Here are 10 thoughts after watching the Week 13 games from Sunday.
1– The Packers-Patriots matchup was everything I wanted to see. It was a close game, both quarterbacks played well enough to keep their team in the game. I think what makes the Packers that much more dangerous than the Patriots is the offensive passing weapons. They are so diverse and they can really stretch the field with Aaron Rodgers’ mobility. But the addition of LeGarrette Blount back to the Patriots really gives this Patriots team a great stable approach. This is what I believe is the Super Bowl matchup right here. I don’t think either of these teams will falter down the stretch. Both are just that good.
2– The Chiefs, I think, can hang with any team out there. In fact, I think they had a great chance to beat the Broncos last night. However, the turnovers and just inconsistencies on offense really hurts them. The team has no explosive big plays that can break a game open. They have all the talent to do it but I don’t know if Alex Smith is limiting their chances of that. The Broncos saw that and just bull rushed the opposition to get to him. The Chiefs are good enough, but how far can they go without hurting themselves?
3– Cardinals with Carson Palmer: complete team. Cardinals without Carson Palmer: Limited. Cardinals without Larry Fitzgerald: Not good. The defense has been carrying this team for so long but if the offense can’t lend a helping hand, the Cardinals are in trouble. As much I could think that the Cards can finish the season with Drew Stanton, there are times where he has to truly lead the offense and he hasn’t been able to do that. This past Sunday was a sign that they aren’t running at full speed. I’m still confident that the defense can hold most teams. But when it’s on Stanton to save the day, you might not get enough to win.
4– This Panthers team is just really bad. I don’t know if it’s the lack of weapons or last year they just overachieved. The Vikings defense played a lot better and really shut down this Panthers team. Watch out for this defense going forward. Oh, and that special teams is pretty good.
5– I thought that the Chargers would be going on a downward spiral, that Philip Rivers had peaked this season. Nope. That final drive was great. The routes run by the receivers were extraordinary, getting out of bounds with no timeouts. And they got lucky on that big pass interference call, but it was enough that I agreed with it. Anyway, the Chargers have life in them with that huge win against the Ravens.
6– Spot reserved for bad Raiders football.
But if this spot went to an actual game that mattered, take a look at Andy Dalton. Just so inconsistent. That Bengals team will flounder if he doesn’t get it together.
7– Give me all the Johnny Manziel! Yeah, he had some tough moments but that touchdown drive was nice. This guy has the potential to be great. Of course, Brian Hoyer played well enough to continue starting. But now do the Browns, who appear to be playoff-bound, make a change? Or do they stick with Hoyer to protect their investment?
8– When the Jaguars beefed up their defense this offseason, I knew it was a plan that defensive-minded coach Gus Bradley would use to perfection. But with a struggling offense, it took time for the defense to finally shine. The second half against the Giants was what the defense I envisioned this Jaguars team to be defensively. The offense is still young but if this team can maintain this momentum and grow, they can be relevant in a couple years.
9– J.J. Watt wins MVP this year, right? Well, it’s an easy choice if he plays the Titans every week.
10– Saints offense finally woke up and they did it without Jimmy Graham being involved. I think that the South is still the Saints’ division to win. They are the most talented team there. On the other hand, the Steelers are still good enough of a team to win their division but I am worried about Ben Roethlisberger’s wrist injury. That team is just so dependent on whether or not he is on his game.
Last night I was at a concert to see Nikki Lane, one of my new favorite artists. Well, she’s not really new. I just discovered her late. I never really listen to country but here I am jamming right up near the stage with her sounds. Check her out. She’s awesome.