Monday, December 11, 2017

We TRIED to Lose to Cleveland, but Just Couldn't




  • Argghh! Winning games is stupid! Yes, Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback to ever play the game, but he is just one man! Even IF Rodgers is cleared to play next week and stays healthy for the rest of the season, there’s only so much he can do to carry a team that needed overtime to beat a team that was 1-30 coming into the game. One win in the last 31 games, and the Packers barely squeaked out the victory. Rodgers can’t tackle or defend for the defense. He can’t make the special teams better on coverage. If we need OT to beat the lowly Buccaneers and lowliest Browns, Rodgers isn’t going to be able to take us to the Super Bowl single-handedly. Why risk his health?
Liam Neeson GIF


  • After scoring on the opening drive, the Packers gained 29 yards THE ENTIRE REST OF THE FIRST HALF OF A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL GAME.


  • To win against the Browns, Green Bay needed decisions like this from Cleveland’s DeShone Kizer:




  • And defense like this:



  • Since the Packers seem determined to end up with a middling record and a middling draft pick, I can only pray that the tests on Rodgers’ collarbone indicate that he needs more time. I’m counting on those x-rays and scans!!
Ugh they're getting Aaron's hopes up!


    • To fully understand how depressing Cleveland is, read this Bleacher Report article on the Browns’ never-ending QB carousel, aptly titled, “Last Stop to Nowhere.

    • Alright, alright, fine, grumble, grumble, I’ll stop. Now for the fun part: the (literal) walkoff win.


    • Davante Adams has had some really incredible plays this season, especially in supporting Brett Hundley. One touchdown to get them to overtime and another to win the game. The one at the end of regulation I especially liked because I love when teams are in an obvious spike-to-stop-the-clock situation, but run a play anyway. The previous play was originally ruled a touchdown, but was overturned on review as just short of the goal line. Since it was under two minutes and the Packers were out of timeouts, that required a 10-second runoff, and with a new set of downs, it seemed likely that the Pack was going to spike the ball, but ran this play instead.  



    • Things were going my way when Trevor Davis struck. He has the speed, and Packers fans have been anxiously waiting for him to get things going more consistently, so (in spite of everything) it was fun to see him break off a 65-yard return with the game on the line. 


    • I always love hearing the “Go Pack Go” chants on the road. Listen to how loud the crowd is for Davis’ return!

    • Jamaal Williams had 118 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He’s been pretty solid as a receiver, as well as a strong rusher. 
    Make no apologies, Jamaal.



    • The Packers rarely, rarely engage in trickery, so it was a shock to see a fake punt on the opening drive! (Again, you shouldn’t need trick plays to beat the Browns, but whatever.) The Cleveland coach at the end seems to be cheering the Packers player on. I guess he was impressed, too. 


    • Davon House came into the game with a serious shoulder injury and left with a more serious-looking back injury. I hope he’s okay!


    • I want you all to know how much I love Brett Hundley and how much I want him to do well -- I really do!! But he is not a good quarterback. His reads are slow; he stares down receivers; he doesn’t manage the pocket well (why won’t he ever step up in the pocket??); breaks the pocket too quickly; and, since he can’t throw on the run, his breaking the pocket just results in him running to the right sideline and throwing it away before he gets sacked, but still taking the hit.
    I like him too much to give up on him, but he's going to need
    to develop a little faster if he wants to stick around in the NFL. 


    • Poor, poor Eagles. In the same game where they clinched their division, they lost the quarterback who got them there. On Sunday, Carson Wentz set the Eagles’ franchise record for most passing touchdowns in a season with 33 (and with three games remaining in the season), but tore his ACL in the third quarter. This not only ends his season, but could likely take a chunk out of his next season, too. I’m no Philly fan, but Wentz is hard not to like and this totally stinks.


    • The Eagles-Rams game was apparently the first matchup from the top-two scoring offenses since 1970 or something. It did not disappoint. The teams combined for 78 points, five lead changes, and some fun highlights. My favorite of the game was this Alshon Jeffery fourth-down touchdown catch. 




    • Aww, the Giants fans missed their Eli (why, I don’t know), and gave him a standing ovation on his first snap.
    Fantastic job by whoever's in charge up putting up those stat graphics.


