The most hyped game of the week is a blow out, while some close games kept this week interesting.
- Nobody expected the Broncos defense to dismantle Aaron Rodgers like they did. Rodgers was held to just 77 yards the whole game. The Packers defense didn’t fare any better allowing Peyton Manning to throw for 340 yards and J. Anderson to rush for 101. We should have known not to count out P.Manning. He is to talented of a player for his career to just slowly decline like it has been the first half of the season. The Broncos have made it this far because of their defense, but if Manning has found his groove again, there is no doubt who the best all around team is this year.
- I had a strange feeling watching the Rams defense against the 49ers. It was a feeling I have not had in almost ten years. Calmness. I felt no worry during this game because the Rams D was so dominant. Colin Kaepernick only completed fifty percent of his passes for only 160 yards. The run game was no better as the leading rusher was held to just 28 yards. Nick Foles play was average but that is all a team with such a stellar defense really needs right now. Todd Gurley continues to make history by picking up yet another 100 yards on the ground. This is the type of explosive player the Rams needed to give the team momentum going forward. He is a guy people will rally around after a big gain. The way this defense has been able to come together under Greg Williams is thing of beauty. This very well could be the definition of defense wins championship.
- The Bengals continue to impress by battling until the very last second. I had this pegged as the first loss for Cincinnati but they survive another day without losing. Ben Roethlisberger made his return but his return was a bit rusty. Throwing three interceptions is not the Big Ben from earlier this season. The Steelers also took a big hit when Le’veon Bell was injured for the season. This is a team that I would think would have at least 2-3 more wins if the injuries didn’t catch up to them but it looks like they may be forced to the back of the pack. The Bengals all but sealed their division win by shutting down the Steelers, now the most important thing for them is to stay healthy for the playoffs.
- The Saints and Giants played in one most exciting games of the season if you enjoy shootouts. Drew Brees and Eli Manning matched each other touchdown for touchdown for nearly the whole game. It was truly entertaining football. It all actually came down to the Giants special team blowing the punt and added a 15 yard facemask penalty to set the Saints up for the go ahead field goal as time ran out. This win marks the Saints third straight win and puts them a game over .500 in a very tight wild card race. Just a little over a month ago we were counting out the Saints but with a player like Drew Brees, they were able to climb out of the hole and insert themselves into the conversation. The Giants on the other hand continue their hot and cold streak but as long as they can find some wins this season, they should still be able to top the disastrous NFC East.
- Monday Night football was not a good game. The rain caused to many turnovers in the early quarters and both QBs had trouble getting the ball to their receivers. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the game got interesting when the Andrew Luck of old returned. The fourth quarter was a masterful performance of a QB trying to keep his team in a game they forgot they were playing. The two minute drill just looked like Luck was back. Every pass was on point. The first couple completions to the middle of the field got the team in field goal position but as time was winding down he found the open guys who can step out of bounds. He had one pass almost picked off in the end zone but luck was on his side and the Colts were able to tie the game in improbable fashion. The Panthers on the other hand looked defeated as Luck dismantled the secondary but never gave up. It took only two drives to get the necessary field goals in overtime to stay undefeated. The last 15 minutes of game play made this a watchable game that saved the talking point from being sloppy play. I almost tuned out after the third quarter and I am glad I stuck around.