What To Know : Week 14

Here we go, ladies! Week 14 has arrived:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Houston at New England on Monday night, an AFC battle. This could potentially be a preview of the AFC Championship game. Vegas is taking the Pats, and so are most other predictors, but I think it’ll be a close one.

PLAYER TO WATCH: RYAN GRANT!!! In reality, this is irrelevant to most of you, and, honestly, it could be irrelevant to the Packers, too. But former running back Ryan Grant, cut from the team prior to this season, is coming back to the Pack!!! The Packers signed him on Wednesday after losing yet another running back (James Starks) to injury and let me tell you…I can’t wait to see Grant get on the field ASAP. He’s slated to play on Sunday against the Lions and will surely be anxious to have a great comeback game at home.

We’re so glad you’re back, Ryan!!!

In other news: Big Ben is also scheduled to start for the Steelers after missing three weeks with the dangerous rib injury. He gets to come back against the ailing Chargers, which, honestly, is a gift-wrapped win for the taking. (Sorry, San Diego.)

STORYLINE TO KNOW: Speaking of San Diego, the yearly Norv-Turner-is-out rumors are circulating on cue again. And, once again, the owner is denying them. You can’t help but feel bad for Turner, who has been put through this circus so many times it’s not even considered breaking news anymore. It’s just normal. But I’d be surprised if the firing doesn’t pan out this time; all signs point to a Turner-less San Diego next season.


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cranberry salsa

peanut butter fudge

snickers brownie bites

What To Know : After Week 13

Let me tell you about one of the crueler decisions ever made by television executives.

On Sunday, while most of the country was watching Adrian Peterson have one of the best game of his life and the Packers, my Packers!, shut the Vikes out in the second half to get the win, Eastern New York was subjected to the Jets/Cardinals game, easily the most mind-boggling display of offensive football I’ve ever witnessed. And it wasn’t just me. Both announcers did all they could to keep from laughing out loud. And then…Thom Brennaman couldn’t hold it in any longer. And he quotes: “I got to tell you, this has been as ugly and inept an offensive football game as I’ve ever seen.”

Amen, Thom. Amen.

I mean…it took SIX DRIVES for either team to complete a pass in the second half. It really should have been called a mutual loss at half time and switched to the Packers game. And honestly, I take no pleasure in saying all of this; I know that these are hard working men who don’t deserve to be collectively flogged by fans and general spectators worldwide for a bad game. I know I wouldn’t want my faults aired on live television for all the world to see. But this was a really, really bad game. A really bad game. Arizona finished 0-15 on third downs. I’m not even sure how that’s possible.

So let’s just move on. In other news:

  • Sanchez did get benched in the third quarter for 3rd stringer Greg McElroy (Tim Tebow was deactivated with fractured ribs), who aided in scoring the only points of the game for the Jets.
  • Greg’s mom was headed upstairs to take a nap right before he was put in for Sanchez. That’s how bad this game was. 
  • And now we’re officially done talking about it.
  • The Seahawks giveth, and the Seahawks taketh away. They beat the Bears in OT to give the Packers the lead in the NFC North playoff race, which was really the least they could do after the replacement ref debacle loss back in September that skewed the Packers divisional standing.
  • Andrew Luck. Oh my land, Andrew Luck. He drove the Colts down the field, behind a terrible offensive line, in the final minute to score against the Lions and win the game on 4th and 10 in the final seconds. He was incredible, the definition of “clutch.”
  • So much for the sure bet of Ravens over a Roethlisberger-less Steelers. Charlie Batch led the Steelers to a well-earned 23-20 win.
  • As we talked about yesterday, the Niners and Rams almost tied in OT AGAIN! But luckily Greg the Leg hit a game winning FG with 30 second left on the overtime clock.
  • Giants at Redskins was a Monday night thriller, with RG3 leading the Skins to a 17-16 victory. The Giants had a hand in beating themselves, however, with a copious number of penalties and bad decisions.

