After a fantastic Monday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wrapped up with a close Rams victory, we have officially ended another week in a NFL season that is just flying by. Week 12 brings Thanksgiving football and some amazing divisional matchups that I’m very much looking forward to, but let’s take a look back at my favorite moments from this past week with a brand new edition of Tommy’s Top 3.
#3: Young NFC South QBs Show Out
Following last week’s injury to New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, many around the league believed the team would turn to Jameis Winston for the foreseeable future. However, Saints coach Sean Payton surprised everyone by giving former BYU QB and current hybrid player Taysom Hill the start. Hill has lined up all over the field throughout his NFL career but took snaps under center this week and turned it into a very solid performance and a victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Hill led a lot of solid drives for the Saints and was consistent, hitting on all but five passes during his start. He also added a very potent ground game to go along with his passing attack, finding the endzone for two scores to give the Saints a lot of momentum going into Denver next week.
Down in Carolina, QB Teddy Bridgewater was a late scratch, paving the way for former XFL star PJ Walker to earn his first NFL start. Despite not having running back Christian McCaffrey due to injury, Walker played out of his mind to earn a victory against the Detroit Lions. While the two interceptions should be expected for a player so young and making his first start, some of the throws Walker made were absolutely beautiful. His ABSOLUTE DIME to DJ Moore on the sideline on the team’s second drive couldn’t have been placed any better, a 52-yard completion that led to a touchdown drive. I really liked Walker’s poise in the pocket, but my only problem is his processor moving from read to read. He had some bad interceptions that if he would have moved to his second or third read, he would have had an easy completion. On his first interception, had he moved to his second read, he would have had Curtis Samuel wide open in the endzone on a crossing route. Overall, it was a great game for Walker and one that gives the Panthers a lot to think about this coming offseason.
#2 Watch Out For Indianapolis
Coming into this week, my game to watch was easily the Green Bay Packers against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts came off a statement victory against their divisional rival Tennessee Titans 34-17 last Thursday and entered this game with the number one ranked defense. The Packers on the other hand struggled last week, coming off a close scare against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 24-21. They’re lucky they have a guy by the name of Aaron Rodgers behind center because you can never count them out. This game had everything a football fan would want and then some. Both QBs played extremely well with three touchdowns a piece while the Colts made the plays on defense to turn the tide and earn a hard fought victory on a Rodrigo Blankenship game-winning field goal. The Packers had this game in the bag, entering the second half with a 28-14 lead, before slowly watching the Colts chip away while being held to only three points the entire second half and overtime.
But my goodness, what a throw by Rodgers on that game-tying drive. In his own endzone on a 3rd and 10 with time winding down, Rodgers dropped a pass right in the breadbasket of Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 47-yard gain, over three defenders nonetheless. This is the kind of throw that proves to me why Rodgers is the best QB to ever play. I don’t think there is another QB who can make a throw like that, let alone do it as many times as Rodgers has over his career. This was a great game between two of the best teams in the league and could potentially be a Super Bowl preview. Sign me up for that game if these two teams meet in February.
#1 Primetime is Showtime
Over the last few years, the NFL has had a problem scheduling games in primetime that just aren’t very interesting or very good, especially late in the year. However, Week 11 brought us three fantastic games in primetime between six teams all fighting for playoff spots. Thursday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals showed two of the top QBs in the league at their best in a slugfest. The Seahawks’ historically-bad defense won them the game 28-21, but the future matchups between Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray should continue to be must-see.
On Sunday night, a divisional matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders absolutely lived up to their first matchup back in Week 5. The Raiders are the only blemish on the Chiefs record, and they looked to sweep the Chiefs for the first time since 2012. But when you have Patrick Mahomes on the other side, it’s going to be hard to contain him for 60 minutes. The Chiefs drove down the field in the last minute of the game with Mahomes finding Travis Kelce wide open, and I mean WIDE OPEN, to help the Chiefs win a shootout, 35-31. This Vegas team is really good and they’re the type of team no one wants to play come playoff time. Mahomes and the Chiefs are just “that” much better.
In the final game of the week, the LA Rams defeated the Buccaneers thanks to a late interception of Tom Brady. Neither team could get the run game going, forcing both Jared Goff and Brady to throw the ball over 48 times. I still don’t know what to think of this Buccaneers team. They are the epitome of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde each and every week. They have a really tough matchup against Mahomes and the Chiefs next week, but if they can pull out the win, they will find themselves right back in the thick of the NFC race. For the Rams, they need to get their run game going. While Goff had a great game, your quarterback can not be throwing the ball 51 times. Teams like the Packers and Saints are going to use their playmakers in the secondary to shut that down in the playoffs, so I look forward to the Rams run game getting back on track next week against the 49ers.
Man what a week! There was some really good football this past weekend and that should surely continue going into the holiday. Enjoy your football, enjoy your Thanksgiving and be sure to check back for another edition of Tommy’s Top 3 covering AEW Dynamite coming out Thursday.
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