NFL Week 12 Short Takes
It took three reschedules to get the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers on the field, but these two AFC rivals finally got the job done last Wednesday afternoon at Heinz Field. In a game that was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving night, because of Baltimore’s problems with COVID-19 the game was moved to a Sunday night matchup a few days later.
After more positive tests with the Ravens, the game was moved again to last Tuesday night but in what they say was a move to create a safer environment, the NFL moved the game again to Wednesday when it was finally played. It’s been that kind of season in the National Football League this year and with that Steelers victory week, 12 is in the books for the NFL, and therefore, my short takes on all the action follows.
Pittsburgh 19 / Baltimore 14: Despite winning and staying undefeated now at 11-0, Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin was upset with how his team played calling it “JV.” Many other head coaches would love to be 11-0 right now but you have to love Tomlin’s desire to have his squad play to their fullest abilities. Baltimore was without Lamar Jackson due to the virus but Pittsburgh also had missing starters. The final score did not reflect how more dominant the Steelers were and the score would have been different if not for some errant throws by Ben Roethlisberger and subsequent drops by his receivers. This victory by Pittsburgh should all but end any chance the Ravens have to repeat as division champions and now the Steelers will try to match the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only team in the history of the league to finish a season undefeated and as league champs. Pittsburgh’s biggest roadblocks? The Colts at home and the Buffalo Bills on the road.
Houston 41 / Detroit 25: The Texans throttled the Lions who had previously fired their head coach. Just like the old days, Detroit seems to be returning to being a perennial loser. The Texans' offensive fireworks were something their coaches and fans have been waiting for all year.
Washington 41 / Dallas 16: This Thanksgiving Day game turned into a real turkey for Cowboys fans. The game was close through the first three quarters then like a bolt of lightning, The Washington Football Team exploded for 21 final quarter points to win going away. With the win, Washington shares first place in the NFC East with a 4-7 record. Say what? For the first time in history, a division winner may very well head to the post-season with a losing record.
New England 20 / Arizona 17: Kyler Murray is falling back to earth a bit and never doubt the New England Patriots even when they are experiencing a sub-par season.
Minnesota 28 / Carolina 27: The Vikings are hanging in there for a wild card spot while Carolina sees their season slipping away.
Cleveland 27 / Jacksonville 25: Facing a team that had lost nine in a row, the Browns allowed Jacksonville to hang around and nearly win. That's not the type of victory a championship team plays in. But it would be a successful season for the Browns if they just make the playoffs something they have not done in 18 years.
Buffalo 27 / Los Angeles Chargers 17: The Chargers have a bright future with Justin Herbert at quarterback. For now, they have won only three games while the BIlls appear headed for that elusive AFC East Division title.
Atlanta 43 / Las Vegas 6: Just when you thought Jon Gruden had his Raiders heading for a wild card spot and playing like a playoff team, Las Vegas loses at home...miserably. Now at 6-5, the Raiders will be fighting for their playoff lives. They have Miami and the Colts ahead of them.
Miami 20 / New York Jets 3: This was supposed to be a game in which the Jets might finally get a win. Not even close. “Fitzmagic” is back behind center for the Dolphins who still have a shot at finishing ahead of Buffalo and in first place in their division.
New York Giants 19 / Cincinnati 17: When can you recall a division leader having a record of 4-7 after the first 11 games? Well, that’s the case in the NFC East and the Giants and Washington share that mark. The Bengals remain with just two wins this season but hey that’s better than the Jets’ big zero and Jacksonville’s one victory to open the season and the Jags have not won since.
Tennessee 45 / Indianapolis 26: A statement game for sure for the Titans who grasp the division lead in the AFC South now one game ahead of Indianapolis.
New Orleans 31 / Denver 3: Because of COVID-19 suspensions, the Broncos were short on quarterbacks and asked permission of the NFL to allow a positions coach to take the snaps but the league gave them a big NO. Even if Drew Lock was available they were not going to win this game.
San Francisco 23 / Los Angeles Rams 20: A “saved the season” victory for the 49ers. They still have a shot at a wild card whereas the Rams lost their chance to stay tied in the NFC West.
Kansas City 27 / Tampa Bay 24: Tom Brady the Bucs made the score close but I think on a competitive level the Chiefs were much better. Brady boy is not the same player of past seasons.
Green Bay 41 / Chicago 25: The Bears are one team that has not had a franchise-type quarterback in like forever. That is what most fans and experts are talking about lately. You probably have to go back to Sid Luckman to find a great Bears quarterback. When his days in Chicago are done, not many will remember the name Mitch Trubisky. The Packers just keep on being the Packers.
Seattle 23 / Philadelphia 17: Talk about a team in trouble. The Eagles are a mess and have a real quarterback controversy in place. It’s hard to believe they are 3-7 and they still have to play in Green Bay, home for the Saints, away to the Cardinals and then another go-round with The Washington Football Team. They could easily finish 4-11-1. OUCH.