Philadelphia over Houston. Michael Vic continued his push towards MVP with another solid performance. The Eagles with all their talent and speed on offense held themselves to 34 points with two more dropped touchdown passes and taking a long halftime by cruising through the 3rd quarter letting the Texans back in the game. The bad news for the Eagles is that Vic got hit hard by a defense that is considered to be the weakest in the league. Vic is not the biggest quarterback in the league but he is stronger than he looks but, many times after getting hit, he got up real slowly. The good news for him and the Eagles is that they have ten days to ice down the bumps and bruises and for Coach Andy Reid to figure out a way to reduce the punishment Vic is receiving. The Eagles badly need a healthy Vic for the stretch run.
The Texans also have an explosive offense but their defense has been their Achilles heel the entire season. That will be the cause of them not winning the division. The Texans do have Andre Johnson and he is now so feared, that even the angry Eagle fans were seen giving him money before the game to help pay for last weeks fine.
Pittsburgh over Baltimore. The Steelers won a game that was a tough and brutal as advertised. It was like old school football where anything goes. Ben Roethlisberger just earned the toughest man in the world title by playing through a broken bone in his foot and getting his beak broken and twisted early in the first quarter. Ouch! Not to mention he had to fight off a blood thirsty Terrell Suggs throughout the game. The Steelers overcame injuries, poor officiating,(Ben was hit in the head and Miller was knocked unconscious were personal foul penalties not called) and the hard hitting Ravens defense to take control of the division. Troy Polamalu’s sack and strip was the games turning point. Polamalu ability to make these kinds of plays is unreal. The Ravens never saw him coming. Isaac Redman’s catch and breaking a tackle was also huge. The Steelers resolve kept them in the game until their big play players made big plays.
The Raven blew a chance to take control of the division and earn a possible first round bye for the playoffs. They battered and bloodied Roethlisberger throughout the game. I’m not sure the Steelers would have ever scored a touchdown had the Joe Flacco not fumble after being hit by Polamalu. It’s easy to look back but how did the Raven’s not see Polamalu lurking at the line of scrimmage? It would have so easy to change to a running play to the other side. It was second and five. There was no reason to pass in that situation. Also Flacco short armed the fourth and two pass. The receiver was wide open. You can’t miss on those opportunities. I can’t fault Harbaugh decision not to attempt a 48 yard field goal with the swirling winds and cold. I can only fault the execution on the pass. Now the Ravens more than likely have hit to the road for the playoffs and that is not going to be easy. The good news is their defense will keep them in the game on road.
Dallas edging Indianapolis. The Cowboys won a game that earlier in the season they would have lost. They made the key plays when they had too and caught a tremendous break when the Colts was penalized for using leverage on a drive late in the fourth. That allowed the Cowboys to score a touchdown they needed. They controlled the clock with over two hundred yards rushing lead by Tashard Choice got turnovers when they needed them. Jon Kitna was solid and did not turn the ball over. Even much maligned kicker David Buehler was made a clutch kick in overtime.
The Colts need this game badly and did not get it. Falling behind 17-0 is never good. The Colts have no running game and Peyton Manning’s four interceptions cost them the game again. Manning is pressing and his footwork is terrible. He is often throwing off his tippy toes and not seeing the entire field. He is also making poor decisions. Even with Manning’s error prone game the Colts still had a chance to win. The leverage penalty on a field goal attempt was just a big as the four interceptions by Manning. The Colts now face an uphill battle just to sneak into the playoffs.
Chicago over Detroit. The Bears just find a way to win close games. It’s just their year. The Lions just find a way to lose close games. It’s not their century.
Green Bay over San Francisco. The Packers won a game in the ugliest uniforms in NFL history. They should be burned right away. The 49ers haven’t beaten a team in cold weather since Joe Montana was quarterback.
Kansas City over Denver. The Chiefs were almost caught looking ahead but escaped with a win. The Broncos have now proven they can lose being boring too.
Atlanta over Tampa Bay. The Falcons and Matt Ryan rally to win another close game. The Buccaneers had this game under control until their old school orange jerseys caused 11 players to miss tackles on a kickoff return for a touchdown by the Falcons.
New Orleans edging Cincinnati. The Saints are so explosive on offense but they needed the Bengals to fall for the never been done before. “Draw you off side with hard snap count” trick.
New York Giants beating Washington. The Giants did what they wanted on offense and defense. The Redskins were inept in every way except they showed up on time.
Minnesota blasting Buffalo. The Vikings proved they can win without Brett Farve. But Farve was there in spirit making Tarvaris Jackson throw interceptions too. The Bills finally had a non gut wrenching lost and looked relieved in the process.
Cleveland edging Miami. The Browns have now won two in a row since for first time this season. Too bad it’s not the win over Miami the city of Cleveland really wanted. The Dolphins are now headed for the always dreaded five hundred season.
Oakland over San Diego. The Raiders beat won a game many thought was impossible since the Chargers haven’t lost in December since 2005. The Chargers must have spent the week checking out the housing market in Los Angeles.
Seattle over Carolina. The Seahawks win allowed the Seahawks to keep their goal of a bowl berth intact. The Panthers are hoping the season ends today so they can have first pick in the draft.
St. Louis over Arizona. The Rams finally ended a losing streak against the Cardinals. Cardinal coach Whisenhunt is finding out it’s hard to win when your quarterbacks is Kurt Warner