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NFLOL: Sean Keane blindsides Week 8 of NFL Football

By Comedian Sean Keane

Brett Favre returned to Lambeau Field, the New York-Philadelphia rivalry spread to the gridiron, and Cleveland’s season actually got sadder. There was no Sunday Night Football, ostensibly because of the World Series, but realistically, it’s because Bob Costas has to get a chemical peel and synthesize a new toupee every year at mid season. The NFC West is terrible, the NFC East is suddenly wide open, and while half of the AFC North had a bye week, the Ravens played with the strength of four teams against Denver. Meanwhile, Cleveland was about as dominant as the Gimp from “Pulp Fiction.” To the games!

Indianapolis 18, San Francisco 14

The 49ers are now 3-4, but two of those losses were “moral victories”: keeping it close on the road against superior teams. Which makes them the Bad News Bears of the NFL.  If the 49ers end up tied for first place in the NFC West at the end of the year, and their head-to-head, divisional, and conference records are all even, and strength of schedule is a wash, and the coin they flip keeps landing on its edge instead of settling on heads or tails, then their moral victory total just might end up the tiebreaker.

Again, a team left too much time on the clock for Peyton Manning at the end of the first half. The 49ers ran a nice two-minute drill and scored with 33 seconds left, but they only gained four points in the exchange when Indy drove down to the 14. Arguably, Indianapolis got too conservative, kicking with six seconds to spare. The game-winning touchdown came on a pass from running back Joseph Addai, who pulled a reverse Princess Bride maneuver, surprising the 49ers defenders who did not realize he was indeed left-handed.

Carolina 34, Arizona 21

The Jake Delhomme Redemption  is in full effect. Delhomme threw five interceptions against Arizona in last year’s playoffs, resulting in a huge upset loss and a downward spiral for Carolina that left them 3-4 this year.  Now, in a forgettable Week 8 rematch, he’s vanquished his opponent. Carolina ran the ball 44 times and called only 15 passes, which might have been a few too many for safety with Delhomme at the wheel. John Fox went with the “Rain Man” strategy – letting Delhomme drive, but only slowly, on the driveway.

Kurt Warner threw five interceptions, and by halftme, his wife was calling radio stations to pre-emptively complain about the impending criticism. Much like Warner himself, the Cardinals hate being at home – they’re 1-3 in Glendale, 3-0 on the road.

San Diego 24, Raiders 16

In the season’s most hilarious play so far, two Raiders receivers collided and fell down with about a minute to go.Through no fault on his own (this one time!) JaMarcus Russell had his most successful game, with only one interception, and broke the century mark for yardage. If only an NFL team could earn points for how many times its fans called the opposing fans “faggots”. Because that is something Raider Nation did a lot this week.

Chicago 30, Cleveland 6

This is how bad Cleveland is: Chicago won by 24 points, and the post-game talk from Chicago is pure misery. At least the Bears have the self-awareness to realize that a 24-point home victory against the
Browns is the equivalent of a seven-to-ten-point loss against any other NFL team, and a three-point win if they’re playing Detroit. Jay Cutler was sacked four times, and his mouth bled steadily for most of the second half. He’s lucky the game wasn’t played in Cleveland, or he would have ended up with a staph infection.

Derek Anderson had another terrible game, and has moved from unhappiness and self-criticism to pure existential dread in his post-game comments, saying, “I’m not happy about anything.” Meanwhile, Cleveland won’t play the slightly-less-horrible Brady Quinn because if he takes 70% of the snaps, it will trigger an escalator clause in his contract, which the Browns don’t want to pay. Intentionally sabotaging the team’s season to save money: a good way to inspire confidence from your players. Cleveland also fired its GM this week, even though there’s no way trading exclusively for the Jets’ unwanted players is his idea and not Coach Mangini’s. Security took him out of the team facility when he refused to resign on his own (which would also save money). Maybe the GM insulted one of LeBron’s friends?

Dallas 38, Seattle 17

The Dread Pirate Romo took no prisoners in this one, throwing to ten different receivers for 250 yards and three TDs. Miles Austin caught a touchdown pass, but then shamed himself when he tried and failed to
dunk the ball over the crossbar. Austin should have to wear a Steve Nash jersey next week as penance. Wade Phillips continued to spite fantasy players by splitting carries among three running backs, and Julius Jones continued to frustrate fantasy owners by being Julius Jones.

Seattle dropped to 2-5, getting blown out for the fourth time this year. Normally this would mean they’re not making the playoffs, but they play in the NFC West, where a 7-9 record could take the division. Seattle still gets to play Tampa, Detroit, Tennessee, and the Rams, so closing the season with a 5-4 run is not at all improbable. God, what a depressing division.

Eagles 40, Giants 17

The Eagles-Giants clash took place across the street from where the Phillies and Yankees would face off a few hours later. That meant twelve straight hours of drinking for Philadelphia fans.  This game was never in doubt, as the Eagles jumped out to such a big lead, the only way they could have blown it was to bring in Brad Lidge to run the Wildcat in the 4th quarter. I don’t know how that would work – somehow Johnny Damon catches a shotgun snap and runs it back for a TD because Lidge isn’t paying attention and wanders away from the line of scrimmage, and Ryan Howard whiffs on a tackle.

Meanwhile, the pseudo-Seans again had a field day for Philadelphia. DeSean Jackson caught a long TD pass, and LeSean McCoy had a 66-yard touchdown run. The lesson? The Phillies could have used third baseman Chone Figgins to chase down Johnny Damon later that night.

