Broncos fans might get upset, but the Seahawks are still the best team in football. They play all three phases of the game and -- most importantly -- can stop teams from scoring. Sure, Seattle lost on Sunday, but it was to the archrival 49ers at the 'Stick. A two-point defeat to a likely playoff team on the road is not enough to knock the 12th Man from the top spot, not when the Broncossurrendered a lot of points (again) in a home win over a non-playoff team.
See above. We respect the Broncos but worry about their viability in the playoffs. Can they run out the clock and stop a team when they need to, like the 49ers did to the Seahawks -- or like the great teams do in the postseason? Denver can outscore any AFC opponent, but how will it do versus the Seahawks or another defensive-minded squad in a cold-weather Super Bowl?
Nice to see Marques Colstondestroy the Carolina defense Sunday night. He's had an up-and-down year, but he's still one of the better players of the past decade. What wasn't so nice was the way we were left wondering where that aggressive effort was in Seattle in Week 13. New Orleans needs to be able to win somewhere besides, well, New Orleans.
We thought it classy of Andy Reid to temper his comments after what was obviously a big win for the Chiefs with some respect for his opponent, making sure to mention the words "Hall of Fame" when discussing embattled Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. You get the rest. Reid has handled himself very well as the organizational front man, and it's clear his players respond to him.
We saw what we needed to see in Sunday night's loss to the Saints on two fronts: 1) How thePanthers fared on the road in an important, nationally televised game; and 2) how their offense responded when forced to play from (well) behind. Is it panic time? No. But this team likely will be on the road in the playoffs. Carolina can probably beat Dallas, Philadelphia or Detroit, but what about Seattle or New Orleans? That's the question with this group.
Tell me that wasn't a freaking great game versus those Seahawks. Two divisional opponents playing real football, pounding the run and hitting in a matchup conducted at fever pitch. Felt like I was watching Giants-49ers from 1990 -- it was awesome. San Francisco might not have guaranteed itself a playoff spot, but with the Buccaneers, Falcons and Cardinalscoming up, the Niners likely will finish with an 11-5 record and the NFC's No. 6 playoff seed.
Another clutch victory for the Dolphins, who have now won three out of four and have a more favorable schedule the rest of the way than their main competition for the AFC's final wild-card slot, the defending champion Baltimore Ravens.
Then again, who cares? Their fans must be so sick of this team folding when it counts. Whether the Lions are matched up against the Panthers or 49ers in the playoffs, does anyone think either of those clubs couldn't go into Detroit and be favorites? While the Lions play well at Ford Field, they seem to lack the kind of true leader who will rally the troops. A dynamic returner doesn't count.Helluva game, though,Jeremy Ross.
You think a few playoff teams wouldn't mind having Josh McCown as their backup? He's not exactly Jim Sorgi. Jay Cutler's alleged caddy was on point for the majority of Monday night. Yes, he got away with a couple of throws, but he ultimately finished with 348 yards passing and five total touchdowns.
Can't you just see Rob Ryan on Monday night, downing a plate of chicken nachos at the Cluck 'n' Chuck, belly-laughing at the TV in the corner? Against Ryan's old Cowboys defense,Bearsquarterback Josh McCown threw it around the park like Warren Moon circa 1990. At least when Chicago's receivers caught the ball 25 yards downfield, a Dallas defensive back was there to make the tackle.
The signing of Danny Woodhead elicited about as much excitement as a Jim Kleinsasser touchdown run, but no one can deny his contribution to the Chargers this season. He gained 94 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown on just 11 touches in Sunday's win over the Giants -- and now has 65 receptions on the year. The Bolts are still alive.
The moment reminded someone in the NFL Media newsroom of the time that the Saintspulled off the same play to apparently tie a game in Jacksonville in 2003 -- only for John Carney to miss the extra point. Anyone else remember that?
Week 14 in San Diego might have been King Ugly of the Giants' slate thus far. New York was never in this game. Well, that's not entirely true; Big Blue was right there duking it out -- until theChargers scored midway through the first quarter.
You know it's your day when your quarterback goes 9-for-25 passing and you win by 21 points.Game manager, meet Mike Glennon.
Ah, it happens to the best of them. I still remember a playoff game some years ago in which Dieter Brock went 6 for 22 and the Rams still won, 20-zip. Of course, Eric Dickerson set a playoff record with 248 yards rushing that day ... but work with me, here.
Tampa Bay has taken four of five, by the way.
Who would have thought Florida teams would be playing their best football at this point in the year? It's hard not to heap a little praise on coach Gus Bradley. Losing the first eight games of the season by double digits (literally) would normally wreck the confidence in any locker room, but there was Bradley after Thursday's win over Houston, talking about how his team was practicing.Now we see.
Cleveland's Leon McFadden probably wanted to crawl into a hole after that crucial pass-interference penalty Sunday -- maybe an iHole, given the way people are consuming their football these days. While his mistake was bad, there were many others to count in this late-game collapse ... like the fact that no one covered Shane Vereen all day. How does a backup running back get 153 receivingyards on you?
Speaking of monstrous receiving totals, we hope folks are noticing what Josh Gordon is doing for the Browns: three games, 649 yards. Think about that ... that's an average of 216.3 yards per game.
Not the outing the Raiders were hoping for after recent improvement on both sides of the ball. Yes, it's time for Oakland to evaluate young players -- and yet, we still can't figure out why Marcel Reeceisn't used more frequently in the way that he was on Sunday. Given 21 touches, Reece gained 161 yards and scored a touchdown. He performed like this when called upon last year, too.
Ugly football in Tampa Bay, with Buffalo averaging 3.0 yards per rush. At least EJ Manuel made up for it by throwing four interceptions. Be patient, however: This was easily the rookie quarterback's worst start of the season. He doesn't have as many Geno Smith games as, well, Geno Smith.
Awful loss for Minnesota in Baltimore, but allow us to play Positive Perry here. The Vikings finally have an explosive piece in addition to Adrian Peterson, one who has the home-run-hitting ability ofPercy Harvin: Cordarrelle Patterson, who had five catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, and who also leads the NFL in yards per kickoff return.
How do you rate these Falcons going into next season? Yes, they have suffered key injuries, but the majority of their front-line players were out there competing in Green Bay on Sunday -- and they still lost. At first glance, Atlanta resembles Kansas City, in that the talent is there to turn this deal around quickly. Bear in mind, however, how much better stocked the Chiefs were on defense.
This Mike Shanahan situation is getting weird. We understand the challenges a head coach faces when a player has a close relationship with a general manager or owner, but the bottom line is, this is Daniel Snyder's team. He paid a lot of money for it, and he can have whatever kind of relationship he wants with whichever player he chooses. Each organization has its own set of hurdles; it was up to Mike Shanahan to manage those hurdles in such a way that Washington didn't drop from 10-6 to 3-10 in less than a year's time.
Tough times for the Houston Texans. We thought Gary Kubiak would have the opportunity to at least finish out the season, but it was not to be. Perhaps the ugliest part of the loss in Jacksonvillewas that Matt Schaub played just good enough to get his team beat. Obviously, Kubiak supported Schaub throughout, sometimes to the detriment of his own credibility with Houston fans.
The last two offensive plays of Kubiak's tenure said it all. With just over two minutes left, his veteran quarterback had a clear window ... and threw it right to the linebacker. After the Jaguarskicked a field goal, the Texans got the ball back ... and Schaub was promptly sacked for an 18-yard loss. Game over, era over and season -- essentially -- over.