Tuesday, September 24, 2013

They Didn't Lose; They Just Ran Out of Time

  • Such a weird and frustrating game! The Cincinnati Bengals scored the first 14 points, then Green Bay scored the next 30, and then Cincinnati scored the final 20 points. Those first 14 points by the Bengals came 12 seconds apart. Each team turned the ball over four times.
  • Packer fans are used to the defense struggling and the offense picking up the slack, but the roles were reversed this week. It was pretty nauseating that the Packers were only able to score 13 points off of Cincinnati’s four turnovers. Aaron Rodgers had one of his worst outings ever, going just 26-of-43 for 244 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, and a 64.5 passer rating. It was Rodgers first multiple-interception game with in 41 games.

You're not allowed to be mortal!!

  • The worst part of the whole game was the injuries! Jermichael Finley went out with a concussion after a doozy of a hit, James Starks had a knee injury, and Clay - good God, not Clay!! -- sat with a hamstring injury.

  • With Eddie Lacy (concussion) and John Kuhn (hamstring) sidelined, Starks’ injury left rookie running back Johnathan Franklin as the last man standing in the backfield. Franklin saw his first action of the season and provided another 100-yard runner for the Packers. He looked pretty good, except for, you know, that game-losing fourth down fumble.

It's okay, JFrank, I still believe in you.

  • Also, what is with the Packers and hamstring injuries? I’ve already asked this, but it really is getting ridiculous! Casey Hayward, Morgan Burnett, John Kuhn, Jarrett Bush and now Clay?? I was whining a lot about the Packers having their bye after three games (which I still think is ridiculous), but it actually is much needed, considering their injury situation.

  • Clay was a total beast before having to leave the game, notching a sack and forcing two fumbles, including this X-Men-style tackle strip:

  • Bengals’ running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has my favorite sports nickname ever: they call him “The Law Firm” because of all of his names.

  • The game got off to a terrible start for the Packers thanks to returner Jeremy Ross who fumbled the ball on the TWO-yard line. Ross’ exciting speed was why Green Bay wanted him at returner, but he habitually struggled to hang on to the ball. I was reserving this space for ripping him apart, but it turns out that he was cut from the team on Monday, and now I kind of feel bad for him.

But not really.

Awww, well maybe a little bit.

Nope. Never mind.

  • Aaron and coach Mike McCarthy got into a little spat on the sidelines following a disappointing drive. 
  • Rodgers haters will jump on this with glee. Though I don’t like this, it’s really not a big deal. Now, before you say, “If this were Jay Cutler, you’d criticize him!” Yes, I would, but this is different. Here’s why.
    • 1. Jay Cutler yells at his teammates. It’s one thing for one player to get on another player for an error, but Cutler screamed at his teammate on national television for simply not being very good. This is Rodgers and McCarthy getting in each other's faces because they disagree about a play. They were calmed down and chatting side-by-side a minute later.
    • 2. There was an incident last year where Chicago’s offensive coordinator walked over to Cutler to talk to him in between drives. Cutler stood up and walked away. That I have a problem with. Players can get into it with their coaches -- that happens -- but giving your coach the silent treatment? Come on, Jay.
    • 3. Cutler has long, long used up his benefit of the doubt with his petty, sulky, defiant, teenager attitude. Aaron hasn’t.

"Whatevs. I don't care. This game is stupid, anyway."

    • 4. Mike McCarthy’s redzone play calling was really bad.

  • Andy Dalton’s hair clashes really badly with the Bengals’ uniforms. 

I feel they should have taken this into consideration when they drafted him.

  • Dalton’s statistics actually ended up looking pretty nice -- 20-of-28, 235, two touchdowns -- but all in all, I did not think he looked good. He never seems to be in full control or command of the offense and struggles with consistency.

  • The Bengals defense, however, was pretty impressive. They have some fierce pass rushers, especially Michael Johnson. He might as well be Michael Jordan with his height and ability to tip passes! He’s 6’7” and has a ridiculous wingspan. The tallest Green Bay defender is 6’4”.

Stop being so tall!

  • The NFL needs to stop with the ridiculous “late” hit penalties. A terrible call against the Bengals allowed the Packers to extend what would become a touchdown drive.

  • One bright spot was Sam Shields' fantastic, lockdown defense on stud receiver A.J. Green.
  • Ugh. The Packers converted just four of 14 third downs. *vomits everywhere*

  • Vontaze Burfict (55) is no gentleman! Look at this shot he takes below the belt of Ryan Taylor. Of course Taylor was the one who got flagged for it. 

