We've had a Week 13 with some playoff relevancy and some exciting games. Here I'll just give a short breakdown of my takes on each matchup that went down this past weekend, and maybe some other errant thoughts that happen to cross my mind as I go along. Les do it.
Kansas City 10, Chicago 3
Message to Caleb Hanie - Before you get benched in favor of rookie Nathan Enderle whom Mike Martz seems to like a lot, stop throwing 3 picks a game. I wrote in my power rankings last week that as long as Hanie doesn't throw 3 INTs, the Bears can win with him. What does he do? Goes out and throws 3 INTs again, and now Matt Forte is out 2-6 weeks too. Rumors today swirling about Brett Favre possibly coming back in a Bear uniform, and I'd love to see it. Bring it on, O.G. (Old Gunslinger for those of you who aren't Jim Rome listeners) Come back to Lambeau on Christmas night so we can dust your ass one more time and your last pass can be in a Bears jersey. Oh by the way, how'd that Kyle Orton pickup go for the Chiefs? One play, injury, out.
Seattle 31, Philadelphia 14
Going back to Thursday for this one. Can we please stop talking about whether or not the Eagles have a chance at the playoffs now? They've been out of it for weeks, and if it weren't for the National Media's crazy infatuation with the "Dream Team" that isn't very dreamy, we wouldn't even be talking about them anymore. They have the same record as the Redskins, Panthers, Dolphins, and Browns. Come on.
Tennessee 23, Buffalo 17
By the way, just to throw it out there, I thought Stevie Johnson's "Shoot yourself in the leg like Plaxico Burress" TD dance was completely uncalled for, immature, unneeded, and inappropriate. Which is exactly what made it so freaking hilarious. I loved it, everytime someone brings it up I start giggling like a little schoolgirl. Way to go, Stevie, THAT is entertainment. As I say that, I totally thought the Bills might make a little run at the end of the season following the way they played the Jets in that game last week. Obviously, I was wrong. Ryan Fitzpatrick went back to being so-so again, and it seems like the Titans have finally found Chris Johnson. Wonder where he's been all year.
Houston 17, Atlanta 10
I won't say I called it, but I did call T.J. Yates having a decent game and leading Houston to a win. With their defense and running game, he doesn't need to do much, probably even less than he's capable of. I don't think Houston's done yet. But Atlanta ... I mean, come on. You're fighting for a Wild Card spot, the Bears and Lions both go down so you can gain a game on them, and you can't beat the opposing team's 3rd string rookie QB?
Miami 34, Oakland 14
Is Tony Sparano still getting fired at the end of this year? Probably. Does he deserve to after the way his team's been playing? Maybe not. They've had a very good start to the second half of the season. They're even scoring points now with Matt Moore and Reggie Bush leading the way. If they had some more talent on this team, say at the QB spot, I think they'd be alright.
Denver 35, Minnesota 32
Without Sunday Ticket, this was one of the games I was forced to watch. It turned out to be awesome. Tim Tebow did it again as I tweeted during the fourth quarter, and this time he did it with his arm. He didn't throw a perfect spiral every time, but his throws were where they needed to be. Willis McGahee has been huge for this team as well. If this team can win on days where they have to put up 35 points...
New England 31, Indianapolis 24
Not much to say about this game. Tom Brady's feasting on bad defenses now which will continue for the rest of the regular season with their schedule. Although Dan Orlovsky put up some decent numbers for the Colts. Makes you wonder if they put him in a few weeks ago, maybe they could have actually won a game.
Pittsburgh 35, Cincinnati 7
Cincy just obviously isn't ready to compete with the big boys in their division, but that's kind of to be expected. They're a talented team, but they're young and haven't been here before. Pittsburgh has, and they were ready for it.
Carolina 38, Tampa Bay 19
Cam Newton continues to make his case for rookie of the year with a 4 TD game, 3 on the ground. What happened to Tampa Bay is what I want to know. They were supposed to be the up and coming team this year and challenge New Orleans and Atlanta for the NFC South title. Whoops. Josh Freeman's taken a step back, Raheem Morris may not be the next great young coach like we thought, Mike Williams has regressed on the outside, and their defense doesn't look as solid either. Decisions to make for these guys in the offseason.
New York Jets 34, Washington 19
Mark Sanchez had another pretty good game, and they ran the ball well too. It looks like the typical late-season push from the Jets is about to reach full stride. Hopefully for Jets fans they're not starting from too far down. Roy Helu has looked really good for Washington, by the way. Maybe Shannahan has found 1 RB he can finally stick with. Then again, probably not.
Baltimore 24, Cleveland 10
Believe it or not, I think this was a big win for Baltimore. They needed to prove that they're done playing down the level of their competition, and they did. They controlled this game from start to finish, which is what should have happened. Not to mention the fact that Ray Rice had a huge day, which goes a long way toward this team winning. Give him the ball and throw off of that.
Arizona 19, Dallas 13
Here we go. Jason Garrett, you're a freaking moron. Are you kidding me with that clock management at the end of the game? I have no idea what the hell that guy was doing. First of all, you get into field goal range with almost 30 seconds and 2 timeouts left, but it's going to be a long kick. If you're afraid of letting Romo throw to get you closer in case he throws an interception, fine, I get that. But letting the clock run all the way down from almost 30 so you can attempt a 49 yard field goal? In what world does that make any sense? The world of shitty, stupid coaches? At least run it a few times to try and pick up some more yards if you're not going to throw it. Even 45 yards sounds better than 49. And then the time-out before the kick ... what was that even for? I've never seen someone ice their own kicker, which is effectively what Garrett did there. Completely idiotic, you lost your team the game, coach, congratulations.
Green Bay 38, New York Giants 35
This was the game I was most worried about as a Packer fan. We were missing Clifton and Sitton on the O-line, not to mention our 2 starting middle linebackers. I was afraid that if the Giants got to Rodgers early, it would throw off his timing and he'd make a few mistakes, throw some balls off target. He was running around quite a bit in this game, and dancing all over the place in the pocket. Our defense did what they normally do, give up a ton of yards and some points, but make huge plays like the Claymaker's pick-6. By the way, the Packers lead the league in interceptions, so take that Packer defense haters. And, of course, the Giants score to tie the game at the end but leave too much time for the MVP. Rodgers throws 2 clutch passes to Finley and Nelson (talk about clutch, btw, this guy has been making big catches all year), one more to Jennings (Jason Garrett, watch this play and try it next time) and Crosby kicks the FG, game over. 12-0.
San Francisco 26, St. Louis 0
Another dominant performance from the 49er D. Alex Smith had himself another solid game as well, and Frank Gore ran well again too. Recipe for success for this team. And the Rams are really, really, really terrible.
New Orleans 31, Detroit 17
I don't think people are talking about Drew Brees enough. If there's anyone who could sneak in and steal the MVP from Rodgers, it's Brees. He's going to break Marino's passing yard record, he has over 4,000 already. Over 4,000 yards through Week 13. That's insane. And their running game gets overlooked as well. This team scares me as a possible matchup for Green Bay in the playoffs. As for the Lions, things just keep going downhill. They're now in a street fight for a Wild Card spot with Chicago and Atlanta, and I'm not sure they can win that battle.
Chargers 38, Jaguars 14
Philip Rivers looked like Philip Rivers on Monday night. Almost 300 yards and 3 TDs, granted it was against Jacksonville, but they actually have a pretty decent defense. Looks like canning Jack Del Rio didn't really help much. If Rivers can get back to his Pro Bowl form, the Bolts may still have a look at the AFC West title.