NFL: Week 13 Short Takes


Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns kicker Travis Coons (6) reacts to having his kick blocked in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Last Monday night’s game was thought beforehand to be one of the worst match-ups in the NFL’s 12th week of the season. When the last play happened, anyone watching was like “what?” A crazy finish that leads us into this week’s 32 thoughts.

Arizona Cardinals: After narrowly defeating the 49ers, the Cards would have to pull a collapse not win the NFC West. This weekend presents another opportunity to push a division foe further down.

Atlanta Falcons: As if their recent losses weren’t bad enough, facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road could result in moving below the Bucs into third.

Baltimore Ravens: They shoved a last play score in the faces of the Browns and their fans. Losing record or not, John Harbaugh and his squad had to have enjoyed that moment.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills can make a statement at home and help the Pittsburgh Steelers by knocking off Houston.

Carolina Panthers: Six games stand in the way of the NFL’s only third team to finish a regular season undefeated. Standing in the way are this weekend’s matchup with the Saints then home for the Falcons, visiting the New York Giants, another game with Atlanta in their stadium, and then finishing with Tampa. New Orleans has forgotten how to win in their venue but can they find a way this Sunday?

Chicago Bears: Beating Green Bay at Lambeau? Say it didn’t happen. It did. With that victory, the Bears are surprisingly just two games behind the Pack and three behind the Vikings who hold first place.

Cincinnati Bengals: It’s Cincy’s turn to embarrass the Browns in Cleveland. A win would all but lock up the AFC North for the Bengals.

Cleveland Browns: The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders have improved enough this season that they are no longer laughed at. The Cleveland Browns? That loss last Monday night was so improbable that the way it happened was just more insult to injury to a franchise and fan base that is in total disarray. The ‘Dawg Pound is disgusted with this team and rightfully so. To make things simple, consider this: Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have lost 42 games in the last minute. Of those 42, 22 have happened on the very last play of the game. OUCH!

Dallas Cowboys: So much for the Tony Romo idea of being a savior. It’s back to square one when he was hurt the first time. It’s over in Dallas.

Denver Broncos: If Manning comes back does he get his job back from Brock Osweiler? The kid has looked sharp since taking over.

Detroit Lions: Can Detroit hand the Packers yet another loss? This one is in Detroit. This should be a good game to keep an eye on.

Green Bay Packers: Green Bay best not fall too far behind Minnesota. What’s up with Eddie Lacy? Is it me or does he seem to have gained a little weight?

Houston Texans: Root root root for Buffalo Steelers fans! The Texans hold a tie-breaker on Pittsburgh so the Black and Gold needs to finish with a better record. The Texans have New England after Buffalo and then the Colts, Titans, and Jaguars.

Indianapolis Colts: Playing in Pittsburgh this Sunday, and let’s not forget when these two met last October, the Steelers put up a 51 spot on the scoreboard and Ben Roethlisberger bested 500 yards passing.

Jacksonville Jaguars: With a chance to stay in the wild card race last weekend and perhaps even the division title run, the Jags blew it at home. Now they find themselves in Tennessee who could surprise.

Kansas City Chiefs: Another team Steelers Nation will be pulling against. They play in Oakland Sunday…so GO RAIDERS!

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are playing with eyes to the finish line.

Minnesota Vikings: No question that the return of Adrian Peterson has been HUGE. Tough games ahead though with Seattle, Arizona, Chicago, Giants, and finishing at Green Bay. 

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New England Patriots: Undefeated no more. Gradkowski hurt. Other injuries they must deal with, and now “Cry-Brady” wants new rules to protect receivers. He would not be making the call if his own guy had not gotten injured.

New Orleans Saints: Winning big has been a thing of the past this season for the Saints who can’t call home, home.

New York Giants: Now that the Dallas Cowboys must move on without Tony Romo, how many ‘Gints fans do you think are breathing a sigh of relief? Still, the NFC East is filled with teams that have losing records including the first place Redskins at 5-6 with whom New York is tied.

New York Jets: Another team that the Steelers need to fend off for a wild card spot. This Sunday is the battle for best team in the Big Apple. Correct that…best team that plays in New Jersey.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are still in the running for one of those wild card spots, but if they finish tied with Pittsburgh, the Steelers snap that tie by virtue of their victory over the Silver and Black.

Philadelphia Eagles: When this season concludes, the question in Philly will be whether or not Chip Kelly keeps his job. At 4-7 and a games with the Patriots this weekend, the Eagles will have to finish respectable to save jobs in the offseason. How disappointed are Eagles fans? In Philadelphia a local Christmas tree seller advertised with the following: “Our trees are freshly cut most of the Eagles should be too.” OUCH.

Pittsburgh Steelers: My preview comes before Sunday but keep this thought in mind…Big Ben had a BIG day against this team in 2014.

San Diego Chargers: There are several teams in the NFL that can be declared a mess. This is one of those teams. How many more seasons in San Diego are there?

San Francisco 49ers: Two messy teams on the west coast. Which is the better team?

Seattle Seahawks: If this team sneaks into the postseason, watch out. They will be dangerous. Until then, they have the hot Minnesota Vikings next.

St. Louis Rams: Who provides the worst post-game pressers, Bill Belichick or Jeff Fisher? The Patriots top man is probably more boring and snarky with his answers, but Fisher is certainly the more angry coach and doesn’t pull punches with what he says and feels. Meanwhile the Rams are at 4-7 heading nowhere.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No matter how the season ends in Tampa, this season will be deemed a success. At 5-6, there is a chance the Bucs could finish above .500. This Sunday they host Atlanta then they finish with the Saints, Rams, Bears, and Panthers. All those teams except Atlanta and Carolina currently have losing records.

Tennessee Titans: The fight is on for 2016’s top draft pick in the NFL. Will it be the 2-9 Tennessee Titans or 2-9 Cleveland Browns? Both teams need plenty of help.

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Washington Redskins: The ‘Skins find themselves at the top of their division despite a losing record. The rest of the way they will face division opponents in three of the final five games. Two with Dallas, and a game with the Eagles. The other two contests are against Chicago and Buffalo. R.G. III who?