by Ryan Meehan
I had to work during the games this week, which will happen from time to time. It’s a good thing that this was the week I had to work, because I’m not sure that I could have stomached the entire day of watching football. As Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons would say, some of the games would lead us to believe that we are in an alternate universe called “Bizzaro World” where everything is the exact reverse of what it would seem. It’s almost as if I wanted Jacksonville to win the Thursday game so that I could use a “You Can’t Do That on Television” reference and say that it’s the “introduction to the opposite sketches”. Some of the games went as planned, but I was most certainly wrong on just about everything except Spickler & I’s upset pick.
Sunday was also a day where we had three of the league’s most talented signal callers went down with concussions. It was a day where almost anybody could go down, and one where pain ruled supreme. No quarterback is exempt from concussions. That’s the strange thing about injury – no matter how hard you work out and how well your muscles are toned to avoid tear and rips, your head is always on a swivel. Franken Berry could end up with a concussion in the NFL nowadays, and that means so could the quarterback from your favorite team. So let’s pee in the oven and see what we can addiction to painkillers in this week’s week ten wrap-up.
Colts 27, Jaguars 10
This week Andrew Luck was not nearly as impressive from a statistical standpoint, and he did throw a pick that was pretty ugly. But they got the job done, and now they sit at 6-3 which is more than anybody could have possibly expected from them this season. The Colts are in a weird spot because if I was them I would find myself rooting for the Houston Texans in the Sunday night game. (stay with me, I can explain this…) Since the AFC is so full of middle of the road underachievers, you could argue that they actually want the Texans to win as much as possible. See, Indy plays Houston in two of the final three games of the season, and the sooner that the Texans get home field advantage wrapped up (which I believe they will) the more likely it is that they’ll go easy and rest a lot of their starters the final week of the season and maybe in week fifteen. On the other side of the ball, the Jacksonville Jaguars are somehow actually finding ways to get worse. They are now 0-5 at home, and have been outscored in that stadium by a margin of 156 to 44. Blaine Gabbert continues to struggle over and over again, but it’s hard to place the blame solely on him because he’s surrounded by morons. Everyone all the way from owner Shahid Khan down to the trainers seem to be doing everything in their power to steal that number one pick away from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bengals 31, Giants 13
When analysts label the Giants as inconsistent, this is exactly what they were talking about. As a fan this makes me mad not only because they did so many things incorrectly, but because this was a game on their schedule that I had in black marker as a win for them. You have to figure that on a second half schedule that sees them playing the Ravens, the Falcons, and the Saints – Cincinnati was a gift. Instead, they shit the bed in a game that they should have won. The Giants are very streaky in nature, they tend to go off for a month or so and then I’m not sure some of those guys come to town on the same plane. Nonetheless they benefit from great timing here because they have a bye week next week, and I think we all know they need it. The overall theme with the Giants is that they are exhausted – They played more games than any other team in the National Football League last year, and regardless of how much you could try to sit here and tell me that doesn’t matter – it does.
Patriots 37, Bills 31
The Patriots almost gave away another game at the end, and they are slowly becoming the “nervous breakdown” team of the NFL. New England gets to this really weird point in each game (save the London blowout against the Rams) where they have repeated chances to seal the deal but things are just out of place and it doesn’t happen. Some of them (like this one) they win, and some of them they give away. What I worry about here is that the Patriots will have a playoff game really get away from them, and then all hell will break loose. Luckily for the Pats, Devin McCourty saved the game with an interception. It would be an interesting stat to see how many 23 completion games Tom Brady has had in his career, I bet it’s pretty high. The Bills don’t pose any threat to anyone in the long run, but if you’re a fan you might want to know that running back Fred Jackson was injured in this one and will not play Thursday night.
Titans 37, Dolphins 3
Although not shocked that the Ryan Tannehill show wasn’t able to muster up more than a field goal, I am a little bit perturbed that the Dolphins defense gave up 37 points to the Tennessee Titans. But what might be worse would be their offensive play calling must have been horrid – Reggie Bush goes 4 rushes for 21 yards but Tannehill throws it 39 times? That’s not who they are and that’s exactly why the got ran. I mean, that would be the optimum game plan for playing the Titans in some form, but Reggie Bush has to touch the ball more than 5 times.
