Around the NFL – Week 12

With Thanksgiving leaving the Sunday lineup of games a bit thin, we still got to see the hard to explain Tim Tebow win (Broncos defense), Tom Brady rip apart the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.

Percy Harvin has to win Turkey of the week, by running 104 yards and through sheer arrogance fail to score a touchdown. A fantastic goal-line stand from the Falcons and Matt Ryan’s best game of the season (262 yards, 3 TD, 128.2 QB Rating) put the Falcons half a game behind the Saints in the NFC South. If the Giants, with their own problems, win in New Orleans tonight, it’ll be interesting in the NFC South.

The Colts? Still losing ,still sorry. Cam Newton didn’t throw any touchdowns, but ran for one, his 10th of the season, the first quarterback to score 10 rushing touchdowns since Daunte Culpepper in 2002. More importantly, the 27-19 win over Indy was the Panthers’ first road win after 12 straight losses. It’s a 3-8 season now, no hope for the postseason. Next year? A running crew with DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart combining for 200 yards. Things are looking up in Carolina.

The Bills keep falling, but it was Mark Sanchez’ redemption, or beginning of redemption, throwing four touchdowns passes, although with bad accuracy (17-35). Ryan Fitzpatrick was very good on the other side, throwing three touchdown passes and not getting intercepted, but the Bills’ defense was too soft (no sacks) en route to a 28-24 win for the Jets, half a game behind in the AFC wildcard. They won’t catch the Patriots in the AFC East.

The Houston Texans held on for a win despite being down to their third string quarterback, T.J. Yates. The Jacksonville Jaguars are simply not good enough to deal with a team like that, as Blaine Gabbert got benched in the fourth quarter after getting sack six times . Luke McCown didn’t do much better. The Texans won 20-13, and have an AFC best 8-3 record.

Tom Brady gave us the performance of the week, although not that unusual in his standards. Vince Young did a decent job for the Eagles, throwing for 400 yards and a 1-1 in the TD-INT. But the Eagles just couldn’t keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots. They couldn’t touch him, sacking him only once. Brady was free to throw and hit, throw and hit. He threw 3 TD passes for 361 yards and a 134.6 QB rating. Wes Welker caught two touchdowns for scores, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for two himself. The Patriots have their flaws, especially in the secondary, but their offense is hard to match.

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Tim Tebow is for the finish. The phenomenon is impossible to explain. The San Diego Chargers have simply fallen apart, losing their sixth straight game, this time to a team with a mediocre quarterback at best, who’s only asset is the ability to keep plays alive for longer then they should. Oh, and he has a very good defense to disguise his flaws, and a rabid fan base, in the media and without. Enough for a 16-13 win, enough to stay strong in the playoff picture.