• Ian Evans

Ian Evans NFL Week 12 Love/Hate Weekend Recap

It’s officially been a week since Thanksgiving has occurred and I hope everyone had a great one! I’m thankful for those who continue to skim or read these blogs as well as those who have even clicked or visited ISM. Thank you. In Week 12, I was thankful for record-breaking performances, close games, and that the playoff race continues to be closer week after week. However, I am also not thankful for some dismal performances and what would have been the best Thanksgiving Day game (Ravens-Steelers) being postponed several times. Well, anyway here was what I was thankful and not thankful for in Week 12 of the NFL season. Let’s get into it.

*Fair warning there are multiple Thanksgiving puns in this piece

Love: Tyreek Hill

Photo Courtesy: Mark LoMoglio/AP

TYREEK HILL BALLED OUT against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday as he had one of the best stat lines from a wide receiver we have ever seen in NFL history. He had 2 touchdowns and 200 yards in the first half alone! Those are insane numbers. He finished with a whopping 13 receptions, 269 yards, and 3 touchdowns on 15 targets throughout the duration of the game. The longest pass he caught was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes on their 3rd drive of the 1st quarter. Fantasy owners, including myself, were extremely with Hill’s performance as he racked up 57.9 points. Hill wasn’t kidding when he yelled to the Tampa Bay crows saying, “Help is on the way”, imitating Shannon Sharpe. Although the game was close, Hill was certainly right. Tampa Bay needed all the help they could get guarding him as his performance propelled the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-24 victory.

Hate: Derek Carr

Photo Courtesy: John Bazemore/AP

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there were some pretty pitiful performances. Derek Carr was one of them. Against the 4-6 Atlanta Falcons, the Raiders were simply embarrassed as they failed to find the end zone. Carr threw for 215 yards and an interception and had a dismal QBR of 14.3. That interception by the way was a pick-6. Yikes. To make matters worse he was also sacked 5 times and fumbled the ball 3 times. Nathan Peterman even made an appearance…..that’s how bad Carr’s performance was. Carr was picked apart by the Falcons defense and made it seem as if Atlanta was Derek’s worst nightmare. The Raiders fell to the Falcons on the road in Atlanta 43-6 and are now 6-5. Las Vegas’ year is now on the brink as the playoff push continues. Good thing they play the winless Jets in Week 13.

Love: Deshaun Watson

Photo Courtesy: AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for friends, family, and the blessings and opportunities we have been given. It is also a time in which we gather with family and eat a bountiful and delicious meal with our loved ones. Deshaun Watson was thankful for the Detroit Lions as he EATING against the defense all game long on Thanksgiving Day. See what I did there? Anyway, Watson carried the Texans to a 41-25 victory over the Lions. Deshaun passed for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns as he was simply unstoppable. Flaunting a QBR of 89.8, Watson showed that the turkey wasn’t the only thing that would be carved on Thanksgiving as Detroit’s defense struggled to contain him. This performance from Watson also leads to the firing of now-former Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Houston Texans fans were thankful that the Chicago Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky instead of Watson in 2017 and are still thankful he is their franchise quarterback, as he is constantly proving how dominant of a quarterback he is.

Hate: Denver Broncos

Photo Courtesy: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Well…this was a tough one because they didn’t even have a quarterback available to play due to the coronavirus. But I have to put them here. Kendall Hinton, who was still meeting players and Denver’s front office just days before the game, truly tried his best. Hinton threw for 13 yards completing only one pass. He did however throw 2 interceptions. The offense barely scraped just over 110 yards as well as the run game wasn’t working for the Broncos either. The defense did no better as they gave up 292 yards of total offense. They ultimately ended up getting demolished by the New Orleans Saints 31-3. I felt sorry for Denver watching this game. The only reason why I hate this week is that they are still in contention for a playoff spot. And for a now 4-7 team, every game is a must-win game. Sadly, this loss doesn’t help them in the slightest. Next up for them? The 10-1 Chiefs. Kansas City please take it easy on them. Please.

Love: Antonio Gibson

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press

Washington Football Teams really don’t have much to be thankful for besides Alex Smith and Terry McLaurin. They could also be thankful for a 4-7 record which surprisingly ties them for 1st in the NFC East with the New York Giants. However, in my opinion, they should be extremely thankful for rookie Antonio Gibson who has himself an absolute day on Thanksgiving. Gibson rushed for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns as his performance lifted the Football Team over the Dallas Cowboys 41-16. He was stuffing his stats on Thanksgiving Day as he embarrassed a Cowboy's porous defense. Gibson is having himself an impressive rookie season as he has rushed for 11 touchdowns and 645 yards. He will definitely be their back of the future if he can stay healthy. If you were asleep on Antonio Gibson and his ability to play football, you need to wake up. Now. However, a Week 13 matchup against the undefeated Saints will be interesting for him. Can’t wait.

