Sunday, December 9, 2012

11 Things I Know I Know: Week 14

1. I know that tragedies like the one that occurred on Saturday morning which cost Jerry Brown his life are unacceptable. Allow me to channel by inner Bob Costas for a minute.

Drinking and driving should be punished much more severely than it currently is. It seems like the only way of deterring people from actually doing it. Forget suspended licenses or six month stints in jail. Start with two years in prison for the first offense. If someone is injured, make it five years. If someone is killed, you get life.

Maybe that will change behavior.

Josh Brent will have to live with the guilt of knowing he killed his friend. He should live with that guilt inside a jail cell for the rest of his life.

2. I know the playoff race got even more exciting this week, setting the stage for what should be sprint a to the finish over the next three weeks.

In the AFC, a Jets victory coupled with losses by both the Bengals and Steelers has New York only one game back. Miraculously, my preseason sleeper - the Cleveland Browns - also remained mathematically alive with their victory over the Chiefs. Could their Week 17 matchup with the Steelers be for the final playoff spot?

Quick tangent: I do not care that the Jets won today. There is absolutely zero explanation for not dressing Greg McElroy. None. Zilch. He should have started the game. Instead, he was inactive. Please explain yourself Rex.

In the NFC, the Bears' hold on their wildcard spot became even more tenuous with Sunday's loss to Adrian Peterson, err, the Vikings. After huge comeback victories by the Redskins and Cowboys there are three teams - Minnesota, Washington, and Dallas -  within a game of the final playoff spot.

Buckle up.

Peterson, defense lead Vikings over Bears 21-14
Can AD lead the Vikings to the playoffs?

3. I know the Bills have to be kicking themselves right now. They surrendered a last minute, fourth quarter lead today at home for the second time this season (Titans, Week 7) and also threw a last minute red zone interception while going for a lead (New England, Week 10). If things break differently for Buffalo, they would be in the driver's seat in the AFC wildcard race. Instead, they are 5-8 and cannot reach the playoffs.

4. I know every team in the NFC South is a fraud.

The Falcons, as I mentioned last week, are one of the weakest top seeds that I can remember in my lifetime. Is anyone afraid of them? I certainly wouldn't be.

The Saints had a great opportunity to make a leap in the playoff race, and promptly crapped away that chance in New York. Where has the old Drew Brees gone? He has a 1:7 TD: INT ratio over the last two weeks when his team needs him most.

The Bucs, like the Bills, lost for the second time this year in the last minute at home today (Saints, Week 7), choking away an 11-point fourth quarter lead.Nice knowing you playoff aspirations.

The Panthers were supposed to be a serious contender this year. Didn't happen. Although truth be told, Carolina is the team I would least like to play from this division at this very second.

5. I know the Vikings took a page out of the Bears playbook, scoring a defensive touchdown and returning another interception inside the 10-yard line setting up another score. Early in the season, it was Chicago generating points on defense.

On a related note, Adrian Peterson gets my vote for best offensive player. Dude is a beast.

6. I know Larry Fitzgerald will finish in the top five in tackles on the Arizona roster this year. Seems like he's racking up about two per week chasing opponents that have just intercepted passes thrown by Arizona's "quarterbacks." The Cardinals continue to employ interception-throwers that inspire has-beens and never-were's to dream of taking snaps under center. I for one would love to see if I could do better than the Lindley-Kolb-Skelton trio.

Seriously, 58-0!? Show a little heart, wouldya?

7. I know next Sunday will be one of if not the best weeks of football this year. Most fantasy leagues will have their semifinals which will have interest at an annual high. Plus, there are six Sunday games featuring two teams with winning records. Skip the Thursday and Monday Night games and clear your Sunday.

8. I know it's a three-team race to the bottom for the number one overall pick in this year's draft between the Chiefs, Jaguars, and Raiders. Unfortunately for them, this is a terrible year to have that top pick, but I will be following anyway.

9. I know I liked: a) Lee Smith leaping into the stands after his third quarter touchdown;
b) Jason Avant's one-handed catch;
c) Will Witherspoon's TAINT;
d) Cam Newton's touchdown run;
e) Andy Dalton getting a touchdown "pass" on a glorified hand-off to Andrew Hawkins; and
f) David Wilson's backflip touchdown celebration.

10. I know I did not like: a)Buffalo fans failing to catch the aforementioned Lee Smith;
b) Pat Shurmur wasting a challenge on a play with 12:30 left in the third quarter that left the Browns with a first-and-goal from the one foot line (save the timeout);
c) Rob Ryan getting a 15-yard penalty for overemphatically arguing with a referee when the Bengals faced second-and-long in the Dallas red zone;
d) RGIII's jerry curls or his getting injured;
e) the Chiefs scoring a touchdown 12 seconds into the game and then no points for the other 59:48;
f) Donnie Avery dropping a beautifully thrown would-be touchdown late in the fourth quarter; and
g) Andy Reid's tight-fitting wardrobe:

At least a C-cup

11. I know the Patriots will defeat the Texans 27-17 tomorrow night. New England has lost three games all season by a combined four(!) points. They need this game more than Houston does to secure a first round bye are not losing at home.

"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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