5 Games That Shaped The 2012 NFL Season!

Though I do not personally agree with ALL of these games on this list, some of them are absolutely spot on. Take a good look back at 5 games that shaped our NFL season!

A single game is just a drop in the bucket in the NFL, what with 21 weeks for teams to decide their fate and 267 contests to satisfy the football palate.

A drop in the bucket … that’s appropriate, as any drop creates its own ripple. Take your pick of the thousands of games that have been played over the NFL’s 93 seasons; no matter the outcome, that game had its own effect on the season and — in some cases — on history.

The New York Giants never would have won Super Bowl XLVI if Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin hadn’t lost a ball in the lights in Week 14. Tennessee Titans receiver Kevin Dyson wouldn’t have ended up a yard short in Super Bowl XXXIV if Music City had gone Miracle-less in that 1999 wild-card game. Joe Montana-to-John Taylor never would have happened inSuper Bowl XXIII if Steve Young hadn’t produced the greatest scramble ever versus the Minnesota Vikings at midseason.

And so goes the NFL’s ripple effect.

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about the games that shaped the 2010 season. As I started to get updates from the 2013NFL Scouting Combine, hearing how certain collegians will make their mark on the league next season, I was reminded of that piece and began thinking about five games that forged the 2012 campaign.

Here, in chronological order, is my list.

Seattle Seahawks 14, Green Bay Packers 12

Seahawks fans wanted everyone to quit their crying. Packers fans (as well as pretty much every other NFL fan) wanted to know the true answer to that eternal question: WTFM.D. Jennings would like a second interception added to his football card. What the heck happened?

We know Russell Wilson‘s desperation heave to win this Week 3 matchup was, at a bare minimum, controversial. And of course, the sour aftertaste of a game seemingly being handed to the Seahawks (although it’s important to remember that some calls went against them, too) was not the only aftertaste.

Seattle emerged as a contender, partially because of a dominant defensive display that produced eight sacks in the first half. The win provided just enough of a cushion for the Seahawks to stay a step ahead of the Chicago BearsNew York Giants and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC wild-card race. Green Bay, meanwhile, was greatly affected in terms of their hunt for home-field advantage.

More importantly, with several questionable calls delivered by replacement refs, no game better facilitated the recognition that the NFL’s product is only as good as the officiating. Essentially, the game means nothing if it’s not fairly played … from Seattle to New York to Miami.

Indianapolis Colts 30, Green Bay Packers 27

Here is yet another close Packers loss that greatly affected the 2012 season.

Green Bay fell to 2-3 after losing to an emotionally charged Colts club in Week 5, and the Packers, who went 15-1 in 2011, ultimately “stumbled” to an 11-5 finish. A win in Indy would have at least allowed the Pack to skip the wild-card round and host their divisional playoff matchup at frigid Lambeau Field. How would a Packers49ers NFC Championship Game have gone down? Would San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have run for 181 yards in Green Bay, as he did on his home turf? For that matter, would the Niners, who had lost in Minnesota once already, have even beaten the Vikings in the wild-card round?

All those musings about what could’ve been are small marbles compared to the story of the pesky Colts. The emotional underbelly of this past season was the little-engine-that-could in Indianapolis. A team with a rookie quarterback, a fill-in head coach and a roster full of new faces went 11-5, giving real-life meaning to the NFL’s age-old mission statement of “any given Sunday.”

Then there’s Chuckstrong. The week before this game, Colts coach Chuck Pagano announced he was fighting leukemia. Like most of America, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I watched this one play out from my living room. Aaron Rodgers‘ pocket was collapsing. The folks in the Lucas Oil crowd, refusing to buy into the notion that their Colts were a 2-14 team, were going nutso. And no one on planet Earth — Deion Sanders included — could have stopped Reggie Wayneon that day. Mr. Wayne finished with 212 yards.

The Colts entered this contest at 1-2. They won 10 of their next 13, finishing 11-5 and making the playoffs. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians won the Coach of the Year Award after serving on an interim basis in Pagano’s stead. Most importantly, Pagano won his battle, and his players won theirs … for him.

St. Louis Rams 24, San Francisco 49ers 24

There are bad ties (Herb Tarlek, anyone?). There are good ties. Consider this game’s inclusion on this list to be a vote for the latter.

