by Ryan Meehan
While week seven technically started on Thursday night with the Patriots just scraping by the Jets at home, the argument could be made that the water cooler talk didn’t begin until Friday afternoon when FOX Sports analyst and human penis with moustache costume Jay Glazer reported a trade that sent shockwaves through the National Football League. The Seattle Seahawks sent WR Percy Harvin to that same Jets team who had lost the night before for a conditional draft pick. For giving up Harvin, the Seahawks will get anywhere from a second to a fourth round draft pick depending on his production the remainder of the year. The level of toxicity that dude must have brought to that locker room will be something of legend, but this is where it gets really weird: Since Percy was not given the franchise tag, he did have a no trade clause which would have allowed him to veto trades to certain teams. For those who aren’t familiar with the way this works, let me break it down: The player in question can have certain teams that he won’t play for, but only so many. Everybody’s list looks very similar – Jacksonville, Oakland, and Tennessee seem to be very popular choices, as going down in history with teams that could take four years to accumulate ten wins doesn’t exactly look stellar on the Hall of Fame ballot. Unfortunately for Harvin the Jets were not on his list, and he’s on his way to New York where there will be a whole lot of nothing waiting for him. Percy Harvin expecting to get the ball with the way that offense is currently set up would be like you trying to rent a limo that will take you to a Dave & Busters in Central Wyoming. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more disorganized for Geno Smith, Michael Vick, or Chad Pennington sneaking past security in a ski mask, this asshole shows up ready to take down the franchise from the inside out. Like that team wasn’t having enough problems as it is…So it’s only fitting that’s where I’ll start this piece, and after that I’ll take a look at everything that went down in week seven.
Patriots 27, Jets 25
It doesn’t matter if the Jets are getting blown out at home by a team that probably shouldn’t be mentioned or just barely getting snipped on the road against a Super Bowl contender, the Jets are just great at not winning football games. We’ve had the “moral victories” conversation on numerous occasions, and even if you buy into that garbage the Jets wouldn’t be able to do anything with that momentum anyway. As previously discussed, their locker room is about to get out of control fast. Doesn’t it seem like every single week I’m sitting here asking when management is finally going to have the “we can still be friends” talk with Rex? I expected New England to do better on defense than this, but the Pats don’t care about style points in a week seven game they knew they couldn’t lose.
Bills 17, Vikings 16
If you fell asleep during the third quarter of this game, don’t worry because nothing happened in that period. Either way the Bills really lost here because both CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson got injured, and those two guys compose their entire offensive scheme. Now they really can’t use any of those receivers as trade bait. The end of this game was pretty cool, but at the same time it’s so difficult for me to get excited about either of these teams when they’re continually buried on the back page or stuffed into a tight 30 second wrap-up segment at the end of Sportscenter.
Ravens 29, Falcons 7
Perhaps the Ravens’ destruction of the Buccaneers was not a fluke, and with the Bengals reeling it’s looking like the AFC North is there for the taking. Joe Flacco will be right there to reap the spoils of this mess, and as much as I’m not a fan of the guy’s personality you really have to hand it to him. The Ravens are one of the best teams in the league, and I have no problems admitting it. I may have problems trusting them week to week, but at 5-2 with Cincy, the Steelers, and the Titans coming up next they will easily win ten games. After that they have a Monday Night match-up at the Superdome that might be a challenge and of course San Diego is going to be a tough one, but the rest of that schedule is a joke. If it seems like it was forever ago the Falcons singed Matt Ryan to a $104 million dollar contract, either your perception of time is completely screwed beyond comprehension or maybe that hasn’t quite been the bargain Arthur Blank imagined it would be. I mean…it was such a great idea – Giving the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl MVP almost a ninth of a billion dollars? Hard to imagine how that could result in a situation where the guy is only 6-17 since. I would think that if the Falcons can’t win in the next month Mike Smith will be close to on his way out of there. With all of that talent down on that roster, there’s no reason for him to continue gainful employment at that location anyway.
