Fantasy Football News

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Week 13 has Taught us...

When it's crunch time, the great teams always find a way to get it done. That's why when the month of December rolls around, the boys are separated from the men.

Now, some say it's too early to look at the playoff picture, and I say that's bull. The biggest games of the regular season are played around this time and last night the New York Jets showed me that they are not Super Bowl contenders this season.

They have always been able to talk the talk (dates all the way back to Joe Namath's famous guarantee, and yes he even managed to back that talk up). But were not able to walk the walk last night as Rex Ryan's top-tier defense was scorched for 45 points against the now-AFC East leading New England Patriots.

To make matters worse, New York managed just three points against New England's 31st-ranked total defense. The supposedly matured second year quarterback Mark Sanchez managed just 164 yards and three interceptions against New England 31st-ranked pass defense, as well.
He made rookie mistakes, and he's got an entire year on this year's rookie quarterbacks.

Teams are only as good as their leader, and Sanchez didn't do much to help his team out. Embarrassing.

Obviously with a 9-3 record they are almost certain to get a playoff seed as long as they win about half of their remaining four games, but they haven't been able to handle themselves against the better teams (Baltimore, Green Bay, New England). So how do they expect to make a run to the Super Bowl, especially when competing with teams such as Pittsburgh, New England, Baltimore and even the struggling 6-6 Colts?

More things I learned this past weekend:

*Atlanta is the best team in the NFC, if not the entire NFL. They became the first team to 10 wins (New England was the second after the beating they put on New York last night) with a victory over NFC South rival Tampa Bay.
*If the playoffs were to begin this week, like most fantasy leagues, then Atlanta and New England would most definitely be the favorites to be in the Super Bowl.

*New Orleans has made a quiet return to the elite this season after Drew Brees led a fourth quarter come-from-behind victory over the Bengals.

*Chicago and Green Bay may be the division race to watch, with the regular season finale coming in Lambeau between these two teams.

*Michael Vick and Phillip Rivers continue to head the MVP candidate list, with Vick possibly edging Rivers at this point considering San Diego's win streak, and December win streak, abruptly ending against the Raiders on Sunday.
*Minnesota may be better off with Tarvaris Jackson in the lineup at this point, rather than have Brett Favre's gunslinging style making numerous mistakes a game. With Jackson in the lineup, the Vikings can control how many times they throw the ball a game a little bit easier than they would if Favre was under center. That way, they can get back to letting Adrian Peterson run freely like they did in the pre-Favre era. Go home, Brett.

*Jason Garrett has turned the Cowboys around. Perhaps they should have fired Wade Phillips sooner. Under Garrett the 'Boys are 3-1 and just recently upset Peyton Manning and the Colts in overtime. The firing allowed for a more player-friendly head coach to step up and let players do what they do best.

*Jacksonville has a good chance at beating out the Colts for the South division title. With a two-game lead on the struggling Texans and Titans, it looks like Indy is the only threat to the Jags (Jags 7-5, Colts 6-6). If Peyton continues to throw as many interceptions as he has been this season (15 in twelve games; had 16 all last season), then Jacksonville have a good shot at defeating Indy in their week 15 matchup as long as they go run-heavy with Maurice Jones-Drew against Indy's 29th-best run defense. The winner of that game will likely be the division winner by season's end, in my opinion.
*One more thing I learned? Pittsburgh has a great shot at taking the AFC North crown after Troy Polamalu stripped Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco of the ball late in the game, allowing the battered (broken nose, foot and all) Ben Roethlisberger and short-distance back Isaac Redman to put the Steelers ahead. The final was 13-10 as Tomlin's crew took sole possession of the division.

What's on our plate for tomorrow: hopefully a much-needed great matchup between two rivals--Indy and Tennessee--whom are both battling for their playoff hopes.

Photo Credit
Deion Branch: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Eric Weems: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
Tarvaris Jackson: AP Photo/Hannah Foslien
Emmanuel Sanders: AP Photo/Nick Wass

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