    • Ummm Jay Cutler looked like Tom Brady and Tom Brady looked like Jay Cutler on Monday night. Cutler completed 66% of his passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions in Miami's 27-20 win over New England. Brady had one touchdown and two interceptions, and the Patriots were held without a third down conversion (0-for-11!) all night.

    • The Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts played in an absolute blizzard. I just adore snow games, so we’re going to have a lot of clips from a game no one would care about otherwise, like this punt. Snow days must be fun for punters. (One thing I am very stuck on is how is the ref not wearing gloves??)


    • Here’s the octogenarian kicker Adam Vinatieri missing a 33-yard field goal in the snow, which is important because…

    • ...when Indianapolis scored with 1:16 left in the game, they elected to try for the two-point conversion and the win, surely in part because of the difficulties of kicking in the snow and Vinatieri’s earlier miss. They got the conversion -- but it was called back for offensive pass interference on the Colts. Because of the penalty, they had to kick the extra point from 43 yards. Out came Vinatieri again and:

    • Greatest extra point ever!!

    • The California Chargers have won their last four while averaging 33 points a game. They even have a good chance at winning the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs flailing and the Oakland Raiders below .500. And yet, it doesn’t matter. Because one thing I know that is even more true than the axiom that one should never believe in the Atlanta Falcons is that one should never, ever believe in the Chargers. They always will let you down. Always.


    • This week in The NFL Cares About Its Players, we have Houston QB Tom Savage concussed on the field after hitting his head on the ground and showing textbook symptoms that could only be from a concussion. Good news, though! Turns out he was totally fine -- I mean, who hasn’t had the odd in-game seizure here and there?? -- and returned to the game just minutes later! He was pulled for good a drive later, but what’s the point of the NFL crowing about having independent neurologists on each game if they’re missing what everyone else watching on TV can clearly see?



    • I can’t say enough how much I hate the dirty, filthy, petty, execrable, ill-intentioned, opprobrious, sore-losing, unscrupulous, base, dishonorable, reprehensible Seattle Seahawks. Like clockwork, as soon as Jacksonville sealed the game, the Seahawks started taking cheap shots. Here’s Michael Bennett rolling into a Jaguars’ player’s knees -- and this is while Jacksonville is in victory formation.

    • Bennett got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the Seahawks' Sheldon Richardson threw a punch and was ejected. On the next play -- another kneeldown from Jacksonville -- coach Pete Carroll received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Quinton Jefferson was ejected. Seriously, what is wrong with the Seahawks?? What sort of tough guys habitually try to injure opponents as soon as they realize the game is lost?


    • Things actually got worse off the field. As Jefferson was exiting the field after his ejection, a fan threw something at him (this was not the first time in the game that Jacksonville fans threw things at the Seahawks, which is a horrible thing to do, even to the Seahawks), and Jefferson tried to charge the stands.



    • It’s kinda cute how Dallas Cowboys fans still think they’re going to make the playoffs. I keep hearing things like, “Once we get Zeke back….!!” and “We can definitely win out with Zeke…” Lolz. 


    • The results of Aaron Rodgers’ scan are imminent, but I’m bracing myself. That guy is the best at everything he does; he probably is the best at healing too. =( Let’s summon up the strength to root for one more loss next week at Carolina.
    If they win next week, I'll give up my campaign
    and go back to cheering for them.













    Monday, December 4, 2017

    I Wish Green Bay Had Lost




    • Look, I don't approve of tanking, and I really don't like cheering for tanking, but sometimes it must be done. The Green Bay Packers are not making the playoffs. That’s hard for me to write, but it’s the truth. The Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Atlanta Falcons are currently jockeying for two Wild Card spots. The Packers are not better than two of those teams.


    • And even if the other teams all choked and Green Bay somehow managed to make the playoffs, so what? Do you think we’re going anywhere with our defense? There’s no saying that Aaron Rodgers will be able to come back this season -- he won’t get x-rays for at least another week. But even if he did, is it worth risking his health for this team?? No.




    • What makes it worse is that we play the Cleveland Browns next week. I don’t know if we could lose to them if we tried. (Though it’d be a nice early Christmas present to Cleveland to save them from a winless season.) Facing Tampa and Cleveland in back-to-back weeks as Aaron Rodgers is coming back to practice has been poor timing, as it’s whipped Green Bay fans into a frenzy of unrealistic fantasies. Really, all it is doing is costing us a better draft pick. We need that draft pick!!


