Sunday, December 2, 2012

11 Things I Know I Know: Week 13

1. I know the Chiefs did the right thing by playing today, and they looked great. Yes, the Chiefs looked great. For the first time all year, they played with intensity and a clue of how to play football. Brady Quinn looked competent enough to warrant being given a shot at winning the job next year. Sure, he was only playing the Panthers and emotions were high, but with no surefire quarterbacks coming out of college this year, he might be Kansas City's best bet.

Obviously, I chose to start with the 2-10 Chiefs because of the Jovan Belcher tragedy, but I am reserving judgment and comment until I get the whole story. Just a very very sad situation. Thoughts and prayers to anyone involved.

2. I know the Bears defense crumbled when it mattered most and should be ashamed of themselves. The Seahawks got the ball on their own 3-yard line with 3:40 to play trailing by four. All the vaunted Chicago defense needed was to not allow a touchdown against a rookie quarterback, and the win was theirs. What happened? Russell Wilson leads them on a 12-play, 97-yard drive in three minutes to give Seattle the lead. After the Seahawks defense surrendered a game-tying field goal, the game headed to overtime where Wilson again shredded the Chicago D and marched down the field for a touchdown which capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive. Not acceptable, and it cost them first place in the division and a possible first round bye.

I've been reluctant to give Wilson much credit this year, but the guy finds ways to win (ask the Packers and Patriots). He's the future in Seattle so the team should have no qualms dealing Matt Flynn to the Jets for a third round pick next year. None at all.

3. I know that the Mark Sanchez era in New York is over. Amen. I figured it would be Tim Tebow taking the reins, but instead it's Greg McElroy leading the charge. After a(nother) disastrous performance, Sanchez was benched in favor of the 2011 7th round pick. Before today, McElroy was best known for ripping the locker room mindsets of his teammates. Now, he's the guy entrusted with trying to lead the Jets to the playoffs. Sounds crazy to think playoffs with this team, but in the putrid AFC, it's possible. They are two games out with four to play but those four opponents are atrocious: Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego and Buffalo. Stranger things have happened.

McElroy replaces Sanchez, leads Jets to 7-6 win
McElroy sprinted to the postgame press conference in lieu of a shower
It's also nice to know Sanchez has found something he's good at: taking notes on the sideline. He was furiously scribbling as McElroy led the Jets only scoring drive of the day. Go prepare your butt off to take even better notes next week.

4. I know if the playoffs started tomorrow we would have an Andrew Luck at Peyton Manning first round game (we would also have Russell Wilson at Green Bay in a Fail Mary rematch). Thanks to Luck's heroics, the Colts are 8-4 and have a stranglehold on the first AFC wildcard spot. With 4:02 left in the fourth, Indy received a punt at their own 15-yard line facing a 12-point deficit. The never-say-die Colts marched down the filed in just under a minute and a half for a touchdown, subsequently forced a four-and-out (after a penalty), then drove 75 yards in the final 1:05 to win in the most unlikely manner possible. I'm a believer.

5. I know that it's time for the 49ers to go back to Alex Smith. Colin Kaepernick - awesome tattoos and all - cost his team the game today, and when you are in the hunt for the top seed, that is unacceptable. He was directly responsible for all 13 points the Rams scored in regulation.

First, a brainfart intentional grounding penalty on a play that started at the 17-yard line resulted in a safety. 2 points.

Then, an inexplicable pitch / fumble was recovered by the Rams for a score. They subsequently converted the two-point conversion. 8 more points.

With under two minutes, Kaepernick had San Fran in field goal range when he rushed for 10 yards. Stupidly, though, he ran out of bounds which stopped the clock and saved St. Louis from taking their final timeout. It also left 1:44 on the clock. The Rams needed every one of those seconds as Greg Zuerlein kicked a game-tying field goal as regulation expired. 3 more points.

Alex Smith is not as explosive as Kaepernick. There is no arguing that. But, these mistakes don't happen with Smith under center.

6. I know once obvious reason Greg Schiano will be a head coach in this league for a long time while Norv Turner will not: Schiano cares about winning. I don't necessarily agree with attacking the linemen on obvious kneel down plays, but it's clear the intent is to do anything possible to win. I respect that. On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is Norv Turner who routinely - Sunday included - chooses not even to use his timeouts when the other team is in the victory formation, instead just letting the clock expire. All four Bucs fans out there should feel good about your future.

7. I know the Falcons are the least intimidating 11-1 team imaginable. They are going to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs in the next week or two. Then it will be a month before they play another meaningful game. They have a terrible postseason history (Matt Ryan has never won a playoff game), and I do not trust Mike Smith at all no matter what his record is in close games. Consider me a seller here.

8. I know I really liked: Aaron Rodgers going deep twice after the Vikings obviously jumped offsides, Brandon Pettigrew's touchdown catch, Antonio Smith's sack celebration where he pulled out a fake sword and pretended to have a sword fight, Domata Peko's mane, the name "Joique" which I have heard prononounced at least four different ways, Arizona's fake punt, Adrian Peterson, and best of all I loved the Seahawks athletic trainer two hand shove Anthony McCoy (a Seahawk) when McCoy tried to pick up Sidney Rice who was clearly injured.

Domata Peko

9. I know I didn't like: Emmanuel Sanders and Charlie Batch crying on the field, the lack of snow games this season, Matthew Stafford's sidearm throws, the personal foul called on new Jaguar Jason Babin, when teams waste timeouts before they punt around midfield (just let the clock expire and take the penalty), quarterbacks showing up their wide receivers ahem Flacco ahem Rivers, immobile quarterbacks stealing rushing touchdowns from fantasy players that matter (looking at Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, and Chad Henne), and Charlie Batch's offsides dance:

10. I know my daughter said "Dada" this week as her first word. To top that off, a day later she grabbed the remote, hit three buttons and the channel changed to ESPN. It was the HD version, too. Kid's a genius.

11. I know the Redskins will beat the Giants tomorrow night, 34-28. RGIII continues his ascension into the upper echelon of quarterbacks in this league, and this game means a whole lot more to Washington than New York.

"11 Things I Know I Know" is my feeble attempt to trump the untrumpable's Peter King and his "10 Things I Think I Think" is my favorite article each week.

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