Hate: Chicago Bears

Photo Courtesy: Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

They started off the season 5-1. If you’re a conscious and reasonable Chicago Bears fan, you knew that they won by sheer luck and off the backs of a top-10 defense. Since then they lost four straight games. Or well, now five straight after their crushing 41-25 defeat by the hands of their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers. If you thought that because Mitch Trubisky was starting again that their season would turn around, either you’re delusional or you need to be drug tested. Although Mitchell Trubisky threw for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns, he also threw 2 costly and rather embarrassing interceptions. The Bears are now 5-6 and look to return to the win column against Detroit in Week 13.

Head coach Matt Nagy was right when he said this team needs to “wake up”. Because at this rate, they’ll miss the playoffs. If you thought this team was good at the beginning of the season I don’t blame you. They fooled a lot of fans. Including me. But will I trust this team again? Nope. Not until I see improvement and change. I’m out on Chicago until further notice.

Love: New England Patriots

Photo Courtesy: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Many teams looking to make a playoff push have tough schedules. One of those teams is the New England Patriots who still have a chance at a wildcard spot. After losing last week to the Texans, the Patriots returned to Foxboro, Massachusetts to defend home field against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. And they did just that. Although Cam Newton had a sloppy performance, (9/18, 84 yards, 2 INTs) the Patriots pulled off a comeback victory as Nick Folk hit a 50-yard field goal as time expired, winning 20-17 and improving to 5-6. The Patriots found themselves down 10-0 in the 1st quarter and found a way to shut down a high-powered offense to just 7 points in the entire second half. Stephon Gillmore, who is arguably one of the best defensive backs in the game, held DeAndre Hopkins (arguably the best wideout in the game) to just 26 yards when they were matched up on each other. The defense as a whole held Murray touchdown-less as well and found a way to force an interception as well.

James White had a day as he ran for two touchdowns as he was the only bright spot in New England’s offense. This victory is MAJOR for New England as they are continuing to apply pressure in the AFC playoff picture and are at the moment still alive. They will face the 3-8 Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13. If there is one thing you can take away from this game it’s this: never count out Bill Belichick.

Hate: Carolina Panthers

Photo Courtesy: John Autey/Pioneer Press

The Panthers were up 24-13 to start the 4th quarter. However, they only scored 3 points after that and proceeded to fold like origami and lose 27-28 to the Minnesota Vikings. This game, besides any other Falcons and Chargers game, was the definition of folding. The now 4-8 Carolina Panthers got too comfortable and allowed the Vikings to climb back into this game, take advantage of the opportunities the Panthers squandered, and ended up losing a game they should’ve won. Carolina allowed the Vikings to put up 287 total yards against them, 307 of them coming from Cousins alone.

It’s not that the Panthers played bad, it’s that they should have won this game and simply didn’t want it. It was clear that the Vikings wanted this game more as the game progressed. Let this game be a lesson to everyone, never get too comfortable, and never take your opponent for granted. Because just as you think you’ve won, you could lose in the blink of an eye. Maybe the Panthers can regroup against a struggling Denver Broncos team as they return home to Charlotte. This time, hold onto the lead and cherish it.

Love: Minnesota Vikings

Photo Courtesy: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

That’s how you fight. That’s how you come back after countless mistakes and missed opportunities. What a performance by this Minnesota Vikings team who looked flustered and frustrated for the majority of the game. However, after being down 24-13, the Vikings came back to win against the Carolina Panthers 28-27 with the help of Kirk Cousins and Chad Beebe. Beebe (7 rec, 63 yards, 1 TD) who muffed a critical 4th quarter punt redeemed himself by catching his first NFL touchdown, which happened to be the game-winning score. Kirk Cousins threw for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns as he did not let even when odds were stacked against him.

The Vikings seemed to have revived their season after this incredible win as they have now won 4 of their last 5 games, sitting at 5-6 in the NFC North. In Week 13 they face off against a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars team. For Minnesota, this is their chance to get to .500 for the 1st time this year. This team is having a tale of two halves this season and are in a playoff race of their own. For now, Vikings fans have something to hope for. Keep the energy up. SKOL!

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