Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 13 Review
Packers vs. Giants
What a
  We saw four lead changes in this one, a tied game with 58 seconds left, and a game winning field goal as time expired.  The Giants stuck with the Packers all game, and they started the scoring with a 67 yard TD from Eli to Beckum.  The Packers responded with a 12 yard TD pass to Finley.  After the Giants took a lead on a field goal, Clay Mathews returned a Manning interception for a 38 yard TD to make it 14-10 Green Bay.  The Giants would take the lead back on a 1 yard TD run from Jacobs.  Rodgers would find Driver with 1:10 left in the half to reclaim the lead going into halftime, 21-17.  Rodgers delivered another TD in the third quarter, this time to Greg Jennings to make it 28-17.  Manning responded with a 4 yard pass to Nicks to cut the Packers lead to 28-24.  Tynes would kick a 50 yard field goal to make it 28-27 in the fourth.  Driver found the endzone again with 3:34 left, and Green Bay took a 35-27 lead.  The Giants would then drive 66 yards in just over two and a half minutes to make it a 35-33 game on a 2 yard TD from Manning to Nicks.  Manning was 5 for 8 for 63 yards on the drive.  The Giants converted a two-point conversion on a handoff to Ware to tie it 35-35.  The problem with the great drive by Manning?  He left Aaron Rodgers 58 seconds.  The 58 seconds were more than enough, as Rodgers went 4 for 4 for 68 yards to set up the game winning field goal as time expired.  The dagger was the first play of the drive, a 24 yard pass that seemed to suck the life out of the stadium.  The next three passes combined for 44 yards, to set up the game winning 30 yard field goal, as time expired.  Rodgers finished the game going 28/46, for 369 yards, 4 TDs, and 1 INT.  He also led the team in rushing yards, with 32.  Jennings and Nelson had 94 yards, to go along with Finely's 87.  Eli Manning went 23/40 with 3 TDs and 1 INT.  Jacobs ran for 59 yards and a TD, and Bradshaw had 38 yards.  Victor Cruz once again put on a show, with 7 catches for 119 yards.  Nicks had 88 yards and 2 TDs.  This game was one for the ages, and was eerily similar to the Giants attempt to break up the Patriots perfect season in week 17 of the 2007 season.  They lost by the same score as well. They trailed in the 4th, and fought back to make it a game however.  Whenever Rodgers looked in trouble, he scrambled for yards and averted danger.  It looks like this was the last true test for the Packers in the regular season as they have Oakland at home, Kansas City on the road, followed by Chicago and Detroit at home.  As for the Giants, they prepare for a division matchup against Dallas next week.  They face them twice in the final four weeks, so it is completely possible for them to win the division, as they are only one game back of Dallas.  If the Giants win out, they are guaranteed to make the playoffs because of the games against Dallas.
Giants (+7) Win

Jets vs. Redskins

The Jets pulled off another win in the final quarter.  They played sloppy all game, but in the fourth quarter when it mattered, they finished off the Skins.  Folk hit a big 51 yard field goal in the third to tie it 13-13.  The Jets were trailing or tied all game until the fourth quarter, when Sanchez connected on a strike to Santonio
Holmes for a 30 yard TD to make it 20-16.  After the Jets got to Grossman and sacked him to force a fumble, Greene took the direct snap for a 9 yard touchdown.  The game was all but over at that point.  Greene would add another 25 yard field with under 2 minutes left.  The Jets played a solid fourth quarter, but the rest of the game was a bit painful.  They stuck close though, but in reality, they should have been down a lot more at halftime.  The Jets remain in the hunt now, sitting in 9th place in the AFC.  They will need some losses from the Titans, Raiders, and Bengals for a chance to get in, along with winning almost every game.  If they win out, then they should be able to steal a playoff spot.  They are all tied with a 7-5 record, but they do not hold any tiebreakers at this moment.  For Washington, Grossman had a bad day going 19 for 46 for 221 yards and 1 INT.  Helu was the only one to rush the ball in this game for Washington, gaining 100 yards and a TD.  For the Jets, Sanchez went 19 for 32 with 165 yards and a TD.  His offensive line provided great protection, he was not sacked at all.  Greene had 22 carries for 88 yards and 3 TDs.  The Jets have Kansas City next week at home.  They should beat them easily...I'd like to think.
Jets (-3) Win

