Monday, November 24, 2014

Top of the NFC North

  • It wasn’t a particularly pretty or even competent win for the Green Bay Packers, but they moved into sole possession of the top spot in the NFC North. The Packers looked sloppy in all three phases of the game, but this was still a good win for them. The Vikings played most of the game in Cover 2, which the Packers will see a lot of, given the talent of their passing game, and Green Bay took what Minnesota gave them, and, well, ran with it.

  • Eddie Lacy was fantastic with 125 rushing yards -- with 70 of those yards coming after contact! -- one rushing touchdown, and one receiving touchdown. All while sick, the poor guy.

  • Facing a double team most of the game, Jordy Nelson was pretty quiet, with just 68 yards. He did, however, passed the 1,000-yard mark on the season. Whoop whoop!

"Yeah, I know, I'm pretty good."

  • With the Vikings secondary giving most of its attention to Jordy and Randall, it was clear that the Packers need to have a third weapon. Davante Adams has to step up. If not, it may be time to get Jarrett Boykin back in the rotation or even Jeff Janis.

  • Daryl Johnston and Kenny Albert are the WORST. They are boring, stupid, and have annoying voices. And the less said about Tony Siragusa, the better. (Or really, the less Tony Siragusa says, the better.)

Translation: You're gonna want to watch this game on mute.

  • Another reason I hated Fox on Sunday -- Sideline Ninja had a sideline catch that was ruled out of bounds and they wouldn't show the replay!! THEN, I found this today -- I KNEW IT! WHY DIDN'T THEY LISTEN TO ME?!

Did you really doubt him?? Stupid, blind ref.

  • The announcers couldn’t get enough of Teddy Bridgewater. They were obsessed with his “poise,” which I, too, can admire, but I was a little distracted by all of his passes being 10 feet too high. If a Vikings receiver were standing on the shoulders of another Vikings receiver, the throws still probably would have been too high.

  • Micah Hyde’s interception gave the Packers 19 straight games with a takeaway, the longest active streak in the league. (They should have had about four more interceptions, considering Bridgewater’s passes.)

  • Aaron Rodgers' only touchdown was to Richard Rodgers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a receiver be able to stand flatfooted in the endzone and wait several seconds for the ball to come to him. Rodgers’ (the quarterback) ability to get that ball across the field is incredible and funny when you think that that went into the box score as a 1-yard pass.

  • The Packers defense looked at times like it was reverting back to its original form that had fans so worried early in the season. There were a lot of missed tackles.

  • Merciful heavens, there were plays where both AJ Hawk and Brad Jones were in the game?? We’re darn lucky that the Vikings didn’t manage to score five touchdowns when that dynamic duo was holding down that inside line.

  • This week was kinda disappointing because there were so many near upsets - The Miami Dolphins almost beat the Denver Broncos, the Chicago Bears were down in the third quarter to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco barely beat the Washington Redskins, the St. Louis Rams made things close against the San Diego Chargers, the Dallas Cowboys put together a game-winning drive in the final minute against the New York Giants, and the Atlanta Falcons came thisclose to not beating themselves.

You even suck at sucking, Jay!!

  • There was one really cool upset, though -- the Oakland Raiders beat the Kansas City Chiefs for their first win of the season!! I’m so happy for them!!

  • The Raiders could have lost the game on a stupid penalty, though. On the final Kansas City drive, with under a minute left, Raiders defenders Khalil Mack and Sio Moore were too busy celebrating a sack to notice that every other player on the field was lined up and the Kansas City Chiefs were about to snap the ball, which would have resulted in a penalty against the Raiders. Veteran Justin Tuck had to call a timeout to prevent the penalty. After the game, Moore said, "You know how they say act like you've been there before? I haven't."

Seriously, watch the linked video above to see how freaking
long they spent celebrating.

  • Charles Woodson, a 17-year vet and former Packer best known for his appearance on my “Top Ten Hottest Packers” list, was not happy with Moore. If the Raiders hadn’t won, said Woodson, “we really probably would've had to fight, and I would've seen exactly what kind of fighter he is."

  • Oh, I miss Woodson so much! On Thursday night, he became the first NFL player to have 50 interceptions and 20 sacks. And he’s still only one pick-six away from the record!

  • I have long been a Matthew Stafford apologist, but sometimes I don’t get a lot of help from Matt himself. The Lions got beat down in a big way by the New England Patriots, 34-9. Stafford was a putrid 18-for-46 with no touchdowns and an interception. He didn’t get much help from his receivers …

  • …but that still doesn’t excuse completing under 40% of your passes.

  • I give Chicago flack for not having a top-5 offense, but the Detroit Lions deserve some heat, as well. They’ve failed to score a touchdown in two straight games (against New England and Arizona, the latter of which does have a very strong defense). The Lions are 7-4, but have only a +7 point differential. The San Francisco 49ers are the only winning team with a lower point differential. Calvin Johnson has missed a bunch of games, but you still have Stafford, Golden Tate, a now-healthy Johnson, Jeremy Ross (who magically became good after leaving the Packers), and a solid run game with Joique Bell, Reggie Bush, and Theo Riddick, as well as a strong defense that puts their offense in good positions. No excuse for not lighting up the scoreboard.

  • Sooo, Josh Huff is pretty fast.

That's Philly's fourth kickoff/punt return for a touchdown this season!

  • In athletes not doing terrible things news, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch found a wallet at a gas station, looked at the address, drove there to return it, but found no one at home, so he left the wallet with a neighbor to ensure it got back to the owner.

  • In case this blog is your only link to the outside world and you haven’t yet seen the Odell Beckham, Jr. catch from Sunday night, here it is.

  • That’s not just a one-handed catch, that’s a three-finger catch.

  • ODB’s jaw-dropping catch didn’t help him escape the scorn of the ref. Beckham was hit while going out of bounds and the Giants were calling for a late hit penalty. I was glad to see the ref stand firm, but it seemed a bit unnecessary, though amusing, to call out ODB publicly for “[taking] a flop.

  • Robert Woods of the Buffalo Bills must have gotten sick of everyone talking about ODB's catch, so he wanted to give him a run for his money in the crazy, unbelievable catch category on Monday night.

  • This is Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive VP of the New York Giants. Next to him is someone everyone hoped was his granddaughter. His awkward old-man smooching ruined that hope.

I'm sure this relationship will go the distance.

  • It was revealed that Clay Matthews and several of the Green Bay Packers offensive line will make a cameo in the upcoming Pitch Perfect sequel (so yes, I’m obvs going to go see it). A lot of people are geeked up about it, but former Packers o-lineman Marshall Newhouse is not one of them.

  • Bill Belichick doesn’t care if you ran for 200 yards and scored four touchdowns the week before. If you oversleep practice, you don’t play. I think Jonas Gray learned his lesson.

  • Marshawn Lynch has previously been fined ridiculous amounts for refusing to speak to the media after games. So he, um, “talked,” to the media after Sunday’s game. Here’s the transcript.

  • Wonder why the Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game was played in Detroit instead of Buffalo?

  • Umm, would anyone on the Washington Redskins’ medical staff care to evaluate Robert Griffin III for a concussion? How many times does your quarterback have to take a helmet-to-helmet hit or have his head slammed into the ground before you take steps to protect him? RGIII was sacked five times and hit another eight against the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Aww, Tom Brady’s little girl was cheering on her dad on Sunday. It’s nice to see the child of a multimillionaire sports star and a multimillionaire supermodel enjoy her father’s success from her multimillion dollar mansion.

  • Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has been placed on non-football injury list with what is reportedly a diagnosis of lymphoma. It’s crazy to think that Berry was just playing football on Thursday -- when a complaint of chest pains led to the medical evaluation that revealed the lymphoma. I hope he has a speedy recovery!

  • TY Hilton and his wife had a baby girl on Sunday morning, just a couple hours before kickoff, but Hilton was still able to make his game. He promised he’d catch a TD for his little girl, and made good on his promise, paying tribute to her in his touchdown celebration.

  • Hey, guys, you’ll never believe this, but a Detroit Lions player made a dirty play! With the New England Patriots up 25 points and only a few seconds left on the clock, the Lions took a knee, except, as you can see here, center Dominic Raiola, took a dive at the Patriot’s nose tackle’s feet. Raiola didn’t try to dodge the accusation: “I cut him. We took a knee, so I cut [him] ... They went for a touchdown at two minutes. They could have took three knees and the game could have been over. It's football. He wants to keep playing football, let's play football. Not a big deal. It's football.

  • While Raiola is right that the Pats should have run out the clock rather than score, that’s still not an excuse to risk injuring something. Bill Belichick offered his sympathy (?), saying, “[I’m] sure there was a lot of frustration there with Raiola. He’s never beaten us. Tough day for him.” Zing!

  • Oh, Shaun Hill. With about a minute left in the game, the St. Louis Rams were down three points and on the San Diego’s 4-yard-line. Worst case scenario is they kick an easy field goal and take it to overtime, right? Actually, the very worst case scenario is your quarterback throws an interception on the goal line that ends the game. Which is what Shaun Hill did.

  • Heads up, ref! Wonder how many weeks' suspension this player will get.

  • It’s always so awkward when a player is benched, and then the backup gets injured and then the team has to go back to the original starter. Like, how do you pep talk him? “Hey bud, we believe in you … even though we just benched you because we thought your backup was better … the team’s behind you … yeah, they were excited when you were benched, but they’re back behind you now … I know you can do this … but, yes, we are calling free agents right now.” That’s what I imagine going on in Houston with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who I guess will be back to starting now after Ryan Mallett tore his pectoral muscle and is out for the season

  • A 99-yard pick-six from Janoris Jenkins!

  • It was a tough week for the New Orleans Saints, even before they lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. The Saints had to place their rookie, star-in-the-making wide receiver Bradin Cooks on injured reserve, along with starting safety Rafael Bush, ending both their seasons.

  • This Tennessee Titans offensive lineman wanted to make clear to the Eagles knew what the call on the field was.

  • The Atlanta Falcons lost to the Cleveland Browns, despite having the ball with 2:42 left, three timeouts, and subsequently scoring! How has that house not been cleaned after the last three years? The fact that Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff have had jobs the past three years is incredible.

  • No, no, Matt Ryan! Don’t run towards the guy who just almost sacked you!!


  • Andy Reid is typically the go-to butt of the joke when it comes to clock management, but I really feel like Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons has wrestled that title away from Reid and deserves first mention when talking about terrible clock management.

  • That's it for this week! ... except for one more thing: SHIRTLESS RANDALL ALERT.

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