NFL Week 13 Recap, News, and Notes

The 2010 NFL betting campaign wrapped up Week 13 on Monday night. Here at Bang the Book, we’ve got you covered for all of the most important news and notes from Week 13 betting action!

Super Bowl Favorites Not So Super Anymore: At the start of the season, the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings were amongst the top five favorites to win the Super Bowl from the NFC. In the AFC, it was clear that the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers were amongst the two biggest choices. If the playoffs were to start today, all five teams would be out of luck and would be sitting on the couch. We can’t blame the Packers so much, as they are 8-4 and are in a tie for that last postseason position. However, the others have already been giving their last rights, and the only thing that can save any of the four are miracles. The Cowboys and Vikes can both be mathematically eliminated from the second season this week if they lose, while the Colts and Chargers both took tremendous steps backwards on Sunday. The Colts lost to the Cowboys in overtime (more on that game in a second), while the Chargers were knocked off as nearly two TD favorites by the Oakland Raiders. Indy is now a game back in the AFC South and doesn’t necessarily control its own destiny to get into the second season, while the Chargers might need the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs to fall at least three times in their last four games to win the division.

Who is the Fairest Manning Of All?: Neither of ‘em! Sure, QB Peyton Manning leads the NFL with 3,709 yards, putting him on a clip to come just short of the 5,000 yard barrier for the year, and QB Eli Manning will become a 3,000 yard passer next week, but the two are still having some real problems. Yes, the two Manning brothers have combined for 47 TDs (24 for Peyton, 23 for Eli), but they are in some big INT trouble right now. QB Brett Favre still leads the league with 18 picks, but the younger Manning is second in the league with 17. Peyton is catching up as well, as he tossed four more blunders, including two of which were returned for a touchdown and one which set up the game winning score in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys last week. The elder Manning is tied for fourth in the NFL with 15 picks.

Favre Finished?: There is some serious doubt right now as to whether or not QB Brett Favre has thrown his last pass or not. If he has, it very appropriately, was an interception. Favre was picked off on the very first play of the game for the Minnesota Vikings against the Buffalo Bills, and he was drilled into the ground and never returned to the game. Though Interim HC Leslie Frazier has already named Favre as his starting quarterback for the rest of the season for as long as he can play, it’s hard to argue that QB Tarvaris Jackson did a great job on Sunday. He had the Minnesota offense moving up and down the field all game long, and though he also threw three INTs, they were blunders that never came back to cost the team in an easy victory.

McDaniels Out in Denver: Owner Pat Bowlen decided to give his head coach, Josh McDaniels one last Mile High Salute on Monday, as the 3-9 Denver Broncos limp towards the end of an absolutely disastrous season. This is already the third head coaching firing this year, and there are many to come in the immediate future as well for certain. There could be as many as 10 to 12 openings this year. Doesn’t it seem strange that Florida Gators HC Urban Meyer stepped down just two days after the head coach for the man that he guided to two National Championships, QB Tim Tebow was fired?

Pats, Falcons, and Steelers in Command: If you were a fan of great football betting action over the course of Sunday and Monday last week, you got yourself a heck of a run for your money. The Atlanta Falcons started off the whole ordeal at 4:00 on Sunday, coming back from ten down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to keep that one game stronghold on the NFC South lead. Atlanta is still in control of its own destiny for the right to go to the Super Bowl to run through the Peach State in the NFC. The New England Patriots ended it all on Monday Night Football by blowing out the New York Jets 45-3, causing HC Rex Ryan to literally take a ball from the game and bury it at the Jets facilities on Wednesday. As long as New England can fend off New York in the AFC East, it should have the No. 1 seed in the AFC on lockdown, as it has the tiebreaker over both teams in the AFC North. The winner of that division is now most likely going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers, who captured a 13-10 win at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football in a great duel that featured a ton of amazing defensive players. Now, Baltimore and New York are probably going to have to play three road games if they have a desire to go to the Super Bowl, while both the Steelers and Pats are most likely going to be on byes in Round 1.

