NFLOL: Week 11
It was a week of payback in the NFL. San Diego took its revenge on Denver, the worst teams in the AFC West took revenge on the best teams in the AFC North, and Bill Belichick took revenge on Rex Ryan. Revenge was served cold in Green Bay, as Aaron Rodgers avenged his draft snub and Alex Smith was forced to wear a dorky cold-weather hat, while Tampa Bay might as well have faced the Dread Pirate Roberts and his ship Revenge, because they got slaughtered by the Saints.
Miami 24, Carolina 17
On Thursday, Tim Lincecum won the NL Cy Young Award. That night, Ricky Williams scored three touchdowns in the Dolphins’ victory. Truly, it was a banner day for marijuana! Carolina was rolling, having cut the lead to four points, when Williams smoked the Panthers secondary for a 46-yard TD run that blunted their comeback effort. Carolina ran the ball well in between the hashmarks, but their chronic problems with pass protection led to four fat sacks. Unlike Williams, Jake Delhomme can’t handle big hits, and for the first time in three games, he coughed up the ball.
Miami left the joint triumphant, while Carolina’s playoff hopes are now just pipe dreams. Which is to say they have effectively gone to pot. And up in smoke. Bong! Bong! That’s the sound of the clock striking midnight on the Panthers’ chances of earning the wild-card spot.
Indianapolis 17, Baltimore 15
Two weeks ago, Dallas Clark had 14 receptions in Indy’s win over Houston. This week, he only had one catch, but little-known reserve Tom Santi torched the Ravens for six catches and 80 yards. Before the game, Santi had zero catches on the year, and was a member of the Colts grounds crew until Wednesday. Santi also fumbled at the four-yard line, costing the Colts points, but it’s understandable, as Santi lost an arm last year in a freak lawnmower accident. In the interest of fairness, the Colts also forced Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to play with their legs tied together, and Reggie Wayne spent the entire first half hopping around in a potato sack, and Indianapolis still won by two.
Baltimore cut their terrible new kicker this week, after he cost them at least two games. Meanwhile, their old kicker, Matt Stover, joined the Colts at midseason, and made the go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter of this game. Stover had been with the team for 18 years, and was jobless for half a season after they released him, before blossoming as the replacement place-kicker in Indy. If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “This is exactly like the plot of ‘Troop Beverly Hills.'” Stover is Shelly Long, the Colts are the Wilderness Girls, Jim Harbaugh is Nefler the Muffler Man, and Adam Vinatieri is the mean troop leader from the Red Feathers who injures her leg and opens the door for Matt Stover to win the Super Bowl, AKA, the Wilderness Girl Jamboree. My NFL column is accessible to both genders!
Dallas 7, Washington 6
Sometimes, a big rivalry game like Cowboys-Redskins is described as a heavyweight fight. This was more of a flyweight match, with neither team skilled or powerful enough to knock out their hobbled opponent. The Cowboys should have been able to fatten up on the woeful Redskins, before enjoying an Oakland Raider dessert at home on Thanksgiving. They almost took an anorexic approach to the Redskin appetizer, going scoreless until the end of the fourth quarter, but eventually and Thanksgivingly enough, it was legs than came though for them. Washington lost its running back to a torn ACL and its right guard to a broken tibia, while Shaun Suisham kicked like he had a broken leg, shanking two crucial field goals. After the game, Jim Zorn covered himself his gravy and prayed that he’ll be fired before Christmas. As for breasts, Tony Romo isn’t dating Jessica Simpson anymore.
Detroit 38, Cleveland 37
Eric Mangini, the worst coach in the NFL, blew this game for Cleveland by calling a timeout before the last play of the game. Detroit QB Matt Stafford left with a separated shoulder on an injury timeout after the previous play, but Mangini’s timeout let him come back and throw the game-winning TD. This proves that Mangini is foolish, Stafford is a tough son of a bitch, and that even a one-armed Stafford is still far better than backup Daunte Culpepper. Mangini responded by accusing Detroit of faking injuries in order to slow down the juggernaut Cleveland no-huddle offense, the same no-huddle offense that went scoreless last week.
Brady Quinn had a very good game, throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns. Too bad Mangini benched him for half the season to screw him out of contract incentives. After the game, Quinn said, “I was praying and hoping that our defense could get a stop for us,” which means that, as suspected, God hates Notre Dame. Which is why He let Cleveland draft Brady in the first place.
