NFLOL: Week 12 of NFL Football
It was a week to be thankful if you were a fan in Baltimore or New Orleans, and a week to have the stuffing beat out of you if you played for Kansas City. The Giants played like their turkey coma started three hours early, while the Colts clinched their division five weeks early, giving them plenty of time to eat leftovers. Meanwhile, the Patriots got rocked in the Superdome, and Bill Belichick tried to kiss Drew Brees on the mouth.
Green Bay 34, Detroit 12
Dallas 24, Oakland 7
Denver 26, NY Giants 6
Not one of these Thanksgiving games was at all competitive. My parents fought harder about proper turkey preparation than the entire Giants team did in four quarters, though Mom’s comment about how she regretted marrying Dad would have drawn a flag for Unnecessary Roughness. So let’s look at which Thanksgiving item each of these teams would be:
Green Bay: Sweet potato fries. Not always a part of Thanksgiving, these fries performed exceptionally well this year. Despite their appearance, sweet potato fries are surprisingly healthy. True, Green Bay fans would cover them in cheese, deep-fry them, and then dip the result in other cheese, but that’s basically what Charles Woodson did to Matthew Stafford on Thursday.
Detroit: Jell-O salad. Like the Lions, Jell-O salad is there every Thanksgiving, and it hasn’t been good for years. Sometimes people will try to convince you that there are different ingredients than last year, but you don’t recognize them anyway, particularly the little blobs that look like marshmallows and the cornerbacks. Jell-O salad is only memorable when it’s really bad, and someone gets food poisoning, but most of the time it’s easy to ignore.
Dallas: Mom’s pumpkin pie, after she quit drinking, stopped opening the oven half an hour into the baking process to add new ingredients, and refused to listen to advice from Terrell Owens on how to make the pie crust. Also the pumpkin filling is put together in a billion-dollar steel bowl with retractable mixers attached to it.
Oakland: Your uncle’s cranberry sauce, served straight out of a can. And not even broken up with a fork; just sitting straight up on a dirty bowl that has dried Froot Loops encrusted on the side. Still, you don’t complain, because at least your uncle broke up with his terrible alcoholic ex-girlfriend from last Thanksgiving, who made the same cranberry sauce dish, only it had a bunch of cigarette butts in it. And by “broke up with her”, we really mean she violated her parole and got sent back to jail, and now he’s dating Bruce Gradkowski.
Denver: Gluten-free vegan stuffing. It’s much better than you expected it to be, although it’s hard to tell how good the dish really is, because you can’t help comparing it to the cranberry sauce dish.
New York Giants: Your grandma, because the Giants bitch about everything, and can’t be trusted on the road at night.
Atlanta 20, Tampa Bay 17
Chris Redman led the Falcons on a 15-play game-winning touchdown drive that took just over two minutes to complete. When Andy Reid reviews the tape in advance of next week’s Eagles-Falcons game, his head is going to explode. Stylez G. White of the Bucs had 2.5 sacks, which is a new NFL record for players who have legally changed their names to match Teen Wolf characters. After the game, the Falcons released kicker (and pastor!) Jason Elam, who is now free to write sequels to his NFL-confronts-Islamic-terrorism thriller, Monday Night Jihad.
Buffalo 31, Miami 14
The Bills defeated the Dolphins behind the arm of Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick, who replaced former Stanford QB Trent Edwards in Week 10. A Harvard-Stanford combination might seem unnecessarily elitist for an NFL team, but the upgrade in the team’s fortunes suggests that Buffalo hadn’t been elitist enough so far. After the game, new coach Perry Fewell admitted that Edwards had been only a “safety signal-caller” in his mind.
Miami blew a scoring opportunity when running back Ricky Williams threw an interception in the end zone. The Dolphins should know that asking Williams to pass is only a good idea when it’s preceded by the phrase “puff, puff.”
Cincinnati 16, Cleveland 7
On Monday, Browns fans were excited to learn that the failures of an overhyped Notre Dame QB had to led to his team firing their obese, arrogant, and incompetent head coach. Sadly, it was Charlie Weis getting the ax, not Eric Mangini. Cincinnati may as well have played this game wearing sunglasses and poker-style visors, because they were not revealing anything to potential playoff opponents. They ran Larry Johnson 22 times for 107 yards, which may have been a tactic to drive Cedric Benson’s salary demands down. “We can get an aging, troubled running back looking for a shot at redemption ANYWHERE, you hear me, Benson?”
Seattle 27, St. Louis 17
Justin Forsett ran for 130 yards in this horrible, horrible game. Forsett’s performance means that in what promises to be an off-season of questions in Seattle, the Seahawks can rest assured that the backup running back position is taken care of. Forsett has more rushing yards than former Cal teammate Marshawn Lynch this season, though Lynch is better at ghostriding the whip. Cornerback Josh Wilson ran back an interception for a TD, just as he did against Detroit, meaning that he’s really good at beating up on inferior opponents. Hope you’re real proud of yourself, Josh. Kyle Boller is still crying! Jerk.
