This Week’s Episode:
“Oh, So This is Why TV Ratings Are Down …“
The Chiefs finally got bumped off the roll call of the unbeatens over the weekend, losing 19-13 to the Steelers at home. Alex Smith went 19 for 34 for 246 yards and one TD pass in the affair, but holy hell, what happened to K.C.’s run game? Not only did their defense implode and let Le’Veon Bell gut ’em for 179 yards, their own run game could only muster 28 total yards of offense altogether, with top back Kareem Hunt finishing the afternoon with a scant 21 rushing yards.
The Eagles came out on top against the Panthers on a back-and-forth Thursday night battle, ultimately clinching the W 28-23. Carson Wentz had another fantastic outing, going 16 for 30 for 222 yards and three touchdown passes, while the Eagles defense was able to force three interceptions off Cam Newton. The run game didn’t look too shabby, neither, as Philadelphia outgrounded the Panthers by a 101 to 80 yard margin.
In what could be a Super Bowl preview (no, for fuckin’ real), the Rams managed to outpoint the Jaguars 27-17 last Sunday. Todd Gurley (116 yards on 23 carries) had another solid outing, but Jared Goff underperformed with just 124 yards and a solo TD on 11 completions. Thankfully, the Rams’ special teams was there to help counteract the lackluster passing attack; not only did Pharaoh Cooper take the opening kick 103 yards to paydirt, Malcolm Brown also recovered a blocked Jags’ punt for an easy six on the scoreboard.
Well, it was a competitive game against Green Bay, up until the point Aaron Rodgers got carted off the field. After that, the Vikes went buck wild, collecting three interceptions off backup QB Brett Hundley en route to a facile 23-10 victory. Not that Case Keenum didn’t do something for Minnesota’s offense – he did finish the game 24 for 38 for 238 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, didn’t he?
One week after looking like he was half-retarded against Jacksonville, Big Ben bounced back in a big way Sunday. In the Steelers’ 19-13 win over K.C., Roethlisberger went 17 for 25 for 252 yards and an even 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. And Pittsburgh’s run game looked fucking fantastic on both sides of the ball, amassing 194 ground yards on their end and holding the Chiefs’ potent rushing attack to an astoundingly low 28 yards on the day.
Slowly but surely, the Pats are playing more and more like the team we all know and hate with a fucking passion. New England’s latest win comes in the form of a hyper-controversial 24-17 “win” against the Jets, in which an obvious touchdown haul for New York was overturned as a fumble that flew out of the end zone. Stay tuned for this weekend’s contest against Atlanta … I’m sure they’ve got some downright Dick Dastardly shit planned for the big Super Bowl rematch.
That loud, aluminum-can-tab-sounding click you’re hearing to the north is the echo of the entire state of Wisconsin collectively drinking themselves into oblivion following the aftermath of Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Not only did they get blistered 23-10 by their arch rivals, they lost franchise QB Aaron Rodgers for what may be the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone. And if the performance of backup quarterback Brett Hundley (18 for 33 for 157 yards, one TD and three interceptions) is any indication, there may not be enough Old Milwaukee on the planet to quell the sorrows of cheeseheads home and abroad.
The good news about the Panthers’ 28-23 prime time loss to Philadelphia last Thursday is that Cam Newton chalked up plenty of ground-based yardage, finishing the game with 71 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Unfortunately, Cam (28 for 52, 239 yards, one TD) also finished the game with a QBR of 40.0, thanks in no small part to those three interceptions he lobbed. And those two sacks – and nine after-the-pass QB hits – doesn’t exactly bode well for the guy’s longevity in an already historically injury-prone season …
|Touchdown Jets! LOL, J/K. Fuck the Jets and everybody who likes them.|
In a live action remake of NFL Fever 2002 on the Xbox, the Saints and the Lions combined for an astonishing 90 points in Sunday’s defense-deficient contest. Ultimately, Drew Brees and pals wound up with the upper hand, besting Detroit 52-38. If you’re looking for an under-the-radar fantasy football pick up, you’d be wise to give N.O. back Mark Ingram a good look-see – he finished last Sunday’s outing with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
The Seahawks had a bye last weekend and will return this Sunday to go nose-to-nose with the 1-5 Giants. At this juncture in the season, the Seahawks are averaging 337.6 yards per game, making them the League’s 16th ranked offense. And on the flip side of the field, Seattle is allowing 330 yards a contest, making them the NFL’s 15th ranked defense overall.
The Bills were out of action last Sunday, but they’ll be back this weekend to butt heads with Tampa Bay. Posting just 271.6 yards per game, Buffalo possesses the League’s second-worst offense; allowing 322.4 yards a game, they fare much better and are currently slotted in as the NFL’s 13th best defense.
