Wednesday Morning QB (Week 12)

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The year is one month closer to turning the calendar into 2013 and for the NFL that means the always intimidating month of December. December is the last full month of the season and for some teams it can mean the beginning of the end for their season. It is a month where teams need to put up or shut up as it marks the beginning of the playoff race. As the winter begins to creep in teams begin to focus on their run towards a championship. It is the turning point of the season as teams need to start a run now to finish off the season. There are five weeks left in the season and that means that teams can begin their hot streak now which has become the most important aspect to any season. It is clear that the hottest team in the NFL at the start of the playoffs usually has the best shot at the Super Bowl. The hottest teams in the league take their momentum into the playoffs and ride it into the championship. There is rarely a team that can win a championship while stumbling into the playoffs and that is what is at stake in the remaining weeks of the season. Teams will be looking to put together a good last five weeks to earn their spot in the playoffs and look to make a run at the championship. On the other side the top teams in the league are simply looking to prevent a massive let down in the last few games of the season. It looks to be a great finish to the season with plenty of teams on the edge of a massive let down or a great push. The Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans are the two best teams in the NFL and both could be at risk of a massive let down. The Falcons may be the most at risk team in the NFL as they have gone to a 10-1 record but have done it unconvincingly. The Falcons have not had the easiest road to their big record as they have cut it close more than once. If they continue to do that they may be in for a big let down when the season comes to an end. They are still closer than most to earning a playoff spot though and even with a letdown could make the postseason. The big battles will be below the Falcons and Texans though as there are some big divisional battles to watch along with the wild card race. Some divisions have already been solved as the NFC South, NFC West, and much of the AFC divisions have already been solved. Meanwhile the NFC north looks to be a tight battle between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears who seem to be ready to fight it out until the end. It’s not the only battle though as the NFC East is also becoming a close race between the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys. Both divisional battles will come down to the wire as all teams involved hope that they can finally get hot with one month left. As these teams fight for their divisions there will be another tight battle in both conferences for the conferences. The AFC will see the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins are all in the hunt for the wild card. These four teams will need to have a good final five games to earn their spot in the playoffs. In the NFC the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Minnesota Vikings will need the same effort in the last month of the season. There will be plenty of races to watch as the season comes to a close as the true contenders show what they are made of when the pressure increases. Some teams will fail and others will succeed while the fans cash in on some great football with only five games left until the playoffs begin.


Four Quarters
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 12)


Best DB Corps Gets Thinner
The Seahawks have built a defensive corps that rivals none in the NFL with the best defensive backs in the league but two will likely not be with the team next week as Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman were handed four game suspensions for violating the PED policy


“The Fourth-and-29”
Plays go down in history for a number of reasons and this past week another play will go into the annals as the Baltimore Ravens achieved what seemed impossible converting on a Fourth-and-29 with a pass to Ray Rice out of the backfield


Kaepernick Still the Man for the Job?
Colin Kaepernick was very impressive in his debut against Chicago but this week against the Saints was not as big though still affective as the 49ers now truly have a QB controversy on their hands leading into the playoff push


Questionable Decisions receive no Punishment
Ndamulong Suh and Brodrick Bunkley both made some poor decisions as they both seemed to kick an opposing player in their week 12 games but that led to no action from the league as neither would face a suspension


NFL Standings 

American Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. Houston Texans (.909)
2. Baltimore Ravens (.818)
3. New England Patriots (.727)
4. Denver Broncos (.727)
Wild Card:
5. Indianapolis Colts (.636)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (.545)
In the Hunt:
7. Cincinnati Bengals (.545)
8. Miami Dolphins (.455)
9. San Diego Chargers (.364)
10. Tennessee Titans (.364)
11. New York Jets (.364)
12. Buffalo Bills (.364)
13. Cleveland Browns (.273)
14. Oakland Raiders (.273)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (.182)
16. Kansas city Chiefs (.091)


National Football Conference
Division Leaders:
1. Atlanta Falcons (.909)
2. San Francisco 49ers (.773)
3. Chicago Bears (.727)
4. New York Giants (.636)
Wild Card:
5. Green Bay Packers (.636)
6. Seattle Seahawks (.545)
In the Hunt:
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.545)
8. Minnesota Vikings (.545)
9. Washington Redskins (.455)
10. Dallas Cowboys (.455)
11. New Orleans Saints (.455)
12. St. Louis Rams (.409)
13. Detroit Lions (.364)
14. Arizona Cardinals (.364)
15. Carolina Panthers (.273)
16. Philadelphia Eagles (.273)


Key Scores:
Washington Redskins 38 – 31 Dallas Cowboys
– The Thanksgiving Day Game in Dallas is a long-standing tradition but that couldn’t stop the super rookie Robert Griffin III from leading the Redskins to a win over their divisional rivals with a great performance that won him the Galloping Gobbler


Atlanta Falcons 24 – 23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– The Falcons have not been the same team they were at the start of the season and that continued as they won but barely got past the Bucs as the wins keep coming but the Falcons continue to leave room for criticism


Cleveland Browns 20 – 14 Pittsburgh Steelers
– The Browns are not the same pushovers they used to be as they will win if given the chance and on Sunday they were given the chance as the Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger as the Browns took another win on the season


New York Giants 38 – 10 Green Bay Packers
– The Packers’ 5 game win streak came to an end against a team that has already beat them twice in the past year as Eli Manning tore apart the Dom Capers defence for the third time in the past year for a big win on Sunday Night


Next Week:
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons (November 29th; 8:20 pm EST)
– The last time these two teams faced off the Saints ended the Falcons’ undefeated streak and this time the Saints are looking for more ammo in their fight to get back on top of the AFC South Division


Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (December 2nd; 1:00 pm EST)
– The Packers are fighting for the division and will be facing most of their division the remainder of the season as they take on the Vikings in hopes that they can forget their embarrassing loss on Sunday Night in week 12


San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams (December 2nd; 1:00 pm EST)
– The Niners and Rams didn’t solve anything in their last meeting as they ended the game in a tie and now with the playoffs on the horizon the niners are looking for a win to show everyone they are the top of the division


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (December 2nd; 4:25 pm EST)
– It was a classic defensive battle between these two division rivals in week 11 and now they will face off again in the battle for the AFC North division with Steelers fans hoping Ben Roethlisberger can return to lead the team

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