Titans vs. Bills
Tennessee jumped out to an early 17-7 lead, that included a 48 yard TD by Chris Johnson.  The story of this game, is that Johnson is back to form, rushing 23 times for 153 yards and 2 TDs.  Fitzpatrick had 288 yards and a TD for the Bills and Spiller ran for 83 yards and a TD.  The Bills were playing from behind the whole game, but couldn't get all the way back.  It seems like a long time ago that that Ralph Wilson Stadium was shaking after the Bills came back to beat the Patriots in week 3.  They have lost 5 in a row and 7 of their last 9.  Tennessee finds themselves in 7th place in the conference, in a 4 way tie at 7-5, but holding the 2nd of the best tiebreakers. 
Titans (+1) Win

Chiefs vs. Bears

A 38 yard hail mary batted down into the hands of McCluster at the end of the first half gave the lead to the Chiefs, and they held on to win 10-3.  The Chiefs are out of the hunt, but the Bears are now 7-5, and have a big problem at quarterback and have lost Forte for an estimated 2-4 weeks.  He suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain.  The Bears might not make the playoffs after such a tremendous start to the year with Cutler and Forte.  They are going to have to hold off the Giants, Detroit, and Atlanta for the 5th and 6th seed.  They currently are in 5th place in the conference.
Chiefs (+8) Win

Raiders vs. Dolphins

Injuries were in fact too much for the Raiders.  Wish I never changed my pick on this one, I believed too much in Palmer and Bush.  I should of believed in the revived Fins. The Raiders have fallen to 8th place in the conference standings.  They have lost the division to the Tebows for good I believe.  There is no coming back now.  There is something going on in Denver that can not be explained. 
Raiders (+3) Loss

Colts vs. Patriots
Looked like it was going to be a blowout, but the Pats relaxed a little and let the UCONN alum rack up so good yards.  Still a win that everyone expected here however, just not by as many points as I thought.
Patriots (-21) Loss

Bengals vs. Steelers
Pittsburgh erupted in the 2nd quarter for 28 points, and effectively sucked the life out of the Bengals.  Pittsburgh now is tied with Baltimore for the division at 9-3, but as it stands, sit in 5th place in the conference, as they would lose the division by tiebreaker.  The Bengals might just be tiring out in these last two games and we should have expected this after last weeks stinker against the Browns.  They will have to fight to hold onto the last spot in the playoffs with their 7-5 record.

Bengals (+7)

Falcons vs. Texans
Yates was filling in nicely for Houston, as he was 10 for 17 at the half with 154 yards and a TD, but after halftime went 2 for 8 for 34 yards.  He didn't need to do much though, as Foster ran 31 times for 111 yards and a TD, and Tate ran 11 times for 41 yards.  Andre Johnson had a big game with 97 yards, before leaving the game with a left hamstring injury.  This is not the same hamstring he had previously injured.  They believe it is not severe, but he will have an MRI on Monday.  This however was a great win for Houston and a bad loss for Atlanta.  Matt Ryan went 20/46 for 267 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.  Turner only had 44 yards on the ground.  Tony Gonzalez had another great game, 7 catches for 100 yards, but Roddy White only had 51 yards and a TD.  Julio Jones returned for 64 yards on 4 catches.  It was not enough though, as Houston and Foster proved too much and held off Atlanta to win a big game at home.  Atlanta currently holds the last playoff spot in the NFC at 7-5.
Falcons (-1.5) Loss

Panthers vs. Buccaneers
Cam Newton went insane in this game.  In the passing game he went 12 for 21 for 204 yards and 1 TD.  His rushing game was dominant, rushing 14 times for 54 yards and 3 TDs.  Ridiculous.  Oh, and he caught a pass for 27 yards.  They blew out the hapless Bucs, 38-19, and have now won back to back games, both on the road. 
Panthers (-2) Win