And there she is: Week 13. Any other thoughts to add? Please do!

What To Know : Week 13

This just kills me. Week 13?! Already?! It can’t be!

But it’s here all the same. And it’s fixing to be a great one:

GAME OF THE WEEK: I mean, really, take your pick. What game isn’t great this week (blacked out Buffalo/Jacksonville game notwithstanding)? Clearly, I have a vested interest in the Packers vs. Vikings game and will be watching with baited breath to see if the Pack can bounce back after Sunday’s night’s burn-the-tape exhibition against the Giants. But other than that, I think the Giants at Washington Monday nighter is a sure bet. Anytime NFC East rivals get together it’s always a great show, and judging from the first time the two met earlier this season, it’s bound to be another thriller.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Big Ben. Whether he plays or not in Sunday’s game against the Ravens will probably be the determining factor of whether the Steelers win or not. Although a team that turned the ball over eight times in a single game will probably be able to summon the motivation to play for redemption with or without their starting quarterback.

STORYLINE TO KNOW: There are three notable matchups between, shall we say, disappointing opponents. They break down into the following:

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, AFC Edition:

Jacksonville at Buffalo. There’s a reason why this game is not going to be seen on local television due to attendance deficit.

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, NFC Edition:

Philly at Dallas. Now, NFL, you put in the flex scheduling option for a reason. And that reason is Sunday night games like this. Why isn’t this game being flexed out for pretty much any other game with actual playoff implications in Week 13? Riddle me that.

Which Team Will Be Less Bad, Mixed Bag Edition:

Arizona at New York Jets. At the beginning of the season, Arizona had a quarterback controversy but are currently experiencing quarterback scarcity. At the beginning of the season, New York had a brewing quarterback controversy but are currently experiencing Armageddon. I’m actually looking forward to seeing which way this one goes.


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cookies n’ cream peanut butter bark

crockpot brunch casserole

pecan pie bars

What To Know : After Week 12

I found myself saying “OH!” a lot over the weekend. There were a lot of Rossian “OH, wow!” moments and a lot of just plain “OH, dear…” moments, too. Here are a few of the more memorable O-themed moments from Week 12:


As in lack thereof for the Packers. I’m not so enthusiastic about talking about Sunday night’s game (and jokingly refused to serve a Giants fan who came in to Starbucks yesterday…except for that I wasn’t entirely kidding…), but the facts are the facts: Aaron Rodgers was sacked 5 times, but it felt more like 500 times. Even when he wasn’t on the ground, he was rushing to get rid of the ball ASAP. The Packers need Offensive Line help like yesterday…if we’re talking about yesterday a few years ago.

Outstanding Rookies:

RG3 made so many jaw-dropping, spot-on, inconceivable throws on Thursday I don’t even know where to start. He’s not even playing well for a rookie…he’s playing well for anyone. Wow. Just wow.


Eight turnovers against the Browns, Pittsburgh? Even with Ben out, that’s just bad football. Head coach Mike Tomlin said it best: It doesn’t matter who your quarterback is; if you turn the ball over eight times, you’re going to lose the game. True story, Mike. True story.


The Jets season. You know things are bad when the opposing team scores three touchdowns in the span of 52 seconds (including the now infamous butt fumble), but things are just plain ugly when superfans start quitting on you.


Ndamukong Suh took matters into his own hands…or feet…when he kicked Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin while getting up from a tackle. This brought back memories of last year’s Thanksgiving day game against the Packers and the “stomp” play. Both of which, according to Suh, were accidental. We’ll let the tape speak for itself.

Anyone else? Memorable moments from this weekend’s slate of games? Shout ’em out!

