As post-game celebrations go, this one is...painfully lame. I mean, hip-hip-hurray? That's the kind of thing I'd expect my grandpa to do after a successful day at the bingo parlor. Hey Jim, you do realize that your team won on the road against their hated rivals, right? Right?!

Labels: , , ,

Okay. Adam Sandler can be kinda funny. Sometimes.

Labels: ,


Fantasy fallout: This game featured (and didn't feature) some of this season's biggest fantasy football disappointments not named Tom Brady. Willie Parker is injured and out indefinitely (or "day-to-day" in NFL parlance). Ben Roethlisberger -- who last season was second overall in QB rating (104.1) and third in touchdowns (32) -- has been spending so much time on the turf I'm starting to think he developed narcolepsy in the offseason (or, as my buddy Mr. P calls it, narcosleepy). As a consequence Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward and Heath Miller have been nearly useless. Rashard Mendenhall, who was supposed to be Pittsburgh's next big running back, fractured his left shoulder last night and is out for the season.

On the other side of the ball, Willis McGahee has 106 yards and 1 TD in only two games this season, and he injured both his knee and chest last night...and thus had to leave the game early. Meanwhile, rookie QB Joe Flacco isn't exactly lighting it up: He has exactly one TD on the year (compared to 2 interceptions, 3 fumbles and 6 sacks) and he's averaging a craptastic 150 YPG. I keep hearing the term "game manager" every time he's discussed, and that rarely leads to good things for young QBs. And mind you, this is a guy who's had games against both Cincinnati and Cleveland already. (Random aside: Is it just me, or does anybody else think "Flaccid" when they hear "Flacco"? Yeah, it's probably just me.)

Pittsburgh Steelers through two-and-a-half quarters: By midway through the third quarter, they had exactly one first down. One. In a semi-must-win home game. And, natch, the Pittsburgh crowd booed their team. Happy times in the Iron City. Fortunately for the Steelers, they were playing...

The Baltimore Ravens: Talk about retching up a game they should have won. Late in the third quarter, Baltimore had a 10-point lead that felt more like 30. Pittsburgh's passing game was MIA and they were down to their fourth and last running back. Then, Roethlisberger shocked the world by tossing a 38-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes -- it was Holmes' first of the season -- to bring the Steelers to within three. Less than 20 seconds later, Joe Flacco coughed up a fumble that LaMarr Woodley returned for a TD. And just like that, the Steelers were up by four. How do you hold a team to 3 points for more than half-an-hour and then give up 14 points in half a minute? That's like a prom date who won't even hold your hand for most of the night suddenly tearing off her clothes, dousing herself in baby oil, and...what was I talking about again?

Mike Tomlin, quote machine: In addition to Mendenhall, the Steelers also lost right guard Kendall Simmons (right Achilles) for the season, which drills yet another hole into their Swiss cheese of an offensive line. But Tomlin is staying strangely optimistic. "It is only devastating if you allow it to be." That's a great sentiment, coach. And it's sort of easy for you to say, since you don't have to stand behind that line while a half-dozen 300-pound monsters are trying to run you down and break you in half. That's like me telling somebody that a bullet can only tear through your insides like butter if you let it.

Meaningless stats: Did you know that Pittsburgh won its 14th consecutive Monday night home game last night, a streak that dates to a 1991 loss to the New York Giants at Three Rivers Stadium? Did you care? Yeah. I didn't think so.

Tony Kornheiser: You can read more about the exploits of Kandy Korn over at Awful Announcing, but I was particularly amused by this gem, in which Tony channeled his inner John Madden. Regarding Big Ben Roethlisberger: "At some point, you are what you are as a quarterback." Maybe he figured if he sounded more like Madden, people would stop pointing out how out of place he is on MNF.

Update! Special note from futuremrsrickankiel: "Please don't forget to call Willis McGahee a tubby piece of shit and Rashard Mendenhall an overrated rookie bust." Consider it done.

Labels: , , , , , ,

One Ohio team dragging the other down. How terribly appropriate.

Carson Palmer. Oh, CARSON. You finally had a shot to pull yourself and your miserable-ass team out of the basement, and "inflammation in your passing elbow" winds up sidelining you? Honestly, I expect MORE out of a tough cookie and ex-Trojan such as yourself. Take some Aleve and get back in there, dammit!

Ryan Fitzpatrick. Good thing you've got that crappy degree from a second-rate college to fall back on, pal. Let's see: 21-for-35, 156 passing yards, a touchdown... and three interceptions? Yup, that's a passer rating of 44.5 in your first regular-season appearance in 3 years. But hey: you led the team in rushing yards! Which makes this even sadder, really.

Derek Anderson. My god, man! Your job's on the line. The interceptions aside, your stats from yesterday were only slightly better than Fitzpatrick's -- and he hasn't thrown a regular-season pass in 3 years. Meanwhile, you're riding a $24 million contract extension to Nowhereville. "You're not going to score every single down," noted Anderson to the media after the game. Right, dude, but you probably shouldn't be throwing into coverage on every single down, either.

Brady Quinn. Amid this swirling vortex of quarterbacktical ineptitude sits one very talented young man who could -- and should -- be a very viable option at QB now that Derek Anderson appears to have completely forgotten what his job entails. I guess Cleveland is holding out on starting him until they can guarantee that he'll get fewer than 55% of the snaps. Because, you know, what's important in professional football is saving money.

The Bengals defense. I'm sorry. Any defense that allows the freaking Browns to put up a 17-point quarter deserves to be taken out back and shot. Oh, and note that the D also wasted 2 timeouts in the second half due to "too many men on the field" violations. Bravo, guys.

The entire state of Ohio. No, seriously. I warned you all that this would be a terrible game, but even I underestimated the massive, mind-blowing suckitude it would ultimately entail. Allow me to paint a representative picture for you: It's late in the first half. Romeo Crennel (sigh) decides to go for it on a 4th-and-1 at the Cincy 45-yard line. Derek Anderson promptly chucks it behind Steve Heiden. Possession: Bengals. Ryan Fitzpatrick manages to string together two plays, then tosses a pass to Chad Ocho Cinco that is intercepted by Eric Wright -- who then fumbles it RIGHT BACK TO JOHNSON. Jesus god in heaven. What awful, awful football. I think this video pretty much sums it up.

Footbawful almost seems TOO complimentary to describe this game. How about FootStabmeintheface?

The Houston Texans. I thought they were going to pull this one out. I really did. Even with MJD and Jerry Porter back on the field for JAX, the Texans stayed neck-and-neck with the Jaguars and were up 27-24 with just seconds left in regulation. Matt Schaub dodged the sack all day long and threw for 307 yards, 3 TDs, and a rating of 119.5... only to get Scobee'd in OT for the 30-27 loss. Bummer, Texans! Props where props are due, though... this game was so much better than that mess of an Ohio game that it barely seems like the same sport.

