We have rules here…game balls only go to winners, a wise but somewhat ordinary coach once said, “You play to win the game,” that’s exactly how we feel Herm, no win, no game ball.

So, Blake Bortles, congratulations on those 5 touchdown passes, Buck Allen…heck of an effort 12 catches for 107 yards with a 41 yard TD and another 63 yards rushing, but sorry no game ball for you.

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Game Balls

Cam Newton—The best player on the best team in the NFL is looking like the league’s MVP. It looked like the Panthers might get ambushed in New Orleans, but down twice in the fourth quarter Newton threw touchdown passes and Carolina is still a perfect 12-0. With just over a minute left Newton threw a 15-yard TD to give the Panthers a 41-38 win over the Saints.

Seattle Defense—This looks like the bunch that went to the last 2 Super Bowls not the defense that has given at least 27 points 6 times this season and 39 to the Cardinals. They dominated the Vikings 38-7 with Minnesota’s only score coming on a kickoff return. Adrian Peterson was grumbling about the coaching after he was held to 18 rushing yards the third lowest total of his career. It was the Vikings worst home loss in over 30 years.

Marcus Mariota— The rookie quarterback led the way and exorcized the demons as the Titans ended their 11-game home losing skid with a 42-39 win over Jacksonville. Mariota completed 20 of 29 passes for 268 yards and 3 TD’s he also ran nine times for 112 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown the longest running play in the NFL this season.

Antonio Brown— The Colts had no answer, I mean 8 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown is game ball material but Brown had more, he topped off Sunday Night’s 45-10 win with a 71-yard punt return touchdown. The Steelers star did get a Goof Ball nomination when he finished his punt return by leaping and mounting the goal post. The game was long decided so the prop penalty he received didn’t hurt but a season ending groin injury would have.

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Goof Balls

Robbie Gould— The Bears usually reliable kicked missed a 40 yard field goal in the third quarter, then on the final play of the fourth quarter, with the game tied, he had a 36 yard chip shot to give Chicago the win. The game winner turned into the game loser as it hooked way wide left. In overtime former Raven Torrey Smith caught a 71 yard game winning pass to give the 49ers a 26-20 win.

Tom Coughlin— Just take the points coach! The Giants were up 20-10 with less than nine minutes to play when Couglan passed on the field goal and went for the knockout on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 4. Eli Manning’s pass was intercepted and Giants got KO’d losing in overtime. That’s a bad loss to any team but to the Jets, ouch!

New England Special Teams— The Eagles came to New England a dead team walking, they’d lost 3 straight and were nearly a double digit underdog to the 10-1 Patriots. Now the defending Super Bowl champions are trying to recover from their first back-to-back losses in more than three years. New England’s special teams were less than special, they were damn ugly.  The Eagles Najee Goode scored on a blocked punt and Darren Sproles took a punt 83-yards for a touchdown as the Eagles shocked the Pats 35-28. As Bill Belichick moves on to Houston I’d expect his special teams will be getting special attention.



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