    • Another reason I wish the Packers had lost Sunday’s game is that we super did not deserve to win that game. We were terrible. Green Bay had four three-and-outs on offense -- against a team that is 32nd in the league in third-down defense. Tampa Bay had 25 (!) first downs to Green Bay’s 16. Tampa Bay converted nine third downs to Green Bay’s five. Tampa Bay had 230 passing yards to Green Bay’s 77. Seventy-seven yards passing in an NFL game!

    Image result for brett hundley
    I say this as someone who loves Brett!



    • Okay, now that I’ve said my piece, we can focus on the more fun aspects of the game, like Dean Lowry’s fumble recovery and touchdown! Defensive lineman scoring is always fun! It’s adorable to see how excited their teammates are for them, too.





    • Kyle Fackrell had a non-blocked punt blocked punt. He got a piece of the punt, but the ball still made it to the line of scrimmage, which means it does not go into the box score as a block. Even without the stat, it was awesome!


    • The defense played well (sorta), and were able to get some pressure on Jameis Winston in a season where the Packers have struggled to generate any pass rush. Green Bay hit home on seven sacks, including 2.5 from Clay Matthews! They also recorded 13 QB hits, six tackles for loss, and a turnover. 


    • Jamaal Williams had another great game. While I worry about his long-term durability, it’s nice to have a running back who can contribute 113 yards a game. He’s been great to have, especially to support Brett Hundley.


    • The best part of the game was Aaron Jones. Jones missed the previous two games with a sprained MCL. He was active for the game, but wasn’t expected to play much and, in fact, didn’t play for all of regulation. He had precisely one carry, and it was a 20-yard run for the game-winning, walk-off touchdown. (Note the beautiful block by Jordy.)







    • So former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings announced our game. Huh. Interesting. Okay. Jennings had this to say about Jordy Nelson early in the game: “He never got the adjustment, the play call, so he didn’t really know what to do there.” DON’T YOU DARE CALL OUT JORDY, YOU HAS-BEEN TRAITOR!!!


    • Ugh. My own personal animosity toward that nobody announcer aside, he and his announcing partner were not good. They made a number of mistakes, including saying Aaron Jones was inactive and that Ty Montgomery was “out for the game,” when Montgomery’s on IR. I also liked it when Jennings talked about how Davante Adams is so good that he reminds him of himself. 



    • I liked it when his partner talked about how Adams had said that there were no “divas” in the receiver room in Green Bay. Hmm, maybe Adams isn’t so much like Jennings as Jennings thinks!


    • Um, the Oakland Raiders might want to take their running back Jalen Richard off of returns. He fumbled THREE returns on Sunday, but fortunately for his job security, his team recovered each. 


    • Rob “Yo Soy Fiesta” Gronkowski was in less than a party mood when he intentionally tried to hurt an opposing player. Buffalo Bills corner Tre’Davius White had been guarding Gronkowski, uh, quite closely, but no flag was thrown. When White, pulling and pushing, intercepted a pass intended for Gronk, Gronk responded by diving on White, who was faced down and out of bounds, well after the play. (White was evaluated for a concussion after the hit.) Gronk apologized after the game, but it was a day late and a dollar short, and the league suspended him anyway. La fiesta ha terminado.



    • So is Case Keenum … really, really good? Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Minnesota quarterback went 25-for-30, including 18-for-18 in second half!! It was the 10th victory for the stupid Vikings. 


    • Tarik Cohen’s return was really bad, then worse, then better, then OMG!!! That’s a 127-yard punt return for 61 yards.





    • New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara has more games averaging more than five yards rushing per carry than Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco has games averaging more than five yards per pass! Pee-yew!
    On the season, Kamara is averaging 7 yards/carry, while Joe is
    averaging 5.5 yards/pass.



    • Gosh, Denver is so bad. What happened? Not having a quarterback will hurt your chances, sure, but what happened to their once-dominant defense? You can’t allow a Jay Cutler-led team to put up 35 points on you! After losing the the Miami Dolphins, the Broncos are now 3-9 and have lost eight straight. Ick. 

