The NFL Season is a marathon not a sprint. After week 5, many so called, “experts” had Sam Bradford winning the MVP and the Vikings going to the Super Bowl. I never bought into that narrative. We live in a time where whoever yells the loudest, is heard the most. People tend to forget about facts and data. As we enter the last quarter of the season, we see major coaching flaws as the games get more important and competition gets better.
Here are 5 the Sports Whisperer learned about Week 12 in the NFL:
Titans are 1 game behind the Texans in the AFC South: Tennessee beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday 27-21. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was 15-23 for 226 yards, two touchdowns and ran for 46 yards. Mariota has had a great sophomore campaign. He has 25 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and a rating of QB rating of 101.9. This game was almost lost, because of conservative head coach Mike Mularkey. With the Titans up 21-7 and, a 4th and goal on the 1 yard line, Mularkey opted to go for the field goal. This almost came back to “bite” him because the Titans held off a late comeback. This is why the Titans are so limited. Against a Bears team that is 2-9 their coach kept Chicago in the game. He had an opportunity to put the nail in the coffin and go up 21 points and he didn’t. I have said it all year, Mariota will win despite his head coach. The Titans are 6-6, Houston leads the division at 6-5.
Stop hating on Aaron Rodgers: Before the Packers 27-13 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night, I tweeted, “In order for GB to win, they have to let Rodgers throw the ball 40 times.” I was off by one pass. The former California Bears QB was 30 for 39 for 313 yards and 2 TD’s. Rodgers is 2nd in touchdown passes with 27 and 6th in passing yards with 3,074. It was the first time the Eagles let up a 300-yard passer on the season and it was their first lost at home this year. Rodgers was an incredible 9 for 10 on 3rd down going into the last drive of the game. Late in the first half Mike McCarthy opted not to go for a 4th and 3 at midfield. The Eagles couldn’t stop the Packers, Yet MM decided to punt and the Eagles drove down the field for a FG. This could have came back to haunt the Packers. I don’t understand how he continues to be conservative on offense when his defense is below average. If the Packers want to make a run at the NFC north, they must throw the ball a minimum of 35 times every game. That is the only way they can win. The Packers have won 28 straight regular season games when leading after 3 quarters.
The Jets named Ryan Fitzpatrick their Starter for this week: The Jets are 3-8 and they are going with Fitzpatrick as their starter this week. Let me be perfectly clear, New York is not making the playoffs. ESPN’s Chris Berman said on Monday night, “The Jets almost beat the Patriots this week, why not go with Fizpatrick?” I don’t understand this logic. Fitz has a one year contract, he will not be back next year, yet “Gang Green” is starting him instead of seeing what they have in 2nd year QB Bryce Petty. This is one of the dumbest moves an organization can make. They are playing for now, but there is no now. They stink! Fitz has 12 interceptions and a QB rating of 72.2. This is why the Jets and Browns continue to be the laughing stock of the NFL. They continue to have below average quarterbacks and they expect to win games. They are the definition of insanity. (Doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result).
The Dolphins have won 5 in a row and the Giants have won 6 in a row: Although both of these teams are on a hot streak, one is a legitimate threat the other won’t make the playoffs. The Giants have a brutal schedule remaining, they play Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington. At 8-3 they should win three more games and end the season at 11-5. That will be enough to clinch a wild card birth. The Dolphins have won 5 straight games but they are a very flawed team. They still have to play the Ravens, Cardinals, Jets, Buffalo and New England. They are an improved team but I really don’t believe they will have enough to make the post-season.
How bad is Houston Quarterback Brock Osweiler? The Texans signed Osweiler to a 4 -year $72 million contract. How bad has the first year starter been? His QB Rating is 72.2. Here is a list of former Texans QB’s who had a higher rating.
Ryan Fitzpatrick… 95.3 rating.
Brian Hoyer… 91.4 rating.
Matt Schaub…90.9 rating.
Sage Rosenfels…84.3 rating.
Case Keenum… 76.8 rating.
The Texans made a terrible mistake in making Osweiler their franchise QB. This division has Andrew Luck, Mariota and Blake Bortles, all young QB’s who should only get better.
How about them Raiders!!! Oakland defeated the Panthers 35-32. It is the first time the Raiders will have a winning season since 2002. They are 8-2 now and control their own destiny.
The Seahawks lost to Tampa Bay 14-5. If this game was a fight, it would have been stopped after the 1st quarter. No one wants to see a game this ugly.
Who Dat? The Saints offense is downright scary. The scored 49 points against the LA Rams. They have an outside shot to make the playoffs.
The Eagles and Redskins will not make the playoffs but they both have their franchise QB’s.
Top 5 Teams:
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