Things we learned in Week 12
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Through the first 12 games this weekend, we saw a number of strange and unusual sights.
A game ended in a tie - that's certainly rare. Ryan Fitzpatrick outscored Drew Brees - very rare. And rarest of the rare - Carson Palmer posted his second consecutive game with at least 300 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Below are a few more things we observed on Sunday afternoon.
New York Jets at Baltimore
This game featured just one touchdown. It came on a 66-yard strike to Jacoby Jones late in the third quarter.
Kick returner Josh Cribbs finished with a higher quarterback rating than Geno Smith on Sunday. That should tell you what kind of day it was for No. 7.
Remember when everyone was shocked Smith wasn't a first-round pick? In his last six contests, he's delivered just one touchdown pass while throwing ten interceptions. Oh, so that's why. Got it.
Chris Ivory was a bust on Sunday. The Jets' halfback managed just 35 yards on nine touches. He had rushed for 98 yards or more in three of his previous four outings.
If you own Ray Rice in fantasy, just know that he hates you. Last week when the whole world benched him, he miraculously ran for 131 yards and one touchdown. This week, after we finally had the guts to start him again, he buried us by running for just 30 yards on 16 carries. Know this, Ray. The feeling is mutual.
Since missing two field goals against the Browns in Week 2, Ravens' place kicker Justin Tucker has made 22 kicks in a row. He went 4-for-4 in Sunday's victory with a long of 53.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Pittsburgh is inching its way back to .500. The black and gold have now won five out of seven after opening the year with four straight losses.
Don't look now. The Steelers are only two games out of first place. This year's AFC North race could go right down to the wire.
The 1,000-yard club welcomed its newest member today. Pittsburgh wideout Antonio Brown moved to 1,044 receiving yards for the season with 92 in Sunday's victory. He's the third wideout to reach that threshold this season. The Steelers didn't have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2012.
Even more impressive is that Brown's performance came against shutdown corner Joe Haden. The 92 yards are the most Haden has surrendered to any wide receiver in 2013.
Brandon Weeden has appeared in seven games this season. The Browns have lost five of them. In two seasons he has a win percentage of .304.
Josh Gordon might be from another planet. He set a Browns' record by hauling in 237 receiving yards on Sunday. The 22-year-old is on pace to finish with 1,537 yards, which would also be a team record. Keep in mind he missed the first two games of the year while serving a suspension.
Tampa Bay at Detroit
Mike Glennon literally made a rookie mistake that almost cost his team the game. Instead of throwing the ball away in the fourth quarter, he took a seven-yard sack that pushed his team out of field-goal range. Rian Lindell's 50-yard attempt sailed wide left.
Luckily for Glennon, Matthew Stafford made an even bigger mistake on the following drive. With Detroit well within field-goal range, all Stafford needed to do was not throw an interception. Instead he pushed the envelope and forced it to Calvin Johnson who was stationed around the three-yard line. Johnson had it for a second before Johnathan Banks took it away for the interception.
The last time Megatron squared off against Darrelle Revis he was limited to just one catch for 13 yards. This time around he fared much better, grabbing seven passes for 115 yards. Revis left with a groin injury after the first half, but even before that, Johnson had four catches for 61 yards.
Turnovers were the difference in this game. The Lions committed a season- high five turnovers while the Bucs had zero. Stafford's four interceptions were his most since November 2011 against Chicago. Since 2009, the Lions are 1-7 when Stafford throws three or more interceptions.
It's good to see Nate Burleson has a sense of humor. The Lions wideout made fun of his pizza-eating injury by pretending to deliver a pizza after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter. He finished with 77 yards on seven catches.
What did Bobby Rainey do for an encore after torching the Falcons in Week 11 (30 carries for 163 yards)? Barely anything. He labored his way to a miserable 18-carry, 35-yard effort in Sunday's win. Fantasy owners will be relieved to hear that despite the poor showing, none of the Bucs' other two running backs received more than one carry.
Tiquan Underwood: cool hair and good at football (108 yards and two touchdowns)? Who knew that one human being could embody that much awesome?
According to Fox, the Buccaneers are the second team in NFL history to win three straight after starting 0-8. The 1978 Cardinals also accomplished this feat. If this keeps up Greg Schiano might actually have a job next season.
Minnesota at Green Bay
This game marked the league's 19th tie since 1974. It's Green Bay's fifth tie and Minnesota's third.
The Packers and Vikings have gone to overtime seven times in 107 meetings. Two of those games have come in the last 12 months.
Adrian Peterson was listed as questionable on the injury report. Thirty-two carries and 146 yards later, it seems the Vikings may have been exaggerating.
The 146 yards were a season-high for Peterson and his most since Week 17 of last season (199 yards on 34 rushes). Care to guess who that contest was against? It was the same Packers team he dominated on Sunday. Peterson has averaged 142.8 rushing yards per game in his last five meetings with Green Bay.
Greg Jennings' return to Green Bay was a quiet one. He finished with two catches for 29 yards.
Sunday wouldn't have been complete without a Matt Flynn sighting. The journeyman treated Packers fans to 218 yards and a touchdown on 36 attempts. He also rushed four times for 24 yards. Needless to say, the Scott Tolzien Era in Green Bay appears to be over.
Jacksonville at Houston
Chad Henne and the Jaguars offense dominated the first quarter at Houston (115 yards vs. 4 yards) - bet you never thought you would hear that. Henne finished the game with 239 yards passing, but no touchdowns. More importantly he picked up the win by making no mistakes.
Maurice Jones-Drew's rushing touchdown was his third consecutive game with a score and he's become a low-end fantasy option again. On this day, however, he was a very good option with 84 yards rushing and six receptions for 60 yards.