Vikings 34, Lions 24
Adrian Peterson has rushed for 353 yards in the past two games, and leads the league in rushing with over 1100 on the season. I’m not going to sit here and have the MVP argument, but Adrian Peterson’s story is awfully impressive. For a guy to have an injury that severe, and to work that tirelessly on rehabbing it, and to get back the very next year and put up numbers that would even have him in said MVP argument to begin with is an example of how much emphasis athletes place on believing in themselves. Unless you’re in the military on just a really tough son of a bitch, you’re probably going to end up being an asshole for the entire time an injury like this heals. The rest of the Vikings can’t really claim too much else, they are playing well but not out of their minds by any means. The Lions are basically done now, because not only was this a game they had to have, it was also a game in which they lost that guaranteed another team in the division a win. In their unfortunate placement within what’s becoming an impossible division, they no longer have a shot at being a factor.
Saints 31, Falcons 27
Mercury Morris and the rest of the ’72 Dolphins can now break out the champagne now, but I have to be honest with you I knew this was coming. Both Spickler and I predicted this and it was probably the surest bet of the week. The Saints have won 11 out of the past 13 matchups between these two teams. The Falcons have some holes…yes I understand that it’s difficult to outscore the Saints but let’s be honest…tackling is not a priority in Atlanta. When they say that “defense wins championships”, what they’re really saying is that a team who has a mediocre defense can be saved by its offense to a point but eventually the grim reaper comes calling at the end.
Buccaneers 34, Chargers 24
Leonard Johnson returned an interception for a touchdown and the young man who threw it goes by the name of one Philip Rivers. The Chargers lost yet again, Norv snapped afterwards. As much as I dislike Norv Turner, I must say that I probably would have snapped as well. Tampa on the other hand is turning out to be much better than I would have ever expected this year, Freeman hasn’t been incredible but they have a lot of healthy options at the moment and they are getting it done. The best quote of the week that I saw from the players miced up segments on NFL.com would have to be Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber who said during pregame warm-ups: “In football years, I’m like…80”. He sure as hell played longer than his brother did, there’s no doubt about that.
Rams 24, 49ers 24 (OT)
Fantastic. Just when I thought that today couldn’t get any worse, there was a tie in the NFC West. For those of you who don’t understand why this is so devastating, let me clue you in: Ties reflect the score of a competitive sport. So it’s a competition, but nobody wins. It’s a war where no camps emerge victorious. And worst of all, it’s a waste of your time. Concussion number 1: Alex Smith – was replaced by Colin Kaepernick who did quite well. He completed eleven passes for 117, and ran for 66 yards on fight carries, and put his team in a position to win especially with a reliable guy like David Akers kicking at the end. But Not only did Akers miss at the end, Zuerlein did too after a delay of game penalty. So it ended just as it began, but I can’t walk away from it without taking something away: I think in any situation where you have an elite team who is heavily favored and the game ends in a tie – it’s a loss for that team. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think it should count as a loss because that’s just insane, but it’s definitely a moral loss for the favored squad.
Broncos 36, Panthers 14
Peyton Manning helped citizens of the state of Colorado celebrate their victory over the marijuana laws that are clogging up their jails by throwing for his 420th career touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley. To be fair, the Panthers never had a goddamn chance in this game as they were going to get stuck at some point or another. Cam Newton will get away from this one with virtually no criticism, partially because most wouldn’t expect him to ever win an eye-to-eye shootout with one of the all time greats. I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this but I will mention that when it come to power rankings in the AFC, I believe the Broncos should be number two. They had a hard first half of the season when it comes to their schedule, and I think that you could make a several different points that would justify them being better than New England or Baltimore.
Cowboys 38, Eagles 23
With the Giants losing, the NFC East is now down to them and Dallas and the Cowboys (when they protect the football) find themselves one game back from Big Blue and in perfect position to make a postseason run. Concussion Number 2: Not that this should surprise anybody, but Michael Vick suffered one at the hands of the Cowboys defense. I know it’s become almost hacky to sit here and rag on the Eagles offensive line all day but it can’t be stated enough. Like I’ve said before, the Eagles’ situation is so sad I can’t even get into it, and as of press time it is being announced that Vick’s concussion is “significant” so Nick Foles will get the start next week. The Dallas Cowboys on the other hand looked very non-Cowboyslike, and take notice at the fact that Tony Romo didn’t throw a single interception. The rest of their schedule is relatively easy though, so look for them to be making a huge push over the next month. I still have to see more from Dallas, and you could make the case that they should have crushed the Eagles in this game when you consider Vick was knocked out so early on. Maybe it was still an underachievement for them, like it or not.
