NFL Week Wrap: Shall We Dance?
By Amy Lignor
The NFL teams are all over the place in almost all the divisions this year. What was, last year, the number “7” when it came to wins you had to have at the end of the regular season to fight for a spot in the playoffs, has now turned into the number “5.” That’s right, eight teams began on Sunday at 5-5 and actually LEAD their divisions. In other words, anything is possible when it comes to who will still be in come playoff time, right beside the Panthers and the Patriots.
Talk about a dance: it is the Vikings versus the Packers. First it’s the Pack ahead, then the Vikings…then the Pack beat the Vikings last week. Yet, on Thursday, the Bears came in and ruined Turkey Day for the Packers at Lambeau. Perhaps it was the tryptophan and the Pack was falling asleep. But then, the Vikings had to meet with the Falcons today. Would they have issues and give the Pack back the top spot? Nope. Minnesota had no problem whatsoever defeating Atlanta 20 to 10, giving them a one-game lead over beloved Green Bay. Is Aaron Rodgers done? No, guys. There are six games left. No one is safe.
San Diego Chargers beat Jacksonville easily enough, and Raiders beat the Titans. And…if everyone missed the real “turkey” performance, it was Cam Newton doing the Twist, the Swim, and any other dance he could think of when the Panthers beat the Cowboys and retired Romo for the season. It’s getting to the point, Cam, where we would rather see you on “Dancing with the Stars.” At least THAT is a show football lovers can turn off. Just keep the Seahawks in the back of your mind. First you’re on top…then…who knows where the heck you are.
Biggest messed up division possible is the NFC East. Let’s face it, the Eagles are done. Even though they can reach first place, they’re done. Two weeks of major losses, giving up a slew of points, and players that do not look remotely like they even want to play for their coach – that is the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, the Cowboys. Oh, yeah. Done. Without Romo they have proved they got a whole lot of nothing. So this means…say what? The Washington Redskins actually beat the Giants on Sunday. It was QB Eli Manning’s 178th straight start in the NFL, the most in the league, but when he headed into Washington and attempted to drop them back two games in the standings, it was the Redskins who came out of nowhere and ruined Manning’s day. Skins QB Kirk Cousins has not exactly been a star, but he was certainly focused. Either Eli Manning was having pains for his bro or just decided that this of all days was the day to throw as many interceptions as possible. What remains is that without Odell Beckham, Jr. at least grabbing those one-handed TD’s every once in a while, they would be dead in the water and not just out of first place.
Chiefs versus the Bills. Chiefs aren’t talked about a lot defense-wise, yet when looking at the stats, they should be. These guys are good…just quieter than the Rex Ryan defense of the Bills. Or…quieter than Ryan, himself. (As is an earthquake at its epicenter). Chiefs QB Alex Smith has not lost in a while, and this fact remains true. Another loss was handed to the Bills on a very bitter platter. Chiefs: 30, Bills: 22.
Drew Brees needed to come out against the Texans and prove that he is just as good as he is on those days where he is really good. This was not one of those days. The Texans take it, 24 to 6.
Bengals were on top…undefeated. Then, all of a sudden, they lost two in a row. Andy Dalton’s bright red hair is still in place, but is his fire still there? Oh, yeah. And he made sure to show the Rams that the fire is still blazing hot. Bengals take it and get back on track, 31 to 7.
40-year old Matt Hasselbeck has been the QB that is utter perfection when manning the helm of the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday, the oldest QB met up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that just so happens to employ the youngest QB in the NFL. Did energy win out over knowledge? Nope. Seems like Hasselbeck is actually the only luck the Colts need. Colts: 25, Tampa Bay: 12
Did you place your bets at the beginning of the season when you saw on the roster where the Patriots would be up against the Broncos? In Mile High? Where no one can seem to breathe? With the snow falling? But when you put that money down for the bet, you probably assumed that a man named Peyton would be the QB of the Broncos. And that the Patriots would have healthy receivers instead of an injured list that is longer than Santa’s wish list. In the end, the Patriots could clinch this weekend if they won and the Jets lost…which the Jets normally do. This weekend they decided not to play by those standards and literally showed Miami the door. Jets: 38, Miami: 20.
Now, THIS is football!