Week 14 is already off to a fast start, and no games have been played.
Josh McDaniels is out as Denver’s head coach, and is being replaced on an interim basis by Eric Studesville, the team’s running backs coach. McDaniels was 11-17 as Broncos head coach.
The other big news of the day involves a player and a team that haven’t seen eye to eye, seemingly, since they’ve met.
Albert Haynesworth was suspended by the Redskins today, for the remainder of the 2010 regular season. The suspension was caused by conduct detrimental to the club, and Haynesworth will not be paid for the duration.
Haynesworth reportedly showed up to last Friday’s practice late and hung over, although he claims that is false.
The consensus within the Redskins organization and around the league is that Haynesworth has no right to complain, considering the amount of money he’s been playing. People also think he should willingly play in whatever scheme the coaches want him to play in, even though Haynesworth said he isn’t good enough to play nose tackle in the 3-4 front.
With regards to week 13, there were a few good games, while most other games weren’t wildly entertaining.
The last two games of the week were the most intriguing. Baltimore lost a close game to the Pittsburgh, 13-10. During the game, Haloti Ngata hit Ben Roethlisberger in the nose, breaking it in the process. Later in the game, Ravens LB Jameel McClain hit a defenseless Heath Miller directly in Miller’s head.
Neither of those plays drew penalties in the game. However, Ngata was fined $15,000, and McClain was fined $40,000 for those respective hits.
Roethlisberger is expected to play and start on Sunday vs. Cincinnati, while Miller is doubtful with a concussion.
In the Monday night game, the Patriots got revenge on the Jets, after losing to them in week 2. Actually, it was more like the Patriots slammed the Jets into a steel cage over and over, showing them who the top dog really is.
New England won handily, 45-3, as Tom Brady won his 26th consecutive home start in the regular season (new NFL record).
Against a Jets defense that was respected, Brady had his way all night, throwing four touchdowns to four different receivers.
Brady hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 228 pass attempts. In his last four games, he’s thrown for 1,203 yards and 13 touchdowns, while compiling and average quarterback rating of 136.9.
The Patriots and the Falcons lead their respective conferences as the only team at 10-2. But honestly, is there any question who the best team in the league is? Not in my mind.
As far as picks go, I didn’t do well, as the Lions pick fell through and set the tone for a sub-par week. Although I’m still up overall, I need to step it up if I want to finish the season ahead of Rob. Here are the year to date standings:
Mike’s picks: 2-3 (19-16 overall)
Rob’s picks: 4-1 (16-14 overall)
You might guess who the offensive player of the week was. Yup, Tom Brady. However Aaron Rodgers was in the lead before last night. But Brady threw for more yards and more touchdowns against a better defense than did Rodgers.
Offensive Player of the Week: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
- 21/29 (72%), 326 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Defensively, the player of the week was somewhat difficult for to choose. Champ Bailey, Jason Pierre-Paul and Tamba Hali had incredible games. But the best defensive player of week 13 was actually a rookie, and a player you’ve probably never heard of.
Defensive Player of the Week: Sean Lee, LB, Dallas Cowboys
- 5 tackles (4 solo), 2 passes defensed, 2 INT (31 yard TD)
Highlight of the Week: Driver’s determination wins game
Now it’s time for the weekly picks winner to have his say. Here is what Rob Marine thought about week 13.
Another solid week in the NFL history books, including a few heavyweight bouts. Some went down to the last-minute, some were knockouts.
The 2010 playoff picture is really starting to become clear.
We’ll start with the Thursday night match-up between the Eagles and the Texans. The Texans were leading the game 24-20 going into the fourth quarter and looked like they were going to pull off the upset and keep their playoffs hopes alive. But Michael Vick and the red-hot Eagles offense were too much for the Texans defense and Philadelphia prevailed, winning the game 34-24.
How bout dem Cowboys?! The Cowboys season seemed to be a complete wash after week 9 when they were 1-7 and lost five straight games leading to head coach Wade Phillips being fired.
Since interim head coach Jason Garrett has taken over the reins, Dallas is 3-1, including a huge overtime road win against the Indianapolis Colts, 38-35. Is this a preview of the future Dallas Cowboys? Time will tell.