    • So Eli Manning got benched prior to Sunday’s game, and -- could it be?? -- I actually felt a little bad for him. It’s not as bad as it sounds. The Giants’ season is long gone, so it makes sense to shut down your starting quarterback. But many thought the move might signal that Manning has played his last game for New York. The salt in the wound is that the Giants are not playing their rookie quarterback -- which would be an understandable move to see what they have in him -- but are starting backup Geno Smith. If the rookie isn’t ready to start, why not keep playing Eli? What’s the point of moving to your second-string quarterback right now? 
    Eli Manning GIF



    • Eli’s benching did not go over well in the sports world. Nor did it stop the Giants’ free fall; they lost the Raiders. If it makes Manning feel better, his coach and GM are now out of jobs, as both were fired Monday.
    Eli Manning GIF



    • Oh, and now it’s reported that Eli will start next week. So the whole purpose of the last week appears to have been ruining Eli’s 210-consecutive-game starting streak. 
    Eli Manning GIF



    • Wait -- that Giants’ rookie quarterback is named David Webb … isn’t that Jason Bourne’s real name?!? (Ohh it’s Davis Webb. That’s okay, I’m still going to refer to him as Jason Bourne from now on.)


    • The NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign is just another PR attempt to make us forget all the horrible things they do and represent … but I gotta say it’s working. I’ve really enjoyed reading about all the athletes’ different charitable work. So many of them have very moving personal connections to their causes. 
    Packers' corner Damarious Randall, who has dealt with a stutter for
    most of his life, was supporting an organization that support kids
    who stutter and helps them build confidence. 



    • Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith tore his Achilles and is out for the season, which is sad. Coincidentally, his injury came the same week that the league announced a four-game suspension for him for using PEDs. Am I the only one who thinks it’s unfair that he gets to serve his suspension while injured, when he couldn’t be playing anyway? This isn’t a big deal, but I’m just super vindictive and into punishment, so it bothers me!


    • I’ve watched this clip many, many times and still have no idea of what is happening or why.




    • Kickers don’t really get a lot of love in the league. They’re sorta tangential to their teams; no one really considers them athletes; when they make their kicks, people say they were just doing their jobs; when they miss kicks, everyone hates them; and if they struggle, teams don’t hesitate to bring in free agents. So it must feel really, really good to be in the limelight (the good kind) while single-footedly defeating your old team, as Robbie Gould did on Sunday. After playing for the Chicago Bears for 11 years, Gould, now with the San Francisco 49ers, went 5-for-5 on field goals, including the game-winner, to defeat the Bears 15-14. 
    Revenge of the nerd.


    • I want so much for Josh Gordon to do well. After something like five league suspensions (almost all for substance abuse), the electric receiver is back. He estimates that he drank or used drugs before every professional game he played, but is hopefully getting his life back together. Everyone's rooting for him, not just as a player but as a person.


    • Marcus Peters was displeased with the referees’ call on a play and decided to express his feelings by throwing the penalty flag into the stands. I love how the ref stares him down and slowly tosses his hat to penalize Peters for unsportsmanlike conduct.




    • This one wasn't chucked by Marcus Peters, but watch out for flying flags!



    • If the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers can't play like grown-ups and keep trying to kill each other, maybe we need to put them in timeout and cancel their games for a year or two.

    • Tiptoe catches are always cool, but this one is particularly impressive.




    • Alvin Kamara is too much fun. Also, he’s super athletic and can pretty much fly. Look how little effort it takes for him to get into the stands! Gotta admit, that's higher than the endzone wall at Lambeau.




    • While I will personally be (gulp) cheering for the Packers to lose every single one of their remaining games, here is a cheat sheet for if you’re still holding out hope that they make the playoffs.


    I want so badly for you guys to be reunited ... but I don't.





    Monday, November 27, 2017

    And I Was So Close to Acceptance



    • The truth is that I was totally ready for acceptance. I accepted that the Green Bay Packers were going to be slaughtered by Pittsburgh Steelers. I had come to terms with it. Because, really, at this point, there is not a single advantage to the Green Bay Packers winning another game this season. Every victory would only lower their draft pick. BUT THEN they had to go and put on the showing they did on Sunday night. To take one of the best teams in the league and go down to the wire! AND THEN LOSE! What are you doing to me?? They’re making me regress in my grieving process!




