Blog Entry

In The Trenches: Week 12 Thoughts

Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Primetime Thoughts

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This week’s publication delayed due to excessive Thanksgiving-related carb goggles.

Jets Escape-New York deserved to win that game as much as LeBron James needs another endorsement deal.  But with the holiday season coming soon, Buffalo wide receiver Stevie Johnson gift-wrapped a Jets victory with several moments which left much to be desired for Bills fans.  Johnson was penalized 15 yards after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter as he mocked Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress by pretending to get shot.  I’m all for the celebrations, unlike the NFL, but this one went a bit far, using someone’s past transgressions as a mocking point.  Character aside, it backed up Buffalo 15 yards on the kickoff and resulted in a Jets touchdown.  Johnson also managed to haul in two passes on the final drive which would’ve resulted in a game-winning score both times.  It’s difficult to look past the shenanigans when it’s costing your team a victory.

G-Men In Trouble-Not that anyone can fault them for getting lit up like a Christmas tree by the Saints, but New York’s once promising season is fading fast.  In first place at 6-2 three weeks ago, the Giants are currently out of the playoffs and one game behind the Cowboys.  The running game has disappeared and with that so has Brandon Jacobs future contract.  The defense faced a tall order in Drew Brees and Co., but at the least the worst is behind them.  Wait, they play the Green Bay Packers Sunday.  They have a guy named Aaron Rodgers, he’s pretty good from what I hear.

Dream Team Done-Facing the Patriots was tough enough, doing it without Michael Vick or Jeremy Maclin is just unfair.  The Eagles stood no chance against Tom Brady and New England as the Patriots raced past Philadelphia 38-20, putting the Eagles towards the back of the NFC at 4-7.  It looks as if Head Coach Andy Reid has lost his locker room, worsened by DeSean Jackson’s maddening inconsistency and coordinators allegedly fighting on the sidelines. 

Packers Onto Week 12-The Packers are just about the only ones who won’t talk about an undefeated season.  Green Bay took down Detroit 27-15 on Thanksgiving, leaving few in doubt that Green Bay will win their final five regular season games.  Green Bay has won their last 17 games, a number of video game proportions.  Aaron Rodgers is playing Madden with opposing defenses, it doesn’t seem like they stand a chance.  On the other side, Lions nose tackle Ndamukong Suh has all but cemented his status as a dirty player after his most recent display.  The previous incidents seemed defendable, but the Albert Haynesworth remix play was straight up malicious.

Tebow Mania-This is getting out of control.  I have no words to describe what is going on in Denver right now.  I do know that there’s no way this keeps up with Tebow unable to complete more than a handful of passes a game.  Let’s also not look past the defense, who has allowed 15 points or less in four games since Tebow replaced Kyle Orton.  That and solid play by Willis McGahee has also aided this run to 6-5.  The best way to describe what’s going on in Denver: see The Sword in the Stone, it matches up nicely.

Life Without Cutler-It wasn’t pretty, and you have to figure the Chicago Bears’ playoff chances are in dire straits.  Say what you will about Jay Cutler, but Caleb Hanie leaves much to be desired at the quarterback position.  A soft schedule may be a saving grace, but the defense can only do so much, and Matt Forte only runs the ball.  A non-existent passing game would make Chicago hard-pressed to hold on to a playoff spot.  Unless you believe in that whole Tebow Mania.

Next In Line For Texans-Matt Leinart was the topic of discussion all week for Houston as he was set to replace Matt Schaub.  The experiment was going fairly well at the outset, until Leinart himself suffered a season-ending broken collarbone.  T.J. Yates, a rookie out of North Carolina, is next in line for the Texans, who signed Jake Delhomme to serve as Yates’ backup.  The Texans Super Bowl aspirations worsen as they go down the quarterback depth chart.  The good news: Brett Favre rumors didn’t flare up once Leinart went down.

Doomed Colts-A second matchup with Jacksonville aside, this was likely the Colts’ best chance to win their first game of the season against Carolina.  Effort was certainly there as the Colts were tied, 10-10, at halftime, and Reggie Wayne made a sighting with 5 catches, 122 yards and a touchdown.  The Colts have all but clinched the rights to Andrew Luck, now the race is on for win no. 1.

Steelers Survive-Faced with a struggling team starting a rookie quarterback, many figured Pittsburgh had a blowout victory in its sights.  Especially since the New England Patriots spotty defense shut them down a week earlier.  Except Pittsburgh needed an interception deep in their territory to hold off the Kansas City Chiefs.  The lesson here: AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh tend to play up and down to their competition.

Bengals Follow Division Foe-Like the Steelers, Cincinnati looked ready for a lopsided victory over the Cleveland Browns.  Except they trailed by double digits for much of the game, needing a late rally to pull out a 23-20 win.  The two letdowns face off next week in a big AFC North battle.

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