Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whoop-Di-Doo. We Won a Game.

  • I’m happy, I really am. It was nice to see the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles. It was good to see the offense clicking. And the defense wasn’t atrocious the entire time, but I’m just not getting my hopes up. I totally believe in Green Bay and am with them all the way, but they’re still below .500. There’s nothing to celebrate. Not yet. But this could be a start. 
green bay packers packers aaron rodgers clay matthews should be on barneys get psyched mix

  • Hopefully the offense will keep on going. Not only does it keep the poor defense off the field, but playing with a lead does so much for the Green Bay defense, which has allowed more points in the first quarter than any other team.

  • Aaron Rodgers had a nice line: 30-for-39, 313 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, zero sacks. He also had 46 yards rushing. It’s not exactly a surprise, but Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay’s leading rusher since Eddie Lacy went down. 

  • The Packers came into the game down two starting inside linebackers (Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez), which pushed Clay Matthews into the inside linebacker position. When Matthews left temporarily with a shoulder injury, they had to have safety Morgan Burnett step in at inside linebacker. Yeesh.

  • The Eagles tried to troll the Packers by having “4th & 26” on the scoreboard before the game, referencing a 13-year-old game wherein the Packers lost by failing to defend a 4th-and-26. But I ain’t mad because we’ve got bigger problems to worry about. We’re 4-6 coming in, so there are more pressing concerns than a 13-year-old memory.

  • Davante Adams, whose relationship with Packers fans is, uh, tenuous, has had a very nice season thus far, and added a nice game to his resume on Monday night: five catches on six targets for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He’s had big plays in several games, and more than a few difficult catches, like this lovely touchdown.

  • It sure did help that almost all of the Eagles receivers and running backs were injured. 

  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had another interception! Yay!
The Simpsons season 7 episode 21 laugh humor

  • The Packers, who have not been good on third downs, were 10-for-14 on third-down conversions, which I think is the the most important offensive stat in this win. Great job, team! (You cannot even begin to imagine how often you will see this video from now on.)

  • How bout Jordy on this key third-down conversion!?! That’s my boo.

  • The most intriguing part of the game was when Rodgers ducked into a mysterious tent that the Packers just happened to have on the sidelines.

  • But in all gravity, Rodgers went into the mystery tent for treatment for a hamstring injury. Pleeeeeaase let him be okay! And please let the Packers fire their entire training staff because it’s absurd how half the team at any given time is nursing hamstring injuries. 


  • New Packers running back Christine Michael’s name is pronounced “Kristen,” apparently. It’s odd to give your son one girl’s name and then have it pronounced as another girl’s name, no?

  • I loved Charles Woodson representing with the gold ascot.

  • So the bad news: Sam Shields and Eddie Lacy are both shut down for the season. I think Sam Shields needs to retire, which is very sad. I’ve always been a huge Shields fan, but I hope he doesn’t try to keep playing since his brain is probably scrambled eggs right now and he shouldn’t risk making it worse. Eddie Lacy’s contract is up at the end of this season. Given his injuries and weight issues, I’d be shocked if Green Bay offered him more than a one-year deal. The question is if other teams will offer him something better. I’m hopeful that the Pack can re-sign Lacy because I thought he looked fantastic at the start of the season and I really want him back!

  • Despite being down to the Tennessee Titans 27-7, the Chicago Bears didn’t give up, they kept on trying. Well, some of them kept on trying. Here’s a video of the Bears receivers dropping everything thrown their way. (Tee hee.)

  • Ooohhh but that video was played before the final minute. It actually got worse for the Bears. (Tee hee.) Chicago actually came back to get within a touchdown of Tennessee. They had first-and-goal from the 7-yard line with 47 seconds left, and then here’s what happened. (Tee hee.) No, watch the whole thing -- it happens more than once.

  • The Detroit Lions have trailed in the fourth quarter of all 11 games this season, yet, somehow, they are 7-4. (What’s the opposite of ‘tee hee’?) In six of those wins, they trailed in the last two minutes! Impressive, but has to be worrisome to Detroit fans. That luck can’t hold, right? Right??

