Welcome in to the Full10Yards Week 12 Takeaways. While you are tucking in to your Tuesday (other days are available) dinner, get some of these side dishes round your chops.
Don’t forget, for a more in-depth look at the Week 12 games, there is our regular Monday recap show available on Twitter/YouTube/Facebook or through podcast outlets.
Let’s get to it then. Here are our takeaways from the weekend’s action:
No quarters given?
The first quarter of football in Tampa Bay for the Kansas City Chiefs was just electric. Everyone scrambling through KC record books and also NFL ones too. MVP clubhouse leader Patrick Mahomes and star wideout Tyreek Hill put on a show combining for seven connections, 203 yards and two receiving TDs.
Fantasy owners who had thrown in the towel rejoiced and you’d have been forgiven in thinking the Buccaneers would have done too.
Whether the Chiefs took their collective foot off the gas or whether it was the Buccaneers’ half-time adjustments giving them the failed late comeback attempt is up for debate, but we have seen a plethora of instance where the Chiefs just blow teams away in a quarter.
Just go back to last post-season, when the Chiefs put up 28 points against the Texans in the second quarter of the divisional round. And we all remember the three TDs in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
It’s anyone’s guess as to how you try and stop the Chiefs. From a defensive standpoint, it’s hard to draw anything up because if you play zone coverage or play with a big buffer to the WR, they’ll just pick you apart underneath with Kelce, Watkins and the running game; play too aggressively and/or blitz, and you get performances like the one we saw from Tyreek Hill.
It’s just going to be a case of fighting fire with fire, which makes the Chiefs’ match-ups mouthwatering when they occur (we all remember the 54-51 game against the Rams in 2018!).
The Chiefs stay hot on the coat tails of the Steelers (who possibly play on Wednesday) and with the Steelers offence probably being one of the better ones in the AFC, I don’t think anyone will scoff at a potential Steelers vs Chiefs AFC title game. Yum yum.
The Thanksgiving Day turkey finally stuffed
You hear that? That’s the sound of Detroit Lions fans around the world (but mainly in Michigan) rejoicing at the dismissal of HC Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn. Prior to Patricia’s stint, Jim Caldwell and “Jim Bob” Cooter were often ridiculed for their results each season. My, how some of them probably wish that these guys were still here.
Patricia leaves with a 13-29-1 record from his first stab at the head coaching role and you have to wonder whether he’ll get another. Maybe he’ll end up back in New England with Bill and Josh, but the Mad Scientist certainly needed more than a few rockets up their backsides to get anything positive from this team.
Blasted for consistently failing to adapt his defence, Patricia did have injury-plagued seasons with the likes of Chase Daniel, Jeff Driskel and David Blough captaining the ship. But even so, there were enough stars on both sides of the ball throughout that roster to make his finishing record something you just have to shake your head at.
The back office have said that they endeavour to get the next hiring right and you can argue that the Lions are in worse shape now than they were pre-Matt Patricia.
There is a decision to be made at quarterback and don’t be surprised to see a few teams sniffing round to acquire his services comes next season, but the cap is not in great shape after huge deals and overpays given in the past year or two to the likes of Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Their defensive front is putting zero fear into opposing offences and needs an overhaul. they have a few pieces on offence with rookie RB D’Andre Swift and star wideout Kenny Golladay, but he is in the last year of his rookie deal.
For the Detroit faithful, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief, probably fist-pump a little bit and then it’ll likely go back to the usual cycle of underwhelming and the franchise continuing to play non-meaningful games on Thanksgiving (sorry Lions fans).
QB or no QB, that is the question
I think it’s a decent stretch to say that there no quarterbacks on the field in the New Orleans “match-up” with the Denver Broncos.
Due to Drew Lock and the rest of the Denver Broncos QBs being removed from the game due to Jeff Driskel’s COVID diagnosis as a result of the close contact protocols, Kendall Hinton – the practice squad WR – got his chance to shine and accumulate a little niche fan club on the field in Week 12.
