NFL Sunday Wrap Up
By Peter Santo
Publishing this without waiting for the Monday Night game tonight, because let’s face it, the Bears and Chargers are both woefully mediocre and ESPN must be upset that they missed out on broadcasting Panthers-Packers or Broncos-Colts.
Carolina 37, Green Bay 29
The vaunted Green Bay offense struggled against the mighty Carolina Panther defense, and Cam Newton looked like Superman. Yes, the Packers are a much tougher team at home, but the last two weeks has to leave everyone wondering if they were overrated. Is the loss of Jordy Nelson effecting them more now?
For the Panthers, this team looks like a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. There will be questions headed into the postseason as they are still a young team with little experience. But man, if they ever get fully healthy, and even if they don’t they are certainly looking like a Super Bowl contender.
New England 27, Washington 10
Yes, the Patriots won by 17 points, and covered the spread for all you gamblers out there. But this really felt like a loss for the Patriots. The injuries are continuing to pile up for New England and it’s beginning to look like the only team that could beat them in the AFC is themselves and Team Injury. Losing Dion Lewis would be a big blow.
Meanwhile, the Skins are exactly what we thought they were, they have potential, but are young and mediocre.
Tennessee 34, New Orleans 28
The Tennessee Titans played some inspired football under interim head coach Mike Mularkey yesterday and Marcus Mariota looked like he could be the quarterback of the future for the Titans in his return from an ankle injury. Going into the Superdome and winning is a gutsy performance no matter what shape the Saints are in.
Buffalo 33, Miami 17
Two average AFC East teams doing battle in upstate New York. Tyrod Taylor looked good in his return from injury and Sammy Watkins looked like the receiver we all fell in love with during his time at Clemson. These teams have both been a disappointment this season, and with the Patriots running away with the AFC East once again, neither team has much to play for anymore.
Minnesota 21, St. Louis 18
St. Louis was a lot of people’s sleeper pick this season as it appeared that they finally had a competent quarterback in Nick Foles to go along with their stingy defense, but it has been more of the same for the Rams this year. However it is the Vikings who have been very surprising out of the NFC North, and are tied with the Packers atop the division at 6-2. With Teddy Bridgewater leading the offense, Adrian Peterson back in the backfield, and star safety Harrison Smith captaining the defense, the Vikings appear poised for success both now and going forward.
NY Jets 28, Jacksonville 23
Two disappointing teams, Blake Bortles looked decent, and Todd Bowles looked like a relatively competent coach. I still give the Jets a fighting chance to beat the Patriots at home week 16, but nothing besides that.
Pittsburgh 38, Oakland 35
David Carr looked much improved once again, he’s looking more and more like the QB of the future for the Raiders, and look for them to compete both this year and beyond. But it simply wasn’t enough in this one. Antonio Brown had a career day (17 receptions for 287 yards) and DeAngelo Williams did a more than adequate job filling in for the injured Leveon Bell. Pittsburgh is looking like a team no one will want to face in the playoffs, especially if they can figure out how to play defense.
NY Giants 32, Tampa Bay 18
Eli Manning continues to keep the Giants afloat, winning the games he is supposed to win. We will learn a lot about the Giants next Sunday when the Patriots come to town. Don’t write off the Giants, I expect that game to be very, very close next week.
Indianapolis 27, Denver 24
Well, it’s good to know that the Colts have some guts, particularly since it really helped out the Patriots. But man, I really was a believer in the Denver Broncos, I believed that they were the best team in the NFL. But they peaked early this year in terms of beating themselves in big games. Peyton Manning threw a costly interception late, and the defense committed costly penalties when the game was on the line (That’s you Aqib Talib). The Colts proved they were still competent, and the Broncos widened the gap between the Patriots and everybody else.
Philadelphia 33, Dallas 27
I didn’t watch this game. I had no interest in it, Philly pulled out a victory late in what might be a last ditch effort to save their coach. Happy 28th birthday to Sam Bradford, sorry buddy, but you’re a terrible quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys strike me as very similar to the 2008 Patriots (the ones that won 11 games with Matt Cassel, crazy right!?) without the winning games part.