28 November 2011
2011 Week 12 Recap
Here's something to be thankful for: this season is almost over. Five more games until we can all pack it in and just relax and enjoy the playoffs, with nothing at stake. Well, nothing except rooting against the Cowboys, who will probably win the NFC East this year.
Stud of the week: Jason Avant. Lots of guys quit out there once the Birds were down 24-13. Avant never quit. Oh, and that (-->) photo? Avant held on to that pass. I know about a million people have remarked on this today, but I'm the million and first: if we could only transplant Avant's heart and toughness into DJax's body, #10 might be worth that top 5 receiver paycheck he so desperately wants.
That was one hell of a first quarter, wasn't it? Gorgeous first drive that included a beautiful long completion to Riley Cooper and Shady McCoy getting his 11th rushing TD of the season. And then a quick out for the Pats, followed by another nice Eagles drive for 3.
And that was pretty much the last good thing that happened in the entire game.
DeSean Jackson had a horrible night, dropping not one but two TD passes. You know, while the Eagles still had a prayer of being competitive. Well, not after giving away 14 points. It was so bad, Andy Reid benched him in the fourth quarter. The smart money says he's NOT an Eagle next year.
Vince Young had a great night personally, putting up a career high 400 yards through the air. But he couldn't get his team in to the end zone, and even when he did, his guys didn't focus and catch the damn ball and help him out. The fact that many of the passes he threw led receivers right into bone-crushing hits may have had something to do with that. 53 individuals, no team.
No one in green could tackle at all. Every time I start thinking the Eagles are solving their basic skills problems, they pull crap like what we saw yesterday. And they couldn't get a stop in the red zone to save their lives - or at least their playoff lives, which was exactly what was on the line yesterday. And we all knew going into the game that Gronkowski and Hernandez were going to present HUGE problems, given how poorly this team has handled tight ends all year. Yeah, that turned out pretty much as expected, with the two combining for over 120 yards and a TD.
LeSean McCoy never got the damn ball. The Pats were shredding the Birds' defense, those guys needed a rest, and it was pass-pass-pass and out time and again. TOM BRADY had almost as many yards and carries as Shady. TOM BRADY. Who is not exactly Tim Tebow, y'all.
Hell, Jim Washburn and Marty Mornhinweg got into a fight on the sidelines. Yes, that's how bad things are - the coaches are fighting on the sidelines.
Sloppy play, boneheaded mistakes, dumb penalties, inability to execute basic skill plays. In other words, the 2011 season in a nutshell. A really, really ugly nutshell.
Around the rest of the NFL...
Packer over Lions: OK, so I was wrong about the Pack losing to the Lions. Chef Spouse thinks that the Raiders have the best shot among the Packers' remaining opponents at messing up 16-0. But we're both in agreement that if the Pack does go undefeated in the regular season, we want them to win the Super Bowl, not least of which because it might make annoying Pats fans STFU. Also, someone needs to talk to Ndamukong Suh about calming down, at least a little. He'll have plenty of time to chat while he's on suspension.
Cowboys over Dolphins: The Cowboys beat a 3-7 team by one point. They're so going to embarrass the East in the playoffs this year. Sigh.
Ravens over 49ers: Well, I was right about one thing - David Akers did provide all the 49ers points. Unfortunately, that only amounted to 6, which isn't enough to beat anyone, even a Ravens team that's not exactly a scoring juggernaut. On the other hand, when your QB spends the entire game on his ass, you are not going to win many games.
So I was 1-2 on the Thanksgiving games. And then I went on a winning streak, going (so far) 11-1 with the rest of my picks. C'mon Saints!
Falcons over Vikings: Unsurprising. Once Christian Ponder gets a little more experience and Adrian Peterson gets healthy again, the Vikings could have the beginnings of a winning team. Well, they would if they weren't in the same division as the Packers.
Bengals over Browns: The Bengals needed a big play to seal the win, and they got it. That must be nice. Also, the Browns might want to see about getting themselves a new long snapper.
Panthers over Colts: And the Suck for Luck train keeps rolling in Indy.
Texans over Jaguars: The Texans are running out of QBs. When you have to ask, "Who's their QB of last resort?" you know you're in trouble. Good thing they about have the South wrapped, because I'm not sure how many more games they're going to be able to win. Football fans, I give you Kellen Clemens. Uh oh.
Jets over Bills: Told you Rex wouldn't let them drop another game. And while 6-5 is a lot better than 4-7, Jets fans, I feel your pain on the "huge disappointment" front. The Jets may very well get knocked out of the playoffs by the Broncos or the Bengals. Don't worry - you can watch the games with the Eagles. I hear Trent Cole barbeques a mean brisket.
Cardinals over Rams: Add Patrick Peterson to the list of guys you should never kick to.
Titans over Bucs: I really like Raheem Morris and Josh Freeman, and wish them well. But they gotta quit turning the ball over. And hey! Chris Johnson's back!
Raiders over Bears: Carson Palmer seems to have acclimated. Good thing Janikowski was on, too. The Bears are in trouble. You heard it here first.
Redskins over Seahawks: This is the ONE game on Sunday I called wrong. Who knew the Redskins would pick this week to stop sucking (briefly). Ah Rex Grossman, how you enjoy torturing people with flashes of competence, wrapped up in a package with dumb intentional grounding penalties and picks. Schizophrenic much?
Broncos over Chargers: I have to give John Fox credit for running what amounts to a college offense in order to play to the strengths of his QB. Tebow won't last long as a pro unless he learns how to throw from the pocket - he'll get too beat up - but in the meantime, the Broncos are winning games. And Norv Turner joins AR on the list of coaches who well might be in BIG trouble. In speculating where DeSean Jackson could end up next year, I'm thinking Chargers. He needs to go somewhere where the QB has a big arm, which Philip Rivers certainly does, and the Chargers could use someone to compliment Vincent Jackson. And DJax is from Cali.
Steelers over Chiefs: This game was a lot closer than I thought it would be. Of course, if you can't get in the endzone at all, it's pretty hard to win games. Ladies and gents, I give you Tyler Palko.