Thoughts From NFL Week 13: Chicago Bears and Beyond

BALTIMORE MD - DECEMBER 05: Back judge Greg Steed #12 head linesman Greg Bradley #98 and side judge Michael Banks #72 break up a scuffle between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of the game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)

The playoff races are heating up in the NFL.  Some teams kept pace, some teams extended their leads, and some had a bit of a setback.  The buzzword early in the season was parity, and there was some debate whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.  I think as the season grinds on, it's looking like a good thing.

There is only one division leader (the Chiefs in the AFC West) with more than a one game lead over the 2nd place team in their division.  With each game being so critical in regards to playoff seeding, the games had a serious and sometimes chippy feel to them.  Take the jump to get my thoughts...

1)  Maybe the Super Bowl hangover that saps so many SB losers is taking hold of the Peyton Manning and the Colts.

2)  With their 5th consecutive loss, is Jeff Fisher's seat getting a little warm in Tennessee?

3)  After getting stomped a few weeks ago in Denver, the Chiefs came back to win a tough grind-it-out type game against the Broncos in Kansas City.  The Chiefs have won 3 straight, behind some good defense, the best rushing offense in the league, and starting QB Matt Cassel with 23 TDs to only 4 Ints.  That is a recipe for success come playoff time.

4)  The Raiders pick up a big time win in San Diego against a rolling Charger team needing to keep pace in the AFC West.  They got their first season sweep since 2001 and snapped the Chargers' December victory streak at 18.  I think some bookies made out on that one.

5)  Can someone please research the Matty Ice nickname?  Worst nickname in sports.  But the Falcons are playing some real good football.

6)  Don't look now, but the NFC West has a tie atop the division.  And neither team has a losing record!

7)  Ben Roethlisberger showed some toughness by limping around with a broken nose and throwing the go ahead TD with less that 3 minutes left.  Even with the loss, I'll still stand by my AFC Super Bowl pick in the Ravens.

8)  Did anyone really think the Saints' Chris Ivory would be the top rookie rusher at this point in the season?

9)  I knew the Bears would have a hard time in Detroit.  The Lions have had real good drafts the last couple years, and they're much better than their 2-10 record.

10)  I know I'm in the minority, but I think Tarvaris Jackson is a good NFL QB.

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Editor's Note: Former Cowboys QB "Dandy" Don Meredith passed away today.  Don was the original Dallas Cowboy.  Rest in peace, Mr. Meredith.

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