He would NOT be allowed to hang out with these guys.

As for the rest of the league:

  • Cleveland is trying every way it can to wave the white flag on the season, but they weren’t prepared to faced the Vikings. This week, the Browns traded away their best player for a draft pick (38 straight rebuilding years, fans!) and named their third-string quarterback the starter. The quarterback, Brian Hoyer, did his part, throwing three interceptions, but Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings cannot be underestimated. They will not sit back and let some team just hand them the game! Not the Lions, not the Bears, and certainly not the Browns. Cleveland ended up winning 31-27.

"I don't know what happened, but someone will answer for this."

  • Peyton Manning broke another passing record. Yawn.

  • How did the refs miss Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant’s blatant push-off for a touchdown?? Not that it would have mattered, since they beat the Rams 31-7.

Double whammy weekend: the Packers lose AND the Cowboys win.  =(

  • Holy crapoli, what has happened to the New York Giants? They lost to the Carolina Panthers 38-0. The Ron Rivera-led Carolina Panthers! They didn’t score a single point! They had ONE yard of passing offense in the first half - ONE!! They’re 0-3! They’ve given up 115 points in three weeks!!

  • Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is awful. I can’t stand him. I get mad thinking about him and his slimy, petulant face! This is after he won:

Seriously? He couldn’t just hand it to someone? Of course not. He’s Jim Schwartz and will never pass up the chance to be a petty jerk. Can you imagine what his terrible twos were like?? Oh, probably like this:

  • Who thought it was fair to schedule the Seattle Seahawks against the Jacksonville Jaguars? The Jags were outgained 275-52 in the first half!

  • On that note, who had the bright idea to put the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football??

  • Last week, the Jets were concerned about their rookie cornerback losing his confidence against Tom Brady, so they benched him.

"I was feeling down for a second there, but now I feel so much better!

  • Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne passed Randy Moss to move to ninth on the all-time receptions list. I looooove Wayne. Even when he was killing the Packers last year, I couldn’t help but appreciate the way he lays out for every ball. Do you know how he got to this high on the list? By not missing a single game since his rookie season.

  • Detroit’s Joseph Fauria is far and away the leader in touchdown dances after three weeks. I’m a BSB girl myself, but I can appreciate a little *NSync throwback.

  • I think it’s finally time for everyone to admit that Matt Schaub is not and never will be “elite.”

Or "adequate."

  • “Everybody but the center” on the Philadelphia Eagles was called for false start on this play. (Even though it was only the center’s fault.)

  • Here are some more instances of centers messing up this week:

  • So San Francisco’s Aldon Smith was arrested (again) for a DUI/marijuana possession. But the real gem of this story is the reference to Smith’s other legal troubles. Apparently he’s in the midst of a lawsuit stemming from a party he and a teammate threw at which a man was allegedly shot. At this party,
"The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink."  
These players make literal millions and they’re charging like it’s a college kegger???
"Hey, there's a recession on."

  • I was just thinking this very weekend how ridiculous it was that that thug Pacman Jones was still allowed to be in the league when, lo and behold, he was arrested for a disorderly conduct.

  • NFL fines are ridiculous. I don’t mind big fines for dangerous hits, but the uniform fines are just absurd! Detroit’s Louis Delmas was fined $5,250 for wearing the wrong color of socks.

Scandal! There are children watching!

  • AHHHHHHH! Read this. AAAAHHHHHHHHH! (Warning: it involves a player losing part of a finger!)

  • The Vikings can’t catch a break from anyone.

  • Packer fans know that Aaron Rodgers has a photobombing tradition. But check out Randall Cobb double photobombing this week’s picture.

He's so adorbs!

  • Greg Jennings just doesn’t know when to stop. After all his drama this offseason, he’s gone and written “Packers Suck” on a helmet he autographed for a fan. 

I can't wait till November 24. WELCOME TO LAMBEAU, GREG!

  • So Tampa Bay is 1-8 in their last nine games.

  • I don’t think there’s any need for the 49ers to panic yet, but this two-game losing streak will still be nice to shove in the faces of their fans.

  • The San Diego Chargers were in a last-second desperation play situation. They gave it a good shot. Well, everyone but Phil did.

  • Nice upset by Miami to move to 3-0. Their defense has been pretty impressive through three weeks, but they have some tough matchups coming up and superstar defensive end Cameron Wake will be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks with a knee injury.

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was injured during an altercation on a party bus, when -- to quote the story -- “he was hit over the head by a stripper wielding a champagne bottle.” (Her name was Sweet Pea.)

He learned his decision-making skills from his "emotional leader."

  • Detroit defensive tackle and wild animal Ndamukong Suh is now under scrutiny for throwing an elbow back in Week 2. Though it’s too late to suspend him, Suh will almost certainly be fined. And this is after he garnered a $100,000 fine in Week 1 for an illegal hit.

  • To my great disappointment, Jay Cutler has only been sacked thrice in three weeks. You know I hate to have any sympathy for Jay, but this helps to emphasize how badly Cutler was screwed over by previous offensive coordinators, who were content to put him behind paper doll offensive lines and then call seven-step drop backs. Those were rough times for Jay.

  • If that wasn't enough to make you feel better, I'll share my screensaver with you.

Photo: rough weekend, but here's to starting the week off on a good note. siiiiiiiiigh.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prepare For Total Domination

So it was a pretty good day at the office for Aaron Rodgers & Co. The quarterback, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and James Starks all set career highs.

    • Rodgers: 34/42 for 480 yards, an average of 11.4 yards per pass, 4 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 146.
    • Jones: 11 receptions for 178 yards
    • Cobb: Nine receptions for 128 yards and 1 touchdown.
    • James Starks (remember him?) had 20 carries for 132 yards, as well as 36 yards receiving and became the first Packer in 45 games to rush for over 100 yards! It was nice to see him out there, especially considering how he barely made the team. I had completely written him off, but was glad to have him prove me wrong.

Oh, hey there, buddy. Totally forgot about you.

  • 283 of the 480 yards came after the catch. The Packers love their YAC.

"And I wasn't even trying."

  • It was almost sad to see how bad the Washington Redskins’ defense was. The final score made the game seem waaaay more competitive than it was. Here’s the first half stats:
    • Total yards: 373 vs. 155
    • First downs: 17 vs. 5
    • 10+ yard plays: 14 vs. 6
    • Touchdowns: 3 vs. 0
  • The Redskins became the first team in the NFL to give up 1,000 yards in the first two weeks. Congrats.

The Redskins aren't even looking in the right direction!

  • Even Jermichael Finley is trying!

That's what a contract year will do!

  • There was a penalty on the Redskins’ long snapper. Has a long snapper ever had a penalty before in the history of football? That’s like the assistant strength and conditioning coach getting a penalty!

  • Poor Eddie Lacy took a monster hit from Washington safety Brandon Meriweather that knocked him out of the game. Who knows how long this will keep him out for.

Here's Meriweather trying to kill Lacy.

  • Though I’m not entirely clear on all the rules of what’s an allowable hit on a running back, there has to be some sort of discipline for Meriweather. He has a history of helmet-to-helmet hits, including one later in the game that backfired when he gave himself a concussion. This lack of respect for the rules and opponents can’t go on. Here's another sample of Meriweather's handiwork:

  • His name makes him sound so nice, too.

Oh. Wrong Merryweather.

  • As much as I enjoyed seeing Starks’ reemergence, where the heck was rookie Jonathan Franklin? I know he’s had a rough training camp, but give him a chance to get in the game!

  • Has Mike Shanahan’s face always been this red?


  • I like Robert Griffin III. The Redskins, apparently, do not. Why is this guy playing? He had surgery in January! He didn’t play all of the offseason, training camp, or preseason! You have a very competent backup in Kirk Cousins -- let him play until RG is a little further removed from the operating table. Especially considering the way he got injured in the first place was that the team rushed him back from a serious injury.

  • Rodgers’ career high yards actually tied a Packers franchise record with …. Matt Flynn!

Aww! Remember when Flynn made $14.5M from that one game?

  • I think the referees felt bad for Washington because they gave them a touchdown even after the review showed that the receiver clearly didn’t have possession and two feet in the endzone.

  • This is a Washington offensive lineman. If this is your last name, shouldn’t you be required to wear lederhosen? 

Also, you should be eating a sausage and drinking from a stein.

  • As fun as that was, there were still some troublesome spots: the three sacks on the first two drives, all-around poor tackling, the lack of a competent and consistent returner, and the fact that Washington scored 20 points!!

The Tickle Monster got Aaron!

