What We Learned This Week in the NFL

spencer zothContributor IDecember 1, 2008

This week in the NFL was an interesting one. There were many teams with a better record the were not favored. This was most apparent with the Carolina Panthers as they went into Green Bay a one point underdog, even though they had a 8-3 record compared to the Packers being 5-6.

Many other games held great interest, like the Steelers at the Patriots, who have had the Steelers' number since Belichick became the coach.

These are my top five things we learned this week.


5. Andre Who?

Andre Johnson is one of the better wideouts in the game, but do to the Houston Texans being a bad team in a smaller market, he doesn't get the national recognition he should. He leads the NFL in receptions and yards, and also has four touchdowns for the Texans.


4. The Pack is Not Back

The Packers were favored this week over the power running Carolina Panthers. While their offence responded to a good defense, the Packers were exposed this week for what they are, not that good.

While Arron Rodgers did have a decent game, the defense gave up four rushing touchdowns to DeAngelo Williams. Williams had four one-yard touchdown runs, showing us that the Packers are a lame duck on defense, not  any way to stop a decent back.


3. Plaxico Shot His Chances

Plaxico Burress had quite a week. While at a night club, he accidentally shot himself in the thigh, sealing his fate with the Giants, in my opinion. He has been trouble ever since he left Pittsburgh.

Burress was replaced by a Dominik Hixon, who played better than Plaxico has been in recent games. Plaxico's undisciplined nature shows us he is not a team player under a team focused coach.


2. Cassel is No Brady

This week the New England fans were contemplating the thought that Matt Cassel might be the better choice over Tom Brady. This was proven wrong versus the Steelers though.

After back-to-back 400-yard games, Matt Cassel was held to 167 yard on 19 of 39 throwing and two fumbles and interceptions. The thought of trading Brady has already left the heads of all New England fans, seeing as Cassel just isn't the quarterback they were making him out to be.


1. James Harrison is Defensive MVP: James Harrison had two second half forced fumbles and sacks, and this was after not being able to walk to the locker room at halftime with a hyper-extended back.

After a drive at the end of the first half by the Patriots that ended in a missed field goal, Harrison was carted to the locker room without any of his teammates knowing about it. He proceeded to dominate Matt Light and continually pressure Cassel into mistakes.

He will end the season with more sacks in a season than any Steeler before him, and combined with LaMarr Woodley, has the most sacks by a linebacking tandem.