What a crazy ballgame. Jeff Fisher‘s Rams gave the eventual NFC champions all they could handle — twice — in 2012. After the first meeting, a 24-24 Week 10 slugfest, dipped into overtime waters, Danny Amendola seemingly motored his way into scoring position for the underdogs from St. Louis, who were showing they weren’t the “same old” Rams, as former 49er great Tim McDonald once labeled the franchise.

Alas, Amendola’s 80-yard reception on the first play of the extra period was brought back by an illegal-formation penalty. On the next possession, 49ers kicker David Akers missed a 41-yard field-goal try, and neither team wound up taking home the prize. And we were given our first tie since Donovan McNabb learned something new.

This game ultimately resulted in an 11-4-1 record for the 49ers — keeping them a half-game ahead of the 11-5 Packers.Colin Kaepernick then got a chance to wow the home crowd in the playoffs with seemingly five jillion yards on quarterback keepers.

Ahh, now there’s the real tidal wave that resulted from this particular drop in the bucket: the fact that Kaepernick even hadthat memorable playoff game, or that he led the 49ers to their sixth Super Bowl appearance. None of that would have happened if Alex Smith hadn’t gotten hurt in this Week 10 affair.

Washington Redskins 31, Baltimore Ravens 28

A few weeks after Smith went down, so did the most exciting rookie of 2012: Robert Griffin III. What if he hadn’t taken a shot to the knee from the Ravens‘ Haloti Ngata at FedEx Field in Week 14?

Well, for starters, the Seahawks-Redskins playoff game — which wasn’t bad anyway — might have been nothing short of awesome, perhaps the sexiest playoff game of the postseason, with the eventual Offensive Rookie of the Year — playing at full strength this time — facing off against the NFC’s other premium rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson.

Could Seattle have muzzled Washington’s Pistol offense led by a quarterback who could expose any defense? How would the Falcons have fared against RG3 in the next round? The sexiest possibility, of course, would have been Kaepernick and RG3 going head-to-head for the NFC title. Redskins-Niners … it would have felt like 1983 again.

RavensRedskins also gets a vote here because of the way its tentacles have reached into 2013. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan will be answering questions about playing an injured RG3 in that game for some time. Additionally, the star quarterback’s return date is up in the air — as is the Redskins‘ willingness to continue running an offense that leaves him far more open to injury than most franchise players.

Baltimore Ravens 38, Denver Broncos 35

Surely, you had to be expecting this entry. Without the outcome of this divisional-round playoff match, the story of the 2012 season would have been slightly different. By just a hair.

Perhaps the most captivating game of the season, the Ravens‘ upset shocked us all. Denver had won 11 games in a row and appeared to be locked into a collision course with the New England Patriots to decide the AFC title. However, John Fox‘s conservative strategy near the end of regulation in this one, along with Broncos defender Rahim Moore‘s apparent lazy-brained approach to the longball and some clutch Joe Flacco play, ruled the day.

Consider the butterfly effect of the postseason’s best contest. If the Broncos had won…

… Baltimore wouldn’t have won Super Bowl XLVII, obviously.

… Bill Belichick could’ve become the first head coach in league history to take one franchise to six Super Bowls (assuming the Pats had been able to beat the Broncos, which they had already done earlier in the year).

… Peyton Manning would have had another crack at the Super Bowl, and we would have had a third look at Manning and Brady fighting for all the AFC marbles.

… all things Flacco could have changed. That includes his ongoing contract negotiations with the Ravens, as well as his future with the organization.

… Jacoby Jones wouldn’t be doing Dancing with the StarsNick Mangold would. Just kidding.

… The three hours of Ray Lewis coverage we were forced to digest would have been given back to us, and presumably spent on the deification of Manning.

But alas, the Ravens won, and they DESERVED it. That’s football. Denver didn’t do what it needed to do, whether it came to the prevent defense or Manning preventing bad judgment from leading him to throw the ball across his body, late and over the middle. Those factors — as well as the clutch play of Flacco and the rest of the Ravens — set up Justin Tucker’s winning field goal in Denver, as well as Baltimore’s subsequent Super Bowl run.

Again, that’s football. Nonetheless, there’s no debating that this game, more than any other, wrote the epitaph for the 2012 season.

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @Harrison_NFL.

High School Classmates as Pokemon!

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 11

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Interview With David Tennant!

Check out this interview with the former Doctor and how it changed his life and how he is losing hope he will ever return as the tenth Doctor…Sad news.

The new issue of Time Out London includes an interview with David Tennant. It’s released today and is free from many tube and rail stations across London. Throughout the week it is available at various locations, Click here to find out where to grab your free copy. You can also subscribe to the magazine here.

David Tennant bounds into a serviceably plush meeting room at ITV, a ball of bonhomie and enthusiasm, engaging and engaged: all the attributes that make him such a crowdpleaser. He’s 41 now, but his boyish ebullience, carefully dishevelled hair and tweed trousers (okay, maybe not those) mean he could easily pass for ten years younger. ‘The notion of having to be attractive and manly is something I find very difficult to come to terms with,’ he says, wriggling uncomfortably in those tweed trousers, but it’s hard to imagine any previous occupant of the Tardis pulling off wearing Converse.
This is a big year for Tennant, as he bids to step out from the long shadow cast by ‘Doctor Who’ once and for all. He already has an electrifying run of Shakespearean leads behind him, most notably 2008’s lauded ‘Hamlet’. His fourth in a row will open in October. ‘I’m working my way through my student wishlist,’ he says of playing the king in ‘Richard II’ at the RSC (where he also sits on the board), before the production transfers to the Barbican in December.
His latest television project is ‘Broadchurch’, in which he plays a policeman – only his second, no mean feat in the crime-ridden world of TV drama. A claustrophobic, tightly scripted eight-part series from occasional ‘Doctor Who’ contributor Chris Chibnall, it examines the ripple effects of a child murder on a coastal community. But while his high-calibre co-stars, including Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan attempt West Country accents with mixed results, Tennant dodges that bullet. ‘As long as my character came from a big city, it didn’t matter which,’ he chortles with delight. ‘And what do you know? It turned out to be Glasgow!’
Tennant grew up just outside the city in Paisley, the son of a Church of Scotland minister. ‘Being a minister is sort of like acting,’ he has said, but from the age of three it was young David who was telling everyone he wanted to be an actor. ‘I’ve always been fairly single-minded about it,’ he laughs now at his precocity. ‘I don’t know what else I would have done. I remember watching “Grange Hill” and thinking: How do they all get to be in things and I’m in Paisley, doing my O-Levels?’
‘I went to a Saturday-morning drama club that I got two auditions out of, neither of which worked out, which was kind of infuriating. But I’m glad I didn’t spend my childhood doing that – I look back on some of my early stuff and it’s quite arse-clenching.’ Now, arse at ease, he’s thoughtful about the craft of acting, but absolutely firm on the practicalities. ‘It’s a lovely life when it works. The trouble is there’s no structure, or justice, or logic to it. You shouldn’t encourage anyone into it. But I really don’t hand out advice about acting, because who the fuck knows?’
Well, he does. He really does. Having carved out a growing reputation on stage and on the small screen, his arrival in ‘Doctor Who’ turned an unexpectedly impressive revival into a globe-straddling phenomenon. It was a career-defining role, one which he seized with the enthusiasm of a lifelong fan and the skill of an under-appreciated talent now given its head. It turned him from an actor into a star – so it would be odd if he was excluded from this year’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations, even if he’s ‘beginning to give up hope that anything’s going to happen’.
‘You can’t ever shrug it off,’ Tennant says of the role he coveted since childhood. ‘Sometimes it’s a really lovely thing – even people who don’t watch the show love the idea of it. But you can’t switch it off when you’re buying a coffee and want to get home quickly, and five kids want a photograph taken.’ He looks sheepish, and hurriedly adds, ‘That makes it sound like a trial, and it’s not, but you can’t choose it. It’s part of the deal and it changes the practicalities of your life.’
