by Ryan Meehan
Week four began in St. Louis, which surprisingly is not a sentence fragment from the script of “Grand Theft Auto Five”. Colin Kaepernick looked stable enough to get the Niners back to .500, but there are a lot of other good teams in the NFL right now. Some of those teams came to throw down in week four, while others seemed to watch out the front window while the dog silently farted. This is how that fart smelled…
49ers 35, Rams 11
It wasn’t until I started listening to some sports talk radio on the way in to work on Thursday that I really realized how many people thought that the Rams were actually going to win this game. I never thought that there was anyway in a million years the Rams would win, because it was San Francisco’s to lose. Anquan Boldin isn’t going to have a week like that every week, but the Niners better hope Frank Gore does. He had 153 yards, the most since 2009 and he looked very comfortable. He’s getting a lot of help up there, as the blocking is better than it had been the past two weeks but it also only took him 20 carries. The Niners have a ten day rest but the week five game against Houston will be there before they know it. If they can win that game, their schedule for the next month is a joke and winning those next four games will be their prize. THEN we can talk about them being on the same level as Seattle. Yeah, they came out big and won a huge road game against the St. Louis Rams but can they smack Houston around like the Ravens did in week three? If they can, then we’ve got a situation here. It’s good to see them get back on track but I also have to be realistic.
Lions 40, Bears 32
This was nowhere near as close as it looks: The Lions owned Chicago for four quarters, and took advantage of their four turnovers. Not a huge day for Stafford, but they did get 142 on the ground from Reggie Bush who is becoming a gameplan type of back – and fast. The Bears got their first 3rd down conversion (in 13 attempts) with :43 left in regulation. In other words, if this game was six quarters long, the Bears would have won easily. They looked flat, and far from the team we saw in the first few weeks.
Colts 37, Jaguars 3
Nothing that you didn’t expect here, the Colts took this one with little effort and if you’re reading this you probably made a decent amount of money on this game. Outside of the Seattle game, they’ve been putting up less than five points every outing. This was yet another game where they didn’t even get to read the lettering that was painted in the endzone. The Jaguars are dying faster than a prostitute with a latex allergy, and it’s getting to be really sad. The Colts are 3-1 and should win games like this, but they did put a road game behind them without losing.
Seahawks 23, Texans 20 (OT)
The invincibility of the Seattle Seahawks will have to be put on hold here for a few minutes while they figure out how to run this team without total dependence on Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson HAS to throw the ball more, no questions asked. He ran very well, and they did end up winning the game, but they were down two scores when the fourth quarter started and they only won in overtime because of a bullshit fifteen yard personal foul that ended up being the difference maker. The Texans on the other hand looked pretty decent in a loss. Matt Schaub had the exact type of day they needed him to have, which of course is much easier when you have Andre Johnson out there getting a century strip steak. But if you can’t score in the second half, you’re going to lose every game and teams like the Seahawks are exactly the types of teams that they’ll be facing come playoff time. The Texans blew this game, and are now looking up at the Tennessee Titans who they barely beat six days after having to pull a miracle out of their ass to beat the Chargers. Think about that for a second.
Cardinals 13, Buccaneers 10
So Josh Freeman was benched this week, in case you’ve heard. In case you didn’t hear, that sentence was tripled dipped in sarcasm. That interview was ludicrous. Why all of a sudden is it a major story when every NFL quarterback that isn’t as good as he was made out to be gets benched in a small market? This should have been back page news – no reason to cover it. How many times do you think Tampa and Jacksonville are going to switch quarterbacks over the next six years? Hate to take up space, but the space was taken up for the hate. The switch didn’t work, and they ended up losing what essentially was a meaningless game.
Chiefs 31, Giants 7
ESPN.com has this bingo-board looking thing where it summarizes what’s happened to all of the teams that are currently playing. Before the third quarter, it read “Halftime report: Giants a little less awful”. That’s a team that is suffering from lack of success because they have so much work to do when it comes to damage control. It’s become so hard for the Giants to stop the bleeding that they literally forgot how to draw blood from the other team. Believe it or not, the Giants kept this one manageable for some time, but then it all fell apart…and quick. The Dexter McCluster kickoff return was almost comical, and proof that the Giants are failing every single facet of the game. The Chiefs have still to really be tested, so for a team that’s 4-0 the jury is still out on them. Let’s just say that Mercury Morris is probably worried more about Peyton Manning than he is about Alex Smith.
Browns 17, Bengals 6
No offense to Spickler, but I for one am very shocked at this one. Maybe they are responding well to Hoyer, and maybe the Browns are better than we think. Okay, let’s be reasonable here…this is karma getting back at the Bengals for getting lucky last week. You had to know something like this was coming…teams like the Bengals don’t thrive on luck for extended periods of time. Luck isn’t going to be on your side so much that if you get through 60 minutes of football without scoring a single touchdown you can expect to win. Back to Cleveland, I am really starting to enjoy the hell out of this Jordan Cameron cat. He’s had a hell of a year and almost nobody has noticed. Such is the life of the Cleveland Browns, hopefully Bernie Kosar at least got out of the drunk tank early enough to catch the game.
Vikings 34, Steelers 27
Man, the Steelers are bad…How bad are they? Well, they just lost to a team that was subbing Matt Cassell for Christian Ponder in a town that’s supplied the world with the Spice Girls. I dare you to say that sentence out loud without worrying that someone could come around the corner and punch you to death at any given moment. And how bad is Ben Roethlisberger? HE COULDN’T EVEN WIN IN THE CITY THAT “BIG BEN” IS LOCATED IN. Speaking of clocks, you have to legitimately wonder how long this is going to last without Mike Tomlin seriously losing his temper on camera. For a guy that’s well-mannered and handles things with extreme calm, you have to think that there’s a very public meltdown coming there. He’s on the verge of it with every press conference following a loss, which this year so far has been every game. Worse yet, I’ve checked their schedule and neither Tampa or Jacksonville is anywhere in sight. Looking at that same schedule, I noticed that they haven’t even played the Ravens yet, and that there are realistically only maybe four winnable games on that schedule. It’s so bleak you almost forget that they’re 30th in the league in rushing.
Redskins 24, Raiders 14
Don’t even get me started on the Redskins. I’m sure this week we’ll hear plenty about all of the momentum that the Skins will have, all the while forgetting that their bye week is next. That’s the way the media operates when there’s a young superstar quarterback. Face it: They beat a team who essentially quit after scoring 14 points in the first quarter. Matt Flynn is still trying to remember what a football is shaped like, and something must have happened when time ran out in the first fifteen minute frame. But don’t tell me that just because their defense played ONE GOOD GAME that it’s enough to cover up for the fact that they are next to last in the league in both key defensive categories. The sad part about all of this? They’re still only a game out of first place. God, the NFC East blows.
Bills 23, Ravens 20
You’re going to read a lot of “this was the upset of the day” shit all over the internet this week, but you’re not going to read any of it here. The Bills are to be commended for staying in this one while every writer in the country is busy shitting all over that whole team. Even though EJ Manuel’s stats weren’t all that impressive, they are playing very well as a unit and that’s the most important thing about winning football games. The Ravens are very confusing to me, and that could be another division where nobody wins ten games.
Broncos 52, Eagles 20
I’m not going to pussyfoot around this one: the Denver Broncos are the best team in the NFL. I know that there will be some people who hate Peyton Manning for whatever reason and will never believe that, but when I saw Trindon Holliday return that kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown I knew there was pretty much no going back. There was a really telling moment in the second quarter this game where the Eagles were on about the 35 yard line of the Broncos with fourth down and a couple approaching. It’s that weird area of the field where you can go for it and nobody will think you’re crazy. But then they had a delay of game penalty and had to punt. That can’t have been their plan, and if it was it was a shitty one at best. And that’s the difference between good teams and bad ones. A bad team won’t even muster up the confidence to take the chance and go out there and get the first down. It also speaks volumes to how scared the rest of the league is when it comes to the option of giving Peyton Manning any favorable field position. You have to take risks otherwise you can’t beat a team like this. And in some cases, you can take risks and still not beat them.
Titans 38, Jets 13
By far the year’s biggest surprise is the Tennessee Titans. They’re 3-1, and they continue to find ways to make it work. Ryan Fitzpatrick played well in Locker’s absence, and the running game is still very strong. Their defense is playing well enough, and that might be all that they need. They’ll take on Kansas City next, where we’ll get to know them better and have a better idea what we’re looking at. They’ll need to rely on Fitzpatrick from this point forward, because Locker’s going to be out four to eight weeks.
Chargers 30, Cowboys 21
How awful is the NFC East right now? I think Dallas giving up two touchdowns to Danny Woodhead should answer that question. Their defense is at best questionable, giving up 400 plus yards to Rivers and even worse – making Rivers look like the star he was five years ago. I’m still not buying the Cowboys because if they’re really this good, how come they only beat the Giants (who have turned out to be one of the worst teams in football) by a couple at home, and continue to lose games like this by over a touchdown?
Patriots 30, Falcons 23
Let’s get real: The Patriots almost blew this game. It was a very exciting game and extremely fun to watch, but it was a little more sloppier that the stats would indicate. I think the Patriots are getting more comfortable, they are showing more energy, but they’re still making dumb mistakes when it counts. There was a play in this one that will likely stick in my mind as long as Matt Ryan is a quarterback in the NFL. After Brady drove all the way down the field and produced one of his signature touchdown drives, Matt Ryan threw a bomb on first down and was intercepted immediately. Ballsy play calling indeed, but I couldn’t help but think “This guy will never win a Super Bowl” as soon as I saw it. Overreaction? Not really, because I’ve kind of thought that for a while about him anyway, this just affirmed my belief. I’m really intrigued by this Kenbrell Thompkins guy that had a huge night for the Patriots, and I’ll discuss that more here in a second.
Saints 38, Dolphins 17
I don’t think Miami ever really had a chance in this game. They weren’t going to win a night game in New Orleans because they just aren’t there as a team yet. Those uniforms make my brain hurt. Anyway, they’ll be back in business. On the other hand, this is fantastic news for the Saints because it was a blowout win against a good team the after a Falcons loss. That’s a huge step in the right direction, and if I remember correctly, that’s exactly what I said they needed to do in order to get back into the thick of things. Darren Sproles looked really good, and Brees was on fire just like he was in the seasons before the last one. So for all of you ex-football players who say that coaching doesn’t matter, here’s a perfect example of what can happen when you remove one from the equation.
Bonus Comment of the week: Kenbrell Thompkins
The Kenbrell Thompkins story is an interesting one. Here we were thinking that the Patriots had this decimated receiving corps, and then this guy comes along and shocks the world in a huge primetime game. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Thompkins’s story, he came from a very rough upbringing and attended a community college for two years before transferring to the University of Cincinnati. He was undrafted, and the Patriots signed him on May 3rd to a three year deal with only $2500 of this year’s salary being guaranteed. It’s really a great story, and you can read more about it here: http://www.newsrecord.org/sports/article_32f369fa-974f-11e2-83c2-0019bb30f31a.html
You know that friend of yours who is always giving you grief because you watch sports? That asshole will probably never get the true reason why we love football and other sports so much. One of the reasons that we love a great underdog story is because it kicks ass, and that poor piece of shit who rips on you for watching the NFL will just never understand a story like this. He’ll see no value to seeing how a guy came from the bottom of the top like this, and he’ll continue to buy Affliction T-shirts that are too tight.
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