By: Monte Perez
In my weekly NFL picks I am 110-82. By my standards that is horrendous. This has been one of the most difficult years in figuring out the NFL. Here are 5 things we learned from Week 13.
#5 Did Green Bay get there Swag back? The Detroit Lions led the Packers 20-0 midway through the third quarter. The Packers slept walked through the first half of this game. I was actually questioning the leadership of this team during this game. Green Bay won on a 61- yard Hail Mary Pass from Aaron Rodger to TE Richard Rodgers with no time left. This had to be one of the most exciting plays during the regular season in the history of the NFL. The Packers are now 8-4 and control their own destiny in the NFC North, the Lions are 4-8. Not to beat a dead horse but this game is solely on the incompetent head coach Jim Caldwell. You can’t lose a game at home when you are up 20-0. This is what losing organizations do, they find new ways to lose. Going into this game the Packers lost 3 out of their last 4 and looked like a mediocre team. Will this catapult Green Bay back to a legitimate contender? Plays like this can galvanize a team and be the turning point. The Packers have won 4 straight division titles and they should be on their way to a 5th. I still believe Rodgers will find a way to get this team to the Super Bowl. He will have some stiff competition though, Carolina is 12-0 and Seattle is starting to play great on both sides of the ball.
#4 Don’t look now but here come the Steelers– Pittsburgh defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-10 on Sunday Night. The Steelers tied an NFL record by compiling at least 450 yards of total offense in four straight games. Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger are the best 1-2 punch in the NFL. Pittsburgh lost RB Le’Veon Bell due to injury but that hasn’t stopped them. Back up DeAngelo Williams rushed for 134 yards and has really stepped up as a starter. He will never win the MVP because that award usually goes to quarterbacks but Antonio Brown is having a monster year. The Steelers have played three quarterbacks this year because of injuries… Yet, Brown has 93 receptions, 1,310 yards and 7 touchdowns. There are two teams no one wants to play in the post-season that is the Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks.
#3 Russell Wilson is the best quarterback no one talks about…ever! Over the past 4 weeks Seattle has scored 39, 29, 39 and 38 points. Wilson has 10 total touchdown over the past two weeks. On the season, Wilson is completing 68.5% of his passes, has 2,997 yards passing, 450 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. I love when people say Wilson is a “System Quarterback.” You know who was a system quarterback, Terry Bradshaw. He had two great running backs…Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. He had two Hall of Fame WR’s in Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. When Bradshaw played, he probably had the greatest defense in the history NFL. You know who else is a “System Quarterback,” Tom Brady. The Patriots rarely through the ball over 20 yards in the air down field. Brady is at the bottom of the league in passes thrown over 25 yards. Stop “hating” on Wilson, he is a top 5 quarterback and one of the best dual threats the NFL has. Seattle has a great chance to make it to a third straight Super Bowl. I like them way more than the Arizona Cardinals.
#2 Cam Newton is the MVP – I had the Carolina Panthers going 9-7/10-6 this year. I didn’t think Newton had enough offensive play makers around him. Carolina’s schedule is pretty easy on paper, They have to play Atlanta twice, the New York Giants and end the year at home against Tampa Bay. Everyone talks about the Panthers defense and rightly so, but they have scored 44, 33 and 41 points over the past three weeks. Carolina can now beat you in a shootout or a 10-7 defensive battle. Newton has matured and is having a magical season, 33 total touchdowns, 476 rushing yards, 2,797 passing yards and is completing 58.4% of his passes. His completion percentage is below average and I still think it will eventually cost them in the playoffs. But they are a legitimate threat to get to the NFC Championship.
#1 The NFC East is an embarrassment to the NFL- What if I told you…
the Dallas Cowboys are 4-8 and can still win the division.
The “NFC Least” records is as follows:
New York 5-7
Talk about 4 teams filled with ineptitude and incompetence. The Monday Night Game between Dallas and Washington was one of the most boring games I have ever seen. If you stayed up and watched that past halftime you are either a Cowboys/Redskins fan or a degenerate gambler. I think I feel asleep twice in the first half. That game was better than a sleeping pill. The New York Giants led going into the 4th quarter 20-10, only to lose to the Jets 23-20 in overtime. If the Giants played games where they stopped playing at the 2:00 minute warning they would have a record of 10-2. The Giants continually find ways to lose under Tom Coughlin. Unfortunately I watched every play of this game and the Giants played not to lose instead of playing to win. The Giants had the Jets on the ropes and the played super conservative football. When the Patriots are up during the game and something works the keep doing it. I have no idea why the Giants stopped passing the ball against a Jets secondary that couldn’t stop them. The Giants continued to try and run it and it failed miserable. Then at the end of the game with the Giants leading 20-10, Coughlin opted to go for it on 4th and goal instead of kicking a FG. The FG would have put them up 23-10, leaving a mediocre quarterback (at best) Ryan Fitzpatrick to have to score two touchdowns. Instead the Jets intercepted and Eli Manning pass and scored a FG and Touchdown and finally won in overtime. It seems like no one wants to win this division, But if the Eagles can beat Buffalo this week at home, I like them to take the division.
The Patriots are great but even Tom Brady can’t win when your skill players are decimated by injuries.
The Broncos would be smart to keep Brock Osweiler as their starting quarterback. He gives them the best option to get to the Super Bowl. Forget about loyalty, forget about history, Peyton Manning is done. The best thing short-term and long-term for Denver is to keep Osweiler.
Marcus Mariota is hands down the Rookie of the Year. There is no doubt in my mind he will be a pro bowl player for the next 10 years… He is doing things NO ONE HAS EVER DONE!! He is the 1st player in NFL history with 250+ pass YDs, 100+ rush YDs, & 3 TD passes and 1 rushing TD in a game.
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