Minnesota Vikings 34, Chicago Bears 14
I never stick around to see who NBC puts on the horse trailer afterwards, but I can tell you who deserved to be on it Sunday night: Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen. This is what the Vikings are built on – dominance up front.
Adrian Peterson’s output was better on paper than on turf Sunday night. Peterson ran hard for four quarters, but give the Bears defense a lot of credit for slowing him. If you take away his 59-yard run (which was simply a great individual play), Peterson had just 72 yards on 27 carries.
I agree with Madden and Michaels when they say that Matt Forte appears to be the real deal. Not only is the guy versatile and smart, he’s also a very mature player. Forte has tremendous vision and patience as a runner, and he’s fundamentally sound in the pass game.
If Benny Sapp could ever keep his emotions in check, he’d be a solid player. But hotheadedness helped get him kicked out of Kansas City, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it one day leads to his exit from Minnesota.
For about the fourth week in a row, I can’t help but ask, What’s the deal with Devin Hester? He’s simply been mediocre in the return game this year. His catch-and-run for six points early in this contest was impressive, but that’s literally the only big play he’s had all season.
How about Jared Allen’s mullet?
I have no idea why NBC – and every network, for that matter – chooses to show shots of Brad Childress so often. The man is as exciting as dentist office’s waiting room, and his expression never changes.
Denver Broncos 34, New York Jets 17
This is why I never listen to anyone who talks about picking games. A week ago, New York goes on the road and beats an undefeated Titans team. The Broncos stay at home and get their butts handed to them by the embarrassing Raiders. Seven days later, Denver pounces New York to the point that the Meadowlands was virtually empty by 7:00 pm ET.
Injuries have hurt the Broncos defense, though Denver has managed to tread water, thanks in part to the solid play of undrafted rookie linebacker Wesley Woodyard (team-high 10 tackles in this game) and former practice squad cornerback Josh Bell. Neither guy has dazzled or even avoided mistakes, but both have held their own.
Darrelle Revis deserves Pro Bowl consideration. He did a very nice job on Brandon Marshall.
Those of you pining to crown Peyton Hillis the next Mike Alstott can go ahead and rejoice….for now. Hillis abused a very good New York front seven for 129 yards on 22 carries. And it was yardage that came in steady chunks.
Jay Cutler needs to scale back the arrogance a notch or two. I’m fine with him strutting around like he’s walking on water, but for him to say he has a stronger arm than John Elway, then say that Brett Favre maybe could have competed with his arm strength when Favre was in his twenties, is going too far. Even if what Cutler’s saying is true, these are names of Super Bowl winners that he’s is dishing out. Cool it.
The Broncos faked injuries in this game. Every time the Jets ran a hurry up, a Denver defender conveniently got hurt. The NFL needs to look at this and figure out a way to curtail it.
Pittsburgh Steelers 33, New England Patriots 10
You don’t see the Patriots beat themselves too often, but that’s exactly what happened Sunday. Matt Cassel made several poor reads. Randy Moss had two horrendous drops. Other receivers added their own mistakes. Matt Light absolutely could not block James Harrison. Matthew Slater screwed up a kick return. The Pats secondary gave Steeler receivers enough space to pitch a tent before making the catch. It was just a bad day for New England.
And keep in mind, New England’s lone touchdown was set up by Mike Vrabel’s interception down near the Patriot goal-line. In other words, Pittsburgh’s defense – which has yet to surrender 300 yards in any game this season – really stifled Josh McDaniels’s men.
Of the debacles listed above, the Matt Cassel tidbit is most alarming. Just as Cassel is coming around, he runs into the league’s best defense and crumbles. The question now is, Does he still have time to learn from these mistakes, or was this a case of the young quarterback getting exposed?
Troy Polamalu has been the best defensive back in football this year. And James Harrison has been the best linebacker in football.
Another Steeler who deserves props, not in an All-Pro sense but in an ‘atta boy sense, is right guard Darnell Stapleton. The second-year pro from Rutgers has held up admirably since taking over for an injured Kendall Simmons early in the season.
The Willie Parker injury could prove to be a real blessing in disguise. When Parker went down, the Steelers discovered Mewelde Moore. Now, the veteran pair appears to be a stellar one-two punch. In this game, Parker had 16 carries for 87 yards, while Moore rushed 12 times for 67 yards.
Visit www.NFLTouchdown.com for Snide Remarks from all of Sunday’s Week 13 action.