Baltimore 30, Denver 7

The Broncos fell from the ranks of the undefeated, thanks to a game-breaking kickoff return by Lardarius Webb, which is the first time in NFL history “Darius” has been preceded by that particular phoneme. In the first quarter, Ed Reed hit Knowshon Moreno so hard, Moreno thought he was back at Georgia for the rest of the first half. More like No-shon, amirite people?

This game ended up a rout, the point that Mercury Morris decided to go wine shopping in the fourth quarter. Morris, along with the other veterans of the 1973 Miami Dolphins have a tradition where they open a bottle of champagne once the last undefeated team in the league loses, to preserve their place in NFL history.  The 2007 Patriots veterans have a similar tradition, where they open a bottle and pour it and then Justin Tuck bursts in and slaps the glasses out of their hands and also somehow David Tyree is balancing a full magnum of Dom Perrignon on top of his head.

Miami 30, New York Jets 25

The Jets played this game in weird throwback uniforms that made them look like the San Diego Chargers.  This is fitting, as the Jets and Chargers are both known for trash-talking, showboating, and not being nearly as good as they think they are. Of course, the Chargers can actually beat the Dolphins, so, point for San Diego. Ted Ginn had return TDs of 100 and 101 yards in the second half, and the Jets might be regretting trading their best special teams player for Braylon Edwards.

Last time Miami beat the Jets, linebacker Bart Scott said the Miami “Wildcat” was a “gimmick offense”, apparently not up to Scott’s manly standards. After another loss, Scott criticized:

- Ted Ginn’s “pussy-ass dodging and juking.”
- Wide receiver Greg Camarillo (“nerd”), and his “fucking book-learning.”
- Why Chad Henne’s “always gotta yell the snap count all loud
sometimes even though he’s not snapping it, like a fag.”
- Miami’s mascot (“Dolphins are the queers of the fish kingdom!”)

Houston 31, Buffalo 10

This was a matchup of two cities that were screwed by the Tennessee Titans: Houston, by the Oilers/Titans moving away; Buffalo by the Music City Miracle in 2000. That amazing victory should have been payback for Buffalo’s magical comeback versus Houston in the 1993 Frank Reich game, but since the team moved, only the franchise itself got vindication. To make matters worse, the name of the magical game only rubbed it in Houston’s face – it’s the MUSIC CITY miracle, not the “Home Run Throwback,” or “that game that might have been fixed by gamblers.”

While this game crushed Buffalo’s meager playoff hopes, I still contend that Houston is not making the playoffs either. It looks like they’re on track – they’re 5-3, 3-1 on the road – but they’re still looking at two losses against the Colts, at least one more road loss, and then a crushing home defeat to the Patriots in the season finale, culminating in a 9-7 record, a missed playoff berth, and drafting between 12 and 16 for yet another year. But take heart, Houston fans: Tracy McGrady should be back in time to lose in the first round of the playoffs next spring!

St. Louis 17, Detroit 10

The Rams got their first win of the season, while Detroit is trying to prove it’s actually worse than they were in last year’s 0-16 campaign. Stephen Jackson had a huge game, including his first rushing touchdown of the year. Jackson is still one of the best running backs in the league. Among all the terrible players on both teams was reminiscent, he was one shining beacon of talent and quality football. It was like seeing Danny Almonte destroy opponents in the Little League World Series when he was two years older than all the other
kids. For his own sake – and the safety of their own defensive players in practice – the Rams need to trade Jackson to a real team.

After the game, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said, “We’re not going to be blinded by one game. We’re 1-7.” However, it appears the Lions may have been blinded by their one victory, beating the Redskins and
deciding to call it a season. This game was full of horrible plays, from a Rams cornerback intercepting a pass, then running back into the end zone for a safety, to the Lions giving up a long touchdown pass to
the opposing placekicker. It’s a rare game that inspires an AP copy editor to use the word “Yuck” in a headline, but this one did it.

Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 13

Vince Young made his first start of the year, and the Titans won their first game, leaving Tampa the only winless team in the NFL. Chris Johnson ran for 228 yards, which probably pissed off Kerry Collins. Johnson had TD runs of 52 and 89 yards, while Maurice Jones-Drew scored from 79 and 80 yards out.  Basically, both teams played defense the way Plaxico Burress carries a gun into a nightclub: no safeties.

Minnesota 38, Green Bay 26

The Green Bay-Brett Favre has officially entered the Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston arena. Packer fans are being polite, even though you know it’s KILLING them to see Minnesota beat them twice, and start the year 7-1, and pick up a Best Actor Oscar nomination. At the same time, they’re trying to talk themselves into Aaron Rodgers as a totally adequate replacement, as if he’s Vince Vaughn. “Just look how he throws the long ball! That sack rate is going to go down! Look how well ‘The Breakup’ did on DVD!”  Also, it wouldn’t surprise me if Favre tried to adopt Visanthe Shiancoe.

Johnny Jolley cost the Packers four points with a stupid head butt of Adrian Peterson that extended a Vikings drive, and got them a touchdown instead of a field goal. Jolley’s move was much like eating at a Jollibee, only the head butt is delivered to your stomach, and it costs you the ability to have a normal bowel movement for two days.

New Orleans 35, Atlanta 27

The Saints are like Colts South: two undefeated teams with high-powered offenses that cause a lot of turnovers. Of course, thanks to the NFL’s nonsensical geography, the Colts also play in the South Division.  Atlanta pulled off the impressive, Madden-inspired gambit of kicking a field goal while down eleven, and then quickly kicking onside.  They got the ball back, but ran out of time. In what must be a relief to the people of Louisiana, the AP sports writers are still referencing Hurricane Katrina in their game summaries.

Sean Keane is a stand up comedian, writer, and sports fan based in San Francisco, Ca. He has written for ESPN the magazine, Mc Sweeney’s, and the ever popular NBA tumblr.

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