2018 Week in Review–Week 14

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2018–Week 11

Welcome to the Week in Review.  So far, so good!

Packers 24, Seahawks 27

Well, will wonders ever cease?  A compelling, competitive Thursday Night game!

And this one set up for another classic Aaron Rodgers comeback:  Russell Wilson hit TE Ed Dixon to take a 27-24 lead. Five minutes left.  And everyone’s thinking the same thing: There’s too much time on the clock.  Discount Double Check’s gonna do his thing.

My thought:  There might be too much time for  Rogers to do his thing. Especially in a game where the Legion of Pop¹ held the Pack to three points in the second half.  Rogers’ heart-ripping magic generally happens with 1-2 minutes left.

The Seattle D’ decided not to become another Rogers highlight: Three-and-out.  Seattle runs out the clock. Game over, drive safe!

Pretty sure that loss sealed Mike McCarthy’s fate in Green Bay.  My inner conspiracy brotha says that’s not a coincidence.

  1. Like a “boom”, but far lesser.

Cowboys 22, Falcons 19

Real talk: The Cowboys won this game despite the Garrett/Linehan play calling, not because of it.  I defy anyone who watched the Cowboys’ final possession to say that Garrett was playing for the win, not overtime.

For him, just enough was good enough.  The predictably predictable play calling – from the triple-dose of “Zeke up the middle” to the infuriatingly inexplicable lack of play action passing – says “I don’t trust my quarterback to make plays with his arm.  And I don’t trust my receivers and ends to make blocks to get Zeke outside ” they’re putting everything on Zeke and the defense. And both have to be hitting on all cylinders to win. Looking at the likely playoff teams in the NFC (Saints, Rams, Bears, Panthers, Vikings) – that will not be good enough to break Clappy The Clown’s streak of failure WRT advancing past the divisional round.

If the Cowboys had better coaching, they win by two scores.  If the Falcons had one or two of their missing pieces back on defense, Dallas loses by two scores.  And some better coaching decisions. Tevin Coleman was slicing up the Cowboys, but Dan Quinn continually decided to air it out.  Why?

Seriously, though: Without Zeke Elliott (and Leighton Vander Esch), this team would be the Bills Southwest.

Titans 10, Colts 38

The Colts are the absolute opposite of the Bengals, Ravens and Redhawks:  A good team completely slept on by the public and the talking heads. Andrew Luck, who would need to turn into Nathan Peterman to not win Comeback Player of the Year (and maybe snag some MVP votes in the process) is quietly having the best season of his career.  The o-line is the best this team has had since Manning in his prime. THe defense is sneaky good.

All of this combined to smack the upstart Titans with a “Not so fast, son” backhand.  They held the Titans to 263 total yards of offense, 87 rushing. Granted, losing both Marcus Mariota (elbow injury) and defensive coordinator Dean Pees (“medical issue”) in the first quarter surely didn’t help matter.  Blaine “Exhibit B in Colin Kaepernick’s Collusion Suit” Gabbert went 11-16 for 118, 1 TD and 1 INT. A garbage time Gabbert to Tajae Sharpe kept the margin of victory under 30. And that’s as good as it got for Tennessee on Sunday.

FYI: Luck is now 10-0 vs. the Titans. He now has the third longest streak of games with 3 or more TD passes.¹  Adam Vinatieri scored his career 210th regular season win, going past George Blanda for most career wins.

  1. Tied with Dan Marino with 7.  Tom Brady (10) and Peyton Manning (8) are still ahead.

Panthers 19, Lions 20

It would’ve been a bad call, even if Cam had hit Jarius Wright on that 2-pt conversion.¹  You can try and justify it with “He’s going for the win.” “He’s showing confidence in his team.”

Or he’s showing no confidence in his defense to hold a Lions team they’d kept mostly in check (309 total yards. No Kerryon Johnson for OT).

OR Riverboat Ron was trying to use that potential big play to make people forget about the Panthers’ other gaffes and questionable decisions.²  And only ended up creating an even bigger issue to doubt him over.

