The Thanksgiving games and meals are behind us. Grab some leftovers since there’s a lot of great football down the stretch. Teams are weeks from being eliminated or punching their ticket to the postseason. So before we look forward, let’s look back.
Biggest Takeaway: December
There’s not much to say. This is where your seasons are determined. Team’s are injured, the weather is cold, and the playoffs are on the line. You always root against your divisional opponents, but now you start rooting for team’s that may be vying for your Wild Card berth. It’s time to see who has it.
Best Week 12 Win: Kansas City Chiefs
What. A. Game. If you stayed up for the whole game, this one was a classic. A little slow to start, but the second half was a good one. There’s too much to discuss with this game so let’s keep it short. One: Tyreek Hill is a special and unique football player. Two: the Broncos played a great game. Three: Santos’ field goal off the upright and in was all the difference. This was such a big win for the Chiefs since this division is a gauntlet. The Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos will all make the playoffs, but in what order. Not to mention this game was played in Denver. This will be the premier division to watch down the stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised to find more AFC West teams in this, “Best Win,” section.
Worst Week 12 Loss: Philadelphia Eagles
A season started with low expectations, quickly sprouted to playoff hopefuls, and now has fallen into a season of rebuilding. After being dominated by the Packers, even though the score may not show it, there are a lot of holes in this team. The RBs are bad, WRs are bad, defense is decent but where has the $100 million man Fletcher Cox been? Carson Wentz has certainly fallen into some rookie struggles, but he is the future of the franchise. As an Eagles fan, I just hope the weak offensive line can keep him upright enough to finish the season. A lot of questions are definitely circulating this once 3-0 group. There’s a lot to figure out in the off-season, since after this loss, it seems like the Eagles will be watching the playoffs from the couch.
Week 13 Predictions:
Can’t Miss Win: Patriots over Rams
I may just keep picking the Patriots all year. Even without Gronk, this is simply one of the best, if not the best, team in football. I’ve been impressed with Jared Goff for the most part. He looks like he could be a very good QB in this league. The Rams have pieces too. A pretty solid defense, young talent in the backfield, and some ok WRs. They just aren’t fully there yet. Plus, they are playing in New England. Tom Brady is too established to lose to a rookie QB at home. This is a great test for Goff. How well can he handle the noise at Gillette? I’m going to guess not very well. I like the Patriots to coast to their 10th victory of the season.
Intriguing Matchup: Miami at Baltimore
Believe it or not, this is an important game for both of these AFC playoff hopefuls. The red-hot Dolphins travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens. Miami has no shot at its division unless Tom Brady forgets how to be Tom Brady. But they are in a battle for the wild card thanks to the juggernaut that is the AFC West. The Ravens best chance at the postseason is to win their division and keep pace with the Steelers.
When all is said and done, I don’t think either team will make a ton of playoff noise if they make it. But you never know. I like the Ravens to win this game for a few reasons. I like their defense much more and they’re at home. Miami definitely has the better RB and receiving core. But the main factor is the play from the QBs. Flacco has played in big games down the stretch, has proven he can make the big throw when needed, and has the Super Bowl ring to back it up. Tannenhill has been better in 2016; I’m just not sold on him.
Biggest Upset: Lions over Saints
Upset pick and my favorite team to put here, the Lions. This team can’t get any respect from Vegas. I get it, they are on the road playing future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, but this team is in first place in the NFC North in case you forgot. Plus, the Saints technically don’t have a defense. It’s just 11 guys, wearing the same uniform, and letting opposing offenses march down the field. Maybe that was a bit too harsh since they have played better as of late. However, Matt Stafford has impressed me all year. In my mind, he is a Pro Bowler who has taken doubt (mine included) on the Lions being a contender this year and turned them into the division leader heading deeper into December.
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