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Games to Watch – Week 12

What is going on around the NFL?  It seems a shame that, going into week 12, the football news is dominated by off-field antics and substance abuse rather than heated division and wildcard races.  We’ve got Raiders abusing THG, William Green abusing alcohol, and most disturbing of all…Keyshawn Johnson abusing the very air that sustains his life.  By passing way too much of it over his vocal cords, he has driven his team to the point that they’d rather pay him his 7-figure salary to stay away from the team.  How embarrassing!  Can you imagine having that much talent but being so intolerable that your team would pay you to stay away?  I’d be ashamed to show my face in public.  How does Keyshawn respond?  By becoming a Fox analyst, naturally. 


Meanwhile, back on the field, half of the league’s divisions currently have 1st place ties.  Among the 8 teams with a death grip on their division are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys.  There have been plenty of on-field surprises this year.  Let’s see which teams still have players that are allowed to play this week …


Top Shelf


Carolina at Dallas                            Sun. November 23 @ 1:00pm ET on Fox


Summary:  Two Big D’s duel in Big D.


Hot Tip:  Let’s go ahead and put Stephen Davis in this spot.  He’s the only one on either offense who’s putting up any real numbers.


The Cowboys are still atop the NFC East after being shut out in Foxboro last Sunday night.  That game occupied this spot in last week’s article and if you didn’t think it was a good game to watch, you might not like this one either.  This one’s all about defense…especially the Cowboys D.  While they were good enough to keep the Patriots to 268 total yards of offense, the offense was unable to generate more than 300 themselves.  The Cowboys D enters this game still #1 in the league but Stephen Davis and Jake Delhomme will do their best to make sure the Cowboys don’t win without generating some offense as well.


Also on Tap


Cincinnati at San Diego                  Sun. November 23 @ 4:15pm ET on CBS


Summary:  Can the Bengals win 3 straight?  Can the Chargers generate 100 total yards of offense?


Hot Tip: Tune in and find out who Rudi Johnson is.


How ‘bout them Bengals!  The slayers of the mighty unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs take their show on the road to San Diego this week and try to make it 3 wins in a row for the second time this year.  If they hadn’t lost to Arizona on 11/2, they’d be riding a 5-game win streak into this week.  The last time they won 3 straight was in 1999 and the last time the finished the season with a winning record was in 1990. 


In San Diego, they will meet a team that is quickly taking their place as the league’s whipping post.  The Chargers were absolutely pitiful last week generating only 96 yards of total offense (75 in the 4th quarter).  As LT said this week, “We’re playing for pride, now.” And if they don’t want to become the Bengals of this season, beating the Bengals this week is top priority.


Tennessee at Atlanta                                  Sun. November 23 @ 4:15pm ET on CBS


Summary:  The NFL’s version of the 80/20 rule – an 8-2 team vs. a 2-8 team.


Hot Tip: Did anyone see Justin McCareins NFL Play of the Week in the end zone last week?


Of the 6 teams playing in front of a national audience this week, only the Titans are playing well right now.  They failed to score 30 points last week for the 1st time since 9/21 but still managed to win their 5th straight by holding the Jaguars to 3 points.  They’re looking as strong as any team in the league but are only tied for 1st place in the AFC South.


This may be the last game the Falcons play without Michael Vick and I’m sure they’re happy for that.  They played well for half the game but didn’t bother to come back for the second half.  They’ll need to play a full game to win this one.  Luckily, everyone will get to tune in and see if they do.

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