Hard to believe, but we’re already to the halfway point of the NFL season (each team has played 8 games, some 9). We’ll look at some 2nd half predictions of course, but it has been quite the crazy season so far!
Rams at Vikings:
I had this one pegged as the matchup of the week, because the winner of the game would be put into the #6 seed of the playoffs. Also, I had the good fortune of being at the game, my 3rd NFL game of the season!!! The offenses were sluggish, but the game offered a ton of storylines and ended up being pretty intense. The Vikes took a quick 10-0 lead, but then the Rams scored a TD. Being against the wind, the Rams opted to go for 2 and missed (points and wind would definitely come into play later). We then saw Greg the Leg hit his career long 61 yard field goal with the wind at his back, which looked like it could have been good from 70. The Rams were actually up at halftime, but the Vikes came back and took the lead. Then it was the Rams turn, they missed a long FG 1:45 left, but used their timeouts to get the ball back. They drove down and kicked a 53 yard FG to take it into OT. Once again the wind came into play, and Mike Zimmer made a gutsy call to defer to take the wind. As a Rams fan, I thought this was circa Marty Morningwheg who deferred and had the other team march down and kick a game winning FG. It was especially confusing since Shaun Hill was now in, and hadn’t hardly moved the ball at all in the 4th quarter. But the Rams went 3 and out, and the Vikes were able to kick the game winning FG. Super exciting game to be at!
Packers near comeback:
Sitting at TCF Bank, the crowd would roar everytime the Packers score was shown on the big screen. It was really loud when they showed them down 37-14 midway through the 4th quarter. But the Packers scored 2 quick TD’s, and with the Vikings game over, most of the fans stayed to watch the end of the Packer game. Somehow they came back within 8 points, and had the ball down at the 4 yard line on 4th down with a chance to tie the game. The entire final series looked like street ball, with Rodgers getting flushed and extending plays to 8+ seconds of route running. He unfortunately got hit on 4th down and threw an interception instead (missing a wide open Randall Cobb).
Colts vs. Broncos rivalry:
The only reason this is a rivalry is because of the Peyton Manning hub-ub a few years ago, but the teams have had exciting matchups including a playoff meeting last year. The Colts have been dismal this season, but they showed up with their A-game on Sunday. It was pretty surprising to see the 3-5 Colts take down the undefeated Broncos, but Manning struggled in the first half. They were in danger of being down 17-0 at halftime before the Broncos returned a punt after time expired in the first half. Andrew Luck also had a gutsy performance while injured to knock off the undefeated team.
Stolen Stat of the Week:
In the regular season, the Panthers are on a 12-0 streak
Stat of the Week #2:
2 receivers already have over 1000 yards receiving
Stat of the Week #3:
Antonio Brown had 17 receptions and 285 yards, and somehow didn’t score
Stat of the Week #4:
More Jay Cutler news :). Last week he became the Bears most prolific passer. This week, he threw his 12th game winning TD pass in the 4th quarter since 2009. This is more than any other QB in the NFL during that timeframe. #mindblown
Stat of the Week #5:
In 6 of their 8 wins, the Panthers D has held a QB to under 50 QBR, this is tied with the Rams for most this season.
Stat that may only interest me:
I have been to 7 NFL games in my life (3 have been this year). In those games, 4 of the times I’ve watched the Rams play, and I’ve never seen them win.
No NFL injuries sound fun, but hearing that Andrew Luck and Keenan Allen both have lacerated kidneys just sounds awful. Remember when Chris Simms was rushed to the hospital because of a ruptured spleen, and had to have it removed? Once you start talking organs, it just sounds nasty.
We typically have a fairly decent idea on the good teams by this point, although a couple will make runs or have nasty falls. Here are my predictions for those runs.
- Raiders make a run from the 8th seed to the 5th to make the playoffs
- Jets move down to 6th, and Steelers get bumped from the playoff picture
- Vikings slip out, going 1-4 in their next 5 games
- Falcons also slip out of the playoffs
- NFC WildCard is replaced by Seahawks and Eagles, both teams making surprising runs
- I think the Falcons sneak into the playoffs (can go 3-6 and get in), but I’d love to be the #3 seed this year
- #1 seeds stay the same (Panthers and Patriots), and they meet in a Super Bowl rematch
- Anybody else shocked that Blaine Gabbert won his first game? Against a team that started the season 5-0
- Speaking of the Falcons, after starting 5-0, they are 1-3 in their last 4, only win was over Tennessee, with losses to 49ers, Bucs, and Saints
- Yes, heartbreaking that the Packers fell short. But did anybody else notice the massive pick play to get Cobb wide open? It looked illegal to me
- Steelers and Colts just can’t get a break with their QB’s staying healthy this year.
- What is it with new coaches this year reinvigorating teams? Interim coaches are almost as bad as backup QB’s, but the Titans won their 2nd game in their last 18 tries.
- How about that Steelers Raiders shootout!
- I’m all for new jerseys, but the Christmas Matchup between the Bills and Jets last night was a bit ridiculous
- Apparently colorblind fans had quite the experience last night. 13 million Americans are colorblind, with Red/Green being the most common, meaning those fans had trouble distinguishing between the 2 teams (even the green field came into play). Way to go NFL…
Games of the Week:
Vikings at Raiders
Patriots at Giants
Cardinals at Seahawks
It has been 5 days since our last arrest. Or should I say felony outburst. Apparently a Raider player barked at a police dog during warmups, which is a 3rd degree Felony.