    • There were so many good things happening in the game! Brett Hundley completed 65% of his passes for three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 134.3 passer rating. The defense forced three turnovers. That gorgeous last touchdown drive, including the ice-cold fourth-down conversion. Oh, the pain!



    • Let’s talk about running back Jamaal Williams. With 39 seconds left, tie game, on second down, Williams picked up three yards, and then ran out of bounds, thus stopping the clock so that Pittsburgh didn’t have to take a timeout. When the Packers punted a couple of plays later, the Steelers had 17 seconds and two timeouts to work with, and they made it work. Jamaaaaal!




    • But I can’t lay the blame all on Jamaal. First of all, he contributed 135 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and he played great (almost) all game long. Plus, it’s not his fault that the Packers went three-and-out on that last drive when a single first down would have taken them to overtime. Hundley didn’t have time to tell Williams not to run out of bounds. On the previous play, the nefarious TJ Watt delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Hundley that went uncalled. The Packers should have been given 15 yards and a first down, but whatever. Because of the hit, coach Mike McCarthy was asking Hundley if he was alright and good-to-go. This delayed the communication of the playcall and Green Bay had to hurry to the line, without Hundley being able to tell Williams to stay in bounds. I don’t know if the Packers would have survived overtime, but it would have been nice to have at least had the opportunity.
    Maybe one day Brett will get these calls. 



    • All of this is moot anyway because of Antonio Frickin’ Brown. Can’t really do much about this nonsense.



    • That's just run-of-the-mill stuff for this dude.




    • And then the Steelers’ nobody kicker who missed an extra point decides to kick the longest field goal made at the hardest stadium for field goals. 


    • The Packers certainly looked improved, and I’m very happy for Brett. Buuut, do we want the Packers to improve at this point?? I hate to say it, but isn’t the answer …. no?



    • Heartbreaking end to the Lions-Vikings game. Minnesota was up 30-23 when Detroit threw an interception on their own 16-yard line, effectively ending the game. Minnesota ran out the clock with a few run plays before attempting a 17-yard field goal …. which was BLOCKED and returned for a TOUCHDOWN!! OMG tie game, going to overtime!!!!!!!!!! Except … there was a penalty on the Lions on the return. Vikings keep the ball and kneel it out. 




    • Latavius Murray is the tallest running back I’ve ever seen! He’s 6’3”!




    • The Cleveland Browns, at 0-11, are the first team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. So much for a run-the-table comeback.


    • Atlanta’s Mohamed Sanu is a very good receiver (as the Packers secondary can attest), but he’s also a very good quarterback, too. His career passer rating is perfect: 158.3.




    • I was planning to sit down and watch the Eagles this week to see what all the hype is about. Philly looked amazing, but the problem is that it's hard to tell anything against the hapless Chicago Bears. They lost to the Packers, after all. At halftime, the Eagles were up 24-0 and Chicago had ZERO first downs!  


    • The Carolina Panthers running back (#28) is very dedicated selling the fake on Cam Newton’s keeper. 





    • Stupid #98 cost the New York Jets a chance at a comeback. (It’s a former Packer!!) New York cut the lead to five with five minutes left. Carolina was trying to running the ball to play out the clock, forcing the Jets to use all their timeouts. New York’s defense did its job, stopping the Panthers on first and second downs, leading to 3rd-and-11, which resulted in an incompletion … but #98 couldn't help himself and hit Cam Newton late. Instead of punting, Carolina got a fresh set of downs and were able to kick a field goal with 21 seconds left to seal the game. SHAME!


    • I don’t even know who Mr. Jones on the Buffalo Bills is, but he’s got some serious anti-gravity moves! 





