By Comedian Sean Keane
Week Thirteen was unlucky for the AFC North, Washington’s place-kicker, and E.J. Henderson’s femur. The 49ers apparently broke a mirror in 2002 that gave them seven year’s bad luck, one of Tony Romo’s ancestors apparently opened a mummy’s tomb in December, and Peyton Manning threw a black cat in front of Tennessee’s team bus, stopping their win streak. Lucky for you, NFLOL is here to take you through all the games.
New York Jets 19, Buffalo Bills 13
The Jets and Bills disappointed a Thursday night television audience and the entire nation of Canada with this tepid AFC East matchup in Toronto. The Jets once again ran at will on the Bills defence, logging 249 yards on the ground, which is just under 228 metres, and Mark Sanchez got injured before he could blow the game by throwing multiple picks. Luckily, Canada has universal health care, so Sanchez will get the help he needs. The Jets did very little with Kellen Clemens under centre, as he was 1-for-2 on pass attempts, took two sacks, and fumbled. It’s possible that he made a deal with the British to throw the game, and also surrender West Point.
The Bills may as well have played by Canadian Football League rules and punted on third down, as they converted only one of their 11 third-down attempts. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the ball like his hands were covered in maple syrup The only consolation for Buffalo fans who made the journey to watch this disappointing squad was the ready access to legal weed, so they can quickly forget this game ever happened.
Philadelphia 34, Atlanta 7
For the second consecutive week, Chris Redman threw a touchdown pass as the game clock expired. Unfortunately, this one just cut Philadelphia’s lead to 34-7, and narrowly avoided a shameful shutout at home. This game had so much garbage time that Michael Vick came in to play quarterback in the fourth quarter, and then got pulled for third-string quarterback Kevin Kolb, who was only allowed to hand off during his stint in compost time.
The Eagles tried to spare Vick booing by listing him as Ron Mexico on the active roster, but the fears were unfounded. Cheers outnumbered the boos when Vick came out on the field, and the stands were full of #7 Vick jerseys. That in itself can’t be taken as a huge endorsement of Vick, since what other Atlanta jersey would you buy? The highly-speculative Matt Ryan? The future-ironic-thrift-store Tony Gonzalez? Or even, would you have bought in previous years? Eventually the Jamal Anderson jersey wears thin, and as we all know, Andre Rison jerseys are highly flammable.
Chicago 17, St. Louis 9
Jay Cutler looked like a much better quarterback on Sunday. Not because he threw particularly better, but because he was facing Kyle Boller, who threw an interception and fumbled. In addition, punter Brad Maynard threw a pass for zero yardage on a failed fake field goal play, a call that made no sense strategically, but may have helped Cutler’s confidence to know there were TWO quarterbacks worse than him on one field. DE Alex Brown summarized this game best when someone asked what the difference in the Bears was, compared to previous losing weeks, and he said, “The Rams.”
Cincinnati 23, Detroit 13
Chad Ochocino is not actually Mexican, but after a sliding touchdown catch, Chad threw a bitchin’ Meixcan party on the sidelines by donning a poncho and sombrero on the sidelines. After paying tribute to his adopted surname’s heritage, the next step is to don a long African robe and a headscarf to honor the nation of Chad.
Cincinnati might be the best team in the league when it comes to killing the clock with a lead. It’s like facing the Yankees in the playoffs, when the game is effectively over when New York has a lead after seven innings. Which would make Cedric Benson the Mariano Rivera of the Bengals, if Mariano Rivera had a bunch of DUIs. Which would actually make Cedric Benson the Joba Chamberlain of the Bengals.
Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 17
The Indianapolis Colts are the Dirk Diggler of the NFL: they can score fast, and they can score really slow. They drove for a field goal in 20 seconds at the end of the first half, and put together a seven-and-a-half minute field goal drive in the fourth quarter. Clearly, Peyton Manning’s got the touch, and I’m pretty sure Jim Caldwell lets him direct his own scenes.
