No Sleep Till Football

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2011 NFL Football – Week 12 Best Games

With the Thanksgiving holidays this past week, I didn’t get a chance to get up the Week 12 Best Games for the NFL which means I missed the two best games of the week in SF/BAL & GB/DET. I got to watch those games, but not write about them here. So with those two games being the best, I went ahead and listed them & I’ll talk about the outcomes instead of previewing the games. Let’s get to it.

ROAD ANALYSIS HOME
A big time defensive struggle which is what you would have expected from Ravens/49ers. Both teams exchanged FGs early before mid-way through the 2nd quarter, 49ers CB Tarell Brown had a pass interference called against him which ended up being a 50-yard penalty that set up another Ravens FG that gave Baltimore a 6-3 lead at halftime. The Ravens had a huge drive in the 3rd/4th quarter that resulted in a TD that put the Ravens up 13-6. The Ravens would add another FG to make the final 16-6 & improve Baltimore to 8-3 while the 49ers dropped to 9-2. San Francisco could never get the offense moving while the Ravens made a couple of big plays & that was essentially the difference in the game. Baltimore has more big play making ability than the 49ers do so I was a little surprised to see the Ravens play as conservatively as they did. I also thought Baltimore won the battle of field position by a slim margin. With the Ravens you just never know. They’ll lose to Seattle or Jacksonville, but then play a very tough team like the 49ers and look pretty good winning. If they play this way every week, Baltimore is headed to Indianapolis in February. As for the 49ers, a tough loss but a good game. At 9-2 they are still set for the #2 seed in the NFC. RAVENS (-3.5)
A lot happened in the early Thanksgiving game between Detroit & Green Bay. I think Detroit needed the win. Although with Jay Cutler being out for the rest of the regular season could helpt Detroit by Chicago potentially losing a game or two they wouldn’t have with Cutler under center, Detroit has been on a slide in recent weeks. The Lions came out & played tough for a half, but then things unraveled. The Ndamukong Suh ejection was a tough break as the score was only GB 7-0 when he left. When Suh went out, the Packers went on to score 20 points. That hurt. The 2nd thing I didn’t understand here is Detroit insistence on throwing the football. Green Bay’s defense is awful, but what it is good at is creating turnovers via interception. So the Lions feel the need to throw the ball 45 times to running it just 21 times. Matthew Stafford throws 3 picks & Detroit loses 27-15. Keep in mind that Detroit ran the ball for 136 yards on 21 carries which averages to 6.5ypc! I’m convinced there is a formula to beating GB. The Lions have the arsenal to maybe pull it off, but not with Stafford throwing the ball like that. I hope the Lions get into the playoffs. They probably should. They’ll get another chance at the Packers later in the year. Let’s hope they learn something. PACKERS (-4)
It’s amazing the Raiders are favored here given how well the Bears have played the last few weeks. Still, that was a Bears team that had Jay Cutler as their QB. Now they’ll rely on Caleb Hanie to get the job done. The weird thing about Chicago is that their offense wasn’t fantastic to begin with even with Cutler taking snaps. They’ll rely on a heavy dose of Matt Forte & hope to grind the clock out on Oakland to get the victory. As for the Raiders, Carson Palmer can only keep getting more familiar with the squad he now plays for. It’s also obvious that the Raiders aren’t missing much with Michael Bush playing exceptionally well while Darren McFadden is injured. This is a perfect storm for a couple of teams that need wins. Chicago is going to battle a pretty tough NFC race for a Wild Card slot. They’ll battle Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Dallas & possibly even Philadelphia. The Raiders are also only a game up on Denver for the AFC & I wouldn’t count San Diego out just yet. Should be a great game. RAIDERS (-3)
Wild game between two teams that act fairly bi-polar at times. The Giants looked to take a commanding lead of the NFC East before completely screwing themselves silly last week & losing to the Vince Young led Philadelphia Eagles! That’s insane! Especially when you consider the game was in New York! The Saints might be finding their groove. They were on a bye last week, but before the bye they got a couple of solid wins over Tampa Bay & Atlanta. At 7-3, the Saints now control their own destiny & can make a great case for being the 2nd best team in the NFC behind Green Bay. The Cowboys already got a win this week over Miami so the Giants need to win to stay even with Dallas. The Saints aren’t on easy street either. An Atlanta win combined with a New Orleans loss would put both the Saints & Falcons at 7-4 although the Saints would hold the current tiebreaker. Here is something to keep in mind. The Giants were 6-2 a couple of weeks ago before losing to the 49ers & Eagles. This week they are in New Orleans. Next week they are at home against Green Bay. The week after they are in Dallas. The skid could be brutal for the Giants if they keep losing. They could easily be 6-7 & firmly out of the playoff picture if they don’t rise up. The Giants could easily finish the season 7-9! SAINTS (-7)
