans everywhere on Sunday, in a ball busting 7-6 finish. Mark Sanchez finally got benched in favor of McElroy, and it would figure that even when he had the perfect chance to show everyone what he was made of Tim Tebow had two bruised ribs and couldn’t even get into the game.
Browns 20, Raiders 17
Cleveland has really come along over the past few weeks – sure Oakland is a bad team, but you can’t choose your schedule. The Browns look better heading into next year, but the only problem is the competition doesn’t dip, so I still can’t see them climbing out of the cellar in the AFC North.
Packers 23, Vikings 14
Everyone else in the Packers’ division today lost, and so did San Francisco so the cheeseheads in Green Bay had a great Sunday for sure. The Vikings have collapsed right on schedule. I knew they weren’t going to be anything serious from the get-go, something about them seemed fake. Maybe it was an aging defense, an overrated quarterback, or an underdeveloped offensive line that tipped me off, but in the NFL it’s usually a collective group of many factors, and in this case it was all of them.
Steelers 23, Ravens 20
This was an interesting result not only because it was an upset but it dropped Baltimore down to three losses, which means now they have the same record as New England and Denver. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for the second seed in the AFC, and it came at the unlikely hand of one Charlie Batch, which nobody saw coming. The Steelers had to have this win, but the Ravens showed serious weakness by losing at home.
Cowboys 38, Eagles 34
For a second it looked like the Cowboys were about to do something even I would have put past them: They were about to lose to the 2012 Eagles at home and it was about to be really, really funny. They fell behind 14-3 and I was ecstatic. As a lifelong New York Giants fan, I had never been prouder to root for the Philadelphia Eagles. But then like they always do, the Cowboys put together a couple of quick drives and all of a sudden Tony Romo is everyone’s new best friend. Given the results of what happened next, I can honestly say that if it ends up being between the Cowboys and the Redskins I hope Dallas doesn’t make it.
Redskins 17, Giants 16
RG3’s first Monday Night Football performance wasn’t record breaking on paper, but he definitely made a statement that he wasn’t the least bit afraid of the New York Giants defense and this game wasn’t nearly as close as the score would indicate. The Giants forced a couple of key turnovers, but when it came down to it the 2009 and 2010 Giants reared their ugly head – they were getting penalized for everything. In the end their failure to convert on third down was magnified only by the lack of yardage they were able to scrounge up on the two plays previous to that. Griffin exhausted the Giants with looks that they hadn’t seen in a few weeks, and Washington did a hell of a job running the football. Overall I Was very disappointed with the Giants play and I don’t feel any better about a win like this than I would if the Redskins scored 43 points.
The preview will be better and much more thorough. See you Thursday.
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