Review and Preview : Week 13

football, news, week 13


Receive: to receive the kickoff at the beginning of the game and start on offense. (From Tuesday’s post.)

Defer: to receive the kickoff at the beginning of the second half of the game and start of defense. (From Tuesday’s post.)

Receiving team: the team that receives the kickoff. (From Tuesday’s post.)

Kicking team: the team that kicks the kickoff. (From Tuesday’s post.)

Coach’s challenge: when a coach throws a red flag to challenge the ruling on the field. A coach gets two challenges per game, three if he wins the first two, but loses a timeout if he loses the challenge. (From Wednesday’s post.)

Booth review: when the replay assistant in the booth signals down for the head official to take another look at a play to confirm or reverse the ruling on the field. (From Wednesday’s post.)

Going under the hood: when the head official goes under the hood of the camera to take another look at a play to confirm or reverse the ruling on the field. (From Wednesday’s post.)

Blitz: when multiple defensive players rush the quarterback in an attempt to sack him. (From Wednesday’s post.)

Sack: when a quarterback is tackled while still holding the ball prior to throwing a pass.  (From Wednesday’s post.)

Illegal Forward Pass: a forward pass that is thrown a) in front of the line of scrimmage, b) after a change of possession, or c) as the second forward pass on one play. (From Thursday’s post.)


Normal Girl Game of the Week

Panthers at Saints, SNF on NBC

There are about a hundred different ways I would overstate this matchup, but in the end, it’s comes down to this: first place in the NFC South is up for grabs, as is an all-important divisional win. The 9-3 Saints did not have an easy week. After coming off of a huge loss in Seattle they got home even later than normal for a Monday nighter due to cross country travel delays. The 9-3 Panthers, on the other hand, are coming off a win, and are looking to do what no one thought they would be able to do at the start of the season: take control of the NFC South. It should be a fantastic way to end the weekend.

Also on the Radar:

1. The last AFC wildcard spot is still very much up for grabs. Two teams are 6-6 (Dolphins and Ravens) and each division has a 5-7 team (Jets, Steelers, Titans, Chargers). A quick reaction might hand that spot to the defending Super Bowl champs, but that might be hasty. Their last “easy” game is this week against the Vikings. After that, they face the Lions, Patriots, and Bengals. Yikes.

2. The NFC East is still a mystery as well. It doesn’t look quite as bad as it once did, but all three teams at the top (Eagles, Cowboys, and, somehow, Giants) have a shot to win the division. They don’t play each other this week, but they do each face a formidable foe: the Eagles play the Lions, the Cowboys play the Bears, and the Giants play the Chargers. The Cowboys might have the best chance to win and take the division lead away from the Eagles should they lose against the Lions, and if the Giants lose against the Chargers in San Diego they are almost definitely out of playoff contention.

3. It pains me to say this…but the NFC North might be worse than the NFC East at this point. Don’t let the 40 points Detroit put up on a bedraggled Green Bay team fool you: no team in this division has their act together. With the Lions and Bears both facing decent competition from the NFC East, one would think this weekend might open the door for a Packers team playing a woeful Falcons group. However, that one may not have witnessed The Massacre on Turkey Day…by the Lions. Even if Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler both returned to add a spark to their prospective teams, it still feels like it would be too little too late. This division will be ugly undecided until the end.

At the Water Cooler : Week 13

football, games, week 13

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends with family and friends!

Now, let’s be honest. All of yesterday’s games had a tough act to follow after the wonder that was college football on Saturday. Oh my word…it was all so good. But there was still plenty of decent action in the NFL this week, capped off with tonight’s incredible NFC matchup. Let’s dive into Week 13!

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Lions won, 40-10)

Let’s just say I found a few other things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys won, 31-24)

Matt McGloin’s first half was stronger than his second half, but he held his own against the Cowboys and is giving Raider nation something to be hopeful about in the future.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Ravens won, 22-20)

The ramifications of Mike Tomlin’s extracurricular participation in Jacoby Jones’ return are still forthcoming. Rumor has it – emphasis on rumor, the league hasn’t confirmed anything – that a six-figure fine and a potential loss of a draft pick could be on the way.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (Panthers won, 27-6)

No shame in this loss, Bucs. The Panthers are the real deal.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (Jags won, 32-28)

Look who’s on a win streak! The Jaguars won their third game in a row against the Browns on Sunday. Fascinating fact of the day: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is the first player to ever have back-to-back 200-yard games – and both of those banner days came in losses.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (Colts won, 22-14)

The Colts put themselves back in a good position to win the division and secure their playoff spot, but still didn’t look quite the same on offense. It was a lot of field goals and one excellent touchdown late for the win.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (Vikings won, 23-20 OT)

It’s official: no one wants to win the NFC North.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles won, 24-21)

Nick Foles stayed perfect – 3 touchdowns, no interceptions – in this battle of the birds.

New England Patriots at Houston Texans (Patriots won, 34-31)

The Texans looked less awful than they have in past weeks – they were even up 17-7 at the half! But Brady will be Brady. He will score 27 points in the second half and send you on your way not knowing what hit you.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (Dolphins won, 23-3)

I’ve never felt so locally-televised-football challenged as I do this year living in upstate New York. We get every Giants and Jets game…and as this score indicates, it has been an underwhelming viewing season to say the least. True story: this one got so bad by halftime that we turned it off in favor of Christmas movies. That was the depth of our desperation.

(Although I am prone to watch as many cheesy Hallmark movies as possible between now and January. I can’t help it. I love them.)

