Wednesday Morning QB (Week 11)

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The NFL season has been like many of the other football seasons this year as unpredictability rules. It is a major theme in the 2012 season has been that nobody can really predict what will happen in any given week. It shows itself in the teams especially as just when people think that one team is going to be the best team in the league. The second that team begins to get glory they tend to fail to meet the hype and fall to a team that should not beat them. It is the only thing that any fan can depend on for the 2012 season and that pattern continued in week 11. There were the typical great teams that failed to meet expectations but more than that was the lack of big name QBs in the lineup. In week 10 the NFL saw some key injuries at the QB position that would force a number of big names out of the lineup. Ben Roethlisberger suffered a dislocated rib while Alex Smith, Michael Vick, and Jay Cutler all suffered concussions. None of these QBs would be able to play in the next game and that brought a number of new faces into the fold. With the opportunity some back up QBs would take full advantage while others fell short of great opportunities. In Pittsburgh it would be Byron Leftwich who had been signed by the Steelers in the offseason. After years as the Jaguars starting QB Leftwich now had a shot at a starting role once again. He would not overtake Roethlisberger but he could show other teams that he still had what it took to be a starting QB for a team that might need a veteran starter. It was not the best night for Leftwich but it showed what he has become known, his toughness, for as he hurt his ribs early in the game and continued to play despite a losing effort. It was an opportunity that did not go completely as planned for Leftwich but it was a decent outing and a short-lived one as he will not return to play thanks to his injuries. Michael Vick would be replaced after yet another injury leaving Nick Foles to take his place for his first NFL start. His would not be a successful day as he threw 2 INTs and no TDs with 207 yards as he clearly struggled under the big lights. He will likely have another go at being the starting QB unless Vick can come back from his concussion. He will need to improve greatly to make an impact in the league. He wasn’t the only QB who struggled in his chance to impress the league and his team. With Jay Cutler out due to a concussion Jason Campbell had his chance to show that he still had what it takes to be a starting QB. Campbell did not take the chance though as he struggled with the same issues that Cutler had been battling when he started his Chicago career. Sacks and mistakes marred Campbell’s shot to show that he was still good after leaving Oakland when Carson Palmer came to town. It was not all bad for these QBs though as one QB made a real impression on the league and on his own team. Alex Smith has been a player that has sat on the outskirts with many fans thinking he cannot be a starter in the league. Last year he seemed to prove them wrong but the doubts continued about whether he could lead a powerful offence. In week 11 many fans got their wish as the 49ers would go into the Monday Night game against Chicago without Smith who had gone down with a concussion in week 10. This gave Colin Kaepernick a chance to show what he could do as the leader of the 49ers offence and he did not disappoint. Kaepernick had 243 yards and 2 TDs in his first opportunity to lead the team. For his efforts Kaepernick has received a vote of confidence for week 12 as he will return as the starting QB despite the health of Alex Smith. It was a week of opportunity for all of these players as they all took a chance with the players ahead of them unable to play. At least one QB took the chance and ran with it in a week that could change his career as all players look to Colin Kaepernick as an example. With the season continuing on there will be plenty of chances for players as the theme of taking advantage of the opportunities continue on in the unpredictability of the 2012 season.


Four Quarters
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 11)


Coaching Changes on the Horizon
The NFL season is past the halfway point and that usually means bad teams make changes which seems to be coming up close as Romeo Crennel, Norv Turner, and Andy Reid are all on the hot seat after week 11


Super Rookie Strikes in Silence
Robert Griffin III did it again with a performance better than most QBs in the league this week throwing for 200 yards and 4 TDs while also adding 84 rushing yards except not many noticed the performance through the craziness of the week


Great Receivers Come Back
Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson have both had sub-par seasons up until now but both had been on the rise in past weeks and week 11 was no different as both receivers had good game with Andre Johnson coming out with video game numbers


The Craziness Continues
The 2012 NFL season has made one thing perfectly clear and that is there is no best team as when fans think they know what their team is like it all comes crashing down as there is no true team that can be a Super Bowl favorite right now


NFL Standings 

American Football Conference
AFC East:
1. New England Patriots (.700)
2. New York Jets (.400)
3. Buffalo Bills (.400)
4. Miami Dolphins (.400)
AFC North:
1. Baltimore Ravens (.800)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (.600)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (.500)
4. Cleveland Browns (.200)
AFC South:
1. Houston Texans (.900)
2. Indianapolis Colts (.600)
3. Tennessee Titans (.400)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (.100)
AFC West:
1. Denver Broncos (.700)
2. San Diego Chargers (.400)
3. Oakland Raiders (.300)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (.100)


National Football Conference:
NFC East:
1. New York Giants (.600)
2. Dallas Cowboys (.500)
3. Washington Redskins (.400)
4. Philadelphia Eagles (.300)
NFC North:
1. Green Bay Packers (.700)
2. Chicago Bears (.700)
3. Minnesota Vikings (.600)
4. Detroit Lions (.400)
NFC South:
1. Atlanta Falcons (.900)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.600)
3. New Orleans Saints (.500)
4. Carolina Panthers (.200)
NFC West:
1. San Francisco 49ers (.750)
2. Seattle Seahawks (.600)
3. Arizona Cardinals (.400)
4. St. Louis Rams (.350)


Key Scores:
Dallas Cowboys 23 – 20 Cleveland Browns (OT)
– The Cowboys proved once again that they are a team still trying to find their way as they let the Cleveland Browns extend the game to overtime where a few big calls helped the Cowboys to the win after a field goal


Houston Texans 43 – 37 Jacksonville Jaguars (OT)
– The Texans were considered the best team in the NFL but like most top teams this year they struggled against a much weaker team as the Jags kept it close all game and pushed the Texans to overtime where Houston would take the win with an Andre Johnson TD catch in overtime


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 – 21 Carolina Panthers (OT)
– The Bucs and Panthers continued the theme of close games as Josh Freeman impressed everyone with his composure throughout the entire game and into the overtime where he would throw the winning TD pass in overtime


San Francisco 49ers 32 – 7 Chicago Bears
– The two best defences in the league faced off against two backup QBs but it was not what it was built to be as Colin Kaepernick got his first start in the NFL and ripped the Bears defence apart for 32 points


Next Week:
Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys (November 22nd; 4:15 pm EST)
– The tradition continues as the Cowboys host yet another Thanksgiving Day game as they take on their longtime rivals in the Washington Redskins who are much improved with Robert Griffin III at the helm


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns (November 25th; 1:00 pm EST)
– The Steelers will go into this game with their third QB in as many games as Charlie Batch takes over for and injured Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich while the Browns sit in waiting as a much better team than last year


San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints (November 25th; 4:25 pm EST)
– The Niners are coming off of a big win on Monday Night and will now see what Colin Kaepernick has for a second week in a row as they take on the Saints who are continuing their comeback from a 0-4 start


Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants (November 25th; 8:20 pm EST)
– The classic rivalry has meant a lot to both teams in the past few years as they have faced off in very important games and this year is no different as the Packers are trying to continue their 5 game winning streak while the Giants are hoping a bye week can reboot their season

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