Tennessee saw their five-game winning streak stopped, but the across-the-board failure of all other AFC contenders means that they’ve still got a shot at the #6 seed. They’ve got a mutual elimination game against Miami in Week 15, but all four remaining games are eminently winnable, provided Chris Johnson’s legs don’t fall off from overuse. Sadly, punter Brett Kern’s undefeated season ended, after starting the year 6-0 with Denver and 5-0 with the Titans. Larry Seiple, the punter from the 1973 Dolphins, opened a bottle of champagne after the game.
Denver 44, Kansas City 13
Kansas City failed in every single aspect of the game on Sunday: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, postgame spread, calisthenics, cheerleading, and one end zone was painted with the word ” Chefs.” The Chiefs also called the worst fake punt of the season on their opening drive, subbing in their backup quarterback at punter and fooling no one, leading to a turnover at their own 28. That’s a more obvious fake than 90% of the breasts on Rock of Love.
Jacksonville 23, Houston 18
The Tin Woodman. The guy from Temple of Doom who gets sacrificed to Kali Ma. The Houston Texans. All have no heart. The Texans lost their fourth straight game, thanks in part to an interception thrown by running back Chris Brown. Brown also fumbled at the goal line in the previous game against Jacksonville, and cost Houston a chance to tie Arizona when he couldn’t score in repeated attempts from the one-yard line. Brown is the third-string running back for Houston, and by far the worst player who’s still able to torpedo his team’s season. Arguably, this Chris Brown is having an even worse year than the R&B singer – at least that guy had the funny wedding dance video.
Miami 22, New England 21
Miami didn’t run a single play out of the Wildcat, and Randy Moss didn’t run at all after the first quarter as the Dolphins came back to stun the Patriots, who haven’t won a road game in America this season. Wes Welker continued to re-define the position of Caucasian wide receiver by catching ten passes for 167 yards, a far cry from the days where legends like Ed McCaffrey and Wayne Chrebet plodded over the gridiron. In hindsight, it seems ridiculous that Chrebet was known as “Green Lantern,” when Wes Welker is so much more impressive AND has a name that already sounds like a superhero’s civilian identity. Somewhere, Tim Dwight is still watching highlights of Welker’s performance and slow-clapping from his couch.
Oakland 27, Pittsburgh 24
A ho-hum game exploded in the fourth quarter, as the Raiders and Steelers traded touchdowns and combined for 35 points. With former first-round pick JaMarcus Russell benched, former first-round pick Darren McFadden ineffective, and former first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey injured, the Raiders built their comeback on the Bruce-Gradkowski-to-Louis-Murphy connection. As long as they’re not playing the guys that Al Davis is infatuated with, the Raiders might well be a playoff team. Perhaps that’s the genius behind the Richard Seymour deal – get rid of first-round picks before Al has a chance to waste them.
The Steelers’ playoff hopes took a blow as they lost their fourth straight game, although losing to Oakland at home should automatically render a team ineligible for postseason play. Pittsburgh clearly missed Troy Polamalu, especially when his replacement committed a personal foul on Oakland’s game-winning drive, then gave up the winning touchdown pass two plays later. After the game, Hines Ward said that Polamalu’s posterior cruciate ligament had let the team down, and also called out Polamalu’s “pussy-ass patella.”
New Orleans 33, Washington 30
A snowstorm earlier in the week turned the field into a muddy mess, slowing down the Saints offense and leading to some hilarious pratfalls. Future Saints opponents would be wise to leave the tarp off the field with a game coming up, like the Giants watering down the basepaths to slow Maury Wills in the ’60s, or hiding the meth when you’re about to face the Black Eyed Peas in a Battle of the Bands. It was a ridiculous carnival of a game left New Orelans still undefeated, somehow. They won thanks to:
– a 29-yard punt that bounced off a Redskin’s back
– a forced fumble on an interception return that became a touchdown the other way
– a missed 23-yard field goal that would have clinched the game
– a questionable fumble in overtime awarded to the Saints only after replay review
– many voodoo incantations and animal sacrifices
Of course, we had to catch up on highlights in the Bay Area, as the start of Seahawks-49ers was deemed much more crucial for local audience. The battle for second place in the NFC West is way better than a dynamic offensive shootout and the possible upset of an 11-0 team. Who dat making the NFL local broadcast rules? Who dat?!?
