What We Learned in Week 12 in the NFL:
- Kansas City loses their second straight
- Entire NFC North fails to win on Sunday, even with two teams playing each other
- Brady battles back to beat Peyton in OT
- Steelers return to familiar ways of thumping the Browns in Cleveland
It ain’t over till it’s over. This is why I love the NFL. You can’t predict what’s going to happen each season, you can’t even predict what’s going to happen each week. The Steelers started 0-4 and looked dead in the water, some “fans” were even calling the season over at 0-2 but now they’ve won 4 of their last 6 and are doing it in familiar fashion. Nothing like a good sound beating of the Browns to set us up for a Thanksgiving showdown!
The Chiefs raced out to a 9-0 start this season, surprising everyone with their stout defense and efficient offense. They were handed their first loss last week at the hands of the Broncos but that wasn’t a season-wrecking loss by any means. Now, they’ve lost at home to divisional foe San Diego and what’s worse is they may have lost their two most important pass rushers, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries. Now they have to regroup to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos again this Sunday when they didn’t even manage to get a blade of grass on him during their last game with their pass rushers perfectly healthy. Looks like the Kool-Aid Man, Andy Reid, is going to have to dial up some creative plays off of that Waffle House menu he holds on the sidelines.
Whoever said that ties are like kissing your sister? Did anyone question how that guy knew that? Never mind, there’s nothing quite as unsatisfying in the sports world as a tie. With the Lions and Bears both blowing what should have been easy games for them, the stage was set for the Packers to begin their ascend back to the top of the NFC North. All they had to do was get passed the 2-8 Vikings, at home. Simple enough, right? Well, without Aaron Rodgers the task gets slightly more difficult, plus the fact that the Packers defense suddenly regressed to their old ways of “lay down and take it” defense giving up 146 rushing yards to Adrian Peterson. The Vikings jumped out to the early lead and Matt Flynn (yes, that Matt Flynn) brought the Packers all the way back into it to force OT. What followed set the NFL back years in progress. Those who complain that the NFL shouldn’t allow ties did not watch the garbage that both teams put forth in this OT. The rules are designed to get a winner, and while both teams were able to get field goals under the new OT rules, they weren’t getting anywhere near the end-zone. Thus, the game ended in a 26-26 tie. No doubt that tie will stick out like a sore thumb for the Packers playoff chances down the stretch.
All week long the build up to the most recent edition of the Peyton vs. Brady Bowl was as ridiculous as you’d expect it to be. Especially with the Wes Welker twist to the story line being that Welker is like Brady’s ex who is now dating Peyton and oooh, what’s gonna happen when they all reunite? Well, apparently the Patriots are going to turn the ball over three straight times and the Broncos are going to jump out to a 24-0 half-time lead. It’s ok to go to bed early, get yourself nice and refreshed for your day at work, right? Wrong. The second half began and the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points. Apparently hell hath no fury like a Brady scorned. He completed almost 80% of his second half passes and thanks to a 31-yard field goal in OT sent his ex and his new QB packing with a stunning loss.
There’s something about frigid temperatures in the month of November that just screams Steelers blowout in Cleveland, doesn’t it? While the Steelers weren’t exactly totally dominant in the game they did manage to create conditions that are essential to victories; defensive scoring, creating turnovers, offensively not turning the ball over and not allowing any sacks. You add all those things together and you get a victory. The defense lined up without Brett Keisel and LaMarr Woodley for the second straight week but that was just fine as Jason Worilds, Troy Polamalu, and William Gay made some outstanding defensive plays including forcing 4 turnovers, 5 sacks, and a defensive touchdown scored by William Gay.
Tomlin reportedly hurried the team out of the locker room as quickly as possible because, well because who wants to stay in Cleveland any longer than necessary, and because the Steelers are now on a short week with a Thanksgiving showdown in Baltimore on Thursday. Plan your meal and pie accordingly.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!