Week 12 Winners and Losers in the NFL
Winners and Losers
Every week in the NFL there are winners and losers. You don't have to win to be a winner and you don't have to lose to be a loser, but it sure helps. Injuries can make a player a loser or a winner, looming suspensions will definitely make a player a loser, but if he wins his appeal the next week he will be a winner and deserves an apology.
Some players get treated differently because the media makes them out to be the devil. Some of those players don't deserve it so much like Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler, and others do, like Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh. I don't care what Suh says his leg was extended. He may not have meant to kick Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin, but he sure did mean to land the kick somewhere.
Some players on this list are losers simply because they are in a bad situation, others are winners because they're the toughest people on the field even if their team wins or loses. As the playoffs get closer and closer the people on this list become more important. The best players will rise to the top and "one hit wonders" will get tired and fizzle out because they can't handle the grind of a 16 game schedule. The saying "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game" is stupid to me. Winning is everything in the NFL. If a team play badly, nine times out of ten they are going to lose. On that note, here are my week 12 winners and losers, enjoy.
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Winner: Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
Washington Redskins Rookie QB Robert Griffin III is well on his way to the offensive rookie of the year award. In Week 12 in a win over Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Griffin has the entire team on his back and I'd look out for the Redskins now. The rest of the team is starting to play at his level. Something they were not doing at the beginning of the season.
Loser: Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks cannot play on the road. Their defense seems to feed off their fans backs at Century Link Field. On the road in week 12 they gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter and lost the game on a field goal as time expired. The good news for the Seahawks is QB Russell Wilson had his best game on the road this season and the coaching staff is really ready to let him loose in terms of offensive play calls. However the defense may be losing two key parts for the last four games of the season which could have an effect on whether or not they make the playoffs.
Winner: St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson
St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson continues to show his franchise they would be stupid to get rid of him at the end of the season. Giving the ball to Jackson clearly gives the Rams the best chance to win. He showed that on Sunday racking up almost 140 yards on the ground in a win against the Arizona Cardinals. Jackson is one of the only players on the Rams that seems to be pulling his weight week in and week out. If the Rams do decide to get rid of him, I hope he comes back and has the best season of his career. This is unlikely, but it would still be pretty sweet to see.
Loser: New York Jets
The New York Jets got rocked in prime time against on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots. The Jets really had no chance in this game, but they are losers simply because they refuse to make the necessary adjustments to win games. They are playing the same game as the Cardinals and just wishing from week to week their quarterback doesn't play awful. It's time for a change in New York, what is it going to be?
Winner: St. Louis Rams CB Janoris Jenkins
When one player on your defense scores almost as many points as the offense you're probably going to win the game. Rams CB Janoris Jenkins caught two passes intended for Cardinals' receivers and proceeded to run them the other way for six points. He deserves some of the credit, but one of his interceptions was just an awful throw that should have been a big play on offense. Still, two pick sixes in one game is a pretty impressive accomplishment, especially when it's against a divisional rival.
Loser: Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Two Seahawks players got popped this week for using performance enhancing drugs. CB Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will play this week against the Bears, but it could be their last. Sherman is louder than Browner, so his name gets put at the top of this page. Sherman talks way too much for him to get caught using drugs. It's still unclear whether or not it's true, if it is, he needs to apologize to fans, but if he wins his appeal he definitely deserves an apology.
Winner: Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice
Even when injured, Ray Lewis is the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens, but Ray Rice was the savior this week. His 29-yard fourth down reception helped keep the Ravens comeback alive. Even greater news for the Ravens, Lewis could be back in time for playoffs. Lewis can still play at a high level and will once again catapult his team to Super Bowl glory. However, Ray Rice will do the same if Lewis has a set back.
Loser: Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer
As a huge fan of Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer, I would have never guessed he would struggle so much over the past two seasons. He threw for less than 200 yards and could never really move the offense in a Week 12 loss. Palmer is going to pass for over 4,000 yards this season, so he is clearly still an NFL caliber quarterback, but the wrong team chose him. The Raiders have a serious lack of talent. Palmer needs a better defense and a wide receivers that can get open. If the Cardinals' offensive line was not so bad, they would be the perfect fit.
