NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers For Week 12

Things are getting a little cozy in the NFL Playoff Chase.

In the NFC Playoff race, a total of seven teams are separated by two games. With several head-to-head matchups still on the table there may not be any clear-cut division winner until the final day of the regular season. In the even tighter AFC, three games separate nine teams and three of the four divisions have co-leaders.

We’ll also discuss Peyton Manning, Leslie Frazier and Andre “Don’t call me Jack” Johnson.

Cortland Finnegan

How will the NFL handle the Cortland Finnegan/Andre Johnson altercation? After watching Finnegan’s reaction after the refs pulled Johnson off of him it was apparent that this was part of the plan to at least take Johnson’s head out of the game but to actually have him sent to the showers early was gravy. Cortland played the role of an NHL instigator only to shell up once the live artillery started flying. The whole plot seemed to backfire as the Tennessee Titans were shut out by the Houston Texans 20-0. I’m not sure what if an in-game ejection warrants a suspension but fines will definitely be handed out down from The Big Office.

The month of November, 2010 is one that Peyton Manning will file away in the “one to forget column” Has the NFL’s answer to Optimus Prime approaching a decline? The Indianapolis Colts have lost three of their last four and those losses can all be placed at the feet of Manning who has thrown an uncharacteristic seven touchdowns in the last four games, even more eye-popping are the seven picks that Manning has thrown. The Colts have srtuggled with injuries, lack of a legitimate running game and a struggling defense which has Manning pressing. All of these intangibles place Manning and the Colts on the defensive and not in their conventional mode of attack.

Leslie Frazier earned his first win as interim head coach of the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, what will it take for him to lose the interim tag? Barring a collapse of epic proportions by all of the division leaders and some second place teams it’s safe to say that the Vikings have been placed into the role of “spoiler” with the Bears, Giants (consecutive weeks both home games) and Eagles in their crosshairs, with the Bills and Lions in the mix. If the Vikings can beat the Bears and both the Lions and the Bills that may be enough. A good showing/victory against the Giants and/or Eagles would go a long way. Let’s say three victories out of five and very competetive in two losses.

75 Responses to “NFL Questions And (Maybe Some) Answers For Week 12”

  1. Origin says:

    Miranda the Philly media are a bunch of punks. I am so sick of their childish behavior……….for one they are full of crap because as soon as the Eagles don’t win the superbowl this year they will call Vick out. Stating that you can’t win a Superbowl with QBs like “Vick”.

    The thing is these folks never wanted Mcnabb or Vick to be the QB of their Eagles they have always wanted a golden boy. So it doesn’t matter what Vick does it will never be enough. I truly believe these fools would have rather gone 4-12 with kolb at QB then have Vick or any other black QB leading their team.

    Vick will be the scapegoat just like Mcnabb. I already see it starting on the Eagles message board…….these idiots are blaming Vick for the Bears loss.

  2. Burundi says:

    @Big Man:

    ALL QB’s weren’t that way. Just this generation or so. Folk like Doug Williams, Fran Tarkenton, etc., were tough, stood in the pocket and took serious licks. They weren’t easily rattled like the Mannings and, especially, that overrated glorified system QB, Tom Brady. Doug was once knocked sideways (by Lawrence Taylor, if I recall correctly) on one play where his body, parallel to the ground, was four, maybe five feet in the air. He managed to come down with his free hand bracing his fall and forcing his upper torso erect without his knees touching the ground and he promptly threw a touchdown strike with LT clutching his head with both hands just like that Scream painting. Bradshaw took some serious licks without looking like these present-day QBs and most brothas like Ranadall were smart enough to take off without suffering too much abuse.

  3. HarveyDent says:

    Interesting comments since I’ve been away from the board especially about MV7 and the Eagles. I knew the Eagles were drawing ratings this year but I didn’t know they were through the roof and the simple fact is that Michael Vick is the straw stirring the drink this season in the NFL because half the fans want to see him succeed while the other want both legs and his throwing arm broken for what he “did” to some dogs. I called out some Giants fans in a sports bar this weekend who stayed for the Eagles game after the Giants-Jags and told them they may be there to bust Eagles’ fans chops about the team but they wanted to see what Vick would do next just like everyone else. Vick is becoming just like that Jordan commercial from about ten years ago when people would stop what they were doing just to see what MJ23 would do next and just like His Airness when he developed that spinaround fadeaway jumper, now that Vick has comparable talent around him and is patiently going through his progressions paired with his running ability this has put the NFL on notice that while the athletic QB tide was stemmed for a few seasons that the tsunami is about to hit because there are going to QB’s of all races in the next ten to twenty years that will have to have this complete package to thrive in pro football.