The Denver Broncos. Wait, WHAT?! No, seriously. The seemingly unstoppable Denver juggernaut came to a screeching halt in the face of -- wait for it -- THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS for a wholly unexpected and frankly kind of awesome 33-19 loss. What's even worse is that, were it not for the Chiefs' ineptitude, the score would actually have been even more of a blowout, as the Denver offense yielded a turnover, a sack, and a botched punt all within the first two possessions and continued along those veins for the rest of the game. At some point, an offense will get exposed for what it is, and as dazzled as we've all been by Denver's play, it's pretty clear that this team is just a botched Ed Hochuli call and a few more inches on a Martin Gramatica kick away from 1-2.

Brian Waters, quote machine. "It's a sigh of relief to be able to have a little bit of joy in your life," said the KC left guard following his team's first victory in nearly a year. Christ, it's a good thing these NFL players never have to face any REAL adversity. Dude sounds like he's being held captive in some Turkish prison and discovered a single flower growing in between the cracks of his cell walls or something. Let's keep things in perspective, shall we, Brian?

Minnesota quarterbacks. The Vikings are the latest team to fall victim to the Titans' ninja awesomeness, thanks in no small part to a gruesomely porous O-line that allowed 4 sacks on the day. Gus Frerotte got injured with just 6 minutes to play and Tarvaris Jackson came in to seal the Vikes' fate with his patented Tarvaris Jackson Futility Juice (TM). This team simply cannot do anything right on offense -- except give the ball to Adrian Peterson, of course, and that'll only get a team so far. The Vikings are now 1-3 and have the third-worst record in the NFC. Like, they're now chilling with Detroit and St. Louis. Brutal!

Just so we're clear, Minnesota: this is how many wins you have.

"Ow... seriously... my back already kills from carrying this offense...

The Raiders defense. For the second week in a row, Oakland managed to blow a two-score lead in the fourth quarter en route to a 28-18 loss to San Diego. The Chargers put up a 25-point fourth quarter after being held scoreless the entire first half and scoring just 3 points in the third quarter. LaDainian Tomlinson scored two monster touchdowns and the Raiders just sat by in disbelief as they fell to 1-3. The parallels with the Vikings are uncanny, really. I can't decide if merging these two teams would result in a stronger team by virtue of combining several good elements, or simply a team so overwhelming in its pointlessness that the universe might implode.

Come back here with my 15-point lead, dammit!

Lane Kiffin. The Kiffster is now 5-15 in his career as a head coach. I can only hope that Al Davis has some kind of Rube Goldberg machine that will shoot Lane Kiffin out of a cannon rather than simply firing him. That would be so boring.

Labels: , , ,

Warner sack

Referee Ed Hochuli: The man who made the tuck rule famous flagged the Panthers' Julius Peppers for a roughing-the-passer penalty that negated Carolina's pick-six in the first quarter against Atlanta. What's more, Muscles claimed that Peppers delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Replays, however, showed not only that Peppers made contact as Ryan released the ball, but that he hit him first with his shoulder after which their helmets collided. Weird. I didn't think steroids affected eyesight.

This gaffe, of course, comes on the heels of the blown call that helped Denver notch a 39-38 comeback win over San Diego. I guess that mean's more "low grades" for Hochuli. Isn't it interesting, though, that so much dust is getting kicked up over two officiating mistakes? NFL officials blow or miss calls with alarming regularity, but when Hochuli does it, everybody freaks out. That's what happens when you overachieve: Your mistakes seem correspondingly huge. Which is sort of a sad commentary on our society...much like the extendable fork.

Michael Turner: The NFL's "leading rusher" had 56 yards on 18 attempts and no touchdowns. And I wasn't the least bit surprised. I told you how bad the Falcons were on the road and I asked why you hadn't traded Turner yet. Why didn't you listen to me? Why didn't you listen?! Hey, you're also growing a second evil head. You gonna pay attention to that?

Mike Martz: San Francisco pinata quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan got sacked six times, intercepted twice and lost a fumble. And while it might be tempting to blame O'Sullivan or even the 49ers offensive line, those numbers simply represent a typical day at the office for a Mike Martz QB (for details, see the collected works of Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger and John Kitna). By the way O'Sullivan has now been sacked 19 times in four games. Quick quiz: At some point this season, O'Sullivan will be carried off the field a) on a stretcher, b) in a wheelchair, c) in a bucket, d) in a casket, e) none of the above; he'll be buried at midfield during a stirring halftime ceremony.

Drew Brees: Brees -- the league leader in passing yards (1343), yards per game (335.8), and completion percentage (72.3) -- was again magnificent, throwing for 363 yards (23-for-35) and 3 touchdowns. But it's damn near impossible to figure out whom he's targeting from week to week. I mean, 101 yards for Lance Moore? Another 99 yards for Robert Meachum? And the would-be number one guy, David Patten, caught only one pass for 21 yards. Come on, Drew. Pick a primary receiver and stick with him. Fantasy teams all over the country may depend on it.

Kurt Warner: It seems almost unthinkable for a quarterback to throw for 472 yards (on 40 completions!) and 2 touchdowns and yet still end up in Worst of the Weekend. Unless, of course, that QB is Kurt "The Human Turnover" Warner. The Christian Kid undid all his accomplishments by getting sacked 5 times, tossing three picks, and losing three fumbles. That's like discovering a cure for your wife's cancer but then blindfolding her and sending her down a flight of stairs covered in banana peels.

But I should thank Kurt for helping prove me right. On Friday, I said: "If [the Cardinals and Jets] don't combine for 60-70 points and half a dozen turnovers, I'll be very sad." Well, they combined for 91 points and 8 turnovers. So in a way, the teams both exceeded and failed to live up to my expectations (if that makes any sense). And most of that is due to Kurt Warner. God bless you, sir.

New York's lack of class: Leading the hapless Cardinals 48-35, Brett Favre threw a touchdown pass -- his sixth of the game, a personal best -- with 1:54 left on the clock. Then they rubbed a little salt into the wound by for a two-point conversion. That's some bad juju right there. Remember what happened to the last team that challenged the Football Gods by running up scores? They suffered the greatest upset in Super Bowl history and then lost their QB to a catastrophic knee injury during the first quarter of the first game of the very next season. I'm just sayin'.

Even worse was how Jets safety Eric Smith almost killed Anquan Boldin with a helmet-to-helmet hit. Mind you, this happened with 34 seconds to go and the Jets holding an insurmountable lead. That's so not cool. But then again, I'm probably be inspired to play dirty if my team had forced me to wear this:


Aaron Rodgers: The man for whom Brett Favre -- who, in case you missed it, threw for 6 TDs yesterday -- was run out of town was sacked three times and threw three picks, the last of which ended up being the game-clincher. Oh, and he got his shoulder separated, so chances are he'll be out for a while. And this seems as good a time as any to mention that Favre holds NFL record with 257 consecutive starts...and counting. The lesson: Never, ever, ever ditch a legend who can still play.

Ryan Grant: Green Bay's problems weren't limited to their quarterback. Grant, who demanded that the Packers show him the money in the offseason, had 20 yards on 15 carries for a Cedric Benson-like 1.3 yards per carry. He also fumbled once as a reciever and once as a rusher, witht he rushing fumble getting run back for a Tampa Bay TD. I will now continue the Ced Benson analogy by presenting Grant's current stats for the season: 55 carries, 186 yards (3.4 yards per carry), zero touchdowns and two lost fumbles. Raise your hand if you took Grant in the first round of your fantasy league draft. Now go give yourself an atomic wedgie. You totally deserve it.

Brad Childress: During the second quarter of the Vikings-Titans game, Childress used a timeout to figure out whether to challenge the spot of a catch by Tennesse's Justin Gage (Gage appeared to lose the ball right before the whistle). Then, after talking it over with coaches, he threw the challenge flag. Bad news: The spot of the catch was upheld, and Childress lost a second timeout. Why waste a timeout when, in a worst-case scenario, you'll just lose a timeout anyway? How does that make sense? But keep in mind that this is the same guy who had to choose between starting Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte at quarterback. Stands to reason that his brain's a little fried.

Trent Green: Let's see: 236 yards on 17-for-32 passing, two sacks, zero touchdowns, and an interception that was run back by Buffalo for the go-ahead touchdown. Yep, that was exactly what the Rams needed to turn things around. Sorry if I slopped some of that sarcasm on you. Things tend to get messy when discussing the Rams. On the bright side, yesterday was the first time this season that the Rams finished within 24 points of their opponent. So that's something.

Dallas Cowboys: It seems like only last week that the Cowboy's Tank Johnson was already looking ahead to the playoffs. Oh yeah, it was last week. Unfortunately for Dallas, the NFL still requires its teams to complete the regular season and win all their postseason games before receiving the Lombardi Trophy, no matter how good they looked over the first three games. Remember what happened to the Emperor after he prematurely celebrated his victory over the Rebels in Return of the Jedi? Allow me to remind you:

Terrell Owens: Wanna know why the Cowyboys lost the game? It certainly wasn't hubris of the fact that their defense got chewed up by Clinton Portis (121 yards on 21 rushes) and Jason Campbell (231 yards and 2 TDs). It was because Terrell Owens didn't touch the ball enough. No, really. Just ask Terrell Owens. "Everybody recognized that I wasn't really getting the ball in the first half. I'm pretty sure everybody watching the game recognized it, people in the stands recognized it, I think my team recognized it. I didn't quit. I kept fighting and trying to running my routes and trying to get open."

For the record, the Cowboys ran 58 offensive plays. Romo threw it to Owens 18 times and handed it off to him twice on end-arounds. But when somebody pointed that out to him and asked whether being almost 40 percent of the offense was enough, Owens replied: "I would say no. I'm a competitor, and I want the ball." He later threw a tantrum during Tony Romo's press conference, noting that the press wasn't asking him enough questions.

Second-half Kyle Orton: Orton was fantastic in the first half of the Eagles-Bears game, throwing for three TDs...which has to be an all-time record for a Chicago QB. But somebody -- I'm guessing it was Rex Grossman -- must have hit Orton's self-destruct button during halftime, because Krazy Kyle came out after the intermission and threw for only 25 yards, tossed a sloppy interception and coughed up the ball twice on fumbles. Fortunately for Orton and the Bears, Donovan McNabb wasn't much better (3 sacks, 1 interception) and the Eagles running game was a victim of evolution...which is probably why they couldn't convert second-and-goal, third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal -- all from the Bears' one-yard line -- with just over three minutes remaining. Hey, if your offense can't gain a yard in three tries with the game on the line, you don't deserve to win. A wag of the finger, mabye, but not a win.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Houston Texans over Jacksonville Jaguars. Here's the thing: the Texans are a terrible team, but they're not 0-16 terrible. No, really. The Rams and the Lions, yes, but not the Texans. Meanwhile, the Jags are still playing without Jerry Porter and will in all likelihood be minus Maurice Jones-Drew this weekend. As bizarre as this NFL season's already been, I think this matchup will provide one of the more unlikely outcomes of the weekend.

[Note to self: find and destroy any and all writers who still consider the comma splice an acceptable form of sentence construction.]

Basketbawful says: I asked John Madden about this game, and here's what he had to say: "The reason a team has a defense is to stop the other team's offense. And the reason a team has an offense is to score points. So really, the reason there's a defense is to make sure the other team doesn't put up a lot of points." I... couldn't agree more. And I don't see Houston's offense putting up many points against Jacksonville's defense, unless somebody on the Texans' training staff replaces the Jaguars' jockstraps with feral monkeys. And maybe not even then.

Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns. Let me see. How can I put this? BLECH. The Great Oh-Eight Ohio Suckfest, Part I is officially upon us in this sure-to-be-epically-terrible Clash of the 0-3 Titans. The difference-maker here: Carson Palmer appears to genuinely want to win at some point, whereas Derek Anderson does not.

Basketbawful says: I can think of only one way to improve this game: Right before kickoff, deliver letters to all of the players on each team. The Cleveland players will be told that their families have been taken hostage and will be killed if they lose. The Cincinatti players will be told that, should they fail to win, they will all be murdered after the game. Then turn 'em lose and see what happens! That said, I'm backing Cleveland this week. I also like to live dangerously. Which is why I just swallowed a bottle of hand soap that was clearly labeled "Not to be taken internally." Suck on that, warning label writer.

Tennessee Titans over Minnesota Vikings. Should you need something to wash out the taste of bleak Midwestern failure after sitting through Bengals/Browns (I WARNED you, dammit), this game may just be the ticket. Two mighty rushing games (the Vikes and Titans are 5th and 6th in the league in rushing yards, respectively) and two strong defenses will meet in this interdivisional hoedown. I don't think Gus Frerotte will outplay Kerry Collins, but I do think it'll be close. [Second note to self: rain plague, suffering, and holy hellfire down on writer who wrote that the Titans are "refusing to peak ahead." I really need to start looking up the games somewhere else.]

Basketbawful says: I was totally sold on this game until I read the words "I don't think Gus Frerotte will outplay Kerry Collins." Think about that. Just think about it. Titans win.

Denver Broncos over Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are averaging 10.7 points per game so far this season. That's just not gonna cut it against the blisteringly efficient Denver offense, who's averaging 38 freaking points per game. Oh, sure, Denver's defense is terrible. Don't get me wrong. But a Chiefs team that's already posted losses to Atlanta, Oakland, and a castrated New England?

Basketbawful says: Unless Herm Edwards has invented a ray gun that will turn the Broncos into 15-year-old versions of themselves -- pretty unlikely -- it's hard to imagine the Chiefs coming within 30 points of victory. By the way: If this is the week you're playing against the guy/girl in your fantasy league who has Jay Cutler, I'm sorry. Like, really sorry.

San Diego Chargers over Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are averaging 20 points per game so far this season. That's just not gonna cut it against the blisteringly efficient San Diego offense, who's averaging 36.7 freaking points per game. Oh, sure, San Diego's defense is terrible. Don't get me wrong. But a Raiders team that's already...


No, seriously though, the Raiders have a beast of a running game but will absolutely fail to outscore this mighty San Diego offense. Remember the Week 1 game against Denver? Same deal, same shitty combined stadium, same outcome. "So put your little hand in mine; there ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb..."

Basketbawful says: How to say this...Oakland's better than I thought they'd be, but still a lot worse than they need to be. You know? Random historical footnote: Do you realize that the Raiders were in the Super Bowl only five years ago? Seems like they've been bad a lot longer than that, doesn't it? Chargers in a laugher.

