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Chops316 Monday Morning Quarterback: Thoughts on NFL Week Twelve
The twelfth Sunday of the NFL season is in the books so here are the different thoughts and opinions I have on various things I witnessed this past weekend. No Cowboys game today, but I managed to see some good games anyway. Just remember I am a Dallas Cowboys fan and I'm extremely biased. Feel free to agree or disagree about anything mentioned here. All comments are welcome.Road Warriors Bungles are back. Source It had to happen eventually. After 4 long years and 25 consecutive losses the Browns finally won a road game. They fell one game short of tying the all-time NFL record, congrats Detroit you still got it! The Bengals are in a freefall and nothing lets you know that's true like getting your ass handed to you by Cleveland at home. The Browns fired out to a 28-7 halftime lead and cruised in the second half to win 35-20. Baker Mayfield had a big game: 19/26 258 yards 4 TDs. He is playing well right now and gives the Browns some hope for the future, but I just don't like him. For somebody who hasn't even played a full season, he sure is a cocky bastard. His former head coach Hue Jackson is an assistant on the Bengals now and after the game Jackson met up with Mayfield to shake his hand. Mayfield did so reluctantly. Then in his press conference Baker threw Jackson under the bus by saying the team has coaches they can believe in now. Apparently he wasn't happy Jackson joined the Browns rival. Since the Browns fired Jackson I don't understand that logic at all. What is he supposed to do, sit home and root for the Browns? The Bengals just gave up more than 500 yards in three consecutive games so lighting them up isn't exactly a herculean accomplishment. Jackson wasn't successful in Cleveland, but he didn't have a good team either. Rookies should have a little more respect for guys who have coached in the NFL for a long time. Let's see how cocky Mayfield is after playing the Texans next week. I have a feeling J.J. Watt is ready to bring him back to earth.Giant Flop Give him the damn ball! Source The Giants had the opportunity on Sunday to blow a "giant" hole in the Eagles' playoff dreams. Of course they are the Giants so they failed. Big time. When the Giants got whooped by the Eagles back in week six, they had one blazing bright spot in that game. Saquon Barkley, who rushed for 130 yards and a TD while receiving another 99 yards. He was unstoppable and should have been the centerpiece of New York's game plan this week. And he was. For a half. Barkley had a big first half to lead the Giants to a 19-11 halftime lead: 9 carries 94 yards 1 rushing TD, 6 receptions 37 yards 1 receiving TD. New York could have had a bigger lead, but Eli Manning threw a horrible INT into double coverage near the goal line in the waning seconds. It was obvious to everyone watching this game that the Eagles had zero clue about how to stop Barkley. Fortunately for Philly Giants head coach Pat Shurmur did. He stopped giving him the ball. After Barkley's brilliant first half, Shurmur decided to put the ball in Eli's hands. Doh. Eli completed one pass for -2 yards in the 3rd quarter while Saquon rushed the rock twice for 7 yards. Shurmur even benched Barkley for one entire series to give him some rest. For what? The playoffs? It was monumentally stupid. One guy and one guy alone was tearing up Philly and the Giants took the ball away from him. In the end Barkley had 4 rushes and one reception in the second half. No surprise the Eagles came back for a 25-22 win.They're on to Cincinnati The rookie was impressive Source Big win for the Broncos over the Steelers. Pittsburgh dominated Denver in total yardage 527 to 308, but the Broncos made the big plays and took advantage of the Steelers' turnovers to secure the win. I haven't seen much of Denver this season, but man Phillip Lindsay looks impressive. He's a small guy who runs without fear. I saw a few instances where the Steelers defenders got in his face after a big run, but he didn't back down. I like it. The best play of the day however came from the Steelers. JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in a 97 yard TD pass that was a thing of beauty. It's worth your time to find the highlight and watch it. He blew past the cornerback, caught the ball about 35 yards downfield, turned on the jets to cross the field to escape defenders and had a nice stiff arm to make it into the endzone. It was his second career 97 yard TD, a new NFL record. Good luck trying to break that one. Back-to-back wins over two of the AFC's better teams (Chargers and Steelers) have moved the Broncos back into playoff consideration with a 5-6 record. Reporters tried to talk about this with Von Miller after the game, but he would only respond with "we are on to Cincinnati", a nice parody of one Bill Belichick's infamous stupid press conferences. A few costly losses earlier this year in games they should have won might ultimately keep Denver out of the playoffs. But their remaining schedule is pretty tasty: Bengals, 49ers, Browns, Raiders, Chargers. Don't sleep on them yet.Carolina Blues This guy is good. Real good. Source A few weeks ago the Panthers were sitting pretty with a 6-2 record. Then they went to Pittsburgh and got embarrassed. They followed that up by blowing a game they should have won in Detroit. Yesterday they lost their third in a row to the visiting Seahawks. Where's that panic button? The Panthers wasted a record setting day by RB Christian McCaffrey. 17 carries 125 yards 1 rushing TD, 11 receptions 112 yards 1 receiving TD. Take note Pat Shurmur, when a player is on fire keep giving him the ball. Russell Wilson had a big game to save Seattle: 22/31 339 yards 2 TDs. He did that with his #1 receiver being gimpy and a pedestrian at best running game to support him. Get that man some weapons! I think Wilson is very underrated. He does a lot with very little. Seattle is firmly in playoff contention and can do some damage if they do make it. But they don't have the firepower on offense to knock off the Saints. Carolina is also still a playoff contender, but they need to right the ship now. I mean right now. They still have two games left against the Saints. One is the season finale, they might get lucky if New Orleans has already clinched home field advantage and decides to rest some players.Random Stuff He'll be watching the playoffs like me. From home. Source After dropping to 0-6 on the road after losing to the Vikings Sunday night, I think we can stick a fork in the Packers. Rodgers is running out of magic and he doesn't have the supporting cast to bail him out. The Vikings got a big win, but I don't see them catching the Bears. Or doing anything if they make the playoffs as a wild card. Phillip Rivers completed 28/29 passes against Arizona before leaving the game as the Chargers stomped the Cardinals 45-10. That's new NFL record for completion percentage in one game. He also completed 25 passes in a row at one point to tie an NFL record. Want to guess who he's tied with? Unitas, Namath, Staubach, Montana? Nope. Brady, Favre, Manning, Brees? Wrong again. Ryan Tannehill. I didn't see that one coming either. Seriously Jacksonville, WTF? When you can't beat Buffalo with that defense it is time to pack it in. Remember when they knocked off the Patriots in week 2? That seems like a lifetime ago. There is no doubt the old Andrew Luck is back. He's been an interception machine, but he also has 32 TDs and is averaging nearly 300 yards per game. Some very winnable games are still on the schedule and the Colts could sneak into the playoffs. Who saw that coming? Put your hand down, I don't believe you. Let me know your thoughts on Week 12.
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