WHAT I THINK I LEARNED FROM THE NFL THIS WEEK: Week 12

Posted: November 29, 2011 in NFL FOOTBALL
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I hope each and every one of you enjoyed some “TASTY” football this Thanksgiving weekend, and hopefully the winners and losers made your meal a little SWEETER. Personally, the beating the Philadelphia Eagles took made my 6th Turkey Day meal taste angelic on Sunday. (the game was a win-win for me. Either team losing would’ve been great) But there were also some games that left a bitter taste in my mouth; Green Bay’s win, Tampa Bay’s collapse, and the thought of another week of Tebow talk.

I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can retain what I’ve learned from week to week, which allows me to make more intelligent picks. So what did I learn this week? Nothing ground-breaking. I think I finally have the majority of these football teams figured out. So, this week was more of a FINAL REVELATION on some of these teams.

Here is WHAT I THINK I LEARNED FROM THE NFL IN WEEK 12:

AFC NORTH (Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns)
• This is the one division in the AFC that has strong competition from top to bottom. Each of these teams better come to play in all 6 division games this season.
• Baltimore is the team to beat in the AFC. They may have lost some games to mediocre teams, but check their track record against good competition.

AFC EAST (New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins)
• The Patriots have withstood a few seasons with another competitive team in their division, and now find themselves back in familiar territory: THE ONLY FORMIDABLE TEAM IN THE EAST
• The “offensive highlight” we once knew as the Buffalo Bills is now dead and gone
• The Jets insist on struggling through the season each year. Even when Sanchez looks half-way impressive, they find a way to make life harder

AFC SOUTH (Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans)
• After years of saying that the Texans would one day take over the division from the Colts, it has finally happened this season. Who would’ve ever thought it would be at the expense of Peyton Manning?
• Even if Manning returns next season, I think this division will now be owned by the Texans. This team has shown too much vulnerability in his absence.

AFC WEST (San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders)
• Forget the stat line, Tebow knows how to WIN
• San Diego thought they could skate by with their inconsistent play like they do every season. Didn’t expect that there would be other teams in the division who would do more, with less talent
• Oakland is the team to beat in the West. Each week, they just go in and grind it out. Jason Campbell can stay hurt, because he’s not getting his job back from Carson Palmer

NFC NORTH (Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings)
• Because of the injury to Jay Cutler, the inconsistency of Eli Manning, and the fact that they won’t be playing the Saints again in the regular season….the Packers will probably go 16-0
• JAHVID BEST is to DETROIT as REGGIE BUSH was to NEW ORLEANS. He won’t give you a lot of stats, but he is definitely a distraction to the defense. The Lions definitely play better when he is on the field. They haven’t looked much like a legit team since his injury.

NFC EAST (Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins)
• The Eagles are the “NEW REDSKINS”. They tried to buy a winning team, and failed. Their season is over.
• The Redskins are the “OLD REDSKINS”. We thought they were legit this year, but they are still trapped in their losing ways
• Dallas doesn’t play well when they have EXPECTATIONS hanging over their head. They tried their best to lose against Miami Thursday.

NFC SOUTH (New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
• Cam Newton passed his ultimate Rookie test in Week 12: He won when he was expected to win. All season, they have played well against tough competition. And even though his efforts have been at a losing cause many times, we praise his production. I was interested to see how he performed when he was expected to win. He passed the test.
• Tampa Bay can start thinking about draft picks, and how to spend all that extra salary cap money they keep holding on too. This season is a wrap

NFC WEST (San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams)
• The 49ers lost at the perfect time. Losing on Thanksgiving, to your brother, in front of the entire football nation, will only make this team more focused going down the stretch.

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