What is it with Stevie Johnson and blowing games in Week 12?
While it wasn’t as clear-cut as last year, Stevie Johnson likely once again cost his team a game with a dropped TD pass. Unlike his famous drop in the end zone in OT against the Steelers in Week 12 of 2010, Johnson’s drop yesterday with 32 seconds left wasn’t a definite game loser for a couple of reasons. First, he could have been tackled by Jets safety Jim Leonhard after the catch.
Also, even if he does score the Jets would have had about 28-30 seconds and two timeouts to try and get a game tying field goal. But, in reality, he probably alludes Leonhard (he had enough room to either run past Leonhard or cut to the right to allude Leonhard) and the Jets probably don’t get a tying field goal considering the time remaining and the fact that Nick Folk is 2-5 on 50+ yard field goals this year.
While you can debate whether Johnson’s drop decided the game you can’t debate how detrimental the loss was for the Bills playoff chances. A win against the Jets would have broken a three game losing streak and put Buffalo firmly in the playoff hunt at 6-5. And with a manageable schedule down the stretch, the Bills would have had a puncher’s chance of grabbing the 6th seed in the AFC. But that is all gone now. I think the Bills struggle to finish .500 and miss the playoffs for a 12th consecutive season.
I am declaring that Chris Johnson is back. Not 2009 back but 2010 back, which is still good enough to make him a top 10 back in the NFL. Sure, his 190-yard rushing effort yesterday came against a Bucs run defense that entered the game allowing 133 yards per game on 4.7 yards per carry. And it is also very much true that the 130 yards he gained on the ground two weeks ago came against a Carolina team that is in the Bucs class of run defense sucktitude (I know this is not really a word but it fits well here).
But these efforts still count and so does a respectable 14 carry, 64-yard rushing outing against the Bengals, one of the best run D’s in the NFL. And outside of the numbers, there is no denying that CJ2K (he deserves his nickname back) is running quicker and making more decisive cuts. Expect a strong last five games from the $53 million dollar man, which will be a big reason why the Titans will stay in the wild card race for the rest of the season.
While I never want to see a player suffer a season ending injury, which likely happened to Matt Leinart yesterday, I can’t say I feel too bad for him. Sounds cruel you say? It does but the thing is Leinart has never really shown the drive and toughness to become a starting quarterback in the NFL. One example of this is that he somehow managed to lose the starting quarterback role for the Cardinals to Derek Anderson in 2010 training camp and subsequently got released after he was all but named the starter at the beginning of training camp.
Another is that he decided to sign with the Texans this past offseason, who had an established QB in Matt Schaub, instead of inking a deal with the Seahawks where he could have battled with the underwhelming duo of Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst for a starting job. Leinart has never really wanted to be a starting quarterback in the NFL so when he gets handed the opportunity to start and gets injured I’m not going to feel too bad for him. With that said, I hope he makes a speedy recovery.
The Eagles faint playoff hopes ended yesterday with an embarrassing 38-20 home loss to the Patriots. Now the Eagles must figure out how to make things work in 2012 with a roster that is not likely to change much next year. Good luck. Besides getting rid of Andy Reid, which is no-brainer, and hoping that a new coach can figure out how to get wins from a puzzle with a bunch of pieces that don’t fit, the Eagles are who they are. Michael Vick was a one-year wonder, DeSean Jackson is an overrated cancerous jerk and their defense is wildly overrated. Hopefully for Philly fans, they can find next year’s Jim Harbaugh (and yes 2011 Andy Reid has been Mike Singletary bad) because is their only hope for a 2012 revival.
A Staff Writer for RotoExperts, Tamer Chamma is a two time top 50 Finalist in the WFAN Fantasy Phenom contest as well as a weekly guest on the SiriusXM "RotoExperts" morning show. Tamer is also a fill-in co-host for the show. You may contact Tamer @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @RotoExperts_TC