NFL Review time? You bet!
Team of the Week: San Francisco 49ers
-I think this may be the third time the 49ers won this award in the season. But the 49ers won the NFC West on Sunday with a great all around performance against the lowly St. Louis Rams. The 49ers shutout the Rams and had a great game offensively, taking the Rams to the wood shed. Alex Smith continues his career resurrection under Jim Harbaugh, which comes as a complete surprise to a lot of people. The defense is going to make this team a real threat come January. One under-rated guy on this team? Kicker David Akers. Akers has been pretty spot on this year, and he hit another four field goals on Sunday. I don’t think Jim Harbaugh rests any players yet. Frank Gore may see a slightly lighter work load, but I don’t know if anyone else rests considering the 49ers are still fighting for a 1st round bye. I predicted the 49ers to finish last in the NFC West. I will eat crow here, Congrats to the 49ers on a great season.
Game of the Week: Green Bay Packers 38 New York Giants 35
-This one really isn’t close. The Giants were blown out at New Orleans on Sunday night, so you were kind of expecting something similar here. But the Giants stood toe-to-toe with the Packers on Sunday. They drove down the field with less than 5 minutes remaining to tie the game with a touchdown and 2 point conversion. Problem is, they left time on the clock for Aaron Rodgers to go 4 plays down the field to get into field goal position. It reminded me a lot of the Giants/Patriots game from the Patriots undefeated season. The Giants hung with the Pats the entire game before Tom Brady & Co. pulled it out in the end. The Giants fell to 6-6, but the Cowboys also lost so it wasn’t a season-ender. The Packers just continue to roll and have already clinched the NFC North. The Packers are showing some flaws on defense, and I wouldn’t consider them a lock to roll to the Super Bowl in the NFC.
Dog of the Week: Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
-Come on man, really? That was some terrible clock management by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of their game against the Arizona Cardinals. They wasted 20 seconds getting lined up to spike the ball when they still had two timeouts in their pocket. Then, Garrett called a timeout right before kicker Dan Bailey booted the kick right through the uprights. So what happened on Bailey’s next attempt? He was short and to the left. Garrett said after the game he thought the play clock was getting low. It wasn’t low enough to prevent Bailey from getting the kick off on time. If you think the kick isn’t going to get off on time, call the timeout before your kicker gets set. The Cowboys went on to lose the game in overtime and blew the chance to take a two game lead on the Giants.
Other Week 13 Notes
-Did you know that all Tim Tebow does is win? He did it again on Sunday, and this time he did it with his arm. Tebow had 2 TD passes in Denver’s win over Minnesota. The Broncos are now 6-1 this year under Tebow, and that is all that matters when it comes down to it. Tebow won one of those games by only completing two passes, and he won another by scoring all of the team’s points in the final 3 minutes. The Broncos now sit on top of the AFC West thanks to Tebow, and some much better play by their defense. The next two games are huge for the Broncos, home against the Bears and Patriots. If the Broncos can win those two, especially against the Patriots, then there’s no reason to think they won’t make the playoffs.
-At what point do you just start feeling bad for the Bears and Texans? Lets start with the Bears. First they lose Jay Cutler for what looks like the rest of the regular season. Then, they lose Matt Forte for 2-6 weeks with a sprained MCL. Now who do the Bears turn to on offense? Caleb Hanie has not done well his first two games, and Marion Barber is not an every down back. The Bears remain in a 3 way tie with the Falcons and Lions for the last 2 Wild Card spots, and it won’t be easy. The Texans lost Andre Johnson again for another couple weeks after injuring his other hamstring. So the Texans lost Mario Williams, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub. They get Johnson back then lose him again. They still pulled out a good win at home against Atlanta. The defense stepped up big time, holding the Falcons to only 10 points. It was big because it doesn’t look like the Titans are going away. Being up 2 games with 4 games left is a huge advantage.
-The last Wild Card spot in the AFC may very well come down to the final week of the season. The Bengals, Jets, Titans, and Broncos/Raiders are all 7-5 and all have difficult schedules ahead. The Bengals looked particularly bad this past week against Pittsburgh. They went from being competitive against the Steelers at home to getting blown out on the road. Youth may be catching up to Cincinnati. The Jets pulled away late against Washington but looked shaky for 3 quarters. The Raiders were blown out in Miami and now go to Green Bay next week. Tennessee has won three of their last four but go to New Orleans next week. The Broncos are playing the best football, but they will win the AFC West in my opinion. If I’m a betting man, I’m going with the Jets to get the last Wild Card spot. They always find a way to sneak into the playoffs and I think they will again.
-I think it is finally to the point where this dysfunction in Philadelphia will cost Any Reid his job. The Eagles look like they have given up on Reid, and you don’t need any more evidence than Thursday nights game against Seattle. That team just doesn’t care anymore. They were suppose to be Super Bowl contenders but now they are contenders for a Top 10 pick. If Reid is back, DeSean Jackson won’t be. I doubt Jackson will be back anyway. The defense, specifically the linebackers, look like a joke. I guess that is what happens when you make your offensive line coach your defensive coordinator. At this point, I wouldn’t even risk further injury to Mike Vick. Finishing 4-12 isn’t out of the realm of possibility if this team really has quit, but I think they win their final game against Washington to get to 5-11.
Hey I’m Just Sayin…
-Are you happy you gave Jacksonville two home MNF games now, ESPN?
-Is it really just Ndamukong Suh that is dirty in Detroit?
-I would still take all of this Tebow talk over a potential Brett Favre return.
-Is the NFC West actually better than the NFC East?
-Can I play QB for the Rams this week?
-Hey Donovan McNabb, take all of this as a sign that it is time to retire.
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1. New England Patriots 9-3 at Washington
2. Baltimore Ravens 9-3 vs Indianapolis
3. Houston Texans 9-3 at Cincinnati
4. Denver Broncos 7-5 vs Chicago
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-3 vs Cleveland
6. Cincinnati Bengals 7-5 vs Houston
7. Tennessee Titans 7-5 vs New Orleans
8. Oakland Raiders 7-5 at Green Bay
9. New York Jets 7-5 vs Kansas City
This week would be the perfect opportunity for the Jets to grab the #6 Wild Card spot. They get a bad Kansas City team coming into their building. The Titans and Bengals both have tough home games, while the Raiders travel to undefeated Green Bay. If the Jets can win this week, they may be all alone in the #6 Wild Card spot come weeks end.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1. Green Bay Packers 12-0 vs Oakland
2. San Francisco 49ers 10-2 at Arizona
3. New Orleans Saints 9-3 at Tennessee
4. Dallas Cowboys 7-5 vs NY Giants
5. Chicago Bears 7-5 at Denver
6. Atlanta Falcons 7-5 at Carolina
7. Detroit Lions 7-5 vs Minnesota
8. New York Giants 6-6 at Dallas
Obviously the big game this week is Giants/Cowboys. Winner takes the lead in the NFC East race. Atlanta and Chicago have tough road tests. That gives the Lions the opportunity to take advantage with a win against a bad Vikings team.
Three Games I’d Like to See Next Week
New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans: If the Titans want some attention, a win here would help.
Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals: Can the Bengals stop their apparent downfall?
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants: Hopefully Jason Garrett freezes the other kicker this week.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka