December 2012


The opponents for all 2013 regular-season games have been determined and a complete list of each team’s home and away matchups was issued Monday by the NFL.
A federal judge threw out a lawsuit Monday by the NFL Players' Association that claimed owners colluded in the uncapped 2010 season, ESPN.com reported.
Sunday night's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins was the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC, and the highest-rated on any network in 15 years, according to overnight data released by the Nielsen Company on Monday.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andy Reid's worst coaching season with the Philadelphia Eagles ended Monday after 14 years when he was fired by owner Jeffrey Lurie, who said it was time ''to move in a new direction.''
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andy Reid's worst coaching season with the Philadelphia Eagles ended Monday after 14 years when he was fired by owner Jeffrey Lurie, who said it was time ''to move in a new direction.''
After a great deal of speculation, the Philadelphia Eagles have made it official and fired head coach Andy Reid. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported over the weekend, that move may have pre-determined at a Friday meeting between Reid and team owner Jeff Lurie, two days before the regular-season finale against the New York Giants. The Eagles lost that game, 42-7, closing out a 4-12 season that could only be seen as a bitter disappointment to all involved. "Either way, I understand," Reid said after the Giants game. "If I'm here again, I'll love every minute of it. If I'm not, I'll understand that too." "Andy Reid won the most games of any head coach in Eagles history and he is someone I respect greatly and will remain friends with for many years to come,” Lurie said in a team statement released Monday morning. "But, it is time for the Eagles to move in a new direction. Coach Reid leaves us with a winning tradition that we can build upon. And we are very excited about the future.” [Also: Chuck Pagano's perseverance inspires Colts to continue defying odds ] It's been speculated for weeks that Reid, who has been the team's head coach since 1999, would not survive to see 2013 as the team's head man, and the pressure was on before the season even started. The Eagles went 8-8 in 2011, and at the end of the 2012 preseason, Lurie said that significant improvement would be needed for Reid to retain his position. "There's no question what I said — we need substantial improvement," he said at that time. "We have a very good team, I think, on paper. Paper doesn't get you that far if you can't maximize it." The Eagles weren't able to maximize much. Michael Vick alternated between injury and ineffectiveness, the team's run game was invisible at times, and the defense was an unmitigated disaster. It was so when Reid's old friend Juan Castillo was in charge, and it was even more so when former secondary coach Todd Bowles took over for the fired Castillo in mid-October. The team started with a 3-1 record, but lost 11 of their last 12 games, including an eight-game losing streak that went from October 7 through December 2. [Also: Is there a power struggle in the Jets organization? ]
Tony Romo, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys : After throwing 13 interceptions in the first seven games of the season, Romo had been better with his ball security, throwing just three interceptions total during an eight-game stretch where the Cowboys went 5-3 and worked their way back into the playoff picture. Needing a win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday night to win an NFC East title, Romo threw interceptions on both of the Cowboys' first-quarter drives, both of which occurring inside Redskins' territory. "Good" Romo would shake those two picks off and play fairly well in the middle portion of the game, btu "Bad Romo" took over late in the fourth quarter. Trailing by three points with just over three minutes remaining and all three timeouts in their back pocket, Romo underthrew a pass to running back DeMarco Murray in the left flat, which was intercepted by linebacker Rob Jackson at the Cowboys' 27-yard line. The Redskins chewed up nearly two minutes of the game clock with a game-sealing touchdown drive, ending the Cowboys' season and raising questions about Romo's ability to win "the big one". Romo, who turns 33 in the offseason, is now 1-6 in "win or go home" games. Matt Schaub, quarterback, Houston Texans : Before the start of the regular season, the Texans showed their faith in Schaub by signing the veteran to a four-year, $62 million contract extension that contained over $25 million in guaranteed money. As the franchise prepares for its second trip to the playoffs, the biggest question mark on the roster is Schaub. Once 11-1 and cruising towards a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs, the Texans lost three of their last four games in 2012, a stretch of games where the offense scored just four touchdowns, one of which from the right arm of Schaub, who was intercepted twice in Sunday's 28-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, an "L" that ultimately knocked the Texans to the No. 3 seed in the AFC Playoffs. Mike Smith, head coach, Atlanta Falcons : Aside from finishing the 2012 regular season with a winning record within the NFC South, the Falcons had nothing to play for on Sunday after clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs in Week 16. Smith decided to not rest his starters and go for the win in the meaningless regular season finale. Not only would the Falcons lose 22-17, at home, to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that had lost five straight entering Sunday, cornerback Dunta Robinson suffered another head injury six plays into the game. Robinson's early injury would not deter Smith from his goal, keeping the key players into the game for the duration of the game. (Matt Ryan played all 63 offensive snaps and Roddy White, who has been hampered by a knee injury, played all but one snap on Sunday) In the fourth quarter, defensive end John Abraham, who is the Falcons' pass rush, suffered a left ankle injury and was carted off the field. Smith expects Robinson and Abraham to be fine for the divisional playoffs, but there was absolutely no reason for the 34-year-old Abraham to be on the field at that point of the game. These are the types of games you give players like Lawrence Sidbury - who had five snaps on special teams on Sunday - some playing time on defense, Coach. If Robinson and/or Abraham is less than 100 percent for the Divisional Playoffs game, and the Falcons are "one and done" in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons under Smith, fans in Atlanta will be second-guessing the most successful coach in franchise history.
Adrian Peterson, running back, Minnesota Vikings : Needing a win to get into the playoffs, the Vikings needed a big performance from Peterson. Their best player would deliver, carrying the ball a season-high 34 times for 199 yards and a touchdown and scored his first receiving touchdown of the 2012 season in the Vikings' 37-34 win over the Green Bay Packers. Peterson finished his MVP season with 2,097 rushing yards, nine shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season record, but Peterson will take a playoff appearance over an individual milestone any day. Alfred Morris, running back, Washington Redskins : The sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic topped his stellar rookie season with a career night, carrying the ball 33 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the Redskins' 28-18 win over the Dallas Cowboys that allowed the franchise to clinch their first NFC East title since 1999. Morris finished his rookie campaign with 1,613 rushing yards, second only to Peterson, and 13 rushing touchdowns, second behind Houston Texans Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster (15). Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants : Coming off two sub-par performances that helped put the Giants in a position where they would need a win over the Philadelphia Eagles and help to make a return trip to the playoffs, Manning looked as good as he had all season in a 42-7 win. Manning completed 11-of-16 pass attempts for 196 yards and four touchdowns in the first half against the Eagles, matching a career-high for touchdown passes in a game. Manning would break that personal mark with a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Henry Hynoski in the fourth quarter. The Giants would be eliminated from playoff contention when the Chicago Bears defeated the Detroit Lions, but Manning ended his 2012 season on a high note.
The veteran CB was able to watch his former team win its first division title since his rookie campaign.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants rediscovered their pride and dignity in the final weekend of the regular season.

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