Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NFC North Champs for 4 Straight Years!!

  • Once again, the Green Bay Packers reign supreme in the NFC North after defeating the Detroit Lions 30-20. The victory earned them a bye week, which is just what they need after a scary moment at Lambeau.

  • The entire nation fell silent in sickened fear as Aaron Rodgers reaggravated his strained calf on a touchdown pass in the first half of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions and had to be carted off the field. Third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien was finally activated, which made me happy, but Matt Flynn remained the backup, playing in Rodgers’ stead, which made me not happy. It ended up being all right since Rodgers braved through the pain and led the Green Bay Packers to victory. As Flynn tells it, he was on the sidelines with his coaches when Rodgers came up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “I’ve got this.”
I'm sure Jordy was very thankful he didn't have to
 try to catch passes from Flynn all day.

  • Despite the injury severely limiting his mobility, Rodgers was 17-of-22 for 226 yards, two touchdowns, and a 139.6 passer rating. It must have been the good-luck beard rub.
Aaron Rodgers Rubs a Beard Before Re-Entering Game vs. Lions

  • Eddie Lacy came to play! Lacy ran for 100 yards against the league’s best rushing defense, which has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.

  • The offensive line has been incredibly impressive all season long, but perhaps never more so than on Sunday. Besides leading the strong running game, the offensive line did not allow a single sack on the hobbled Rodgers against a fierce defensive line. Here’s a cool stat I saw on Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton, who is considered one of the best guards in the NFL: Sitton has not allowed a sack in the last 1,228 pass plays!!
Yes, this is the best guard tandem in the NFL.

  • Here’s an indication of why Detroit is the best run defense in the league: on the Packers’ opening drive, the Detroit Lions defense faced seven straight goal-to-go downs and managed to hold Green Bay scoreless on the drive.

  • MICAH HYDE!!! Hyde had another punt return for a touchdown, which was huge after the offense had failed to score on their first drive. Only one more punt return for a touchdown for Hyde and he’ll have the franchise record!

  • Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is 0-15 0-16 against winning teams on the road in his career.

  • ANOTHER blocked kick!! I know players are banged up, but the Packers have to put their starters back on the unit. Check out this Vine, where you can see both tight end Andrew Quarless and backup offensive linemen JC Tretter completely whiff on the left side.

  • As impressive as Rodgers was on Sunday, I was not a fan of him calling his own number on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. What were you thinking, Aaron?!?!

  • Jordy set a franchise record, becoming the first Green Bay receiver to have 1,500 yards receiving in a season.

A Christmas present from someone who obviously
knows me well.

  • Don’t even try to tell me that Ndamukong Suh stepping on Aaron Rodgers’ injured leg was not intentional. I’m glad the league suspended Suh for next week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys because Suh is a dirty $^#*ing #@$%&, but I’m not really sure if this is good for Green Bay in the long run. If Detroit ends up beating Dallas, the Packers would play the winners of the Arizona-Carolina game at Lambeau and Detroit would go to Seattle. If Dallas wins, the Cowboys would play at Lambeau while the Seahawks destroyed Arizona/Carolina. My preference would be for the Lions to play Seattle since they have a much higher chance of beating the Seahawks than either Arizona or Carolina. Even so, I don't mind seeing Suh get what he deserves.

If Detroit loses to Dallas, it's likely that Sunday's game was Suh's last
as a Lion. His suspension seems a fitting end. 

  • Suh tried to claim he was pushed/blocked into Rodgers. Nice try. Here’s a screenshot TJ Lang posted on Twitter showing him holding Suh up to prevent him from falling backwards.


  • No Kansas City Chiefs receiver caught a touchdown pass all season!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to type that again: not a single receiver on the Chiefs caught a touchdown pass in 16 games.

  • Oh, Jay Cutler. It the final game of a disastrous season, the Chicago Bears offense failed to score a touchdown in their 13-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. I was secretly kind of hoping that, after all the mess of the last few weeks, Cutler would take it out by just spiking the ball after every snap. But it's still Jay's team, and head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were promptly fired on Monday.

"Whatevs. Don't care."

  • JJ Watt became the only player in NFL history to have 20+ sacks in multiple seasons (he finished the season with 20.5, the same number he had in 2012). Just to spice things up, Watt registered his final sack of the season on a safety.

  • Watt also led the league this season in quarterback hits and hurries, tackles for losses, and fumble recoveries.

  • I think Aaron Rodgers is the MVP of the league as he is the best player in the league. JJ Watt was mired on a mostly quarterback-less team that missed the playoffs, which hurts his case for MVP. If you put Rodgers on a terrible team like the Jaguars, Rodgers could single-handedly get them to a winning record. A defensive player -- even the best in the league, as Watt is -- can’t do that. That said, the dropoff from Rodgers to the next best quarterback (Brady or Romo or whomever) is very slim, whereas the gap between Watt and the second-best defensive player in the league is chasmic. So in the sense of who is playing his position so far above everyone else at the position, Watt wins. No matter who wins, both Rodgers and Watt are very deserving.

  • I love this line from a report on Saturday: “The Atlanta Falcons have hired the search firm Korn Ferry to identify head-coaching candidates in the event the team makes a head-coaching change, league sources told ESPN.” They make it sound like the Atlanta Falcons who hired the firm and the Atlanta Falcons who employ head coach Mike Smith are totally different and have no idea what the other Atlanta Falcons are going to do. If the team is hiring someone to search for a new coach, it’s usually a pretty good indication that the team is going to fire its current coach.

And yes, Ol' Mike was fired on Monday.

  • The Cleveland Browns suspended receiver Josh Gordon for the final game of the season due to a violation of team rules. Gordon missed the first ten games of the season to suspension, as well, meaning he only played in five games. That’s important because a player must play in six games in a season for the season to count as a full year. Since players become free agents four years after their rookie contracts, this mean that Gordon will be under contract to the Browns for an additional year.

  • Gordon’s suspension comes as a result of missing the team walk-through, reportedly the morning after a big shindig at Johnny Manziel’s house. (Rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert -- who has issues of his own -- was also deactivated for the final game for missing a meeting, apparently unrelated to the Manziel drama.) Manziel, who is injured, not only missed treatment, but, when he didn’t answer his phone, the Browns had to send their security team to his house. to find him You have to wonder what the heck Manziel is thinking. He knows everyone is waiting for him to mess up; he knows he’s caused himself a lot of headaches with his off-field reputation. Seriously, you couldn’t wait one week for the season to be over before throwing a party?? Manziel, for his part, denies that there was any party or that he was with Gordon, but does admit to making “mistakes.”

How could anyone have seen this coming?

  • Apparently, it took till halftime for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to realize they would get the number one draft pick if they lost on Sunday. Despite there being no advantage to winning the game, the Bucs jumped out to a 20-7 lead over the New Orleans Saints, before either a) realizing that losing was a good thing, or b) reverting to form and playing like they have every other game this season.

  • How do you only score seven points in a win-and-you’re-in situation?!? All the San Diego Chargers had to do was win against the Kansas City Chiefs (who were without their starting quarterback) to make the playoffs! No relying on other teams to lose or tie, no watching the scoreboard to see if the right teams lost; just win. Yes, Kansas City has a fantastic defense, and yes, the Chargers have a terrible, patchwork offensive line, but, come on! This is for everything! At least make it close!
You should be mad, Phil.

  • Arizona Cardinals’ third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley finally threw a touchdown pass! He would go on to throw two in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but the main thing is that he stopped his NFL-record most pass attempts without a touchdown at 228. Congratulations, Ryan!

  • The New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins this week. Neither team had anything left to play for, so it makes sense that Jets quarterback Geno Smith posted a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating on Sunday.

  • There’s drama in Miami with wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is talented but said to have huge attitude issues. Wallace reportedly refused to play the second half of the Jets game, though Wallace says he was benched by his coach. Then things got weird in the postgame, when teammate Brandon Gibson stood next to Wallace and fielded all his questions as if he were Wallace.

  • Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton just pulled off the greatest Irish exit in history! He stopped by the Bills locker room to grab his wallet and told reporters that he had to go to a meeting, but would talk to them afterward. Orton never came back, and next thing you know, he’s announced his retirement, to the apparent shock of the Bills. Orton is a very interesting character. He swindled the Dallas Cowboys last offseason, is Kryptonite to the Packers, wears the creepiest facial hair with impunity, and now this.

Just try Googling "drunk Kyle Orton" sometime. Trust me.

  • Let's hope the Ann Arbor-area Kmarts have stocked up on extra-pleated khakis, cause Jim Harbaugh is coming to town!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Battle of the Bays

  • Actually, it really wasn't much of a battle as the Green Bay Packers easily defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3. It didn’t feel like a very good offensive game for Green Bay, but Aaron Rodgers was 31/40 for 318 yards and a touchdown. Randall Cobb had 131 receiving yards, Jordy Nelson added 113 yards and a touchdown, and Eddie Lacy ran for 99 yards.

  • It’s hard to feel too excited about the win, because Tampa Bay is bad. Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown is very bad. The Green Bay defense had an interception, seven sacks and 12 QB hits on McCown.

  • The Buccaneers put up 109 yards of offense. Total. In a professional football game. The putridness of the Bucs is what makes Sunday's win a little concerning. For the second straight week, the offense looked out of rhythm, at least in the first half. Honestly, the Packers should have been up 20-3 by the end of the first quarter!

Here's McCown getting sacked after running 20 yards backwards.
Not sure which time this is, because that happened a lot. 

  • Rodgers, who was already under the weather coming into the game, strained his calf, leading to some tense moments when I feared backup Matt Flynn might have to play meaningful snaps. One more time: #ActivateTolzien

I believe in you, Scott! Even if your coaches don't.

  • McCarthy named playoff captains earlier this week before Green Bay had even clinched a spot, which was a nice swagger move, reminiscent of when he had the players fitted for rings before they played in the Super Bowl.

O captain, my captain.

  • I’d think it’d be really hard for a center to be the dirtiest player in the league, but Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola gets my vote. On Sunday, Raiola jumped on the ankle of a Bears’ player. Raiola has a history of doing this crap, which is likely the reason he was given a one-game suspension (rather than just a fine), but Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall doesn’t think it’s enough for a guy he calls "a dirty player and a worse human being." (Seriously, he's taunted Marshall on the field about his mental health issues). This is Raiola sixth violation in the last four years, and that doesn't include when he went after a New England Patriot's knees while the Patriots were in victory formation.

Lions Center Dominic Raiola Stomps On Bears Lineman's Ankle
What is it about Detroit players stomping on opponents?

  • The Miami Dolphins won a surprisingly entertaining game against the Minnesota Vikings on a blocked punt safety!!

  • A lot of NFL teams do great charity work and invite sick children to practice to be a part of the team, meet the players, hang out on the field, &c. The Oakland Raiders recently invited a four-year-old girl named Ava who has a heart condition and did the whole thing for her. After the team had met and played with her, offensive lineman Menelik Watson went over to Ava’s father and turned over his game check to the family.

Awww, nice move, Menelik!

  • Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte made some waves last week when he said he’s willing to trade an earlier death for playing in the NFL. Ummm, isn’t that what every NFL player is implicitly saying when he decides to strap on a helmet and run full-force into 300-pound monsters? You may have also noticed that most athletes are not great long-term thinkers.

His job is to hit people. Don't ask him to do too much more. 

  • Here’s a funny (well, not if you’re a Jacksonville fan) screenshot of how little help rookie quarterback Blake Bortles gets from his offensive line. The arrows are his lineman, the men in purple are the ones about to crush him.

  • The Chicago Bears’ free fall continued. After the disaster of the offensive coordinator publicly trashing quarterback Jay Cutler, head coach Marc Trestman chose to bench Jay in favor of Jimmy Clausen, who was 1-10 coming into Sunday in career starts, which seemed more of a frantic try-not-to-get-fired move than anything. Cutler has been terrible, but so has the playcalling. What exactly Chicago thinks benching Cutler would achieve is unclear. They are are not able to get rid of Cutler in the offseason without taking a $15.5 million hit, so I don’t see a purpose in ticking off your already moody quarterback. Clausen is not good and it’s not like there’s NFL-ready quarterbacks walking around on the street. Jay Cutler is the best the Bears can do, and I can’t see how benching him does the team any good.

  • An interesting twist is that Clausen suffered a concussion this Sunday, meaning next week’s starter is… Jay Cutler! Welcome back, Jay! Sorry about that whole benching thing last week! (Again, why go back to Cutler? Why not see what they have in rookie quarterback David Fales? Does anyone on the coaching staff or the management know what they're doing??)

  • Grantland has a good assessment of the whole situation, pointing out Cutler’s terrible numbers, but also rightly calling out the coaches and management for knowing what they were getting with Cutler and failing to help him be successful.

It's funny and ironic to me how well Cutler has handled
the last couple of weeks, at least in public. 

  • The Arizona Cardinals had the gargantuan task of facing the Seattle Seahawks with a third-string quarterback, Ryan Lindley. It didn’t go well. The Cards lost 35-6 and had 64 total yards in the first half. Seattle finished with a franchise record 596 yards on offense.

  • Coming into Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, Lindley had the dubious distinction of holding the NFL record for most pass attempts without a touchdown at 181. After Sunday’s game ... he still has that record; now it’s for 225 attempts without a touchdown.

I imagine this as his "before" picture. I wonder what he looked like after he
went 18/44 for 216 yards and an interception while getting sacked 7 times.

  • So now the only hope of preventing the Seahawks from getting the number one seed -- and thus homefield advantage throughout the playoffs -- is for the 6-9 St. Louis Rams to go to Seattle next week and beat the Seahawks, and for the Cardinals to defeat the San Francisco 49ers on the road. I’m not terribly optimistic.

  • ESPN journalist ... analyst ... commenter ... personality ... person ... employee, Skip Bayless, is an idiot, we all know, but he also is a liar. The first tweet below is from July; the second is from Sunday.

You should actually follow Skip on Twitter. It's very amusing.

  • Marshawn Lynch has gotten into trouble for refusing to talk to the media after games, so now he talks. He just doesn’t say anything. Here’s the transcript from Sunday’s interview, in which he answered, “Thank you for asking,” to every single question.

At first I thought Lynch's media holdout was petulant and immature, but
now I find it pretty funny (which maybe means I'm petulant and immature).

  • The New Orleans Saints have a legit complaint about the Jimmy Graham touchdown-oh-wait-it’s-a-fumble call, but you can’t have four turnovers and five sacks against a terrible, terrible defense like the Atlanta Falcons and deserve to win. The controversial call came when Graham caught the ball close to the goal line, where he was met by several Atlanta defenders. The ball appeared to just cross the plane of the goal before a defender stripped it and recovered the fumble. Here’s the GIF ...

  • And here's an enlarged screen capture:

That's a touchdown.

  • Again, as unfair as that might have been, the Saints eliminated themselves from the playoffs. They looked to be the comfortable favorites to win the pathetic NFC South, but then proceeded to drop their last five home games. The division will now come down to the Carolina-Atlanta game next Sunday.

  • No one except Miami Dolphins fans can complain about their team's offensive line ever again. Ever.

  • The Packers have made it into the playoffs, as have the Lions, but the division title -- and a first-round bye -- will be decided when the two meet at Lambeau next week. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

What the Heck Was That?

  • Is Kyle Orton Green Bay’s kryptonite? In 2011, the Orton-led Kansas City Chiefs handed the 15-1 Packers their only loss that regular season and now this??
Despite all appearances, beware this man!

  • Aaron Rodgers had a stunningly bad day -- the worst of his career. He had 25 incompletions (career high), had multiple interceptions, and zero touchdowns (his first no touchdown, two interception game). It was a far cry from the week before, when Rodgers set multiple records (the good kind) in his 100th start.

  • A word in Rodgers' defense: he has five interceptions on the year, four of which came off of tipped passes.

  • The receiving corps also had an uncharacteristically sloppy game, officially dropping seven passes. Jordy Nelson -- my Jordy Nelson, White Lightning, Sideline Ninja, Ol’ Reliable -- dropped an easy pass that would have been his standard big-yard touchdown play of the game.
I STILL LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!

  • But he still leads the league in bad-A long touchdowns.

  • I have never understood why the rules should change in the last two minutes of the game. A rule should not be time-conditional. The rulebook says that if a player fumbles, only that player can advance the ball. Rodgers fumbled, but Eddie Lacy recovered and tried to advance the ball. Because Lacy was not the one who fumbled, the play was dead as soon as he touched it and, since he was in the endzone, that’s a safety. But that only applies in the last two minutes of the game. Why? WHO THE HELL KNOWS!

  • It was a very chippy game, as they like to say, which I found surprising because Green Bay doesn’t usually get into it with other teams and Buffalo doesn’t seem like a jerk-y team, but then I remembered the Bills’ defensive coordinator is … Jim Schwartz!
What do you expect?

  • Schwartz’s play-dirty philosophy really paid off for Buffalo. On Rodgers’ second interception, the Bills blindsided right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who left the game with a concussion. His backup, JC Tretter, got beat on the final Packer play of the game and stripped Rodgers for the game-sealing safety. So congrats on your evil plan, Jim.

  • Cornerback Davon House, who missed Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury, looks like he’ll miss the rest of the regular season. While I’m a House believer, I don’t think it’s too bad that backup corner Casey Hayward will get more playing time.

  • Special teams has quietly been worrisome this year, but drew a little more attention to themselves this game by having yet another field goal blocked. That’s two blocked field goals, two blocked punts, and two blocked extra points on the season. That sucks.
Taking the banged-up Josh Sitton and TJ lang off
of special teams has been disastrous.

  • The announcers were awful. They didn’t know anybody’s name, were making nonsensical comments (when Bills receiver Sammy Watkins slipped and fell, leading to an incompletion: “Kyle Orton has got to make that throw!”) and blithely ignoring things that were happening on the field (“Great defense,” as the receiver is being dragged down, mugged, beaten, and left in a dark alley). I understand that Green Bay-Buffalo isn’t the premiere matchup of the week, but did you have to give us the JV announcers?

  • Speaking of awful: those refs!
    • No measurements, even though both teams were awarded first downs when it looked to me like they were short.
    • It’s like the only penalty they know is false start. Ever heard of PASS INTERFERENCE?
    • LOL they called a personal foul on Sam Barrington during one of the skirmishes and they obviously just picked a jersey number at random because Barrington was not involved in that one at all (and the Bills totally started that, but whatever).
    • No pass interference or defensive holding calls on either team.

  • Lacy played well, but I don’t understand why Starks never got any carries after the first quarter or so. Perhaps it was because Lacy was the only player targeted for a pass who didn’t register a drop.

  • Rookie receiver Davante Adams has had a couple of nice games this season, but I don’t think he gets the game mentally, at least not yet. He never seems to be on the same page with Rodgers.

  • The only positive thing I can think of is that Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson became the first duo in franchise history to each have 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns in a season. Yay.
Good job, you beautiful boys.

  • As disappointing as the loss was, Green Bay’s still in good shape. All this doomsdaying of the Packers is silly and annoying. Yes, it was a blow to their chances of having homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, but they’re still awesome and still sitting pretty. There’s no need for Packer fans to wring their hands over losing to Buffalo.

  • Things are not real good in Chicago. A report came out from a Bears official saying that the team had “buyer’s remorse” with Jay Cutler’s seven-year, $126 million contract. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is close to Cutler (or was), backed his quarterback in a vague way, while also saying, “I would have buyer’s remorse, too.” Now we have the offensive coordinator denying that he was the one who originally said, but still offering a tearful apology to his players. The absolute best line from all these reports is this: “The team considered benching [Cutler] during his dismal showing versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers three weeks ago. However, the Bears didn't, mainly because Jimmy Clausen is the backup.
Bear down!

  • Here’s the cake that Johnny Manziel’s friends got him for his birthday this week. Too bad they couldn’t have given him the gift of a better first start; Manziel was 10/18 for 80 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions in the Cleveland Browns’ 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Maybe his friends should have splurged for
a financial planner instead.

  • I will never again complain about the Injury Gods after what the Arizona Cardinals have gone through this season.

  • I’m glad that the Arizona Cardinals beat the St. Louis Rams (my brother has convinced me that things will be better if Green Bay has the #2 seed rather than #1). Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is by far the frontrunner for Coach of the Year, and he seems to have done a great job, but I’m not really a huge fan of a coach gloating in the media and being kind of overall jerk after a win. Some quotes from Arians’ Thursday night presser:
    • “[We] listened to everything all week, like this St. Louis team was 12-1 instead of 6-7. How great they were. All that crap. Well, we’re pretty good too. And our guys … we can run it pretty good. And they’re not beating us with [Rams quarterback] Shaun Hill.”
    • “Everybody wanted to talk all that stuff about how great [the St. Louis] defense is, they saw a good defense tonight. It was in red and white.”
    • “I think [the Rams] had been reading their press clippings way too much.”
    • “There’s a team that’s 11-3 [the Cardinals] and a team that’s always 8-8 [the Rams]. You figure it out.”
    • “Our defensive line whipped their offensive line pretty solid. When [we] were making tackles behind the line of scrimmage, there was usually an offensive lineman holding on to their legs, but somehow those flags never got called, but we were tackling them for losses, so it didn’t matter.”
    • “Our kicker got it between the poles this time.” (After the kicker missed two of five field goals last week -- thanks, Coach!)
Also, I'm not a fan of the hipster look on a 52-year-old man.

  • Isn’t it kind of cheap for a multimillionaire quarterback extraordinaire to give his teammates gifts that he got for free from his endorsement deals?
I hope he included a picture of himself wearing Uggs so his
teammates would have something to dream about at night.

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has 0 touchdowns in the fourth quarter this season. The Niners were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, which is crazy -- they were in the Super Bowl two years ago! They were in the NFC Championship a year ago! Everyone was settling in for a decade of dominance, and then they just fell apart.
"Who's got it better than us?!?" ...just about everybody.

  • I was really, really hoping the Niners would show up against Seattle. As a Green Bay fan, I really, really don’t want Seattle to win their division. Right now, they’re 10-4, a game behind the 11-3 Arizona Cardinals, who they’ll play next week. As impressive as the Cardinals have been, they’re now going to be playing a quarterback who has zero career touchdowns to go with his 10 career turnovers. Seattle will then host the St. Louis Rams in Week 17, meaning there’s a better-than-likely chance that Seattle wins out, Arizona drops their last two, giving the already scary enough Seahawks a shot at the best record in the NFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
I don't know who this gentleman standing next to
Pete Carroll is, but he looks how I feel.

  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton injured his back in a scary car accident this week, meaning Derek Anderson was under center on Sunday. Newton looks to be okay (well, except for those back fractures), and was Anderson’s cheerleader on the sideline, even when Anderson stole Newton’s first down celebration.

  • Somebody breathed too hard on Peyton Manning and the quarterback had to go to the locker room with a thigh injury. Whom should the NFL suspend for this??
Never mind suspension, who should be tarred and feathered and banned for life?

  • After the first quarter, the Dallas Cowboys had 132 yards. The Philadelphia Eagles had 0. Ugh. Philly made a good run late in the game, but in a shockingly unCowboysian manner, Dallas hung on to win the game and take the NFC East lead. But don’t worry, there’s still time left for their inevitable collapse, especially if DeMarco Murray’s broken hand keeps him sidelined.

  • Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured Sunday, so somebody named Tom Savage stepped in. His first NFL snap was a fumble.
He looks as dubious about himself being an NFL quarterback as everyone else is.

  • Savage won’t get a chance to prove everyone -- and himself -- wrong in their lack of faith, since he has been ruled out of next week’s game. Okay, so Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starter this year, but he got benched for Ryan Mallett. Then Ryan Mallett tore his pectoral muscle, ending his season, so it was Fitzpatrick again. Then Fitzpatrick broke his leg on Sunday, ending his season, too, so rookie Tom Savage played, but got injured, which leaves the Texans with 3rd string Thad Lewis (and let’s be honest, if Mallett and Fitzpatrick are your first- and second-stringers, third-string is more like fifth-string) and Case Keenum, whom they just signed off of St. Louis’ practice squad.

  • Robert Griffin III (or, as my mom calls him, Robert W. Griffiths) stepped in for an injured Colt McCoy and scored a touchdown. Except the refs said it wasn’t a touchdown.

  • Then Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss lost it on the refs, screaming about the call, and was subsequently ejected. A second Redskins receiver, Pierre Garcon, nearly got himself a flag, as well, but was pulled away from the officials by coaches. My favorite part is how the announcers are all like, “That’s definitely a touchdown,” and then, after the officials’ ruling, said, “Yeah, on replay you can see they made the right call.” Okay, you puppets

  • The Chicago Bears were defeated by the New Orleans Saints 31-15 on Monday night (surprise!). The Saints, one of the worst defenses in the league, sacked Jay Cutler seven times and intercepted him three times. 

It's really hard to believe Cutler is even trying at this point. 

  • Why, oh why, would I ever be foolish enough to put my faith in the Minnesota Vikings?? When I saw they were up 14-0 early in their game over the Detroit Lions, I have to admit I felt a sliver of hope. But teams tend to go into some sort of late-game shock whenever they play the Lions that causesthem to seize up and lie down (see also New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami). And now the Lions go on to play the Chicago Bears next week.
I'll be holding my breath.