Storylines to watch out for in week 15
Earlier on in the season during Cam Newtons slump and the poor performance from the Saints, who would have guessed those were the two teams that would end up being able to beat the dominating Falcons? Even this late in the season we are still getting surprises each week, the 54-0 win by the Seahawks over the cardinals was not seen coming by anyone … especially the Cardinals.
One storyline that (despite the miserable play of the rest of his team) is worth keeping an eye on not just this week, but the rest of the season is Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnsons pursuit of Jerry Rice’s season receiving yards record. Each week Megatron is creeping closer and closer to reaching the 1,848 yard record set by Rice in 1995. Coming into week 15 Johnson sits on 1,546 yards and given his recent performances, has a likely shot of beating the record. Take that, Madden curse.
But what storylines are there to keep an eye on in just week 15?
How will the Redskins go without RGIII?
The Redskins have already won more games this season than they did the entirety of the 2011 season, thanks mostly to RGIII. But in the ‘Skins game against the Ravens, RGIII ran the ball and copped a nasty hit that lead to him being sidelined close to the end of the game due to a leg injury (which was shown again and again in slow-motion, something I personally struggled to watch at 6:00am). By this time the ‘Skins were trying to clinch a win in the dying plays of the game and back-up QB Kirk Cousins managed to make it happen, including a two-point conversion, ran in Cousins himself.
From the time he spent on the field, Cousins gave good reason for ‘Skins fans not to panic at the departure of RGIII. It’s not yet known if the Rookie will play this coming week against the Browns, who themselves have quietly been on the up and up as the season has progressed. But with the Redskins still in the playoff hunt it’s nothing short of terrible timing for their dynamic franchise QB to be taken out with injuries. I sure hope Cousins isn’t susceptible to pressure, because there could be a tonne of it coming into week 16.
I’ve said it before and I’l say it again; RGIII, as unpredictable and tough as he may be could end up with a shortened career based purely on his style of play. Being such a rush-happy QB straight away makes him more prone to injuries which can bring questions regarding his longevity. Once he starts running, those big defensive lineman and linebackers at that stage can be rough as guts.
Can the Steelers bounce back?
The Steelers are one of those teams that much like the Packers or Patriots that have a winning stigma associated with them. But people seem to flat out not know that the Steelers 2012 season has been far from ideal. The Steelers are currently 7-6 and if they play like they did in week fourteens upset loss to the Chargers, it could very well be 7-7.
Week 15 has the Steelers facing the Cowboys who managed to steal a win from the Bengals in the final seconds by way of a field goal. Much like Phillip Rivers of the Chargers, Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been criticized a bit this season over his performance, especially turnovers. But even still, Rivers managed to get a win over the Steelers and when you see Romo at his best, it’s by no means outlandish to say he could do the same.
The 49ers vs Patriots game
Week 14 gave a chance for Tom Brady to once again show why he is held in the high regard that he is. Against one of the top defenses in the league, Tom Brady and co managed to not just beat the Texans but make the Texans supposedly top notch defense look like a side made up of rookies at times. That win was a real statement, the Patriots have just sent a message to the league reminding all teams that they are still the team the beat.
Week 15 sees the Brady Bunch match up against a defensively strong 49ers side that is also making it’s presence known and is in contention to take out the NFC. The 49ers are a defensive side, whilst the Patriots are very much an offense focused team. With this combination we’re going to see both teams have the strongest parts of their game put to the test, making this game a must see.
Bon apetit! Some juicy, delicious storylines to keep an eye on in Week 15. What are you looking forward to seeing?