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (Broncos won, 35-28)

The Broncos officially swept their series with the Chiefs. That happens when Peyton throws 5 touchdowns – 4 of which went to Eric Decker.

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (Falcons won, 34-31 OT)

Oh, Buffalo. Just another heartbreaking loss to add to the pile. And for the Falcons, their first win since October. And it came in Toronto. Of course!

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (49ers won, 23-13)

The Niners are back in the swing of things. Or, as Jim Harbaugh said in his postgame presser, “We’re in the position we’re in.” Cool.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (Bengals won, 17-10)

The Bengals have all but solidified their hold on the AFC North, and the Chargers have all but played themselves out of contention. Almost. There’s still some wiggle room for wildcard teams in both divisions.

NY Giants at Washington Redskins (Giants won, 24-17)

The Giants are showing signs of life again. They came back from an early 14-point deficit to win, shutting the Redskins out in the 4th quarter while scoring 10-point of their own.

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (MNF on ESPN)

THIS GAME. What a fitting wrap up to such a great long weekend of football! The Saints, hot as ever, will try to best the Seahawks at home, something no team has done since 2011. As if that weren’t enough, the Seahawks also haven’t lost on Monday Night Football since 2005. Keep a close eye on this one; it could very well be an NFC Championship preview.

What To Know : After Week 13

Let me tell you about one of the crueler decisions ever made by television executives.

On Sunday, while most of the country was watching Adrian Peterson have one of the best game of his life and the Packers, my Packers!, shut the Vikes out in the second half to get the win, Eastern New York was subjected to the Jets/Cardinals game, easily the most mind-boggling display of offensive football I’ve ever witnessed. And it wasn’t just me. Both announcers did all they could to keep from laughing out loud. And then…Thom Brennaman couldn’t hold it in any longer. And he quotes: “I got to tell you, this has been as ugly and inept an offensive football game as I’ve ever seen.”

Amen, Thom. Amen.

I mean…it took SIX DRIVES for either team to complete a pass in the second half. It really should have been called a mutual loss at half time and switched to the Packers game. And honestly, I take no pleasure in saying all of this; I know that these are hard working men who don’t deserve to be collectively flogged by fans and general spectators worldwide for a bad game. I know I wouldn’t want my faults aired on live television for all the world to see. But this was a really, really bad game. A really bad game. Arizona finished 0-15 on third downs. I’m not even sure how that’s possible.

So let’s just move on. In other news:

  • Sanchez did get benched in the third quarter for 3rd stringer Greg McElroy (Tim Tebow was deactivated with fractured ribs), who aided in scoring the only points of the game for the Jets.
  • Greg’s mom was headed upstairs to take a nap right before he was put in for Sanchez. That’s how bad this game was. 
  • And now we’re officially done talking about it.
  • The Seahawks giveth, and the Seahawks taketh away. They beat the Bears in OT to give the Packers the lead in the NFC North playoff race, which was really the least they could do after the replacement ref debacle loss back in September that skewed the Packers divisional standing.
  • Andrew Luck. Oh my land, Andrew Luck. He drove the Colts down the field, behind a terrible offensive line, in the final minute to score against the Lions and win the game on 4th and 10 in the final seconds. He was incredible, the definition of “clutch.”
  • So much for the sure bet of Ravens over a Roethlisberger-less Steelers. Charlie Batch led the Steelers to a well-earned 23-20 win.
  • As we talked about yesterday, the Niners and Rams almost tied in OT AGAIN! But luckily Greg the Leg hit a game winning FG with 30 second left on the overtime clock.
  • Giants at Redskins was a Monday night thriller, with RG3 leading the Skins to a 17-16 victory. The Giants had a hand in beating themselves, however, with a copious number of penalties and bad decisions.

And there she is: Week 13. Any other thoughts to add? Please do!

What To Know : Week 13

This just kills me. Week 13?! Already?! It can’t be!

But it’s here all the same. And it’s fixing to be a great one:

GAME OF THE WEEK: I mean, really, take your pick. What game isn’t great this week (blacked out Buffalo/Jacksonville game notwithstanding)? Clearly, I have a vested interest in the Packers vs. Vikings game and will be watching with baited breath to see if the Pack can bounce back after Sunday’s night’s burn-the-tape exhibition against the Giants. But other than that, I think the Giants at Washington Monday nighter is a sure bet. Anytime NFC East rivals get together it’s always a great show, and judging from the first time the two met earlier this season, it’s bound to be another thriller.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Big Ben. Whether he plays or not in Sunday’s game against the Ravens will probably be the determining factor of whether the Steelers win or not. Although a team that turned the ball over eight times in a single game will probably be able to summon the motivation to play for redemption with or without their starting quarterback.

STORYLINE TO KNOW: There are three notable matchups between, shall we say, disappointing opponents. They break down into the following:

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, AFC Edition:

Jacksonville at Buffalo. There’s a reason why this game is not going to be seen on local television due to attendance deficit.

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, NFC Edition:

Philly at Dallas. Now, NFL, you put in the flex scheduling option for a reason. And that reason is Sunday night games like this. Why isn’t this game being flexed out for pretty much any other game with actual playoff implications in Week 13? Riddle me that.

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, Mixed Bag Edition:

Arizona at New York Jets. At the beginning of the season, Arizona had a quarterback controversy but are currently experiencing quarterback scarcity. At the beginning of the season, New York had a brewing quarterback controversy but are currently experiencing Armageddon. I’m actually looking forward to seeing which way this one goes.


bite sized cannoli cups

chewy pumpkin ginger cookies

cookies n’ cream peanut butter bark

crockpot brunch casserole

pecan pie bars