Such hassles didn’t necessarily stop when he put down the sonic screwdriver in 2010. ‘Twitter! It’s like being stalked by committee!’ he shouts. ‘Come and say hello if you want, but not for the sake of twittering about it.’ It’s a reminder that Tennant guards his privacy carefully. A master of deflection, his stonewalling over his personal life is all the more impressive for being carried out with a smile.
‘This is where I try not to answer the question you’ve asked, isn’t it?’ he says, puffing out his cheeks and tapping the sofa nervously as we circle the subject. He’s now married to Georgia Moffett, the daughter of fifth Doctor Peter Davison (yes, really), who is expecting their second child. And that’s more or less all we know.
Typically, he characterises his caution as a matter of courtesy: ‘You’ve got to be consistent for your own sanity. It’s a bit unfair to be doing one interview talking about it and then clam up in others. People want to know, and I understand the impulse, but when I realised how interested people were, it made me feel a bit queasy about giving it away.’
He’s quite happy to acknowledge that no such planning or strategy goes into his career. ‘If a nice script comes along and I don’t want someone else to do it,’ he says, ‘then that feels like the reason to do something.’ Professional jealousy? He laughs guiltily. More a series of accidents, then – and largely happy ones, at that. There has been the very occasional misstep: he tentatively refers to a stint hosting C4’s patchy panel show ‘Comedy World Cup’ as ‘an excursion into another world to see what it felt like’.
This urge to test his genuine versatility is understandable. But the enduring mystery is how a man with such a heavyweight CV in theatre, radio and television has never quite made his mark on the big screen. When I suggest that his cinema work has been lighter than the rest, he looks thoughtful. ‘I suppose that’s broadly true, isn’t it?’ he says. ‘But then I think a lot of film is. The gritty indie films are a lot rarer than the films that aspire to fill multiplexes.’
And if films like ‘Nativity 2’, ‘St Trinian’s 2’ and ‘Fright Night’ haven’t exactly filled multiplexes or wowed critics, he seems genuinely unflustered. Nor should his upcoming voiceover work in ‘Postman Pat: The Movie’ unduly trouble awards panels. ‘I just hanker for things that are good,’ he grins. ‘I’m as happy doing “Postman Pat” as I am doing “Hamlet”.’ Really? ‘They both have challenges and they both have delights. You’re just trying to do your best for the audience.’
Not that he isn’t up for a struggle. There’s a sudden flash of steel when talk turns to the government’s cuts to the arts. ‘It’s miserable, isn’t it? I don’t understand any of the policies any more, other than this sense that although it may not be working, we said we were going to do this, so we’re going to keep doing it so we don’t look stupid. Well, I’d rather you looked a little bit stupid than we all go down the toilet together.’
His anger is startling, but stems from an innate generosity of spirit – that others might be denied opportunities he had as a young stage actor. Opportunities that eventually led him to ‘Richard II’. He’s excited by the play, though taken aback by comments made by director Gregory Doran (who also directed ‘Hamlet’) suggesting the role’s volatility and fragility might be ‘alien to David’s character’. ‘I wouldn’t have thought that’s true at all,’ he muses, his voice rising an octave. ‘But that’s obviously how he perceives me. Either that or he was trying to come up with a soundbite. In “Hamlet” I spent a lot of time terrified to my bones, but maybe I’m quite good at hiding it.’
Perhaps his apparent self-assurance is what made him such a good Doctor Who. However eccentric his career choices might appear, he’s happy with them. If people enjoy his projects, even better. If they don’t, that’s okay too. David Tennant is unusual indeed: an actor as happy in his own skin as he is in anyone else’s.

20 Pokemon Re-imagined by an Artist!

Here are some awesome renderings of Pokemon done by an artist named Gavin. See the rest of Gavin’s art in his Deviantart Gallery!

 

Charmander:

Lickitung:

Pikachu:

Mew:

Haunter:

Electabuzz:

Cubone:

Arcanine:

Parasect:

Gastly:

Oddish:

Nidoqueen:

Eevee:

Polywrath:

Sandslash:

Voltorb:

Chansy:

Bulbasaur:

Togepi:

Raichu:

 

Game of Thrones Season Three Trailer!

Check out our first full trailer for season three of Game of Thrones on HBO!!

 

What do you see in it that makes you most excited? The Unsullied? The Flaming sword of Lord Beric? Mance? Or perhaps it is that last ominous line about revenge? Leave your thoughts down in the comments!

 

 

10 Things That You Might Have Done In Your Life!

If You Haven't Done AT LEAST 6 of These Things, You Were Probably Never a Child