Another heavyweight bout in week 13 featured the Atlanta Falcons at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was a great NFC South divisional battle as both teams had something to play for. Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, their defense was no match for the Falcon offense (as has been the case for most defenses all year).
The Buccaneers were fighting for a wild card spot and the Falcons were fighting to hold onto first place in the NFC South. New Orleans isn’t far behind at 9-3.
Speaking of the New Orleans Saints, they had to fight back to win on Sunday against…the Bengals?
That’s right. The Saints were losing to the Bengals but eventually came back and secured the win. Saints RB Chris Ivory rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns. WR Robert Meachem caught three passes for 106 yards and one, which helped boost the Saints over the Bengals.
The NFL featured two main events this weekend, one on Sunday night and the other on Monday night. We’ll start with Sunday night where the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Baltimore to take on the Ravens for first place in the AFC North. Many people believe this is the NFL’s biggest rivalry.
Since 2008, every game in this series has been decided by an average of four points. This Sunday was no different, as the Ravens let this game slip away from them and lost 13-10. This even the series at 1-1 on the season but the Ravens slip to number two in the AFC North.
This game had a playoff atmosphere as so much was on the line for both teams. This loss was a tough one for Ravens fans (like myself) to swallow as the Ravens were in control for the first three quarters and failed to do what they’ve done all season and that is PUTTING TEAMS AWAY.
I can’t take this one away from the Steelers but I can say this: Baltimore needs to win these next few games to keep their wild-card spot, which to some Ravens fans is a scary thought.
Main event number two was also a divisional re-match between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. The atmosphere of this game was just as electric as it was in Baltimore, but this fight didn’t go round for round, this was your classic TKO. The beating the Patriots administered was constant, and the fight was stopped because the clock ran out.
I thought we were going to see a game that defined football? Two teams both at 9-2, freezing cold weather, first place in the AFC East on the line, re-match of two teams who dislike one another…what happened?
Tom Brady happened.
Brady got the Patriots rolling early, as they led the Jets 17-0 after one quarter. From there, the Jets didn’t have much of a response as they eventually kicked a second quarter field goal (their only points of the game).
From there the Patriots coasted to a 45-3 knockout win that had Jets head coach Rex Ryan saying “Obviously, we got outcoached, outplayed, got our butts kicked. I don’t know what else you can say about it.”
Offensive Player of the Week: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
- 21/29, 326 yards (11.2 avg.), 4 TD, 0 INT, QB Rating: 148.9
- “Touchdown” Tom Brady was in full-effect Monday night as he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, which lead to a lop-sided 45-3 victory over the Jets.
- Revenge is a dish best served cold (and it was very cold Monday night) as Brady picked apart Rex Ryan’s coveted Jets defense.
Defensive Player of the Week: Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
- 4 solo tackles, 2 sacks (14 yards), 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
- Hali had a solid performance on Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos, holding them to only two field goals all game. With a Chargers losing to the Raiders and dropping to 6-6, this win helped the Chiefs (8-4) secure first place of the AFC West for another week.
Standout Player of the Week: Sidney Rice, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- 5 receptions, 105 yards (21.0 avg.), 2 TD
- Sidney Rice came on strong last season, becoming Brett Favre’s favorite target. Bad news for Rice and the Vikings came early in 2010 as Rice was on the PUP list (out for a min of eight weeks) and did not return to action until week 11 against Green Bay.
- However, in week 13, it looked like Rice is feeling healthy again and it showed as he returned to form with his performance on Sunday’s 38-14 win over Buffalo.
In case you missed it…
- Ben Roethlisberger’s bloody broken nose after Baltimore DT Haloti Ngata sacks him http://bit.ly/h9PRDK
- ATL Falcons WR Eric Weems 102 yard kick-off return for a touchdown at Tampa Bay http://bit.ly/gwDYmI
Rob and I both agree that although there aren’t as many marquee games as their were in week 13, week 14 is another step up towards the playoffs. The view will be better for the winners, and the fall will be longer for the losers.
Thanks for reading.