What to Know : Week 17

We’re here. The final week of the regular season. It’s time to weep and wail…and then rejoice momentarily because PLAYOFFS! SUPER BOWL!…and then prepare for a time of mourning: the off-season.

Let’s not even go there yet.

For this week, here’s what you need to know:

GAME OF THE WEEK: All of them. Treasure every single one. It’s the last week of the regular season, people! I just can’t handle this. But were I forced to choose…Dallas at Washington is the reason we love the end-of-season football. Everything is on the line in the NFC East with the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants all still very much in the mix.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Adrian Peterson has a legitimate chance to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. He needs to rush for 208 yards in the Vikings game against the Packers, and the last time the teams met he ran for 210. Ditto: J.J. Watt. He needs 2 sacks to break Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record, and when the Texans played the Colts last (they’ll play again on Sunday), he had 3 sacks. Both players had career days in both of the previous examples, but it’s completely possible that they could do it again to break the records.

STORYLINE TO KNOW: Playoff scenarios galore! You’re going to want to refer to this list often when trying to figure out playoff scenarios because there are endless combinations of what could happen and what the result would mean. A few interesting ones to note: The Vikings are in (and AP is likely league MVP) with a win against the Packers. The Redskins win the NFC East with a win or a tie against Dallas; the Cowboys win the NFC East with a win against Washington. The Giants get in with this complicated equation: NYG win + DAL loss or tie + CHI loss + MIN loss. Wow.


(Let’s call this the “2012 Goes Out With A Bang” edition.)

cake batter blondies

candy bar caramel corn

chocolate chip and oreo fudge brownie bar

gooey butter cake

truffle pie

What to Know : After Week 16

Just a few notes on the week that was Week 16:

  • Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record on Saturday night against the Falcons. The Lions lost, but it was a personal victory for Johnson, who couldn’t deserve it more.
  • AP only got 80 yards closer to Dickerson’s record. He still needs 200+ to break it, and the Vikes play the Packers next week in the season finale.
  • Speaking of, the Packers held the Titans to a mere 7 points in a 55-7 stomping at Lambeau on Sunday. The Pack’s run defense is ranked 14th in the league, but last time the Vikings played the Packers Adrian Peterson ran all over them for 210 yards. He need 208 to break the record, so it’s a definite possibility.
  • J.J. Watt inched closer to Strahan’s record with one sack on Ponder, but Aldon Smith didn’t get anything on Wilson. Watt needs 2 sacks to break the record, so we’ll see how he fares against the Colts next Sunday. (Last time: 3 sacks and a career performance. So again, entirely possible.)
  • The Steelers have been ousted from the playoffs by the Bengals, which is fitting since it was Andy Dalton’s first win against the Steelers. The Bengals are officially in as a Wildcard team and are looking hot.
  • Not looking hot: the Giants. They are a team trying to claw their way into the playoffs, but they sure didn’t play like it yesterday. The Ravens won easily.
  • Kudos to the Saints for not laying down and calling it a season. They put up quite the fight against the Cowboys yesterday and won the game in overtime after a near-fatal fumble that ended up putting them in field goal range.
  • With the Giants and Cowboys both losing and the Redskins winning, the ‘Skins are officially in. Seriously, who isn’t happy for this team? Coming back from 3-6 to potentially get the #4 seed in the playoffs? Not even a Wildcard spot? Amazing.
  • Also amazing: Russell Wilson. He led the Seahawks to a thorough stomping of the Niners last night. The Niners loss moves the Packers up to the #2 Seed in the NFC playoff race (thank you, Seahawks).
  • Weird surprises: the Patriots scratched out an ugly win against Jacksonville, and Christian Ponder had a career day in the Vikings win against the Texans.
  • Unsurprises: Chargers beat Jets. Dolphins beat Bills. Broncos beat Browns. Packers beat Titans.

What To Know : Week 16

OH this time of year does a number on my heart. The last few days before Christmas…the last few weeks of the regular season…two things I love most approaching their end…I can’t take it! It’s too bittersweet! But whether I’m on board or not…here’s the Week 16…the second to LAST week of the regular season!…preview:

GAME OF THE WEEK: I’m loving Niners at Seahawks on Monday night. In the past three weeks Seattle has scored more than 50 points in each game…50 points!…and their offense is viewed as weaker than their defense. Seattle is also near-impossible to beat at home. However, the Niners are coming off of a win at Foxborough against the Patriots who haven’t lost a game at home in December in a decade. So they’re not all that intimidated by home field advantage.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith are both closing in on Michael Strahan’s single season sack record of 22.5 sacks. They each currently lead the NFL with 19.5 sacks this season. With two more games to play, the record is definitely in sight. Another record-breaker to watch: Adrian Peterson chasing Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record of 2105 yards. He needs to average 147 yards per game to beat it. And last but not least, Calvin Johnson is just over 180 yards away from breaking Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yardage record.