Broncos vs. Vikings
TEBOW TIME!  The Broncos are now the leaders of the AFC West after Tim Tebow did it again.  There are no more words to describe what this guy does week in and week out.  He had his best game of the year passing wise, going 10 for 15 for 202 yards.  He made perfect throws, including one of the best scrambles and passes I have seen in a while.  It was a 41 yard TD, where Tebow had to evade numerous defenders, stiff arm another, and when it looked like he was going to take off and run he found Thomas and let him do the rest.  Tebow waited until every defender in the area committed to chasing him, and then let it go.  It was a great play and even though the Broncos still trailed 22-21, you somehow knew he was going to do it again.  Harvin would score on a 48 yard touchdown pass, which was immediately followed by another TD by the Broncos, this time McGahee broke away for a 24 yard TD run followed by a Tebow two-point conversion to tie the game in the fourth, 29-29.  Each team would get a field goal, and with 1:33 left in a tied game, Ponder threw an interception on the first play of the drive, setting up a winning, 23 yard field goal by Prater to win the game for the Broncos.  McGahee finished the game with 20 caries for 111 yards and a TD.  Ponder threw for 381 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs and Harvin caught 8 catches for 156 yards and 2 TDs.  At the end of the day though, it was another unbelievable game for Tebow and the Broncos, and I am happy to see that more people are starting to believe.  It is their division to lose now, as Tebow improves to 6-1. 
Broncos (even) Win

Ravens vs. Browns
Ravens won easily in Cleveland, as Ray Rice ran wild: 29 carries for 204 yards and 1 TD.  Ricky Williams got in the mix too with 16 carries for 76 yards and a TD.  Flacco was average again, 10/23 for 158 yards and lost a fumble.  Baltimore improves to 9-3 and has the lead for the AFC North.
Ravens (-7) Won

Rams vs. 49ers
Rams did not start Bradford in this one, therefore they had nothing.  49ers shut them out, 26-0. Steven Jackson was held to only 19 yards rushing.  For the 49ers, Smith threw for 274 yards and 2 TDs.  Gore ran for 73 yards and Crabtree caught 4 passes for 96 yards and a TD.  Solid effort and the 49ers improve to 10-2. 
49ers (-14) Won

Cowboys vs. Cardinals
Dallas led this game 13-6 in the fourth quarter, before giving up a Beanie Wells TD.  The Cowboys had a shot to win the game, but Dallas broke down in the last 30 seconds.  They apprently forgot how to manage the clock in crunch time.  After not calling a timeout and letting the clock tick down for no reason, only to spike the ball, they then rushed the field goal unit out.  They then did call a timeout...on their own kicker, as Bailey's field goal soared through the uprights.  Garrett said that he wanted to give him enough time and not rush the field goal attempt.  Well the next try was short and wide, and the Cowboys would go to overtime and lose on a 52 yard TD pass from Kolb to Stephens-Howling.  Cowboys won this game, but had it taken away by a dumb timeout.  They are now only one game ahead of the Giants and square off next week in Dallas.  This will be the biggest game of the year thus far, so the Cowboys better shake this loss from their memory.  Romo finished with 299 yards and a TD and Bryant caught 8 for 86 yards and a TD.  Murray was held to 38 yards on 12 carries.  In Kolb's return, he had 247 yards and the game winning TD. 
Cowboys (-4.5) Loss

Lions vs. Saints
The Saints improved to 6-0 at home, as they beat the Lions, 31-17.  Brees had another huge game, going 26 for 36 with 342 yards and 3 TDs.  Ingram took the bulk of the carries, 16 for 54 and a TD.  Meachem had a big game with 3 catches for 119 yards and a TD.  Graham continued his great season with 8 catches for 89 yards.  As for Detroit, they lose Kevin Smith again to injury and are starting to slip out of the playoff picture.
They now sit in 7th place, so if the season ended today...they would not make it.  Stafford threw for over 400 yards in this one, but all in a losing effort.  The Lions are reeling and they will need to turn it around quick if they want to get back in the playoff picture. 
Lions (+9) Loss

Monday Night Football
Chargers vs. Jaguars
The Chargers lit it up from the final 2 minutes of the first half until the end of the game.  In the final two minutes, the Chargers were losing 14-10.  They scored two TDs with under two minutes left in the first half.  They would add a 52 yard TD from Rivers to Floyd in the third and Mathews added a 31 yard TD run in the fourth quarter to finish the game on a 28-0 run.  Rivers finished with 294 yards and 3 TDs.  Mathews carried 13 times for 112 yards and a TD.  Floyd led all receivers with 108 yards and a TD, followed by Jackson with 72 yards and a TD, and Gates with 70 yards.  On the other side of the ball, MJD had 97 yards rushing and 91 yards and a TD receiving.  In the end though, it was San Diego that clicked tonight winning 38-14, and sit at 5-7 on the season. 
Chargers (-3) Win

Seattle (+3)

This weeks record: 10-6

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