Monday Morning Quarterback: The Good, The Bad Of Week 12
New England PatriotsDenver Broncos
The confrontation between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning exceeded the hype. After watching the Broncos build a 24-0 lead in the first half, the Patriots came out storming in the second half and came all the way back to get the sensational win. Brady completed 34-of-50 for 344 yards and three TDs in brutal, windy conditions.
The Patriots did everything they could to take away Manning’s passing game. Manning completed just 19-of-36 passes for 150 yards with two TDs and an interception. A botched punt return late in overtime pinned a painful loss on the Broncos.
Dallas CowboysNew York Giants
It had to feel sensational for Tony Romo as this time he was on the field and he led his team on a game-winning drive after the Giants tied the game in the fourth quarter. Romo threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Eli Manning had a solid game as he completed 16-of-30 passes for 174 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. However, he made the mistake of letting Romo have the ball last and the Cowboys’ quarterback took the game from the Giants.
Tennessee TitansOakland Raiders
Ryan Fitzpatrick has the Titans in a great position to make the playoffs as the season hits the stretch run. He threw the game-winning TD pass to Kendall Wright in the final 10 seconds and he threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzpatrick did not throw an interception.
Matt McGloin had another solid effort for the Raiders as he threw for 260 yards and a touchdown, but he could not lead the Raiders to a second straight win.
Arizona CardinalsIndianapolis Colts
The Cardinals are the team nobody is talking about. Perhaps they should be, because Carson Palmer is playing his best football of the season. Palmer threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Suddenly, Palmer is not turning over the ball and his team is dangerous.
The Colts looked like a big-time contender in the AFC earlier this year, but their game is unimpressive right now. Andrew Luck threw for just 163 yards and he was unable to rally his team while the Cardinals were on fire.
St. Louis RamsChicago Bears
Kellen Clemens did what the Rams asked of him. He did not have a stellar statistical day as he threw for 167 yards and a touchdown, but he did enough passing the ball so that the Rams could unleash their powerful rushing attack.
Josh McCown had another excellent game while filling in for the injured Jay Cutler as he threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns in defeat. On the negative side, McCown threw an interception and also had a fourth-quarter fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Carolina PanthersMiami Dolphins
Cam Newton did not follow up his stellar performance in the Week 11 Monday night win over the Patriots with another great show, but he did throw the game-winning touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen in the game’s final minute. Newton completed 19-of-38 passes for 174 yards, and he also ran for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Tannehill nearly led the Dolphins to the upset over the hard-hitting Panthers as he threw for 310 yards and a touchdown. He couldn’t finish drives in the first half and the Dolphins had to settle for field goals and that’s why they could not get the victory.
San Diego ChargersKansas City Chiefs
Philip Rivers was not the least bit intimidated going up against the Chiefs’ overpowering defense. He completed 27-of-39 passes for 392 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as he led the Chargers to a huge upset.
Alex Smith actually had one of his best games of the season as he completed 26-of-38 passes for 294 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. However, he could not outduel Rivers and the Chiefs lost a vital home game.
Jacksonville JaguarsHouston Texans
Any victory is a reason for the Jaguars to celebrate, so the Jaguars’ flight home was a festive occasion. Quarterback Chad Henne was not magical, but he completed 23-of-32 passes for 239 yards and he did not throw an interception.
The Texans continue to stack losses. It doesn’t matter if it’s Matt Schaub or Case Keenum, the Texans simply can’t win. Keenum got the call in this game and he was held to 169 yards and he did not throw a TD pass.
Minnesota VikingsGreen Bay Packers
The Vikings came through on the road with a very solid game. While they had to settle for a (rare) tie, you have to credit Christian Ponder for a fine game as he completed 21-of-30 passes for 233 yards with a touchdown and he did not throw an interception.
The Packers desperately needed a win, but they struggled against a division rival that has endured a miserable season. Matt Flynn took over for an ineffective Scott Tolzien and had the Packers on the verge of victory on the first series of overtime, but he could not lead his team into the endzone and they had to settle for the tie.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersDetroit Lions
Mike Glennon continues to play resurgent football. He completed 14-of-21 passes for 247 yards with two touchdowns as he damaged the Lions’ playoff chances by inflicting a home defeat on them.
The Lions have no excuses for losing at home to the Bucs. That’s especially true for Matthew Stafford, who threw four interceptions and that keyed the loss. While he threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns, the Lions expect Stafford to come through when the game is on the line and he is not doing that.
Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland Browns
Don’t look now, but the Steelers are starting to play much better football as the season turns for home. The key reason for this upturn is the play of Ben Roethlisberger. After a couple of years of battling injuries, Roethlisberger is healthy again. He completed 22-of-34 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Browns.
It was a brutal day for Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. Campbell was pummeled by the Pittsburgh defense and he was replaced by Weeden. The Browns couldn’t get into the endzone until garbage time after the Steelers had built a 27-3 lead.
Baltimore RavensNew York Jets
Joe Flacco got the Ravens back on track after a painful loss in Week 11 to the Chicago Bears. While it wasn’t pretty, Flacco completed 17-of-26 passes for 273 yards and he threw the only TD pass of the game.
Geno Smith had another abysmal game, and the Jets lost consecutive games for the first time this season. Smith is confused by what he sees from opposing defenses, and this is confirmed by his 9-of-22 performance against the Ravens in which he threw two interceptions.
New Orleans SaintsAtlanta Falcons
It wasn’t a special performance by Drew Brees, but it was a workmanlike one. He led the Saints to a road win over the troubled Falcons by completing 23-of-33 passes for 278 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Matt Ryan was not awful against the Saints, but he could not get the Falcons into the win column. Ryan was actually quite sharp in completing 30-of-39 passes for 292 yards, but he could not throw one touchdown pass.