Look what we have here. Week 13 brought us a slate of NFL action that featured a number of fantastic games, and even more fantastic individual performances. Even though this column thrives on the wierd and offbeat, it was a welcome relief to have the weekend dominated by great football. But that doesn't mean this will be a vanilla column. Oh no, there were still some strange happenings across the NFL. So grab some friends and get ready to cry like Knowshon Moreno -- it's Fifth Down.
Adrian Peterson abused the Bears' defense for four quarters and overtime on Sunday, accumulating 211 rushing yards and becoming the third-fastest player to rush for 10,000 yards (only by Eric Dickerson and Jim Brown reached the milestone faster). Josh Gordon became the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back 200-yard receiving games, and set the Browns' franchise record for receiving yards in a single game ... in each of those games. While everyone talks about the this being a "passing" league, it's great to see Peterson grind out yardage the hard way by breaking tackles and refusing to go down without a fight. Likewise, it's impressive for Gordon to to set his receiving records the hard way. And by that, I mean with Brandon Weeden as his quarterback.
Knowshon Moreno can cry. And I mean that in the best way possible. If you didn't catch it during the actual game broadcast, check out the video to the right as tears literally pour out of Moreno's eyes. Now, he teared up during the national anthem, so there's no reason to make a jab at him. But my god. He may want to get those tear ducts checked out. He'd probably flood his house if he watched "Brian's Song" alone at night.
Everyone's still alive in the AFC
Take a look at the playoff picture on NFL.com. Man, is that AFC playoff picture ugly. Several 5-7 teams are hanging around, and the Ravens are currently the sixth seed with a 6-6 record. While that's great for the postseason hopes of all of those teams, it paints a poor picture of the competition in the AFC. That picture will look even worse when an 8-8 team upsets Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the playoffs. Remember the uproar when the 7-9 Seahawkstoppled the Saints in 2010? That will be nothing compared to this.
Toronto enjoys some vintage football
Roddy White catches 10 passes for 143 yards. Steven Jackson scores two rushing touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez catches a touchdown pass. And the Bills choke away a potential win. No, that is not a storyline from 2011, but rather what transpired in Toronto on Sunday afternoon when the Falconsdefeated the Bills in overtime. Aside from the flashback to better days in Atlanta, the highlight of the game was a Rob Ford sighting. I have a sneaking suspicion this isn't the last we've seen/heard of Ford in 2014.
Come on, Mike Tomlin! One week after I made you the good samaritan of the week you go and pull this stunt? Trying to subtly slow down/take down Jacoby Jones during a kickoff return? Great shame. For your efforts alone, I've now created a new award in this column: "Bush Leaguer of the Week." I hope you're happy.
The second tussle between AFC West titans did not disappoint on Sunday. Peyton Manning threw five touchdown passes, and Alex Smith was even slinging it for awhile. Unfortunately for Smith, his receivers decided to dip their hands in concrete before the game, as they were plagued by some painfully bad drops once again. This game came down to the wire, with the Chiefs offense driving into the redzone before ultimately coming up short in the final two minutes, falling 35-28 to the Broncos. Personally, I'm hoping for a Round III in the playoffs. A man can dream, can't he?
Yes, I know Richardson has done nothing all year, and was likely only started by people who haven't adjusted their lineup since Week 4, but I felt we needed to honor his latest "achievement." Richardson was benched this week in favor of Donald Brown. Richardson has finally hit rock bottom, folks. He was a top-10 pick in almost every fantasy football draft, was the subject of one of the highest-profile midseason trades in recent memory, and has managed to become unstartable in fantasy football. Brown had 54 rushing yards and a touchdown run as the Coltsdefeated the Titans and all but locked-up the AFC South crown. Richardson, had 19 rushing yards on five carries.
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