Quick Hits: Ten Things about Week 14

How does every week seem to produce better and better games than the last? Week 14 was filled with some crazy games, and gave us a little clearer idea of what the playoffs will entail this year. Here’s what we’ve discovered:

1) Nick Foles might be the answer one day. What makes Andy Reid’s departure sadder is that if he were to stay, Foles would have a coach in the man who mentored Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Brett Favre. Foles, with some quality coaching, can be the answer in Philly. That bullet to Jason Avant to put the ball on the 1-yard line was like watching a Tommy Gun shoot a quick one. And his bootleg slant to Jeremy Maclin was clutch. Good signs now.

2) The Seahawks can capitalize on bad teams. 58-0 against the division rival Cardinals…meh. Seattle’s defense blew the Cardinals’ “offense” out of the water and took them for a ride to the tune of eight turnovers, four INT’s and four fumbles. Marshawn Lynch also had a big day, turning in three touchdown runs and 128 yards. The Seahawks have made a statement, and have kept themselves running with the 49ers for the NFC West Crown. Meanwhile, here’s a bit that sums up Ken Wisenhunts feelings about his team’s performance in Seattle: a reporter asked Wisenhunt what he will do about the quarterback position. Wisenhunt’s response was to ask the reporter if he can play. Things are bad in the desert.

3) Pittsburgh isn’t playoff bound. They seem to play down to their competition. Their losses include games against the Browns, Chargers, Raiders, and Titans. Despite the return of Ben Roethlisberger, the San Diego had their way. Allowing the Chargers to convert 12 third downs is inexcusable. The Steelers are not going to contend for the playoffs like this, and with games against the Bengals and Browns to come, it looks like it’s time to think about next year.

4) The Bears are slipping…right out of playoff contention. If Chicago can’t win against Minnesota without Percy Harvin, and their once feared defense let Adrian Peterson be a difference-maker, then they aren’t playoff-worthy either. Jay Cutler is playing behind a woeful offensive line, and the running game isn’t moving anything either. Strange that they dropped 51 points on the Vikings not-too-many weeks ago. Chicago is now the sixth seed as of this week and are in hot water if they lose another in this position.

5) New England is back to basics. Brady is making a strong case for his third MVP trophy. I’m getting so sick of it, we need new blood. Can’t wait to see RG3 win it one day. But the Pats are operating on all cylinders, and the defense isn’t doing too badly either, keeping a strong Texans offense off their game. It could be another Super Bowl appearance for New England. Next week against the San Fransisco 49ers could potentially be a Super Bowl playoff preview.

6) Speaking of RG3 and the Redskins, they’ve got two brilliant QB’s. Down by eight, Griffin III suffered a horrifying knee injury that, luckily, only left him with a first degree ligament sprain. Could have been much worse. Rookie Kirk Cousins half drive, two-point conversion run, and drive to win the game in OT were clutch. No QB controversy should be expected, but Washington knows now that they have two capable quarterbacks on their roster who can lead the team in crunch time. Washington is looking like a team ready to make a playoff run.

7) I kind of love Cam Newton in those NFLPlay60 and Under Armour ads. He may be a cry baby on the sidelines, but he’s effing hilarious in those commercials. “I’ve got a bedroom cam, a bathroom cam, garage cam, and a Cam cam.” Steve Smith sees himself in a screen, “What’s that one?” to which Cam replies, “That’s the Steve cam…I don’t trust you man.” Soooo good, haha.

Cam had a huge day against the NFC South leading Falcons that he should have had more often this year, single-handedly leading the Panthers to a win. He ran for 116 yards, including a huge 70+ yarder for a TD. Great game, better commercials.

8) Houston is flawed. I realize how good New England is, but man! If you want to be good, you have to be able to play big in the biggest moments. My next article talks about consistency for teams, and Houston is a model of from-the-ground-up consistency over the last six years. But if this game is in any way telling, and these teams meet up again in the AFC Championship Game, then Houston needs to rethink its defensive identity with the holes they have at linebacker and the problems they’ve had in the secondary, along with trying to figure out the problems with their passing game. The offensive line needs to get back to protecting Matt Schaub the way they were early in the season as well.

9) How in the hell are the Jets still mathematically in the playoffs???

…WHAT?????????

10) Dallas’ win in the face of tragedy was huge. Our prayers are with all of those affected by the wrongful death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown. For a family member to be hurt by another member is horrifying.

Dallas came in to Cincinnati with a heavy heart and pulled out a needed win to stay in the NFC East race. Dallas will have to win out to stay alive, especially when remembering that they split their series with the Giants. The road ahead is difficult, but it’s possible that Dallas could be a serious wild card contender by Week 16 if they take out their next one against the Steelers.
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