Adrian Peterson is only 294 yards away from the single season rushing record.
Adrian Peterson: A+
Adrian Peterson is a monster of a running back, having a monster of a season. On Sunday he ran for 212 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams, and is single handedly keeping the Vikings playoff hopes alive. Peterson is 294 yards shy of Erik Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, and, by all accounts, should be able to break it during the final week of the season versus the Packers.
Peterson’s season has been well documented, but it never hurts to hear about it some more. The man is having as fantastic of a season as a player can expect, after coming off of a devastating knee injury not even a year ago. Its disappointing that Peyton Manning is receiving all the MVP and Comeback Player of the Year awards love, when in all reality, it is Peterson who should be the front runner in both categories.
Washington Redskins: A
The Redskins have won five straight games and are ACTUALLY in first place in the NFC East. The ‘Skins went into Cleveland and dominated the Browns without RGIII in the game. Kirk Cousins threw for 329 yards, and the Washington defense shut down the Browns and never allowed them to get into any kind of rhythm. If RGIII can get healthy in time for the playoffs, then the Redskins are a team that nobody wants to see in the first round.
New England Patriots: B-
The Patriots were completely embarrassed during the first two-and-a-half quarters of Sunday Night Football, as they were outplayed and dominated by the 49ers. There was actually a point in the game were they trailed 31-3—that is, until, Tom Brady turned into Tom Brady, and decided to get serious. The Patriots rattled off 28 straight points in about a 15 minute span and looked absolutely terrifying.
There are two take always form this game: one, when the Patriots are clicking on all cylinders, they are as dominant and scary of a team as there is in the NFL. And two, they can be bullied and taken off their game by defenses that rush the quarterback while still being able to play man-to-man on the rest of the offense. Luckily, for the Patriots, there are only two teams that play that type of defense, and both are in the NFC (Giants/49ers).
New York Giants: D
The Giants are one of the most confusing teams in the league. Sometimes they show up to play—other times they don’t. The team’s lax approach to the season may have finally caught up with them, as their 2-4 record over the last six weeks of the season, not only cost them their NFC East division lead, but may have, also, eliminated them from the playoffs entirely.
New York was never a factor in their embarrassing loss to the Falcons, and couldn’t even manage to score any points, in a game that turned out to be sweet revenge for last years playoff embarrassment the Falcons received from the Giants.
Chicago Bears: F
The Bears started the first half of their season 7-1, and, at times, looked like the best team in football. The second half of their season hasn’t been as dominant—to say the least. Chicago has lost five of its last six games, and is in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. Their gaudy 7-1 record to start the season was definitely a mirage, as they did not face a team of consequence during that span, other than an Indianapolis Colts team—during Week 1—that was playing its first game under rookie Andrew Luck.
Chicago was completely shut down during their game against the Packers on Sunday. Jay Cutler only threw for 135 yards and was sacked four different times. Brandon Marshal—who spent most the week talking—could only manage six catches for 56 yards. Chicago’s collapse on Sunday, and during the second half of the season, was completely typical of the Bears.