Jaguars 24, Browns 6
It’s going to be hard for me to buy Cleveland after what went down here. After solid play over the past two weeks (including a really strong showing against Pittsburgh) the Browns looked to be in perfect position to take the next three games and hit the halfway mark of the season with a .750 winning percentage. That dream is now as good as dead, as they have now fallen to a team who I was convinced wasn’t going to win a game all year. It’s a strange place to be for me, seeing as how I had already reserved this space so that I could talk about how road games in Jacksonville aren’t really road games. I suppose this isn’t the end of the world for the Browns: They still have the third best rushing attack in the league, and face Oakland and Tampa next. If they can win both those games that would put them at 5-3. But then again if they can’t, they sink back into the AFC cesspool of mediocrity. And holy balls is it crowded down there…
Packers 38, Panthers 17
I’m not nearly as shocked by this as a lot of people…I smelled bullshit on Carolina a couple of weeks back, and now that we know what has happened to Cincinnati I’m not all that surprised both of those teams tied while letting each other score 37 points. For a team that’s headed up by a defensive mastermind, the Panthers couldn’t cover pigeon crap with a seventy foot tarp. We’ll get to more social networking nonsense here in a minute, but D’Angelo Williams actually had the balls to get on Facebook and ask for the replacement refs back. (Come to think of it, that does make sense – they do hate the Packers) Even though I hate to say I hate to say I told you so, deep down I enjoy the hell out of being so right and that’s why I told you Green Bay would cover. Even though Detroit took forever to get going this week, I think it’s good for Aaron Rodgers that the Lions have a record that is better than they actually are. He seems to perform a lot better when there is another team in that division that’s right on his heels. And now we know that team isn’t going to be Chicago…
Dolphins 27, Bears 14
Social networking for professional sports teams are a funny thing. I’m sitting here at one thirty in the afternoon looking at the Chicago Bears Facebook feed right now and I can’t believe the level of optimism of which their PR department is capable. This is what it reads: “Jeremiah Ratliff records 3.5 sacks in the first 30 minutes of play. At the half, the Bears trail the Dolphins 14-0. #winfromwithin”. An impressive defensive feat indeed, but I love how they completely glazed over the fact that the Bears didn’t score a goddamn point in the first half hour they were on the field at home. They eventually got on the board, but even though Miami would win big on the road I still don’t feel like this will be enough to shut Bears fans up. Delusion is a strange thing for sure. And for what’s supposed to be a tough defensive front, the Bears let Ryan Tannehill have their way with them all day long. Keep in mind the Dolphins missed two field goals, owned Chicago with regards to time of possession, and controlled the pace of this game playing field position perfectly. It just blows me away that their social networking guru had the balls to say “#winfromwithin” about a team that every real football fan in America knew was about to go 0-3 at home for the year. The Bears had some locker room difficulties after this one was over, and frustration is starting to build up between a bunch of receivers that care too much and a quarterback that hardly cares at all.
Colts 27, Bengals 0
This week the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves winding up with a case of the dreaded New York Giants Syndrome. The way that works is they put up a lot of points one week, then the following week they go out and put not a single offensive package on the field that does any bit of tangible good. I knew that Queen City would lose this game, but I had no idea that they’d be shutout. Such is a testament to Indy’s defense, which I’ll get to in a second. I believe that the Colts are for real. It’s hard to imagine that they aren’t, and as I keep saying every week their only two losses are against great teams. (Denver, Philadelphia) When Peyton Manning was their fearless leader, his primary downfall in the postseason was that he had to come up with about 35 or 38 points to be able to win because his defense was always average at best and awful on a normal day. Now? Indianapolis is in great shape because as Manning and Brady approach retirement, they have another franchise quarterback at their disposal and their defense is starting to look gangbusters. That defense may very well be the determining factor in how many Super Bowls Luck is able to win, so their front office may want to consider the importance of that predicament. Speaking of the Colts’ front office, I can’t help but notice that all of the success that team has had this year came while owner Jim Irsay was away from the team. Irsay has been one of the smarter front office experts in recent years, but I can’t help but think maybe for his own health and the team’s that his recent absence might be the best for both parties. If he can get his drug problem together, when he gets back that could very well be the beginning of a dynasty in a league where free agency has virtually destroyed the very meaning of that term. Go Colts.
Lions 24, Saints 23
New Orleans can’t catch a break. Seriously, they were dominating this one the whole way through up until about ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, and then all hell broke loose. This is especially frustrating because although they are a dome team and teams of that nature usually struggle on the road, this game was in a dome and they had it in the bag. But after over a hundred yards of penalties and a very sloppily put together fourth quarter, the Saints blew yet another game that they should have easily been able to slip into the win column. Sean Payton snapped on the press after the game, which had been a long time coming. Although Drew Brees isn’t that type of guy, maybe it wouldn’t hurt for him to really show a dark side of himself to pick the Saints up out of this rut. Something’s got to give here, because if they can’t find a spark real fast, they’re going to end up with the same problem they faced during the bounty suspension season – They’ll figure it out, but it will be too late by that point. Detroit deserves some props – they could have packed this one the hell in and they chose not to give up.
Rams 28, Seahawks 26
Let’s get real for a second – The Seattle Seahawks are in trouble. They’ve already matched their loss total from last year, and we aren’t even halfway through the season yet. It took them up until Friday to get rid of a dude who ended up being a complete tumor, when news is breaking everywhere that a defending Super Bowl champion franchise should have knew well before the season started. And the one knock on them about them not being able to win on the road is starting to show signs that it could land them fighting for a wild card slot by the time this is all over. It’s hard to play the “this team beat this team and such and such” game with the NFL, but when you consider how San Francisco was able to put it together in this same building last Monday if I were Seattle I would be really worried about the 49ers. We’ll find out for sure Thanksgiving night, and then two weeks later at Century Link Field. In their defense they did come back and make this one close, but they also let St. Louis get really far ahead and juke them out of their shoes on a trick play. It was a trick play that maybe three special teams units in the league can diffuse immediately, and the Seahawks are one of those teams. Kind of makes you wonder what’s really going on there, and definitely makes you wonder if play like this is the cause of a team who isn’t listening in the first half led by a quarterback who is arguably too nice to call his teammates out.
Redskins 19, Titans 17
When I was in high school, there was this older retired gentleman who was constantly at the McDonald’s I where I worked. He would drink coffee and read the newspaper and blab endlessly about things that nobody has cared about in decades. One night when I got off, somehow I got caught up in being the target of his useless knowledge and he told me a story. I’m not really sure what the purpose of it was, but it involved how at some rural high school all of the hillbilly kids made a pact to wear those rubber Northerner boots to school one Friday. I kept desperately waiting for there to be more to this tale, but instead was left knowing there would be five minutes of my life I’d never get back because someone I didn’t know was spreading lore about galoshes. The point here is that sometimes there are thing is life that are just bad stories, and this game was one of them. But in all seriousness, I have to give props to Colt McCoy for going 11 for 12 and pulling this win out of his ass. A lot of people had written that kid off for dead, and I happen to be one of those writers who now finds themselves covered in ink.
Chiefs 23, Chargers 20
This obviously angers me for a couple of reasons: First, I sit here and bark over and over again every single week about how the Chiefs aren’t for real. For the record, I still don’t believe that they are and have to chalk this one up as a freak on the control chart. Secondly, I have been giving the Chargers a lot of props and I know they are much better than this. San Diego only had 69 rushing yards, and I don’t care how good you are at throwing the ball when you can’t do better than that lack of balance has you in vice grip. But maybe I should be throwing a little love the Chiefs way…After all Alex Smith did successfully target eight different men in this one, and even though his stats are relatively weak (<200 yards in the air/game) two of their three wins have came against teams that won a playoff game this calendar year – even though they weren’t able to. That has to count for something, and with the teams currently in second place in their respective AFC divisions being pretty weak overall from an offensive standpoint who’s to say they won’t be a six seed? Their only other real threat at the moment is Cincinnati (who has heavily slid in the power rankings over the past three weeks and rightfully so…) and Houston, whose quarterback may very well leave the team to join the cast of Duck Dynasty by week eleven. So my apologies to the Chiefs, as even though I don’t think that they are capable of long-term success they are the most overachieving 3-3 team in the league.
