By Chris Lehman
Week 15 in the NFL sure was a crazy one. We saw some great performances that were expected but then some that were far from it. We saw some reawakened giants and some that are waking up for the first time. Here’s a recap of the excitement from week 15.
After Drew Brees’ monster game where he totaled 413 yards and five touchdowns and completed 80% of his passes, he is set up nicely to break Dan Marino’s all-time record for yards in a season next week in front of his home crowd against Atlanta. The strange thing is that no one is talking about him for MVP. All the talk we are hearing is about Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. This will all change soon. Seeing as Brees leads Brady in yards, touchdowns and completion percentage (which Brees will also break the record for by about 4% this year), Brees should take some of that attention. More importantly, both teams have the same record. With the Packers losing their first game of the year, they will lose some attention, which means so will Rodgers. In addition he’s close to breaking that record by that other guy…what was his name? Unitas or something. I predict that after consideration, Brees will be the league’s MVP this year in addition to the Super Bowl MVP.
Calvin reestablishes dominance
He’s back! After disappearing (by his standards), for four of the last five weeks, he returned to his dominance as he pulled down nine catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to finish off the 99-yard drive to win the game against the Raiders. With games against San Diego and Green Bay on the Horizon, expect Megatron to put up huge numbers to finish off the season as he once again shows us all why he’s the most unstoppable receiver in the game, regardless of double and triple coverage.
Shady McCoy still in the shade
Lesean McCoy does it again. Week after week he defends everything I said about him in my article The Forgotten One. When the Eagles were struggling, he was the one player who still stayed strong. When they do well, such as on Sunday against the Jets, he’s the reason they play well. He totaled 102 yards while averaging 5.6 per carry and topped that off with three scores. He’s a force. I’ll say it right now – If I’m building a franchise, and I have my pick of running backs, I’m taking him over anyone. He has over 1,500 yards from scrimmage to go along with his 20 touchdowns (17 Rush / 3 Receiving). Shady definitely has the ability to amass 2,000 yards this year. Maybe then he’ll get the recognition he deserves.
For me, this was the biggest surprise of the week. Not only had the Packers won every game to this point, but they blew out just about every team with a few exceptions (e.g., The Saints and Giants). I have said all year that they would lose a game in the regular season, but I had not anticipated that it would be to the now 5-9 Kansas City Chiefs! Possibly to the Lions or Bears. Just not to the Chiefs! So what does this loss mean? Absolutely nothing. They are still the best team in the league. Now instead of just knocking on the door, the Saints and Ravens are finding a way to pick the lock. Just as the Saints lost to the Rams, and the Ravens lost to the Jaguars and Seahawks, great teams can have uncharacteristic games without it meaning much. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers lose to the Lions week 17. But they will still have the #1 seed going into the playoffs.
Colts Def. Titans?
The Titans from this year are now in the category with the 2007 Baltimore Ravens. The Colts were well on their way to being considered one of the worst teams in NFL history, and in my books, they still are. The Colts are making a strong case that Peyton Manning is truly the MVP of this year.
This is the Reggie Bush we all wanted to see in the NFL. After his exceptional college career at USC, he hadn’t quite delivered like his college dominance may have suggested. But it seems he has finally found his stride. In his last eight games, Bush has averaged 92.6 yards while adding six touchdowns. He has had three straight 100 yard rushing games, including his most recent 203 yard showing against the Bills. For the Saints fans like me it hurts to see to see him doing so well now that he has left, but at the same time, one can’t help but be happy for the future star. It’s possible that Bush is throwing a breakout party and we’re all invited to what could be the beginning of a great career.