    • Great game between Jacksonville and Arizona! Who would have thought that Blake Bortles vs. Blaine Gabbert would be so much fun?? It was boring 10-16 game in the second half with a stretch of six straight punts when things got exciting. Jacksonville returned a fumble for a touchdown to go up 17-16. Arizona responded on the next drive, and completed a two-point conversion. A 68-yard punt return set up Jacksonville’s touchdown on the next drive to tie everything up at 24 halfway through the fourth quarter. The teams traded interceptions on successive drives. Arizona went three-and-out, and then Jacksonville did the same. BUT, as so often happens, Jacksonville’s coach, with less than a minute left, foolishly decided to throw the ball on that drive. (Why do coaches always do this??) The incompletion stopped the clock, and when the Jaguars failed to convert on third down the next play, the Cardinals got the ball back with just 16 seconds left. It was enough time for a couple surprisingly impressive throws to put the Cardinals in field goal range, including the gorgeous catch from DJ Foster (see below). Then the ancient Phil Dawson pulled his creaky bones onto the field to kick a career-long, game-winning field goal. 



    • Invite the Philadelphia Eagles to your wedding. 




    • As I’ve mentioned, I like the team celebrations that have been happening this year with the relaxed celebration rules. You get more a lot more fun/silly/creative stuff than you do the stupid taunting and crotch-grabbing of individual celebrations that make old codgers like me grumble about the kids these days. 


    • Julio Jones has had three 250-yard receiving games in his career!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No other receiver has every had more than one 250-yard game. 




    • It's been a tough season, but watching the Dallas Cowboys implode has been a huge comfort in this trying time.


    • Surely, the Cowboys defense was a comfort to Philip Rivers, as well. Rivers completed 82% of his passes for 434 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks, and a 149.1 passer rating against Dallas. 




    • Goodness gracious, there was yet another brawl this week, featuring old friends Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree. Both are loudmouth idiots, but Talib is a frequent offender as a dirty player so I’m going to blame mostly him. He couldn’t help himself from snatching Crabtree’s chain -- again. Both were rightly ejected, and then suspended for two games. Two games seems harsh, but considering the history between these two, it’s probably best to encourage them to use restraint in future meetings.  






    • Next week, the Packers face the 4-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I'm so torn over whether I want them to win or not! I hate having to cheer for losses! I feel like a traitor. Maybe I can cheer for Jordy and Brett and all my faves to have good games, but for them to lose on a bad call or fluke play or something. An unhappy compromise, but it's the best I can do. 
    Image result for jordy nelson
    Here's a picture of Jordy so we can all end on a happier note.








    Monday, November 20, 2017

    Depression

    Image result for brett hundley

    • Last week's win delayed the process a bit, but Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens was a pretty perfect representation of depression. The feeling of hopelessness. The sluggishness. The knowing that, even if the Green Bay Packers did manage to score or get a turnover or something, it wouldn’t really matter. 
    I couldn't find a Packers gif to adequately represent the situation, but there
    were plenty of Jay Cutler gifs, and I couldn't resist.

    • It is only by the grace of Joe Flacco that the Green Bay Packers weren’t defeated 40-0. The Packers defense only gave up 219 yards and still got killed! The offense, um, let’s charitably say struggled. Five turnovers (and should have been more). Six sacks. Zero points. Oof.
    Frustrated Clint Eastwood GIF


    • Okay, so I’ll be honest: not Brett Hundley’s best game. There were a lot of bad decisions and very ugly throws. There were the three interceptions. And the fumble. There was the 13.6 QBR. 


    • The lurking depression really set in early on, then increased when Clay Matthews left with an injury. Then Kenny Clark left with an injury. Then backup right tackle Justin McCray left with an injury.
    Lonely Legally Blonde GIF



    • I literally don’t have anything else to say about the game. There aren’t any offensive highlights because Green Bay DIDN’T SCORE ANY POINTS. 


    • Here’s Richard Rodgers smiling his aggravating smile that literally never leaves his face ever.




    • I’m sad about the Packers losing, but I’m irked by the announcers talking about the Ravens and Joe Flacco as if they played well. They gained fewer yards than the team with zero points! They would have been humiliated by any other team that didn’t turn the ball over five times! 


    • Poor Devante Mays. The Green Bay rookie running back got his first three NFL carries today … and fumbled two of them. 


    • Packers fans, don’t say careless things like, “It can’t be any worse,” because I saw this picture and thought our third-string quarterback was a ball boy.




    • Hold up -- they put the jerseys on the pads before the players put the pads on?? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I feel deceived somehow.