Case Keenum threw for 32 yards in the first half and all that optimism he created in his first few starts appeared to be gone. He was better in the second half, but still couldn't engineer a touchdown drive as the Texans were upset at home by the now 2-9 Jacksonville.
Andre Johnson spent most of the day as a non-factor and finished with just two catches for 36 yards.
Dennis Johnson rushed for 50 yards on five carries in the first half, Ben Tate four yards on six tries. Johnson was rewarded with almost all of the second half work and finished with 74 yards on 13 carries (5.7 ypc).
San Diego at Kansas City
Philip Rivers managed to throw 38 time before being sacked for the first time on the final drive. Just after the sack, Rivers tossed the game-winner to Seyi Ajirotutu. Rivers finished with a monster day - 392 yards and three touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Keenan Allen (9-124-0) may end up being the best receiver to come out of this year's rookie draft.
The Chiefs defense played well in the first half despite the fact they haven't had a sack since Oct 27. Missing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston due to injury(20 sacks), they yielded 24 second-half points looking quite mortal.
Jamaal Charles did it all for the Chiefs with 115 yards, two rushing touchdowns and another 42 receiving.
Veteran Dwayne Bowe coming down with a one-handed touchdown catch late in the game to salvage 11 points out of a bad day.
The game saw eight lead changes making it one of the best games of the season.
Carolina at Miami
Cam Newton's first half stats - 6-of-13 for 53 yards and an interception. One rush for zero yards. Could this possibly be the same Newton who led his team to a 24-20 win over New England?
Answer: Yes, as he led his team to a pair of second-half scores finishing with one throwing and one rushing touchdown and 23 fantasy points.
Welcome back to fantasy relevance Mike Wallace. His 53-yard first quarter touchdown catch was worth 11 fantasy points, the first time he cracked double digits since Week 5. He didn't stop there, catching a 57-yarder with his second reception to set up the Dolphins second score. Wallace end up with five receptions for 127 yards and the one touchdown.
Ryan Tannehill earned the 300-yard bonus for just the third time this season and first time since Week 5. There probably weren't many fantasy owners still starting him at this point, so this week's effort might have been wasted.
Chicago at St. Louis
The Rams tried to play Brandon Marshall one-on-one at the goal line - the result was an easy touchdown pass from Josh McCown. Marshall had another big game with 10 catches for 117 yards.
McCown put up solid first-half statistics after finding his team down big. He finished with 352 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, plenty for fantasy owners, but it wasn't enough for Bears fans. . Heading into Week 12, the Rams averaged 34 ppg in wins and 14.5 ppg in losses, so when they scored 21 first-quarter points against the Bears, Chicago knew they were in big trouble. St. Louis' 42-point total won't hurt their stats.
The big lead also meant that running back Zac Stacy would be in for a full workload which had to make his fantasy owners smile. At least until he didn't come out for the second half due to a possible concussion. He finished with 87 yards and a score in 12 carries. His backup, Benny Cunningham, rushed for 109 yards and the game-clinching touchdown. Oh what might have been if Stacy had stayed healthy.
Indianapolis at Arizona
Down 24-3 in the middle of the second quarter, the Colts gave up on their mediocre-at-best running game to the detriment of those still starting Trent Richardson or Donald Brown.
Of course it didn't help Luck much as he went 6-of-15 for 42 yards and an interception in the first half. His second half was only a little bit better (10-of-25 for 121 yards and one touchdown.
We have to question, however, why the "franchise" was still in the game down 29 with two minutes to play?
After two first-half touchdown receptions, Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy owners can expect double-digit scores this season. That has been a pipe dream over the past three seasons without a quality QB under center (think Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer, Richard Bartel, Max Hall and Derek Anderson).
Perhaps Michael Floyd's performance last week wasn't a fluke. Although he didn't get into the end zone, or catch a long ball, he cracked the 100-yard mark with solid play throughout the game (7-104).
The last time Carson Palmer went two games in a row with at least 300 yards and two touchdowns without an interception was ... never.
Tennessee at Oakland
The only fantasy owners happy with the first half of the Tennessee-Oakland game were guys using one of the two place kickers as the first 30 minutes of scoring amounted to five field goals. Rob Bironas and Sebastian Janikowski would finished with a total of seven made field goals on nine attempts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick played a solid game, particularly in the second half. His 320-yard, two-touchdown effort carried his Titans to the victory.
Youngsters Justin Hunter (6-109-1) and Kendall Wright (6-103-1) look to have the receiving corps in good shape. Say goodbye to Kenny Britt and Nate Washington as fantasy options in Tennessee.
Ok, maybe Rashad Jennings' owners weren't unhappy after he totaled 89 yards from scrimmage. Jennings finished with 122 combined yards from scrimmage.
Rod Streater led the Raiders' receiving corps, as expected with Denarius Moore sidelined, catching five balls for 87 yards.
Dallas at New York Giants
Considering that the Cowboys and Giants defenses gave up 672 in the season opener between these two teams the first half offensive display was lacking. Eli Manning, who looked like he was coming out of his funk last weekend, threw for just 95 first-half yards and Tony Romo 127 yards, one TD and one INT.
Manning did turn in around, however, with a pair of touchdown passes to bring his team back from a 21-6 deficit. Most important, he didn't turn the ball over.
DeMarco Murray averaged 10.0 ypg in the first half. Too bad he carried the ball a measly four times. The Cowboys saw the error of their ways and gave him the ball ten times in the second half.
With Dez Bryant playing, but nursing a back injury and Miles Austin rusty after missing seven games, Romo looked to his most trusted target - Jason Witten. The two-time All-Pro tight end came through with a pair of touchdown catches in the red zone.
Bryant was still a solid contributor despite the pain, catching nine balls for 102 yards, but no touchdowns.
11/24 19:53:09 ET