NFL notes: Week 13

My feathers were once again ruffled when, after Denver tied it up at 32 with about two minutes left in the game, cable television dropped the ball. The stage was set for some late game heroics, but rather than showing Christian Ponder throw a game-clinching interception in one of the best games I’ve seen all season, Fox decided to switch to the Packers’ pre-game commentary. From there, I was forced to endure the ugly mug of Joe Buck as he and old faithful Troy Aikman explained exactly how the forward pass is executed.

 

Once again the Broncos won and Tim Tebow made some amazing plays that no other quarterback in the league could make. He also faltered on some plays that every other quarterback in the league consistently makes. Credit again to the Denver defense, who returned an interception for a touchdown early in the game and stopped the potential game-winning drive with their third turnover of the day. Denver’s offense amassed just 336 total yards to Minnesota’s 489, 13 first downs to 27 for the Vikings, and only converted 27 percent of their third downs. Once again, not an impressive offensive display. Despite giving up 32 points, their defense once again made big plays and was a big reason why Denver was in that game.

 

Two receivers with breakout games were Denver’s Demaryius Thomas and Minnesota’s Percy Harvin. Harvin is only adding to an already impressive career, but with Adrian Peterson injured, he proved he can be the centerpiece of an NFL offense when healthy. Twice he used his legs after the catch and brought it all the way to the house, making defenders look silly in the process. Demaryius Thomas, a former first-round pick of Georgia Tech, tallied 142 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He showed the ability to run effectively after the catch and how he can make plays on the ball when it is in the air. In his final collegiate season, he posted 46 catches for 1,154 yards — an average of 25 yards a catch. Needless to say, he’s a big play threat.

 

I picked the Giants to win against the Packers, but I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay on a game winning drive to close out the contest. The Giants are 6-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs, but have the tools to hang with any team. Jason Pierre-Paul and company rush the passer better than any other team in the NFL and are the major reason the Giants are so dangerous. Eli Manning is also playing the best football of his career with the help of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. For a while it looked like the Packers were going to give the game away as their receivers, namely Jermichael Finley, were dropping balls as if Desean Jackson gave them pointers this week. The solution came when Aaron Rodgers utilized the ageless wonder, often referred to as Donald Driver, who caught two touchdown passes.

 

I’d like to file a grievance against whomever calls the plays for Detroit: throw Calvin Johnson the damn ball. 3rd and 18 and you have the most athletically gifted receiver in the league – you need to give him a chance to make a play rather than checking down to your running back as the defense concedes a 10 yard gain. There were way too many instances where he wasn’t even in Stafford’s progression. Even more frustrating was how much effort they were putting into getting Nate Burleson the ball. This is the same Nate Burleson who had three offensive pass interference penalties. Speaking of penalties, the Lions need to grow up if they ever expect to win anything. While this isn’t true of every player on the team, the Lions as a whole look like a collection of guys who think they should just show up and win. When they falter, they moan to the refs and commit 15 yard penalties. #GrowUp #WastedPotential