Vegas still doesn’t believe in Tim Tebow! This game actually started SD (-6.5) and has since moved more towards Denver. Obviously this game is mostly about Tim Tebow. The CHOSEN ONE is 4-1 as a starter for Denver & even caused the Broncos to outright waive Kyle Orton this past week who was picked up by Kansas City. With Jay Cutler getting injured & the Raiders playing at home, there is a good chance Chicago goes down moving Oakland to 7-4. If Oakland loses & Denver wins, then both teams are 6-5. The Broncos would have the tiebreaker here because a win would put them 3-2 against the West while Oakland would be 2-2. It gets even more interesting for San Diego. A Chargers win puts San Diego at 5-6 & if Oakland loses, the Raiders would be 6-5. San Diego gets Oakland at the end of the season which could mean a division title for either squad. As you can see, the West is up for grabs. Hell, even Kansas City could win. All eyes are on Tebow though. I hope Denver comes out. I love Timmy T but also Denver’s new look offense has a chance to surprise some people. Their defense is playing out of the this world & I think Denver has the chops to beat the top-3 teams in the AFC. CHARGERS (-5.5)
The Jets are HUGE favorites in this game. Buffalo is starting to come back down to earth. Fred Jackson is out for the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has turned into a pumpkin now that the clock has struck midnight. The Bills are 2-5 in their last 7 games and on a 3 game losing streak. The season has been fairly successful at 5-5, but Buffalo could easily lose the rest of their games finishing up the season 5-11 & potentially coming in last place given how well Matt Moore is playing for the Dolphins. The Jets are also 5-5, but they need to stop screwing off. They’ve lost 2 straight games, one coming against the Broncos! They have a schedule set up perfectly to win their next 3 games which would put them at 8-5. New England isn’t on the schedule from here on out meaning New York could get to 11-5 if they win out. On the other hand, this is the 2011 version of the Jets & who knows how Mark Sanchez is going to play out. The Jets need a win to get going & they shouldn’t have much trouble getting one here. JETS (-9.5)
I think this game could be more interesting than it lets on. Jacksonville stinks, but they are at home & have a pretty good defense. Houston is going to be in their first game knowing they don’t have Matt Schaub for the rest of the season. If Houston is going to win the South & make some noise in the playoffs then Matt Leinart is going to be the guy to get the job done for them. Clearly Houston is going to go run heavy. They should with Arian Foster & Ben Tate carrying the rock, but if Jacksonville can have a great day playing rush defense, then they might be able to force Leinart into a couple of mistakes & make this game a lost closer than what it should be. Remember that Jacksonville beat Baltimore at home back in Week 7 so they have some experience playing big games in front of the home crowd. Remember too that if Tennessee beats Tampa Bay today & Houston loses, the Titans will only be a game behind the Texans! TEXANS (-6.5)
If this game were being played in Charlotte, the Panthers would be almost 10 point favorites. The Panthers are 2-8 in case you were wondering! This might be the last game the Colts can potentially win if they are to avoid an 0-16 season. After Carolina the Colts play the Patriots & Ravens which would mean 0-13 if they lose to the Panthers today. They’d get home games against Houston & Tennessee before playing a road game against Jacksonville to end the season. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Indianapolis is most likely going 0-16, but it’s so HARD going 0-16 you’d think the Colts are going to win at least one game. The problem is that all these teams have something to play for. Baltimore & New England are playing for a #1 seed. Houston & Tennessee could be playing for an AFC South title & a wild card spot. Only Carolina & Jacksonville remain. It doesn’t look good! PANTHERS (-3)
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November 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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