Hinton has actually thrown a TD pass more recently (at Wake, 2017) than his opposite number, Taysom Hill on Sunday (BYU, 2016).
While no-one knew what to expect on the field from him and ultimately wasn’t too much to shout about when the dust had settled, Kendall must have had one of the craziest 24 hours for an NFL player.
“I can easily say it has been the most eventful 24 hours of my life, but when I got the call, it was pure excitement. I would not say this was how I had it planned out in my dreams, it usually doesn’t work out how you want it. So just getting this opportunity and this experience was amazing.”Kendall on going into the Saints game, his experience and his reflection on the game vs the Saints.
Hinton got to realise a dream, of being introduced as an NFL starting QB, coming out of that tunnel last with his name announced and got a decent pay cheque at the end of it.
He’ll tell his grandkids about his one completed pass to tight end Noah Fant if maybe not necessarily focusing on too much else.
Hinton ended up with 2 INTs and just one completion on nine attempts. For the rest of the Broncos, Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon and even Royce Freeman (who was initially slated to get the nod in the wildcat system at QB) all took direct snaps, but the Broncos putting up three points was as probably as good as it was going to get.
Kendall though joins the Google search trending hotlist, just under namesake Jenner and a lovely quaint village in the Lake District (OK, I cheated on that one, I’ll take the extra L).
Taking it on the Chinn
A bit of defensive appreciation here.
It comes in the form of Carolina rookie DB Jeremy Chinn.
The 2020 second round pick out of Southern Illinois managed to score not one but two touchdowns in the game against Minnesota. Even better still, it was on BACK-TO-BACK PLAYS!
After scooping up a fumble and returning it for 17 yards into the end zone, he then stripped running back Dalvin Cook and returned it 28 yards to rack up 12 points for the Panthers.
The team effort ultimately fell short as Kirk Cousins found a fourth quarter performance from seemingly nowhere, but in 2021, I’m certainly not going to be sleeping on the Panthers. This team is going to go places.
I wonder if they sniff at Matthew Stafford…? (see above)
InZane in the membrane
The Arizona Cardinals lost vital ground in the NFC West division race with their loss in New England in Week 12.
A Nick Folk 50=yard FG as time expired was enough for the Patriots to take the win 20-17. The drive prior though, Zane Gonzalez missed a 45-yard kick with 1:52 on the clock, giving Cam and the Pats’ offence enough time to engineer a game-winning drive.
That loss could be huge for the Cardinals with the Seahawks winning and the 49ers tightening the pack up a little bit.
It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see all teams in the NFC having a non-losing season, which makes losses like these for the Cardinals even more crucial.
Falcons swoop on Carr crash in Atlanta, AFC team playoff pileup
The week after taking the Chiefs to the wire at home, Derek Carr and the Raiders laid an absolute egg against the Falcons.
To take the car analogy further, it was a total write off too as we saw some Nathan Peterman on the field after three fumbles and one interception from Carr returned for a pick-six, effectively sealing the game in the middle of the third quarter.
The loss leaves the Raiders at 6-5 and currently the number #9 seed (this is written before the Ravens/Steelers game) and while the loss was against a cross-conference opponent, it’s a game you felt the Raiders needed to keep pace with the pile-up currently in the Wild Card hunt.
They have a change to get right next week against the Jets, but something just stinks in that game to me that the Jets get their first win, which will kill the Raiders for 2020.
For the Falcons, nobody saw this coming, not Deion Sanders, Jerry Glanville or the ghost of Elvis Presley (who the former Falcons coach would leave tickets for).
The Falcons stifled the Las Vegas Raiders to the extent they got the same amount of points defensively in one play as Gruden’s gang managed in 60 minutes of football. Atlanta’s D forced three Derek Car fumbles (he lost all three), got five sacks and an interception, and dominated the game from start to finish.
The Falcons are a very respectable 4-2 since installing interim head coach Raheem Morris. Morris has got the Falcons playing with some pride, and is doing himself a world of good in terms of securing the post in the longer term.
