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The Hudsucker is an online magazine made up of unique and dedicated writers with fresh voices from across the country and overseas. Our team of writers are passionate and driven, bringing forth their personalities in each article. Since its inception in 2012, The Hudsucker has continuously proven how writing is our strongest fingerprint. By creating a smart and ambitious environment for readers, the digital magazine focusing on popular culture aims to be relatable through experiences and passions.

The Hudsucker Presents NFL Weekly: Week 12 – Five Weeks Remain

This year our writers are teaming up to bring you weekly football coverage! Each week, a few of our writers will be sharing their thoughts and highlights from games they’ve watched. Who were the winners this week? Who remains undefeated? Which team will come out victorious at the end of the 2013-2014 season? 

There are only five weeks left of the regular season–meaning, only five games left for each team to determine their playoff direction. Nothing is official yet, but it looks like the Seahawks, Saints, Broncos, Chiefs, and Patriots could be the five teams fighting for postseason victory. No more than 25 teams will enter Week 13 next week with the hopes of staying alive and keeping their record intact beyond Week 17. After that? Anything is possible as we’ve seen throughout this season. Week 12 showed us many surprises, obviousness, and elation for some of our favorites.

Turn to any game this weekend and it will showcase shreds of playoff significance–including all three games on Thanksgiving, which proves how the stakes are especially high for the teams playing tonight. Any game in these next few weeks featuring legitimate postseason contenders will be worth watching, such as games from the likes of the Broncos at Chiefs this Sunday, Saints at Seahawks this Monday, Colts at Bengals in Week 14, or even the Eagles at Cowboys on the final week of the regular season. But with just five weeks remaining and no more byes, how did the teams play during Week 12? Our writers, Tania Hussain and Andrew Rogers team up and share some highlights from their favorite games, what they thought and what’s ahead. 

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America

Saints, 17-13

Andrew:

Having the Thursday night game is great because it means I can be productive on Sunday, but it also makes it feel like SO MUCH LONGER until the next game, especially since our next game is on Monday versus the dreaded Seahawks. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was shaking in my boots.

But anyway, this was a good game. Yeah, there were some bad calls by the officials including that hit on Matt Ryan, but what can you do? Absent that, the two teams played well. Atlanta looked like their old selves, but I’ve noticed that about the Saints and the Falcons… it seems no matter how bad of a season one of them is having, their match ups against each other are always fairly even. They usually come down to a single TD. So, even with a few injuries on both sides, there were some great plays and I’m glad the Saints came up with the win.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Image Credit: NFL/Getty Images

Steelers, 27-11

Tania:

It’s good to see the atrocious, stinky start the Steelers were suffering is long gone. They could very well even see some playoff action if they keep it up. They’re climbing back with one game at a time, keeping their three-win streak intact. Their plays involving a no-huddle offense has worked well for them in their last few games, but their next test is later tonight as they play the Baltimore Ravens who share their 5-6 record.  However, playing against the Browns this past Sunday, they managed to create a balanced offense and a tough defensive line. QB Ben Roethlisberger threw TD passes to wide receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, to beat the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh has overcome big injuries and with a stronger defense, they’ve managed to rid those first few ugly games from this past season from memory.

The Browns are 4-7 this season and play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Considering how hit and miss it is with Cleveland, I’d expect them to win against the 2-7 Jags, but who knows what could happen in this game.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Image Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

Packers-Vikings, tied 26

Tania:

This was such a weird game. I’m still not a fan of the tied games and just feel, overtime needs to declare the winner through and throughout. It’s a season of tough breaks for the Packers. Since QB Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone in a game against the Chicago Bears on November 4, Green Bay just doesn’t look exactly like Super Bowl contenders anymore. They once were one of the top five or six teams in the league with much acclaim but now they look pretty nasty. Is Rodgers the sole reason why the Packers have been so great? Looks like it could be. Sure their losing streak is over with this “tie” but I don’t feel it really counts towards a win because nothing was really accomplished. They set out to win and that didn’t really happen. That being said, Packers QB Scott Tolzien really has tried and has moves like former Lions RB Barry Sanders and a break dancer.

The Vikings are 2-8-1 this season. I really don’t see them improving at all. This tie may have helped their record, but overall, doesn’t help them at all. They play the Bears later this weekend and I don’t expect them to win that game.

Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals

Image Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images North America

Cardinals, 40-11

Tania:

Blerg! What an awful, awful game for my homies. I really thought Indy could bag this one because earlier this season, they have been on fire and proved they are a great team without Manning. They seriously looked like Super Bowl contenders and maybe they can still make it, but right now? Not so much. For the second time in three weeks, Indy was embarrassed. Their offensive line and running game has become weak, and ineffective. On top of that, their defense is incredibly flawed right now. Their first embarrassment came after losing to the Rams at home, 38-0, and the second on the  road to the Arizona, who led Indianapolis 34-3 after three quarters. Owner of the Colts, Jim Irsay came out blasting his team. I’ll just have you read it…

Indy will still clinch the AFC South title, but the days of them being contenders look a little bleak. Great teams don’t get pummeled in a three-week span, and by that, mediocre ones.

The Cardinals have been impressive and showcased their strengths, and playoff worthiness. They have a well put together defense and a strict offense. QB Carson Palmer completed 15 of 20 passes for 191 yards and two TDs, both to WR Larry Fitzgerald. They play against the Philadelphia Eagles later this weekend and I feel they have a pretty good chance of showing them up.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Image Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Cowboys, 24-21

Andrew:

The Giants were on a hot streak that had some people wondering if they could, after an 0-6 start, somehow make the playoffs and this game wasn’t a wash by any means. They were right in there with the Cowboys and gave them a good run for their money, but that last drive by Dallas, the Giants Defence just failed. My friend, who’s a Giants fan, described it as them simply stepping aside and letting them through and that’s what it felt like watching it. Kind of a shame because I was hoping for the Giants to pull their usual magic, but after this one, Dallas is back on top. Go Philly now! Haha.

Let’s talk about San Diego, shall we? QB Phillip Rivers started the quarter off decently by picking apart the Broncos defense but San Diego’s problem is that even though they are 7th in the league, they can either score a TD and get into the red zone, or they don’t. Their inability to never finish their drives is unsettling considering we’re in the 10th week of football. 

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

Image Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

Patriots, 34-31

Andrew:

This was hyped up to be one for the ages. The Epic Brady/Manning Rivalry and the 13th time in their careers that they’d face each other. Which is why when Denver came out swinging and held the Pats to no points by the half, I think we were all a little letdown. My uncle, a diehard Pats fan, actually turned the game off and went to bed. I stayed up with the TV on in the background and I don’t think I realized how dramatically the game was shifting until I heard the Pats second TD called out by the announcers. I remember saying “holy crap, they could come back and win this” and sure enough, the Pats tied it, brought it into overtime, and cashed in on that botched Broncos kick. Good job on them. It was kind of an anti-climatic end to an otherwise high-powered game but that’s the nature of the game. Still, it was a HUGE win for the Pats and I think, finally, proved to me that you should never count Brady out and that this team could, once again, be Super Bowl Contenders.

Tania:

What an exciting game this was! The Brady-Manning rivalry is seriously one of the best rivalries on the field. This was quite the Sunday night thriller and honestly, I really didn’t know how it was going to play out. Both teams are amazing and very fierce in execution. Denver’s defense has made some big strides since the beginning of the season and though they led 24-0 at halftime, that took a huge turn in the third quarter when the Patriots brought their magic to the field. Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for 3 TDs to lead New England to a staggering, 31-24 lead, as the Pats scored on its first five possessions of the second half. It was then that QB Manning threw an 11-yard scoring pass to WR Demaryius Thomas for the Broncos, ultimately tying the game to 31. The fourth quarter proved vital for both teams, testing their strengths under pressure. The Broncos sadly lost to the Patriots though as they misplayed a punt return allowing Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski to score a 31-yard field goal for New England; ultimately lifting the Patriots to a 34-31 overtime victory. It was a great game and a great loss for the Broncos, but like Andrew has pointed out, the Patriots are true Super Bowl contenders here.

Who are you rooting for? What games did you watch? Let us know what you thought of this twelfth week of NFL by sounding off in the comments below.

About the Authors

___________________________________________

Andrew Rogers is Editor and staff writer here at The Hudsucker. He is a 24 year old law student who lives in Halifax during the school year and Toronto the rest of the year. Besides Law, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and food factoids. Andrew is also happily in a relationship with an American boy named Elliott. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Tania Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief here at The Hudsucker, and a freelance writer at the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She has her own column over at NBC News’ Newsvine and has completed a manuscript awaiting to be published. She is a member of  The Canadian Authors Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers across Canada. Tania is an avid Colts, Elvis and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses. Follow her on Twitter as @westlifebunny.

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