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NFL Week 13 recap: When life hits hard

Tuesday - 12/4/2012, 7:41am  ET

AP: e76739ad-96f1-4cfd-b58a-91e019036198
Members of the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers pray together following their game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Rob Woodfork, wtop.com

The 2012 NFL season has seemed especially difficult.

For the second time this season, something serious has forced us all to stop and take inventory of life outside the white lines.

First, it was Colts coach Chuck Pagano's cancer struggle. Now, it's the tragic tale of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

When real life hits this hard, it's not only a time to grieve. It's a time to reflect and try to gain some perspective. It's a time to consider what we're doing and perhaps what we should be doing.

Chiefs QB Brady Quinn showed such perspective after Kansas City's 27-21 win over Carolina. Quinn hasn't exactly been a big name since college, but he came up huge not only in a rare Chiefs victory, but at the podium when he spoke to the media after it. If you haven't seen his postgame comments, here's the meat of what he had to say:

    "It was tough. I think it was an eerie feeling after a win because you don't think that you can win in this situation. The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people. I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that's fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to- day basis."

Well said, Brady.

This is part of why I think the team and the league were right to play this game as scheduled even though it came just 28 hours removed from an unspeakable tragedy. For some, their work is their sanctuary. For some, playing this game was therapeutic and necessary.

I've dealt with loss before. When my grandmother died, I went to work that day. When my father passed away unexpectedly, I missed less than a week even though I lived out of town. Right or wrong, my way was my way. People should have the right to choose.

The Chiefs asked to play this game, and we saw why. People deal with grief differently, and this is what Kansas City needed on this day. No grief counselor in the world could have given that locker room a three-hour diversion like this.

Plus, with the game now in the rearview mirror, all thoughts can now turn to where they belong: the family of Jovan Belcher, the family of Kasandra Perkins and the innocent little 3-month-old who very quickly and tragically became an orphan after a senseless act Saturday morning. Thoughts go to the Chiefs organization as well - nobody should have to witness what that team did Saturday.

Now, we respectfully move on to the Week 13 recap (sans the Chiefs/Panthers game for obvious reasons):

Saints 13
Falcons 23

Still doubting the Atlanta defense? They picked off Drew Brees five times and snapped his record of consecutive games with a TD at 54. Either that or New Orleans played a prank on fantasy owners and put Tony Romo in a Brees jersey.

Jaguars 18
Bills 34

Make that three solid efforts in a row by Buffalo's defense. I'm far from a Bills fan, but I hope they keep coach Chan Gailey around long enough to see what he can do with a legit starting QB in the fold.

Seahawks 23
Bears 17 (OT)

The Offensive Rookie of the Year vote just got a lot closer. First, Russell Wilson engineered a huge win in Chicago...

Colts 35
Lions 33

...then Andrew Luck's game-winning drive to beat Detroit might have just closed the gap on an award that once seemed like a lock to go to RGIII.

Vikings 14
Packers 23

Memo to Minnesota: Adrian Peterson can't do it all by himself. He'll get you close. But he can't do it by himself.

Texans 24
Titans 10

I won my fantasy game this week almost entirely on the back of the Houston D. That's all I've got for a game of which nobody seemed to want to play highlights.

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