Monday, October 26, 2015

By the Bye

Actually, don't read that link; it's a little depressing.

  • The Dallas Cowboys were down seven to the New York Giants with1:30 left when Cowboys’ return man Cole Beasley muffed a punt and New York’s Myles White (former Packer! Woo hoo! Good job!) was there to recover the lucky bounce.

  • I felt bad for Cole Beasley -- it’s tough to be the scapegoat. Also, he’s really short, he has a silly name, and silly hair too.

  • Beasley apologized to fans on Twitter after the game, taking a calm approach to the Twitter Mafia:

  • His wife took a different approach:

  • The muffed punt certainly wasn’t the only thing keeping Dallas from the win. They were playing with Matt Cassel at quarterback, for heaven’s sake. While I still maintain that Cassel is an upgrade over Brandon Weeden (albeit very slight), he sure was terrible, throwing three interceptions to just one touchdown.

  • Cowboys’ defensive end/wild animal Greg Hardy was very angry at the Cowboys’ special teams unit after they gave up a touchdown. Hardy was screaming and getting in his teammates’ faces, and even slapped a clipboard out of the special teams’ coach’s hands, before injured receiver Dez Bryant and others tried to separate him. When Bryant is the one calming you down, you might have a problem.

  • Don’t worry, though, it’s all good! Everything’s totally fine! Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says that Hardy was just “firing up” the special teams guys! When asked if he had a problem with Hardy’s behavior, Jones doubled-down, saying, “As a matter of fact, I would encourage it.

I wish somebody would publish a Jerry Jones quotes coffeetable book already.

  • The Buffalo Bills nearly made a furious comeback after being down 27-3 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but ended up losing 34-31 in yet another installment of the London series. A good show by Buffalo to make it interesting, but you can’t really blame England for not getting on board with the NFL when we keep sending them terrible teams -- Buffalo was 3-3 going into Sunday’s game, Jacksonville 1-5. Here’s a look at the games we’ve made the Brits sit through in the past two seasons, along with the teams’ records going into the game:
    • Miami Dolphins (1-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (0-3)
    • Detroit Lions (5-2) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-5)
    • Dallas Cowboys (6-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
    • Buffalo Bills (2-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
    • New York Jets (3-1) vs. Miami Dolphins (1-3)
  • In the past six games the NFL has exported, there have been three teams (out of a possible 12 for those of you who can’t multiply two and six) with winning records featured. You know why? Because good teams that habitually win games have too much sway in the league and would (rightly) pitch fits if they had to travel across the Atlantic for a game. But let’s keep pretending that a London franchise is feasible!

  • I didn’t watch the Bills-Jags from London because the hell I’ll livestream the game on Yahoo. 1) Do you know how much I pay for Sunday Ticket so I can supposedly have “every game” every week? 2) Yahoo is the worst website in the world. We shouldn’t encourage them.

  • Scrambling to avoid a sack, Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown ran out of bounds … and kept running … very slowly … until he ran softly into a wall … and fell down. I don’t really understand -- why didn’t he just stop running?

  • The Miami Dolphins were up on the Houston Texans 41-0 at halftime. Can’t we just put the Texans out of of their misery? It seems cruel to make them have to keep going out every Sunday and play NFL teams.

  • The Texans’ main problem is that they don’t have a starting quarterback, just two backup quarterbacks competing for the starting job. I don’t know much about playing quarterback, but I do have a little advice for Ryan Mallett on what not to do when you’re trying to win back the starting position: don’t miss the team flight for an away game.
Also, try not to look like this in pictures. It makes
everyone instinctively hate you.

  • The Texans having JJ Watt always makes me think that they have a good defense, but they don’t. They’re actually one of the worst defenses in the league by almost any measure. (So maybe not having a quarterback is only one of their main problems.) Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill sure must have appreciated the stat boost that comes with playing the Texans. Tannehill was 18-for-19 (he started 18-for-18) for 282 yards*, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. (*To be fair, his receivers did most of the work for these yards, as at least half of them came after the catch.)
(Gratuitous JJ pic.)

  • Houston Texans running back Arian Foster tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season. Foster had returned from a groin injury just three weeks earlier. So, uh, I guess things aren’t going to be getting better for Houston anytime soon.

