Only one team now remains undefeated in the NFL thanks to the week 12 results and that is the Carolina Panthers. I can’t stress enough how great a job I think that Ron Rivera is doing as a head coach for them. In week 13 Carolina can seal their third straight NFC South title with a win against the New Orleans Saints or if the Atlanta Falcons lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
One of the key parts to Carolina’s success this year has been the play of their outstanding young middle linebacker Luke Kuechly who I feel I have not mentioned anywhere near enough this season. This season Kuechly has amassed 75 tackles along with one sack, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, three interceptions and one touchdown. Kuechly is also the key linchpin in this defence. You can see how Kuechly and the Panthers remained undefeated by watching their week 12 highlights below:
Of course there only now being one team in the hunt for the perfect season must mean the New England Patriots lost this week and it appears they lost more than just the game this week as their star tight end Rob Gronkowski has joined their long list of injuries which already includes key players Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and several offensive lineman. Here is the highlights to their first loss of the season which ended in quite dramatic style:
Elsewhere in the NFL the NFC East title race has taken yet another turn as the Washington Redskins have taken over the lead thanks to a win against their rivals the New York Giants. Washington have won four out of their five games at home and it just goes to show you how important home field advantage is in the NFL these days. It also helps that they have their star receiver DeSean Jackson back in action along with a defence that is now starting to find some form. You can see the highlights from this NFC East showdown below:
Elsewhere around the league the quarterback carousel in Cleveland continues to spin as starter Johnny Manziel was relegated to third string QB after his off field antics last week meaning Josh McCown would start for the Browns against the Ravens. During the game itself McCown got injured and Austin Davis came in to replace him and led the team on a comeback charge. Check out the highlights below to see how this game ended in what was a quite spectacular fashion:
To finish off this week, with it being the start of December and all, the real playoff push has just begun so let’s take a look at who is in the driving seats to make it to the post season.
Since we last looked at the full picture back in week seven the landscape has changed just slightly in both conferences so we start with the NFC. The four division winners would be Carolina (NFC South), Washington (NFC East), Minnesota (NFC North) and Arizona (NFC West) meaning the wild card teams would be Green Bay and Seattle. As you can see Seattle have now snuck into the playoff mix as well as Washington, not only that but Minnesota has replaced Green Bay at the top of the NFC North.
The AFC has also seen some subtle changes to its teams, again we start with the divisions winners: Indianapolis (AFC South), New England (AFC East), Cincinnati (AFC North) and Denver (AFC West) with the wild card teams being Kansas City and Houston. Somehow Houston have really turned their season around despite injuries to their quarterbacks and star running back. If these were the teams in the playoffs what would be your ideal Superbowl?
Well that wraps it up from me for another week but be sure to check out our podcast ‘Spitball’ which will be available later in the week. Until next time football fans stay safe, take care and ‘Thanks for Stopping By’.
Adri 'BallHawk' Mallows