Baltimore Ravens over Pittsburgh Steelers. This week's Monday night matchup features a battle for AFC North supremacy (not to be confused with Cleveland/Cincinnati, which is a battle for AFC North futility). Pittsburgh's offense had the shit blitzed out of them by the Iggles last week, and the Ray Lewis Army of Darkness is going to make short work of the Willie Parker-less Steelers.

Basketbawful says: What a difference one week can make. Last week at this time the Steelers were considered far and away the best team in the AFC. Now you could fill the Grand Canyon with all the dirt people are throwing on their collective graves. Don't people understand that you can't underestimate the heart of a champion?! Actually, that's not true. You can totally underestimate the heart of a champion. But I'm taking the Steelers anyway.

futuremrsrickankiel's Week 2 Record: 8-7 (abstained from picking Chargers v. Jets because she is super lame)

Labels: , ,

Falcons fan
Falcons fans. Scary.

Panthers over Falcons: The Falcons have looked amazing this season. At home. Against the Lions and Chiefs. On the road against Tampa? Not so much. Michael Turner -- who leads the NFL in rushing with 366 yards and 5 touchdowns -- gained 42 yards on 14 attempts against the Bucs, and Matt Ryan completed only 13 of his 33 passes for 158 yards and two interceptions. But you know what? Those are nothing but meaningful numbers. Forget them and listen to my gut. It's saying, "This is Jake Delhomme's comeback week. Take the Panthers. Now get me some Taco Bell, stat."

futuremrsrickankiel sez: The NFC South is shaping up to be one of the toughest divisions in the league this year, and this epic battle of So White It Pains Me quarterbacks may turn out to be indicative of who holds on down the stretch. Here's a hint: It's going to be the Panthers. Jake Delhomme may fluctuate wildly between atrocious and mediocre, but he's got so many more options on offense than Matt Ryan that it really doesn't seem fair. Ooh ooh, but the Falcons have Roddy White! Yeah, and I've got a half-eaten bagel. Wanna trade?

Saints over 49ers: If you're a fan of defenseless shootouts, this game is for you. I bet Mike Martz has been walking funny all week, what with the giant, throbbing erection he's probably sporting. By the way, Mike, men experiencing an erection lasting longer than four hours may die of Elevated Penis Syndrome. Just thought you should know. Sidenote: This may be the week that J.T. O'Sullivan's fantasy stock goes through the roof. My advice: Buy low, sell high.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: I'll be frank: I don't have balls. I'm a chick. However, picking the 'Niners to win this is as close as I'll come this week. (I'm on the waiting list at a clinic in Thailand, but airfare is just so EXPENSIVE these days.) It's not so much that I think San Francisco is a better team as it is that I think the Saints simply excel at finding ways to lose. Blame Martin Gramatica for last week all you want, but the truth is that if he hadn't stepped up, someone else would have. Should you desire mathematical proof:

SFO = Frank Gore
NO = Reggie Bush
Frank Gore = monster
Reggie Bush = little bitch
monster > little bitch

Jets over Cardinals: I'm officially instituting a "Don't take the Cardinals on the road rule" until they win two road games in a row. Which is essentially the same as saying "forever and ever and ever until infinity times two." Still, there's just enough offensive and defensive ineptitude between these two teams to make this a pretty exciting game. If they don't combine for 60-70 points and half a dozen turnovers, I'll be very sad. Which will be a familiar feeling while watching these teams play.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Again: Do not write Brett Favre off just because it's easy. I say J-E-T-S all day, as much as I wanted to like the Cards this season. Also, please note that even if the combined score is 70, it still won't be as high as the combined age of these two starting QBs.

Packers over Buccaneers: After watching Brian Griese machine-gun the Bears with 67 pass attempts last Sunday, I became a believer. But my belief is that the Bucs are in big trouble, because that is not a formula for success. Neither is drowning during your own publicity stunt, for that matter. Memo to Ryan Grant: You are absolutely killing fantasy teams across the country. That is all.

futuremrsrickankiel sez:While I am 100% sure that Griese will not continue to be as awesome as he was against the Bears last week, I'm, like, 110% sure that the Green Bay secondary is a total mess and will do nothing to stop the Bucs' passing game. Note to self: Start Ike Hilliard.

Cowboys over Redskins: It's a modern day game of Cowboys and Injuns. And we all know how that turned out, don't we? [shudders] Meanwhile, there's only been three weeks of NFL action and yet the 'Boys are looking ahead. Way ahead. To January. According to defensive tackle Tank Johnson: "We're slowly starting to jell and that's huge as we get farther along in the season. That's what the regular season is for, jellin' for the postseason." Hey, Tank. I'm jellin'. Are you jellin'? P.S. There are 13 regular season games left. Slow down and enjoy the ride. And, uh, don't shoot.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Dallas demonstrated decisively (damn!) last week that if you shut down their passing game, they'll just let MBIII and Felix Jones go freak-nasty on your ass and mop the floor with you anyway. Washington's defense is good, yes, but their offense is far too dependent on Santana Moss for me to think they'll pull this one out. Just... something about the whole "injury-prone midget" thing makes me nervous, you know?

Eagles over Bears: Do you suppose Kyle Orton has been wetting his bed all week? I would be if I were him, based on what the Philly defense did to Ben Roethlisberger last week. He's probably been jumping at shadows wherever he goes. Kind of like, well, the people who work with Terry Tate...

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Darling, I know you're going to get your knickers all up in a knot about this pick, but Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb are both questionable for this weekend and surely won't be playing their best even if they do play. It's all in your hands, DeSean! And we all know what that means.

Bills over Rams: The Trent Green Era: Part II begins this weekend in St. Lous, and it's giving me a serious case of the cold chills. Mostly because we might actually see Green get killed on live TV. This man has a history. A bad history. What's Scott Linehan thinking?! I mean, the way the Rams' offensive line has been playing, that's like covering a man in chum and dropping him into the middle of a feeding frenzy without a cage or even one of those mesh anti-shark suits. I hope Trent's family has a eulogy ready, that's all I'm saying.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Oh, FINE. But if the Bills win the AFC East, I am quitting this website.

Basketbawful's Week 3 Record: 12-4

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

alligator arms (al'-uh-gat'-uhr armz) noun. Describes those situations in which a wide receiver extends his arms timidly -- far less than full length -- because he sees an approaching defensive player or senses that he is about to be hit. Presumably, the player hopes that the halfhearted "catch attempt" will fool his coaches and teammates into believing he genuinely went after the ball. However, alligator arms fool no one and usually lead to extreme (and deserved) mockery.

Usage example: Todd Pinkston's career was defined by his infamous alligator arms.

Word trivia: Philadelphia Eagles fans probably haven't yet forgotten Todd Pinkston, who spent five moderately successful seasons with the team (2000-2004), catching 184 passes for 2,816 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was known for his ability to make big plays, but he was even more well known for aversion to contact. Any contact. To the point where I started to wonder whether he spent family holidays in a plastic bubble or else locked away in a panic room. This phobia for the touchy-feely led ESPN's Michael Irvin to dub him "Todd Stinkston," and it probably says something about Pinkston that the nickname stuck.