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Falcons were up 17-0 against the Dolphins. Of course, this being the same old Falcons, they somehow found a way to piss it all away and let Miami drop 20 unanswered points on them in the second half. If this story sounds slightly familiar to you … well, it should.
In the biggest upset of the NFL season so far, the Broncos got dick slapped 23-10 by the formerly winless (and virtually receiver-less) Giants at home last Sunday night. If you’re wondering how this happened despite Trevor Siemian outpassing the husk of Eli Manning’s career 376 to 128 yards – well, that makes two of us, actually.
In a surprisingly close contest, the Redskins just barely beat the now 0-6 Niners by a slim 26-24 final score. Credit Kirk Cousins’ consistent passing for most of the victory. He finished the game 25 for 37 for 330 yards, two touchdowns and one INT, with leading receiver Chris Thompson (who is actually a running back) finishing the outing with 105 yards on just four catches (plus 33 rushing yards on 16 carries, but that’s just an aside, really.)
Despite Jacksonville winning both the numerical passing and rushing yardage war against Los Angeles, the Jags still succumbed to the Rams last Sunday, 27-17. Leonard Fournette (130 yards and one TD on 21 carries) and Blake Bortles (23 for 35 for 241 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio) both had outstanding performances, but Jacksonville’s special teams coverage completely shit the bed, giving up not one but two easy touchdowns for the Rams.
Deshaun Watson’s rookie of the year – hell, maybe even overall MVP of the year – campaign continued in a 33-17 victory against the Browns last Sunday. The Clemson product went 17 for 29 in the win, finishing the outing with 225 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with all three of his end zone strikes landing in the arms of separate receivers. And let’s give that Houston D some credit – granted, it was the Browns they were playing against, but holding any aerial offense to just 113 yards after the sack yardage loss count is damned impressive anyway you slice it.
|Go ahead … try to count how many Jaguars players take a faceplant trying to catch this mofo.|
Some defensive and special teams snafus cost the Lions dearly in their 52-38 loss to the Saints. Despite racking up 312 yards in the air and three touchdown passes, Matt Stafford also got sacked five times for negative 31 yards and lobbed three interceptions – including a game-closing pick six to Cameron Jordan with just five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Add to that another two fumbles – including one that resulted in a quick Saints scramble into enemy end zone – and it kinda’ becomes apparent why Detroit dropped this ‘un, don’t it?
Baltimore came up on the wrong side of an overtime loss, dropping Sunday’s tilt against Chicago 27-24 in extra innings (and for the record, can somebody tell me when the NFL shortened overtime play to just ten minutes, and do they plan on doing that shit in the playoffs, as well?) Joe Flacco, most notably, turned in one of his worst performances of the season in the loss, going 24 for 41 for 180 yards, no touchdown passes and two interceptions – including a 90-yard pick six tossed into the waiting arms of Adrian Amos late in the fourth quarter.
Marcus Mariota had a big game in the Titans’ 36-22 win against Indianapolis. He wrapped up the affair 23 for 32 for 206 yards, one TD and one INT, with leading receiver Eric Decker collecting 88 yards on seven receptions. Tennessee can definitely credit their ground performance for the victory; the Titans managed to outrush the Colts 168 yards to 58, with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry each posting one TD run apiece.
The Jets are going to be incensed about Sunday’s “LOL, that touchdown was actually a fumble” call from now until the end of time, but that shouldn’t take away from the team’s fairly impressive overachieving against the defending Super Bowl champs in the weekend’s 24-17 defeat. For starters, Josh McCown easily bested Tom Brady in the air, recording 354 yards and two touchdowns on 31 completions. I mean, sure, he also lobbed two interceptions and got sacked four times for minus 20 yards, too, but come on – this is one of those rare instances where a participation trophy is actually well-deserved.
Hey, remember last week, when I wondered out loud if Arizona signing Adrian Peterson was a bad idea? Well, I reckon I can shut my goddamn whore of a mouth right now, seeing as how A.P. collected 134 yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Cards’ 38-33 win against Tampa Bay Sunday. Shit, even Carson Palmer looked better than he had any right to be, lobbing the rock for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Keep that kinda’ consistent offense rolling, and not only might this team make the wildcard round, they might even steal the NFC West crown underneath all our noses.
Down 17-o at halftime against Atlanta, Miami managed to mount a 20 point come from behind victory Sunday. With Jay Cutler going 19 for 33 for 151 yards and two TDs (plus a solo INT), you can credit most of the win to the Fins’ run game – more specifically, Jay Ajayi, who finished the contest with 130 yards on 26 carries.
