I told you the point total on the over was a lock, and I was right. I could have never predicted that the officiating would be this bad. I’m a Peyton Manning supporter. I know his playoff record is a tad undesirable, and he’d probably tell you that himself. If he broke into my apartment to steal a cup of milk and the police came and caught him doing it, they’d probably let him off because everybody with authority seems to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. The refs were giving him calls in this one that were ridiculous, and in one case ripped a turnover from the Chargers that changed the momentum of this game. Don’t get me wrong I love me some Denver Broncos, they’re a bacon cheeseburger with a fucking birthday candle in it. But it would be dishonest of me to sit here and say that they don’t get the Michael Jordan treatment when it comes to the officiating. San Diego is still a great team, this is just a really hard part of their schedule.
Lions 22, Falcons 21
The Detroit Lions are turning into the comeback kids. They were losing this game 21-0 and it appeared as if they weren’t going to return to American soil with a win. And just like last week’s game against the Saints, they began to create situations where they were in great shape to come back and win. Now they’re 6-2, and the Golden Tate signing is looking like the front office move of the year. As for the Falcons, this has to be demoralizing. Mike Smith has gone from the NFC Championship game just twenty one months back to a guy whose job will for sure be toast when this season is over. The poor overall play within the NFC South is the only thing that’s saved his sorry ass, and one of the reasons he still has a job is because even if the team plane was on fire with everybody in it Chris Berman and Tom Jackson would remind you that “with a couple of wins they could still be in this thing”.
Bills 43, Jets 23
I don’t know why I picked the Jets to win this one. I guess I thought that they had lost so many close games at home, and since Buffalo isn’t exactly the world’s biggest threat that maybe they’d pull it off. But I forgot one very important fact: Geno Smith is not an NFL quarterback. He just isn’t. Michael Vick might not be at this point in his career either, but it’s not like the Jets have a whole lot of other options here. They’re one drunken golf carting accident from having Eric Decker take snaps, and although nobody wants to see that you have to admit it would be a whole hell of a lot more interesting than the product that they are currently putting out on the field. Their general manager John Idzik has got to be one of the most incompetent dweebs since Rick Moranis’ character in “Honey, I shrunk the Kids”. He’s got no business being the GM of any football team, and the Rex Ryan experiment seems like it’s taking decades to complete. The Bills are in much better shape than I give them credit for: They’re 3-1 on the road, headed into a bye week, and only giving up 80 yards per game on the ground. That being said, they still have to play the Packers, Patriots, Broncos, and the Chiefs when they get back to it so I’m not by any means penciling them in for a ten win season.
Can we start talking about the Cardinals now? Is 6-1 a good enough record for them to acquire just a fragment of our national airtime? Their only loss is to the Broncos, and I guess it’s just not enough for the national sports media that they’ve beaten San Francisco, San Diego, and now Philly. Look, they lost Patrick Peterson in this game and that sucks. But at the same time, if there’s any team in the league that can hack an injury like that it’s Arizona and this season is proof. We’re going to learn a lot about what they are made of here in the weeks to come, as they face Dallas next week and still face Seattle twice before the end of the season. But aside from the Chiefs every other game on that schedule is winnable, and they shouldn’t have anything to be afraid of. Either way, the John Brown catch that put the Cardinals ahead in this one was the play of the year hands down. The Eagles came within two steps of pulling this one off, but I have to wonder about Chip Kelly’s swollen balls letting Nick Foles throw the ball sixty-two times in this one. There’s still a lot of holes in that defense, and as we saw Sunday afternoon those holes lead to vulnerability to give up huge passing plays. And props to Jeremy Maclin, who got his tail kicked in this game, still made some huge catches, and had himself a career day.