  • After the first quarter, the New Orleans Saints had more points (20) than the Indianapolis Colts had yards (16).. By halftime, Indianapolis had managed 131 yards, two interceptions, a fumble, and 0 points. Indy made an effort in the second half and ended up losing by only six, but they’re another team that might need to be put down for the season. Things aren’t looking good for embattled head coach (and my secret old man crush) Chuck Pagano. The Colts are 3-4, their GM and head coach hate each other, and are facing three of the league’s toughest teams in a row: the undefeated Panthers, the undefeated (FOR NOW!) Broncos, a bye, and an Atlanta team that’s only lost one game so far. It will be interesting to see if Pagano survives the bye week.
See, he's handsome, right? It's not just me?

  • The Saints aren’t exactly good either. Check out this gruesome stretch that started the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.

5 of those are three-and-outs! The game also
started with 4 consecutive punts. *Shudder*

  • Letroy Guion is a Green Bay defensive lineman who has a history of run-ins with the law. When Guion was arrested this offseason for marijuana possession (among other things), his dad went down to the police station and asked what was going on. When he was told what his son was being charged with, "Guion Sr. laughed and, according to an arrest report, said: 'Well, I'll be honest, every time he comes down he always brings the best weed you ever smoked in your life.'"
"Thanks, Dad!"

  • Adrian Peterson threw up before Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. It was originally reported that he had gotten sick from accidentally swallowing chewing tobacco (ew), but Peterson denied the report, saying he was sick from eating shrimp, which is he is allergic to. Peterson says he loves shrimp so much that sometimes he eats it and just makes sure he has his EpiPen on him. I’m not sure if that’s the best plan, buddy. You might have to just stop eating shrimp.

  • The highlight of the  4-2 (!) Minnesota Vikings’ victory over the Lions (another team that should be put down) was this incredible Stefon Diggs touchdown.

  • While Matthew Stafford probably isn't having too much fun with the Lions at 1-6, it still must be pretty nice to be able to blindly chuck the ball into the air and know that Calvin Johnson will come down with it. For those of you that don't feel like clicking that link, here's what happens in the video:

  • While we’re keeping track of teams to euthanize, the San Francisco 49ers should be on the list as well. They’re now 2-5 after losing 20-3 to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.

No, I don't know why Colin Kaepernick is trying
to open a pineapple by unscrewing the top.
Seems as fruitless (hah!) as the Niners' season.

  • When the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers play and the halftime score is 30-6, I certainly don’t expect the Raiders to be on the sunny side of it, but that was the case on Sunday. Oakland scored on its first seven possessions, one of which was this beauty by rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper -- check out the move he puts on that last defender!

  • A week after throwing 65 passes, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw 58 on Sunday! A couple of observations: 1) His arm must be very tired. 2) Rivers has a very good chance of breaking the single-season passing attempts record. If you exclude the game against the Cincinnati Bengals in which Rivers threw “only” 27 times, he’s averaging 47 throws per game! That puts him on pace to break the current record currently of 727 (Matthew Stafford. Second place is 691 attempts, btw.).

  • When the Washington Redskins were losing 24-0 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I have to say I wrote them off. Coming into the game, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins had six touchdowns and eight interceptions in six games, so I think my lack of faith was warranted. Little did I know that a completely different Kirk Cousins would show up. On Sunday, Cousins completed 83% of his passes for 317 yards, three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and no interceptions.  

  • I should probably mention Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman at some point since he leads the league in rushing, but the Falcons beat the Tennessee Titans, who were without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, in a 10-7 game which sounds too boring for me to even read a recap of, so all I can do is literally mention Freeman.

  • Oh no, Brandon Marshall! He went from hero to goat in a matter of 17 seconds! The New York Jets were playing their archnemesis, the New England Patriots, in Foxborough. It was a close game throughout. The Jets got the ball down 30-20 with 1 minute, 13 seconds left. They try for a 50-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining, but there’s a false start penalty on the Jets, so they move back and try a 55-yard field goal with 18 second left -- it’s good! But the bad news is they used all three of their timeouts on that drive. So with 18 seconds left they try an onside kick…. and Brandon Marshall recovers!!

  • The Jets take over about midfield, down seven points, and throw a 12-yard completion with 14 seconds left. With no timeouts left, they have to race to lineup after the play so they can spike the ball, which they do with just one second left on the clock. Buuuuut, unfortunately, Brandon Marshall, the hero of yestersecond, did not get set before the snap, which is a false start penalty, which, when it occurs under the two-minute mark, brings with it a 10-second runoff, which means game over. New England 30, New York 23. Ouch.

  • I still can’t decide if we should be impressed by the 6-0 Carolina Panthers or not. After Week 7, the six teams they’ve defeated (Jaguars, Texans, Saints, Bucs, Seahawks, Eagles) have a combined record of 15-26. I guess I’ll wait to see how the Packers play against them in two weeks. If Green Bay wins handily, I’ll deride the Panthers as frauds. If Carolina wins, I’ll say, well, they’re a really tough team -- just look at their record!

  • I’m super excited for the Packers' Sunday night showdown with the Denver Broncos! Hopefully the Pack will get some of their players back (Davante Adams, Morgan Burnett, a healthier Eddie Lacy) -- they’ll need all the help they can get against Denver’s defense! Go Pack Go!
I know you'll be there on the field in spirit.

Monday, October 19, 2015

De-fense! De-fense!!

  • Holy cheeseheads, Batman, what a stand by the Green Bay Packers defense against the San Diego Chargers!! With Green Bay up 27-20 and 2:37 left on the clock, the Chargers started their final drive, needing a touchdown to tie the game. They picked up seven (!) first downs with almost no trouble at all, bringing them all the way to Green Bay’s 3-yard line with 33 seconds to go. On first down, Chargers running back Danny Woodhead picked up one yard, bringing up 2nd-and-2. Next, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw an incomplete pass to Antonio Gates. Third down, Datone Jones tackled Woodhead for a loss of one yard. It’s 4th-and-3 with 20 seconds left; San Diego’s last chance to force overtime. Rivers takes the snap, sees Woodhead just inside the endzone on the far right of the field and throws to Woodhead … and rookie cornerback Damarious Randall swoops in and knocks it down! Packers win!! Still undefeated!!

  • I’d had a lot of unflattering comments prepared for the Green Bay Packers defense, but after their game-winning stand, I shall forego my criticisms.

  • Well, most of my criticisms. 503 yards, guys!?! Philip Rivers is a really, really good quarterback, but 503 passing yards for a quarterback in a non-overtime game?! Before this week, the Packers defense was allowing an average of 186 passing yards per game. Now their average is something like 240 -- one game increased their passing yards allowed by 50 yards. Ugh. Rivers threw 65 times! The Chargers had 32 first downs (to Green Bay’s 17)! At one point, my brother texted me that San Diego was 27-for-26 on first downs -- it certainly felt that way. But I’ll stop here because the defense held at the very, very end.

  • Maybe Rivers got some extra tips from the sisters last week about breaking down Green Bay’s defense.
Oddly enough, that's the second nuns-at-a-sporting-event pic I've seen this week.

  • The Packers defense was rough, but the offense wasn’t much to write home about either. After jumping out to an early 17-3 lead, Green Bay had a confidence-shaking three consecutive three-and-outs before scoring a touchdown at the end of the third quarter. (Followed by another three-and-out.) It’s definitely not what fans are used to seeing. As I keep saying, the offense has changed a lot more than many realize without Jordy Nelson. You know what doesn’t help? Losing Nelson’s backup, Davante Adams, to an ankle injury that has kept him out the last three weeks. You know what really doesn’t help? Losing Adams’ backup, Ty Montgomery, to an ankle injury against the Chargers.

  • Montgomery’s injury led to the appearance of perhaps the whitest lineup in the league, with Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis stepping in, along with tight end Justin Perillo.

  • I owe some love to James Starks. With Starks playing well and Eddie Lacy banged up, Starks got the start and most of the carries. He took advantage of his opportunities to the tune of 117 yards and two touchdowns. I always have to say nice things about James when he plays well because I’m usually pretty mean to him about his always being injured.
Good job, buddy! Be careful!

  • I do not like these alternate throwbacks. They’re ugly and make me think of Michigan.

  • I don’t understand why, but many people don’t like the Packers usual throwback jerseys. I, for one, love them. They were even cooler when they came with the brown helmets, but the No Fun League put a stop to that a couple of seasons ago.
See? So much cooler.

  • As I’ve said before, I’m never happy when any player gets injured. That said, I sure was relieved when San Diego receiver Keenan Allen left the game with a hip injury, which was apparently the only thing that could stop him, as the Green Bay defense certainly wasn’t able to. His injury came shortly after the half, by which time he had already racked up 157 yards!
He had 14 receptions on 15 targets.

  • I concur with Mike McCarthy’s criticism of the officiating. For being the most flag-happy crew in the league, the officials sure let the Chargers defensive backs get away with some really blatant holds and pass interference.

  • What is there to say about James Jones? Seriously, all he does is catch touchdowns. He has six on the year, tied with Larry Fitzgerald and Tyler Eifert for tops in the league.

  • Jordy Nelson, who tore his ACL in the preseason, has not missed a single meeting or practice all year. Aww, he’s so dedicated and committed and hardworking and perfect in every way! Except that he's decided to grow a beard. Not a fan.
Why would you want to hide this beautiful face?

  • No one wanted to win the Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions game. The Lions had a great drive that ended in a fantastic Calvin Johnson touchdown with 21 seconds left that put them up by three points. What followed was the easiest, most laid-back game-tying drive I’ve ever seen. Chicago didn’t even look like they were trying. And Detroit definitely looked like they weren’t trying. Chicago got a 25-yard completion, then got a pass interference call for 24 yards, then got another pass interference call for 20 yards, and then kicked an easy field goal to tie. They weren't even hurrying!
The most apathetic game-tying drive from the most apathetic athlete in America.

  • Even when the game went into overtime, neither team seemed particularly interested in winning. Here’s the possession chart from overtime. Overtime!

  • Detroit did finally win the game, their first win of the season (we’ll keep an asterisk on their record for the Seattle game). They should have known their fortunes were going to turn when there was a “process of the catch” situation that came up and they weren’t on the losing side. Here’s what happened: Lions receiver Golden Tate caught the ball just outside the goal line, turned, crossed the goal line (taking one step), was hit, the ball flew out and landed in the hands of a waiting Bears defender.

  • Though it looked like Tate did not finish the process of the catch -- going by the way the league has called it in the past -- the refs called it a touchdown and let it stand. I really, really think if the alternative hadn’t been an interception -- if it would have been an incomplete instead of a touchdown -- the refs would have said he didn’t complete the process of the catch. But how do you not only deny a team a touchdown on an iffy, controversial rule (that has screwed that same team over before multiple times in huge, game-deciding moments), but then actually give the ball to the other team? I honestly think the officials just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

  • Here’s what Dean Blandino, VP of NFL Officiating had to say:

  • A couple of points:
  1. Both Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant took two steps, so it makes no sense for Dean to say two steps establishes a player as a runner. Also, Tate didn't take two steps, per se; he landed on one foot, and took a step with the other.
  2. That’s what Dean Blandino looks like?!?! I never imagined him so young … or so sleazy-looking. One reddit user perfectly described him, saying he looks like a “struggling club promoter.” Yep, that’s the kind of guy you don’t let buy you a drink.

  • It must be something about Golden Tate that the refs can’t say no to.

  • Football fans everywhere loathe the “process of the catch” rule, and if they’re not going to call it, maybe it’s time the rule is changed. Now, I know this won’t make me popular, but let me say a word in defense of the rule: if a player just needs to have two feet down, just think of situations where a player catches the ball in the air, lands, is immediately hit by a defender, and the ball pops out. That happens usually at least a few times in a game. If the “process of the catch” rule is changed, then all those instances are fumbles, which would be its own controversy. The rule stinks, but I don’t know if I much like the alternative.
"Shut up, you stupid blogger! You know nothing!"

  • Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was benched last week, threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in the win, thus finally rewarding my steadfast loyalty.

  • This is terrifying. Last week, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce made an odd play on a punt return: he started blocking for the other team. After the game, Pierce experienced concussion symptoms, which is presumably what led to that play. Pierce himself could offer no explanation as to what happened. You can see him start to block at the very beginning of this video, between the 45- and 50-yard lines.

  • I’m trying to figure out what exactly Directv was thinking with their new ad campaign. The premise is that a horrible, moronic cable company knows it can’t compete with the amazing Directv, so it merges with another horrible, moronic cable company. The thing is that Directv is known for its price gouging and horrible customer service, and it’s in the news for its recent merger with AT&T (another company with dismal customer satisfaction), so every time I see one of those commercials, all it makes me think of is how horrible Directv is. Not sure if that’s what they were going for.

  • Just watch Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s plant leg on the turf at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium. No surprise, Tucker missed the field goal that would have cut a six-point deficit to three.

  • This is the field where the Super Bowl will be played this year, by the way.

  • The Seattle Seahawks have lost four games in which they were leading in the fourth quarter. They won one when the refs robbed the Lions (would have been another loss after leading in the fourth), and then they won one game against the Jimmy Clausen-led Chicago Bears.

  • I was glad to see that the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers because a) things are more interesting when dominant teams lose, and b) I’m scared of them and it’s reassuring seeing them lose.

  • You have probably seen the Indianapolis Colts’ attempted fake punt against the New England Patriots. It was …. ill-advised. The Colts presented this funky lineup late in the third quarter, with all their players to the right of the ball, hoping to confuse the Patriots into an offsides or encroachment penalty.

  • It, uh, didn’t work.

  • The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, which still leaves an incredible five undefeated teams. (That’s a lot for Week 6, isn’t it? It feels like a lot.) Also, they all start with Bs or Ps: Broncos, Bengals, Patriots, Panthers, and Packers. Just so you know. Three of those teams have byes next week, so there will be at least three undefeated teams going into Week 8. Two of those three teams -- the Packers and the Broncos! Eek! -- will play in Week 8.  

  • Peyton Manning’s spiraling play on the field does make me feel a little better about Week 8. (The Denver defense does not.) Peyton has stolen Eli Manning’s familiar throne as the league leader in interceptions, throwing three in a tight, overtime win against the Cleveland Browns.

That definitely calls for the Manning Face.

  • So who exactly is the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback? Ben Roethlisberger has an MCL sprain, but hasn’t been ruled out for next week; Michael Vick is injured/benched?; and third-year quarterback Landry Jones played in his first NFL game on Sunday after Vick was pulled and led his team to a win over one of the best defenses in the league.
Jones said he wasn't expecting to play, and it showed in the
sartorial choices he made when packing his bag that morning. 

  • I don’t like the Philadelphia Eagles, but I was glad to see them beat the New York Giants because 1) their all-black alternate uniforms looked cool; 2) it’s always good to see Eli lose; and 3) I will NOT have the Giants pull another one of these we-really-stink-but-we’re-in-a-crappy-division-so-we’ll-just-coast-under-the-radar-being-terrible-then-sneak-into-the-playoffs-and-then-something-totally-BS-will-happen-and-we’ll-go-way-too-far-and-maybe-even-win-it-all-in-a-ridiculous-fashion moves that they’re always doing.

This is the face of a man who knows he does not
deserve to have two Super Bowl rings. 

  • Let’s all cleanse our visual palettes as we head into a boring week without Packer football:

Maybe I'll just spend next Sunday watch Jordy clips.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Still Perfect

  • Aaron Rodgers’ streak of no interceptions at Lambeau Field finally came to an end on Sunday, which isn’t surprising considering the way the announcers have been hardcore trying to jinx him the last few weeks by bringing it up every two seconds. The streak lasted almost THREE calendar years and included 49 touchdowns and 586 pass attempts. And of course it came on a tipped pass.

  • Rodgers decided to get it all out of his system and threw a second interception to the St. Louis Rams. It’s been five calendar years since that last happened at Lambeau.

  • I hate to be a downer when the Green Bay Packers are 5-0, but Packers fans might have to get used to interceptions from Rodgers. Without Sideline Ninja to threaten the deep pass, defenders are able to sit on routes like Trumaine Johnson did on Rodgers’ second interceptions.
He ain't there to be eye candy... Well, he's not there
just to be eye candy.

  • Datone Jones saved the Pack three points when he blocked a St. Louis field goal -- something he’s done in every single one of his seasons since 11th grade.

  • Rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins got his first TWO career interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
The rarely see defensive rookie Lambeau Leap! It, er, needs a little work.

  • Whoa, the defensive line looked good! So many strong performances -- Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, Jayrone Elliott. They made life tough for Rams quarterback Nick Foles, notching three sacks and 12 quarterback hits!

  • My boy Sammy Shields also had a big day, breaking up several big plays.

  • The injuries seemed to pile up, first losing right guard TJ Lang to a knee injury, linebacker Nick Perry to a shoulder injury, and nose tackle BJ Raji to a groin injury. The good news is that neither Lang’s nor Raji’s looks to be serious, but no word yet on Perry, who has had a previous injury on that shoulder.

  • What an effort by JJ to keep his knees from touching the ground as he stretched out for his touchdown! I was glad to hear the announcers giving James Jones some love for this. This is beeeaaa-utiful.

  • We need better tight ends.  

  • Do you think this man’s only job is wiping off players’ visors? I wonder how I could apply for that job. It seems the perfect marriage of my desire to work with the Packers and my relevant skills.

  • There was some sad news on Packers defensive back Sean Richardson this week. Richardson is done for the season after suffering a second major neck injury. This could very likely be the end of his career. Just retire and stay safe, buddy! If this does indeed end his career, that would make him the fourth Packer who suffered the same fate in recent years, along with Nick Collins, Jermichael Finley, and James Franklin.

  • It was a good week for the draft of 1998.
Well, except for for Ryan Leaf. It's probably never a good week for Ryan Leaf.

  • Charles Woodson (sigh) turned 39 earlier this week, and said all he wanted for his birthday was to intercept Peyton Manning. Woodson and Manning came into the league together and, after 18 years playing, Woodson had never managed to pick off Peyton … until Sunday! CHARLES WOODSON GOT HIS INTERCEPTION OF PEYTON!! NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE!!! WOOOO HOOOOOO!!!! Woodson is now 6th all-time in NFL history in career interceptions. Yay, Charles! IloveyoupleaseretireaPacker.

  • You know who the only other man standing from the 1998 draft is? Mr. Matt. Hasselbeck. I mentioned last week how I’ve always had a soft spot for the former Green Bay backup QB and current Indianapolis Colts backup, who is universally liked around the league, and this week was a little more evidence as to why. Hasselbeck wasn’t feeling great before last week’s game. He started throwing up at halftime, completed -- and won -- the game, but continued to get worse. He ended up in the ER in the wee hours of Monday morning for a bacterial infection, missed all but one practice, and was receiving daily IVs, trying to get ready for on a short week (Yay Thursday Night Football). He kinda had to since starting quarterback Andrew Luck was close, but not quite ready to return from a shoulder injury (Yay Thursday Night Football). Hasselbeck balled out, as the cool people say, and led his team to a 27-20 victory over the division rival Houston Texans. Hasselbeck was 18-of-29 for 213 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, zero sacks and a 107.4 passer rating.
Hasselbeck's brother tweeted this before the game. Awwwww.

  • Colts head coach Chuck Pagano on Hasselbeck: “He was literally on his deathbed Monday and Tuesday.” [Side rant: I was going to hyperlink the above quote from Pagano to the dictionary definition of “literally” to snarkily point out his misuse of the word when I discovered, to my shock and horror, that both and list “virtually” as an accepted definition for literally. Sorry, English Language; you had a good run.]

  • As happy as I am for Matt Hasselbeck and the Colts, I do kinda feel for the 1-4 Texans. They had more yards, more first downs, more yards per play, more plays, and more time of possession, but also had more turnovers (2-0, including one in the last two minutes of the game) and more penalty yards (125!).
Poor JJ. Poor talented, millionaire JJ.

  • What is Bill O’Brien doing in Houston? I know you have two backup quarterbacks and are forced to start one, but for the love, just stick with one! Brian Hoyer was named the starter, then was benched before the end of the first game. Ryan Mallett took over, playing Weeks 2, 3, and 4, the final in which he was benched/pulled during a blowout for Hoyer. Mallett started Thursday night’s game, got the wind knocked out of him and had sit down. Hoyer came in, played well, and stayed in, leaving Mallett to sulk on the sideline. Now O’Brien has named Hoyer the starter for Week 6, and they’ll “go from there.”
This won't have any negative effect on the team, I'm sure.

  • I don’t think I could outbid Ford Motors, but I would seriously consider paying Denis Leary out of my own pocket to make him stop doing commercial voiceovers.

  • A walk-off pick-six might be the most fun way to win a game. The Atlanta Falcons beat a surprisingly pesky Washington Redskins team by intercepting Kirk Cousins in overtime and returning it 59 yards for the game.

  • Seattle lost in overtime on a banked-in field goal from the Cincinnati Bengals after leading by 17 points in the fourth quarter. Hah.

  • Coaches need to tell their players to stop doing flips into the endzone. It’s so stupid to risk injury that way. It drives me crazy!

  • “I can’t believe he did that -- actually, it’s Brandon Weeden. I can believe it.”

  • The 1-4 Baltimore Ravens have now lost four games this season after leading in the fourth quarter.

  • The Cleveland Browns’ Gary Barnidge wins for the craziest catch I’ve ever seen.

  • Finally, after all the scandals of recent years, deflategate, and the controversial calls, the NFL really has a record they can be proud of.

  • Well done, gentlemen.

  • Oh, but wait. On the last day of the month, a Titans rookie came through and got himself arrested over a parking ticket. Amazing. The streak continues.

  • Gosh, Greg Hardy is dumb. After missing all of last season and the first four games of this season due to an domestic violence incident, Hardy had one of the mind-boggling interviews I've ever seen. Many are upset over Hardy using the phrase “come out guns blazing” to describe how he was approaching his return, since the incident for which he was suspended involved throwing his girlfriend on a pile of guns and choking her. I have to say, however, that’s one of the less offensive things he said. Some of his gems include calling his suspension “the most awesome period of [his] life,” and talking about how hot his opponents’ wives are. Glad Greg learned his lesson.

Teammates say, "Don't do us any favors, Jay. Please."

  • What the heck, Chicago? The Bears failed to choke last week, then clawed their way from behind for a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Very un-Bearsian of them.

  • There was, of course, a Jay Cutler highlight, though. Not content with giving the Kansas City Chiefs a safety when they tackled him in his own endzone, Cutler decided to fumble the ball to make sure they got six points for their efforts instead of just a measly two.

  • The three Florida teams have a combined four wins -- and two of those only happened because they played each other.  

  • The Arizona Cardinals have 59 points off of turnovers in five games.

  • Say what you want about me, but I am undyingly loyal. I still believe in Matthew Stafford. Even when he’s 0-5 and getting benched after throwing three interceptions. The Detroit Lions are the only team left without a win. They really should be 1-4, since the refs stole a game from them last week, but I don’t know that that would make any Lions fans feel better.

It seems his wife his having trouble letting go, though.

  • Peyton Manning is the only non-punter NFL player I’ve ever seen whose football pants are baggy.

  • Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had an awesome game on Sunday -- 90 yards, two touchdowns -- against Seattle’s shutdown safety Kam Chancellor. I loved him at Notre Dame and am so happy to see him coming back so well from a brutal elbow injury.

  • Here’s San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula.

  • And here is the perfect way to describe him. Spot on.

  • Eli Manning threw a game-winning touchdown with 21 seconds left to lead the New York Giants over the San Francisco 49ers. Disappointing, yes, but we still got to see Eli throw a pick in the endzone shortly before half, leading to a quintessential Manning Face.
There's always a silver lining.

  • Antonio Gates was a basketball player who never even played in a college football game. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers 13 years ago, and on Monday night, became just the second tight end in NFL history (after the great Anthony Gonzalez) to catch 100 touchdowns.

  • We already had a Jordy Nelson picture, but another one never hurts.