NFL Week 13: Brett Favre Injured Plus 25 Things We Learned
NFL Week 13 showed us that Brett Favre learned a lesson of his own on the field, but we'll get to that in a moment.
Peyton Manning continues to learn what it's like to be an NFL quarterback without an offensive line, while the Chicago Bears continue to score touchdowns without having much of a line of their own.
The Cleveland Browns can officially win close games now, but no one is sure that's making anyone in Cleveland feel better at this point in time.
Like any week in the NFL, this week was full of useful lessons for teams to ponder in the week ahead.
25. The Green Bay Packers Offense Is in Playoff Form
Aaron Rodgers had 298 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.
Granted, the 49ers aren't the New York Giants or Pittsburgh Steelers, but their defense isn't as bad as the casual fan might think it is.
So, yeah, the Packers are playing well.
24. Michael Vick Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking
Michael Vick took a beating on Thursday night, to the point where the Philadelphia Eagles organization began questioning the league on why Vick isn't getting the flags other quarterbacks have been getting.
Vick admitted to feeling a little abused, but that didn't stop him from throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
23. Jake Delhomme Is Not Cleveland's Quarterback of the Future
Jake Delhomme threw for 217 yards and one touchdown, but there were two very ugly throws that should have been intercepted.
While it can't be said without dissecting film, the Browns wide receivers were nowhere to be found again, and the Browns kept hoping Peyton Hillis would break it open.
Whether that was a failure on the coaching staff's part for not adjusting or a simple lack of faith in Delhomme, there's no reason to see this guy starting in Cleveland again.
Seneca Wallace is a better option at this point.
22. Peyton Manning Has No Idea Who Is Catching His Passes
Peyton Manning has been throwing a lot of interceptions, but as Troy Aikman pointed out: He has no idea what routes his receivers are running because they don't know where they're going either.
Manning is forced to stare down receivers, and as a result, defenses are getting jumps on him they never used to have a chance of making.
21. Jimmy Clausen Isn't Ready to Be an NFL Starter
Jimmy Clausen was highly touted coming out of college, but a lot of analysts thought he wasn't ready to be an NFL quarterback.
Those analysts were right.
Clausen had trouble getting the ball up and down the field, with no touchdowns and one interception.
20. There May Be a QB Controversy in Minnesota
Brett Favre got a nice shoulder injury, and Tarvaris Jackson replaced him, doing as well as Favre has been lately.
This says Jackson helped move the offense, while Adrian Peterson did most of the work. Still, if Favre's retiring and every joint in his body is broken, it may be time to give the ball to Jackson.
It can't hurt.
19. Chicago Wins Close Game
Good teams find ways to win close games, and that's what the Chicago Bears have done.
But if you're getting the edge by being on the favorable end of bad calls, that doesn't say a lot for your playoff chances.
The Bears are making their own luck so far, but the playoffs are looming. This team needs to quit relying on luck to be the difference in games.
18. The Washington Redskins Have No Hope
Redskins owner Dan Snyder may call Mike Shanahan in this Monday and ask him what he's trying to accomplish on the field.
Because, it doesn't look like he's trying to win games at this point.
So if Shanahan is trying to raise the Redskins' pick in the draft order, mission accomplished.
Given the way the offense is playing, the amount of turnovers and the defense's inability to stop Eli Manning, you can't expect the Redskins to win games.
17. Donald Driver Still Has Big-Play Ability
Donald Driver is greased lightning.
That's all you can say about his catch in the wide open field, jumping on his horse and galloping for 61 yards and a touchdown.
That catch broke the game open, and the San Francisco 49ers were done.
16. Dan Carpenter Has Leg
Dan Carpenter kicked a 60-yard field goal against the Browns on Sunday.
What has your kicker done for you lately?
15. Dwayne Bowe Is Human
Lately, Dwayne Bowe has been one of the darlings of the NFL receiver corps, and for good reason. That didn't help him on Sunday, as Champ Bailey made sure Bowe went home without any dinner.
Zero catches for Bowe on the day, not that Bailey feels any better about it with the loss.
14. Putting Your Star Wide Receiver in to Return Kicks Is Dumb
Dallas Cowboys' head coach Jason Garrett decided to put Dez Bryant in to return a kick in the second half.
Bryant now has a broken ankle.
Good thinkin' there.
