A Look at the Top Ten Takeaways From This Weekend in the NFL
|Date & Time||Monday December 7, 2015, 12:00 PM (EST)|
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It was quite a Week 13 and we’ve still got one more to go. While I’m over here trying to ignore last night’s SNF score, I’ve put together a rundown of the top ten takeaways of the weekend for you. Here goes:
1. Tom Brady can’t tackle.
…and the New England Patriots have dropped two in a row for the first time since 2012. It remains to be seen if this is a legitimate downward spiral or a fluke, but even Bill Belichick couldn’t get it done against the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday with next-to-no receiving corps and a painfully beat-up offensive line. Deion pointed out that T.O. and Ochocinco are both available. Might not be a bad call, Foxboro.
2. The Seattle Seahawks are peaking at the right time.
After yesterday’s rout of the Minnesota Vikings, who (credit where it’s due) have been playing very good football, it seems safe to say that the Seahawks are back from whatever fog they seemed to be in earlier this season. Minnesota ran four plays in Seattle territory yesterday and ultimately got trounced 38-7. The Legion of Boom has returned, folks, and they’ve got a heck of an offense to go with them.
3. The NFC East is an utter disaster.
I like to rip on the Colts’ AFC South plenty, but I’ll admit that this year’s NFC East might be even worse than my very own beloved division. There’s no team above .500 and if the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins tonight, they’ll be exactly one game behind the division leaders. Unbelievable is the word that comes to mind, but numbers never lie.
4. The Arizona Cardinals are slaying everything in their path.
I’ve said from very early this season that the Cards could take the Super Bowl if they only wanted it badly enough. They just might. In their sixth consecutive win yesterday, this time over the St. Louis Rams, Bruce Arians’s boys went to 10-2 on the season. Carson Palmer amassed 356 yards and Michael Floyd and John Brown both had 100+ yard days. Talk about controlling your destiny, Red Sea…
5. The Cleveland Browns need to learn to play football.
Last week, the Browns failed to control the clock, wasting about 25 seconds in the fourth quarter against the equally miserable Baltimore Ravens. This week, against the current No. 1 seed Cincinnati Bengals, the team not only didn’t control the clock well, but they barely put points on the board. In a 37-3 slaughter, Cleveland looked worse than most high school football clubs. As per usual, something is very, very wrong on Lake Erie.
6. Nobody wants to win the AFC South.
As I mentioned, I’ve no compunction about ripping my own team’s division to shreds, particularly after a showing like yesterday’s. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the last-place Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans (who had been on something of a roll) couldn’t stop Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins, and the Indianapolis Colts (who would have controlled their destiny with a W) lost 45-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the entire country watching. It would seem that nobody even wants to win this division. Shades of last year’s NFC South, anyone?
7. The Pittsburgh Steelers might be the team to beat.
Judging solely by yesterday’s performances (opponents aside), the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers are without a doubt the two best teams in the AFC. If Big Ben Roethlisberger, DeAngelo Williams, and the team’s receivers can stay healthy, it seems like there’s no one they can’t beat. They laid the smack down on the (albeit injury laden) Colts and looked like they were playing for the city’s seventh Super Bowl ring already. I know I don’t want to face them in the postseason. For obvious reasons.
8. It takes talent to throw pick-sixes like Matt Schaub.
Schaub has started 12 games since 2013. In that time, he’s also thrown seven pick-sixes, including one yesterday when his Baltimore Ravens lost to the Miami Dolphins. The statistical improbability of this is mind-boggling. Schaub is currently going through the concussion protocol, which means Jimmy Clausen may get the start next week. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be too upset about that if I were a Ravens fan.
9. Josh Brown’s miss couldn’t have come at a worse time.
New York Giants K Josh Brown had made a franchise-record 29 consecutive field goals going into yesterday’s Battle For New York against the New York Jets. His only miss since November 2014 couldn’t have had worse timing. Brown was wide left on a 48-yard overtime attempt that would’ve won the game. Might be time to start sending-up S.O.S flares over the Meadowlands, Giants fans.
10. Blaine Gabbert is playing acceptable football.
This takeaway is high praise, considering I remember Gabbert’s time with the Jaguars all too well. Since he took over for Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, Gabbert has gone 2-2, which isn’t exactly something to write home about, but it signals a turning point for the 26-year-old (am I the only one who feels like he’s been around much longer?) He looks more confident on the field and he’s making things happen with a team that is more-or-less falling apart at the seams. I don’t necessarily look for Gabbert to stick around as the Niners starter, but he’s been more serviceable than I anticipated.