There are quite a few NFL teams that are getting it done this season without the benefit of great quarterback play, but not too many are doing it better than the Buffalo Bills.
Fresh off an unlikely win over no less than the Green Bay Packers, the Bills and their hellacious defense are now one of three 8-6 teams vying for the final AFC playoff spot.
And they’ve done it with a pedestrian combination of EJ Manuel and Kyle Orton under center. They’ll have one more hurdle to clear if they want to reach the playoffs, however. They play at New England in the season’s final week. If they win that one, watch out.
This Week’s Sucked And Won
Andy Dalton, QB (CIN). Dalton threw for just 117 yards and an interception, posting a passer rating of just 53.6. Of course, his Browns counterpart didn’t do even half as good. . .
If the Patriots and Broncos look tougher than usual this season, there’s a good reason. Those teams now have defenses to match the offenses lead by their crafty Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Whichever one of these two comes out of the AFC (and it will be one or the other, trust me) the NFC will not have an easy time of it, whether its Seattle, Green Bay or someone else.
Shocking realization of the week
The process of kicking away from Falcons return specialist Devin Hester is so prevalent, he does not even qualify to be the league leader in yards per punt return (if he did, he’d be first by a yard and a half).
I’m sure Eagle fans are lining up on the Ben Franklin Bridge to jump off it after losing to Dallas, but calm down Philly. The Cowboys play the Colts this week, and if they lose that one then your birds are right back in the driver’s seat.
This Week’s Great But Lost
Robert Griffin III, QB (WAS). There were several good candidates this week, but I’m throwing RG3 a bone here, since he’s had such a tough year. In his first game action in a while, coming in in relief of the injured Colt McCoy, Griffin shook off the rust and posted a passer rating of 106.4. Now if he could do something about all those sacks he keeps taking. . .
Thursday Pick: Tennessee (+3) @Jacksonville (Westgate Superbook)
This game is the answer to a trivia question. What is there to do for fun in Jacksonville this Thursday? Nothing special, that’s for sure. You couldn’t pay me to watch this shit fest. Tennessee needs to lose the game for draft position more than the Jaguars do, since Jax already has a quarterback, plus the Titans really are horrific. The Jaguars have, at times, been watchable this season. Not Tennessee. No way.
Jacksonville Jaguars 24 Tennessee Titans 17
“Two games left. Two wins needed.” – Ravens coach John Harbaugh on his team’s playoff prospects.
“I’ve got more respect for Aaron Rodgers than probably anyone in this league. I saw two good football teams playing a hard-hitting December football game. That’s how it’s supposed to look.” – Bills QB Kyle Orton, after Buffalo’s hard fought win over the Packers.
“We relaxed, they made some plays, and that sealed our fate.” – Raiders DE Justin Tuck, on Oakland’s loss to the Chiefs.
“I’d like to play in the NFL. Does New York have any professional teams?” – Hesiman winner Marcus Mariota, delivering David Letterman’s “Top Ten”
“Next play.” – Steelers LB Jason Worilds offering a terse response to a question about the controversial roughing the passer call against him.
“That was for my guy.” – Panthers backup QB Derek Anderson, on his mimicking Cam Newton’s first down gesture after an 8 yard scramble on Sunday.
“Go sling it, baby. Go have fun. You’re here for a reason. You’re only on this team because you’re talented enough to be here. You have everything it takes to win the game.” – Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, on what he said to Ryan Lindley when telling him he would be the team’s starting QB on Sunday.
“[A] call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.” – Browns WR Andrew Hawkins, eloquently defending his support of shooting victims Tamir Rice and John Crawford.