New York Jets 17, Carolina 6
Putting shutdown corner Darrelle Revis up against interception machine Jake Delhomme seems almost unfair, like having MC Hammer invest with Bernard Madoff. Revis ended up with two INTs, returning one for six points, and Delhomme appears ready to launch his Least Valuable Player award campaign. I wonder if the still-unemployed Jeff Garcia ever watches Panther games and cries.
Philadelphia 27, Washington 24
Andy Reid screwed around with Michael Vick in important situations (goal-line play, 4th quarter comeback, dog-walking), which didn’t work. He called for an onside kick on the opening kickoff, which didn’t work. Reid tried to score touchdowns in the red zone, which didn’t work until the fourth quarter, as the Eagles settled for field goals four times. Despite all this, Philadelphia won by three, which would translate to a ten-point defeat against a real football team. The Eagles may want to start taking intentional delay-of-game penalties whenever they get inside the 20, as they’re more likely to score from their own 45 yard-line than the opposition’s 5.
Indianapolis 35, Houston 27
At this point, there is no such thing as an insurmountable lead against the Colts. They were down 20-7 at halftime, then rolled off 28 unanswered points to stick it to the Texans. If Peyton Manning had been the general at Little Bighorn, I have no doubt he’d have calmly picked apart Sitting Bull’s forces and triumphed, most likely aided by pass interference penalties on Crazy Horse. The Colts never seem to panic, probably because Manning has rehearsed every conceivably scenario 100 times during down time on commercial shoots. Besides, leading a comeback is nothing compared to the pressure of pretending Justin Timberlake is funny for 30 consecutive takes.
San Diego 43, Kansas City 14
The Chargers have won six straight games and seized control of the AFC West. The streak includes a beatdown of the second-place Broncos, and two wins over Kansas City by a combined score of 80-21. Does this make San Diego fans any more comfortable with Norv Turner as their coach for the playoffs? Not one bit.
Chris Chambers took revenge on his old team by going for 70 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, when your team loses by thirty, revenge is a dish best served imaginary.
San Francisco 20, Jacksonville 3
What does getting your pregnant daughter’s boyfriend to marry her have in common with QB Alex Smith? Both are more effective when you use the shotgun. The 49ers got ahead and early and held on, thanks in part to a long third-quarter drive from Jacksonville that ate up nearly eight minutes, and ended with a David Garrard fumble after a sack. When the other team is running the clock out for you, down 17 points, it makes closing out a game that much easier.
Tennessee 20, Arizona 17
Watching Vince Young drive his team down the field for a last-second touchdown, converting fourth-down plays all the way, it had to feel like horrible deja vu for Matt Leinart. Vince Young was unstoppable! LenDale White was doing anything! His team came up a yard short of a first down that could have iced the game! After the game ended, I hope Leinart went out and got plastered with Tennessee’s backup QB, Kerry Collins, because Vince Young has ruined both their lives.
Minnesota 36, Chicago 10
Brett Favre has thrown 24 touchdown passes this year and only three interceptions. He’s not so much a gunslinger as he is a deadly sniper, zipping passes in with precision and assassinating NFC North defenses. Still, watching Favre play as a reliable, mistake-free QB is a little unsettling, like watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lumbering around with a back cap on his nose. Sure, it’s more acceptable to the team, but ultimately, isn’t Favre suppressing his true nature? If we continue the analogy, Brad Childress’s beard makes him Yukon Cornelius, Jared Allen is obviously Blitzen, massive Pat Williams is the hulking snow monster, and Percy Harvin is Hermey the Elf, because he’s a wide receiver who REALLY wants to be a running back/dentist.
Baltimore 20, Pittsburgh 17 (OT)
Backup Dennis Dixon played well, throwing for one touchdown and running for another, but Baltimore intercepted him in OT to set up the winning field goal. Hines Ward blamed Ben Roethlisberger and his brain injury for the loss, saying, “This game is almost like a playoff game. It’s almost a must-win. I could see some players or teammates questioning, like, ‘It’s just a concussion. I’ve played with a concussion before.” Ward stepped up in this must-win game by catching three whole passes, because Hines Ward is a huge dick.
New Orleans 38, New England 17
Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Not Tom Brady, who threw two interceptions and no touchdowns, and certainly not the Patriots defense, who were so flustered by Drew Brees that they forgot to cover Saints receivers on some plays. Also not Bill Belichick, who pulled his starters with over five minutes left, in an extremely early concession. While Pete Carroll would have taken this as a sign of disrespect and immediately called for blitzes and long passes, Coach Sean Payton mercifully ran the ball and let the clock expire.
If the Colts and Saints remain undefeated, we might be looking at a Peyton-Payton matchup, which would be a wet dream for announcer Joe Buck. This might be a blessing in disguise, as his delight about wordplay might replace his usual outrage about touchdown celebrations, spoiled athletes, and bad words.