    *Philly media along with Peter King will be the reason why McNabb may never make the HOF because none of those bums from the major papers are going to go to bat for him.

    *Randy Shannon got jobbed because he deserved one more season to turn The U around. Just goes to show you can always tote the rock by running fast but you ain’t never going to get a fair shot to lead the program if you don’t hit the ground running. Never mind that Larry Croker left the cupboard bare when he left.

    *I’m still warm and giddy because Boise State blew is Friday night against Nevada and will probably play in some meaningless bowl game. The Ghost of LeGarrette Blount stole ‘em across the jaw again.

    *Give Cam the Heisman yesterday.

    *David Carr may be a pretty boy but my lady friend last night was grabbing my remote control so she could pause to look at Troy Smith. Women…smh

  4. HarveyDent says:

    Oh yeah, ya’ll heard about Andy Reid ripping DJax a new one after the loss Sunday in front of the whole team? Hurt the guy so bad he cried in front of his locker for twenty minutes according to some reports. This is something I’ve never heard Reid do before because he usually gives it to ‘em in private if they’re mucking up so maybe the Big Dog aka Evil Genius is switching it up this season trying to go all out to win SB.

    I wonder if Desean finally appreciates the lessons McNabb was trying to impart him to the previous two seasons now about preparing for each game like a professional?

  5. HarveyDent says:

    Here’s something from SI writer Don Banks about McNabb:

    5. Brett Favre isn’t the only big-name quarterback who’s in the last five games of his tenure as his team’s starter. Washington’s Mike Shanahan is going to come to the conclusion that Donovan McNabb is not the answer.

    McNabb’s first season as a Redskin has been underwhelming by almost any measurement. His 11 touchdown passes are his fewest since he threw eight as an Eagles rookie in 1999, when he only started six games. His 13 interceptions are already tied for his career high, when he tossed that many in 16 starts for Philadelphia in 2000. His 76.0 passer rating is 27th among 33 qualifying quarterbacks in the league, and his lowest since his rookie season. And his 7.3-yard average attempt is down almost a full yard from 2009 (8.0).

    After playing in the same system for 11 years under Andy Reid in Philadelphia, McNabb simply hasn’t clicked in Shanahan’s offense yet. His play has been hesitant at times, inconsistent, and mostly uninspiring. And when Shanahan benched McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman for the final two minutes of that midseason loss at Detroit, it provided a window into how he really feels about the franchise quarterback he traded for last Easter Sunday.

    Recent contract extension or no contract extension, the Redskins have a relatively easy out clause built into McNabb’s new deal, and I think they put it there because of the doubts that exist in the minds of Shanahan and his son, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. If Washington convinces itself that it has any better options than No. 5 next season, and I believe it will, then the McNabb era in D.C. will wind up being a much-celebrated but largely disappointing one- and-done.

    Interesting Banks didn’t mention Washington’s injuries offensively this season and the general lack of talent the team has on that side of the ball. I hope 5 takes the money and runs to AZ because Fitzgerald, Breaston, and Wells would look pretty good catching his passes and raise his stats higher than his supporting cast in DC.

  6. Ron Glover says:

    That tongue-lashing from Reid was long overdue. He’s been going half-assed in alot of areas since last season – when McNabb mentioned youth after that second Cowboys loss, he was referring to the lack of work habits and work ethic by Jackson more than anyone else. I can see where Reid feels like since McNabb is gone Jackson needs to assert himself as a leader. Reid made it known yesterday how he feels about Jackson and just wants him to lead.

    Vick had a conversation with Jackson at his locker on Sunday and it ended with Vick telling Jackson, “C’mon, you’re my boy, I wouldn’t tell you anything wrong.”

  7. Temple3 says:

    @ Burundi:

    That was Carl Banks and Randall Cunningham.

    On your larger point, I think QBs are as tough as the rules require them to be. The QBs in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s were tougher than the guys in the 70′s and 80′s and so on. What is unclear to me is who among this group would STOP playing under the old rules. How many guys have had careers ended by big hits? Steve Young from Aeneas Williams; Kurt Warner from Bobby McCray; Theismann from Taylor. Most QBs don’t retire as the result of a single hit or even the cumulative impact of the game…most get phased out gradually due to cost constraints, rising stars, skrate up white supremacy, or general mediocre play.

