Monday, November 28, 2011

The No-Huddle: The Sunday Report

Sunday had plenty of highlights -- and lowlights -- but Steve Johnson's TD celebration was in a class of it's own. Without any further ado, the No-Huddle will now sum up the madness that was week 12.

The Highlights:

1. Mr. Tom Brady -- Brady threw for 361 and three TD's in Philly yesterday as the Patriots abused the woeful Eagles. Brady's 133rd career win (playoff and reg. season) ties him with Joe Montana, his boyhood idol. Brady reached the total four years ahead of Montana, and doesn't appear to be anything close to done yet. Brady was actually outgunned by Vince Young, who threw for 400 against the Pats, but the Patriots moved to 8-3, solidifying their chances at winning the AFC East.

2. Patrick Peterson, the next Devin Hester? -- Arizona rookie and LSU alumni Patrick Peterson took his fourth punt return for a touchdown yesterday, becoming only the second player in NFL history to have that many returns for touchdowns in his first eleven games. And all four have been for 80 yards or more.

3. Tebowmania! -- Not only is Tim Tebow's refreshingly serious faith helping him become a better football player, it's also helping him make opposing kickers miss in overtime. Did Tebow really have the gall to pray for something so silly as a field-goal attempt? "I might have said that. Or maybe a block. Maybe all of it," said Tebow with a laugh. Whatever he prayed, it worked. And Tebow marched his team down for the winning field goal with under a minute to go in overtime. The 6-5 Broncos are 5-1 with Tebow at the helm, and will face the sputtering Vikes next week.

4. Seabass! -- SI's Peter King wrote a nice blurb about the 2000 NFL draft today in his Monday Morning Quarterback column. In it he talked about the second most successful player in that draft (behind the Pats stealing Tom Brady in the sixth round), Mr. Al Davis. Davis drafted both Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler in that draft. Davis was lambasted for taking a kicker in the first round, but Janikowski is having a Hall of Fame career, and Lechler is the leading punter in NFL history, so I guess he is too. That ridiculed draft payed big dividends for the Raiders yesterday, as Seabass nailed 6 FG's in 6 attempts, and Lechler drilled and 80-yard punt over the head of Devin Hester just when the Bears were threatening to come back and win.

5. CJ2K -- Was that former 2,000 yard rusher Chris Johnson galloping for 190 yards against the Bucs yesterday? It sure was, and that's the Tennessee Titans, still hanging around in the AFC playoff hunt after a much-needed win over Tampa.

The Lowlights:

1. Steve Johnson -- His post-TD celebration was tasteless (see video at top of page), and the 15-yard penalty he received for it was deserved. Now you can stick a fork in the Bills, who dropped to 5-6 after jumping out to a 3-0 start.

2. Chargers kicker, Nick Novak -- Not only was he spotted peeing on the sideline, he also missed a 53-yarder in OT that would have ended the Chargers losing streak at 5.

3. Suh-Spension? -- Lions' DT Ndamukong Suh finally admitted on Facebook last Friday that he had made a mistake. For Lions brass, who are no doubt getting tired of watching their star defensive player sabotage his own career, that is good news. Most believe that Suh will face a two-game suspension and be required to take an anger management course. As far as the Lions go, they are falling fast, and, for the first time all season, they are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff hunt. With road games against the Saints, Raiders and Packers in three of the last five games, it's the wrong time for a team with a banged-up QB and a suspended DT to be facing such a daunting road schedule.

4. Hanie throws three picks -- The Bears might be in playoff trouble too, as their first-time starter Caleb Hanie looked pretty poor against a Raiders defense that isn't exactly stingy. The Bears schedule is nowhere near as bad as Detroit's, but if Mike Martz can't develop a gameplan that can hide his green QB (hint, give it to Forte), the Bears could be in for a disappointing December.

5. Houston has a huge problem -- After losing Matt Schaub for the season, it only took another game for the Texans to lose their new starter Matt Leinart to collarbone surgery. The Texans will be forced to rely even more heavily on their defense, with T.J. Yates ready to step in at QB. It will be very interesting to see what the Texans can do down the stretch. Up until now, this has been Houston's breakout season, but it will be tough for them to make an impact down the stretch, even if they are currently the top team in the conference.