  • Faithful followers will know that I’ve long been a Matthew Stafford believer, and here’s why. Check out this window.

  • Since the Minnesota Vikings are in free fall, I can spare a little sympathy for their injury situation. Their biggest problem has been their offensive line and things got worse when they had two offensive linemen drop out during Thursday's game. This was when they were were already without three of their top players in Stefon Diggs, Marcus Sherels, and Terence Newman. That’s rough.

  • Woo-hoo, go Bucs! Don’t much care for Tampa Bay or their uniforms, but when they beat the Seattle Seahawks, they have my fandom for the week. 

  • I hate to praise the Dallas Cowboys if it can at all be avoided, but I can’t help but love this Terrance Williams toe-tap touchdown. 

  • Dez Bryant had a solid game on the field, but it was his catwalk strut that was really on point.
NFL football swag dallas cowboys swagger

  • He wasn’t done preening for the day, either. Bryant, fresh from planting new geraniums in his garden, had words for Washington Redskins cornerback/loudmouth Josh Norman:

  • All that strutting must have been catching, because even a punter on a 5-6 team was feeling it.

  • All week, I’ve seen headlines like: “In honor of the butt-fumble four-year anniversary, here are the top 4 moments Mark Sanchez probably isn’t proud of.” When are we going to be done humiliating the guy for a bad-luck play? The guy is a third-string quarterback -- why do we need to roll out a lowlight reel for him?

  • After playing against Baltimore Ravens' Steve Smith last week, Dallas Cowboys rookie corner Anthony Brown said he “lost all respect” for the legendary receiver, echoing another rookie corner, Jalen Ramsey, who said the same thing after he faced Smith. Smith wasn’t too upset.
Smith is a jackass -- but an entertaining jackass.

  • Sources say that the NFL will consider limiting or eliminating Thursday Night Football after the TV contracts ends in 2017. I’m not holding my breath that those greedy misers will willinging relinquish revenue, but a girl can hope.

  • Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas played his first snap on September 10, 2007. Since then, he has played 10,000 snaps -- 10,000 consecutive snaps. In his 10-year career, Thomas has never missed a snap.
^I guess if you don't laugh, you cry, and in Cleveland, well, you
probably have to laugh a lot.

  • Please,  please CBS, stop letting Bart Scott do the game updates and recaps. I might as well just run the garbage disposal while watching highlights for all the coherency he provides.

  • Vontaze Burfict might be the least likable player in the league. In addition to being a dirty, dirty player who should be thrown out of the league, he’s also a punk. Here he is flopping to draw a penalty (successfully). 

  • You know who else is a jerk? Aqib Talib. After his teammate muffed a punt that resulted in a turnover, Talib greeted him on the sideline with a shove. His teammate. What a jerk!

  • Look, I understand it is ridiculous for me to be criticizing NFL players’ pain tolerance from the comfort of my couch, but Derek Carr’s complete lack of concern for the football he fumbled when he hurt his hand is surprising. I’m sure he was in a lot of pain that I cannot even imagine, and I understand not wanting to dive into a scrum with an injury, but he didn’t even look to see who recovered the ball. He just walked off the field. (In his defense, it sounds like his finger was dislocated in two places. But still.)

  • I just read about how Carr’s son almost died when he was born, and now I feel very emotionally invested in Derek Carr’s success and really want him to do well. (Don’t worry, his son is fine and healthy now!) This is how I get attached to players. I feel bad for questioning his toughness. (But still.)

  • Why on earth, Carolina, is your backup middle linebacker covering Michael Crabtree?? I guess because you normally have Luke Kuechly in that position and Luke Kuechly can do anything.
That lucky bitch.

  • It was a really fun game between the Carolina Panthers and the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders jumped out to a huge lead and were up 24-7 at the half, but after Carr's injury, the Panthers went on a 25-0 run. Then Oakland scored and converted the two-point try, so the score was 32-32. The Raiders forced a punt, then hit a a field goal. Then Khalil Mack happened.