The absolute nadir of Pinkston's career occurred on December 12, 2004 in a MNF game against the Washington Redskins. Despite the fact that he had three catches for a team-high 99 yards, Pinkston was blasted for giving up on a catchable pass. And I mean "giving up" in a way that would make the French military blush in their bloomers. Pinkston claimed he lost the ball in the lights, but nobody -- not even Mama Pinkston -- believed him. And rightly so. Let's watch:

In case you're at work and have to keep the volume down, here's a full transcript of the play-by-play. Unfortunately, the written word cannot due justice to the broadcasters' outrage.

Mike Patrick: "Play action by McNabb, plenty of time, throwing down the middle, and Pinkston..."

Group: "Ohhhhh, unbelievable, uhhhhhh!"

Mike Patrick: "I don't know what happened on that play, Pinkston turned his shoulder away from it and didn't go after the ball!"

Joe Theismann: "You've heard of alligator arms; this is alligator body. Todd Pinkston has got a touchdown. Watch this! He now sees the safety coming from the left, that ball's in the air, he just, he does not want to get hit..."

Mike Patrick: "Holy cow."

Joe Theismann: "He, Ryan Clark, he sees Ryan Clark. This is a great way to lose your job as a receiver in the National Football League."

Mike Patrick: "That's unbelievable."

Joe Theismann -- who once said "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." -- is a complete douchebag, but I loved how he accused Pinkston of having an "alligator body." I only wish it was true, because then he could have used his large, muscular tail to batter Theismann to death. But I guess if this had happened to me, I'd be a cynical bastard too. Wait. I'm already a cynical bastard. Never mind, then.

Anyway, Pinkston's exploits made him the object of scorn nationwide, leading to this Pass To Pinky video game (in which the player throws passes to Pinkston, who either ducks or drops them) and this satrical article titled Todd Pinkston breaking barriers as NFL's first woman. Oh, and if you do a Google search for "Todd Pinkston" and "Alligator Arms"...well, let's just say you get a few results.

Update! Thanks to DDC for reminding me that, during Super Bowl XXXIX, Pinkston left the biggest game of his life during the third quarter due to...leg cramps. Or, as Theismann would probably say, "alligator legs."

Labels: , , ,

The Rams now turn to Trent Green. Yeah. That should end well.

1. The St. Louis Rams: St. Louis is once again home to The Greatest Show on Turf. Unfortunately, in this case, that title is bestowed upon any team playing against the Rams. St. Louis has been outscored by a nad-shriveling 29-116 so far this season. Scoring only 10 points per game is pretty sad, but simultaneously giving up almost 40 points per game is "30-something bachelor playing Pokeman at the mall with other peoples' kids" sad. Oh, and now they're starting Trent Green, a.k.a. The Man of Glass, at QB? Great idea...assuming you want Trent Green dead.

Update! Here's a treat for your funny bone, courtesy of pistonsgirl4life: "So I followed the Wiki article you linked about 'The Greatest Show on Earth' and since I'm eating lunch and incredibly bored I decided to read it only to come across the following priceless gem at the very end: "Az-Zahir Hakim is (at the moment) out of the NFL.' Can't you just imagine Hakim re-adding the 'at the moment' bit over and over each season desperately hoping someone will call his agent?" Well, that's just great, pistonsgirl4life. Now Hakim will probably find this post during the three hour chunk of the morning he spends Googling his name, after which he'll spend the next hour or so crying. I hope you're happy with yourself.

2. The Detroit Lions: It's not that the Lions are appreciably better than the Rams, but Marc Bulger and Stephen Jackson are former Pro Bowlers. Has anyone in Detroit made the Pro Bowl since Barry Sanders gave up retired? (Don't bother answering; I don't really care.) What I'm trying to say is, the Rams should be better, and that makes them worse. You know? Kind of like cheese on a hotdog.

3. The Seattle Seahawks. Thanks to the glory of the bye week, the Seahawks get to bask in the glory of their first win (courtesy of the Rams) for a full 13 days. And when you're as dead sexy as Matt Hasselbeck, you should spend a lot of time basking. Preferably in baby oil.

4. The Washington Redskins. Tato skins got baked potato appeal, cause they're made with potatos and skins that are real! That's about all I have to say here. But I'll go ahead and say this anyway: Washington's 2-1, thanks to the general ineptitude of the Saints and Cardinals. But with back-to-back road games against Dallas and Philly coming up next, it doesn't take The Amazing Zoltar to tell you that the Redskins are about to tumble down...that is, these rankings.

5. The Chicago Bears. Apparently, Lovie Smith and the Bears have decided to mix things up this season. Instead of wasting an awesome defense on a stab-my-eyes-out-please offense, they're wasting a somewhat competent offense on a can't-stop-Brian-Griese-in-the-fourth-quarter defense. I can appreciate that. I mean, if you're going to disappoint your fans year after year, you might as well do it in new and unexpected ways.

6. The New Orleans Saints. Okay, can I just say that Drew Brees is a freaking machine? He's thrown for 980 yards (first in the league) while completing 74 percent (also first in the league) of his 113 pass attempts (second to Peyton Manning's 120). Speaking of machines, does anybody else hate Cleatus, the FOX football robot? Then this video is for you:

7. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can the Bucs keep winning if Brian Griese has to throw 60 times a a game? Sure, if they replace his throwing arm with a giant pumpkin catapult. Seriously, would that not be cool?

8. The Minnesota Vikings. Huh. Maybe Gus Frerotte really was the answer. Of course, the question was "What is the surest sign that Tavaris Jackson is a complete and utter bust?" Don't worry, though, Tavaris. I'm sure someone with your qualifications will have no trouble landing a top-flight job in either the food service or house keeping industries.

9. The Atlanta Falcons. Important fantasy note: The Falcons have gotten their two freebies (Detroit, Kansas City) out of the way, so if you haven't yet traded Michael Turner for way more than he's worth...what in the world are you waiting for?

10. The San Francisco 49ers. Sure, 2-1 sounds good until you realize the two wins were against receiver-less Seattle and hope-less Detroit. Until further notice, I will consider the Niners 0-1.

11. The Carolina Panthers. Want to know how Jake Delhomme felt last week against the Vikings? Here's how:

12. The Arizona Cardinals. That loss to the Redskins sure felt like a "They are who we thought they were" moment. Or was that just me? I mean, they're still the Cardinals, right? Do people really think they're gonna win their division and make the playoffs? Sure, and maybe Pauly Shore will win an Academy Award for his role in Encino Man II: Encino-ier Than Ever!

13. The Green Bay Packers. The Packers defensive line would like to officially thank the New England and Indianapolis D-lines for their dismal performaces against the Miami and Jacksonville running backs. After all, it drew attention away from the fact that Green Bay let Marion Barber and Felix Jones rush for 218 yards. That had to be like wetting the bed and then finding out that your brother just dissected the family cat. Because a nice distraction can act like a camouflage for your deficiencies.

14. The Philadelphia Eagles. Their defense looked "sharks with laser beams attached to their head" scary against the Steelers.'s three games in and McNabb is already banged up. And Brian Westbrook is "day-to-day" because of an ankle injury. I'm just saying that, right now, the Eagles have more to worry about than the government bailout.