What To Know : Week 12

Week 12 is upon us! Here’s what you need to know:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Packers at Giants, Sunday night. The Giants have crushed the Packers playoff dreams twice in recent years. (Not cool, NYG.) This game is a rematch of last year’s playoff game, in which the Giants routed the 15-1 Packers en route to their second Super Bowl win against the Patriots, which was terrible deja vu for me. 2008: Giants beat Packers in the playoffs, go on to beat Patriots in the Super Bowl. 2012: Giants beat Packers in the playoffs, go on to beat Patriots in the Super Bowl. Let’s hope we can start a new trend this year.

PLAYER TO WATCH: GREG JENNINGS! Could it possibly be true?! He’s listed as a long shot for the Packers game against the Giants this week…but maybe we’ll finally see 85 back on the field again! We’ve missed you, Greg!

STORYLINE TO KNOW: The no-one-saw-it-coming quarterback controversy between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. After the backup’s phenomenal performance on Monday night against the Bears, head coach Jim Harbaugh said he’d “go with the quarterback with the hot hand,” even though starting QB Alex Smith has led the team to a 7-2-1 record. Smith has been maligned for most of his career after getting off to a lackluster start for a first-pick of the draft but has really found his stride with Harbaugh. You can’t help but think that this might be a confidence shaker for Smith, but we’ll see how things go on Sunday against the also hot-handed Drew Brees and the Saints.

*Breaking News, For Real: As soon as I finished typing this (Wednesday night), the 49ers announced that they are starting Colin Kaepernick at quarterback this week. I have opinions, and they are many, but I’ll refrain from adding them here because they are currently unkind. But wow. WOW.


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PW’s Maple Cranberry Sauce

Harvest Stuffing

Sweet Potato Crumble

Apple Cranberry Crumble

What To Know : After Week 11

Let’s just start by saying: I love the NFL. All weeks, but especially this week. And here’s why.

  1. THREE GAMES went into overtime at the same time on Sunday. I mean, come on. Does it get any better?
  2. Um, yes. It does. Because we get to talk about it.

So, let’s categorize:


  1. Who thought the Texans would need to go into OT against a woeful Jags team? Especially when the Jags starting QB, Blaine Gabbert, went down with an injury mid-game? That they pulled it out in the final minutes of OT on a courageous 4th down attempt by the Jags speaks volumes about the Texans…and not necessarily in a positive way. But a win’s a win! And the Texans steam roll on.
  2. Lesser surprise but still surprising in it’s own right: the Cowboys going into OT with the Browns, who truly had a chance to win this game. But this week, instead of finding a way to lose, the Cowboys found a way to win.
  3. Unsurprising but exciting: the Bucs winning in OT over the Panthers. Watch out for the Bucs, people! They mean business.


The Good:

  1. RG3. Holy goodness, did he ever have a game against the can’t-buy-a-break Eagles.
  2. Matt Schaub threw for over 500 yards on Sunday. Is that even human?
  3. Aaron Rodgers. Even when the offense is having somewhat of an off day, he’s still able to thread the tiniest of needles through practically invisible holes.
  4. Tom Brady. For being Tom Brady.
  5. Ditto, Peyton Manning.

The Bad:

  1. Phillip Rivers, what happened? I don’t understand?
  2. Five interceptions, Matt Ryan? Really?
  3. The entire Cardinals QB lineup. Sorry, guys.
  4. Ditto, Kansas City.

The Ugly:

  1. Nick Foles. The Eagles in general. What a terrible season.


  1. Biggest injury: Rob Gronkowski out for at least the rest of the regular reason with a broken forearm. Bad break (pun intended) for the Patriots, since Gronk is the core of the offense.
  2. Second biggest: Willis McGahee out for the foreseeable future with an MCL tear. Unfortunate for the Broncos, who have really been humming on offense.
  3. Ala Chandler, Could Pittsburgh be more injured? Along with the rest of their roster, backup QB Byron Leftwich is also going to be out for a few weeks with broken ribs. Hello, Charlie Batch!
  4. It’s so odd to not talk about the Packers in this space, but I think they survived a game sans-devastating injury for the first time in forever (Raji ankle injury notwithstanding…let’s hope it’s inconsequential).