The biggest game of the NFL Week 12 slate is the Sunday Night Football showdown between the Broncos and Patriots, as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady face off for the 14th time in their Hall of Fame careers. Matt Ufford and the Uffsides crew preview Week 12’s games and make their picks.
His latest too-little-too-late comeback did little to assuage worries that he won’t be a plus player prior to September 2017 – if then. We know the secondary is outrageously bad, but at some point Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan are going to have to have good games on the same day if they want to win another game this season.
WMU does have to replace its two most disruptive defenders in the front seven; rush end Keion Adams and weakside linebacker Robert Spillane combined for 28.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five passes defensed, and five forced fumbles. They were a two-man havoc rate.
Still, ends Eric Assoua and Nathan Braster combined for 13.5 TFLs of their own, and linebackers Asantay Brown and Caleb Bailey combined for 17.5. It appears there’s plenty of attacking talent to go around, and that’s before mentioning the five three-star linebackers moving to Kalamazoo this fall.
Poor Ike Taylor took his lumps in man coverage against Calvin Johnson, but he hung tough and freed the rest of his mates to take advantage of Matt Stafford’s non-Megatron mediocrity. Pittsburgh has probably dug themselves too deep a hole to make a realistic playoff push, but with four division games in their final six they aren’t buried yet. If nothing else, the last two weeks have restored some well-deserved Steeler pride.
It only took Fleck until his second season to start getting the offense figured out. WMU improved from 121st in Off. S&P+ his first year to 42nd, 22nd, and 25th, respectively, over his final three years.
The defense, however, took longer. WMU ranked 93rd in Def. S&P+ in 2017, and while there was clear, definitive improvement last year despite turnover, the Broncos were still only 69th.