The NFL Season is whining down to only 4 weeks remaining and the playoffs are about a month away. There are several teams still in the playoff hunt but most of them either need to win out or have the teams in front of them lose every game-BOTH scenarios are unlikely but as they say in the NFL– any given Sunday anything can happen.
The Carolina Panthers hosted the all of a sudden three game winning streak Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday. The Panthers came in with a 7 game win streak and the Bucs were on a 3 game win streak so of course something had to give. And in this one it was the Bucs offense and defense. Tampa played a turnover plagued game with a very weak looking offense…basically they turned back into the same team we saw for the first 8 weeks on the season. Darelle Revis was beaten deep twice by Brandon Lefell and was beaten on a double move by Ted Ginn Jr for a TD. Quite frankly, he hasn’t looked very spectacular this season and he gets hurt way to often to be earning 16 million a year. Revis probable gets one more year in Tampa to see where his game is at before he is released and more than likely joins either the 49ers, Jets or Patriots.
Cam Newton and the Panter offense had it rolling all game as they blew the Bucs away 27-6 and are now ready for a NFC Divisional showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
Jacksonville got their 2nd win in a row to improve to 3 wins on the season over the Cleveland Browns. Browns QB Weeden had an up and down game all day but he was able to connect with receiver Josh Gordon for 10 receptions for 261 yards and 2 TD’s. Gordon is the first person in NFL history to have back to back 200 plus receiving yards. The Jaguars won the game 32-28.
The Patriots played a closer than expected game down in Houston. But in the end the Texans prevailed and kept their now 10 game losing streak going. Patriots win 34-31. It will be very interesting to see how things play out in Houston. With Schaub’s demotion and Andre Johnson getting older and Arian Foster showing that he is injury prone there are some BIG roster decisions to be made in Houston.
The Indianapolis Colts hosted the Tennessee Titans in what was either going to be the Titans last shot at playoff relevancy of the Colts wrapping up the division. It proved to be the latter as the Colts won the game 22-14. The Colts are an interesting team because they aren’t very flashy in any department yet they win football games and look like they can beat ANY team in the AFC. Consistency on offense seems to be the biggest issue and although Andrew Luck does win games he doesn’t do it in spectacular fashion too often.
The Arizona Cardinals have been silently putting the wins together and are in the thick of things for the NFC wild card chase. They took the east coast trip to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles who are also winning games now that Nick Foles has took over as the commanding leader of the team. It was a very close game between to evenly match teams but the Eagles walked away with the win. Foles even through his 1st INT to Patrick Petersen BUT it was called back because defensive holding was called on the play. Eagles win 24-21.
Nick Foles has MVP type numbers going right now…19TD’s 0 INT’s. This guy maybe the real deal after all.
The 49ers continued to beat up on the teams in the games that they are “suppose to win” this week’s contestant for the beatdown was the St. Louis Rams. The Niners were happy to have Michael Crabtree back because of his ability to stretch the field. 49ers offense looked better as they down the Rams 23-13. 49er fans feel like Crabtree will push them over the top as they have to compute with the Panthers, Saints and Seahawks for the NFC championship.
The game of the day for yesterday was a AFC West showdown between the Broncos and the Chiefs this one was in Arrowhead so Kansas NEEDED to get the win for a season split with their divisional rival. The Chiefs offense was very capable early getting out to a 21-7 lead and they could have ran away with it but Peyton Manning kicked it in gear and started to connect with Eric Decker all over the place. Decker caught not 1 or 2 BUT 3 TD’s. You would think after the 2nd score they would have began to focus in on him.
Kansas City gave it the best effort that they could but in the end their skills players just are not good enough to keep up with the better offenses in this league and that is why they will lose in the first round of the playoff to either the Colts or the Bengals. (As I have been saying for quite a while now) Broncos win 35-28. The Kansas City “undefeated season” seems like a long time ago as they are now on a 3 game losing skid.
In other games yesterday…
The Vikings beat the Bears 23-20, been a disappointing year for them but the cause some pain for their division rivals.
Miami Dolphins crushed the Jets 23-3 and let them know that after all you guys are starting a rookie QB and won’t be in the playoffs this year.
The Buffalo Bills found a way to lose to the Atlanta Falcons after being up big in the game 34-31 was the final.
The Bengals shut the Chargers down 17-10 and pretty much ended their playoff wish.
The NY Giants kept their slim playoff hope alive by defeating the Washington Redskins 24-17.
In the Monday Night game we have the New Orleans Saints visiting the Seattle Seahawks. This is the best Monday Night game thus far especially considering that this game is likely to dictate who will be the #1 seed in the NFC playoff seating.
My prediction is a defensive battle where the Saints squeak past the Seahawks 20-17.
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