STORYLINE TO KNOW: Giants at Ravens. The Giants are coming off of a shutout by the Falcons, and the Ravens off of an ugly multiple game losing streak. If either of these playoff perennials are going to have a shot at a long playoff run, they’re going to need to right the sinking ship ASAP.


cheddar and bacon loaf

christmas tree veggie tray

cinnamon sugar candied nuts

easy chocolate fudge with pretzels

maple pecan cinnamon rolls

What To Know : After Week 15

The Fine Fifteen of Week 15:

FIFTEEN: The number of points scored in the Raiders/Chefs game…scored entirely by field goals. I don’t even know.

FOURTEEN: The approximate number of times Brady Quinn had to clap to get the attention of his Center to try and get the ball snapped. The ball never did get snapped, but it was a pretty entertaining sequence nonetheless.

THIRTEEN: The approximate number of feet Knowshon Moreno had to have jumped into the air to clear Ed Reed on a spectacular hurdle. Really, it was something.

TWELVE: The number of carries Ray Rice had against the Broncos, for only 38 yards. Great defensive effort by the Broncos.

ELEVEN: Eleven-and-three, the amazing Broncos record (which, by the way, The Amazing Broncos kind of sounds like a circus side show, doesn’t it?) They’ve won 9 of those 11 consecutively, which is just amazing.

TEN: The number of hits Bucs QB Josh Freeman took from the Saints in an ugly 41-0 loss on Sunday.

NINE: Nine-and-five, the records of two AFC teams heading in opposite directions: the Ravens and the Colts. The Ravens are in the playoffs, but don’t look like a playoff team. The Colts need another win to make it into the playoffs, but their future looks blindingly bright.

EIGHT: Eight-and-six, the record of all three NFC East teams (Giants, Cowboys, Redskins) who are tied atop the standing and fighting it out for playoff contention.

SEVEN: All sevens for the Steelers – as in 7-7, their record – which means they need to win their game against the Bengals on Sunday to claw their way into the playoffs.

SIX: The number of consecutive games the freefalling Lions have lost, most recently at the hands of the woeful Cardinals.

FIVE: Five-Zero-Plus. That’s the number of points the Seahawks have scored each of the past three weeks, 50+ points. They’re only the third team ever to do so.

FOUR: The number of touchdowns the Patriots scored in a thrilling second half comeback effort against the Niners on Sunday night.

THREE: The number of shutouts in Week 15. I mean, WOW. Three shutouts in one week – especially the surprise 34-0 Atlanta put up over the Giants – it’s shocking.

TWO: The number of third downs the Cardinals converted. Out of twelve.

ONE: One-forty-seven, the number of yards Adrian Peterson needs in each of the next two weeks to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2105 yards. GO AP GO!

What To Know : Week 15

Oh gosh, guys. I really dropped the ball this week. Christmas shopping and freelance working and plain old holiday unproductivity got the best of me. But here’s a quick look at the weekend ahead – it’s a jam-packed one!

GAME OF THE WEEK: SO MANY to choose from. Seriously. Giants at Falcons? Amazing. Big litmus test for both teams. Niners at Patriots? Defense vs. Offense. New old dynasty vs. Old new dynasty. Love it. Packers at Bears for the NFC North? Classic. Colts at Texans? HUGE. But the game I’m most excited for (Packers game notwithstanding)? Broncos at Ravens. We’ll talk more about this in the Storyline to Know. Another one to watch? Steelers at Cowboys. Both are desperate for wins right now, and both have shown the potential to be thumbs-up good or thumbs-down terrible this season.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Dez Bryant, Cowboys oft-troubled wide receiver, will play with a broken index finger and risk permanent injury by opting to delay the surgery needed to fix it. The Cowboys probably need 100% Dez Bryant to have a legit shot at winning this game; I’m not sure that Broken Finger Dez Bryant will be the answer they need.

STORYLINE TO KNOW: Back to Broncos at Ravens. Peyton Manning has a career record of 8-2 against the Ravens. The Broncos are 0-5 against them. It’ll be interesting to see what a difference Peyton makes in the Broncos efforts, and interesting to see how the Ravens offense functions after the firing of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron.


buffalo chicken biscuits

dreamy peppermint sugar cookie bars

hot kale and artichoke dip

santa hat cheesecake bites

skinny funfetti dip

What To Know : After Week 14

Let’s keep things plain and simple for this week’s overview:

Biggest Winners: Five teams had huge wins considering playoff potential: the Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings, Seahawks, and Colts. And really…there were six teams…but it seems wrong to mention the Jets. They’re just so unwatchable at this point.

2012-12-10 Cardinals

This adequately sums up the Cardinals quarterback situation.

Biggest Losers: The Cardinals. Literally, since they lost 58-0…and no other team got shut out or lost by a 58 point deficit last week…because that’s just ridiculous. Remember when the Cardinals were 4-0 and on top of the world? What happened, AZ?! But as far as the playoff picture goes, the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, and Bears all had losses that could come back to haunt them in a few weeks.

Biggest Surprise: Has to be the Panthers stomping all over the Falcons. The final score was 30-20 Panthers, but it wasn’t actually that close. But a close second would be the before-our-very-eyes evolution of the Packers running game on Sunday night against the Lions. They ran all over the Lions in the second half for the win (and welcome back, Ryan Grant!!!)

Biggest Fail: Come on, Buffalo. You can at least catch the guy:

How about you guys? Any highlights or lowlights on the weekend?