The Bengals had a bye last weekend and will return Sunday for a pivotal AFC North clash against the Steelers. Averaging 311 yards a game, the Bengals are ranked 24th in overall offense, but allowing just 262.8 yards a contest, they currently possess the League’s second-best defense … you know, statistically, anyway.
The Raiders dropped a tough ‘un against the Chargers last Sunday, losing a 17-16 intra-AFC West scrap at home. In his first game back from a back injury, Derek Carr went 21 for 30 for 171 yards, one TD and two interceptions, while the Oakland backfield marginally outrushed Los Angeles 109 yards to 80. We’ll see if the addition of NaVorro Bowman does anything to spark the team ahead of tonight’s pivotal intra-conference battle against the Chiefs – and if it doesn’t, you REALLY have to start asking some questions about Todd Downing’s job security. And, as always, if you care to relive all of the misery and disappointment of last Sunday’s game, you can check out our FREE replay (sorta’) of the Raiders’ loss anytime you want right here.
|Please, do feel free to add your own Chris Berman “WHOOP!” sound effects.|
Don’t let the 38-33 final score fool you – in their loss to Arizona over the weekend, the Buccaneers were nowhere close to winning the game. Heading into the third quarter the Cardinals had amassed a 31-0 lead, and pretty much all of the Bucs’ offensive production came in the form of garbage time points – although Lavonte David’s 21-yard fumble return was kinda’ cool, I guess.
Although the Cowboys didn’t take the field Sunday, they might as well chalk up their bye week as a loss. Why? Because a federal court upheld the League’s initial six-game ban of Ezekiel Elliot, but wait a minute … just when it looked like Texas’ No. 1 domestic abuser not named “Steve Austin” was going to be out of action until December, another judge turned around and declared the other judge’s ruling on the injunction invalid, so Ezey E will be allowed to play at least one more game this season before his fate is finally decided. Anyhoo, by the time this thing goes to print, we SHOULD have a firm idea whether or not we’ll be seeing Elliot playing anytime soon. Or not. It’s really 5o/50 at this point.
Thanks to a botched PAT attempt on behalf of the Raiders, the L.A. Chargers managed to muster a 17-16 last-second win against Oakland Sunday. Philip Rivers went 25 for 36 in the win, finishing the game with 268 yards and one TD strike. Running back Melvin Gordon also played quite well, racking up 83 yards and one TD running the ball and another 67 yards (plus another touchdown) as a receiver.
The Bears got their second win of the year via a 27-24 overtime victory against the Ravens. Mitch “The Bitch” Trubisky went 8 for 16 for 113 yards and one TD pass, while Jordan Howard racked up 167 yards on 36 carries. And, uh, because I can’t think of anything really noteworthy to say about the rest of the team’s performance, how about we check out Adrian Amos’ 90-yard interception return again?
The Luck-less Colts stumbled again Monday night, dropping an AFC South tilt against the Titans 36-22. Jacoby “Whisker Biscuit” Brissett finished the game 21 for 37 for 212 yards and one TD, while Frank Gore ran for an underwhelming 49 yards on ten carries, with zero end zone visitations. But on the plus side, at least the O-line held up pretty well – not only did they prevent Brissett from getting sacked once, they only let Titans’ defenders hit him after the pass four times … which, I know, does’t sound all that great, but considering what defenses earlier in the season have done to the poor chap, it’s basically a minor miracle.
The Giants, amazingly, managed to avoid an 0-6 start by beating the Broncos in Denver 23-10 in a prime time clash that had their foes listed as 13.5-point favorites. Eli Manning’s 128-yard passing day wasn’t much of a factor, but the G-Men’s rushing attack was (probably) the difference maker. At the final horn, the Broncos only had 46 yards on the ground, while New York nearly tripled their rushing production with 148 yards, with top back Orleans Darkwa recording 117 on 21 carries.
It’s kinda’ ironic that the name of San Fran’s QB is C.J. Beathard, because over the weekend, the team got beat hard by the Redskins in a 26-24 slugfest. Despite the guy who isn’t Colin Kaepernick having a mostly ho-hum day with 245 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio, at least long-time 49ers back Carlos Hyde looked pretty decent, registering two touchdowns and 28 yards on just 13 carries.
Yep, the Browns are still sans a victory following their 33-17 loss to the Texans. Quarterback Kevin Hogan went 20 for 37 for 140 yards, racking up one TD but lobbing three costly interceptions, while Cleveland’s rushing attack – despite picking 134 yards of offense – couldn’t convert any of ’em into points on the board. If the team comes up short against Tennessee this weekend, you have to expect some firings to go down. Which, in this case, begs the question: do NFL bylaws allow executives to fire an entire team at one time?