NFL

NFL AM: Week 12 Observations

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Find out news, notes and nuggets from every NFL team that played over the weekend.

Oakland 24, Tennessee 21

The Raiders were beneficiaries of a very friendly call to get them a big road win.  The playoffs are still likely out of their reach in 2015….The Titans are playing very hard under Mike Mularkey.  That shows they have character and are professionals.

Kansas City 30, Buffalo 22

The Chiefs are the hottest team in the AFC, but suffered some big injuries in their win on Sunday.  If Justin Houston misses significant time, they’re going to struggle big time and the secondary will be exposed….The Bills really needed that win to take a step forward for the final Wildcard spot.  They are now one game behind the Chiefs, as well as a head-to-head tiebreak disadvantage.  Buffalo basically needs to win out.

Indianapolis 25, Tampa Bay 12

The Colts are playing their best football, but there is no quarterback controversy.  With that said, Matt Hasselbeck is going to make a lot of money somewhere next year….The Bucs haven’t won a big game in a lot of years and it’s a process.  Things are looking up and they’ll take that next step, maybe next year.

Washington 20, N.Y. Giants 14

The Redskins aren’t a good team, but they might be hosting a playoff game in January.  Kirk Cousins might be just inconsistent enough to get a long-term extension from the team….The Giants are a majorly flawed team and there’s not a lot to like about their roster.

Houston 24, New Orleans 6

The Texans are playing their best football and Brian Hoyer is an efficient quarterback when healthy.  They have a real shot of upsetting someone if they can get to the postseason….The Saints are playing out the string, again, and it might be time for a change.  Sean Payton is a very good coach, but sometimes the message gets stale.

Minnesota 20, Atlanta 10

The Vikings are in first place and nobody believes they’ll win a playoff game (unless they’re matched up with an NFC East team).  They are too one-dimensional to be a real contender….It’s time that we start talking about Matt Ryan in the same breath as Jay Cutler.  Cutler does more with less.

Cincinnati 31, St. Louis 7

The Bengals got healthy against an inferior team.  That’s what good teams do.  Cincy really needs to get a first-round bye…..The Rams had a teammate get shot last week.  It’s pretty understandable that they weren’t completely on their game.  With that said, Jeff Fisher is nowhere near as good of a coach as his reputation suggests.

San Diego 30, Jacksonville 25

The Chargers should be better than their record, especially with two Hall of Famers on the roster.  Linebacker Denzel Perryman is going to be a star….The Jaguars officially blew their chance to sneak into the postseason.  The play-calling around the red zone is brutal.  Why not get T.J. Yeldon involved?

New York 38, Miami 20

The Jets are hanging around in the Wildcard race and forget about their start, 6-5 after 11 games is a huge improvement over last year.  Fitzpatrick will always be inconsistent and that will likely leave them on the outside looking in of a postseason berth….When is Ryan Tannehill going to break out again?  He’s running out of time and excuses.

Arizona 19, San Francisco 13

The Cardinals didn’t look like a Super Bowl contender on Sunday, but it’s a division game and they still found a way to win.  They have nothing to apologize for.  If Chris Johnson’s knee isn’t healed in a couple weeks, they’re going to have a much tougher time in the postseason….Blaine Gabbert isn’t half-bad….if you only looked at the stats.  Gabbert is improved, but he was 0-9 on third down.  He’s a backup quarterback in this league, nothing more (which is better than what we thought he was entering the season).

Seattle 39, Pittsburgh 30

The Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham for the season with a torn patellar tendon.  They don’t have the weaponry and/or the defense to get back to the NFC title game, much less the Super Bowl….Big Ben got a concussion and the Steelers gave up 39 points to a mediocre offense.  They still look a few steps above any of the other Wildcard contenders, but now the division title is completely out of reach.

Denver 30, New England 24 (OT)

The Patriots probably lost the game more than the Broncos won it, but Denver put themselves in position  for good things to happen and Brock Osweiler delivered.  Denver would have never beaten New England with Peyton Manning under center and they have to make the move to the young guy…Rob Gronkowski left with a knee injury and the Pats title hopes rest on how quickly he can heal up.  There’s no team better at the “next man up” philosophy, but New England is simply running out of weapons.

Baltimore 33, Cleveland 27

It took two special teams touchdowns to get the Ravens a win over Cleveland.  Ultimately, this win will cost them in the draft….Mike Pettine needs to be fired quickly.  The Browns are simply cutting their own nose to spite their face by not playing Johnny Manziel.  Pettine doesn’t have the franchise’s best interests in mind.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.