  • Khalil Mack is fierce. In addition to having a pick-six to end the first half, he came up huge in the final moments of the game. Down 35-32, Carolina Panthers had a minute-and-a-half left to try to kick a field goal to send the game to overtime or else score a touchdown for the win. The Panthers picked up 32 yards in two plays to get just past midfield, but were still shy of field goal range. On first down, Mack breaks through the line to force Cam Newton to throw away the ball. On second down, Mack and teammate Bruce Irvin pressure Newton, who again has to throw away the ball. Third down, incomplete pass. Fourth down, Mack gets to Newton for a strip sack. End of game. Mack’s final line: interception, touchdown, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery. You don’t want to be across the line from that man.

  • If I have to hear that “You don’t own me” song in one more commercial during an NFL game, I’m going to actually pay attention to what company that is and then boycott them.

  • The New Orleans Saints, always classy. Up 21 points over the 4-6 Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter, the Saints thought it a good time to put in a trick play. The result was a 50-yard touchdown thrown by wide receiver Willie Snead. It seems that the Saints couldn’t miss the chance to show up their former defensive coordinator Gregg William (of Bountygate infamy), who now coaches for the Rams.

  • By the way, what is up with New Orleans’ field? Why is it always so ugly?? It looks like an old carpet that was vacuumed without any concern for the vacuum lines. It always looks shaggy and unkempt.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul had a nice game* for the New York Giants, registering three sacks and a defensive touchdown. (*It was against the Cleveland Browns, though, so it doesn’t really count.)

  • The Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs was a defensive struggle -- it started with eight punts and the first points came on a safety -- but ended up being quite the entertaining game, featuring a last-minute touchdown, a last-second two-point conversion to send it to overtime, a missed 62-yard field goal attempt, and a winning field goal banked in off the upright. Bill Barnwell has a really good piece in which he analyzes all the weird decisions the coaches faced in the game.

  • If you’re on your way to scoring a touchdown and you have time to high-five your teammate, you’re doing a good job.

  • More evidence that you’re doing a good job? You score all of your team’s touchdowns, including the one to force overtime. Rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill carried the Kansas City Chiefs to victory overtime, where they beat the Broncos on this crazy field goal that hit the upright and bounced in. (Check out the Denver mascot’s reaction -- he’s behind the goal post. And all the Denver fans who think it was a miss. And the KC holder who thinks they missed.)

  • The Packers are now 5-6 and face the Houston Texans. Onward and upward, right, Jordy?

Monday, November 21, 2016

I Wonder If the Packers Will Ever Win Another Game

  • The Green Bay Packers lost to the Washington Redskins 42-24 on Sunday night.

  • In other NFL news, the Dallas Cowboys continue to -- oh fine, we can talk about the Packers game, though “game” implies there was some sort of competitive spirit involved. Once again, the Packers came out slow, by which I mean barely with a pulse. They went three-and-out, three-and-out, and three-and-out to start the game. How, I don’t know. If you’ve lost three in a row and your chances at making the playoffs are rapidly dwindling, wouldn’t you come out with some fire? Given our defense, I thought the game was going to be tight, but I would have put money on the Packers offense coming out sharp, given what was at stake. But no, guess not.
Image result for aaron rodgers cheesehead shrug

  • The poor got poorer, or, in the case of the Green Bay defense, the bad somehow got even worse. Already without top defensive backs Sam Shields and Damarious Randall, the paper-thin secondary also lost Demetri Goodson (to a gruesome looking knee injury -- seriously, don’t click on that unless you’re okay with seeing a man’s knee go 90 degrees in the wrong direction) and, later, his replacement Kentrell Brice. Already without leading tackler Jake Ryan, the never-been-good linebacking corps also lost linebacker Nick Perry (returned) and Blake Martinez.

  • Here’s a sad little clip of linebacker Kyle Fackrell (#51) racing onto the field to help “defend” and … well, he doesn’t ever really get the chance.

  • The offense was okay in spots. James Starks -- credit where credit is due -- I thought had some nice plays, but didn’t get many opportunities in the second half, what with Green Bay getting the snot beat out of it. 
"Oh gosh, what do we do??"
"I don't know!"
"Should we tackle him?
"Maybe. But maybe we should let him pick up an extra yard or 10 first."
"Good idea."

  • And Jared Cook, in his first game back since injuring his ankle in Week 3, played so well -- until. Oh, Jared. The tight end had 105 yards on six catches and provided a spark the Packers sorely needed, and I was so happy for him -- until. It doesn’t really matter, anyway. By the time Cook fumbled the ball, the Packers were down 11 with under four minutes to go, so it was a long shot anyway. But it was a painful nail in the coffin for the Pack. It was disappointing to see Cook’s strong night marred by a turnover, but in his defense, this is a pretty bad-ass move by Josh Norman.

  • Yes, Cris Collinsworth, we understand that it is windy. Truly, we believe you.

  • The offense, in increasingly typical fashion, kind of loafed about before coming alive for stretches. They put up 424 yards, which is pretty good until you consider that the Redskins put up 515. More damning was the Packers’ 50% success rate (or, as I like to call it, their 50% fail rate) in the redzone. Washington, meanwhile, scored touchdowns on four of their five trips to the redzone, and a field goal on their fifth.

sad upset dead done steve carell

  • In the offseason, Kirk Cousins wanted a long-term deal that paid him like a top NFL quarterback. Washington wasn’t so sure that that’s what he was, so they offered him multi-year contract at about $16 million per year. Cousins said, “thanks but no thanks,” and the Redskins signed him under the franchise tag. That means that Cousins is the highest paid quarterback (in base salary) this season at just under $20 million, but he’s got no deal after 2016. As it turns out, betting on himself this year has gone pretty well so far, and on Sunday night, he had just one question for Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan:

  • That's a little uncomfortable. But while I do kind of like Cousins because he’s such a odd little goofball, the answer, Kirk, is that I do not like you very much right now.

  • In other news, I was shocked but pleased that Packers picked up with former Seahawks running back Christine Michael off of waivers. The Minnesota Vikings also put a claim in, but we have a worse record so we got him. (Hah! Take that, Minnesota!!)
Image result for christine michael
But now that he's ours, we can't tease him about having a girl's name anymore.

  • You wanna know something weird? In 2016, NFL kickers have missed just one field goal from 32-33 yards out. But they’ve missed 48 extra points from the same distance.

  • If you needed another reason to like Cris Collinsworth (which you don’t), you have it in his Twitter takedown of perma-man-boy Bill Simmons. Simmons, though generally a fan of Collinsworth, occasionally has gone after him in his petty little way. When Simmons posted a condescending tweet about Collinsworth’s commentary last week, good-natured Cris took a shot at Simmons’ erstwhile TV show, which was cancelled due to poor ratings:

  • Man, whenever I get down, I just think about the Cleveland Browns. This weekend Ben Roethlisberger won in Cleveland, and he now has as many wins in Cleveland as any Browns quarterback has in the last 17 years. In his career, Roethlisberger has faced 12 different Browns quarterbacks.

  • And now their current quarterback, rookie Cody Kessler, just got his second concussion of the season, which puts his season in jeopardy and maybe even more.

  • Josh McCown is set to start in place of Kessler, but watch him get destroyed by Stephon Tuitt and tell me how he doesn’t also have a concussion!?!? Seriously, I don't think he should be playing anytime soon.

  • Normally, the Chicago Bears falling to 2-8 (tee hee) would make me happier, but people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The Bears were always on the hook for Jay’s salary this year, but not so next year, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to envision him being in a Chicago uniform in 2017. This week, Cutler had to deny that he’s “lost his teammates’ support.”
"Nonsense! I never had their support."

  • Awww, now I feel bad because I just read that Cutler’s season may be over after he suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday. Sorry, Jay! I hope you heal up quick!

  • Nooo, Luuuuuuke! Poor Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion on Thursday night in the Carolina Panthers’ 23-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints. It’s particularly worrisome because Kuechly missed three games last season due to a concussion. Presumably he’ll miss at least some time (please, Panthers, make him miss time, even if he clears protocol), which is a huge blow to the Panthers, for whom he has played 99.3% of defensive snaps this season. It was a heartbreaking and disturbing scene to see one of the game’s best players sobbing on the field.
Oh, Luke! I'll be your shoulder to cry on!

  • I know the Carolina Panthers’ motto is #keeppounding, but tweeting that right after your star player gets concussed and when you lead the league in most concussions, you might want to leave off that hashtag.

  • The good news is that Kuechly's teammate did post a photo of a much happier looking Luke the next day.

  • Someone take pity on Cam Newton and tell him to do something about that nasty goatee. it looks like he accidentally dipped it in some honey mustard.
Just think: that was a conscious decision that took time and effort and money.

  • The Tennessee Titans’ center is such a teacher’s pet. In the Titan’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, a penalty flag was thrown, and the referee announced the penalty: “False start … everyone but the center.” I’ll bet his mom was always yelling, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” at his siblings, too.

  • The Minnesota Vikings have a terrible offense that is very bad at scoring. As such, they should have lost to the Arizona Cardinals, but the Arizona Cardinals declared with one voice, “Not on our watch!” And so they allowed not one, but two 100-yard non-offense touchdowns. One was a 100-yard pick-six from Xavier Rhodes and one was a 104-yard kickoff return from the terrifying Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings won by six. Argh!

  • But the NFC North gods were not yet done smiting the Green Bay Packers because then there was the Detroit Lions-Jacksonville Jaguars game. The Lions had the ball, up 26-19 with 8:19 and are dragging out the clock as much as possible. Seven plays and five minutes later, they’re facing 3rd-and-6 and midfield, but the Jaguars stick ‘em! Woo-hoo! Now, they’ll force a punt and have about three minutes two-and-half minutes left with two timeouts and the two-minute warning left to score. But first, Detroit insists on trying that silly we’re-going-to-pretend-to-go-for-it-on-fourth-down-even-though-everyone-knows-we’re-not-really-going-for-it “trick” that never works. And the Jaguars jumped! Incredibly, eight-year veteran Sen’Derrick Marks jumped offsides, giving the Lions a whole new set of downs that allowed them to take the clock down to 22 seconds. Detroit won by seven. Argh!

  • Poor Andrew Luck inevitably has a concussion and looks unlikely to be ready for Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The upshot is we’ll get to see some Scott Tolzien action! 

  • Look, I like the Oakland Raiders a lot, but the Houston Texans got royally worked over by the refs on Monday night. On the opening drive, Texans receiver extraordinaire DeAndre Hopkins would have had a touchdown if the refs hadn't blown the play dead, thinking he had stepped out of bounds when he hadn't! Then, in the fourth quarter, Houston CLEARLY  had the first down (see below), but the refs spotted them short and the Texans went for it on 4th-and-inches and again got the first down, and the refs again spotted the ball short! I'm so furious on behalf of the Texans!

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith caught his 1,000 career catch, which is pretty awesome. He celebrated by flirting with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who bashfully turned away and blushed demurely.

  • All I want for the next 10 Christmases is for the Dallas Cowboys to trade away Tony Romo and then see Dak Prescott experience a Colin Kaepernick-like free fall. (Nothing personal, Dak.) Pleeeeeeaaaase, Santa, I’ve been such a good girl.

  • The Cowboys won defeated the Ravens for their ninth straight win. The real highlight of the game for most of the internet, it seems, was Dak Prescott proving himself to be a polite young man who picks up after himself.

  • Ugh you guys just don’t understand how rough it is to be a Green Bay fan in Dallas these days. These disloyal bandwagoners who will turn on Dak the second he loses a game, have 20 years worth of unsupported trash talk that they can finally spew without the entire world mocking them. And I have to sit in the middle of it all and listen to it because we’ve entered some sort of Twilight Zone where the Cowboys are good and the Packers are bad!

