NFL Week 13: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Thirteen weeks down (almost), only four to go. It’s getting down to crunch time in the National Football League, and if the playoffs started today, my preseason picks would be slightly off to put it nicely. But there’s still time for my picks to prove me right, so I can take a look back to Week 13’s action.

THE GOOD

It was nice to see two young quarterbacks lead their teams to victory – Chad Henne of Miami and Bruce Gradkowski of Oakland. Henne threw for 335 yards and two scores against a New England team that held a late lead. After rookie Vontae Davis’ interception, Henne led the Dolphins down the field to set up Dan Carpenter’s game-winning field goal.  It was the most comfortable I’ve seen Henne look since the Fins’ Week Five matchup against the New York Jets. But personal accomplishments aside, Henne’s performance more importantly makes the AFC East very interesting. The Dolphins sit just one game back of the Patriots.

And then there’s Gradkowski. Picked up off the scrap heap by the Raiders, he goes to his hometown and stuns the Steelers at Heinz Field. He finished with 308 passing yards and three TD’s – with all the three scores coming in the fourth quarter. The game was a complete dud until the final frame, but Gradkowski has definitely given Raiders owner Al Davis another quarterback to consider as his starter in 2010. I’m not about to anoint Gradkowski a franchise saviour, but he’s giving Oakland a chance to win every time he steps on the field.

Side Note: Remember a few weeks ago when I picked the Steelers to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl? Well, they haven’t won a game since. I was just wondering if those Steelers were going to show up again…

 

THE BAD

Speaking of my Super Bowl picks, the Minnesota Vikings were terribly outplayed by the Arizona Cardinals last night. The final score may have been 30-17, but it didn’t even seem that close. Adrian Peterson’s 13 carries for 19 yards was atrocious, and Brett Favre tried to force way too many passes, including two that were intercepted. Minnesota essentially lost its chance for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs last night, and face a tough schedule down the stretch: vs. Cincinnati, @ Carolina, @ Chicago, vs. NYG. Beware the Favre Fade Minnesota fans.

 

THE UGLY

Two words: Shaun. Suisham.

Seriously though, how does that happen? Missing a 23 yard field goal? It just shouldn’t happen. I know a Saints fan or two who are saying the cliche “a win’s a win” kind of thing, but there is no way New Orleans deserved to win that football game. Lady Luck is clearly in the Big Easy this year.

 

TWO POINT CONVERSION

– if the playoffs started today, they’d include the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t ever think I’ve seen a weaker playoff team. Their wins are against Houston (twice), Tennessee (with Kerry Collins), Kansas City, St. Louis, NYJ and Buffalo

– why does it seem like the NFC East is always a display of mediocrity? Someone please step up and take that division

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