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Muscle Sport Magazine

NFL Week 12 Recap & Analysis – Playoff Picture Taking Shape

Chargers – 36, COLTS – 14

San Diego continues their late season dominance and are right on track with a 6-5 record heading into December. This was a huge win for them on the road against a quality conference opponent. Indianapolis (6-5) has been inconsistent this year but still find themselves tied for first place in the AFC South.

Patriots – 45, LIONS – 24

New England (9-2) woke up in the second half on Thanksgiving and won going away. Their small receiving corps is very effective and QB Tom Brady has been on the money all year long. RB Danny Woodhead has been the surprise of the league and looks for revenge against his former team when the Jets come into Foxborough on Monday night for a first place show down. Detroit is 2-9 and will continue their rebuilding for a few more years.

Saints – 30, COWBOYS – 27

New Orleans nearly blew a 17-point lead on Turkey day and would have had it not been for Roy Williams’s fumble. They improved to 8-3 and are still a game behind Atlanta. Dallas (3-8) should have won their third straight under Jason Garrett and have played much better since he took over. Does this knock them off a bit?

JETS – 26, Bengals – 10

By taking care of business at home on the Thanksgiving matinee versus a lesser opponent, New York (9-2) stayed above New England with the tie breaker and can really separate themselves with a win on Monday. Brad Smith proved once again that he is a valuable weapon in the Jets’ arsenal and that will only bode well as the postseason approaches. At 2-9, Cincinnati’s struggles continue.

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FALCONS – 20, Packers – 17

In a possible playoff preview, Atlanta (9-2) prevailed in the Georgia Dome by kicking a late field goal. This happened after Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers’s Superman impression to tie it up on fourth down with under a minute left. With Chicago winning their game, the Pack still trail in the division by a game at 7-4.

Steelers – 19, BILLS – 16 (OT)

Talk about winning by the skin of your teeth. Pittsburgh (8-3) did everything but hand the game to Buffalo and still were able to squeak by. All wins are big at this time of year and the Steelers stayed tied with Baltimore at 8-3. For the Bills (2-9), they saw their modest two-game winning streak snapped and have played hard all year.

BROWNS  -24, Panthers – 23

A missed field goal attempt at the gun gave Cleveland (4-7) the win over Carolina (1-10)

TEXANS – 20, Titans – 0

The big fight took center stage, but this game actually had some meaning to it. Both teams are now 5-6 and barely hanging on to any playoff hope. Tennessee is done by having to go with their third string QB due to injuries while Houston can get back in it in a winnable division. Probably not.

GIANTS – 24, Jaguars – 20

Getting back on track after dropping two straight, New York (7-4) had a big second half and got by the pesky Jags. They are now tied with Philadelphia and both teams will battle tooth and nail till the end. Jacksonville (6-5) stayed in first place in the AFC South by way of Indy’s loss.

Vikings – 17, REDSKINS – 13

Minnesota improved to 4-7 with a first down scramble by QB Brett Favre on third-and-eight in their first game of the post-Chilly era. Washington (5-6) needs to win these type of games – especially at home – if they want to be taken seriously. Maybe next year.

Dolphins – 33, RAIDERS – 17

Two weeks ago, Oakland was tied for the AFC West division lead with Kansas City. After two straight losses, they are now 5-6 and in third place. The real Raiders have stood up. Miami (6-5) is on pace to finish .500 at best.

Chiefs – 42, SEAHAWKS – 24

By going to the pacific Northwest and winning big, Kansas City (7-4) is showing that they belong. How long they can hold off the Chargers remains to be seen, but at least they appear to be going down swinging. That is certainly not the case with Seattle, who are somehow still tied for first at 5-6 in the anemic NFC West.

RAVENS – 17, Buccaneers – 10

Baltimore (8-3) has been a top team since opening day and have beaten another quality opponent in Tampa Bay, who are 7-4 and in third place in the competitive NFC South.

BEARS – 31, Eagles – 26

In a battle of two first place teams, Chicago (8-3) prevailed at home and took advantage of Green Bay’s loss. Michael Vick looked good at times but couldn’t provide enough magic to pull it out. Philadelphia is still tied with the Giants at 7-4.

Rams  -36, BRONCOS – 33

St. Louis continues to surprise and are tied with Seattle for first place, albeit with a 5-6 record. QB Sam Bradford has proven to be the right choice as the overall number one pick last April. Denver (3-8) has had a rough go of it.

San Francisco at ARIZONA

The worst Monday Night match-up of the year. ‘Nuff said.

Photo by Bill Menzel

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