Cowboys 31, Giants 21
I’m not super broken-hearted about this, and I’m not too concerned with the fact that that word might not need to be hyphenated. At least they scored, but you’re in deep waters whenever your talking about your favorite team. There was a funny moment at the end of this game: When FOX was doing the wrap-ups I heard Curt Menafee say that Tony Romo had “hooked up with Gavin Escobar twice” on the day. I had just watched Artie Lange’s new special “The Stench of Failure” the night before so when Curt said that, the first thing I heard in the back of my mind was Artie’s voice saying “Not a big deal, I’m sure it’s not the first time Tony Romo has hooked up with a Hispanic guy twice in one weekend…”. As funny as that moment probably was in Artie’s living room as he farted into an empty bag of Cheetos in front of a hooker, Dallas is causing serious problems for the rest of the NFC. While Escobar did score twice, Dez Bryant had a 150 plus yard receiving game and in any other year he’d be a legitimate MVP candidate. That won’t happen, because he’s not even the most valuable player on his team at the moment. That accolade would have to go to DeMarco Murray, who just rushed for a hundred yards in his seventh straight contest. He should just send Adrian Peterson a lifetime supply of Twinkies with a note attached to it that says “Thanks to you, I’m going to make twenty million dollars more over the next decade. God bless shoddy parenting…”. I don’t have a lot to say about the Giants because their role from this point out is going to be strictly spoiler-based.
Cardinals 24, Raiders 13
Let’s get one thing straight: Carson Palmer doesn’t give a damn about your fantasy football team. He doesn’t care how many leagues he’s still currently available in, or how many fantasy football fans aren’t starting him in lieu of guys like Matt Ryan. He’s probably laughing his ass off after getting shafted out of a playoff berth last year at the expense of teams like the Saints, he’s now two games ahead of the Niners and the Seahawks in the brutal NFC West. But while those same fantasy dweebs are still counting on Drew Brees to make sure they have bragging rites over their next Dungeons and Dragons game, Arizona is 5-1 in a year where they already know the Super Bowl just happens to be in their backyard. The reason you don’t see the Cardinals blowing out their ankles to beat a team like Oakland (I hope…) is because I think finally they are planning for a late postseason run. They will struggle against the Eagles next week, but even though their overall team statistics are atrocious (309 yards a game in the air? Good Lord…) the number in the win column is the only thing that counts when determining playoff seeding. Speaking of numbers…
Broncos 42, 49ers 17
Since Peyton Manning ever so conveniently broke Brett Favre’s NFL record for touchdowns on Sunday Night Football, that’s the number that the media is going to focus on. However, I’ve dug up a couple of other numbers from this game that are of massive importance. Four is the number of incompletions Manning threw in a game where he still racked up over 315 yards on 26 attempts. Seventy is the number of plays San Francisco ran, fourteen more than Denver whom they lost to by 25 points. And 3 of thirteen is the 49ers’ pathetic 3rd down conversion rate, almost unheard of for a team with a mobile quarterback that runs a West Coast offensive scheme. Their redzone efficiency was 33% (something that can’t happen when you play a team that cranks out 30 points in their sleep) and Kaepernick was sacked 6 times for 53 yards. The latter fact shows that he’s relying on scrambling WAY too much, as well as further proof that the 49ers aren’t calling plays very well at the moment. And in a game where the Broncos had the ball for four minutes less than they did, the end result was that it was still more a three possession game when it was all over. Are those numbers you can work with? Not if you’re a 49ers fan, because your team (which by the way until this morning was ranked 2nd against the pass) is heading into their bye week looking every bit like the locker room explosives testing facility ESPN is saying it is. Jim Harbaugh is going to make for a fine Bo Schembechler come late January. That deal’s in the bag already.
Steelers 30, Texans 23
The Houston Texans went up 13-0 early in this one, and in the second corner began turning the ball over like only the Houston Texans can do. They continued to give the ball away at crucial points in the game, and I’m questioning how long the Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment will continue. Right now even with all the off the field chaos that Jameis Winston is creating at Florida State, at least he knows how to hang on to the football and the Texans might want to be talking to the Raiders about how much that first round draft pick isn’t worth to them. At some point, your defense can only save your ass so much. Three touchdowns in 87 seconds at the end of the first half would be where that point is. I saw none of this game, but until the Steelers go 7-3 I can;t take them too seriously. There’s a lot of holes in that team and that’s why they were down 13-0 at home to the Texans to begin with.
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