At the Water Cooler : Week 12

football, games, week 12

Week 12: In which quarterbacks play special teams and one division sees zero wins and tight ends get off the turf untouched to run for pay dirt while defensive backs stand by and watch and a team comes back from a 24-point shut out at halftime to win.

Or, just another wild week in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Saints won, 17-13)

The Saints continue to roll; the Falcons continue to slide.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (Steelers won, 27-11)

It’s a quarterback! It’s a bumblebee! It’s Ben Roethlisburger punting just for the heck of it! And it was a good one, too, pinning the Browns to their own 1-yard line. Who knew?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (Buccaneers won, 24-21)

Thank you, Bucs, for going on a timely 3-game win streak to take down the Lions and keep the NFC North standings as-is.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Stupid Tie, 26-26 OT)

I could (and likely will) write an entire post on why the NFL needs to do away with ties. Technically it’s a better outcome than a loss…but it’s so wholly unsatisfying. I had never personally experienced a tie as a fan before – the last one for the Packers was in ’87 – but now I feel like I understand firsthand why everyone hates ties so much. The game ends, the score is tied, and you feel…like you just ate a bucket of celery and cucumbers for lunch. It’s kind of healthy, and you’re kind of full, but you’re mostly annoyed that you just ate a bucket of celery and cucumbers for lunch. And you’re still hungry.

I don’t know when or why that would happen, but that’s what I felt like yesterday when the Packers game ended. Celery and cucumbers.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (Chargers won, 41-38)

Phillip Rivers had a banner day: throwing for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the game-winner in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter. The Chargers are now back amongst the legion of 5-6 teams in the AFC fighting for a wildcard spot.

Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (Rams won, 42-21)

The elder bested the younger in this sibling rivalry game between the Long brothers. It was a bit of a beat down.

Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins (Panthers won, 20-16)

Beware, NFC: the Panthers are a force to be reckoned with, and they are only continuing to gain momentum.

NY Jets at Baltimore Ravens (Ravens won, 19-3)

I think we can safely say the Ravens defense is back.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (Jaguars, 13-6)

This is just unfathomable. What a season in Houston.

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (Cardinals won, 40-11)

Since beating the Broncos in Peyton’s return to Indy in Week 7, the Colts have won two games by 3-points each and have lost two games by a collective 59-points. 59-points! On the flip side, the Cardinals have quietly snuck into prime wildcard contention in the NFC West.

Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders (Titans won, 23-19)

The Titans made their way to the top of that 5-6 pile in the AFC with Sunday’s win over the Raiders.

Dallas Cowboys at NY Giants (Cowboys won, 24-21)

This was my favorite play of the day.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (Patriots won, 34-31 OT)

The 14th Brady vs. Manning game wrapped up early this morning, around 12:30am. And it was worth every minute. In a nutshell: the Patriots fumbled on their first 3 drives of the first half, scored on their first 3 drives of the second half, and kicked an easy field goal to end it after a terrible mistake by the Broncos special teams in overtime. In case you missed it: this game was 24-0, Broncos at halftime. What a classic.

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (MNF on ESPN)

Surprisingly, the Niners would fall to 6-5 and 3rd in the NFC West with a loss tonight. They could use this win. But so could the Redskins, if for nothing more than a morale boost.

Bye Week: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks

What To Know : After Week 12

I found myself saying “OH!” a lot over the weekend. There were a lot of Rossian “OH, wow!” moments and a lot of just plain “OH, dear…” moments, too. Here are a few of the more memorable O-themed moments from Week 12:


As in lack thereof for the Packers. I’m not so enthusiastic about talking about Sunday night’s game (and jokingly refused to serve a Giants fan who came in to Starbucks yesterday…except for that I wasn’t entirely kidding…), but the facts are the facts: Aaron Rodgers was sacked 5 times, but it felt more like 500 times. Even when he wasn’t on the ground, he was rushing to get rid of the ball ASAP. The Packers need Offensive Line help like yesterday…if we’re talking about yesterday a few years ago.

Outstanding Rookies:

RG3 made so many jaw-dropping, spot-on, inconceivable throws on Thursday I don’t even know where to start. He’s not even playing well for a rookie…he’s playing well for anyone. Wow. Just wow.


Eight turnovers against the Browns, Pittsburgh? Even with Ben out, that’s just bad football. Head coach Mike Tomlin said it best: It doesn’t matter who your quarterback is; if you turn the ball over eight times, you’re going to lose the game. True story, Mike. True story.


The Jets season. You know things are bad when the opposing team scores three touchdowns in the span of 52 seconds (including the now infamous butt fumble), but things are just plain ugly when superfans start quitting on you.


Ndamukong Suh took matters into his own hands…or feet…when he kicked Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin while getting up from a tackle. This brought back memories of last year’s Thanksgiving day game against the Packers and the “stomp” play. Both of which, according to Suh, were accidental. We’ll let the tape speak for itself.

Anyone else? Memorable moments from this weekend’s slate of games? Shout ’em out!

What To Know : Week 12

Week 12 is upon us! Here’s what you need to know:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Packers at Giants, Sunday night. The Giants have crushed the Packers playoff dreams twice in recent years. (Not cool, NYG.) This game is a rematch of last year’s playoff game, in which the Giants routed the 15-1 Packers en route to their second Super Bowl win against the Patriots, which was terrible deja vu for me. 2008: Giants beat Packers in the playoffs, go on to beat Patriots in the Super Bowl. 2012: Giants beat Packers in the playoffs, go on to beat Patriots in the Super Bowl. Let’s hope we can start a new trend this year.

PLAYER TO WATCH: GREG JENNINGS! Could it possibly be true?! He’s listed as a long shot for the Packers game against the Giants this week…but maybe we’ll finally see 85 back on the field again! We’ve missed you, Greg!

STORYLINE TO KNOW: The no-one-saw-it-coming quarterback controversy between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. After the backup’s phenomenal performance on Monday night against the Bears, head coach Jim Harbaugh said he’d “go with the quarterback with the hot hand,” even though starting QB Alex Smith has led the team to a 7-2-1 record. Smith has been maligned for most of his career after getting off to a lackluster start for a first-pick of the draft but has really found his stride with Harbaugh. You can’t help but think that this might be a confidence shaker for Smith, but we’ll see how things go on Sunday against the also hot-handed Drew Brees and the Saints.

*Breaking News, For Real: As soon as I finished typing this (Wednesday night), the 49ers announced that they are starting Colin Kaepernick at quarterback this week. I have opinions, and they are many, but I’ll refrain from adding them here because they are currently unkind. But wow. WOW.


Here are a few from our Thanksgiving table!

PW’s Maple Cranberry Sauce

Harvest Stuffing

Sweet Potato Crumble

Apple Cranberry Crumble