Either way, the Lions escape with a win, keeping their thin playoff hopes alive, and Fratbro Santa³ gets to avoid another week of questions about his meathead retrograde outdoor practice.

  1. Or run it in, as he seemed to have the room to do.
  2. Christian McCaffrey only got 13 carries. Graham Gano missed a field goal and an extra point.
  3. $1 to Pablo Torre.

Bucs 35, Giants 38

This time of year, teams are usually playing for one of three things: Playoff position, a coach’s job or draft position.  In the case of Tampa, eiher they failed on option two or made progress on option 3.

The Amish Rifle went full Fitztragic throwing 3 INTs on only 167 yards (13/21), before Jamarcus Winston was thrown back to the lions  brought back in to rally the troops.

He ultimately failed¹, but he put a major scare into the G-Men in the process.

Saquon “Still The Wrong Pick” Barkley got 142 on the ground with 2 TDs (a third receiving).  Eli didn’t shit the bed. Hope all that pride is worth a worse position in the “Bomb For Bosa” sweepstakes² and more fan resistance to finally taking Eli out back and giving him the Old Yeller treatment.

  1. It’s Rapey McCrablegs.  What did you expect?
  2. Honestly?  Were I the Giants GM with the #1 pick:  Draft Nick Bosa, sign Teddy Bridgewater to be Eli’s replacement.

Texans 23, RacialSlurs 21

The Texans managed to score a road win, despite a shaky night from Deshaun Watson.  Old Man All-Day continues to climb up the record books; his two TDs lifted him to fifth on the all-time rushing TDs list, past John Riggins and behind Jim Brown.

But all anyone is going to take from this game is Alex Smith’s season (and possibly career) ending injury.¹  I hope Smith is prepared to hear about how his injury is pretty similar to Joe Theismann’s and occurred 33 years to the day.  In a game that ended in the exact same score and outcome.

Colt McCoy is the man going forward for Washington: A further reminder of the surprising number of ex-Cleveland Browns QBs that still draw NFL paychecks.

  1. Which I will not be sharing here, you fucking ghouls.

Steelers 20, Jaguars 16

Blake Bortles’ 2017 season is officially, demonstrably a fluke.

The defense that helped take the pressure off Bortles is a shadow of last year’s team.

Somehow this is all Tom Coughlin’s fault.

Raiders 23, Cardinals 21

Not sure what the takeaway of this game should be:  That the Raiders sacked up and grabbed what looks like their last real shot at a win or Arizona going full speed ahead in Bombing for Bosa?

Meh, they both suck.  Moving on.

Eagles 7, Saints 48

The Whodats continue to Godzilla their way through the NFC, bestowing the worst defeat a defending Super Bowl champ has ever suffered upon the Iggles.  Drew Brees added to his Hall of Fame/MVP resume: Throwing a record 23rd 4TD+/No INT game (passing Dreamboat).

Barring getting swept by Carolina and getting clipped by the Steelers, it looks like the Saints will cruise to the NFC #1 seed.

The Eagles continue their season-long campaign to prove that the real engine of their Super Bowl run is currently turning the Colts back into a playoff team.¹

  1. That’s former OC Frank Reich, for the slower among us.

Vikings 20, Bears 25

Khalil “Jon Gruden Will Never Live This Down” Mack and the Bears overcame both the Vikings nad Mitch Trubisky’s shaky outing, taking a two-game lead (in the win column) in the NFC Norris.

Trubisky went 20/31 for 165 with 1 TD and 2 INTs.  He also led the Bears on the NFL season’s longest scoring drive (13 plays, 7:13).

And Cody Parkey hit three FGs and all his extra points, without hitting the uprights once!

Chiefs 51, Rams 54

Game of the Year.  Fight me.  Offensive firepower, defensive big plays, lead changes, all the drama!  This game had it ALL!¹

If this is truly a preview of the Super Bowl:

And I’m pretty sure good Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night games in teh same week (and it’s not Week 1) is some sign of The End times…

  1. Unless you’re some retrograde knuckle-dragger who thinks the 5-yard buffer rule “ruined the game.”

2018–Week 10

Welcome to the Week in Review.  Tumblr turned out to be just as hot garbage as LiveJournal, so let’s give this WordPress thing a ride, shall we?