A laughing stock for the majority of the season, if anyone placed a wager that the Falcons would beat the Raiders by 37 points, I want to see the betting slip… and then get their tips for all this week’s upcoming games.
Brissett sneaks under the radar
It was quite the week for back-up QBs, who were standing in for injured starters (Brandon Allen) or coming on when the QB1 got injured mid-game (Colt McCoy). Some weren’t even quarterbacks (much respect to Kendall Hinton in Denver). So it’s understandable that you may have missed the latest cameo from Jacoby Brissett, buried deep in the stats from the Colts’ 45-26 hiding by the Titans.
Nothing much went right for Indy on Sunday, from clock management issues to Derrick Henry running amok. The result was essentially set in stone by half-time, after ‘The Beaver’ (TM Lawrence Vos) had rumbled for 140 yards and three touchdowns. He ‘only’ got 38 more after the break but he’s definitely doing everything he can to get his name into the MVP conversation.
By contrast, the Colts’ offence recorded just 56 yards rushing but three of those – courtesy of Mr Brissett – were no less intriguing than Henry’s 178. Now a bench-warmer in Indianapolis after the arrival of Philip Rivers, Brissett went 0-for-2 for passing, but rushed four times for three yards and two touchdowns.
OK, so I wouldn’t go scouring the waiver wire to add him to your fantasy football team just yet but he’s carved out a niche for himself, despite sitting out for all but a few snaps each week. Head Coach Frank Reich has started to use him in two contrasting but specific scenarios: when the Colts need a quarterback sneak (Philip Rivers is not a fan, having attempted just one in the last five years) or when they need to throw it halfway down the field (arm strength was never Rivers’ USP). Everything else falls under young Pip’s remit but for the opposite ends of the spectrum – the 1-yard QB sneak or the Hail Mary – it seems Jacoby’s the man.
He was wheeled on to hurl an all-or-nothing bomb against the Ravens in Week 9 (it was a ‘nothing’) but more notably, in the past few games, Brissett has started to see some action on short-yardage runs. On his only running play two weeks ago, in Indy’s first match-up against Tennessee, he scored on a 2-yard rush and he managed two more against them this Sunday (he also secured a vital 4th-and-1 on the Colts’ opening TD drive).
By way of comparison, Rivers has three rushing touchdowns in his entire career – and he’s no spring chicken. Although Brissett can only boast 14 yards, three of his nine rushing attempts this season have resulted in TDs, putting him on a par with Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Teddy Bridgewater, Justin Herbert and Dak Prescott in that regard.
Switching between QBs is not normally recommended, as it risks upsetting the star of the franchise, let alone the rhythm of the offence. But to their credit, the Colts seem have fully embraced the respective talents of their top two play-callers and are happy to let the understudy play to his strengths, while giving their team the best chance when the circumstances are right.
Gibson is playing a chart-topping tune
Why does Mike McCarthy hate guitar music? He hates playing a Gibson – Antonio Gibson that is.
It may be a while ago that Washington put the second beat down on the Dallas Cowboys this season, but it’s never too late to pay tribute to a rookie that is having a truly outstanding season.
Gibson, more of a receiver in college, has quietly gone about his business on a team that has been abysmal in part and surprising in the last two weeks.
The fact he leads all rookie running backs in rushing touchdowns is worth a mention, the fact he is third in the entire NFL for this category is somewhat shocking. His three scores on Thanksgiving were a personal highlight.
His 11 scores are five ahead of his nearest rookie rival, the Jaguars’ UDFA James Robinson. Washington are incredulously joint leading the NFC (L)East after 12 weeks – with a 4-7 record. Their head-to-head record against the Giants mean if the playoffs were today, they would be out.
We know Joe Burrow was the prime candidate for rookie of the year, with Justin Herbert and Justin Jefferson narrowly behind. But nobody is talking about Antonio Gibson. Maybe that starts to change this week with Washington facing Pittsburgh in a second consecutive spotlight game.
If you used to play Guitar Hero back in the day and now play Draft Kings, then you can do worse that firing up a Gibson!!
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