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Week 14 Observations

  • After taking some bad beats against the spread for much of the year, I got some payback this week, and it was a beautiful thing - the Titans final drive that used the entire clock and destroyed any chance they had of winning, the two-point underdog Redskins missing the game-tying extra point to prevent overtime and Maurice Jones-Drew breaking away for a TD, when he should have knelt at the one a la Brian Westbrook and let the Jags seal the game with a FG, to name a few. Any one of those events can brighten your day, but taken in combination, they can change your outlook on life.

  • Chad Henne was absymal again on Sunday, and at this point the mystery is that he ever plays well. He's like a poor man's Alex Smith in that Smith plays well every three games, and Henne every four.

  • Say what you will about Josh McDaniels' interpersonal skills, but he seemed to get a good deal (at least offensively) out of some modest talent.

  • Miles Austin just doesn't have much value until Tony Romo comes back (probably next year). The Cowboys are a dink and dunk offense that wants to run and get the ball to Jason Witten. At the end of the first half, Dallas had the ball at their own 30, 1:42 and two timeouts and played for the FG (which they tried from 50 yards with 13 seconds left).

  • With Aaron Rodgers likely to miss this week's game against the Pats, the Packers look destined once again to be a team with great stats that doesn't win a playoff game. If the Chargers miss the playoffs, you might have the stats Super Bowl sitting out of the postseason.

  • Rex Ryan was unable to put Humpty Dumpty back together again off the short week. Now the Jets play at Pittsburgh and at Chicago the next two weeks. While Ryan's brash, bullying style enhances the team's swagger, it's hard to see how it can retain that identity after a nationally televised dismantling against its biggest rival. As evidence consider the team's vaunted offensive line gave up six sacks to the Dolphins, and neither Shonn Greene nor LaDainian Tomlinson managed three yards per carry.

  • The Dexter finale was pretty good except for one false line - spoiler alert - could be some talk of it in the comments.

  • It doesn't usually take running backs three years to pan out, but Darren McFadden is the exception. He's in the conversation with Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson as the league's most dangerous in the open field.

  • Ever since the terrible loss in Cleveland, the Pats have destroyed the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Jets at home and the Bears in Chicago. They play the Packers (likely without Aaron Rodgers) and have the inside track to home field throughout the playoffs. It's hard to see them losing there, especially if weather is a factor. In this season of parity, they're the first team to emerge as an undisputed frontrunner.

  • I'm not overly impressed with the Falcons (the anti-Packers) who keep winning despite modest stats. Like Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner was an early first-round pick who disappointed early but is now earning every cent you paid for him.

  • Even though I'm a Peyton Manning detractor, I'm rooting for the Colts to win the AFC South because unlike Jacksonville, they'd have a chance to beat anyone, and it'll make for a better tournament. Incidentally, Manning now has the NFL's longest games played streak, and Eli is second.

  • Jay Feely scored 24 points Sunday and made field goals of 49, 50 and 55 yards. It was a Michael-Vick-vs.-the-Redskins performance for a kicker.

  • Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower and Jonathan Stewart were three of the league's top four rushers during the first fantasy playoff weekend. Deion Branch (in a blizzard) and Arrelious Benn were two of the top three receivers. Fantasy football is not always just.

  • DeSean Jackson is fast. I don't think him falling into the end zone should have been a penalty, and if I'm an opponent I want him to be every bit as creative as he's been in the past with his end-zone celebrations - you never know when he's going to cut it too close.
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