If the Week 12 Power Rankings are anywhere near as good as the Monday night game, we're cooking with grease ...
a) Pass interference should have been called on Luke Kuechly.
b) There's no way in hell Rob Gronkowski would have made a play on that ball. Ever.
c) The Ahmad Brooks hit on Drew Brees was far more significant and controversial.
Didn't most of the banks fail?
Yes, it does. But just one spot.
I do, too.
The Cowboys and Rams got their turn at a week off, and now we're almost through the bye weeks. Then we hit the home stretch. But we'll save the prognosticating for Thursday, when we run our weekly picks column.
Until then, let's look at how the league stacks up. Feel free to send your thoughts ... @Harrison_NFL is the place.
Let the dissension commence ...
If I'm a Patriots fan ( or Jerry Jones) I'm looking at this loss as a moral victory. Much went wrong, and yet, there the Pats were, nearly pulling out a road win versus a top team.
Is there a more inconsistent team than Detroit? The Lions can score in a heartbeat through the air -- and yet they lead the league in drops. Jim Schwartz is the only coach to have taken them to the playoffs in the Y2K era -- and yet his call to fake a field-goal attempt changed the complexion (and momentum) of Sunday's loss. How about the fact that every year, we hear how great the front four is -- and yet that group was completely missing in the second half in Pittsburgh?
Rating Detroit is a challenge.
**Ray Rice:** *So this is what it feels like to be a lead running back.*
**Ravens fans:** *We're watching a $100 million contract at work.*
**Joe Flacco:** *Who's Deonte Thompson? Oh, one of my receivers. I knew that.* </content:power-ranking>
The Giants are just 1½ games behind the Eagles in the NFC East. Give Tom Coughlin a ton of credit; the man doesn't believe in packing it in. Ever.
A lot of fans were upset with me for saying (tongue in cheek) that Cleveland was screwing up at tanking the season. Frankly, I'm on the record as thinking the Trent Richardson deal was smart for the franchise, but like it or not, that move and rumors of a Josh Gordon trade created the perception that the team was playing for next season. The thing is, even if the Browns do go on a run and finish with a decent record, neither of their two first-round draft picks will be high; there's just no getting around that. Other than building confidence, going 7-9 or 8-8 doesn't do much for this squad, because Cleveland is out of the AFC North race.
We'd like to see Buffalo finish strong, with winnable games coming up versus the Falcons, Buccaneers, Jaguars and Dolphins.
Of course, nothing could have made up for the poor showing by the secondary. Eagles receivers were wide open in the first half -- much like the last time these two teams met.
***Power Rankings fun fact:*** Wilder set an NFL record (since surpassed) with 407 carries in 1984. Rainey might never do that, but still; in this day and age, 30 attempts for 163 yards translates to a big-time workload. </content:power-ranking>
Meanwhile, we enjoyed this take on Schaub-Johnson I, via the Twitter account of the Houston Chronicle's John McClain ( @McClain_on_NFL):
"Schaub should b glad Johnson didn't go Cortland Finnegan on him."
That's OK; the Jags' secondary made up for it by allowing Cardinals receivers to make 30 catches for 419 yards. Jacksonville has to be about the only team that could make Carson Palmer look like, well, Carson Palmer ... from about eight years ago.