NFL fans were already rewarded with an intense down-to-the-wire Thursday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions that turned the Lions smiles upside down in the last play of the game.
Starting with a recap of that game’s stunning ending, here are some of the good and bad along with a little jeering that accompanies some of the Week 13 matchups.
The good: Successful Hail Mary and lousy referee calls work in Green Bay’s favor
The Green Bay Packers were the fortunate recipients of an extra play after Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor got called out for this supposed facemask penalty on Aaron Rodgers.
If Rodgers watches this video, he would probably agree that Taylor was not going for his facemask. Therefore, many believe that the game should have ended on this play. That didn’t happen, though, and the Packers received one last play that allowed Rodgers to perfectly hurl a 61-yard touchdown bomb into the hands of tight end, Richard Rodgers for a 27-23 win.
All the while, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell covered up his poor coaching, stating he was surprised that there was not more lateral plays when truthfully, he did not have his defense prepared for a vertical pass.
The much-needed win for Green Bay puts the pressure on the Minnesota Vikings to beat the Seattle Seahawks in order to retain their place at the top of the NFC North.
The bad: Brock Osweiler’s tattoo artist needs an editor
Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler is the talk of the town ever since he pulled off a riveting overtime victory over Tom Brady and New England Patriots last Sunday evening.
Thus, his grammatically incorrect tattoo has recently come back into the light.
Ha! Brock Osweiler, who started in place of Peyton Manning this week, has a tattoo with a spelling error. https://t.co/ZrUt2jHvA3
— David Giard (@DavidGiard) December 2, 2015
Now that the starting quarterback role has fallen into Osweiler’s lap, we can be sure he is truly “living life to it’s fullest,” so perhaps a visit to a local tattoo shop to art-over that apostrophe is now in order.
As for those who want to see for themselves, the next chance to see if we can get a peek at Osweiler’s flubbed arm decor will be Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
The good: Odell Beckham Jr. catches a lucky break
Odell Beckham Jr. can arrive to Sunday’s game sans flip flops and sunscreen because he won’t be making a visit to “Revis Island” when the Giants host the New York Jets at MetLife.
In an critical game that could potentially see the Giants ease into a lead in the NFC East with a Washington loss, Beckham Jr. could easily be the star of the show.
Though, Beckham Jr. is disappointed that he won’t have the opportunity to outfox Revis who hasn’t passed concussion protocol.
“I would love to play against him, but I understand what he is going through,” Beckham told the Daily News on Wednesday. “If he’s able to play, it would be great to go against one of the best to do it.”
No doubt he’s being honest, but at the same time Beckham Jr. is likely licking his chops at a chance to make hay without Revis tailing him the entire way.
The Bad: Bill Belichick and Rob Gronkowski can’t agree on injury report
It is now official that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the Week 13 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, on Tuesday, Gronkowski’s family and the team released a press statement regarding his injury and status to play.
“During Sunday night’s game, Rob Gronkowski sustained a bone bruise/sprain of his right knee. His status will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis and listed accordingly on the practice participation and injury reports. There is no timetable for his readiness to return, which will be determined in the days or hours prior to the appropriate game. Any timetable reported prior to that final determination would be speculative.”
So on Wednesday when Bill Belichick was asked about the release, he referred the reporter to the Patriots PR department after sarcastically telling her this.
“To try to do everything we can to help you out,” the coach replied, via NFL.com. “Sorry if you’re offended by that. Just trying to be cooperative and help you out, so if that’s a problem just let me know.”
We all know Belichick would rather swallow barbed wire than prematurely tip the team’s hand on a player’s injury status.
Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see the Patriots in action without both Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Fortunately, though, the Patriots play a putrid Eagles defense that has given up 90 points over its last two games.
The good: Steelers defense primes Matt Hasselbeck and T.Y. Hilton to go off the charts
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense just allowed Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin to look like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice when Wilson threw for 345 yards and five touchdowns, with Baldwin being the recipient of three.
Hasselbeck is coming off a stunning 315-yard, two-touchdown performance that starred T.Y. Hilton, who caught both scores. They will now face Pittsburgh’s porous defense that has given up 717 passing yards and six touchdowns the past two games. With Hasselbeck and Hilton’s chemistry on point, look for more destruction by this duo against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
And, a win for the Colts in one of the biggest games of the week would ensure they stay atop the AFC South, with Houston nipping at their heels.
The bad: Is Drew Brees already doomed for Week 13?
Brees, coming off a depressing zero-touchdown performance, enters a daunting home matchup against the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
“I’m benching Drew Brees for Mariota this week.”-@adamrank
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLfantasy) December 2, 2015
With fantasy football analysts already pulling the plug on Brees for the Week and starting rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota in his place, are Brees and the Saints already doomed for Week 13?
Unfortunately, facing a Panthers defense that intercepted Tony Romo three times, including two pick-sixes on Thanksgiving day, Brees will have his work cut out for him. To date, the Panthers secondary has allowed an average of just 223.8 passing yards and 1.18 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks.
If Cam Newton and crew can’t pull off a win against an rickety Saints squad, then Brees will have pulled off the upset of the season.