  • I suppose there’s one person in Dallas who has it slightly worse than I, and that’s Tony Romo. His teammates have moved on without him:
sports football nfl dallas dallas cowboys
"If Coach asks if you like me or Dak better, I need you to
say me, okay? Please? No, I need you to promise."

  • His coach stopped listening to him ages ago:
game vs big lead jason
"But you see, interceptions actually help us because they make our defense better, you see?
Plus, when I throw it over there, and the defender picks it off, all the offensive
guys have to get back to defend, too, so it's actually sharpening their skills, too!"
"Uh huh."

  • Now he has nothing left to do except sit on the bench and look through the scrapbook he made of the good years:
Image result for tony romo sideline tablet

  • And remember when he was king.

  • Up next: the Green Bay Packers will help the 5-5 Philadelphia Eagles get back on track next Monday night by making their rookie quarterback look like Tom Brady.

The defenders are so far away that they're blurry.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hey! Turns Out It’s Hard to Win When You Give Up 21 Points in the First Quarter

  • Well, then. That was not an ideal way to begin a game for the Green Bay Packers. Let’s run through the opening period real quick:
    • TEN: onside kick; GB recovered.
    • GB: 3-and-out.
    • GB: missed opportunity to down their punt at the 1-yard line.
    • GB LB Jake Ryan carted off with ankle injury.
    • TEN: 75-yd rushing TD on first snap from scrimmage.
    • GB: 12-yard drive before punting.
    • GB OL TJ Lang carted off with an ankle injury.
    • TEN: 21-yard play.
    • TEN: 41-yard play.
    • GB: Timeout to avoid 10-men-on-the-field penalty.
    • TEN: touchdown.
    • GB: 3-and-out.
    • GB S Burnett injured.
    • TEN: touchdown.
  • So at the end of the first quarter, the score was 21-0, Tennessee. The Titans had 231 yards to the Packers’ 26; nine first downs to one; Aaron Rodgers had two completions; and Titans’ tight end Delanie Walker had gained more than three times the yards that the entire Packers offense had.

  • The lack of pressure up front from the Packers defensive front seven further exposed a secondary that is reeeeeaaaaally struggling. Our secondary is just not good. Plus, they can’t defend tight ends, and Tennessee obviously knew that coming in -- wide receivers accounted for just 40% of Sunday’s receptions, the rest were to tight ends and running backs. Walker played with some extra juice, thanks to the a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel preview he felt had slighted him.

  • Clay Matthews missed his third straight game and fourth of the season with a hamstring injury, which is too bad since he appears to be the only player on the defense capable of generating any pressure. I had reserved this space to rail against Matthews injury history and count all the games he’s missed and ponder if it’s really worth paying him so much money considering his availability. I looked up his stats, however, and he actually hasn’t missed nearly as many games as I thought. Packer fans, back me up -- it seems like he’s missed way more games than this, right?? 

  • Speaking of players who are never healthy, backup running back James Starks made his return after missing four games, and I spent all last week reading about how James Starks being back in the lineup somehow assuaged the Packers’ concerns at that position, as if his return were the cavalry riding over the hill rather than someone who will waste possessions by falling down upon contact. HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY SEEN STARKS PLAY? The guy has averaged 1.8 yards per play this season! He had 33 yards on seven carries Sunday. Our quarterback had 27 yards on three rushes. Why am I the only person who notices that James Starks is not particularly good at his job? Even the coaches don’t seem to know, which is presumably why Don Jackson was a healthy scratch.
HULU angry arrested development anger jeffery tambor
"How does James Starks have a job in the NFL??"

  • And we’re all out of offensive linemen. The line has done a great job protecting Rodgers, but there has to be a lot of concern right now. Down center JC Tretter going into Sunday’s game, the Packers also lost right guard TJ Lang (who was on crutches and in a walking boot, eek) and left tackle David Bakhtiari, so they have zero available backup offensive linemen right now.

  • The offense actually played fairly decently for the last three quarters. Just imagine what the game would have been like if they hadn’t spotted Tennessee 21 points before waking up and trying? (And if the Packers hadn’t unfairly lost a possession on Trevor Davis’ muffed punt, which should have been a penalty on Tennessee and Green Bay’s ball, not Tennessee’s ball on the 12-yard line!) One thing I could not fathom, however, was why a coach would continue to kick field goals when when you’re down three scores! Come on, McCarthy!
angry buffy the vampire slayer the look

  • I feel like Mike McCarthy is as dismissive toward aggressive fourth-down strategy as Aaron Rodgers is toward Matt Cassel.
"Aaron! Hey, Aaron! Remember me? I used to be a starter!"
"Sorry, no autographs. Thanks for watching, buddy."

  • Sportswriters and announcers need to stop touting the Packers as a top run defense. They are not. They were ranked first in the league until this week (now fourth), but the truth is they’ve just played really bad rushing teams. Let’s run through the teams they’ve played and where those teams currently rank in rushing yards: Jaguars, 26th ; Vikings, 31st; Lions, 27th; Giants, 32nd; Cowboys, 1st (rushed for 191 against Green Bay); Bears, 21st; Falcons, 15th; Colts, 23rd; and Titans, 3rd (put up 162). Other than the Falcons (whom they held to 90 yards), every team they’ve played that’s ranked higher than 20th exceeded their average yards per game against the Packers. So, no, they are not a “top run defense.”

  • Titans’ defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is in his 59th season in the NFL as player or coach!

  • Adding insult to insult, that cotton-mouthed Kenny Albert called Green Bay’s game. I had to listen to that voice for the entire painful game. And I’m sorry, but he looks like Peter Pettigrew from the Harry Potter movies, so I subconsciously mistrust him and think him cowardly.

  • Hard to find highlights when you lose by 22 points, but here’s a nice moment of Jordy ninja-ing on the sideline.

  • The Tennessee Titans have a better record than the Green Bay Packers. The Cubs won the World Series. A reality TV star is President. Hell hath frozen over, right?

  • Luckily for the Packers, the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears also suck. The Detroit Lions were the big winners of the division this week by not playing. Who would have thought that the NFC North would have been one of the worst divisions?

  • I’m pretty morose after this weekend, but you have to look for joy in the little things. For me, that’s Jay Cutler’s Sunday. In a 36-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jay had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two fumbles (one in the endzone, resulting in a safety), four sacks, and a 4.0 quarterback rating.

  • Hail to the Redskins! And hail to Washington linebacker Preston Smith, who had two sacks and an interception in the Redskins 26-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

  • The Vikings scored 20 points in the second quarter, and none in any of the other three quarters. Odd.

  • Blair Walsh has missed FOUR extra points this season, along with four field goals. (This is not looped.)

  • Bears' leading receiver Alshon Jeffrey was suspended for four games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. If I were team management, I'd be upset that he took PEDs because that's cheating and that's bad. But I'd also be upset that he cheated and only has one touchdown on the season to show for it.

  • Robert Quinn’s celebrating his teammate’s game-winning interception is my new favorite reaction gif. I just need someone smarter than me actually to make this into a gif.

  • Oh my goodness, the Denver Broncos-New Orleans Saints game had one of the craziest endings. In a tight back-and-forth contest against the Super Bowl champs, New Orleans got the ball, down six with 2:50 left in the game. Drew Brees marches his crew down the field and with 1:22 hits this absolutely gorgeous touchdown to Brandin Cooks. Yay Saints!!

  • Everyone’s celebrating the New Orleans win, except they still have to kick the extra point … AND IT’S BLOCKED! And returned for two points!!!

  • I thought that the officials had missed a penalty when the Broncos appeared to hold the Saints’ center down, but apparently that’s legal!? But the worst part is that it looks like the returner did, in fact, step out of bounds. Unfortunately for New Orleans, the referees did not have a definitive angle to overturn the call.

