Heading into Week 12 of the NFL there are some things I will be looking for extra closely at this point in the season:
1. Will RGIII be able to stop Dallas’ momentum on Thanksgiving Day?
The Dallas Cowboys are starting to slowly creep up the standings in the NFC East and are poised to potentially tie with the New York Giants come the end of Week 12. But that “potential” can be for naught should Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins stop them on Thanksgiving Day. Now this is no ordinary game for RGIII, this is more then likely the biggest NFL stage he will be playing on in his rookie season, a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving, the “unofficial” Football holiday.
This is a huge opportunity for RGIII to “introduce” himself to NFL fans on a nationally televised stage and he knows that. I expect a “show” from RGIII as the Redskins try to stop the Dallas Cowboys “dead in their tracks.” If Washington wins this game it will be mainly due in part to a memorable individual performance from RGIII, if Dallas wins this game then they become an even bigger threat in the NFC East. Things are really starting to heat up as the season comes to a close.
2. Can the New York Jets save the way we look at this season with a big “Turkey Day” win?
Some weeks it looks like the New York Jets just want this season to come to a close. You can’t blame them for feeling that way because this is obviously not what this franchise had envisioned in 2012. Injuries, drama & negativity have plagued this franchise for the entire season and now they take on their biggest rival on one of the biggest Football days of the year, Thanksgiving.
But the Jets can attempt to turn things around or even “save” their 2012 season by getting a victory against the New England Patriots in primetime on Thanksgiving. By all accounts the Jets are not going to make the playoffs this season so at this point all this team can do is play “spoiler” for a rival such as the New England Patriots. When the Jet fans look back at 2012 and think of all the negativity at least they could look back at it by saying “well at least we beat New England on Thanksgiving.”
Amazing what one victory could do for a below .500 team.
3. Will the Minnesota Vikings prove they are “for real” against the Chicago Bears?
The Minnesota Vikings have the opportunity to send a huge message to the NFL in Week 12 with a victory over the Chicago Bears. Most people, including yours truly, believed that the Minnesota Vikings would eventually fall back down in the NFC North standings. They have not and are within striking distance of having a share of the NFC North lead heading into December…how about that for things you never thought you’d hear anyone say this season.
Chicago enters this Week 12 matchup limping pretty badly after that tough Monday Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers and if there is a time to take advantage of the Bears it’s now. If the Vikings want to be taken seriously and want to be considered an NFC threat then they need to win this game pretty badly. Every game for this Vikings squad is a “must-win situation” because unlike some “elite” NFC teams, they cannot afford a loss.
4. If Tampa Bay beats Atlanta in Week 12 they solidify being the “scariest underdog team” in the NFL
You’ve heard me say it on The Bower Show and you’ve read it here on these blogs the last couple of weeks as I am fully on the “Tampa Bay bandwagon.” This team has won their last four games and in the games they have lost this season it was by a minimal point margin. The Buccaneers are better then we think they are and what their record currently is at the moment.
With that said they welcome the Atlanta Falcons to their house this Sunday in a matchup that will test not only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but the (9-1) Atlanta Falcons as well. If Tampa Bay can beat this Falcons team then their confidence will be at an all-time high for this season and there is no stopping what this young team playing with “house money” can do. If the Atlanta Falcons win this game then they will prove all the doubters like me wrong in that they are a top NFC squad because the Bucs are a true “battle tested” opponent.
But you got to admit, should Tampa Bay win, that’ll make them the scariest team to play in the NFC at the current moment.
5. If New Orleans beats San Francisco does that put the rest of the NFC on notice?
I believe that at this point in the season, Week 12 of the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers are the most complete team in the league. Defensively they are absolute monsters and on the offensive side of the ball they have improved above & beyond their abilities from last season. They are to me, the team to beat if you want to be crowned Super Bowl Champions this season.
If the New Orleans Saints want to prove all their doubters wrong this season they can do so by getting a huge Week 12 win over the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. All the praise the 49ers are receiving right now can help the Saints case for once again being taken seriously as a legit threat in the NFC and the NFL. This is quietly a huge “must-win situation” for the New Orleans Saints due to what can occur for a team that started 0-4.
6. Which New York Giants team will we see against Green Bay on Sunday Night?
I believe that is the question every New York Giants fan is asking themselves this week heading into their Sunday Night matchup with the Green Bay Packers. Last year the regular season game against Green Bay (which the Giants actually lost) is what “kick-started” the Giants run at another Super Bowl Championship and the “Big Blue” fans hope that’s exactly what happens again on Sunday Night. There is a lot riding on this game as there is still some “bad blood” from the 2012 NFC Divisional Round “beat down” the Giants handed the Packers last January.
Green Bay can really knock the Giants down some more with a victory on Sunday Night as New York’s struggles have allowed teams like Dallas and Washington to creep up in the NFC East standings. Eli and the rest of this Giants team can stop the bleeding in Week 12 with a big victory that will prove they are still the NFC favorites we believe them to be. Make no doubt about it, this is a playoff-like matchup in a playoff-like atmosphere in Week 12.
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