Browns 23, Raiders 13
Oakland may not win a single game all year. They definitely won’t win another game the next month, because here’s what’s on deck for them: They head to Seattle next week, then return only to realize Denver is in town. Then they go to San Diego before coming home to face the red hot Chiefs. There’s a small possibility they might win the following week against the Rams, but then they play the 49ers, the Chiefs again at Arrowhead, Buffalo, and then close the season out in Denver who will likely be playing for home field throughout the playoffs. Al Davis must be annoying the shit out of Jesus, because how do you even get this deep into being on the universe’s bad side? Were these people bankrolling Michael Vick’s dog-fighting operation? Was the Wal-Mart employee who hit the limo Tracy Morgan and Ardie Fuqua were in wearing a Raiders coat? But more importantly how the hell did Derek Carr throw for 328 yards on 34 completions, yet the Raiders only walked away from that mess with only one touchdown? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not high on Cleveland either. Not only did they lose to Jacksonville last week, but they were awful on third down in this game and couldn’t even muster up forty yards rushing. I kept desperately searching for something positive to say about this game, but I just can’t find anything. Yikes.
Steelers 51, Colts 34
I know lately I haven’t been too kind to Ben Roethlisberger, and in my defense he has blown games to Cleveland and Tampa. But it’s hard to argue with 522 yards and six touchdowns. The guy was an absolute killing machine and he’s starting to make weapons out of guys whose potential probably wouldn’t be maximized on other teams. (Think of how disappointed Antonio Brown would be right now if he played for the Titans. I rest my case…) I think I know what happened to the Colts here: After shutting out the Bengals last week at Lucas Oil Stadium, that defense really started to believe that they were as good as people like myself were touting them to be. But the reality is this is still a unit that gave up 28 points to the Texans, and although they are much improved giving up 51 points against Pittsburgh certainly was a wake-up call to the rest of the AFC that this team can be beaten soundly. This is what I want to know: If the Colts’ defense is giving up those kind of numbers to the Steelers, what are they going to divisional playoff weekend when New England rolls through putting up the kind of scores they’ve been cranking out lately? The answer is simple: They are going to lose. I’m interested to see how Pittsburgh plays the rest of the year, but I still have questions about their stamina.
Saints 44, Packers 23
I knew this game would be a high scoring affair, but I didn’t expect the outcome to be like this. The Packers looked great at the start of this one, but Rodgers tweaked a hamstring shortly thereafter and Green Bay never really recovered. I suppose this was kind of a “shotgun wedding” scenario for New Orleans, who would have fallen to 2-5 had they blown this game at home. A lot of this victory can be attributed to Saints running back Mark Ingram, who had 172 yards on 24 carries. The Packers will have a week off to nurse their injuries (and holy shit do they need it) and then they should be back in business. I see a lot of similar defensive problems when I look at the Eagles and Packers side by side, so it will be interesting to see how both teams attempt to fix these issues. If the Saints lose to the Panthers next week, this ends up being a meaningless game.
Cris Collinsworth bonehead Comment of the Week:
During this game Cris Collinsworth suggested that the NFL should “just go ahead and put a team in London so they can get the NFL for 8 games a year”, further advancing my argument that Cris Collinsworth should be working at Walgreen’s instead of in the broadcast booth.
Redskins 20, Cowboys 17
Remember how everybody began freaking out on social media the second Tony Romo went down? I have another overreaction to add to that pile. I think Colt McCoy should start even if Griffin is healthy. I know it sounds crazy, and I know it was just two games – but that kid stepped onto the biggest stage in the world and owned the moment. Plus Griffin is just going to get hurt again, so what difference does it make? The Redskins aren’t making the playoffs. Both of those guys have made it very evident that they have huge balls and they want to run the football like they don’t have a tomorrow, but I honestly think that if one of them has a future it’s McCoy. He ran the pace of that game, and even when Romo was in and healthy it was all Colt. I say keep the kid in. Dallas’ defense has a few weak spots, but they should be fine. I was disappointed in a lot of the social media posts I read after Romo left with a back injury because like him or not, he’s tough as hell. He takes some really serious shots and will be every bit ready for Arizona next week. OK, time for bed…
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