Panthers 21, Steelers 52

Carolina scored on their first possession of the game and looked good doing it.

The Steelers proceeded to score a Heinz Field-record 52 points – including 14 in the thirty seconds directly after that Christian McCaffrey score – before Carolina scored again.  The Steelers didn’t punt until Joshua Cribbs subbed in for Rapleisberger in the fourth quarter.

This was an all-aspects-of-the-game, pillar-to-post, Insert-Cliché-Here ass-whipping of a supposed NFC contender.

There was supposedly a saying among NFL gamblers: Never bet against Peyton Manning in Prime Time.¹  I just found out² that there’s a companion saying: Never bet on Cam Newton in Prime Time.

  1. Unless it’s the playoffs.
  2. Too late…

 


 

And now: Let’s take a look a the trio of Survivor Pool-wrecking upsets.

 


 

 

Bills 41, Jets 10

There were plenty of people like me who saw this game as an opportunity to sneak in a win with a cellar dweller like the Bills.  I mean: At home, against a Bills team, once again, feeding The Peterman to the lions (n. Detroit) and…

Wait?  They’re starting Matt Barkley?  When the hell did they even sign Matt Barkley?  I mean I can only assume they decided to show mercy to The Peterman and Derek Anderson told them “Nope!  Still concussed! Totally concussed!.” But Matt Barkley¹?

[one game later]

Well, shit.

Granted, Shady McCoy finally showing up (113 yds rushing, 2 TDs) and the JEts having to go with Josh “The Steve DeBerg of the 2000s” McCown over the injured Sam Darnold² helped the Bills’ cause.  But this was an unexpected show of strength from a team still thought of as one of the league’s worst.

If this isn’t the final nail in Todd Bowles’ coffin, nothing will be.

Also:  Terrelle Pryor got cut AGAIN, after tallying a grand total of two catches for 17 yards, in two games.  This was his second team this season, and fourth since 2016.  Someone bets unceremoniously bounced from two teams before Thanksgiving, the words “attitude problem” and “locker room cancer” start floating about, fairly or unfairly.

Also also:  The Bills had mercy on The Peterman and sent him on his way.  Barring someone with a roster spot to burn thinking “I Can Fix Him!”, we may have seen the last of Nathan Peterman in the NFL.  Though I suspect that will be less because no one wants to see if they can be the ones to that sow’s ear into a silk purse and more because The Peterman will say:

 

  1. Last seen in Chicago helping convince the Bears to draft Mitch Trubisky.
  2. Though how much a healthy Darnold could done to stem this tide is debatable.

Falcons 16, Browns 28

This, in one play, is why Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired:

This is the guy Jackson and Haley kept chained to the bench in favor of Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson, for reasons I have yet to see adequately (or even inadequately) explained.  The guy who had 105 yards on three carries in Week 4, and had six total in Weeks 5 and 6. Even if subtract the above run, he still tallied a solid 84 yards on 19 carries. But they thought Carlos Hyde was the better play. At least up until Hyde was traded to Jacksonville, forcing them to play Chubb.  And making them look stupid when Chubb delivered.

But enough crapping on the dearly departed.   The Browns played their best all-around game vs. a respectable (?) Falcons team.  Now, let’s see them do this in consecutive weeks, win or lose.

(WTF, Atlanta?  WTF?)

Patriots 10, Titans 34

That score still doesn’t look right…

The popular narrative will probably be that the Titans provided the blueprint to beat these Patriots: Pound the ball on offense, put as much pressure on Brady as you can.

One – easier said than done.  This ignores: Three – Play the Pats without Gronk.¹

Basically, the Titans brought their A-Game (boosted by a coach in Mike Vrabel who knows how Darth Hoodie thinks and plans) and the Patriots brought their Eh-Game.  If they played this game nine more times, the TItans probably win once more. Though that’s to take away nothing from Tennessee, who followed up last week’s throttling of the Cowboys with an even bigger win.

But I would REALLY love it if this were really “it” for the Brady/Belichick Patriots’ run.