As for the rest of the league:

  • Can we all calm the heck down about the Philadelphia Eagles and “the Chip Kelly era” now that they lost to the San Diego Chargers? Everyone lost their minds last week when Philly ran an unbelievable number of first half plays. People failed to mention that 1) they were playing a terrible defense in the Redskins (see above), and 2) THEY ONLY WON BY SIX.

"Defense? Damn. I knew I was forgetting something."

  • The Chicago Bears barely managed to beat a team that barely has a quarterback in the Minnesota Vikings. Disappointed as I was by the W, it was still nice to see Jay Cutler turn the ball over three times, including a strip fumble returned for six and an interception thrown in the endzone.


  • Atlanta’s Osi Umenyiora took an interception to the house against St. Louis, and wow, he’s got some speed for a defensive end!!


  • Dallas' Jason Garrett is a total battered coach.

"Don't you think for a second you have any power here!"

"Watch your back, Jerry. Watch your back."

"Go to your corner and think about what you've done."

  • Tony Romo was trying with all his might to throw the game away, but the refs kept on undoing all his mistakes with some terrible pass interference calls.

  • I'm finally getting used to the Pittsburgh Steelers being really bad.

  • This is how I imagine I shall meet my Prince Charming, except a Chicago Bear is not usually involved. Can someone photoshop my head onto hers and replace Charles Tillman with Jordy?

GIF via CJ Fogler on Twitter (@CJZero)

  • Chicago’s head coach Marc Trestman reminds me of Randall from Monsters, Inc.

  • It was nice to see the Buffalo Bills and their rookie quarterback, EJ Manuel, get their first victory. I always cheer for the Bills because, really, who knows the next time they’ll get a victory?

  • The Patriots are 2-0, but it’s a shaky 2-0, after squeaking by the Bills and the only beating the New York Mess -- er, Jets -- by three.

Tom Brady sees his 2013 roster for the first time.

  • The Houston Texans had a nice play to capture the win over the Titans in overtime. They were able to score the final 24 points of last week’s game against the Chargers, but only after going down 21. Why isn’t Houston better? Ah, right. Matt Schaub. Now I remember.

Schaub looks like he was drawn in Microsoft Paint.

  • Two weeks into the season, the Kansas City Chiefs have as many wins as they had all of last year.

  • Miami’s defense has had a nice two weeks. Just watch what Cameron Wake does to this poor running back:

  • Get your popcorn ready! Oh, boy. That’s right -- it was Jacksonville versus Oakland: the Showdown. You know both teams had this game circled on their calendars -- it’s the best shot at not going 0-16 for both teams.

  • People do not like Philip Rivers.

  • Can we end this Eli-is-better-than-Peyton-because-he-has-more-rings nonsense? You realize that you’re saying Trent Dilfer was a better quarterback than Dan Marino, right?

  • In the first two weeks, Peyton has 9 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. Eli has 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

"Even Mom likes stupid Peyton better than me!"

  • It must be so frustrating to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. Back-to-back heartbreaking losses to go along with twenty-three penalties in the first two weeks. Those penalties cost them 230 yards and resulted in nine first downs for their opponents. And their locker room is starting to sound like it could have its own Real Housewives series.

  • The Browns may be without starting quarterback Brandon Weeden next week, but does that really matter? Is it possible for the Browns to get worse?

  • I hate both the Niners and the Seahawks so much - I just didn’t know whom to cheer against! While I definitely hate the Seahawks, it’s okay that they won so now everyone can pause to wipe their mouths after spending the entire offseason drooling over the Niners.

  • Here’s why I hate Seattle: Marshawn Lynch stopping short of the goal line on his third touchdown before crossing into the endzone; Golden Tate jawing at a Niner over something completely non-offensive he had written on Twitter; Richard Sherman, every time he opens his mouth; Pete Carroll throwing the challenge flag to contest what he thought was a San Francisco fumble while up 29-3 with four minutes left in the game.
The Seattle Seahawks: mature, respectful, professional.

  • I really can’t feel bad for the Niners, though, cause they’d do the same thing if they were winning.

  • Poor NBC had to just keep going back and forth between the studio and the stadium while the commentors were trying to come up with something to say during the weather delay. Considering that several games were delayed due to lightning this week, I think networks should have a few go-to ideas in their back pocket for when they have to fill unexpected time. Here’s a few I came up with:
    • a slideshow of all the Seahawks who have been suspended for PEDs

    • a montage of Jim Harbaugh screaming at people

    • a chart comparing USC’s punishment for violating NCAA rules vs. Pete Carroll’s punishment