Top Passers: It should really come as no surprise that we see Peyton Manning on this list of top passers on the day, as he has no running game to work with whatsoever and played against Dallas from behind the entire way. He threw for 365 yards and two scores, but he also threw those four costly INTs. Houston’s Matt Schaub was also a loser on the day, but he fought valiantly against the Eagles on Thursday Night Football, throwing for 337 yards and a pair of scores. The man that beat him was Michael Vick, who threw for 302 yards and two TDs, as well as adding a score on the ground. Drew Brees tore apart the Bengals the entire second half and ended the day with 313 passing yards and two TDs against just one INT. However, the man that put together the perfect quarterback rating did so against one of the fiercest defenses, and Tom Brady deserves a ton of credit for that. Brady went 21-of-29 for 326 yards with four TDs and no picks, and it was the second time this year in which he had a perfect QB rating.

Running All Over the Competition: Nine men rushed for 100 yards on the day on Sunday, and a lot of these names aren’t ones that you are used to seeing. Chris Ivory had a great day for the Saints in surprising fashion, rushing for 117 yards and two TDs, while Dallas’ Tashard Choice, playing in just his fourth game of the season, had 19 carries for 100 yards and a TD. We probably should get used to see LeGarrette Blount on this list, as he is really taking control of the running situation in Tampa Bay. He had 103 yards and a score in the narrow loss to the Falcons. Other 100+ yard rushers included Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew (186, a career high), Denver’s Knowshon Moreno (161), Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles (116), Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (107), New York’s Brandon Jacobs (103), and St. Louis’ Steven Jackson (102).

Receiving the Top Prizes: There wasn’t a receiver in Week 13 that had a better week than Indy’s Reggie Wayne, but that was to be expected. Wayne remains as the only man that has played with Manning for the entire season, and with No. 18 slinging the ball all over the field, he was quite often the target of choice. The former Miami Hurricane caught 14 passes for 200 yards with a TD. There were nine others that had at least 100 receiving yards on the day, including Houston’s Andre Johnson (149), San Fran’s Vernon Davis (126), Green Bay’s Greg Jennings (122), Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin (118), New Orleans’ Robert Meachem (106), Minnesota’s Sidney Rice (105), Chicago’s Earl Bennett (104), New England’s Danny Woodhead (104), and Cleveland’s Benjamin Watson (100).

Season Long Awards: Five more men have eclipsed the 3,000 yard mark in passing this year, and it should come as no surprise that most of these men are MVP candidates. Probably the best candidate is New England’s Tom Brady, who has just four picks against 27 TDs this year. Other new 3,000 yard passers include Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Washington’s Donovan McNabb, Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer, and Houston’s Matt Schaub. There are now eight people who have rushed for at least 1,000 yards this year, but none have rocketed up the charts like Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew, who is now No. 2 in the league in rushing with 1,177 yards. Other newcomers for the 1,000 yard bunch include Atlanta’s Michael Turner, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, New York’s Ahmad Bradshaw, and Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall. The only new 1,000 yard receivers this week are Indy’s Reggie Wayne and Houston’s Andre Johnson, both of which are almost certainly going to the Pro Bowl this year.

3,000 Yard Passers
Peyton Manning (3,709)
Philip Rivers (3,642)
Drew Brees (3,634)
Kyle Orton (3,487)
Aaron Rodgers (3,243)
Donovan McNabb (3,149)
Matt Schaub (3,089)
Tom Brady (3,029)
Carson Palmer (3,009)

1,000 Yard Rushers
Arian Foster (1,230)
Maurice Jones-Drew (1,177)
Jamaal Charles (1,137)
Adrian Peterson (1,123)
Michael Turner (1,062)
Chris Johnson (1,026)
Ahmad Bradshaw (1,013)
Rashard Mendenhall (1,007)

1,000 Yard Receivers
Brandon Lloyd (1,153)
Roddy White (1,140)
Reggie Wayne (1,107)
Andre Johnson (1,018)