NFL Week in Review: Week 14


As though it were a sign of things to come, Week 14 kicked off with an upset leading us towards the hope that there was some magic in the air.  Perhaps, just perhaps, this was going to be the week where an unbeaten team would fall from glory at the hands of a lesser foe.  That was, at least, my hope for Sunday.  So, let’s take one final journey through Week 14 and see which teams had the magic, and which teams simply sputtered.


Steelers/Browns:  The lack of efficiency and snowballing of the Pittsburgh offense is astounding.  Without researching this fact, I cannot remember the last time I saw Ben Roethlisberger sacked eight times in a single game.  The Steelers committed no turnovers, but simply could not move the ball against the Cleveland Browns’ stout defense.  I’m sorry, let me say that again.  They could NOT move the ball against the Cleveland Browns.  Defensively, it was the Steelers against Joshua Cribbs.  The sad part is that, much like the Rams, if you stop Cribbs then you stop the offense.  The Steelers did not stop Cribbs.  Browns Win (13-6)


Saints/Falcons:  The story behind this game is a simple one entitled:  Touchdowns vs. Field Goals.  This tale can’t really be told in the numbers, those numbers are far to close.  The total yards tallied by the Saints amounted to 391 while the Falcons racked up 392 total yards.  Drew Brees passed for 296 yards whereas Chris Redman passed for 303 yards.  Brees spread the ball around to seven different receivers.  Redman found eight.  Each team punted a single time.  Granted, Chris Redman did throw one interception when the Saints had no turnovers.  Still, for a guy who was selling insurance last year, he’s been an effective replacement for Ryan.  In the end, though, you have to come away with touchdowns if you plan to win in this league.  The Saints were simply more efficient at finishing off drives. 


The Saints crept away with another slim victory.  Can anybody finish a game against these guys? Saints Win (26-23)


Colts/Broncos:  This was disappointing as I’d hoped the Broncos would knock off the unbeaten Colts.  In the end, it seems the only victory the Broncos found in this game was the obvious bro-mance taking place between Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall.  You can’t make mistakes against the Colts and you have to convert on 3rd down.  Denver committed too many penalties and went 0-3 on fourth down.  But, hey, I’m sure at least Orton and Marshall shared a Coke and a smile after the game.  Colts Win (28-16)


Seahawks/Texans:  Andre Johnson is a BEAST!  In my opinion, he’s among the top 3 wide receivers in the league.  Considering he’s on my fantasy team and playing against an NFC West opponent, I enjoyed the 193 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns he posted against the ‘Hawks.  Johnson also rushed for a not-quite-as-beastly 3 yards which should not go unnoticed.  Most of my enjoyment, though, came from Andre Johnson stating that the Texans had decided to "come out and lay it all on the line" this week.  Seriously? Against the Seahawks you probably didn’t need to lay all of it on the line, just some.  Texans Win (34-7)


Patriots/Panthers:  Did the Patriots back-up an SUV out of their driveway and into a tree?  I feel as though they we are witnessing the Patriots head south as quickly as Tiger Woods.  Granted, they won this game.  However, and not surprisingly, it’s become a repeat discussion of the pathetic play of Randy Moss.  This is neither a new revelation nor is it news.  You know what would be news?  A new reality show staring Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco where they live together and argue all day long about which of them used the media to complain away their careers the quickest.  Patriots Win (20-10)


Bills/Chiefs:  Was there really any reason to even play this game at this point in the season?  On a quick recap, the Chiefs won the numbers battle. The total yards, 3rd down conversion percentage, and passing yards all favored the Chiefs.  They lost the field position battle though and lost the game.  But, really, who cares? Bills Win (16-10)


Ravens/Lions:  Ray Rice, starting RB for the Ravens, had another extremely impressive game.  While I still refuse to acknowledge Joe Flacco as a legitimate passing threat, I cannot deny the outstanding performance Ray Rice has put on throughout the season.  He’s become a solid big play threat both via the running game and catching the ball out of the backfield.  The biggest story for Cardinal fans coming out of this game is the severe knee injury suffered by Lions running-back Kevin Smith in the 4th quarter.  The Lions have placed Kevin Smith on IR, ending his season, and essentially losing the major piece of their ground game days before the Cardinals come to town.  Ravens Win (48-3)


