With Week 13 in the 2012 NFL season in the books let us look back and go over some things I learned from Week 13:
1. The Chicago Bears just aren’t as good as their record shows
Are people starting to believe me about the Chicago Bears now? Yes Chicago is 8-4 on the season, yes they currently sit 5th in the NFC Playoff standings and yes they are tied with Green Bay in the NFC North. But they don’t have those “statement wins” that I have been preaching about all season long. Don’t believe me? Check out the evidence I have put together below from this season.
Here are the teams Chicago have won against this season: Indianapolis, St. Louis, Dallas, Jacksonville, Detroit, Carolina, Tennessee and Minnesota. The combined record of the teams that they have beaten this season is: 38-57. The Chicago Bears have only beaten one team that currently sits above .500 this season and that’s the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, Andrew Luck’s first NFL game.
Here are the teams Chicago has lost to this season: Green Bay, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle. The combined record of the teams they have lost to this season is: 34-13-1. Do I have your attention now about this Chicago Bears team? Until proven otherwise (a.k.a. getting a “statement win”) the Bears are just a “smoke and mirrors” team.
2. Andrew Luck is clutch
It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction about Andrew Luck after his performance in Week 13 against the Detroit Lions and that’s exactly what I am about to do. In my opinion he should be at least involved in the NFL MVP discussions because where would this team be without him? The Colts certainly wouldn’t be 8-4, they certainly wouldn’t be 5th in the AFC playoff picture and they certainly wouldn’t have gotten that win against Detroit without him. Amazing day for #12 as I’m sure that moment will play on forever in his NFL career.
3. Sorry Tom Brady and Peyton Manning…Adrian Peterson should be the NFL MVP this season
While I believe you can throw Andrew Luck’s name in the NFL MVP discussions there is one player I believe should literally “run away” with the award. That player is none other then Minnesota Vikings runningback Adrian Peterson. Talk about a player who has proven all the doubters wrong. There was a belief at one point this off-season that Peterson wouldn’t even be ready for the start of the season coming off of an ACL injury and boy were those skeptics wrong.
Peterson has defied all the odds and is the leading rushing in the NFL so far this season. He has run for over 100 yards or more the last 6 games and ran for 210 yards on 21 carries in Week 13, that’s 10 yards per carry! Sorry Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson is my NFL MVP so far this season.
4. Mark Sanchez should not be the Jets starting Quarterback
Sure this sounds like a broken record but after Week 13 we all realized, and when I mean we, I mean the Jets coaches realized that Mark Sanchez should not be the starting QB for the Jets. Greg McElroy filled in fine for Tim Tebow (because lets face it Tebow is #2 on the depth chart folks) and helped lead the Jets to victory against Arizona in Week 13 but I don’t think that will lead to McElroy being the starter in Week 14. The reason why I believe that to be true is because if Tebow is healthy you have to at least see what he can do.
What we did learn is that for at least now, Mark Sanchez should not be the Jets starting QB. I can hear the chants now… “TE-BOW! TE-BOW! TE-BOW!”
5. Every NFC team needs to watch how the St. Louis Rams play the San Francisco 49ers
How is it that the St. Louis Rams have figured out the San Francisco 49ers but the rest of the NFL can’t? For the 2nd straight game this season St. Louis went into overtime with the 49ers, stayed in the ballgame with them on both sides of the ball and at least won this matchup. I hope the rest of the NFL is taking note of the way St. Louis plays this Niners team because they have found a way to beat them, something many teams have had trouble doing all season long.
6. Baltimore’s biggest weakness is their inconsistency
The Baltimore Ravens are a very frustrating team. When you have a really good defense and a pretty good offense you should be an upper echelon NFL team. Baltimore has those traits yet they never seem to capitalize on their chances when it matters the most. The Ravens should’ve never let Pittsburgh back into the game in the first place and now they were handed an upset loss that could cost them a potential first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, for now.
It wasn’t like you were facing a Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers offense; you were facing a Charlie Batch-led Steelers offense! There shouldn’t have been even 23 points on the board to begin with! You are supposed to have one of the best defenses in the NFL and you let Charlie Batch lead the Steelers to victory?
Baltimore is a very inconsistent team that is by far the 4th best AFC Division leader as Houston, New England and Denver are better then this Ravens team. I would even put Indianapolis ahead of this Ravens team at the moment because Baltimore is just way too inconsistent. You cannot have this type of weakness, playing inconsistently, this close to the final stretch.
7. Tony Romo is doing everything he can to make Dallas a playoff team
I know it’s very easy to bash Tony Romo as a quarterback due to his inability to find success in January but you have to give credit to the man when he is giving it his all. The last couple of weeks Romo have thrown for 313 yards, 441 yards and 303 yards respectively as the Cowboys have gone 2-1 in those games while staying in the playoff hunt. More importantly I feel like Tony Romo has really stepped up as a leader for the Cowboys since the 2nd half of that loss to Washington on Thanksgiving Day.
He seems to have also found a nice little connection with Dez Bryant in recent weeks as the WR has had two 145 receiving yard games and a 98 yard receiving game in Week 13. It’s scary to see Romo and Bryant quietly getting better in Big D while the NFC East continues to be pretty tight with 4 games to go. There has been some definite heart from Romo in recent weeks and it has been reflective in the Cowboys play as their playoff chances continue to improve.
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