Happy December! Can you believe it's already December? Where has 2013 gone? The Stack is here on this Monday to recap a wild Sunday in the NFL. Picks so far this week are the best they've been in a long time (11-4). A correct pick tonight between the Saints and Seahawks will make for a nice 12-4 week. That pick is coming up. Now though, it's time to get to some reaction from Sunday's NFL action in "the stack" for today, Monday, December 2:
Carolina 27 Tampa Bay 6
The Panthers have won eight straight games! They were aggressive against the Bucs and made all of the plays they needed to. Cam Newton was outstanding with three total touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) and the defense was up for the challenge. Next up is the Saints. That is going to be another true test for this team.
Jacksonville 32 Cleveland 28
Clearly the Jacksonville Jaguars are not looking for the number one overall draft pick. They've now won three of their last four games with another road win, this one in Cleveland. Don't fault Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon though. He was stellar with 261 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Suspended the first two games of the year, he is fastly becoming a star in this league. The good feelings surrounding the Browns earlier this year appears to be leaving in Cleveland and fast.
New England 34 Houston 31
Maybe the Patriots just like getting off to slow first half starts. They had another one against the Texans who played like this was their Super Bowl, but came up short. The two sides went back and forth in the second half, but Tom Brady and company did just a little more to get the win. Don't fault Texans running back Ben Tate though who had over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the day. The Patriots win helps them keep pace with the Denver Broncos. The loss for the Texans is their tenth in a row.
Indianapolis 22 Tennessee 14
While it wasn't the fast start they probably envisioned, the Colts got a great defensive effort and they are awfully glad they have Adam Vinatieri on their team. He booted five field goals, enough for the Colts to beat the Titans and take firm control of the AFC South. One more win and they clinch the division.
Minnesota 23 Chicago 20
Adrian Peterson took advantage of a bad Bears desense and rushe for over 200 yards. Matt Cassell played jut fine for Chrstian Ponder who had ot leave the game witha concussion. Almost saw the Vikings get a tie for the second straight week. Each team missed a field goal and it seemed like the Bears were going to win, but it wasn't mean to be. Tough loss for the team as this puts them in tough position to win the NFC North and have a shot at the playoffs.
Miami 23 New York Jets 3
How have the Jets won five games this year? They've looked just abysmal on that side of the ball the last few weeks and that includes yesterday as well. Geno Smith was eventually benched for Matt Simms, but it is just ugly in New York.
Philadelphia 24 Arizona 21
Make that 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. He was spectacular once again against a good team in the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals battled back in this one, but ultimately came up short, meaning they are outside of the playoff picture for now. Each team is now 7-5. They'll both be in this until the final week of the regular season.
Atlanta 34 Buffalo 31
The Bills just struggle north of the border. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson each had big days on the ground for the Bills, but Atlanta came back in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Thanks to some good hands, the Falcons forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter and another one in overtime to help set them up for the win. Lost year for the Falcons, but they fought hard in this one.
San Francisco 23 St. Louis 13
The 49ers defense was dominant in this game. The Rams just didn't have it on offense the entire day and it showed. This was a pretty easy win for the 49ers. They look like a playoff team.
Denver 35 Kansas City 28
The Chiefs got off to a fast start in this one, racing out to a 21-7 lead, but this was Eric Decker's day. Decker had four touchdowns and Peyton Manning threw five overall as the Broncos swept the season series from the Chiefs. Decker's performance was truly amazing. The Chiefs had no answer for him all day. Alex Smith did what he could to keep the Chiefs in the game and they had a chance late to tie the game, but he is no Manning. Tough loss for the Chiefs who have now lost three straight.
Cincinnati 17 San Diego 10
The Bengals were ready for the Chargers coming out of their bye week. The defense was physical and able to slow down the explosive Chargers offense. The Chargers aren't out of the AFC playoff picture by any means, but this was a chance for them to establish themselves more, especially after last week's road win in KC. The Bengals with the win keep enough distance from Baltimore.
New York Giants 24 Washington 17
The Giants got off to a slow start in this one and it looked like RGIII was going to lead Washington to a rout in this one, but the Giants battled back. The big headline in this one is what happened at the end when the referee crew under Jeff Triplette inexplicably didn't measure a close play for the Redskins late in the game. The chains moved and the down marker said first down. The Redskins threw a deep pass that fell incomplete. However, after the play, Triplette signaled fourth down. It was third down, but everyone saw that the marker said first down. It didn't matter too much as the Redskins fumbled on the next play, but it is still a mistake that absolutely cannot be made by an NFL officiating team.
New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks 8:40 PM ET ESPN
Few regular season games come with as much flare as this one. Homefield advantage throughout the playoffs in the NFC is at stake in this one. The Seahawks secondary is falling apart a little bit, losing players like Brandon Browner when Drew Brees and the Saints offense comes to town, but the Saints will have to deal with that noise. It will be loud. The Seahawks are outstanding at home. Despite being slightly under-manned, I think they have enough to get by the Saints and take full control of the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 Saints 23
Coming up Tuesday: MNF recap, NFL power rankings, thoughts on Alabama-Auburn and more.