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Week 14 Observations

There were 90 touchdowns scored on Sunday, breaking the previous one-day record of 87.

The bad weather helped on that front, with teams going for it rather than kicking field-goals, and defenses slipping around while chasing LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Ross and Cordarrelle Patterson. But the weather did hurt certain players like Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Nick Foles. The bottom line - while touchdowns were up, field goals were down, and there were fewer crisp passing TDs in the bad weather stadiums even if overall scoring totals were high.

The Giants were unwatchable, and so for the first time in several years, I actually didn't watch much of the game. The offense hasn't looked crisp since the second half of Week 1 against the Cowboys.

The No. 1 players at three key positions, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Rob Gronkowski caused a lot of people to get knocked out of their playoffs. You have to feel pretty fortunate if you have Johnson and a first-round bye.

The Broncos got touchdowns for Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball. Who says there isn't enough to go around?

Seeing Andrew Luck blow up against the Bengals on the road makes you wonder what would happen if Luck played in Marc Trestman's offense rather than Pep Hamilton's. Good quarterbacks need to sling the ball down the field and if receivers get hurt, you find new ones who can give the QB a chance. Da'Rick Rodgers was freely available, and it's bizarre Indy waited until the team was down three scores in Cincinnati to open things up. Forget about a power running game, forget about time of possession. Just turn Luck loose and get out of the way.

Andy Dalton had a good game and has good match-ups down the stretch (@PIT, vs. MIN), but I wouldn't start him unless I were backed into a corner. Gio Bernard is already one of the top-10 real-life backs in the league, maybe top-five.

For a good visual of how crazy the Vikings-Ravens finish was, click here.

Matt Ryan had a disappointing day against a beatable Packers defense. Roddy White saw 10 targets and caught eight, but it was mostly short stuff. They get the Redskins at home next week, so Ryan will still merit consideration.

I've seen others (including @markstopa) mention this, but it really is crazy the Steelers lost due to Antonio Brown accidentally stepping on the sideline one week after Mike Tomlin stepped onto the field to distract Jacoby Jones. Karma usually works mysteriously and subtly, not obviously and heavy-handedly like that. Of course, had Brown not stepped out of bounds, the league would have had to investigate whether there was a forward lateral on the play, but it might well have been too close to call, and you wonder if the refs would have had the stones to overturn it in Pittsburgh. Now that it doesn't matter, it's possible the league rules on it and costs Antonio Brown owners some yards, something that could swing some playoff match-ups.

The Texans-Jaguars game was actually close, but it was poorly played, and the penalties made it unbearable to watch. Houston actually set a record with 177 penalty yards. You combine that with the Cialis commercials, and you have a recipe for armed revolt.

Given Toby Gerhart's performance, maybe Adrian Peterson is just a system back.

Who's had a more trying year, Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez?

Jason Garrett punted on 4th-and-4 in plus territory down 13 in the third quarter. The Bears drove the length of the field, scored, converted a two to go up 21. Then Dallas had 4th and 9, went for it, and Tony Romo threw it away in the face of the blitz. That marked the first time all year Dallas had gone for it on fourth down, an NFL record for lateness in the year. Garrett isn't just your garden-variety risk-averse coach. He's an outlier even by those skewed standards.

Comments

By: Erickson
On: 12/9/2013 10:40:00 PM
Love, love the graphic representation of the Vikes-Ravens game.
 
By: jtr5708
On: 12/10/2013 5:33:00 AM
This is probably petty on my part but I don't see how Gronkowski can be called the #1 overall TE (pre-injur of course). Jimmy Graham is having a monster season. His yardage pace is neck and neck with Gronk and he has 14 TDs in 13 games vs. Gronk's 4 in 7 games. Health has played a part in that but Graham has played through his share of injuries, too. Again, definitely not worth squabbling over but I just feel that Graham deserved the nod even before Gronk's catastrophic knee injury.
 
By: Chris Liss
On: 12/10/2013 11:35:00 AM
Yeah, you can also argue Jamaal Charles, not Peterson is the No. 1 RB. But Gronk and Peterson were arguably No. 1 at least heading into last week.
 
By: jnowak2799
On: 12/10/2013 5:24:00 PM
A friend of mine lost his playoff game because of the phantom Benjarvis Green-Ellis TD, now I don't get this, Elias consistently makes stat corrections, it was obvious to everyone except the ref that Benjarvis did not get in the endzone. So not only does BGE get credit for that 1 yard he also gets 6 points for the TD, I'm sure you will hear of many people losing because of this play, or maybe not, you shouldn't be in the playoffs if you are starting BGE.

Does anyone have any idea how many yards might be deducted from Antonio Browns total? In our league we give a 3 point bonus if you go over 100 yards, we had a game decided by 5 points and the winner had Antonio Brown.
 
By: jtr5708
On: 12/11/2013 6:21:00 AM
I've been a huge Jamaal Charles supporter for a while. I wouldn't argue if you wanted to put him # 1. The only real knock on him is that he isn't going to get the same volume as a guy like AP. But as long as he is getting the stats, who cares?

My point with Graham and Gronk is that Graham has been doing it all year. He was the #1 drafted TE everywhere to start the season and he has done nothing but put an exclamation point on that ranking all year. Gronk missed a lot of time and came back to valid health concerns. Sure, Graham had his foot issue and that one game where NE took him out of the contest but I just don't see where Gronk did enough to surpass him at any point as the #1 TE.

Also, it might just be that I missed it but I don't hear anyone talking about how Graham has a significant shot at breaking Gronk's season TD record for a TE (17). Graham needs 3 to tie, 4 to break it. He has 3 games left and he is averaging just over a TD per game.
 
By: jtr5708
On: 12/11/2013 6:34:00 AM
I have to correct myself. AP has 296 touches (counting receptions) this season vs. Charles' 295 touches. A lot closer than I thought.
 

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