    • Antonio Brown helmet catch. Difficult and cool on its own, but to move the ball, one-handed, from your helmet to your body without losing control of it and protecting it in time before you hit the ground so you don’t lose it in “the process of the catch” must take a crazy amount of skill and body control. Utter madness!



    • NFL wide receivers are getting too good! What used to be circus catches are now run-of-the-mill receptions. There were so many crazy catches in the Monday Night game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks, I couldn't even choose one to highlight. 


    • Jay Cutler had three interceptions in the first half before leaving the game with a concussion in the second half. Man, I wish he were still in the NFC North. 
    Miami Dolphins Football GIF by NFL



    • It was an awkward week for the Buffalo Bills. The team benched starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor after two consecutive losses, which was a head-scratcher because he hasn’t been terrible, the team was 5-4, and the playoffs were still in reach. (That last part might have been the problem.) Rookie Nate Peterman took over on Sunday and … threw three interceptions in the first quarter, which is the same number of interceptions Taylor has had all season. He added two more in the second quarter and was finally pulled for Taylor at halftime. I don’t want to pile on the poor rookie who was put in a bad and unfair position, but he had six completions and five interceptions!! 45% of his completions were to the California Chargers defense! The good news is that the Bills seem to be under leadership: coach Sean McDermott stated that he didn’t regret playing Peterman and that he would “evaluate” before naming a starter for next week.
    Decisions like this might have something to do with Sunday's stat line.

    • I just said that I didn’t want to kick Peterman while he was down, but some of his numbers are truly incredible, such as the fact that on his dropbacks, he averaged -8.79 yards. He averaged almost negative 10 yards when he dropped back!!


    • I’ll never cheer outright for a team quarterbacked by Eli Manning, but it was fun to see the 1-8 Giants knock off the (yawn) 6-4 Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.
    Eli Manning Dance GIF


    • Now that the Chiefs have dropped four of their last five games, can we all stop pretending that they’re a threat? It’s not that I don’t love Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, but Alex Smith is still Alex Smith and let’s not forget it.



    • Oh, man, Chicago Bears kicker Connor Barth really choked on Sunday. It’s a lot of pressure to line up for a 46-yard, potentially game-tying field goal with only three seconds left on the clock. There’s probably even more pressure when your counterpart on the other team has just kicked a 52-yarder, against the wind, to take the lead, as the Detroit Lions’ Matt Prater did. Not only did Barth lose the game by missing the kick, it wasn’t even close. (And yes, he was cut the next day.) Normally this sort of heartbreak would bring me joy, but as the Bears have no chance to win the division (but probably still a better chance than Green Bay), I am forced to cheer not-against them in division games.


    • The LA Rams scored on their opening drive … and then never again. The score was actually 7-7 going into the fourth, but the Minnesota Vikings turned up the heat and ended up winning 24-7. Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen trails only Antonio Brown in receiving yards this season, and racked up another 123 on Sunday.


    • Wait, when did New Orleans become good again? After three straight seasons going 7-9 and missing the playoffs, the Saints are now 8-2 and atop the NFC South. They’ve got a tough schedule coming up, so we’ll see if they’re for real. 


    • New Orleans scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game on the way to an overtime win against the Washington Redskins. Voodoo magic like this helped:



    • New Orleans running back Mark Ingram has eight touchdowns in his last five games. 


    • Whew, Bengals corner Dre Kirkpatrick is very, very, very lucky that the Denver Broncos did not recover his fumble. Kirkpatrick intercepted the ball in the endzone, ran 100 yards, and then inexplicably fumbled the ball just outside the goal line. No one touched him or anything! Unfortunate that he ran 100 yards and somehow did not score a touchdown, but fortunately he recovered his own fumble and Cincinnati scored a few plays later.




    • Tom Brady had fun in Mexico. It helped that the Oakland Raiders didn’t really bother to show up in the 33-8 Patriots victory.



    • There’s a wide receiver named Jeremy Sprinkle, and I’m jealous that he doesn’t play for Green Bay. 
    I'm jealous because of his name, not because he's
    good. I have no idea if he's any good.


    • Is fear the next step in grieving? Because I’m very scared of the 8-2 Steelers next week. They’re going to humiliate us in prime time and then do fun and creative celebrations. They are going to have a field day with our defense. And our offense. Our special teams, too. 
    Frustrated Charlie Brown GIF