by Ryan Meehan
Week three in the NFL began with former Eagles head coach Andy Reid headed back to Philadelphia to face his old squad. But the big story this week was the mid-week deal that send Browns running back Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round draft pick in 2014. Additionally, news came across the wire on Monday that Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones (who is rehabbing from a knee injury) was involved in a brawl on a party bus early Monday morning and was hurt when he was hit over the head by a stripper wielding a champagne bottle. I don’t know who his “trainer” is, but that guy should be getting plenty of work from now on. Anyway, this is what happened in week three.
Chiefs 26, Eagles 16
This game started out as a serious mess for the Eagles as they fumbled the opening kickoff, immediately kicking themselves in the throat. I still have my doubts about Kansas City, even though they’ve yet to commit a turnover. The difference between a playoff team and the Chiefs is that a playoff team gets seven points out of the initial miscue. They understand the importance of knowing they will get the. Oh, and there’s one more thing I’d like to add here. I don’t care if the Chiefs surpassed last years win total. I don’t care that they won on the road, or any of that and it certainly doesn’t justify a Gatorade shower. Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous in the NFL something like that happens. Why are we doing that week three? It just seems to me that when there’s even a remote possibility of still finishing 3-13, you’d want to hold back on the wasting of the sticky stuff a little bit. It’s too much excess celebration on the road too early in the year, and it isn’t classy. I did find out the screwiest stat of the week though – The Chiefs had six Pro Bowlers last year and only won two games. In other words, the main problem was execution and they appear to have fixed that desire – at least so far it would appear that way.
Panthers 38, Giants 0
Don’t let the score of this game fool you…the Giants losing to the Panthers (and getting shut out) by that margin doesn’t really show the big picture here, which is that it’s so much worse than it actually appears. They didn’t even get a mercy touchdown with Derek Anderson leading the troops downfield. But by that point, they had Curtis Painter in the game so it’s not like they were exactly reaching for the sky. Meehan 64 turned to Meehan 33 at one point in the early 4th quarter and said “You think this is (OC) Kevin Gilbride’s last year?” Then the bar got really silent. That is, until the Lions fan who was apparently trying to break the world record that the Seahawks set last week screamed what was left of his gall bladder out celebrating a first down.
Eli Manning has been (to put it quite gently) horrible this year. It’s not even a situation where they can say “Yeah, you know, we’re losing a couple of close games but…Hey wait a minute! Aren’t you guys the website that makes fun of how my brother looks like a horse! That’s not fair!”
Consider this: Everything that we have said the first two weeks about how impotent the Steelers are could also apply to Big Blue. The Giants have a slightly better roster (especially at the receiver position) but that almost makes it worse. Maybe the lack of a mercy touchdown may instill some fear into their hearts. Maybe it WAS for the better that they were shutout. But even then, that still doesn’t even begin to describe where all of the problems lie. Tackling? Still an issue? Penalties? Yep, still got ’em. Third down conversions? I don’t recall the definition of that term. Turnovers? Good heavenly Lord our father almighty yes. When it comes to interceptions and fumbles, the Giants are somewhere between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inaugural season and the officials dying on the field because they can’t stop laughing so hard. It’s a comedy of errors, only it’s not funny and saying “errors” would be treating them with the respect they have gone so far out of their way to not earn. I could go on forever, but there were worthwhile games this weekend…
Browns 31, Vikings 27
…which I guess isn’t the world’s greatest transition because this wasn’t one of them. The Browns sold their season this week when they opted to trade Richardson, and barely beat a bad Minnesota team. This game isn’t going to end up having serious playoff ramifications, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. I thought Ponder actually played well, but there’s nothing to know here. I do want to give props to the Browns receiving corps, as Josh Gordon had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown and Cameron had six receptions for 66 yards. the Vikings continue to be the team you want to see on your schedule. Which is weird, because the Browns are also one of those teams – but apparently four points higher on the totem pole.
Dolphins 27, Falcons 23
Don’t look now, but the Dolphins are 3-0. They have beaten two teams that made the playoffs last year, and with this one they will have beaten a team that hosted a conference championship game. So what makes the Dolphins so great? It certainly isn’t the numbers – they are 28th in rushing and 20th against the pass, so that isn’t it. It’s not the leadership of a seasoned NFL QB – Ryan Tannehill is playing well but he’s still a greenhorn. Whatever it is, it’s working and that’s all that counts. The Falcons? Remember when you guys all thought I was crazy when I set up a playoff scenario where Atlanta and Green Bay both missed the playoffs? That’s because I smelled bullshit. There’s a big steaming whiff of it coming off of the Atlanta Falcons at the moment, and that may continue. They’re giving up 298 a game in the air, and you can’t get it done when that’s the case. Plus they play New England next week and if they lose that game (which I believe they will) they’re in serious trouble.
Bengals 34, Packers 30
In a game that was sort of exciting, sort of depressing, and still culminated in a great ending, the Bengals took down the Packers on Sunday in Cincy. It’s not a game that either team should be proud of, as the Bengals committed four straight turnovers on four straight possessions. They had to come from behind in a game where they had it in the bag more than once, and it was hard to watch. The Packers are now 1-2, with a brutal schedule that they’ve played thus far. However it is unlikely that they will turn it around to the degree that they will need to, I think that the Bears can beat them and that both of those games will be close. The reality is, only one or two teams are going to come out of the NFC North this year (given the decline of the East) so this is a Bears-Packers race unless the Packers decide not to make it one. Right now, they are making silly mistakes so it’s hard to reconcile them playing in the postseason.
Patriots 23, Buccaneers 3
The Buccaneers are as Spickler would say – a disaster. That disaster alliance continued this weekend when the Pats got the confidence boost they so desperately needed. They also covered the spread for the first time this year which surprised me. The worst part about sports journalism (and the sensationalist crap that goes with it) is the fact that we have to use terms that we don’t want to use. My new least favorite of that whole bunch has to be when you refer to things as the “Insert quarterback name here” era. So as you can imagine, it breaks my balls to no end for me to say that I think the “Josh Freeman era” in Tampa is about to come to a close because I don’t think that there should have been a Josh Freeman era in the first place.
Cowboys 31, Rams 7
Time for a big steaming plate of crow because this one I didn’t see coming either. The Cowboys were good, but I was disappointed with the way the Rams failed to deliver. They didn’t even have to change time zones and they were still garbage. The Cowboys did look very poised in this game which is crazy when you consider how messed up they looked opening weekend. The Rams have massive consistency issues: One moment they’re firing on all cylinders, and the next minute they’re Gary Coleman in the high jump. This game was so bad that when God told Coleman the score, even he couldn’t believe it. Of course I’m kidding – Gary’s definitely in hell.
Titans 20, Chargers 17
Once again, the Chargers find a way to let karma come back to haunt them – I mean blow games late. Philip Rivers is at the point in his career where the guy on that field making the game winning throw is Jake Locker. That’s a cold reality to have in that Southern California heat. But let’s talk about the Titans for a second…Even if they don’t make the playoffs, even if they tank the rest of their season from here on out…I have to give those guys a big round of applause for doing as well as they had. Nobody had them at 2-1 at this point, let alone taking the Texans all the way to overtime in their lone loss. The Titans are the new no-name team in the league, but that no-name team is also 7th in overall rushing yards.
Jets 27, Bills 20
Great. The Jets are 2-1. That’s awesome. Now we have to listen to this contender/pretender argument until the cows come home. Geno Smith did play okay, but it’s longevity that is going to be the big question mark that surrounds him. I’m a little disappointed in the Bills but not enough to justify having to actually be disappointed. The Bills are always going to be in an awkward spot because of what I call Jacksonville Syndrome. Jacksonville Syndrome is of course when you’re the third most popular football team in your state. We’ll never know about the Bills because no one has that information. It’s hanging out somewhere with the corpse of the second shooter on the Grassy Knoll.
Lions 27, Redskins 20
As the season rolls on, the truth about the Redskins is finally going to come out. The Redskins are toast because before last year, they were toast. It wasn’t until RGIII came into the picture in an unusually bad year for that division that they appeared to be better by default of everyone else laying on the floor so the Redskins could step on their head. Washington won’t do shit this year. Which is weird, because I don’t know about you guys but I thought that was going to be the Colts this season. The Lions are now 2-1, but both of their wins have came against bad teams. Johnson and Stafford appear to really be on the same page though, so that’s good news they might be headed in the right direction.
Saints 31, Cardinals 9
This was exactly the type of old school Saints blowout that the team had been in search of, but it still doesn’t prove that they are an elite team. The Seahawks would crush the Saints right now. A win against the Cards doesn’t mean much but they are undefeated as well. You could make the argument that they are the worst team who doesn’t have a loss, but as long as Drew Brees continues to put up those stupid sick fantasy numbers, you can almost forget about the fact that I described them as being “stupid sick”. Arizona might as well be on the clock. The Honey Badger had a pick in this one, but he’s still a grown man that doesn’t beat the shit out of everyone who calls him that. If I was Tyrann Mathieu, I’d be in a holding cell looking at nineteen consecutive life sentences. The Saints defense is much improved this year, which is exactly what they need to get them back into the conversation of elite status. They play the Dolphins next week, and one of those teams will be undefeated no more. Will it be New Orleans?