    Peyton looked skittish to me on Sunday night. However, I can say that I’ve seen him take some serious shots and still handle his business. As I’ve been saying for some time now, with all things being equal, who would possibly prefer a traditional pocket passer to a dual-threat QB?

    Properly classified, the list of dual-threat QBs includes Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Elway, Tarkenton, Staubach, Culpepper, Stabler, Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, McNabb, Vick and many of the games greatest WINNERS at the position. A dual-threat QB is not a running QB, but he is a QB that can hurt you with his legs. Traditional pocket passers rarely beat these guys in big games. Even a young Brett Favre belongs on this list.

    Dual threat QBs are simply better, to me, at dominating games — especially late. (Dan Marino is the exception that proves the rule.)

  8. Big Man says:

    Temple.
    Too true. More options always makes it tougher to gameplan. That’s Football 101.

  9. Burundi says:

    I did get that mixed up with a shot Doug took, but Doug took a similar hit ending in a TD he threw that I cannot seem to find, but good points…

  10. Temple3 says:

    @ Harvey D:

    QUICK — name the QB tied for 2nd in the NFL (w/ Kyle Orton) with 11 completions of 40 yards or more.

    These writers all SUCK ASS. They see what they choose to see and write what they choose to write.

    That’s why Peyton’s Piss Poor Performance vs. SD will always remain as Exhibit A. Even poster boys look like scrubs without high-quality, grade A weapons at the “skill positions” and on the line.

    The piece says more about Don Banks and his editors at SI than it does about McNabb’s season.

  11. Temple3 says:

    @ HD

    Haven’t read S.I. since the 80′s and Rick Telander decided to link Switzer’s f’d up “renegade act” with “qualities young blacks could identify with.” I’ve been done since then. Didn’t even know they were still in business except for that annual parade of flat-chested, flat-assed skeletoids they use to peddle hard copy.

    Switzer’s bullshit was THE reason why Marcus DuPree left Oklahoma — and Shitzer has lived long enough to call it his greatest failing. S.I. can eat a dick up. STILL.

  12. Big Man says:

    Temple
    You should have seen the hit piece Sally Jenkins did on McNabb calling him the significant problem in Washingon’s struggles.
    This came after the Eagles game, despite the fact the McNabb probably played better that game than he did the team’s first game against the Eagles, and Jenkins lauded that performance as evidence of his greatness despite its up and down nature.
    I had to point out to a potna of mine the double standard beacuse we’ve been arguing for a while that McNabb is bieng able to create magic without the proper tools and then getting killed for failing.

  13. Big Man says:

    Hines Ward made it plain:

    “”The league doesn’t care about us anyway,” said Ward, a 13-year veteran and the leading receiver in Steelers history. “They don’t care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don’t want players to drink … and all you see is beer commercials. You don’t want us to gamble, but then there are (NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games).”

  14. Big Man says:

    Good Lord, I’ve misjudged NFL players. These cats are paying attention and they’re using their brains. God bless them:

    “Ward and several other Steelers argued the NFL wouldn’t hesitate to fine a player who injured the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning or the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, yet did nothing when Roethlisberger appeared to be roughed up by the Buffalo Bills’ Arthur Moats and Marcus Stroud after being sacked Sunday. Replays of the hit appear to show Moats twisting Roethlisberger’s right leg while he is on the ground.

    Neither player drew a penalty or fine. Roethlisberger, who injured his right knee and foot, wore a walking boot Wednesday, although he said he expects to play Sunday in Baltimore.

    Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs took the unusual stance of agreeing with the rival Steelers during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters.

    “The league has their favorites,” Suggs said Wednesday. “One being in Indy (Manning) and one being with that team up north (Brady). Besides those two, everybody is fair game. Like I always said, (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback) Carson Palmer got his knee hurt in 2005, but there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in the knee, and all of a sudden, there is rule and possible suspensions, excessive fines. It’s just getting ridiculous.”

