News, Notes & Rumors for week 12


NOTE:  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday the NFL Preview show will be tonight at 6 PM EST this week only.  Please join Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York and me for the show.


NOTE:  Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on  On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend.  On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.



The NFL has to get a handle on the horrible officiating.  It is totally inconsistent.  A perfect example is two calls on hits to the QB.  Bears’ QB Josh McCown was clearly not hit in the head and was tackled chest to chest while he was holding the ball.  The flag was thrown for roughing the passer.  Browns’ QB Jason Campbell was grabbed around the neck and thrown down head first and there was no flag.  The officials seem to think the fans come to see them.  That is not the case.  The only way to solve this problem is to have instant replay on the targeting penalty.


KC was missing their two best pass rushers against the Chargers.  An MRI showed Tamba Hali has a sprain of the lower right ankle.  He could be probable for the next game.  LB Justin Houston could not have an MRI on his elbow because of swelling Monday.  His MRI today indicated it was dislocated.


Bucs CB Darrelle Revis suffered a groin injury and may 4 to 6 weeks.


Offensive Coordinators all over the league are wasting time outs like they are water.  Then when the game comes down to the half or the end they don’t have them to use.  Being an OC requires you to think 3 or 4 plays ahead.  The Jets for example challenged a pass play and won the challenge.  But then they had to take a TO because they could not get the call in on time.  The challenge took more than 3 minutes.  Why they did not have a play both with the challenge being successful and without it is beyond me.



Cowboys 24 Giants 21 – On the first two trips inside the Boys 10 yard line the Giants were too conservative and got field goals rather than TDs.  That was the difference in the game.  Failures inside the red zone have plagued the Giants all year.  The Boys’ first TD was scored by their defense on a fumble recovery and return.  The Giants were playing catch up all afternoon but did tie the game with a two point conversion with 4:45 left in the 4th.  But the Cowboys drove down the field and kicked a 35 yard field goal that ended the game.  Maybe the Giants problem is the ugly mustache of Eli Manning.


Chargers 41 Chiefs 38 – Bad last drive defense cost the Chiefs the win.  The lead changed hands 5 times in a mostly even game.  The Chiefs scored to take the lead to 38-34 with 1:22 left.  The Chargers got the ball on their 22 and in just 58 seconds drove for the winning TD.  The Chief D did not get their usual level of pressure on Charger QB Phillip Rivers.  He threw for 392 yards and 3 TDs without a pick and was sacked only once.  Rivers used big pass plays to move the ball.  During the game the Chiefs lost both their top pass rushers to injury.


Jaguars 13 Texans 6 – The Jaguars lost the lead for the 1st overall pick in the 2014 draft with the win.  Jags QB Chad Henne was not spectacular but was able to lead the team to a 10-0 lead with 7:57 left in the 1st half.  Ten points were enough given the poor play of the Texan O.  The Texans QB Case Keenum threw 34 times but got only 169 yards with no TDs and one pick.  They scored only 2 field goals.  Both teams will be drafting a QB early in the draft.


Patriots 34 Broncos 31 – The game was a turnover fest.  The Pats were in a giving mood in the first half and the Broncos returned the favor in the second.  The Broncos had only one drive in the first half.  The other points came directly off Pats turnovers.  In the second half the Pats stopped turning the ball over.  The game winning FG came on a Bronco turnover.  The Broncos were forced to play zone in the second half due to the loss of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  QB Tom Brady picked it apart.  The thing that jumped out at me was the throws by QB Payton Manning.  They fluttered both with the wind and against it even on the short throws.  Payton Manning has not done well in cold weather (1-5 in games below 32 degrees).  That could be a major red flag for the Broncos chances of going deep into the playoffs.  It looks like the ankle may be part of the problem but this may be the beginning of the end for one of the all time great QBs in the history of the league.


Cardinals 40 Colts 11 – The Cards moved the ball and the Colts took advantage of penalties.  There were not enough of the latter to save the Colts.  The Cards ran and passed through the Colt defense with ease.  Colt QB Andrew Luck had one of his worst games of his career against the solid Cards D.  Luck was under 50 % completion rate for just 159 yards and threw a pick 6.  Drops by his receivers did not help either.  The score went from 7-3 to 34-3 before the Colts finally scored a TD.  Cards QB Carson Palmer threw for 314 yards and 2 TDs without an interception.


Ravens 19 Jets 3 – The Raven D made rookie QB Geno Smith long for his days in college.  Smith completed 11 of 22 throws but two of those were to the other color jersey.  The Raven O is still in low gear.  They struggled to get the ball into the end zone and kicked 5 field goals four of which were inside the red zone.  While the Raven D may be back the offense is far from playoff ready.


Steelers 27 Browns 11 – The Browns were in a position to challenge for a wild card spot prior to the ugly loss to the Steelers.  For a complete analysis of the game, check out my Browns-Steelers Live Game Notes here on




Rumors are swirling around the Redskins.  Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that QB Robert Griffin III had asked the coaching staff not to show his bad plays in the team meetings because that would hurt the other players’ faith in him.  It supposedly was the policy at Baylor.  Silver said “This is real. RGIII has expressed to teammates his dissatisfaction with Mike Shanahan and this could be coming to a head. Inside the building, when you talk to people familiar with this situation they perceive RGIII as kind of insecure, specifically about Kirk Cousins, which may be one reason he was so eager to rush back.”  Both RG3 and Coach Shanahan denied the report.

It was also rumored that Shanahan never wanted RG3.  According to that report he wanted QB Ryan Tannehill (8th pick overall) who was available with the Redskins’ first round pick (6th overall) in 2012.  That would have avoided the trade with the Rams for several first and second round picks.

If someone is going to go, the owner will choose the coach because he can get another staff without costing him any draft choices.


Beyond the rumors, the performance of RG3 has been way below what was expected.  Part of the issue is the injury that was less than a year ago.  But RG3 to be effective has to run the ball.  That opens up the inside lanes for the running back and keeps the play action pass effective.  He either can’t or won’t run.  He is fragile and needs to protect himself.  But until he improves his pocket passing accuracy like Seahawk QB Russell Wilson has, he will not be as effective as he was in his rookie season.


There are rumors that the Colts flaws are showing.  QB Andrew Luck has begun to turn the ball over and the loss of WR Reggie Wayne has hurt the offense.  The Colts biggest issue has been an inconsistent defense that really struggles on the road.  The Colts have lost 2 of their last 3 games in bad blowouts.


That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.


Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.


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