Ravens 30, Texans 9
Like I said it would, the Texans finally got exposed and it happened at the hands of the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens. And it happened without Baltimore having the need for an injured Ray Rice. These two teams now have the same record, even though the Texans could very easily be winless. The Ravens on the other hand look like the are deserving of the trophy they recently earned. Everyone is playing well and it looks top-notch. I think Flacco still feels disrespected and when you consider his playoff record in comparison to the lack of props he gets, I don’t blame him one bit. Regardless, I would like to point out something regarding that defense. Even though they’ve lost Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, and even though their offense has been one of the best in the league since October of last year…that’s still a defensive football team at heart. I say that because before Daryl Smith’s interception return for a touchdown at the end of the first half, the Ravens looked awfully flat. But after that, they were a lit fuse. They were even able to carry that mojo through halftime, which is a notorious momentum killer. Their defense still propels them to do great things on both sides of the ball, and that’s why they are defending world champions.
Colts 27, 49ers 7
When it comes to the San Francisco 49ers, the title of Ministry’s classic live record comes to mind. Because “In case you didn’t feel like showing up” was the theme that the Niners were rolling with. They played extremely uninspired football throughout the game, and have one touchdown scored the last eight quarters. I know they are better – we ALL have to know that they are better. And they WILL get better…they are just working out some early kinks. Here’s something I noticed: Kaepernick was 13 for 27 and 150. Now, with who the 49ers being who they are – they can get away with having their QB put up stats like that. They have the personnel in place to make that happen, the only problem is Colin is getting no help. Gore is going to need to get more than 82 off of 11 rushes and Boldin is going to need to get more than 67 off of five…that’s if they are going to only come out of there with 7 points. They have St. Louis next week, and that’s just who they need to be seeing as they’ve had a pretty difficult three weeks.
Seahawks 45, Jaguars 17
You know, it’s none of my business but I guess somewhere in American history they decided to never show public executions on TV. Thanks to games like this, at least we still have something that’s close and this was ugly. When even Seahawks fans have run out of reasons to stop screaming, you know it’s time to “beat traffic” on your way out of the stadium. But Seattle still looks polished nonetheless. I’d say right now they’d almost have to be your NFC favorite to be playing in New Jersey come February. Which is a weird sentence, but I guess this is how we do it now.
Bears 40, Steelers 23
The Steelers didn’t play as bad as I expected, but they certainly didn’t play good either. The Bears lost DT Henry Melton for the year which is horrible news. And the even sadder thing is that by then this game should have been put away. The Steelers are bad from every conceivable angle and they are not going to get any better any time soon. Their defense is the oldest in the NFL, and their offense is one of the least potent given they are piloted by a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. By the way I think it’s hilarious that Todd Haley’s biggest achievement this year with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is a touchdown that was converted because of a “roughing the kicker” penalty, which is the most bullshit flag in the sport today.
Broncos 37, Raiders 21
Terrelle Pryor has a lot to learn, and definitely got a chance to see what a real quarterback looks like on Monday night. There’s not really a lot to say here because we all knew what was going to happen. (Editor’s note: There is no coordinator in the entire league who is as important to their team as Jack Del Rio is to the Denver Broncos. It’s not even close, so don’t bother arguing…) The odds of the Oakland Raiders beating Peyton Manning at home on a Monday Night Football game are about as good as the odds that NASCAR will develop another racing league for people with no arms. The Broncos are scary good, and with that ice cream cake of a schedule they’ve got, the only real way I can see them not making it to the Super Bowl would be if they’re so used to playing bad teams they soil the bed when they finally come across a good one in the playoffs. If you caught it, there was a hilarious moment in this one where ESPN posted an incorrect stat at the bottom of the screen before the last Denver scoring drive. It read “Broncos have scored a touchdown in 10 of their last 9 red-zone possessions”. No wonder nobody can stop them – it’s hard to compete with logic-defying mathematics like that.
FOX opting to show a docudrama/comedy/whateveritwas about Mike Tyson as opposed to showing the late games that were going on shows just how prejudiced we are against good taste in this country. I think we’re done with that guy. We get it, he makes up words and does dumb stuff. He also raped a woman and one of his kids died on his watch. I’m sorry, but being in “The Hangover” franchise doesn’t erase those two things.
I hate to say it, but overall it was kind of a bad week. The Aldon Smith story is just plain depressing, and the games weren’t very good. So here’s to hoping next week will be much better.
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