Jacksonville 18, Buffalo 15
If the season ended today, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a playoff team. Yes, a team that lost to Seattle by 41 and allowed the withered husk that used to be Terrell Owens to go for 200 yards against them. What would the spread be for that first-round game against New England? 17 points? 24? Eleventy-eight? If you just counted points scored by Randy Moss, he’s still probably an eight-point favorite.
Owens gave his jersey to Jacksonville’s Mike Sims-Walker after the game, a week after giving his jersey to Chris Johnson after the Titans whipped the Bills. Does Owens think he’s playing soccer, and needs to give up his jersey after losing? In a way, TO is like David Beckham, moving to a seemingly-professional team that’s not really part of real, competitive football. The real question is, why do these players want an Owens jersey from Buffalo? It’s like getting an Emmitt Smith jersey from Arizona, or a Van Halen poster that features the singer from Extreme. Maybe Sims-Walker and Johnson are secretly hipsters, wearing the gear ironically, or they’re big fans of Straight Cash Homey.
Minnesota 35, Seattle 9
Brett Favre was 22-for-25, picking apart Seattle’s weak spots more effectively than the movie “Singles.” He was safely ensconced in a flannel Vikings shirt and sipping a latte before the third quarter was even over, as the NFL’s answer to the Human Victory Cigar, Tarvaris Jackson, came into the game with 16 minutes left. The only way Favre’s performance could have been more brutal is if he’d donned a Kevin Durant jersey for his post-game press conference. Meanwhile, for the first time ever, Matt Hasselbeck is actually jealous of his brother Tim. True, he has to deal with his shrewish wife Elisabeth every day, but at least she’s smarter than Jim Mora, Junior.
New England 31, New York Jets 14
Rex Ryan broke down and cried during a team meeting early in the week. After this game, Ryan only sniffled a little as he told reporters he felt disrespected by Bill Belichick and the Patriots throwing deep with 30 seconds left, leading by 17 points. He should have felt disrespected by the 17-point beatdown itself. Also the disparaging remarks about his weight from Vince Wilfork, the fake crying from Kevin Faulk after a first-down catch, and the way Tom Brady said, “I have absolutely no respect for Rex Ryan, and you can print that, since I doubt that dumbass even knows how to read.”
The Jets did a very nice job of shutting down Randy Moss, holding him to just five catches and 34 yards. They didn’t do so well versus Wes Welker, who had 15 catches for 192 yards. What does this mean? Clearly, the New York Jets defense is racist, perfectly content to allow yardage to white receivers, but cracking down on minorities. The Caucasian Julian Edelman also, had three catches, while there was not a single Asian-American, Pacific Islander, or Native American player that recorded yardage for disgrace. Both “Jets” and “Klan” have four letters. Coincidence? I think not.
New Orleans 38, Tampa Bay 7
After firing their offensive coordinator days before the start of the season, Tampa Bay has now demoted their defensive coordinator as well. Head coach Raheem Morris will take over as the DC, because he hasn’t seemed overmatched at all so far. Why not give him more to do? The best thing Tampa did was fumble three minutes into the second half, thus icing the game, and allowing networks to switch to a better, more competitive contest much earlier than they dreamed possible.
No exaggeration – New Orleans began running out the clock with 22 minutes left in the game. They threw only three more passes – but scored two additional touchdowns anyway. In a rare example of running down the score, the Saints threw only one pass in the fourth quarter, yet still held the ball for 11:38. Sean Payton was the anti-Belichick: running on every play, with his third- and fourth-string running backs, politely declining to throw long. Also he wore a zip-up jacket, with sleeves intact, not a hoodie, and didn’t sleep with anyone else’s wife.
New York Giants 34, Atlanta 31
The top running backs for each team were hurt. The wind wasn’t swirling at the Meadowlands. Neither team could defend the pass. You couldn’t have more perfect conditions for a shootout if Doc Holliday had been a BART cop. It’s somewhat unfair that Atlanta didn’t get a chance at the ball in overtime, after coming back from 14 down, but they could have gone for two after their last touchdown and made the coin toss irrelevant. New York won for the first time in six weeks, and as a reward, they get to fly cross-country and play at high altitude on three day’s rest. Denver should be forced to start Chris Simms on Thanksgiving for at least one quarter to make up for the travel stress.
Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 24
This may be the first season that a defending Super Bowl champion misses the playoffs just because they can’t cover kickoffs. The Steelers allowed their fourth kick return TD in five games when Jamaal Charles ran back the opening kickoff untouched. They’re also not very good at covering interception returns, allowing a defensive end to take one back 94 yards. Where did your tripping skills go, Big Ben?
