Sport

NFL: Rookie QBs shine

... Steelers- Ravens a treat; tragedy for the KC Chiefs

BY TONY SCOTT

Friday, December 07, 2012    

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WEEK 13 of the current NFL season provided a mixed bag to ponder. There were team and individual achievements, chief among them being the play of three rookie quarterbacks: Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and the cream of the crop, Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III, AKA RG3.

But there was heartfelt sorrow in the ranks of the Kansas City Chiefs as they mourned the tragic loss of one of their own.

You know how American sports tend to overload fans with statistics and trivia. Well, how about this — and I quote the writer verbatim — "Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson became the first pair of rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to throw game-winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime on the same day."

Luck did so for the Colts, who came from 12 points down with just over three minutes to go to defeat the Lions, 35-33, and Wilson for the Seahawks who beat the Bears, 23-17. So far this season, Luck has thrown for 3,596 yards in 12 games — the most ever by a rookie quarterback. Wilson, on the other hand, has three game-winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of play. It will be interesting to see how these two guys perform for the rest of the year.

Robert Griffin III is a phenomenon that defies description. Watching him play the quarterback position is like watching a veteran, even though he's just a rookie fresh out of college. In the Washington Redskins' 17-16 defeat of New York Giants on Monday, he got it all together. He was as slippery as an eel working both inside and outside the pocket. He even had luck on his side when, while running with the ball, he fumbled it, but had it recovered by a teammate who ran it in for a touchdown. When it was all over he had passed for 163 yards and rushed for 72.

With four games to play, the Redskins are 6-6 and could sneak into the playoffs. No wonder the fans are chanting RG3, and media types are suggesting in Washington he is more popular than the guy who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

One of the best rivalries in the NFL is between the Steelers and Ravens. This did not disappoint in Week 13. It was only two weeks ago that these two met and the Ravens came away with a low-scoring win. The Steelers were without QB Ben Roethlisberger for both encounters. The Ravens needed a win to clinch the AFC North title as they faced a Steelers team, with old-timer Charlie Batch filling in for a still injured Roethlisberger. The return of Troy Polamalo inspired the defence when the Steelers were down 13-3 in the second quarter.

By the time the second half came around, Batch caught fire, completing 16 of 20 passes for 219 yards. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a difficult time, completing only 16 of 34 passes for 188 yards while being sacked three times. To seal the deal for the Steelers, kicker Shaun Suisham delivered a 42-yard field goal in the dying minutes to give the Steelers a 23-20 win.

Finally, on a sad note, the murder/suicide that shocked the NFL, and indeed just about everyone with an interest in sports, involved Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher who shot his girlfriend and then himself in front of his coach and general manager.

We can all speculate as to what the hell went wrong for this young man to do this terrible thing, but we would probably never come up with an answer. How could a young man who defied the odds and made it to the NFL, do such a thing to himself, his family and friends? It raises more questions than answers. The reality is that he's left behind a trail of hurt which will linger for years.

It was a tough week for predictions, according to the feedback I've been getting from folks, and it's not going to get easier. I suspect my colleagues will concur. Congrats to Peter Lindo for being tops during a difficult week. He was 10-6, yours truly came in with 8-8 followed by Andre Hutchinson at 7-9 and Andrei Roper with a stunning 3-13. Roper has relinquished his lead dog role to Hutchinson — at least for now.

A few games to look forward to this weekend: The Bengals vs. the Cowboys, in a battle of teams hunting a wildcard playoff spot in their respective conferences, RG3 and the Redskins are at home to the Ravens, the Giants look to bounce back as they take on the Saints, and on Monday Night Football, the Patriots are at home to the Texans on what should be a real treat.

That's it for now folks, enjoy the games, and remember to place your bets on the NFL with JustBet !!!

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NFL WEEK 14 SCHEDULE

Thur Dec 6

Oak Raiders +10.5 v Den Broncos, Under/Over 50.5

Sun Dec 9

Buf Bills v StL Rams +3.5, Under/Over 42.5

Car Panthers +4.5 v Atl Falcons, Under/Over 47.5

Cin Bengals v Dal Cowboys +4.5, Under/Over 45.5

Cle Browns v KC Chiefs +5.5, Under/Over 37.5

Ind Colts v Ten Titans +5.5, Under/Over 49.5

Jac Jaguars +2.5 v NY Jets, Under/Over 38.5

Min Vikings +2.5 v Chi Bears, Under/Over 39.5

Pit Steelers v SD Chargers +7.5, Under/Over 43.5

TB Buccaneers v Phi Eagles +7.5, Under/Over 46.5

Was Redskins v Bal Ravens +2.5, Under/Over 48.5

SF 49ers v Mia Dolphins +10.5, Under/Over 40.5

NY Giants v NO Saints +5.5, Under/Over 53.5

Sea Seahawks v Ari Cardinals +10.5, Under/Over 35.5

GB Packers v Det Lions +7.5, Under/Over 52.5

Mon Dec 10

NE Patriots v Hou Texans +4.5, Under/Over 51.5

*Handicaps and Under/Over included*

*Handicaps and Under/Over subject to change without notice, prior to kick-off

EXPERTS’ PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Andrei Roper’s Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Raiders v Broncos

Bills v Rams

Panthers v Falcons

Bengals v Cowboys

Browns v Chiefs

Colts v Titans

Jaguars v Jets

Vikings v Bears

Steelers v Chargers

Buccaneers v Eagles

Redskins v Ravens

49ers v Dolphins

Giants v Saints

Seahawks v Cardinals

Packers v Lions

Patriots v Texans

Last week: 3-13

Season to date: 95-97

Andre Hutchinson’s Week 14 Picks (in bold)

Raiders v Broncos

Bills v Rams

Panthers v Falcons

Bengals v Cowboys

Browns v Chiefs

Colts v Titans

Jaguars v Jets

Vikings v Bears

Steelers v Chargers

Buccaneers v Eagles

Redskins v Ravens

49ers v Dolphins

Giants v Saints

Seahawks v Cardinals

Packers v Lions

Patriots v Texans

Last week: 7-9

Season to date: 98-94

Tony Scott’s Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Raiders v Broncos

Bills v Rams

Panthers v Falcons

Bengals v Cowboys

Browns v Chiefs

Colts v Titans

Jaguars v Jets

Vikings v Bears

Steelers v Chargers

Buccaneers v Eagles

Redskins v Ravens

49ers v Dolphins

Giants v Saints

Seahawks v Cardinals

Packers v Lions

Patriots v Texans

Last week: 8-8

Season to date: 94-98

Peter Lindo’s Week 10 Picks (in bold)

Raiders v Broncos

Bills v Rams

Panthers v Falcons

Bengals v Cowboys

Browns v Chiefs

Colts v Titans

Jaguars v Jets

Vikings v Bears

Steelers v Chargers

Buccaneers v Eagles

Redskins v Ravens

49ers v Dolphins

Giants v Saints

Seahawks v Cardinals

Packers v Lions

Patriots v Texans

Last week: 10-6

Season to date: 93-99

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