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5 Things We Learned from Week 12 in the NFL

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5 Things the NFL Taught Us In Week 12

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

With five weeks left in the NFL season, it’s time for someone to step up and take the reins. This is where the men separate themselves from the boys, and where the contenders pull away from the pretenders.

The Cowboys, for instance, were able to fight off a comeback by Eli Manning and the Giants as they moved back into first place in the NFC East. What baffles me about this game, though, is why the Giants didn’t run the ball more. They averaged 6.7 yards per rush as they put up 202 yards on the ground. Eli passed the ball 30 times and averaged 5.1 yards per pass. On a day when the weather was wreaking havoc on both quarterbacks and you’re rushing the ball well against the 'Boys, why wouldn’t you keep running the ball?

It’s been over a year since the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers tied at 24. On Sunday, we had one tie and almost a second. The Vikings had a 16-point lead before watching the Green Bay Packers come storming back with 16 points in the fourth quarter. Both teams scored on their first possession of overtime, and that was all she wrote.

Later that night, the Broncos and Patriots both entered overtime tied at 31. The game was headed for a tie when the Broncos were the victims of an unfortunate bounce as the Patriots got the ball back in field goal range with about three minutes left to go.

After a 9-0 start, the Kansas City Chiefs have now lost two in a row to divisional foes. Somehow, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have removed themselves from the NFC South cellar as they have won three games in a row. The Detroit Lions were the latest victim of the Bucs.

Let’s not delay, though, as we find out what we learned from the NFL this week.

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5. What if ...

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Griffin III had a full offseason to actually practice football instead of rehabbing? How might this year have looked like for the Washington Redskins? They won the division last season, and look lost out on the field this year. I hope the Skins give the coaching staff a chance to work with him this summer instead of jumping the gun on making a change.

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4. How the mighty have fallen ...

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Houston Texans were 12-4 and their defense was dominating. This year, they are 2-9 and they’ve lost nine in a row after winning their first two games.

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3. If the playoffs started today ...

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild Card teams from the AFC would be Kansas City (9-2) and Tennessee (5-6). That’s right, the current wild card team from the AFC would consist of a team tied with the best record in the conference and a team with a losing record. Currently, the AFC has five teams with winning records while the NFC has nine teams with a winning record.

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2. In a perfect world ...

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Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL would figure out a way to make sure Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were in the same division every year. Most of the time when they play, it turns into a game that does not disappoint. I’m pretty sure nobody would be opposed of watching them play two times every year.

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1. And the Oscar goes to ...

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. After starting the season 1-3, the Panthers have rattled off seven straight games and are only one game behind the Saints for the division lead. There’s a chance that when these two teams play a week from Sunday, they will be tied for the division as the Saints must play the Seattle Seahawks next Monday Night.