  15. HarveyDent says:

    @T3

    I’m weaning myself off SI site like I did ESPN’s because of all the overt bias from their writers especially when it comes to athletes of color. I haven’t read anything about Peter King since I heard about him praising Shanahan’s reasons for benching McNabb and just hit mute now when he and Florio appear on Sunday night football. Banks is normally even-handed in his writing so it was surprising to read him towing the line by saying 5 is the problem in DC without even listing the other reasons why that team stinks on offense. Oh well, after I check out that Telander article about OU I’ll make the break from there too but you’ll have to give me some links to some other sports sites though.

    @RG

    I give DJax the same pass I gave to VY and Jason Campbell when it comes to the advice McNabb tried to give him and that’s his youth. The kid is good and has the talent to be great but he’s a wideout so he’s prone to play diva at times but I’m sure McNabb took him aside well before he, McNabb, made those comments last year to try to teach him the lay of the land. None are so blind who won’t see or as deaf as won’t hear so since he couldn’t listen to a vet who knew what was waiting down the line for him, he had to experience it for himself just like Campbell and Young.

  16. GrandNubian says:

    @Big Man

    The following is taken from James Harrison’s facebook page (written by him on Wednesday). I’m sure that you’ll enjoy reading this one:

    ——————————————–

    “I’m going to rant one good time and get it over with. So the NFL says they are extremely worried about player safety, right? But the League wants to add two more games and make it an 18 game season even though they are fully aware of the physical toll playing the game takes on every player and they know the physical… condition players are in at the end of the season? Plus….more games = more chances for players to get concussions and other injuries. And starting in March, players will no longer have health insurance provided by the League because of the potential lockout, but they are so concerned about player safety, right?

    So the League is so concerned for player safety. So they fine $25k for an out and out boxing match on the field in the middle of a game, but they fine me a total of $125k for doing my job. With that being said, I am doing my job the same exact way I did my job in 2008 when the League honored me with the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

    And another thing… the League fined Denver’s coach $50k and the team $50k for outright cheating by filming another team’s practice. That makes me think that maybe the League doesn’t consider cheating, which compromises the integrity of the entire game, quite as important as what THEY recently decided to consider illegal hits (when most players, coaches, fans and anybody with an ounce of football common sense can see they are clean, legal hits).
    While we are talking about cheating, what ever happened with the New England Patriot’s cheating scandal a few years back? They were caught cheating for what turned out to be years and ended up with total fines of $500,000 for the coach and $250,000 for the team. But that whole thing was swept under the rug, you barely hear a thing about it now, but I’m being burned at the proverbial stake and fined a total of $125,000 in two months for doing my job well.

    Speaking of fines…..where does all this fine money go? Exactly where does it end up? Everyone knows it goes to a charitable organization. But which charitable organization? Who are the board members, directors and interested parties in the organizations that benefit from what amounts to MILLIONS of dollars a year? I wonder if any of them are NFL executives.

    The fined players can’t pick where the money goes, but I think it’s reasonable to expect to at least see where it ends up…what do you think? I wonder if the League takes off an administrative fee from the total before the donation is given….just a thought. If anyone has any details or a report, please email it to me or something.

    There is one good thing that has resulted from this whole situation. I started The James Harrison Family Foundation so I can help kids that need it. At least I’ll know where that money’s going.

    But hey…what do I know? I may have given, strike that, I mean taken one too many hits to the head…”

    —————————————————–

    He nailed it in this write up.

  17. GrandNubian says:

    LOL……Check this out:

    http://www.bangcartoon.com/2009/skirt.htm

    This is straight up hilarious!!!!!!

  18. Big Man says:

    Thanks for sharing that write up from Harrison. Either Pittsburgh has an unusual amount of self aware, intelligent players, or my image of NFL players have been off base for quite some time.

  19. Temple3 says:

    GN:

    Thanks for that.

    @ Harvey D:

    Telander wrote that article in the mid-80′s or 90′s (maybe even when Switzer coached Cowboys). As good as Oklahoma was during that time period, it will be tough for you to find. If it was written during Switzer’s tenure in Dallas, it’ll be easier to find. Still, I believe it was written during his OU days.

    As for other web sites, I don’t read COMMENTATORS with opinions about what happened in a game. I can watch any game any time I want — so I don’t need that. They say what they’re told to say. I do read/watch ANALYSTS who can BREAK DOWN film, do statistical analysis, identify trends and attempt to project future performance.

    That’s what I do because that’s how I write on my blog and it’s what I try to bring to TSF.

