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Around the League: Week 12

Even though the Steelers played one of the more disappointing games in recent memory, it was still an interesting day in the NFL. Pittsburgh is still going to have a say in how the playoff pictures in BOTH conferences shake out, even if they themselves are all but eliminated from the playoff discussion.

*The Cincinnati Bengals might be hitting their stride at just the right time. After last week's impressive road victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Bengals made it two-in-a-row with a resounding 30-0 thumping of the hapless Cleveland Browns. The Bengals actually control their own destiny for a Wild Card berth, but it's not going to be easy. Cincy first will play Baltimore at home this Thursday, then will have back-to-back road games against Denver and Indianapolis. The Steelers may have a chance to play the role of spoiler though. The rivals face off in Week 17 in Pittsburgh, with Cincinnati's playoff aspirations potentially on the line.

*Did anybody else have the pleasure of watching the Tennessee Titans and Vince Young rally from 21 points down in the 4th quarter to take down the New York Giants? Young and Adam "Pacman" Jones willed the Titans to victory with their string of incredible plays, culminating with Rob Bironas' last-second FG. Head on over to Music City Miracles for more commentary on Vince Young's first signature win as a pro. One last thought however. How entertaining would it be to sit it on the Giants' film session today? Tom Coughlin is without doubt going absolutely bananas.

*The Carolina Panthers keep playing with fire. After consecutive home wins against Tampa Bay and St. Louis, it appeared as if the Panthers had turned the corner and were poised to take command of the NFC South. With yesterday's loss to the Redskins however, the Panthers now must finish strong to even have a chance at catching the Saints atop the division. Carolina plays 3 of their final 5 games on the road, and their two home games are against the Giants and the Steelers. Again, Pittsburgh will have a say in what transpires in close races in both the AFC and NFC.

*By now, I'm sure we've all heard about Jay Cutler getting the nod for the Denver Broncos. My question is, why aren't the Bears contemplating doing the same thing? Rex Grossman is not even in the top 20 in passer rating, and only three quarterbacks (Frye, Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning) have thrown more interceptions. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it: Rex Grossman is not anywhere near an upper-echelon quarterback in this league. I usually don't believe teams should play the 'safer' of two options at quarterback, but in the case of the Bears, it may be smart. Rex Grossman is getting in the way in Chicago, and I imagine it would only get worse during pressure-packed situations in the playoffs.