13. Derek Anderson Gets More Happy Fun Time on the Bench
Derek Anderson, who didn't handle last week's loss well and laughed about it on the sidelines, will have more time to laugh on the sidelines.
Anderson was benched in favor of Max Hall, who was subsequently injured, so John Skelton was inserted into the game.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has so little faith in Anderson at this point, he'd rather go with the guy with no experience.
Anyone who's followed Anderson's career to this point knows this was the correct decision.
12. The Saints Continue to Have Trouble with Weak Teams
Name one team in the NFL whose record is above .500 that has trouble with teams that are cellar-dwelling this year.
The New Orleans Saints are the defending Super Bowl champs, and they almost lost to the Bengals, Cowboys, Vikings, 49ers and Panthers.
And they actually lost to the Browns and the Arizona Cardinals.
The Saints still have hopes in the playoffs, since they seem to play good teams well.
I'm confused—does this make any sense?
11. The Chargers Continue to Not Get It Done
The Chargers running game was cold.
Philip Rivers didn't have one of his better days, and the Oakland Raiders dominated the Chargers.
The Chargers made lots of mistakes, and the prospect of another second-half surge now looks slimmer.
10. The Bears Hate Playing the Lions
It seems every game between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions this year comes down to a Bears win because of a bad call by the refs.
The Bears probably are glad they have no chance of seeing the Lions again until next year.
9. The Miami Dolphins Are Drafting a Quarterback
Chad Henne made everyone happy after last week's game, and I hope all Miami Dolphins fans enjoyed that game.
This wasn't the case on Sunday. Henne had three picks to offset his one touchdown pass and 174 yards.
The only reason Henne is starting is because Chad Pennington got injured, and Tyler Thigpen is even worse.
8. This Just in: The Falcons Are Good
The Atlanta Falcons continue to get it done in games where it matters most.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been nipping at the heels of the Saints and Falcons all season, but the Falcons took care of business on Sunday.
7. The Rams Are Dominating the NFC West at 6-6
The St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks have equal records, but to the casual observer, you'd think the Rams have eight or nine wins.
That's a feature of being in the NFC West this year, when 6-6 qualifies as "dominating."
6. Ben Roethlisberger Knows How to Take a Punch
After taking a shot to the face, Ben Roethlisberger's nose didn't look so well. Even though his nose was occupying different parts of his face, he put his helmet back on and got back in the game.
We'll see what the NFL says about the hit this week, but fair is fair.
5. The Jacksonville Jaguars Don't Need David Garrard to Be Good
David Garrard had 126 yards passing.
Maurice Jones-Drew had 181 yards rushing and one touchdown.
MJD is the Jaguars offense most weeks, and Garrard looks better by default.
4. The Titans Are a Complete Mess
The Tennessee Titans no longer seem to have any quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs or a defense of any kind.
Defending David Garrard isn't that tough, but defending Maurice Jones-Drew is not something the Titans excelled at Sunday.
Chris Johnson once again didn't come close to 100 yards, and the Titans have collapsed into a shell of their former selves.
3. Sidney Rice Was the Missing Piece of the Vikings Offense
Sidney Rice, finally healthy, contributed to the Vikings offense to the tune of 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Rice is one of the big reasons the Vikings scored points. Rice is one of the best at his position, and the Bills found out why on Sunday.
2. Carson Palmer Is Not Very Smart
With time running out, Carson Palmer tried to get his team to the line, so he could spike the ball and stop the clock.
He did this because using one of the team's timeouts at that point was forbidden by Lord Voldemort.
Or maybe it was Darth Vader.
It had to be one of those guys because it doesn't make sense why a quarterback would run the clock down on his own team.
1. Marvin Lewis May Be Looking for New Employment
The Cincinnati Bengals' Pat Simms jumped the gun on 4th-and-2, giving the Saints a new lease on life and the eventual victory.
Marvin Lewis is the head coach, so that kind of mistake comes back to him. It is his job to make sure Simms doesn't jump offsides on 4th-and-2.
It's also Lewis' responsibility to keep the Bengals competitive after making the playoffs last year.
With nine straight losses, the Bengals are anything but competitive.
Given the turnarounds the Cowboys and Vikings have seen after making changes to their coaching staffs at midseason, is there any reason for Cincinnati to keep Lewis around?