Welcome to NFL Week 12, everyone! Due to the holiday weekend, we’re a little late getting this up and running but our intrepid panel takes a peek at what’s up in the NFL with just four weeks left in the regular season.
Put down your leftovers and get inside The Huddle!
1. Biggest takeaways from this week’s games?
2. Five in a row for the Giants, could they catch Dallas in the NFC East?
3. What about the great race shaping up in the AFC West?
4. Could the Browns go 0-16?
J Arsenio D’Amato:
Seattle and Dallas are playing in their own elite league while everyone else is muddling along, especially in the NFC.
The Giants are barely surviving week after week as they have a porous offensive line and running game that will keep them from catching Dallas.
Kansas City got hit with the “Any Given Sunday” game of the week with an upset loss to Tampa Bay at home. Alex Smith threw a horrific interception in the end zone that completely turned a win into a devastating loss, opening the door for Denver and Oakland to take control of the division.
Cleveland is playing tough and not quitting and is bound to get a win at home (against) either the Giants, Bengals, or Chargers.
Seattle (has been) reasserting themselves as the Kings of the NFC over the past two weeks, especially with Russell Wilson healthy and playing better than ever, especially on deep passes.
Dallas looks great, but the conference still goes through the Seahawks.
Green Bay is cooked and it is time for McCarthy and Crew to go. The Packers need a defensive overhaul and to sort out their internal issues before they waste the back end of Aaron Rodgers’ career.
No way the Giants catch Dallas, BUT if they get in the playoffs, they are dangerous with that secondary and Eli, if he really turns it on, has proven he can win in big spots as an underdog.
Pittsburgh is back to life in the AFC North as well as Cincy is about cooked and Baltimore’s offensive deficiencies are crippling their chances to pull away.
A bad loss for KC, and Oakland (narrowly defeating Houston on Monday) are keeping the Raiders in control of the division and the conference. If they want any chance to be in the Super Bowl, they need to keep that No. 1 seed and force the Patriots to come to the Bay.
And speaking of the Pats, their D is a disaster and trending the wrong way.
Cleveland will find their way to a win, but that’s about it.
The biggest takeaway is that Seattle and Dallas are the class of the NFC. With the Patriots defense a huge question mark, the AFC is more up for grabs.
I think the Giants have a chance to catch the Cowboys, as there are a lot of division games left, but the Cowboys are just the better team, so the chances are slim.
Right now, the Raiders look like the best team in the AFC West and probably the best in the entire conference. And the Chiefs and Broncos still have to play each other twice. However, Denver is still the team to beat as the (Broncos) are the defending champs and playing at Mile High is the best home field advantage in all the NFL.
Cleveland plays tough and I think they can grind out a win despite having a line that cannot protect the quarterback whatsoever. I’m thinking they can beat Cincinnati, which is free-falling at this point.
In the spirit of the season, what in the NFL are you thankful for?
I’m always thankful for football! I agree that, barring injury, the NFC is a two-horse race with Seattle and Dallas. I’m less worried about the Pats coming out of the AFC, due to the other contenders. The Pats’ D is a wart but I feel the others’ warts are bigger. Who is the real threat? Oakland? Worse D than the Pats. Kansas City? Can’t pass. Denver? A woefully bad quarterback.
J Arsenio D’Amato:
I’m thankful for the NFL RedZone channel.
I’m thankful for the Red Zone channel too. And that my home team (Patriots) has been excellent for the past 15 years.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend, Nation! We’ll see you next week, right here, in The Huddle!