    For my money, Sterling Sharpe is now worth his weight in GOLD. His Playbook show (particularly when Mike Mayock is on) is the B-E-S-T football show on television — HANDS DOWN. No one else is even remotely in the conversation.

    On the internet, I think KC Joyner (aka the Football Scientist) does a great job, as do the Football Outsiders. (BOTH ARE CONTRACTED TO WORK WITH ESPN.) With that said, not much of what they find ever makes its way on to the tell-a-lie-vision. You have to go to the source.

    With all of this Fellatio directed at Andy Reid and the Eagles offense, it should be noted that last year’s team had 3 bad games (2 vs. Dallas, and 1 vs. Oakland). In the other 13 games, the team averaged 31 points per game (mostly with McNabb). The media would actually have you believe that a QB who led a team to that level of scoring JUST ONE YEAR AGO actually sucked THEN and NOW.

    Peyton Manning hasn’t had a rating over 70 in a month. HE SUCKS. With Wayne, with Garcon, with Tamme (who can run and catch his a$$$ off), and Mike Hart…Manning SUCKS. Only NFL.com is even getting close to looking deep on these questions.

    Commentators are the bread and butter of ESPN and SI. ESPN was grafted off of SI — but with TV cameras. They have precious few analysts on their regular VISIBLE staff — if any. They don’t have people who even discuss the legal or business side of sports unless it’s time to string up a Negro. Otherwise, they’re all highlights and bullshit. Who has the time?

    If you want to understand what’s going on inside the game, don’t LISTEN to people who don’t understand or who will not reveal what’s actually going on.

    And, finally, pro-football-reference.com is great because everything is right there for you to choose from — and that site gets better every day.

  20. GrandNubian says:

    “For my money, Sterling Sharpe is now worth his weight in GOLD. His Playbook show (particularly when Mike Mayock is on) is the B-E-S-T football show on television — HANDS DOWN. No one else is even remotely in the conversation.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Sharpe, Mayock & Wilcox is the 1st team. Those guys know their stuff.

    I watch this show every time it airs (Tue-Friday). I even watch the re-airs over the weekend. :-)

  21. Temple3 says:

    Did you see Solomon’s breakdown of the Texans secondary? Great stuff. You won’t see that anywhere else.

  22. GrandNubian says:

    @T3….

    Yeah, he was ‘masterful’ with his breakdown.

    I also liked Mayock’s breakdown on how the Eagles offensive line didn’t get the job done against the Bears.

  23. HarveyDent says:

    @T3

    Thanks for the giving me some other websites to check out and I’m going to look for that Telander article because SI has pretty much all the old articles archived there and I’m interested in how Switzer was supposedly running a Black Boys Town in Norman, OK.

    I read the commentators because that’s what I started reading first when I wanted to get past the numbers but the past few years especially with the small beach head Black QB’s have been able to maintain in the NFL I’ve been interested in how these writers try to contort themselves into a up is down stance when they try to downgrade the overall ability of players they don’t like while elevating those of the ones they approve who play the game the “right” way. It’s gotten to the point that I’m able to write the stuff these guys put out there when the game is over. Peyton Manning is putting up a valiant effort despite the injuries the Colts have and if his team doesn’t make it to the playoffs it’s not because of his failings. Donovan McNabb’s skills are deteriorating because as an eleven year pro he can’t turn chicken crap into chicken salad as effortlessly as he used to on a Washington team that started a 38 year-old WR most of the season. Phillip Rivers is a no-nonsense leader who can’t lead his teams to victories in the first half of the season but is one of the best QB’s in the league. Vince Young is a soft prima donna who has no reason to be upset while his head coach jerks him in and out of the starting lineup despite the fact he has a winning career record and was stat wise having his best season.

    Like most of us on here I believe my lying eyes and have my whole life so when I read these lies I call them for what they are, crap, and while my blood pressure might be helped by getting away from all that trash someone needs to call these charlatans out for the stuff they right. These guys have the platform to spew their bile but we should always be right there waiting to bust them in the chops if they cross that line.

    ==========================

    Wish I had the NFL Network on my service but until the NFL and Cablevision can come to an agreement all I’ll be able to get are a few streams and video clips

  24. Hines Ward made it plain: “”The league doesn’t care about us anyway,” said Ward, a 13-year veteran and the leading receiver in Steelers history. “They don’t care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don’t want players to drink … and all you see is beer commercials. You don’t want us to gamble, but then there are (NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games).”

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