Already a lock for the Hall of Fame, will Peyton Manning win a second Super Bowl ring?
T’was the season of giving.
A majority of experts expected great things from the prized number one and number two overall draft picks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Named Andrew ‘Clutch’ by his teammates, 7 out 10 of the Colts’ victories were in comeback fashion. For a team that went 2-14 last season, Luck has led the Colts back to the playoffs. They say a team takes on the personality of their head coach. The Colts did just that. Head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia Sept. 26. The way he battled and fought through the deadly disease, his persistence latched on to the Luck led Colts and they haven’t looked back since.
The dazzling and charismatic Griffin III has taken the nation’s capital by storm. He is number 2 in the NFL in QB rating (104.1) and has 20 TD passes to only five interceptions (A stunning low number for a rookie quarterback). Not to mention his 752 yards on the ground with adding six more touchdowns. With a win against the Dallas Cowboys, Washington is in the playoffs.
But, perhaps one of the best gifts offered to the NFL is draped in action green, college navy and an accent of wolf grey. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches (if that much), Russell Wilson has broken loose of the notion that short quarterbacks can not exceed in the NFL. This third round pick (75th overall) has the NFL’s hottest team in contention to win the NFC West with a win against St. Louis and a loss by San Francisco. With a sound running game spearheaded by Marshawn Lynch and formidable defense, the Seattle Seahawks are poised for a post-season run. Russell Wilson is leading all rookie quarterbacks with 25 touchdown passes with one game remaining. (I selected Russell Wilson to win OROY in my 2012 Season Predictions)
This roller coaster of a season is far from over. Who is going to win MVP? Peyton Manning? Adrian Peterson? Either of the two could win both MVP and Comeback Player of the year. Will Aldon Smith of the 49ers or J.J. Watt of the Texans break the single season sack record? What about the hapless Jets? Nothing at all.
This week holds a ton of playoff implications, and I will get to them. However, I want to take the time to reflect on my 2012 Season Predictions.
In the AFC, I went 4 for 4 in predicting division winners (Ravens, Texans, Patriots and Broncos are all leading their division). The NFC was a different story.
The Chicago Bears, who were once considered the best team in the NFL, now stand at 9-6 after starting the season 7-1 clinging on to their slim playoff chances. The Carolina Panthers, one of the league’s biggest head-scratches was plagued by the sophomore slump of last year’s number one overall pick and OROY, Cam Newton. And the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s just say there is a lot of lost love in the city of brotherly love.
I’m switching my pick of San Diego’s OLB Melvin Ingram as DROY to Luke Kuechly of the Panthers for DROY. Depending on what happens in Seattle, if the St. Louis Rams can knock off the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL’s most hostile stadium, I will change my Coach of the Year pick Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher over the Denver Broncos‘ John Fox.
One thing is for sure, I am standing firm in my pick with the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl.
In Peyton I trust.
Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
As for playoff standings, this game doesn’t hold much implications. Cincinnati is locked in as the 6th seed, but Baltimore is still jockeying for position. The Bengals are looking to sweep the Ravens in divisional play after defeating Pittsburgh last week. This young team has to give the Ravens and Steelers nightmares. In the not so distant future, the AFC North will be dominated by the Bengals. Joe Flacco doesn’t have that it factor to lead Baltimore to the next level.
Green Bay Packers (11-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6)
My pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, no one is talking about the Packers. And I bet they have no problem with that at all. With a win over Minnesota, Green Bay will clinch a first-round bye. Adrian Peterson ran through, over and around the Packers in their first match-up as Peterson galloped for 210 yards. On the heels of an ACL and MCL tear, Peterson needs only 102 yards to reach 2,000 and 208 to break the all-time mark of 2,105, set by Eric Dickerson. If Minnesota wins, they’re in. They are going to have to earn this one. I personally think reaching the playoffs is the only way Peterson can solidify the MVP.
Oakland Raiders (4-11) at San Diego Chargers (6-9)
This game has zero, zilch, no type of playoff scenarios. This game is must watch to me because all year long I have been screaming for the Raiders to start Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. Carson Palmer was never worth the contract. He is one of the worst quarterback in the NFL. His time is Cincinnati was highlighted off one, single year when he finally led the Bengals to the playoffs. It was unfortunate that he was injured during that game, but he shouldn’t have been playing quarterback anyway.
Words from Wooten
Well, from the looks of it, we have a week filled with divisional match-ups. Now, this is where it gets interesting. A lot of teams are in a “win and you’re in” situation. About half of the games played this week are meaningful to a lot of the teams because a win this week will result in a playoff berth. On the other hand, a loss this week will result in going home.
Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Washington Redskins (9-6)
A playoff berth is on the line in the nation’s capital. If the Redskins win, they are in the playoffs. If the Cowboys win, they are in the playoffs. The problem is that a lot of people do not think the Cowboys will win. I am one of those people who think they won’t win. I look forward to this coming down to the nitty gritty. The best part is that this game is being played in my backyard of Washington DC, okay technically Landover, Md. Either way, this one will be a great one.
Chicago Bears (9-6) at Detroit Lions (4-11)
This game may get interesting. Here’s the deal, if Chicago wins they’re in the playoffs. If Chicago loses, well, you know what’s going to happen. Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson is 108 yards away from becoming the first wide receiver in NFL history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark. I want Chicago to win(and I am a die hard fan), but I want to see if Megatron can have a mega performance. That will be difficult seeing as though BOTH of the Bears starting CB’s are starting in the 2013 Pro Bowl.
Will Calvin Johnson become the first WR in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 yards?
Houston Texans (12-3) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
We have yet another interesting game here. No matter the outcome, both teams are going to the playoffs. The interesting part is that Houston’s defensive end J.J. Watt is 2.5 sacks away from breaking Michael Strahan‘s record of 22.5 set about 10 years ago. He now leads the league in sacks(20.5).
St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5)
Now this game does not involve any playoff implications, but everyone is interested to see what Seattle may do to St. Louis. In their past few games, Seattle has averaged 50 points. Behind rookie QB Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are looking to possibly clinch the NFC West with a win and 49ers’ loss this weekend.
|Buccaneers vs Falcons
|Jets vs Bills
|Ravens vs Bengals
|Bears vs Lions
|Jaguars vs Titans
|Texans vs Colts
|Panthers vs Saints
|Eagles vs Giants
|Browns vs Steelers
|Chiefs vs Broncos
|Packers vs Vikings
|Dolphins vs Patriots
|Raiders vs Chargers
|Cardinals vs 49ers
|Rams vs Seahawks
|Cowboys vs Redskins
In other news, this season was filled with a lot of surprises. Records coming down, coaches fired in the middle of the season, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano missing a large portion of the season battlling leukemia, Adrian Peterson having a monster season that no one could have possibly fathom, and to top it all off, Peyton Manning coming back from a year off to play and succeed at it once again. All in all, this has been such a marvelous and illustrious season for fans all over the world. It has been a pleasure partaking in brooksweekly.com. I look forward to next week when we have playoff predictions, possible award winners and off-season moves. – Delonte Wooten (@_SirWu)
Thanks for reading.