As one more week approaches its full cycle, it’s worth pointing out some of the games which gained a lot of attention this past Sunday. With five more weeks left on the schedule, teams are rushing to make tweaks and adjustments to their strategy for a final push as the playoffs steadily approach.
The race for the 2021-22 postseason is heating up and it was this past Sunday that featured top teams making moves to guarantee their playoff positions before Week 13. Starting with a consistently top-notch Tampa Bay team, to the Rams’ potential slow decline, and ending with the Bengals’ statement victory over Pittsburgh, there is a lot to be covered regarding Week 12’s action.
Brady’s leadership continues to pay off in Tampa
As long as this team’s seven-time Super Bowl champ is leading the squad, much is to be expected from all his teammates. Tom Brady doesn’t have to deliver flawless performances to motivate his team, as yesterday was the perfect example of how to dominate without putting all the pressure on one star to carry them.
The Buccaneers were able to pull out a 38-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Trailing by 10-points at the end of the first half, the Buccaneers were able to lessen the pressure put on their QB as they used some solid runs by RB Leonard Fournette, who finished the day with four touchdowns.
Tampa has suffered multiple injuries but continues to prove that the loss of both Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski aren’t determinant factors that could lead to a potential offensive decline.
Despite Colts QB Carson Wentz’s solid performance in which he threw a 62-yard TD pass to Ashton Dublin and two short 4-yard TD’s to Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton just before the half, the Colts’ contrasting defensive line proved weak against Fournette’s running game. Tampa still leads the NFC South at 8-3 while the Colts remain second in the AFC South at an even 6-6.
Rams unable to hold on to Rodger’s Packers
Trailing by just three points at halftime, the Rams were very much in this game at the midway point. But Los Angeles was unable to prevent the loss to the Green Bay Packers in this 36-28 Monday night showdown at Lambeau Field.
Matthew Stafford had two TD passes before halftime after connecting with Van Jefferson for a 79-yard TD pass and a 6-yard TD connection with Darrell Henderson, but Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers made sure this home game did not go to waste.
Rodgers led the Packers with three touchdown passes, two in the second quarter and one in the third, which proved to be enough to outlast Los Angeles. Even though Stafford tried to come back by tossing a 54-yard TD pass to LA’s newest star, Odell Beckham, the Rams came up short against Green Bay. With this win, the Packers remain at the top of the NFC North standings with a 9-3 record while the Rams are trying to hold onto second place in the NFC West after three straight losses.
Bengals continue to push for the division lead
It shouldn’t have been an easy matchup against the Steelers, and the Bengals were very aware of that fact walking into Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals pulled off a crushing 41-10 home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It was all about the rushing game for Cincinnati. QB Joe Burrow opened the game with an 8-yard TD run and which was followed by two Evan McPherson field goals.
Pittsburgh was left on the outskirts and was completely outplayed by Cincinnati. With only a first-half field goal by Chris Boswell and a 51-yard connection between QB Ben Roethlisberger and Pat Freiermuth, the Steelers were thoroughly outplayed by the Bengals. The Steelers remain in third place in the AFC North with a 5-5-1 record. Cincinnati stands second behind the Baltimore Ravens with a 7-4 mark.