Big Ben got his fourth concussion, although head injuries don’t seem to affect him. Because he’s kind of dumb. Charlie Batch also injured his wrist, meaning that the Steelers might have started the Dennis Dixon Era if their defense had held in OT. Regardless, they deserved to lose, not because of the turnovers or kick coverage, but because Mike Tomlin punted from Kansas City’s 38 in overtime. You don’t deserve to go back to the playoffs with cowardice like that. And the way Pittsburgh plays special teams, that easily could have led to a return TD.
Green Bay 30, San Francisco 24
The 49ers passed on Aaron Rodgers in favor of Alex Smith back in 2005, and they’ve regretted that decision ever since. Alex Smith’s hands are too small, he keeps hurting his shoulder, he throws too many INTs, and he can’t even grow a beard half as well as Rodgers. It’s almost unfair that Alex Smith, a historic draft bust, has to play against Rodgers. They didn’t make Sam Bowie play one-on-one contests against Michael Jordan! Darko never had to enter a dunk contest versus LeBron! Nick Roberts, the guy Gina Matthews dumped me for in seventh grade, doesn’t have to write a comedic, awkwardly-personal NFL column to run alongside mine!
Arizona 21, St. Louis 13
Kurt Warner left the game after the first half, as a precaution against his head injury. At the time, Arizona led 21-3, but barely hung on to win. That’s how bad Matt Leinart is at playing quarterback: He takes a 7-3 team and makes them ten points worse than a 1-9 squad, just due to his anti-leadership. In fairness to Leinart, he’d do better if the NFL had voted this season to award points for skank-banging.
Warner’s injury is a sign that there’s much more concussion awareness this year, mainly due to the NFL being shamed by hearings on Capitol Hill. New league policy requires that players see independent neurologists after concussions, a marked departure from the old policy of yelling, “Get back in the game, you fucking pussy!” until the disoriented player returned to the field.
San Diego 32, Denver 3
Before the game, Josh McDaniels told the Chargers linebackers, “We own you.” Then the Broncos went out and lost 32-3. They now own a 6-4 record and sole possession of second place in the AFC West. McDaniels brought in the injured Kyle Orton early and never took him out, because watching Chris Simms was making him sick. If Orton aggravates the injury, we might get to see Tom Brandstater on Thanksgiving, a 25-year-old rookie QB from Turlock, CA, which would make Brandstater the most successful person ever to come out of Turlock, CA. Actually, he may have already achieved that distinction simply by graduating from college before age 25.
Oakland 20, Cincinnati 17
A lot of happy fans woke up in Alameda County drunk tanks Monday morning, after the Raiders pulled off a huge upset. This is what happens when you finally bench your inaccurate, out-of-shape, purple-drank-swilling quarterback – you beat a 7-2 team. On the flip side, Cincinnati added their own dysfunctional player and paid the price:
Cincinnati’s record since signing Larry Johnson: 0-1
Kansas City’s record since releasing Larry Johnson: 2-0.
KC’s record with Johnson still on the roster: 1-7.
Cincinnati has now lost games where a tipped pass turned into an 87-yard touchdown play, and when their own kick returner fumbled with 30 seconds left. Marvin Lewis plans to spend the next week of practice defending against Hail Mary passes, Statue of Liberty plays, and Home Run Throwback kickoff returns. On Friday, the entire practice will be devoted to stopping multi-lateral plays while a full marching band roams the field.
Philadelphia 24, Chicago 20
Andy Reid continued to intentionally waste timeouts, this time burning one on an inexplicable play where the Eagles nearly had twelve men on the field on offense. You see that penalty on defense; not so much on the other side of the ball. Freed of the ballast of cumbersome timeouts, the Eagles rallied to defeat the Bears on the road.
The comedy highlight of Sunday night, and possibly the entire year, came when Jay Cutler attempted a pass to Devin Hester late in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles DB effectively pantsed him as the ball fell incomplete. Cutler showed his ass in a different way, throwing a bad interception and averaging 3.6 yards per attempt. He’s yet to have a QB rating above 80 in a night game this year, and he’s thrown 12 interceptions in the four games. What this means is that Jay Cutler obviously needs a nap. Look how cranky he is! Yelling at teammates, hanging his head, stomping his feet on the sidelines – it’s a mess. Lovie Smith needs to be firm with Cutler on this one, although his earlier disciplinary measures of making Cutler sit in the locker room by himself didn’t work – but that’s because Lovie Smith doesn’t know how to use his timeouts either.
Comedian Sean Keane rules the Internet from http://seankeanecomedy.com/