Vikings/Bengals:  Another mediocre performance by Brett Favre proves to be inconsequential thanks to a terrific performance by Adrian Peterson and Bengal mistakes.  Cedric Benson was more effective than AP with is opportunities (AP – 3.7 ypc; CB – 6.0 ypc), but penalties and turnovers stopped any hope of a Bengal victory.  The positive spin, Favre was less than exceptional.  It would be superb for the Cardinals if Brett would finish the season in an interception tornado! We can only hope! Vikings Win (30-10)


Jets/Buccaneers:  The Jets’ defense is currently ranked 2nd in the NFL, and they showed why against the Bucs.  Granted, the Bucs are certainly no offensive powerhouse.  Still, it’s impressive to hold a team to 124 total yards and a 0% third-down conversion rating.  I attribute a massive amount of this credit to the Jets secondary consisting of Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard.  Revis is one player I’d give an awful lot to have lined up across from DRC in the Cardinals secondary.  Jets Win (26-3) 


Dolphins/Jaguars:  The Jaguars could possibly be the most sporadic team in the league right now.  With blowout losses to both the Cardinals and Seahawks, and hard fought victories in between against Tennessee and Houston, fans never know which Jaguars team is going to show up.  The Dolphins, on the other hand, have been a formidable foe all season and have managed to pull out a few big victories keeping them in the playoff hunt.  This was not an overly exciting game but Ricky Williams dominated the Jaguars defense resulting in a ‘Phins win.  Dolphins Win (14-10)


Packers Bears:  I’ve been hoping for a string of sub-par performances by Aaron Rodgers, and he answered that call this game.  With only 180 yards passing and zero touchdowns, Rodgers simply was not in sync.  I can only hope this continues throughout the regular season and playoffs as it would greatly benefit the Cards.  Ryan Grant had a monster game on the ground with 137 yards and 2 TD’s.  I hope that does not continue.  Once again, Cutler threw too many interceptions against a defense defying the odds.  How is this Packer defense playing so well after so many injuries? Packers Win (21-14)


Titans/Rams:  I’m glad to see the Titans are willing to run the ball around for charity.  As expected, Chris Johnson embarrassed the Rams.  Oddly, Steven Jackson finally admitted being "tired."  I can’t blame him.  He should be carrying the ball, not the whole team.  Titans Win (47-7)


Raiders/Redskins:  The Redskins closed out a game.  Yippee.  It was against the real Raiders and not against the recent Raiders that have been all hopped up on the Gradkowski juice.  With an injury to Gradkowski, the Raiders were forced to play Russell at QB.  Enough said.  Redskins Win (34-13)


Cowboys/Chargers:  Mistakenly, Wade Phillips took the ball out of Romo’s hands and delivered it to San Diego.  Running the ball was important in this game, but passing was going to be the key to victory.  Sadly, Romo was actually playing pretty well but his coach’s lack of faith in him cost them the game.  The Cowboys had first and goal and handed the ball off to Marion Barber four straight times.  Four straight times the Chargers defense knew what was coming and stuffed it.  Ouch.  Game over.  Chargers Win (20-17)


Eagles/Giants:  "Action Jackson" owned this game tonight.  I hope he becomes "Consistent Action Jackson" because DeSean Jackson is one hell of an exciting player to watch!  He certainly had the opportunity to be exciting in this game since the Giants decided the Eagles deserved the ball more than they did and, in fact, fumbled it away to them four times.  Hey, Giants! I hear Joe Girardi is in the business of coaching New York quarterbacks in the art of sliding.  Maybe you should hire him to give Eli some lessons.  Eagles Win (45-38)


Cardinals/49ers:  What can I say that hasn’t been said all week?  7 turnovers.  It’s the glaring and obvious storyline.  To add somewhat of a positive swing, I’m more and more impressed with Beanie Wells each week.  He’s the Cardinals’ feature back and will be a major force to contend with once he controls his fumble problem.  I’m not too concerned about this issue because he’s a rookie.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t a certain Adrian Peterson from the Vikings have the same issue as a rookie?  He’s turned out to be decent.  49ers Win (24-9)

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Revenge of the Birds' (ROTB) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of ROTB's editors.</em>

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