15. The New York Giants. Remember in the first Pirates of Caribbean movie when Jack Sparrow said: "Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly." That sort of sums up how I feel about Eli Manning. Yeah, I know he won a championship and a Super Bowl MVP and all that. But he's still the same guy that overthrows his receivers, underthrows his receivers, and does everything but stick a gift tag on some of his passes. Basically, he's still a game-changing turnover just waiting to happen.

16. The Dallas Cowboys. The 'Boys defense got some sweet redemption against the Packers last Sunday. And that Tony Romo, he's like beef jerky. I can't stand looking at him, but he's oh so good. I know that came off as totally gay, but I can't fix it. Need to go out and get some beef jerky.

Labels: ,

1. The Cleveland Browns. Congratulations, Cleveland. You are the Suckiest of the Suck this week. In a conference with such proudly terrible franchises as Houston, Kansas City, and Oakland, that is no mean feat. Derek Anderson's game has gone to shit faster than your granddad at a Mexican restaurant, they've got zero exciting options on offense, and, uh, Romeo Crennel is their coach. If the AFC were a poker game, they'd be holding the Royal Flush of Duds. Frankly, I respect that the team has opted to give Anderson another shot next week against the Bungles, as he's clearly a talented player -- but for now, to 0-3 Cleveland belongs the dubious honor of topping this esteemed list. WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.

2. The Kansas City Chiefs. Well, yeah. The Chiefs are the AFC's whipping boy, no question, and their utter mess of a QB situation ain't turning that around any time soon. -46 net points on the season so far? Looks like Larry Johnson won't be flashing The Roc much. The one bright side to this Kansas City team is their defense: they're actually 4th in the league in passing yards allowed. But they can't stop the running game, and they can't score, sooo... yeah.

3. The Houston Texans. Look, Houston. The whole "talented rookie running back and completely lame quarterback" combo didn't work for the '07 Vikings, it's not working for the '08 Raiders, and IT AIN'T GONNA WORK FOR YOU.

4. The Cincinnati Bengals. Poor Carson Palmer. In his own words, he's "desperate" for a win... and who can blame him? The Bengals are stuck with one of the toughest schedules in the league this year, and while they appear to have the offensive tools to at least, you know, NOT get their asses kicked all the time, Cincy just hasn't been able to pull it off yet. They came thisclose to beating the Giants last week, and will face the Browns this weekend, so hopefully a turnaround is on the way for the Bengals. Until then, though, Cincinnati? You suck.

5. The Oakland Raiders. Ooh, it tickles me in all the right places to see Oakland actually above Indianapolis and San Diego in the conference standings. Sadly, this is clearly a classic case of Too Good To Last -- Oakland's still only 1-2, after all, and will only get worse. Lane Kiffin has officially entered We're Broken Up, But I Haven't Found A New Apartment Yet territory, and Darren McFadden is crying turf toe like it's going out of style. Oh, and JaMarcus Russell is still their quarterback. Don't let that 93.3 passer rating in last week's game fool you -- he only attempted 19 passes, dammit.

6. The Miami Dolphins. I don't CARE what you think you saw last week. This team still sucks. Like, sucks. Like, has an awful quarterback, an RB duo that's about as reliable as a Scotch tape condom, and the lamest wide receivers in the history of wide receivers. Yes, that's Antonio Fasano, A TIGHT END, who's currently leading the team in receiving yards. This team is going nowhere fast -- well, nowhere except back to the bottom of the AFC East. They're going there pretty fast.

7. The New England Patriots. The New York Yankees of defense: so good for so long, everyone forgot that at some point they'd have to get old and start sucking. Whoopsidoodle! Time to monkey around with free agents to slap onto their obvious leaks like duct tape on a rusty car door. That's two tape-related analogies in a row, so I'm just going to go ahead and move along now.

8. The Indianapolis Colts. The absence of Bob Sanders was glaringly evident in Sunday's heartbreaker loss to the Jaguars. The good news is that Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Joseph Addai are still Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Joseph Addai; the bad news is that the rest of the Colts have yet to gel effectively around their veteran stars this season. The AFC South is going to be a tough division this year, and -15 net points on the season so far does not bode well for the Colts.

9. The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are a decidedly mediocre team that just might go farther than you think this season. How far will they go? Ooh, it's all so exciting!

10. The New York Jets. It's not easy being green. Losses to the Patriots and the Chargers aside, though, these Jets are a better team than anyone wants to give them credit for. Monday night was tough, no question, but Favre's already thrown for 6 TDs and 646 yards on the season to an offense everyone predicted he'd struggle to make use of. If you've already written off the Jets in a season where the (goddamn) Dolphins can beat the Patriots 38-13 and the (goddamn) Bills can be 3-0, you're a fool. A fool, I say!

11. The Pittsburgh Steelers. Oh, Pittsburgh. A decisive Week 1 victory had NFL analysts prematurely blowing their collective load and calling you a lock for the AFC title. But guess what? YOU'VE SCORED 16 POINTS IN THE LAST TWO GAMES COMBINED. With Willie Parker out, the Stellurs will need a big game from Rashard Mendenhall and some much trickier offense to sneak past the Baltimore defense this weekend.

12. The Baltimore Ravens. Yes hello. We're the Baltimore Ravens. We're 2-0. We're winning the AFC North. Just wanted to introduce ourselves.

13. The San Diego Chargers. Ok, so they're still 1-2. But OHMIGOD DIDJA SEE THEM ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL?! Seriously, the early pick-6 aside, Philip Rivers is so, so much better than all the other godawful quarterbacking that's drowning the AFC, and the SD defense is still a force to be reckoned with -- even without Shawne Merriman. LT? Still a bitch.

14. The Buffalo Bills. Oh, FINE. Guhhhh.

15. The Tennessee Titans. Despite the Vince Young brou-ha-ha, this team is 3-0 and sitting pretty atop the AFC South. With the exception of Chris Johnson, there's really nothing remarkable about this offense, but Kerry Collins appears to be doing a bangup job of holding everything together. LIKE TAPE, IF YOU WILL.

16. The Denver Broncos. Holy cow! The Broncs have scored 114 points so far en route to going 3-0 and topping the conference standings. (Note that the 1-2 Chargers are actually second in points scored with 110.) This team's not perfect by a long shot -- frankly, their defense is awful, their pass rush nonexistent, and their quarterback unlikely to remain as dominant as he's been. With 84 points allowed on the season so far, the Broncos have the 2nd-sluttiest defense in the AFC (behind -- you guessed it -- the Chargers). "Fuck defense," says Mike Shanahan. Ok, Mike!

Labels: , ,

Note the missing offensive tackle in the Jets' formation. Could this explain Favre getting sacked 3 times?

Brett Favre. SIGH. 3 sacks and 2 picks (including one returned for 52 yards and a TD by Antonio "Yes, I Am Your Daddy" Cromartie) marred what was otherwise a memorable Monday Night performance -- he completed 30 of 42 for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns. Honestly, it should have been 4 picks, but drops from Clinton Hart and Antonio "Ok, So Maybe I'm Not Always Your Daddy" Cromartie saved Favre from total humiliation. Just barely.

