By Danny Cox
Isn’t it this late in the season when games are supposed to be close and NFL teams are supposed to give their best? Well, that is one would expect, even from teams that have no chance at the playoffs, but that didn’t seem to be the case as week 15 of the 2012 NFL season was full of just about nothing but routs.
11 of the 13 early Sunday games were all decided by double-digits. Most of those double digits were not even close either, and there were a few teams that racked up absurd amounts of points. That includes the Seattle Seahawks throwing up at least 50 points for the second week in a row.
New Orleans Saints 41 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0
If the Bucs had even slim playoff hopes, those were extinguished by the rejuvenated Saints. Drew Brees had his best game of the season as he threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns before being pulled halfway through the fourth quarter. Making matters look even worse for the Bucs is that the Saints also ran all over them with Mark Ingram racking up 90 yards on the ground.
Oh, let’s not forget that the Saints somehow found a defense that has been virtually nonexistent for the majority of the season. Not only did they shut out the Bucs, but the Saints’ defense caused five turnovers which included four interceptions off of Josh Freeman.
Really? If you’d look at the stat lines really quick, the Bills had the quarterback with the most passing yards (Ryan Fitzpatrick) and the running back (Marshawn Lynch) as well. Seattle, on the other hand, had the quarterback (Russell Wilson) that had the best rushing game out of everyone.
Wilson ran for three touchdowns and threw for another as the Seahawks scored 31 points on their first five possessions. Three consecutive turnovers to start the second half just sealed Buffalo’s fate, and the topper was Seattle’s Earl Thomas having a 57-yard pick six.
You’d think that Atlanta was trying to pay back New York for the Giants decimating the Falcons’ NFC South rival, New Orleans, last week. Maybe it was just Atlanta being frustrated at a horrible loss of their own last week to Carolina. The Giants were shut out for the first time since 1996, and it was just a bad one.
Atlanta just had an all-around great game on both sides of the ball as Matt Ryan threw three touchdowns and the Falcons’ defense caused Eli Manning to throw two interceptions. This was just a debacle for New York, and they know that it looks even worse considering it was the worst loss ever for a Super Bowl champion.
Arizona Cardinals 38 – Detroit Lions 10
Detroit has looked more than sub-par this year; they’ve looked downright bad at times. Perhaps, the worst they’ve looked all season though was on Sunday against the abysmal Cardinals. Arizona had lost nine in a row after starting the season 4-0, and looked to be on pace for one of the most catastrophic collapses in NFL history…but then Sunday happened.
Matthew Stafford was intercepted three times, and the Lions committed one more turnover, as the Cards just routed Detroit. Two of Stafford’s interceptions were returned for touchdowns by Arizona with the first coming late in the second quarter on Rashad Johnson’s 53-yard pick six. It got worse in the fourth quarter as Greg Toler snagged one in Arizona’s own end zone and returned it 102 yards for another score.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.