  • You know what that makes me think of? The other incredibly painful New Orleans loss on an extra point. In 2003, the Saints were playing the Jacksonville Jaguars for the chance to make the playoffs. On their own 25-yard line, down seven points with just seven seconds left on the clock, the Saints throw a 25-yard completion to the wide receiver, who breaks one tackle, then more as he cuts across the field! At this point, the clock has run out so it’s all on this play. Around the 30-yard line, the receiver knows he’s in trouble and laterals it to his teammate, who has to go backwards, but then tosses it to another teammate behind him. Then that Saint throws it across the field to a wide-open teammate who runs it in for a touchdown!!! Pandemonium!! After the play has been reviewed and upheld, kicker John Carney comes onto the field for the extra point … and he misses it. The Saints lose! It’s one of the most heart-wrenching endings ever. I honestly want to cry when I watch it … though it is hard not to be amused by the play callers. You have to watch this with the sound on:

  • Normally, punters don’t make the highlight reel, but Johnny Hekker isn’t a normal punter. Check out how far back the Jets returner has to go to field this!

  • These NFL commercials showing how much they care about player safety are laughable. This is another factor in the NFL’s (slightly) waning popularity. Find me one NFL fan who reacts to those commercials with anything but derision. Does the NFL really think this is going to help their image at all on player safety? This will make people trust the league less because it’s so ridiculously transparent and phony.

This happened at 14:55 in the first quarter.

  • Not to rub it in, but Cleveland passed on Dak Prescott eight times in the draft. Eight.

  • Arrrgghhh I just knew the stupid Dallas Cowboys would pull out some ridiculous win. Even after the Pittsburgh Steelers took a one-point lead with 42 seconds left on a fake-spike touchdown play, I knew that was going to be too much time with Dallas having all three timeouts. Helped by a 15-yard facemask penalty, Dallas was already in field goal range when -- who else? -- Ezekiel Elliott broke loose for a touchdown. That’s eight-straight for the rookie-led Cowboys. I hope Tony Romo’s agent is working the phone lines.

  • I wonder if Tony’s face is frozen like this since he knows the camera cuts to him after every play. “Just smile. Don’t… stop… smiling.”

  • Here’s a less controversial touchdown in the Broncos-Saints game that I thought was one of the most impressive of the weekend. The defender is incredible in dislodging the ball as he’s falling, but Denver receiver Jordan Taylor not only lands in-bounds and makes sure he gets two feet down after getting hit in the air, but he also manages to regain possession before going to the ground.

  • And he looks like a merry little cherub.

  • There must have been tremors in Foxborough on Sunday night with the presence of both The Emperor and The Robber-Barron. I envision it as something out of MacBeth, with vultures taking to the skies, plants mysteriously wilting, babies wailing, and animals fleeing.

  • And what do you know? Mysterious forces were at work. Once again, the Seattle Seahawks won a night game at the last-minute on a controversial no call when Kam Chancellor appears to have held Rob Gronkowski on a fourth-down pass in the endzone that would have allowed the New England Patriots to tie (or take the lead) with 11 seconds left. I don’t feel bad for the Patriots because 1) they’re the Patriots, and 2) they had four chances to score from the two-yard line and didn’t.

  • Philip Rivers threw four interceptions … in the fourth quarter! Somehow, despite this, the Miami Dolphins only won by seven. Definitely calls for a Rivers’ “Worst Day Ever” throwback.
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  • The Jacksonville Jaguars’ colors are black, teal, and gold. That means the equipment manager had two other options besides golds for the mouthpieces, either of which would have been better than making your players look like they haven’t brushed their teeth since Jacksonville had a winning season.

  • The Pack plays the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football next week. The most likely scenario is Green Bay getting humiliated on primetime national television, but maybe, just maybe, they’ll get Clay Matthews, Damarious Randall, and Jared Cook back. Maybe they’ll put James Starks on the practice squad and give Don Jackson a chance. Maybe the offensive linemen will magically heal. Maybe Aaron Rodgers will trust his receivers enough to make accurate throws. And maybe they’ll actually reward his trust instead of dropping passes. That’s how I see next Sunday going. A girl can dream, right? Right, Aaron?
aaron rodgers darryl hamilton owens terez