They were calling it the Big 6. The first time this late in an NFL season that six games were between teams with winning records. Did the games live up to the hype?
By the numbers, no. Atlanta vs. the Giants was a slaughter. Ditto Denver v. Baltimore, although the final score was closer than the game was. Green Bay v. Chicago was a yawner, as was Houston v. Indianapolis, which meant that four of the Big 6 were big snore fests.
But the last 2. . .Pittsburgh and Dallas went into overtime in a hard fought and exciting game.
And on Sunday night, the Patriots nearly pulled off the greatest comeback in NFL history, actually tying a game they once trailed 31-3 before succumbing. There will be a few more of these on tap next week, including Seattle and San Fran, so let’s hope they live up to the advance billing as well.
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Sometimes success breeds success. Case in point? The Redskins offense, basically a one man gang all year behind RGIII (OK, a two man gang. Rookie RB Alfred Morris helps too), rang up 38 points on the Browns this week, with RGIII on the bench. The Redskins got some help from their defense, but this was a solid offensive output without the one guy that makes this offense special. I guess these guys just got used to scoring a lot of points.
As if to reinforce the fact that the Chiefs and Raiders are two of the worst teams in the NFL, is it possible to play a worse game than 15-0 where all the points come on field goals? And how does anyone get shut out by that Raiders’ defense? Jeez.
This Week’s Sucked And Won: Ryan Lindley, QB (ARZ). The Cardinals defense won this week’s game against Detroit, no doubt about it. Lindley went 14-21 for 104 yards with an interception and a fumble, posting a passer rating of 58.4.
I know it sounds like I’m picking on Andrew Luck, but in the aftermath of the last two weeks, there isn’t even an argument anymore between Luck and. . .Russell Wilson (I know, you were expecting me to say Robert Griffin). Wilson is now the 8th rated passer in the NFL (Luck is 31st). Wilson has 2100 passing yards, 21 TDs and only 9 INTs (he also has 400 rushing yards and 3 TDs on the ground). Luck has thrown for nearly 4000 yards, but he has 20 TDs and 18 INTs, and the Colts don’t run the ball, so you’d expect some volume. I’m not saying Andrew Luck is bad, or that he won’t eventually be great, but this season, Russell Wilson has been better. . .A LOT better. It would be nice if ANYONE would notice.
Note to every media outlet in America: it is not “news” that the Jets are not going to make the playoffs, it is common knowledge.
Shocking Realization of the Week: Seattle has put up 50 in back to back games.
How big is this week’s game between the Seahawks and the 49ers? Maybe not as big as you think. Thanks to a win over New England, San Fran can lose this week and still win the division with a win over Arizona in week 17. Similarly, the Seahawks have a 1 game lead in the playoff race, so even if they lose to the 49ers, they can most likely still get in by beating St. Louis in the final week.
Still think Atlanta is destined for another early playoff exit? Consider this: going back to 2008, the Falcons are 33-6 at home (including 7-0 this season), and they will almost certainly have home field all the way up to the Super Bowl. One caveat: during that stretch, they played one home playoff game, which they lost to Green Bay.
This Week’s Great But Lost: Brandon Graham, DE (PHL). In a season where the Eagles are at this point just looking for any bright spots to take into next year, Graham’s emergence on the defensive line is a big plus. He had six tackles and 2.5 sacks against the Bengals and looked, in general, like what the Eagles were hoping they were getting two years ago when they moved up to take him in the first round of the draft.
This week marked the last of the Thursday night games on NFL Network. Looking through them, there’s arguably one that anyone would have wanted to see – San Francisco’s 13-6 win over Seattle in week 7.
Frankly, Thursday night did not produce even one game as good as either of the two regular Thanksgiving games (the Thursday night addition on Thanksgiving being that crapfest blowout of the Jets by the Patriots).
I know it’s not gonna happen, but shouldn’t the NFL consider scrapping, or at least cutting back on these games. The players and coaches hate them. The fans hate them. No one wants this. Does that matter at all?
“We are strong. We are really strong.” – 49ers LB Navarro Bowman, after San Francisco survived a near epic collapse against New England and pulled out a win.
“It’s a train that can’t be stopped.” – Vikings OT Matt Kalil, on RB Adrian Peterson, the train that can’t be stopped.
“The defense is ballin’. The special teams is ballin’. Our offense is scoring points. What more can you ask for?” – Seahawks WR Sidney Rice, after Seattle became the first team in over 60 years to score 50 in back to back weeks.
“We love the haters. The haters keep us going. So keep the hate coming. It makes us play with a chip on our shoulders. We love that.” – Falcons CB Asante Samuel, on Atlanta not being treated as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
“We were a great team today. We haven’t been so great the past three weeks.” – Saints WR Lance Moore, after New Orleans snapped a three game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay 41-0.
“We’re a 9-5 football team and it feels like we’re 0-14 right now.” – Ravens QB Joe Flacco, after the Ravens dropped their third straight.
“I’m not a drama queen, but it’s great that we won a championship today.” – Packers coach Mike McCarthy, after Green Bay clinched the NFC North.