NFL Debrief: RGIII is hurt, Adrian Peterson is a monster and the race for the No. 1 pick heats up

Rob Carr

The week that was in the NFL.

Week 14 in the NFL clarified a few things in both the AFC and NFC playoff picture, but really it just muddied everything up again. RGIII suffered a knee injury that is NOT an ACL, but the Redskins' faithful is still concerned. The Cowboys overcame tragedy en route to a win. Adrian Peterson continued his insane run with a realistic shot at 2,000 yards.

Lots to talk about, starting with the biggest injury of the week.

More: AFC playoff picture | NFC playoff picture | NFL scores


Be careful about taking away part of what makes RGIII great

The question this week will be whether RGIII, who hurt his knee in the Redskins' thrilling overtime victory over the Ravens, takes too many hits. It's a reasonable question because, even though Kirk Cousins looked decent in his short time on the field on Sunday, the Redskins don't want to be lining up without RGIII for an extended period of time.

Figuring out whether he takes too many hits is going to be a very fine line for the Redskins to walk. His legs and his ability to stretch the field that way is part of what makes him an elite rookie, and it's what helped make him the second overall pick. If Michael Vick, for example, was a pure drop back passer, nobody would hire him because he completes only 56 percent of his passes. His legs make (or made) him special. That's not a perfect comparison because RGIII is way ahead of Vick when it comes to passing the ball, but the point remains that you don't want to take away part of what makes him special.

More: Medical expert on RGIII's injury


RGIII and Alfred Morris are doing historic things this season and it's not all because of his arm. I'm not sure what the right balance is, but the Redskins will have to figure it out.
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson is a monster, and he could be on his way to 2,000 yards

Peterson is eyeing 2,000 yards. He's been on an absolute tear over the last two months. Consider this: Peterson had just one 100-yard game in the first six games of the season. In the last seven games? He's had seven 100-yard games.

Peterson is averaging 123 yards per game and at his current 1,600 yards, he's on pace for 1,969 yards this season. He needs to average 134 yards per game over his final three games to reach 2,000 yards. Those three games will come against these rushing defenses: Rams (13th), Texans (second) and Packer (15th).

Even more impressive than reaching 2,000 yards is how he's doing it -- on a reconstructed knee. Players are not supposed to be this effective coming off the type of knee injury that Peterson had.

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers have started their annual winning streak

On Dec. 2, 2011, the Chargers were 4-7, losers of six in a row. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported:
Chargers President Dean Spanos, according to those around the team and around the league, feels he has "no choice" but to go in another direction at head coach and that Turner will be fired at season's end.
The Chargers won four of their final five game and Norv survived.

On Dec. 6, 2012, the Chargers were 3-8, losers of four in a row. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

Not only will head coach Norv Turner be gone at the end of the season, but general manager A.J. Smith will be fired as well, as the Chargers make a monumental break from an era that was arguably the most successful and most disappointing in team history. Sources said this week that Chargers President Dean Spanos essentially decided at least a month ago that Turner's time was drawing to a rapid close.

Anyone wanna bet the Chargers run the table?

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Packers-Seahawks Week 3 game still looms over the playoff picture

A more detailed look at the NFC playoff picture can be seen here, but one part of the race has me very intrigued, and it involves the Packers and Seahawks. If the season ended today, they would both be in.

One story line I don't want to re-live is the Packers-Seahawks Week 3 Monday night game. The Golden Tate catch that was but really wasn't.

Imagine if the Seahawks edge, let's say the Cowboys or Redskins, and make the playoffs. You think those in Washington D.C. or Dallas are going to complain about the call in the Seahawks-Packers game? The Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings and Seahawks would all be tied right now (7-6) if the Seahawks had lost that game.

Or let's say the Packers miss out on a first-round bye by one game. You think those in Green Bay will be a little upset about that call? The Packers are a half game behind the 49ers for a first-round bye right now.

That game will affect the playoff race. We just don't know how yet.

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The chase for the No. 1 pick is a three-team race

Here's how it looks right now:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11): at Oakland, Indianapolis, at Denver

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11): at Miami, New England, at Tennessee

3. Oakland Raiders (3-10): Kansas City, at Carolina, at San Diego

Then there are a cluster of four-win teams: Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals.

The biggest remaining game on the schedule, as far as draft seeding is concerned, is next Sunday's Chiefs-Raiders game in Oakland.

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