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.

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