It’s funny how 1 week can completely shape the playoff picture into what we will most likely see going forward. Coming into the week, there were about 11 teams on the outside who still had a shot at making the playoffs. That number got slashed to maybe 5 who still have an outside shot but need help. There is still some shifting that could happen (Packers moved from #2 to #6 while the Cowboys jumped from #7 to #3).
Game of the Week:
Wow, Sunday night’s division showdown between the Cowboys and Eagles turned into the game of the week! Dallas got out to a quick 21-0 lead after a botched opening kickoff, and it looked like a snoozer 20 minutes into the game. All of a sudden the Eagles rattled off 24 unanswered points to take the lead! You could already hear the reporters talking about another December meltdown by the Cowboys. But Dez Bryant stepped up and reeled in his 3rd TD of the game.
A Dash of Kryptonite:
It’s always a little surprising to see a top-tier quarterback completely struggle on the field, and we saw that with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. The Bills D had a dash of Kryptonite by the name of Bacarri Rambo, which is an awesome name by the way. On one drive, Eddie Lacy ripped off like 60 yards on 3 runs, which seemed to be the Bills weakness. Yet the Packers only gave it to him 15 times while rattling off 42 passing attempts. If something is working, stick with it! It’s not like they were out of the game until the very end.
A Whole Bunch of Kryptonite!
To say Johnny Manziel’s first start was dreadful and anticlimactic is the understatement of the season. Manziel posted a QBR of 1.0, which was the worst debut ever, and the lowest QBR since Flacco posted a 0.3 in 2012. Good news for Manziel is that Flacco won the Super Bowl that year. But both Interceptions Johnny threw were terrible, he was about a half second too late and his feet were never set. It will be interesting to see where he can go in the next 2 games, but I think the Browns’ willingness to let Hoyer walk at the end of the year might be dwindling.
Stat of the Week #1:
For the Panthers, Derek Anderson is 2-0 while Cam Newton is 3-8-1.
Stat of the Week #2:
Colt McCoy is 2-4 as the Redskins starter, Cousins is 1-4, and RGIII is 0-3.
Stat of the Week #3:
5 QB’s already have 4000 yards, while an additional 7 can very easily hit this mark.
Stat of the Week #4:
Jay Cutler is the highest paid offensive player in the NFL this year. He also leads the league in turnovers.
Stat of the Week #5:
Mark Sanchez has a higher quarterback rating than Nick Foles.
Stat of the Week #6:
Despite the turnovers, Jay Cutler is in 7th place in TD passes this year
Stat of the Week #7:
Atlanta still controls their own destiny to win their division and host a playoff game. They also control their own destiny to get the 7th overall draft pick.
Reader Stat of the Week #8:
In consecutive weeks, the Bills held Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers without a TD
Stat of the Week #9:
Aaron Rodgers threw 3 interceptions in his first 13 games, and threw 2 interceptions in a 7 minute timespan on Sunday.
Because we haven’t had enough of these this year. But my prediction is that Dez Bryant will become the all-time greatest receiver in Cowboys history, statistically speaking anyway. While this initially seemed bold, I started comparing the stats with Michael Irvin, and Bryant is well on his way. Bryant hasn’t even played 5 full seasons, yet he’s halfway to the Receptions and Yards mark that Irvin was at (Witten technically leads in Rec). But Bryant is only 12 TD’s short of Irvin, and 18 shy of Bob Hayes for the franchise record.
Same topic, but I realized last night that the Cowboys never retired Michael Irvin’s number 88 jersey. He’s a Hall of Fame wide receiver! Ironically enough, Dez Bryant wears that same number.
Story of Bears Season:
On Monday night, the Bears ran a fake punt that had little chance of working, and turned the ball over on downs. What was worse, they only had 10 players on offense, one of the first times I’ve ever seen that (it can happen on D fairly frequently with substitution confusion).
Bears in a Pickle:
I’m not sure how I feel about the Bears benching Cutler. Sure the season is over, and I did watch that horrific performance on Monday night, but Jimmy Clausen will never be the answer in Chicago. But you just signed Cutler to a $100M+ deal 11 months ago, you simply can’t pull him at this point. I actually really like Mark Trestman, but this was a last ditch effort to save his job and it will backfire. Besides, everybody knows you’re in a Pickle with a Clausen!
Games of the Week:
Falcons at Saints- Winner of this game makes the playoffs
Colts at Cowboys- Could be a shootout between 2 tough teams
Seahawks at Cardinals- Winner takes the division and a first round bye
Broncos at Bengals- Two teams who have a chance at making a deep playoff run