Week 12: In which quarterbacks play special teams and one division sees zero wins and tight ends get off the turf untouched to run for pay dirt while defensive backs stand by and watch and a team comes back from a 24-point shut out at halftime to win.
Or, just another wild week in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Saints won, 17-13)
The Saints continue to roll; the Falcons continue to slide.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (Steelers won, 27-11)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (Buccaneers won, 24-21)
Thank you, Bucs, for going on a timely 3-game win streak to take down the Lions and keep the NFC North standings as-is.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Stupid Tie, 26-26 OT)
I could (and likely will) write an entire post on why the NFL needs to do away with ties. Technically it’s a better outcome than a loss…but it’s so wholly unsatisfying. I had never personally experienced a tie as a fan before – the last one for the Packers was in ’87 – but now I feel like I understand firsthand why everyone hates ties so much. The game ends, the score is tied, and you feel…like you just ate a bucket of celery and cucumbers for lunch. It’s kind of healthy, and you’re kind of full, but you’re mostly annoyed that you just ate a bucket of celery and cucumbers for lunch. And you’re still hungry.
I don’t know when or why that would happen, but that’s what I felt like yesterday when the Packers game ended. Celery and cucumbers.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (Chargers won, 41-38)
Phillip Rivers had a banner day: throwing for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the game-winner in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter. The Chargers are now back amongst the legion of 5-6 teams in the AFC fighting for a wildcard spot.
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (Rams won, 42-21)
The elder bested the younger in this sibling rivalry game between the Long brothers. It was a bit of a beat down.
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins (Panthers won, 20-16)
Beware, NFC: the Panthers are a force to be reckoned with, and they are only continuing to gain momentum.
NY Jets at Baltimore Ravens (Ravens won, 19-3)
I think we can safely say the Ravens defense is back.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (Jaguars, 13-6)
This is just unfathomable. What a season in Houston.
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (Cardinals won, 40-11)
Since beating the Broncos in Peyton’s return to Indy in Week 7, the Colts have won two games by 3-points each and have lost two games by a collective 59-points. 59-points! On the flip side, the Cardinals have quietly snuck into prime wildcard contention in the NFC West.
Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders (Titans won, 23-19)
The Titans made their way to the top of that 5-6 pile in the AFC with Sunday’s win over the Raiders.
Dallas Cowboys at NY Giants (Cowboys won, 24-21)
This was my favorite play of the day.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Patriots won, 34-31 OT)
The 14th Brady vs. Manning game wrapped up early this morning, around 12:30am. And it was worth every minute. In a nutshell: the Patriots fumbled on their first 3 drives of the first half, scored on their first 3 drives of the second half, and kicked an easy field goal to end it after a terrible mistake by the Broncos special teams in overtime. In case you missed it: this game was 24-0, Broncos at halftime. What a classic.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (MNF on ESPN)
Surprisingly, the Niners would fall to 6-5 and 3rd in the NFC West with a loss tonight. They could use this win. But so could the Redskins, if for nothing more than a morale boost.
Bye Week: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks