|Jordy probably spent his bye being a super adorbs farmer.|
- The Green Bay Packers had their bye this week. After three games. Now, true, the Pack is pretty banged up -- Shields, Matthews, Burnett, Janis, Cook, Lang, and more -- so it might actually be a good thing, but still, it's the principle of the thing! Week 4 is way too early for a bye for any team. The Packers now have to go 13 straight weeks without a break. And it’s not just physical, either; players need a mid-season mental break, too.
- At least this week will get them back to their best.
- This week’s slate looked pretty boring, but turned in some real surprises, like the Buffalo Bills shutting out the New England Patriots, 16-0. While the world naturally rejoiced, the Pats are still an impressive 3-1 through their long dark night without Tom Brady.
- When you beat the previously undefeated Patriots (even if it was against a third-string quarterback), you get to rock a cool hairstyle.
- When I think we were all surprised to see the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions 17-14. The most surprising part, however, is probably that I don’t mind that the Bears won. They’re in the NFC North basement and are of no concern to the real teams in that division, so I’m happy to see them knock down the Lions. It did irk me that a Brian Hoyer-led team easily dispatched a team that gave the Packers a bit of a scare though.
|Yes, this man.|
- Okay, now, discerning readers of this blog may have picked up on a subtle dislike that I may harbor for Jay Cutler. That said, I almost feel bad for him, considering how publicly his own coach disdains him. When John Fox first took the reins last season, he announced that long-time starter Cutler would have to compete with Jimmy Clausen for the starting spot. Jimmy Clausen! (Oh the indignity!) This week, with Cutler out with a sprained thumb and Hoyer behind center, Fox said, “Anybody’s that performing well, I don’t think we’re going to be likely to change.” Now, in his defense, Fox is saddled with a quarterback he obviously doesn’t believe in but can’t get rid of for salary reasons (the Bears are on the hook for $17 million to Cutler this year). On the other hand, kinda sucks to have your coach very clearly not in your corner.
|"Thanks, coach." *Emo sigh*|
- Another surprise: after getting trounced 28-0 by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, Case Keenum and the Los Angeles Rams are 3-1 and atop the NFC West.
- A surprise that shouldn’t have been a surprise? The San Diego Chargers choking away a near-sure win. They had a 13-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter and lost!! San Diego, after lighting it up for three and a half quarters (Philip Rivers was 28-of-43 for 321 yards and two touchdowns) turned into the Three Stooges, fumbling the ball away on consecutive possessions, both in their own territory and both leading to New Orleans Saints touchdowns. The Chargers had two minutes left for a chance at the win, but had a sack, fumbled snap (recovered), incompletion, and interception to end the game. Sigh. I think being a Chargers fan would be the toughest because they actually have a ton of talent, but always disappoint. (This article is titled “The Chargers Are Unprecedented Late-Game Failures.”)
- *Tear* JJ Watt is out for the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery. Get better soon, bae.
- So Dez Bryant suffered a knee injury last week. Then was a no-show for his MRI on Monday, reportedly because he was scared to find out the result (a hairline fracture in his knee). Which has led to reports that Dez Bryant is still Dez Bryant and has been late or a no-show as many as 40 times in the last seven years.
- I didn’t watch Thursday Night Football -- because who does? -- but I was trying to find out the results on Friday morning. It wasn’t on the Yahoo homepage. Or the ESPN home page. Or the ESPN NFL page. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Miami Dolphins 22-7, apparently, but I felt really sad for both teams that no one cared about the game, not even ESPN.
- Uh oh, the Atlanta Falcons are sort of making me believe in them again. Why won’t I learn? I’ve sworn to myself that I’d never believe in them because they always will let you down, but then they go and have a game like they did on Sunday: Matt Ryan was 28-for-37, for 503 YARDS, and FOUR touchdowns, and Julio Jones was on the receiving end of 300 of those yards. Don’t do it. Don’t weaken. Don’t believe!
- On a conference call with Minnesota Vikings reporters, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked about the Vikings “having his number” (he’s 2-5 in his career against Minnesota). Manning responded:
“I don’t think anybody, eh, I don’t think anybody has my phone number on the Vikings. Maybe (former Giant) Linval (Joseph), I’m not sure. I’m trying to think if I have anybody’s number. Maybe somebody, I’m sure. I have (Sam) Bradford. I have his number. He’s got my number. Can’t think of anybody else’s off-hand though. I’ll look through my phone and get back to you.”
This raises a question I never thought I’d ask: is Eli Manning actually really witty? Does the guy who makes this face actually have a really dry sense of humor??
- It's been a weird week. I cheered for the Bears and the Giants??!! Alas, my cheers weren't enough to overcome the Minnesota Vikings defense, which shut down the Giants, 24-10. The Vikings continue to be a concern.
- WILL FULLER! As I’ve mentioned, I was a huge fan of this guy when he was at Notre Dame, and I love watching him shred defenses week in and week out as a rookie for the Houston Texans!
- TEEEBOOOOOW! Okay, sure, Tim Tebow isn’t in the NFL anymore, so one might argue that he doesn’t have any place on this blog. But others might say that the Tebow magic transcends sports. At his first at-bat as a member of the New York Mets’ Minor League team, Tebow, of course, hit a home run.
- Do not get on Carolina Panthers’ running back Mike Tolbert’s bad side because he’s vindictive as bleep. Upset with the service (or lack of) that he received at a car shop, he paid his nearly $4,000 bill entirely in coins.
- My goodness, the end of the first half in the Houston Texans-Tennessee Titans game was a mess. The Texans got the ball with 2:28 left in the second and all three of their timeouts. An uninspired six plays later, Houston punts with 1:15 left. Tennessee, also retaining all three timeouts, start with a short gain, and Houston takes the timeout. An odd call, but turns out to be right, as Tennessee can’t make anything happen and punts back to the Texans with 58 seconds left. The Titans get called for a 10-yard holding penalty on the punt (and should have been called for a 15-yard face mask), which gave Houston the ball on the Tennessee 44 yardline, still with all three timeouts. 3rd-and-4, Houston throws just short of the first down. Thinking that they got the first down, Houston hesitates before taking their final timeout with 15 seconds left. Houston head coach Bill O’Brien is too busy arguing with officials to notice that the play clock has started and the Texans are milling about the field as the clock ticks down. The kicker doesn’t even get onto the field until the play clock is down to six seconds, and the Texans get a delay of game penalty, which knocks them out of field goal range. Instead of trying a 58-yard field goal, Houston throws on 4th-and-6 with no timeouts (how exactly did they see this playing out?). The Titans, however, commit pass interference on the play! That gives Houston a first down and puts them back in field goal range, and, after all that ineptitude, the Texans kick a field goal. Yeesh.
|Remember when watching the Titans and the Texans.|
- That was not the most embarrassing part of the game, however. That came from the officiating crew. On a Tennessee punt, Houston blew through the line and blocked the punt, picking it up and returning it for a touchdown while whistles blew. The Titans punter took a huge shot and was shaken up on the play, Houston players were wondering what the heck just happened, and the official came on the mic and said: “Prior to the snap, the play was shut down, assuming there were 12 men on defense. However, the 12th man did get off, so there is no foul. We’ll replay 4th down.” I’ll leave it to you to imagine how the Texans crowd reacted.
- I thought it’d be hard for Andrew Luck to be any more endearing, but then he started his own book club. Then he chose the Little House on the Prairie books for the kids’ version of his book club.
Here's why I picked #littlehouseontheprairie. Share pics of your copy using #albookclub. pic.twitter.com/DiPfYlZRzm— AL Book Club (@ALBookClub) September 27, 2016
- I kind of love New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall. I love how much he loves his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. After the second straight week devoid of Fitzmagic (poor Ryan threw one touchdown and three interceptions -- that’s nine interceptions and one touchdown in the last two weeks!), Marshall was asked about if it was time to switch quarterbacks. The devoted receiver got testy, staring down the reporter and answering very clearly: “I am. Going down. In a boat. With Ryan Fitzpatrick.” It’s kind of an insult, but kind of sweet, too.
|Awww. But you should probably start playing better |
if you want this bromance to last, Ryan.
- Poor, poor Navorro Bowman. In January 2013, the 49ers linebacker injured his knee in the NFC Championship Game. He tore both his ACL and MCL and missed all of the 2014 season. Last year he came back and led the league in tackles. Now, just four games into the 2016 season, Bowman suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is out for the rest season. That sucks. Get better soon, Navorro!
- Man, the Indianapolis Colts are not good. After a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, the Colts are 1-3 and tied for last place in the worst division in the league.
- Josh Norman got a 15-yard penalty for mimicking archery because. Come on, NFL. He plays for the Redskins and it’s not a threat or violent. *Eye roll* Also the logo of another team, the Kansas City Chiefs is an arrowhead. Gasp! That’s a weapon! Should they have to change their name? Also, the Vikings were violent marauders known for pillaging villagers. Bears and Tigers maul people.
|Will the violence never end??|
- Broncos QB Trevor Siemian (who?) injured his non-throwing shoulder, and rookie Paxton Lynch stepped up to finish off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not that it required much effort -- the Bucs didn’t score after the first quarter. The highlight of the boring game, which also featured an hour and half delay due to lightning, was Emmanuel Sanders’ perfectly executed cartwheel celebration.
- Drew Stanton, playing in relief of the concussed Carson Palmer, threw 11 passes. Seven of them were incomplete and two were interceptions. It can’t be fun for a backup QB to have to face that Rams defense.
- Oakland is fun to watch. It’s exciting to see a team that has been so terrible for my lifetime start to get really good. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Khalil Mack -- there’s a lot for Raiders fans to be excited about.
- The good news is that the Cleveland Browns started the same quarterback that they had the previous week, which hasn’t happened since Christmas of last year, so yay for consistency. The bad news is that the Browns are 0-4, so ... yay for consistency?
|This kind of implies that they had talent at some point.|
- The Dallas Cowboys won 24-17 against the San Francisco 49ers, which just makes me more eager for Tony Romo’s return (targeted for Week 8) and the inevitable fallout. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been good, but fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott has been even more impressive, averaging over 100 rushing yards again. Elliot, along with backup Alfred Morris, have taken a huge amount of pressure off of Prescott, so Dak hasn't had to do too much on his own.
***PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT***
There will be no O&E next week. The good news is I won’t have to talk about Tom Brady’s return blah blah blah. I know this will cast a pall over the week for the thousands of readers of this blog, but do your best to muddle through. We’ll be back for the Packers-Cowboys game. Till then, here’s some Jordy to get you through to Week 6.