  1. Two – Profit.  (Wait…)

Cardinals 14, Chiefs 26

Oh, look!  The Cardinals remembered David Johnson was on the team (21-98, 1 TD).  I mean, ultimately it didn’t help – especially given that the Chiefs utterly shut down the Cards’ passing offence (166 yards passing, long of 24).  But continually ignoring the best player on your team for reasons isn’t a good look.

Patrick Mahomes broke HoFer Len Dawson’s team record for TD passes in a season with his  second TD of the day, giving him 31 on the year. He has the record with seven games to add to it. Barring injury (or Andy Reid taking his foot off the gas down the stretch), 50 isn’t impossible. He’d need 4 a game, down the stretch, to tie Peyton Manning’s record of 55.

Also setting records was Larry Fitzgerald, who passed Terrell Owens for second on the career receiving yardage list.  In case you were wondering, he’d need 6,943 to catch the leader, Jerry Rice.¹

  1. Or a bit over 1735 a year for four years.

Jaguars 26, Colts 29

At the very least, this game proved  that the Jaguar’s issues aren’t all on Blake Bortles.

Bortles threw for 320 and 2 TDs.  The returning Leonard Fournette ran for 53 yards and a TD.  The offense looked pretty good, all things considered.

Too bad their defense, the piston that drove them to last year’s AFC Championship game, is a tire fire and was no match for Andrew Luck & The Pips.  Luck, in case you hadn’t heard, became the third QB to throw at least 3 TDs in six straight games.²

The question here is: Is it injuries on defense and betting on the wrong horse with Blake Bortles¹ or is Gus Bradley’s (and/or Tom Coughlin’s) act wearing thing in JAX?  I lean towards the former, but we’ve seen the (parenthetical) latter in action with the Giants, so it can’t be ruled out.

  1. I said he wasn’t the problem this week.
  2. Joining Pey Pey and Dreamboat.

Lions 22, Bears 34

I’ve been saying all along that if Mitch Trubisky can get some consistency and Khalil Mack comes back healthy, the Bears will be a dangerous team come January.  It’s not January yet, but the math checks out, so far.

Trubisky threw for 355 and 3 scores  – two to the I-forgot-he-was-hurt Allen Robinson and 1 to rookie Anthony Miller, so seems to be finding more favor with Trubisky and the coaching staff as the season goes on.  Mack returned with two sacks, two TFLs and two QB hits. First rounder Roquan Smith seems to be getting the hang of the pro game (10 tackles and a sack), which should scare any of the rest of the Bears’ opponents.  The only thing keeping the game as close as it was was Cody Parkey’s self-imposed challenged to hit the uprights as many times as he could (Results: Four).

On that subject: Good news for the Lions!  They get the Bears again in a week and a half for the Thanksgiving game! Yay!

Racial Slurs 16, Bucs 3

Fitzmagic threw for 406 yards.  Tampa had 103 yards rushing on 24 attempts and gained 29 first downs total.  All stats that dwarfed Washington’s. So how the screaming blue fuck do you only score three points off that?

Four turnovers (two of them in the red zone) and two missed field goals.  That’s how.

Hope Dirk Koetter has his resume updated.

Saints 51, Bengals 14

If you look up “fraudulent” in the dictionary, Cincinnati’s 5-3 record coming into Sunday would be there.  Probably the fifth or sixth option, but still there.

This game made Pats/Titans look like a nail biter.  Every one of the Saints’ first half possessions ended in a touchdown.  Drew Brees threw a whopping two incompletions in that span. Along the way, he passed Bert Favor for #2 on the all-time passing TD list (now 30 behind P. Manning). Mark Ingram reminded everyone why the team spent all of September waiting on his return, gaining 162 yards from scrimmage.  Time of possession was 2-to-1 for the Saints. First downs were 33-13.

TL:DR; Cincy got WHOOPED.

And along the way, the Bungles became the first team to give up 500 yards of offense in three consecutive games.  Even the 0-16 Lions and Bears and the 0-26 Bucs didn’t manage that feat. And yet this probably still won’t be enough to cost Marvin Lewis his job.