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles RB Bryce Brown
Philadelphia Eagles RB Bryce Brown ran for almost 180 yards in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. He set a rookie record for the Eagles in an effort that came up short. This is especially impressive considering his quarterback is probably the worst in the NFL right now. He did makes some mistakes, so the next name on this list should not be too surprising
Loser: Philadelphia Eagles RB Bryce Brown
Yes, you did read that right. Brown did set a Eagles' rookie record, but he also fumbled and lost the ball twice. As you can see in the picture about Brown needs to learn to hold the ball a little closer to the chest. Defenders barely have to try when they see a ball carrier holding the football like a loaf of bread. Brown will improve and is probably the only reason the Eagles were in the game, but his two fumbles did end up costing the Eagles a win.
Winner: San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh made the decision to go with QB Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh looked like a genius, which makes him a winner. I do not like Harbaugh or his decision, but so far it has panned out. Kaepernick has looked good, but he has a lot of pressure on him. If the 49ers don't make it to the NFC Championship game, fans are going to ask, what was the point?
Loser: San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith
I feel bad for 49ers QB Alex Smith. When he went down with a concussion, he was and still is leading the league in completion percentage. He was a top five quarterback in the league in terms of rating. Now, I hope the 49ers lose in the first round of the playoffs. Smith deserves to lead a winning team and he has done a good job at it. Smith is not going to be happy on the sidelines, and unfortunately that makes him a loser. My only hope is that this decision creates a cancer in the locker room.
Winner: Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton
Panthers QB Cam Newton finally had a game worth talking about. If it was against any other team, we would probably talking about it a little more. It was against the Eagles, but lets try not to take away from his 300 yards passing and 4 touchdowns (two in the air, two on the ground). Newton is an athletic quarterback that needs to turn into a pro style one. Defenses have him figured out. He needs to realize that the longer he stays in the pocket the more opportunities he is going to have to make big plays.
Loser: San Diego Chargers
I feel bad for Chargers QB Philip Rivers more and more every week. He lost in OT to the Ravens in a game that he should have been able to put away. His team shouldn't be this bad, but I attribute a lot of this to the coaching and front office. They have not surrounded Rivers with enough talent to make the Chargers competitive. I would be shocked if their wasn't a complete overhaul of this team after week 17 ends. The Chargers are losers because I refuse to place any of the blame on Rivers. They have failed him, not the other way around.
Winner: New York Jets QB Tim Tebow
Jet QB Tim Tebow is a winner because he got to sit on the bench while the Patriots destroyed them in all facets of of the game. Tebow should be happy that he does not have to play a game with a bunch of amateurs. The Jets coaching staff is suspect, their defense is suspect, and their offense is obviously awful. Tebow might be able to win at quarterback, but he is lucky he doesn't have to get beat up trying to win games that nobody can.
Winner: Houston Texan WR Andre Johnson
Texans' WR Andre Johnson is a huge reason his team escaped losses the past two weeks. The receiver almost has 500 yards receiving in the Texans past two dramatic wins. They also got a little help from the officials in this last game, but it's over now. Johnson was not having a typical season until he pretty much doubled his total from the first 10 weeks of the season. He is already over 1,000 yards and still has five games to go.
Loser: Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford
Lions QB Matthew Stafford is the heart and soul of his team, but no matter how good he plays or how many yards he throws for, the defense can't seem to get that one stop they need to win the game. Stafford is a loser because he is too good for the team he is on. Stafford threw for over 400 yards in a loss to the Texans, but dropped passes and missed opportunities were the story in this game. The Lions won't make the playoffs, so this season is a failure.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals C Lyle Sendlein
The Cardinals have lost seven straight games and probably will lose their eighth on Sunday, but they will be without one of the toughest men in football. C Lyle Sendlein is a winner because he tore his MCL on the first drive of the game, but still finished. The Cardinals placed him on IR and he will miss the remainder of the season, but Sendlein offered to put off surgery till the end of season, so he could play through it. The Cardinals are smart for sitting the center down, but that doesn't take away from the toughness shown in week 12.
Loser: Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
Lions DT Ndamukong Suh avoided suspension and for that he is a winner, but he will be fined $30,000 for a kick on Sunday which makes him a loser. The fine is justified because like I said before, I believe it was on purpose. Suh will continue to play and eventually he is going to end somebody's career because of his inability to control his temper. Suh plays with a lot of intensity, but there is a point when the NFL just needs to say "enough is enough".