Update: Ok, so maybe embedding video is not my strong suit. Here is a link to the video of Cromartie's interception return. Not to be shared, written about, discussed, or even watched without the express written consent of The NFL.

Brett Favre, Quote Machine. "I thought they schemed very good," quoth The Gunslinger following the game. That's about the level of mastery of the English language I'd expect from an email telling me that I -- I! -- have the rare opportunity to earn $2 million if I will just use my magical American bank account to help some beseiged African prince claim his rightful inheritance. Look, Brett, I can play that game too! I thought San Diego gamed very awesome.

Oh, and speaking of butchering The Queen's English:

These guys. Doing the South Orange Public Schools proud since 1971.


Kellen Clemens. Even worse! Entering for the final Jets possession after Favre rolled his ankle, Clemens threw an end zone interception to Antonio "Just Kidding, I Seriously Am Your Daddy And Your Baby's Daddy Too" Cromartie with just a minute left in the game.

The Philip Rivers interception. So good, it MUST be fattening. As solid as Rivers' play always is, he can always be counted on to throw that one big, juicy interception each game that will leave you wondering how he manages to NOT utterly melt down the rest of the time. This time, it was a pass to Antonio Gates that was picked off by Jets CB David Barrett and returned 25 yards for a touchdown less than 4 minutes into the game. Delish!

thank you KSK for the failtastic screencap

Labels: ,

You must be at least this tall to sack Aaron Rodgers.

The NFC North. The Packers are currently the only team in the division with a winning record, and they demonstrated pretty effectively last night that Aaron Rodgers afterglow wears off about as fast as the post-nookie haze when you wake up and realize you're 45 minutes away from your apartment and have no idea where your right shoe is. A preponderance of talent at running back is in no way compensating for the utterly lackluster passing game that defines all four of these teams. I want to like Rodgers, I really do, but this division as a whole is just plain playing crappy football. Who do they think they are, the ACC? Hey, Detroit: STOP GETTING SUCK ALL OVER EVERYONE.

The Packers O-line. FIVE sacks on Aaron Rodgers? From a team with a pass rush as lame as the Cowboys'? Yoikes.

The Packers Defense. Honestly, as much as I question Rodgers' ability to make big plays and run effective red zone offense, it's the Green Bay D that deserves the Red Badge of Crappage for last night's 27-16 loss to the Cowboys. They ran themselves ragged double- and triple-covering Terrell Owens, and as a result left the door wiiiiiiide open for a dominant Dallas running game led by Marion Barber and rookie Felix Jones. After the game, Mike McCarthy seemed more disappointed in his team's lack of offense than anything else, but I question the notion that the way to beat Dallas is to simply try and outscore them without also looking to shut down their offense. Just ask the Iggles. writers. From the recap for the Vikes' 20-10 defeat of the Panthers: "It's just one victory, players said after the game, but they know the ingredients of a slow-forming stew are starting to properly season." Gus Frerotte doused in tarragon? Thanks, but, uhh, I ate right before I left.

Jake Delhomme. With Steve Smith fresh off his two-game suspension and finally back in the lineup, Delhomme still couldn't find his rhythm against the Minnesota defense -- he was sacked twice and didn't get the ball to Smith once the entire second and third quarters. Apparently, the passing game has gone out of style in the NFC. Either that, or everybody just plain sucks.

Ken Lucas. Who do you think Steve Smith took out his frustration on after the game?

Matt Ryan doubters. HA! Another whomptacular effort against the Chiefs sent Matt Ryan and Michael Turner skyrocketing back to the top of the "Players Everyone Is Kicking Themselves For Not Starting On Their Fantasy Teams" list (along with Ronnie Brown, of course, but fuck that guy).

The Arizona Cardinals. Dammit, Cards! I gave you mountains of props last week, and you had to go make me look like a fool by dropping to the Redskins. Well, fuck you. A slew of penalties on kick and punt returns meant the Cardinals didn't start a single drive beyond their own 42 and ultimately wore themselves down fighting for position. The game was close through the 4th quarter, but Leigh Torrance was able to bat away a pass intended for Steve Breaston (god, I wish I'd gone to middle school with a kid named Breaston) and convert it into a successful scoring drive for the 'Skins. Larry Fitzgerald ran for 109 yards and a touchdown. What a waste.

The Detroit Lions. 131 all-purpose yards from Rudi Johnson... a 103.3 passer rating from Jon Kitna... and yet, still, a dismal (albeit palindromic!) 31-13 loss to the up-and-coming 49ers. Mike Martz to Detroit: "How do you like me now, suckers?"

The Chicago Bears. With Devin Hester out (suh-prise, bitch), the Bears managed to blow yet another 4th-quarter lead en route to falling to Tampa Bay, 27-24. Brian Griese completed 38 of 67(!) for 407 yards (!!) and strung together a phenomenal 79-yard touchdown drive with less than two minutes to go to tie it; the TD pass went over the line to Jerramy Stevens [shudder] with just one second to go in the game. The Bucs would go on to win in overtime.

Rashied Davis. Dropping a 3rd-down pass in OT to set up the winning drive for the other team, Rashied? If this were Pop Warner, you'd get taken out for ice cream to make you feel better. But since it's not: WHAT ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH IS YOUR PROBLEM, SON?!

Buccaneers fans. Sure, you won the game. But you were cheering for a rapist. There. Doesn't feel quite so special now, does it?

Rex Grossman. Yeah, Rex, everyone in Chicago pretty much hates you. You lost 'em the Superbowl, and now Brian Griese is back in town making everyone wish they'd sent your meaty ass packing when they had the chance. Careful, now. You might hurt someone with that clipboard.

The St. Louis Rams. I mean. They lost. Of course they lost. They now have a grand total of negative 87 net points on the season. I suppose it's cruel to mock them at this point. I'd post one of those "Failboat" pictures here, but at this point I'm not sure the Rams could muster up enough cohesive forward motion to even climb aboard said Failboat. Let's go, kids. It's not polite to stare.

Aw, what the hey. It's Monday!

Labels: , ,


Note: The photo is courtesy of Mass Hysteria Sports.

The New England "defense": I've never actually seen someone reanimate a corpse before, but watching the Patriot defenders bring Ronnie Brown back to life was the next best thing. Brown rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries and punched in four touchdowns. He even threw a 19-yard to Anthony Fasano midway through the third quarter. It was like watching LaDainian Tomlinson in a Ronnie Brown suit.

How bad was the New England D? Four of Brown's five touchdowns -- wrap your head around that for a second: five touchdowns -- came on the old "direct snap to the running back" play, which hardly ever works. Said Patriots safety Rodney Harrison: "I don't know why in the world we couldn't stop that play. They just came in and beat our butts. You've got a bitter taste in your mouth." Yeah. And that taste...well, insert your own "Brown" joke here.

And for the record, it wasn't just Brown. Ricky Williams motored his way to 98 yards on 16 carries. That's a combined 211 yards from two guys who had averaged only 2.6 yards per carry in two games against the Jets and Cardinals. Yes, the Jets and Cardinals. Oh, and Chad "I keep getting left for dead, and for good reason" Pennington was 17-for-20 for 226 yards and a QB Rating of 113.8.

