Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Can't Believe I Was Worried about the Kansas City Chiefs

  • Ever since they destroyed the Green Bay Packers’ near-perfect, 15-1 season, I’ve been very wary of the Kansas City Chiefs. Plus, before Monday, KC had never lost at Lambeau. As it turns out, there was no need for apprehension, not when you’ve got Aaron Freakin’ Rodgers at quarterback. Rodgers was 24-for-35 for 325 yards and FIVE touchdowns!

  • And what a game for Randall Cobb!! Ol’ Green Eyes took three Lambeau Leaps on Monday night.
So good. Soooo preeeetty.

  • Rookie wide receiver Ty Montgomery got his first touchdown and Lambeau Leap! Yay! I love watching rookies get their first TD.

  • Another free play touchdown! And a second free play almost-touchdown. How many times can Rodgers score touchdowns on teams before they catch on? Alex Smith tried to take of advantaged of a free play, but threw an interception.
Lolz you ain't Aaron Rodgers.

  • Kansas City had three yards in the first quarter -- when you have to spell out a team's yards instead of using the number, you know it's bad. At half, KC had 94 yards to Green Bay’s 304.

  • Is no lower leg safe in Green Bay? Safeties Morgan Burnett and Sean Richardson were both out for the game after suffering calf and ankle injuries, respectively, during the week. Eddie Lacy and Davante Adams were both coming off of ankle injuries. Ty Montgomery hurt his ankle on the the the very first play of the game (he would return), and Adams re-injured his ankle a few plays later (he did not return). Tight end Andrew Quarless, who was nowhere to be found in the first two games, left the game with a knee injury.

  • A Phil-Simms-esque line from Mike Tirico: Aaron Rodgers wants to prove to everyone that he “should have been taken at the top of that [2005] draft, if not higher."

  • I won't lie, it was very disappointing to be the team against which Kansas City broke their no-touchdowns-to-wide-receivers-since-2013 drought. The defense also allowed Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles to score three touchdowns, though it's hard to grade a defense when they're playing with such a large lead.

  • Yes, I'm being petty, but I couldn't help but smile when I saw this.

  • ESPN’s talk show Mike & Mike was live from Lambeau on Monday. Some people couldn't handle it.
I'm tearing up with pride for my home state. 

  • The New England Patriots have scored 119 points in their first three games! The crazy thing is that’s not even the highest in the league -- the Arizona Cardinals have scored 126!!

  • Megatron making a play on this almost-guaranteed interception!

  • After the Green Bay game last week, in which newly-acquired Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham had only one reception, there were a lot of reports about how unhappy Graham was with his lack of targets. I have nooooo idea what the Seahawks were thinking by throwing to Graham only seven times in the first two weeks, but they seemed to catch on that this guy is pretty good. He caught seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

  • I’m very grateful that the Seahawks waited until after playing Green Bay to finally throw the ball to Graham. I would also like to extend a warm “thank you” to Kam Chancellor for waiting to end his contract holdout until after Seattle played Green Bay.

  • The Tennessee Titans, down eight points, scored in the closing seconds of their game against the Indianapolis Colts and needed a two-point conversion to force the game into overtime. I really appreciate this runner’s never-say-die attitude, but why didn’t he throw it back to the quarterback??

  • So the Baltimore Ravens are 0-3. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked the Ravens, so I’m kinda happy.

  • Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, however, was not happy after his team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, especially their inability to stop Bengals receiver AJ Green: “One of these days we'll figure out how to cover A.J. Green. It would be nice if we did that before he retires.”

  • Everyone was freaking out over all the players the San Francisco 49ers lost in the offseason. I thought people were overreacting and that the Niners would end up being mediocre, but not terrible. I was wrong. Very wrong. They’ve lost their first three games by an average of 27 points!!

  • The Arizona Cardinals’ opening drive against the Niners ended with a punt. The next time the Cardinals’ offense touched the ball, they were up 14-0, thanks to back-to-back Colin Kaepernick pick-sixes. Arizona went on to win 47-7.

  • I seriously don’t understand what happened to Colin Kaepernick. He looked like the next big quarterback and every sports analyst was in love with him. And it wasn’t a fluke. I clearly remember the Packers getting destroyed by him every freaking time they played. But after starting a not-terrible 7-4 last year, the Niners dropped four of their last five and the spiraling has continued into this season. It can’t all be on the playcalling, right? I’m honestly confounded by how fast his descent has been.

  • The Atlanta Falcons scored 25 unanswered points to beat the Dallas Cowboys.
It was a good Sunday.

  • Steve Smith making his farewell tour count.

  • I really tried to feel sympathy for Ben Roethlisberger as he was carted off the field after a knee injury, but all I felt was concern for the female athletic trainer who was on the cart with him.

  • Even before the results of the MRI were known (MCL sprain and bone bruise), there was approximately 0% chance Roethlisberger would be able to play in the Steelers’ next game since it’s four days after their last. Yay for Thursday Night Football.

  • Jim Bob Cooter is the actual name of a Detroit Lions coach.

  • When I Googled his name, I was really expecting something more like this to come up:

  • The Chicago Bears traded Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers on Monday. Sooooooo this season, Allen will be paid $11.5 million by the Bears for three games (in the form of a roster bonus back in March), and $823,000 by the Panthers for 13 games. There’s that shrewd management that keeps the Bears on top!

  • Brandon Weeden perpetually has the look of an amateur con man who knows he is seconds away from being exposed.

  • What’s the point of CBS paying former official Mike Carey as a consultant on disputed calls when his “expert analysis” is -- and I quote -- “It’s a close one. We’ll see.”

  • Speaking of CBS, if you are forced to sit through a Phil Simms-narrated game, you need to be following Phil Simms Quotes on Twitter.

  • Wow, it’s going to be a long season for Russell Wilson. He’s already been sacked a league-high 12 times in three games.

  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton likes to make bold fashion statements, but I have a fashion question: where does one even find a blue camouflage suit jacket?

  • Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson had a game-winning interception this week. Sigh. I miss him.

  • Awwww, Woodson posted a picture of his sons celebrating their dad’s interception. I really, really miss him. :’(  

  • Now, the good news for the Chicago Bears is that, without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, they didn’t have any turnovers! The bad news…

  • There’s something that’s been bothering me for a long while now and it’s only because of my admirable self-control that I haven’t said anything, but I really hate the NFL twitter feed. In particular, I hate their incessant use of the phrase, “Have a day!” That doesn’t mean anything! STOP SAYING THAT. (Note also that these were all posted in a two-hour span.)

  • Tom Brady threw his 400th touchdown on Sunday to Danny Amendola. The receiver then handed the ball to a fan in the stands! Said Brady, “I don’t care. It’s just a ball.” (Don’t worry, he ended up getting it back.)

  • WHAT WAS BRANDON MARSHALL THINKING? (In his defense, he did call it the “worst play in NFL history.”)

  • So the New York Jets have a tight end coach, and that tight end coach has a son whom he brought into the locker room, and that son has a Twitter account. I don’t think that son will be returning to the locker room.

  • Monday night was fun, but I still miss Jordy a lot. I'll bet Aaron and Randall do, too.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hahaha! Pete Carroll & the Seattle Seahawks are 0-2! Hahahaha!

  • Very nice win by the Green Bay Packers over the Seattle Seahawks! After I spent all week moping over their worrisome rush defense (especially after they lost starting inside linebacker Sam Barrington for the year), the defense came to play! Green Bay held Marshawn Lynch to just 41 yards on 15 carries. Lynch was tackled for a loss a career-high five times on Sunday night.

  • There were a number of Packers players who had strong performances -- B.J. Raji and Ty Montgomery stood out to me -- but the game ball probably belongs to linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who had an interception (which he almost fumbled away, but recovered -- whew!) and a forced fumble, both in the fourth quarter.
Speaking of Ty Montgomery, look how ridiculously ripped his arms are!

  • But Pete Carroll and the Seahawks thought they recovered the fumble on Elliott’s interception. (They didn’t.) The poor ‘Hawks were just so "confused" that the refs didn’t give them the ball! Awww.

  • It was not a good night to be an ankle in Green Bay. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd is out for the season after breaking a bone in his ankle; starting running back Eddie Lacy left the game with a low-ankle sprain (timetable TBD); and receiver Dante Adams also suffered an ankle sprain, though he returned to the game in a hobbled state.

  • I saw some pre-game pundits saying Sunday night’s game was a “must-win” for Seattle. LOL. I’m over the moon that Seattle’s 0-2, but I don’t think you can have a “must-win” game when you’re 1/16th into your season.

  • Nearly all of the Packers’ big gains came on free plays. Considering how incredibly successful Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are doing that, I don’t understand why more quarterbacks don’t try it more often. I always see other offenses just stop their play when there’s a pre-snap penalty on the defense. It’s a free play, guys!!

  • Here’s one such play, a touchdown to the resurrected James Jones. This throw is incredible! Look at how insane the window is!!

  • Mason Crosby the leading scorer in Packers history! He had a great game, making four field goals to keep Green Bay in the game during the big lull in in their offense.

Remember when I was the only one defending Crosby
during his slump? Vindicated!!

  • Aaron Rodgers has the highest career passer rating at home -- 112.7. That’s 12 points higher than the next highest quarterbacks, those losers Peyton Manning and Steve Young, who were barely able to crack triple digits.

  • Rodgers has also gone over 450 passes without an interception thrown at home. I’ll give you 40 chances to guess which active player has the next longest streak (at a pitiful 169). Give up?

  • Say what you want about Pete Carroll, but he has some great hands. This might be the catch of the week -- he catches it one-handed, left-handed, across his body!

  • The Seahawks have had some drama already this season, between Marshawn Lynch’s mom calling for the offensive coordinator to be fired to starting safety Kam Chancellor holding out. Regarding the Chancellor situation, I generally have a lot of sympathy for players holding out for new contracts (if you want to know why, see: Murray, DeMarco), but Kam is being ridiculous. He signed his contract extension in April 2013, so he’s only completed one season under that deal. There’s no question that Chancellor deserves to be paid with the top safeties in the league, but If he wasn’t happy with the extension, he should have done a one-year deal and tried again this summer.

In his defense, he can do this. 

  • As far as I understand, Chancellor is not actually asking for a new deal; he’s asking for a new distribution of money over the course of his current deal. He wants money that’s been backloaded to the last year of the deal (2017) moved forward to next year. Since the current structure of backloading money to the later years of the contract is all in the owners’ favor, Chancellor’s position doesn’t seem too unreasonable on the surface. A couple of problems with it, though: 1) if that’s what you wanted, Kam, you should have negotiated that when you were, ya know, negotiating the contract; 2) the Seahawks don’t want to agree to this because if they do, it’s widely expected that Chancellor will then ask for a new deal after the 2016 season, so Chancellor wants to frontload the deal so that he can holdout for a new deal sooner; 3) the two sides were reportedly less than $1 million apart in their current negotiations, but Chancellor has already lost $2.1 million in fines and lost wages from not playing any games this season -- THAT MAKES NO SENSE, KAM.
Russell Wilson seems to like Kam, though. A lot. A lot, a lot.

  • So JJ Watt is apparently looking for a girlfriend? (MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!) But he doesn't want you to worry about him.
Yeah, I'm not too worried. When he wants a wife,
he can pretty much just point and beckon.

  • So many crazy turnarounds in Week 2:
    • The St. Louis Rams, who beat Seattle last week, lost to the Redskins this week.
    • Tennessee looked great in Week 1, but lost to the Cleveland Browns (who lost last week to the NY Jets).
    • The Tampa Bay Bucs lost to those Titans last week, then beat the New Orleans Saints this week.
    • The San Francisco 49ers beat the Minnesota Vikings 20-3 last week; then got destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    • After last week's loss to the Niners, the Vikings beat the Detroit Lions.
    • The Raiders -- the Oakland Raiders! -- beat the Baltimore Ravens after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals.
    • The New York Giants lost to the Dallas Cowboys after blowing a double-digit lead last week, and this week …. oh …. they blew a double-digit lead.

  • JJ Watt reached 60 career sacks. Second-fastest player to do so after Reggie White.

  • Oh, Jay. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is out at least two weeks with a hamstring injury. He suffered the injury when he was -- you'll never guess -- trying to chase down the guy he just threw an interception to. You would think by now that the Bears would run him through some tackling drills in practice to prepare for the inevitable.

  • This GIF isn’t as good as it would be if it were Cutler instead of backup Jimmy Clausen, but it’s still pretty good. It's like the opposite of a goal-line push. A goal-line escape?

  • The Chicago Bears had 170 YARDS IN PENALTIES against the Arizona Cardinals.

  • If you can tear your eyes away from Randall Cobb’s beautiful face, look how messed up that reporter’s finger is!!

The reporter is a former player, so I guess it all makes sense. 

  • Before signing inside linebacker Joe Thomas on Monday, the Packers had just three players on their roster who have ever played for another team. Every other team has at least 16. That’s crazy!

  • I couldn't find a GIF of this, but you need to watch this video of a New Orleans defender (#40) about 10 yards behind the catch and completely lost. It's kinda sad, but really funny.

  • There’s a Baltimore Ravens player named Crockett Gillmore. I feel like his parents couldn't decide what to name him and threatened each other that if they couldn’t agree on a name, they would name him “Crockett,” but they were both really stubborn and neither of them would blink, so they were both like, “Okay, fine. Crockett it is. I don’t care. Whatever. I like the name ‘Crockett.’”

  • Remember Pacman Jones trying to kill Amari Cooper last week?

  • And remember how the NFL didn’t suspend him for trying to kill Cooper? Well, let's check in with Jones and see what he had to say about the situation:

Let see how that holds up in court.

  • So poor Tony Romo broke his collarbone again, leaving the Dallas Cowboys without their starting quarterback, their top receiver, and their starting cornerback. Let’s see if Jerry Jones tries to force Romo back onto the field by telling reporters that he expects Romo will play next week like he did last year when Romo broke his back.

  • Don’t worry, though: the ‘Boys have Brandon Weeden at backup.

  • Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford running away from defensive pressure is the exact same as how I looked as a child running away from my siblings who were trying to beat me up: run away in slow circles, then fall down.

  • How does a kicker get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty ... when he's not even on the field? Dallas’ Dan Bailey found a way.

  • Here’s a stat for you: “At half, DeMarco Murray leads the Eagles rushing with 1 yard.”

  • Murray, after being run into the ground by the Cowboys and then not re-signed, is having a rough time in Philadelphia, along with the rest of the 0-2 Eagles. After enjoying a year behind the Cowboys’ fierce offensive line, Murray was getting little-to-no help from Philly’s line, repeatedly getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

  • How DeMarco Murray must have felt looking across the field at his former offensive linemen:

  • It probably doesn’t matter since Eli Manning is still their quarterback, but I was not aware of this little factoid: “The starry New York Giants receiving duo of Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. have been on the field together for one full professional game, the New York-Atlanta game on Oct. 5, 2014.”

  • If I were a casting agent in the 1990s, I would cast Mike Florio as my corporate villain who is trying to raze the protagonist children’s community playground to build high-rise condos.

"And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddlesome kids!"

  • Cleveland Browns receiver Travis Benjamin is off to quite a start. He has over 200 yards after two weeks -- all from six catches! And that’s not even counting his 164 yards returning punts!

  • I was going to say that this Julio Jones catch was the catch of the week (outside Pete Carroll's sideline catch, I mean):

  • But then I saw Danny Amendola laying out for this:

  • Times I said, “I miss Jordy” during this week’s game: 8.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Can We Play the Bears Every Week?

  • Jay Cutler at quarterback for the Chicago Bears is such a safety blanket for Green Bay Packers fans. I tend to get very emotionally caught up in Packers games and have been known to stress out, but when the ball’s in Jay’s hands, I feel a sense of calm come over me. I have faith. I trust in Jay. I know he’ll throw the ball to us.

The Greek God of the Gridiron.

  • Also, Clay got married and had a kid over the summer. How does someone who stalks the Packers with the dedication that I do, not find this out until last week?? I'm ashamed of myself.

  • Eddie Lacy, who is known to brag about his receiving skills in practice, put them on display with this beautiful, reaching, one-handed catch off a pitch from and under-pressure Aaron Rodgers.
We'll just call you Eddie Moss from now on.

  • A big thank-you shout out to the New York Giants for cutting James Jones from their team in time for Green Bay to sign him. He caught the Packers’ first two touchdowns of the seasons as if he’d never been away.
James Jones' touchdown
Welcome back, JJ.

  • I’m glad the Giants didn’t need you.

  • Now that we’ve celebrated, let’s all start worrying about how much harder that game was than it should have been. There’s no need to overreact after one game, but the defense did not look good. Chicago running back Matt Forte faced little resistance in gaining any of his 141 yards.
A weak Green Bay run defense?? Shocking, I know.

  • Also, safety Morgan Burnett needs to get healthy in a hurry since no one else in the secondary can make a tackle. Sam Shields, in particular, had some rough plays, whiffing on more than one tackle. (Though I still am totes a Shields apologist. I love that guy.)

  • Commentor Joe Buck dyed his hair an awful shade of red and made some attempt at facial hair. I am not able to hazard a guess as to why he would have chosen to do this. Here’s what he looked like last year:

  • Here’s what he looked like on Sunday:
This pic doesn't do justice to just  how terrible
his at-home dye job color was. It was like a neon rust color. 

  • Marcus Mariota’s debut must have all (both?) Tennessee Titans fans pretty keyed up. Mariota was 13-of-16 for 209 yards, 4 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Just keep in mind, Titans fans (fan?), that they were playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • As great a game Mariota had, things were a little bit rougher on the other side of the ball for the man picked just ahead of him at #1. Jameis Winston completed 48% of his passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions -- including a pick-six that came on his first-ever NFL throw.

  • The St. Louis Rams' front seven continued to impress against the Seattle Seahawks. Not only did they sack Russell Wilson six times and get nine hits on him, but they held Marshawn Lynch on a 4th-and-1 that won the game in overtime! Yay to Pete Carroll losing!
We should all talk about how Seattle really should have thrown on 4th-and-1.

  • Russell Wilson has had four games in his career in which he's been sacked six times. Three of those games came against St. Louis. We should all be afraid of the Rams.

  • The New York Giants lost -- woohoo! Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys won. =( Giants fans have to feel terrible about the ending of Sunday night’s game. New York faced a 3rd-and-1 at the 1-yard line with 1:43 left in the game, up 23-20. For absolutely no reason at all, the Giants call a pass play instead of running the clock down with a run (never mind actually picking up the one yard and ending the game right there). Then, for absolutely no reason at all, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning decides to throw the ball away instead of taking a sack, which would have allowed New York to run an extra 40 seconds or so off the clock. The Giants kicked a field goal to go up 26-20. So instead of getting the ball with 49 seconds and no timeouts, the Cowboys had 1:29 to march down the field and score a touchdown to win by one, which is exactly what they did.

  • Oh, and also, Giants running back Rashad Jennings had a chance to score on the Giants’ final meaningful drive -- twice -- but was told not to score -- twice.

  • The Cowboys lost superstar receiver Dez Bryant to a broken foot, which will keep him out four-to-six weeks. I’m always glad when Cowboy fans are sad, but I never gloat over injuries. Get better soon, Dez!

  • Also, how the heck does a broken foot only keep a player out for four-to-six weeks???

  • I’m usually an old curmudgeon when it comes to players taunting, but waving at an opponent who can’t catch you after you’ve intercepted the ball is kinda funny enough for me to give it a pass.

  • Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes: one to a tight end and two to his running back, extending KC’s no-touchdown-catches-by-a-wide-receiver that began in December of 2013!!!

  • I HATE ESPN’S NEW WEBSITE. It’s awful.

  • JJ Watt had two sacks and six tackles for losses (the rest of his team had one). Yawn. You’re going to have to at least score a touchdown or record double-digit sacks in a game to get my attention, JJ.
Just kidding. You have my attention. You have my full attention.

  • Also, one of his sacks came after he got his helmet knocked off.

  • It must have been a busy Monday for the Oakland Raiders MRI technicians -- quarterback Derek Carr, safety Charles Woodson (nooooooooo), and safety Nate Allen were all scheduled for further tests after suffering injuries in Sunday’s opener.

  • There were 11 penalties called in the Cincinnati Bengals-Oakland Raiders game; five of them were personal fouls. Worst of all was Pacman Jones knocking off Amari Cooper’s helmet, then slamming Cooper’s unhelmeted head into the displaced helmet. Shockingly, reports say Jones will receive a fine but not a suspension. I have no idea how the league justifies not suspending this guy!!

  • I’m never, ever happy to see a player to get injured … but I’m not sad to see Terrell Suggs go down for the season with an Achilles tear.
That may sound mean, but Suggs is a p.o.s. wife-beater and one of
those guys who has a "Legal Troubles" subsection on his Wikipedia page.

  • Even when he was on the Bears, I always respected Brandon Marshall’s talent. (Still don't understand why they traded him...) I love him here not only stopping the return on an interception (he was probably used to doing that when he played with Cutler), but ripping it from the defender and running it upfield.

  • After spending four seasons at backup in Baltimore, Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor had his first NFL start on Sunday ... but he didn’t technically start. The Bills’ first snap was a trick play that saw Taylor at wide receiver while backup Matt Cassel was under center.

  • Why didn’t the Cowboys let Dan Bailey retake his national tv picture??

  • Adrian Peterson is back with a vengeance. (Uhhh not enough vengeance to keep the Minnesota Vikings from getting beat by San Francisco 49ers 20-3, but still.)

  • The Jason Pierre-Paul story gets weirder and sadder every day. JPP lost his right index finger and broke his thumb in a fireworks accident July 4th. He then stonewalled his team, refusing to talk to them or see them for two months, but indicating that he’d be ready to play sooner rather than later. The Giants only just saw Pierre-Paul for the first time since the accident last Monday, and it sounds like it didn’t go so great. JPP apparently lost parts of his other fingers, as well, and some sources don’t think he’ll be able to play at all this season.

  • Don’t worry, Jordy, I haven't forgotten you. Here’s a picture of you scoring on the Bears, just as you would have surely done if you could have played Sunday.