Seahawks 28, Jets 7
Since I can’t seem to take pleasure in the Eagles losing anymore, I’m left bagging on the Jets. It’s a difficult thing to do, as they went through yet another four quarters without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Since there is an elephant in the room (and Rex Ryan fancies himself to be a bit of a carnivore when it comes to media attention) The Jets’ situation differs from the Eagles situation because at least in Philly you have players who are talented they just can’t seem to put it all together. Rex Ryan doesn’t have that excuse because his guys just aren’t listening to him anymore. You can tell it by all of the stupid mistakes, but you can read it on their faces even more. And as for Tebow, I was the first one to dismiss the idea when a couple weeks back everyone was saying on sports talk radio that they will be looking to trade him. I’d like to take this space to do a total 180 on that one because if he hasn’t started him by now they are definitely going to want him to be on the block comes February after the rest of the Jets are home from their month long vacations in Hawaii and Morocco.
Ravens 55, Raiders 20
See, just like I said the Ravens were going to softly coast into their seventh win against a team like the Raiders who are nothing more than a punching bag for all of these middle of the road AFC teams. Things got insulting in this one: How insulting did they get? If you said “It was so bad they trusted their punter to run the ball in on a fake field goal”, then not only are you going to be burned alive due to suspected witchcraft but you’ll be right and that’s really worth any downside it may create. To prove that sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story, consider this stat: Carson Palmer had a 368 yard day and his team still lost by 35 points. That’s brutal, and when you throw in the fact that the Raiders had the ball for seven minutes more it’s easy to see how numbers can be misleading. I know I sling a lot of mud in Baltimore’s direction from time to time, but the Ravens are 5-0 at home so far this year. You have to give them credit, but I still think that something bad is about to happen there.
Texans 13, Bears 6
Much like before, we’re likely going to hear a ton of analysts questioning Jay Cutler’s toughness and all of that talk will be hogwash. Everybody knows that in adverse weather conditions, even the bodies of athletes tend to respond differently. You know how you feel on an achy, rainy day where it’s just miserable out? Take that same achy, rainy day where it’s miserable out and have someone constantly shoving your head into the ground. Still think Cutler’s not tough? You’re missing the point…Chicago’s problems lie with getting the ball into the endzone. They had two separate quarterbacks in two separate halves and they couldn’t get it across the goddamned goal line. I’d also like to say that now since social media websites give you the opportunity to see what everyone is thinking at any moment in time, I was shocked at seeing how many people were pissed when Robbie Gould missed that field goal. I’m not listening to that angle at all, Robbie Gould missing that field goal in those conditions after he hit a 51 yarder in the same slop isn’t to blame for the Bears demise Sunday Night. I thought Brandon Marshall looked great but there was also a couple of times in the second half where he was wide open and Campbell couldn’t find him. Houston? We no longer have a problem…The Texans proved that even though they come from the roots of old oil money and play in a domed The best thing that I heard about the Houston Texans Monday came from Merrill Hoge, who said “The Texans are the best team in the AFC because the Texans have the best chance to be consistent”. I would change “AFC” to NFL but the rest of that is dead-on.
Steelers 16, Chiefs 13
On the first set of this game, the Chiefs went three and out. It’s this type of ball-busting, scrotum-splitting, testicle-popping coverage that you get from me that keeps you coming back to this website. The Chiefs however got up 10-0 by the beginning of the first quarter, and the game was tied at the halfway mark. And then just when the week couldn’t get any more chock full of it, Ben Roethlisberger went down with a shoulder injury. I swear to God it wasn’t but five minutes in real time after they had mentioned Roethlisberger and his wife expecting their child, and then the next thing you know the pain was too much to bear and Byron Leftwich was on our televisions. Jericho Cotchery made a huge catch that should have sealed the deal for Pittsburgh, but they couldn’t convert on third and short so Kansas City got the ball back and were able to tack on a field goal sending it to overtime. Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel on the second play from scrimmage, and then Shawn Suisham was sent out to take care of business on first down. Although I’m not surprised by the outcome of this one, I will say that I thought Cassel was actually doing okay until that last throw. He had just converted at the end of regulation on 4th and 15, but for some reason he just served up that pick.
The NFL is a rough sport. Guys are getting knocked around more than ever, and like I said earlier all of this is part of the NFL lifestyle. It’s a violent sport. It’s also an awesome sport, which will always demolish any negative aspects of playing it. As for the season itself, we had the only undefeated team lose. and the Houston Texans really pulled away from everybody with a huge primetime win against the Bears. The season is getting to be really good overall, and it will be interesting to see who rises in both conferences. See you here next week for more picks and be safe!
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