Tuesday, December 4, 2012

JC's Take: Stars, Goats and Notes From Week 13 of the NFL

Team of the Week: Seattle Seahawks
-Seattle has the suspensions of Cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman facing them right in the face. So what do they do? They went into Chicago and beat a very good Bears team, putting them in pretty good shape to make a run at the Playoffs. And the NFC West crown is not out of the question as well. The Seahawks came back in the 4th quarter to take the lead late. After Chicago was able to tie the game, Seattle received the ball first in over time. Russell Wilson drove the offense right down the field against a very good Chicago defense and scored the game winning touchdown on a pass to Sidney Rice. Seattle now has a one game lead for the last Wild Card spot. While Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin get all of the attention, Russell Wilson is quietly putting together a good season in Seattle. No matter what the stats say, anytime you have a winning record this late in the season is a good thing. And kudos to Pete Carroll for doing a great job coaching up this group.

Game of the Week: Indianapolis 35  Detroit 33
-Once again the Lions were in a very entertaining football game. And once again the Lions found a way to lose. Detroit was up 33-21 late in the fourth quarter. But an Andrew Luck 44 TD pass and game winning TD pass as time expired later, and the Colts walked out of Detroit with a big win. For Detroit, it is just another bad loss in what has to be considered a disappointing season. Detroit is now 4-8 and left to wonder what went wrong. The Colts are 8-4 and on the verge of a Playoff appearance. The game was full of good offense and both Stafford and Luck showed why they will be good QBs for years to come. Yes there were games that went to over time, but these two teams put on a good showcase of offense and it was a game that came down to the last play of regulation.

The "Give Yourself A Barry Horowitz Pat On The Back" 3 Stars Of The Week

3. Adrian Peterson
-Did you guys miss my weekly praise of All Day? Well, good thing it is back this week. Peterson had another great day. Peterson ran for 210 yards on 21 carries. He also ripped off the longest run of his career with an 82 yard TD run. Peterson kept the Vikings in the game. The only reason Minnesota lost is because of some poor throws in the red zone by Christian Ponder. Even though his team is fading, I would give some serious consideration to Peterson for MVP.

2. Andrew Luck
-The Colts looked to be out of it down 12 with less than 10 minutes to play on the road against Detroit. But Luck lead the Colts on two touchdown drives in the 4th quarter, including scoring the game winning TD as time expired on a smart throw to Donnie Avery. Luck also made a great thrown to give the Colts the first TD, avoiding pressure and hitting his WR in the end zone. Luck now has the Colts at 8-4 and sitting pretty in the #5 Wild Card spot. How did the Colts get so lucky to go from Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck?

1. Romeo Crennel
-I really don't want to talk too much about the Jovan Belcher situation. What happened was very tragic. We don't know what was going through Belcher's head at the time of the events. But I have to give some major credit to Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel for staying focused and coaching his team after going through what he saw Saturday. The game could have been cancelled, but the players and coaches decided to play on. Crennel did a good job leading his team on the field and coaching his team to a victory. For what has been a very bad Chiefs season, I'm sure the victory on Sunday felt good, if even for only a short amount of time.

The "Almost As Pathetic As The Paparazzi" 3 Goats of the Week
3. New York Jets 7  Arizona Cardinals 6
-Yes, this whole game gets a big giant GOAT stamp. From the highlights I saw watching NFL Red Zone, it looked like a poor performance on offense. Mark Sanchez threw 3 interceptions before being pulled. Ryan Lindley looks completely lost playing QB. I really thought Arizona was going to win after going up 3-0. If Arizona had any semblance of an offense, they would have beat the Jets after being gift wrapped four turnovers. I feel bad for anyone that had to watch this game in its entirety.

2. Drew Brees
-Who would have ever thought Drew Brees would be on the GOAT list this season. But Brees put in a terrible performance on Thursday night against Atlanta. While Brees did throw for 341 yards, he also threw 5 interceptions. Brees also failed to throw a TD pass, ending his 54 game streak with one. The loss also pretty much ended any chance the Saints had to make the Playoffs. Brees, who always seems to come up clutch in big games, failed to do so in this one.

1. Titus Young
-You want to know who to ruin your career in the NFL? Just look at what Titus Young has done. Last week, Young was benched by the Lions. Apparently, in the game against Green Bay, Young was intentionally running the wrong routes because he wasn't getting the ball. He was not active again this week, and told to stay home by the team. Young looked like a promising young WR but his career in the NFL is in doubt. He now comes off as a "Me First' type of player that doesn't care about his team, jsut about himself.

Other Week 13 Notes
-Have to give credit to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After going into Cleveland looking completely inept on offense, I didn't give them much of a chance against the Ravens. But the Steelers came back from two deficits, took advantage of a key Ravens turnover and went into Baltimore and defeated the Ravens. While Charlie Batch looked pretty bad at times, he also made some big throws in the 4th quarter that helped Pittsburgh win. The win for Pittsburgh allows them to keep pace with the Bengals for the last Wild Card spot. With Ben Roethlisberger likely back next week, this Steelers team will be riding a lot of momentum going into the final month of the season. Pittsburgh needed to win one game without Ben to take some pressure off of him when he came back, and they did it in a big way against the Ravens. If Pittsburgh can get fully healthy in time for the end of the season, they are not a team I would want to see in the Playoffs.

-I don't know what has changed in Washington, but the Redskins look like a team that I do not want to be running into right now. While the offense wasn't as explosive as it has been in recent weeks, the defense stepped up big time in getting a win over the Giants. It leaves the Redskins, along with the Cowboys, a game back of the Giants with four to play. RG3 is going to be a special player in the NFL. If the kid keeps his head on straight, which I'm pretty sure he will, I think he will end up better than Andrew Luck when it is all set and done. I said last week that if the Redskins split their next two games, they have a good shot of getting to the Playoffs. Now? I think the Redskins have to be favored next week against an injury ravaged Ravens team. I feel very confident right now saying that the Redskins will make the Playoffs, and cause a lot of problems for whoever they face in the first round.

Random One Liners
-See how good of a team you can be, Chan Gailey, when you commit to running the ball.

-With the Ravens upcoming schedule: @Wash, vs Den, vs NYG, @Cinc, could they finish 9-7?

-If you ask me, it is no coincidence that Rex Ryan pulled Mark Sanchez with Tim Tebow out.

-My early wild prediction on a surprise Playoff team next year: the Cleveland Browns.

-So maybe we shouldn't anoint Colin Kapernick as a future star yet.

-At the rate field goals are getting missed, I'm going to start practicing kicking in the off-season.

-Is Jim Schwartz's job on the line after this horrendous season?

1. Houston Texans
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. New England Patriots
5. Denver Broncos

The Planning Our January Golf Trip Bottom Five
28. Arizona Cardinals
29. Oakland Raiders
30. Kansas City Chiefs
31. Carolina Panthers
32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Three Games I'd Like To See Next Week
Houston at New England: Texans have chance to show they are the team to beat in the AFC.
Baltimore at Washington: RG3 against an injury ravaged Ravens defense? Lookout.
New Orleans at NY Giants: Giants need this one to keep division title in sight.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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