Carolina 16, Tampa Bay 6
Jake Delhomme was out with an injury, a broken finger likely inflicted by one of his angry teammates, possibly while Delhomme was held down in his bed and the rest of the Panthers ran by, hitting him with large socks packed with bars of soap. The spirit of Delhomme lived on in Tampa QB Josh Freeman, who threw five interceptions, most of them in the red zone.
Delhomme may go to the bench, or the trainer’s room, or even be forced into retirement, but the spirit of Delhomme will always remain, like the ghost of Tom Joad. Wherever there’s a wide-open receiver waiting to be overthrown, he’ll be there. Wherever there’s an offensive line beating up a defense, and only a horrible turnover can stop the offense, that’s where he’ll be. He’ll be there in the noises gamblers make when a two-team teaser is ruined by bad decisions, and the yells of fans as their playoff hopes go down the toilet, and when a wide receiver punches a teammate on the sidelines – he’ll be there, too.
San Diego 30, Cleveland 23
This game was not nearly as close as the final score, as Brady Quinn and the Browns scored ten of their points in the final two minutes to make things look better. I’d call it a face-saving effort, but that ship sailed months ago for the 2009 Cleveland Browns. Antonio Gates had a huge game for San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson passed Jim Brown on the all-time rushing list, and the delightfully-named Legedu Naanee completed a pass. The Naanee are, of course, the aliens from the upcoming 3-D sci-fi epic “Avatar,” any of whom could pass at will on the horrible Cleveland defense. One silver lining for Cleveland fans: the stadium was only half-full and the game was blacked out locally, so only about 30,000 people were subjected to this particular defeat.
New York Giants 31, Dallas 24
Dallas was killed by big plays in this one, getting burned for a 79-yard punt return and a short pass that turned into a 74-yard touchdown. Tony Romo’s December record dropped to 5-9, which is a bad indicator, as Dallas could easily lose every one of their remaining games. This may set up a rock-paper-scissors situation in the NFC East, where Dallas owns Philly, Philly owns the Giants, and the Giants own Dallas, and there’s a three-way tie. Of course, in an actual game of rock-paper-scissors, Wade Phillips would look pained and throw rock every time, Tom Coughlin would berate the other coaches for not choosing in a timely fashion, and Andy Reid would attempt to call timeout, then throw dynamite.
Seattle 20, San Francisco 17
With 51 seconds left, the 49ers got the ball back on their own 11 and the game tied at 17. Time to run out the clock and head to overtime, right? Not if you’re Coach Mike Singletary. The 49ers threw incomplete on three straight plays, giving the ball back to Seattle at midfield, with two timeouts and 20 seconds left. Maybe they should change those Singletary billboards to show him demanding, “I want timekeepers!” Or, he could start wearing a stopwatch around his neck instead of a twelve-pound wooden cross.
The 49ers got burned by an uncalled pass interference on fourth-and-goal in the first half, when Leroy Hill tackled Delanie Walker in the end zone, though Walker nearly caught the ball anyway. If the Baltimore-Green Bay refs had been working this game, Hill would have been thrown out of the game, if not publicly flogged.
Arizona 30, Minnesota 17
If Arizona can protect Kurt Warner’s brain pan, they might be the most dangerous team in the NFC come playoff time. He threw on Minnesota’s defense at will, as both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin racked up huge yardage and points. Meanwhile, Minnesota has to wonder about Brett Favre playing in December, as he threw two ugly interceptions. If the Vikings end up with an outdoor playoff game, watch out. The world may need to watch out if the Vikings play the Cowboys, as the meeting of Tony Romo and Brett Favre’s late-season meltdown capabilities might create a black hole. It’s more dangerous than the Large Hadron Collider, people!
Green Bay 27, Baltimore 14
The best offensive strategy on Monday night was to throw the ball deep and wait for a pass interference flag. Baltimore had five infractions; Green Bay only four, and the Packers pulled it out. Aaron Rodgers was only sacked once by the Baltimore defense, a proposition that would have sounded preposterous a month ago. At this point, Ray Lewis needs to replace his pre-game dance to better reflect the toughness of the Ravens defense. Can he do the Carlton?