Chargers 20, Raiders

Since the Raiders clearly aren’t trying, I’ll follow suit.

Dolphins 12, Packers 31

Be honest:  If you had to guess what the Dolphins’ current record is, you’d guess at 4-6 at max, right?  That’s because you probably forgot Miami started the season 3-0. Which is fine, because The Fish have spent the last two months making you forget that hot start.  A trend which did not end in Green Bay.

But hey, Dolphin Nation:  Ryan Tannehill should be back by the end of the month!  He’ll save you!

Aaron Jones seems to be giving the Pack a consistent running game for the first time since Ahman Green was the feature back (145/2), taking the burden off Discount Double Check.  That could be handy down the stretch. Might be too late to catch the Bears, but the playoffs aren’t off the table yet.

Seahawks 31, Rams 36

Why does it seem like Pete Carroll forgets he has an elite level quarterback on his team?  He didn’t turn Russell Wilson loose to do Russell Wilson things until the fourth quarter, and that was only after it was clear his preferred ground-n-pound attack¹ was letting the Rams hang around, while they got their offensive act together.

Didn’t work, in the end, as The Greatest Show On Earth: The Sequel.² spent the fourth quarter doing GSOETS things and the much-doubted defense made a late stand to preserve the win.  A doubly big win, given the wildfire-induced hardships the Rams (and California in general³).

And the inevitable collision between the Rams and Saints in the playoffs proceeds.

  1. He does also remember Beast Mode left town two years ago, right?
  2. Screw everybody trying to give Kansas City that moniker.
  3. And a hale and hearty “Fuck Donald Trump” on that score.

Cowboys 27, Eagles 20

Because of course they did.

Don’t get me wrong:  I am #Cowboys4Life. I’ve been cheering the star since before I hit puberty.  I’ve been loyal through the good times and bad. That being said… I don’t know if winning helps in the long term.  I should be happy about this win. I should be happy Dak overcame a shaky start and delivered in the crunch. I should be happy Amari Cooper seems to be the real deal¹.  I should be happy Zeke Elliot was fed all night. I should be happy Leighton Vander Esch stepped up in place of Sean Lee (like he was drafted to do). I should be happy the ‘Boys shook off the egg they laid last week vs  the Titans. But I’m not.

  1. Because the Cowboys have done this before this season, and have crapped the bed in the game after.
  2. Every win is one more excuse for Jerruh to retain Jason Garrett. 

It is long past time for Gerrett to go.  It has been ten years. The counter-argument of “Give him time” is bullshit at this point.  He’s been given more time than any Cowboys coach in the Jerry Jones era (an era that includes two coaches with Super Bowl wins with Dallas and another who is a lock Hall of Famer).  We’ve have a 1-3 playoff record to show for it. This year, we have following up the Jacksonville beatdown with that clinker vs. the Redhawks. If Clappy the Clown hasn’t had the light come on by now (and throw Scott Linehan in with him), what makes anyone think it’s happening now?

I would LOVE for Garrett and co. to prove me wrong.  To prove they’re the outlier in this scenario. That they can get it together and make a run.  But they won’t. And they’ll do just well enough that Trader Jerry has enough of a fig leaf to bring Garrett back.

And we get to start this whole bullshit all over again.

Fuuuuuuck…

  1. Still not worth a 1, though.

Giants 27, Niners 23

And here we have that rare flower:  A good game involving bad teams.

With this “win”, Eli Manning becomes the first QB to have 100 wins and 100 losses with the same team.

Says it all about Eli’s career, doesn’t it?  He has two rings, and THAT makes him Hall-of-Fame worthy?  Screw anybody who thinks way! Eli isn’t even the best Giants QB of the Super Bowl era.

Ahem…

Anyhoo… I’ve heard a lot of people (reasonable people, for once), saying that the Giants screwed up by winning this game.  Or winning in general. Currently, the Giants have the second pick. Which, frankly, is stunning, considering the Bills, Jets and Cardinals exist.  But with a draft projected to be thin at QB, the G-Men will either have to pony up assets to whoever has the #1¹ to procure the guy they want, roll the dice that there will be more than one prospect worthy of a top ten pick²