Biggest Meltdowns of NFL Week 12
Week 12 is coming to a close, and with it comes the usual implosions and disappointments we have come to expect in the week to week of this NFL season. We saw streaks continue (Packers march towards perfection, Colts solidify their position atop the draft order) and other streaks end (49ers win streak ends at 9, Dolphins end at 3, and Redskins manage to only lose 6 in a row). This week, the Eagles spent all their time dreaming when they probably should have been watching film, the Chargers are getting in all that early-season losing they missed out on, the Dolphins have finally gotten that winning stuff out of their system, the Seahawks get a jump start on the giving spirit of the holiday season, and Tampa Bay does their best to help Chris Johnson live up to that big contract. Come for the disappointment, stay for the sadness of rich athletes.
5. Eagles discover perfect defense…to make the Patriots offense look even better
The Philadelphia Eagles were hoping they had found a recipe for success last week when they beat the New York Giants heading into a showdown against the high-powered offense of the Patriots. During the first quarter, it looked like the Vince Young led offense would be able to hang with New England, jumping out to a 10-0 lead. Then the Eagles started playing a loose zone defense…which is exactly the kind of defense Tom Brady eats for lunch. The Patriots outscored the Eagles the rest of the way 38-10, Brady throwing for 3 touchdowns, two to receiver Wes Welker, en route to a 38-20 win. With the loss, the Eagles can finally start looking to next season to see who else they can sign in free agency to try and win a Super Bowl. Their biggest move this offseason, however, may be by subtraction, as the chants of “Fire, Andy” echoing around Philly may be a harbinger of things to come.
4. Tim Tebow gives thanks for a good defense that keeps opponents under 14 points
The Denver Broncos combined their improved defense with the learned ineptitude of Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers to win their fifth game in the last six chances and solidify their spot in second place in the AFC West. San Diego got bit by their perennial bugaboo special teams as their kicker missed two field goals (one in the fourth quarter and one in overtime) and Rivers failed to throw over 200 yards as both offenses struggled to move the ball consistently and the Chargers were only able to build a 13-10 fourth quarter lead…which means Denver had them just where they wanted them. Tim Tebow was able to complete 50% of his passes (a career best!) and Willis McGahee rushed for 117 yards including a burst in overtime which set up the winning field goal. The loss is the sixth straight for San Diego who snapped a four-game winning streak against Denver. The fans in San Diego got downright Philadephian during the loss, with chants of “Turner sucks,” wafting through the warm California afternoon. Stay classy, San Diego.
3. Miami ends winning streak, remains in hunt for top-ten pick
While the Dolphins have ended their chances for the number one overall pick, fans concerned about the long-term welfare of the Dolphins were concerned that this new “winning” mentality of the team would hurt their chances at getting a top talent in the upcoming draft. No worries, Dolphins fans, they’re still the Dolphins! With an impressive day from wide receiver Brandon Marshall (5 catches, 103 yards, 1 touchdown), the Dolphins were able to hold a 19-17 lead late in the fourth quarter. However, in a Thanksgiving Day miracle, Tony Romo went against his nature and didn’t make a costly mistake late in the game to cost his team, and the Cowboys were able to kick a field goal as time expired to win 20-19. For the Cowboys, the win puts pressure on the Giants who play tonight to keep pace for the NFC East division title. Meanwhile, for the Dolphins, the loss just means the Bills are safe from falling back into the basement of the AFC East…at least for now.
2. Seahawks get into the Holiday spirit early by gift-wrapping a win for Washington
The Redskins have been a huge slide. After starting 3-1, sitting in first place in their division, the fact that their quarterback depth chart had Rex Grossman and John Beck at the top of it caught up with them and they have tailspinned into last place in their division with six straight losses. Heading west to Seattle, where the Seahawks beat Baltimore a few weeks ago, it looked like the Skins were headed to their seventh loss, trailing the Seahawks 17-7 late in the fourth quarter. However, there still seems to be a little magic in the mistake-prone arm of Rex Grossman, who led Washington back with 16-unanswered points to end the game and a 23-17 win for Washington. The Seahawks seem to have gotten a jump start on the holiday season, giving this game to the needy Redskins, but it’s easy to feel charitable for this Redskins team. I mean, how can you not feel bad for this team when their choices at quarterback are Rex Grossman and John Beck…without an actual starting quarterback ever getting hurt earlier in the year?
1. The Buccaneers playoff hopes dissolve in a cool Tennessee rain
Entering this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had hopes of a playoff run, building off the success they had last year after with a young squad. However, the group has seemingly regressed, and their chances of a playoff run have been slipping away as well. They traveled to Tennessee to right the ship and keep their slim chances alive, and seemed to be on their way to doing so…until the fourth quarter that is. The Bucs took a 17-10 lead into the fourth quarter, using the torrential downpour to cause four turnovers. Sadly for them, that same downpour forced four Tampa Bay fumbles to go along with another Josh Freeman interception while giving up 190 yards to the previously MIA Chris Johnson. Tennessee took advantage of the Tampa miscues and scored 13-points in the fourth quarter to win 23-17 and effectively buried the Buccaneers playoff chances. On the bright side, Albert Haynesworth is finally playing where he wanted to back when he signed that ridiculous contract with the Redskins…so at least someone is happy right now in Tampa.