December 12, 2011
See Sunday's five most valuable players here.
Barion Marber, Running Back, Chicago Bears. There's no way I can't put Barion Marber here -- but I am going to cleverly disguise his name, because if he happens to Yahoo! himself Monday, I don't want to add to his pain. His Monday's going to be rough enough. One thing, though -- in that situation towards the end of regulation, when sapping the clock is of paramount importance, shouldn't there be a coach in Barion Marber's ear telling him that if he goes out of bounds, he'll rip his face off? I know Marber should know that, but is it not worth repeating?
Preston Parker, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here's the first one. And here's the second. I'm sorry, but you can't gag away two punt returns and not gain LVP status -- especially when a team lets the Jacksonville flippin' Jaguars go on a 41-0 run. Someone's got to pay for that. It could've been Josh Freeman, but being benched late in the game in favor of Josh Johnson probably hammered that message home pretty well. Seven turnovers for the Bucs on Sunday. Seven.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills. Unsightly numbers for Fitzpatrick on Sunday -- 13 of 34 for 176 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. The truth is that his interception total could've easily been doubled, too, if the Chargers defense was a little better at catching the football. After starting 5-2, that's six straight losses for the Bills. They're sort of like the anti-Dolphins. In fact, I've been moderately intrigued by the race to see if the Dolphins can catch the Bills in the AFC East. The Fish are one game back, and they travel to Buffalo next week.
Carson Palmer, Quarterback, Oakland Raiders. If you like interceptions, I think you're really going to enjoy the next four links: interception one, interception two (I blame that one more on Heyward-Bey, or perhaps credit Charles Woodson), interception three, and interception four. So now, the team in the best position to compete with Tim Tebow, the most powerful football force in the history of the universe, has lost its last two games by a combined score of 80-30. I am tempted to call the AFC West race for Denver.
Devin McCourty, Cornerback, New England Patriots. The Patriots won, but you've got to wonder about their postseason prospects if they continue to be this poor against the pass. Devin McCourty did not shine on Sunday. Here's Donte Stallworth getting behind him, and here's Jabar Gaffney absolutely abusing him for a touchdown. He also picked up a pass interference call in the first half that gave the Patriots a third-and-long conversion. He had some good moments, an interception and a couple of passes broken up, but he'll have to eliminate those breakdowns if the Patriots are going to win even one playoff game.
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