NFL Week 12 Report Cards: Grades For Every Team
Did you see the fight between Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan?
It was a great fight, certainly one of the biggest stories to come out of the day. The fight gets an A+, but the actual game grade could be something completely different. You'll have to read on to find out.
The Panthers and the Bills almost won their respective games, losing to a "doink" off the uprights and in overtime, respectively.
The Giants rallied to a victory, and the Green Bay Packers game versus the Atlanta Falcons was every bit as good as expected.
So here are the grades—and don't expect any favors for any teams.
When you get shut out, you get an F. The Titans were forced to start Rusty Smith at quarterback due to injuries to Vince Young and Kerry Collins, but failure to even get a field goal just means something went wrong.
We'll let Titans fans sound off on what went wrong. We're staying out of this one.
*Sigh* This is an NFC West team, so I guess the only thing I can do at this point is toast Bill Brasky.
Bill Brasky showers in Vodka and feeds his baby shrimp scampi. TO BILL BRASKY!!
The Redskins really need to do better. Donovan McNabb is inconsistent, but the Vikings fired their head coach this week.
The Bengals are not having the season they thought they were going to have, and that's great news if you're not a Bengals fan.
However, the Bengals just can't seem to put a complete game together, and this is the result.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs have been beating teams all year in the fourth quarter, so they get downgraded for not doing it this week. The Ravens are a good team, and the Bucs are 0-4 against teams with winning records.
Not boding well for the future.
With Bruce Gradkowski starting, it's become obvious the Raiders are sinking back into being "that team."
The Raiders need to settle on a quarterback, or they're never going to win consistently the rest of the year.
Stevie Johnson needs a hug. The Bills were one dropped pass away from winning the game and upsetting the Steelers in overtime.
The Bills play everyone hard, and they are looking more and more like a team who is way better than their record.
Peyton Manning had horrible luck with three interceptions, none of which could be completely laid at his feet as "bad decisions," and then there's the fact it seems half the offense is injured.
Still, you gotta keep the Chargers out of the end zone.
The Jacksonville Jaguars finally lost a close game. They ran out of tricks to pull out of their bag, and the Giants were the ones who made the comeback this time.
The Broncos get some style points for almost coming back and winning, but the fact they dug themselves a hole too deep to get out of keeps this grade from being higher.
I'd grade this different, but let's face it, this was a good game for the Cowboys.
But they just didn't make enough plays, especially on defense at the end of the game.
For a team as hot as the Eagles are, this game is a bit of a slap in the face. The Bears defense took away a lot of Michael Vick's options, and shut down LeSean McCoy.
Still, Vick had 333 yards passing and two touchdowns, so they weren't completely successful, but Vick's first pick in four years does say something.
The Lions made the game much better than it originally projected out to be.
Not sure if that says more about the Lions or Patriots at this point, but the Lions fell apart in the second half, and the outcome was as predicted.
The Steelers may have won, but I'm not sure anyone in Pittsburgh is calling this a great victory. This game was being described as a "trap" game by several Steelers fans, and it nearly proved to be true.
The Steelers may be a little banged up right now, but requiring overtime to win 19-16 over the Buffalo Bills just shows you how flat the Steelers played and how many mistakes were made.
The Panthers were one "doink" off the uprights from claiming their second victory of the season. The Panthers capitalized on a lot of Cleveland mistakes and kept the game close.
Given how bad this team has played this year, this game does qualify as a moral victory for the Panthers.
Green Bay Packers
This was a close game featuring two of the league's top teams.
There's no reason to believe that had Green Bay had one more opportunity, or if they had a better running game, that the Packers couldn't have pulled this one out.
This grade would've been much lower, but the Browns hung on to win a close game, so there's something to be said for that.
Jake Delhomme did nothing to keep his starter's job, though, throwing two picks and generally showing his trend of making poor decisions hasn't changed in the last few weeks while he was injured.
Also, it would help the Browns if the defense learned how to tackle.
Arian Foster ripped off 143 yards rushing, Matt Schaub had two touchdown throws and the Texans defense shut out the Titans, picking off Rusty Smith three times.
Other than that, not much happened.
There was a fight?
Helmets got ripped off?
I'm sure no one noticed.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints almost lost another game they should've won easily.
The Saints are a good team, but it's difficult to see them repeating a Super Bowl at this point.
The Ravens appeared to have dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on most aspects of the game, but the score really was a lot closer than it should be.
The Ravens played well, but they should've gotten in the end zone more.
New England Patriots
Does anyone else want to put funny captions beneath this picture?
The possibilities are endless.
Anyway, the Patriots miss the A because they let the Lions into the game in the first half. Even though the Lions are a much better team than last year, the Patriots disturbing trend of letting clearly inferior teams stay in games (or upset them, in the case of Cleveland) should be a red flag for the postseason.
The Falcons took on the Packers and came out on top.
This was a great game, and there's not much else I can say about it without turning this into a 3,000-word piece.
Hats off to the Dolphins. They came out and put a good whoopin' on the Raiders. They played a great game and looked much better than they have the last month or so.
St. Louis Rams
The fact an NFC West team beat a non-NFC West team says a lot, even if that team is the 2010 version of the Denver Broncos.
Sam Bradford played great, although there were problems with allowing the Broncos to almost come back in the second half.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs appear to have rebounded after a couple of shakey weeks. With Oakland losing and Denver in the toilet, the Chiefs should only have to worry about the Chargers going down the stretch.
And the Chiefs did play an NFL team on Sunday, despite rumors to the contrary and the fact the Seahawks play in the NFC West.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are back, baby!! The Chargers manhandled the Colts, picked off Peyton Manning three times and just controlled a team that isn't used to being controlled.
The Chargers are moving up into legitimate playoff contention, and they're once again making a second-half surge that will lead to a playoff berth.
New York Jets
The Jets clearly are becoming the team they told everyone they were going to be in "Hard Knocks."
Granted this game was against a Bengals team fighting for the No. 1 pick in the draft, but you play the schedule the league gives you, and the Jets did what they were supposed to do.
New York Giants
Eli Manning rallied the team for a fourth-quarter comeback, and the Giants are right back in the thick of things with a victory.
The NFC East is still up for grabs, and the Giants are going to keep things with the Eagles interesting until the end of the season.
The Bears showed up and took it to the Eagles, restricting Michael Vick, and showing signs the offense is starting to gel a little better. Jay Cutler threw for four touchdowns, one of his best games in quite some time.
Julius Peppers earned his paycheck, and the Bears now control their own destiny down the stretch.
The Vikings changed head coaches, overhauled their offense and Brett Favre didn't throw any picks.
The Vikings got a victory under adverse circumstances, and that brings an A to their report card.