Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 15: Sunday Recap

We are a nation in mourning. All of our flags are at half staff and players and coaches in the NFL are writing the names of slain children on their hats, shoes and helmets.I know that there are mixed feelings about whether or not the Sandy Hook Elementary killings should spur a political debate on gun control, but I am sure we all wish that that pyscho wasn't able to get his hands on two guns. What can you do in the face of tragedy but pick yourself up and find a way to move on. If nothing, football provides the briefest respite from an unfathomable act and Week 15 did not disappoint when we needed some entertainment the most.

- The  (not so) mighty New York Giants lost 0-34 to the Atlanta Falcons. That's right, Eli Manning and the Giants scored zero points. Nothing. Nada. Goose Egg. Their first shut out since 1996. The Falcons have only lost 2 games all season (tied for the best record in the NFL) but have still not earned the respect they think they deserve. That chip on their shoulder seemed to work in their favor today. Asante Samuel intercepted Eli Manning twice and quarterback, Matt Ryan threw for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. Not only did the Falcons shut the Giants out but it is the first time they have beat the Giants since 2004. The Falcons now sit on top of the NFC South and will have a bye the first round of the playoffs.
Victor Cruz wrote the name of one of the SHES victims on his shoes

- Rookie QB, Russell Wilson rushed for 3 touchdowns in the Seattle Seahawks 50-17 routing of the Buffalo Bills. This a week after the Seahawks shut out the Arizona Cardinals 58-0. Russell Wilson may have played 3rd fiddle to fellow rookie QBs, RG3 and Andrew Luck. But I think it is safe to say that everyone will be talking about him in the morning.

- While we are on the subject of shutouts the New Orleans Saints had one of their own, shutting out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-41. The Saints have been the center of a lot of talk this week. Paul Tagliabue, the former commissioner of the NFL, vacated the suspensions of four players. Suspensions that were handed down by current commissioner, Roger Goodell. Tagliabue basically said that players follow the directions of their coaches for fear of getting cut or benched. So the onus of the Bounty Gate scandal falls more on the coaches than it does the players. Needless to say, the Saints felt the slightest bit vindicated this week and it showed. Drew Brees overcame a 2-week rut to throw for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. "Impress Him" Fact: The Saints still have a snowballs chance in New Orleans of making the playoffs if they win out but all of the other teams will have to lose their last 2 games. Not likely, but stranger things have happened to this team this year including their first shut-out game since 1995.

- Unfortunately for Jay Cutler, Clay Matthews was back on defense for the Green Bay Packers after missing 4 games due to a hamstring injury. You may remember that when these 2 teams met earlier this season Clay Matthews sacked Jay Cutler 3.5 times so I am guessing that Jay was hoping to catch a little break this time around. No such luck. Clay was back and looking for Jay and found him for 2 sacks in the Packers 21-13 win over NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears. Aaron Rodgers was looking (and playing) good with 291 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Chicago continues to struggle losing 5 of their last 6 games. The bad news for all of us is that the Bears are in danger of not making the playoffs which means Jay Cutler will have extra time on his hands to make more babies with Kristen Cavallari, and no one wants that. "Impress Him" Fact: Want to really turn some heads? Tell your co-workers/husband/boyfriend that the Bears just don't have any play-makers beyond Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. On another note I just tried to google images of Jay Cutler with Kristen and his baby and there are none. There aren't even any of just him and the baby. Is Jay Cutler a dead beat dad? Incidentally, there are several pictures of Jay Cutler's head on a poor baby's body and also several of him with a pacifier in his mouth...if that tells you anything.
I don't know where Jay is, but please don't fumble that baby

- You have to give the Dallas Cowboys this, they will not go away. In fact, they are tied for 1st place in the NFC East. This team simply refuses to give up as was evident in their overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of course, the Steelers helped out a little. A fumbled kickoff return led to the tie-ing touchdown for the Cowboys. And then Brandon Carr intercepted Roethlisberger's first pass in overtime and ran it 36 yards to the 1st yard line, setting up an easy field goal for Dan Bailey who was happy to play the hero for the second week in a row. The Steelers are one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals for a wild card spot in the playoffs. They face the Bengals in a "must win" game next week.

- Imagine you had all of the ligaments in your knee torn and reconstructed. Now imagine that 9 months later you were running down a field while giant men tried everything in their power to knock you down. And now imagine that none of that mattered because you are some kind of super human and instead of slowing down you are going to have the best season as a running back of your career and possibly of anybody's career if things keep going the way they are going. If you can imagine all of that then you will know what it is like to be Adrian Peterson. In the Minnesota Vikings' game against the St. Louis Rams Peterson ran for a season-best 212 yards giving him 1812 yards for the season...294 yards shy of the single season record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984. Oh and the Vikings beat the Rams 36-22.

- When I played tennis in high school, I always had to play against a girl who I had been playing with since I was 6 years old. I would always be pretty antsy before the match and would start off petty shaky and would get in a hole. Once I was in this hole I would kind of give up because I really liked Marcie and didn't care if she beat me, I was hungry, and I was ready to get home and see what the gang from West Beverly High was up to...oh and I probably had homework or something. And it would be at the moment that I had accepted defeat that I would start playing my best game and the match would drag out for a third set. That seems to be what is happening with the Carolina Panthers the last 2 weeks. Last week they decidedly took out the Atlanta Falcons and this week it was the San Diego Chargers' turn to be humiliated by a team who had only won 4 games coming into Sunday's game. In fact, it was the first time that the Panthers have won consecutive games since last December. Mike Tolbert, a former Charger, had 2 touchdowns against his old team and Cam Newton threw for 231 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Panthers' 31-7 defeat of the San Diego Chargers. Of course, the Panthers are playing for nothing but pride right now but they are playing like the team everyone expected them to be at the beginning of the season. Hopefully, they can remember what worked come September.
This week I thought I would change it up with GQ Cam.

- The San Francisco 49'ers took on the New England Patriots last night in what looked like the most miserable conditions ever...cold, rainy, sleet. Barf. You would think that the Patriots would be used to this kind of weather, but it was the 49'ers who looked right at home. In fact, the Patriots have not lost on their home field in December in a decade. A decade! The 49'ers were up 31-3 when the Patriots decided to make it interesting and come back to tie the game in the 4th quarter. But this was San Francisco's game to win and they clinched the win with a 38 yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree. The 49'ers won 41-34 and are headed to the post season with some good momentum.

That does it for the big news out of Week 15. Remember to hold your little ones tight this week and every week.

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