I'll tell you what it was like. Remember that scene in Clash of the Titans where Perseus was fighting Medusa in that room full of statues, only the statues were actually proud old warriors Medusa had turned to stone? Well, the Pats were those stoned warriors, while Brown and Williams were a nasty, two-headed Medusa.

Matt Cassel, quote machine: That popping sound you just heard was the Matt Cassel bubble. The Rawhide Kid tossed for 131 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and finished with a QB Rating of 68.1. For the sake of clarity, that was 90.2 points below Ronnie Brown's QB Rating. Saying that Cassel was ineffective yesterday is like saying that existing on a diet composed of butter, gravy, and cake frosting is an ineffective way to not becoming a sloshing fatbag. But don't worry: Matt is staying upbeat on this one: "We have to go out and regroup. It is a learning situation for me, playing from behind." Oh yeah? Tell me, Mr. I've Spent Most Of My Career Sitting On The Bench, what isn't a learning situation for you right now?

The Oakland Panty-Raiders: The Silver and Black had a 23-7 lead with about eight minutes left in the game. In most places on this planet, that's a pretty safe lead. But not when Oakland is involved. The Raiders watched in mute but unsurprised horror as the Bills scored 17 straight points in those eight minutes to win 24-23. But this wasn't Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. It was Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans. Although it should be noted that Rian Lindell tried to pull a Scott Norwood when he missed a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter, but he made up for it by booting in the go-ahead 38-yarder as time expired. The Bills are now 3-0 (for the first time since 1992) and alone atop their division, and the Raiders...are not. You can probably expect Raider head coach Lane Kiffen to be released from hell fired sometime today.

The Houston Texans: Yes, the Titans are good. And yes, the Houston Texans are bad. So very, very bad. Like "I just discovered a live, wriggling cockroach in my hamburger" bad. The Texans got mashed to pulp, giving up 31 points while scoring only 12 themselves...this despite making it inside the Titan's 14-yard line six times. The one bright spot for Houston fans was the play of rookie running back Steve Slaton, who racked up 116 yards on 18 carries and scored the team's only touchdown. (We won't talk about how he was stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the Tennessee three-yard line with about seven minutes to go.)

Matt Schaub: Mr. Schaub is like a dagger somebody stabbed deep in the heart of the Texans. Yesterday, he completed only 45.9 percent of his passes (17-for-37), got sacked three times, and threw three interceptions, the last of which got run back 99 yards for a touchdown. On the season, Schaub has thrown one touchdown versus five interceptions, and his QB Rating is 50.3 (it was 27.8 yesterday against the Titans).

Gary Kubiak: It's bad when a team sucks, and it's even worse when that team's coach is an idiot. But such is the case with the poor Texans. Kubes didn't throw the challenge flag in the second quarter on a 37-yard reception in which the Titans' Justin McCareins pretty clearly didn't get his feet inbounds. Kubiak swallowed his red flag again later on that same drive when LenDale White "scored" a one-yard touchdown in which he never crossed the goal line. Then, in the third quarter, he chose to go for it on fourth-and-four instead of kicking a sure-thing field goal. It should be noted that his team was only trailing by 12 at the time. That might have been a big three points for the Texans...but we'll never know, will we?

New Orleans Saints: Do I know my teams or do I know my teams? Go back and reread my picks for the weekend. This is what I said about the Saints-Broncos game: "I'm expecting a shootout in the first half followed by the Saints' patented second-half El Foldo." Well, check, check and double-check. All thanks to...

Martin Gramatica: Now it's time for a Scott Norwood reference. Gramatica -- who, unbelievably, was once nicknamed "Automatica" -- blew two field goals yesterday, the second of which was a 43-yarder that could have put the Saints up 35-34 with less than two minutes remaining. This seems as good a time as any to mention that Martin shares 23 chromosomes with Bill Gramatica, the kicker who tore his ACL while celebrating a field goal.

Sean Payton: He watched his quarterback throw for 421 yards while completing 81 percent of his passes (39-for-48), and yet -- with time ticking away and his team desperately needing a first down -- he called a running play on third-and-short that got stuffed harder than Tera Patrick. Thus it was necessary to pin the team's hopes on a 43-yard field goal. And, as noted, their kicker is Martin Gramatica. Not smart, coach. Not smart.

Mike Shanahan, quote machine: After barely escaping fate for the second straight week, Shanahan said: "It's nice to give up 32 points and still win the football game." Yeah, the Broncos are making a habit of that. Fortunately, next up: The Kansas City Chiefs!

Ben Roethlisberger: Sweet boogie-woogie-ing Christ. Big Ben -- who's my fantasy quarterback, by the way -- threw an interception, fumbled the ball away once, and got sacked eight times before getting knocked out of the game with a hand inury. Eight! His "performance" was good for -10 points in my fantasy league. I guess I should have started Delhomme. He only got 0.6 points, but that's still almost an 11-point swing. Ouch.

Willie Parker: This dude, who is also on my fantasy team, ran for 20 yards on 13 carries. Did I mention that my other stud RB is LaDainian "My toe is killing me" Tomlinson? Which is why I was disproportionaly happy when I picked Steve Slaton up off waivers. I hate my life.

The Steelers' offensive line: The allowed nine sacks (with backup Byron Leftwich suffering sack number nine) and gave up a safety (Roethlisberger threw the ball away in the end zone because he was surrounded and scared for his life). I'm not saying the Eagles weren't playing inspired defense, because they were...but come on, now. That line was getting spun faster than a turnstyle soaked in WD-40.

The Cleveland Browns: Last year's feel-good team is this year's feel-bad team. (Well, one of them anyway, along with Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, and St. Louis.) Yes, my friends, they are who we thought they were. Derek Anderson (14-for-37, 125 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 5 sacks and a QB rating of 22.9) is rapidly transforming into Cade McNown. Braylon Edwards (3 receptions, 27 yards) looks less focused and more disinterested than Randy Moss did in Oakland. And Jamal Lewis (56 yards on 12 rushing attempts)...well, last season was a contract year, so what did you really expect? Brady Quinn Era, here we come.

Romeo Crennel, quote machine: After watching his team get pummeled by the Ravens, Crennel said: "I don't know whether we're trying to live off the success we had last year, but it's not working." Finally the coach makes a good call!

The Indianapolis Colts: Ah, the people of Indianapolis finally have something to take their minds off of the Colts' offensive line injuries: The team's once-again woeful run defense! The Jaguars heretofore MIA running game ran all over the Colt defenders. Fred Taylor rushed for 121 yards on 26 carries and Maurice Jones-Drew ran for another 107 yards on 19 carries. Seriously, if I hadn't watched Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams tapdance on, over and around the New England D, I would have said that the Colts run defense was the most pathetic I have ever seen. As it is, they'll have to satisfy themselves with being the second-worst I've ever seen. Oh, and the fact that their pass defense couldn't keep the Jags out of field goal range with about a minute left? That's pretty bad, too.

The Jags-Colts officiating crew: In the second quarter, Rashean Mathis intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and ran it back 61 yards for a touchdown. That's a pretty big play for a game that ends 23-21, no? It was a great play by Mathis, which was no doubt helped by the fact that he used a fistful of jersey to spin Marvin Harrison out of position before breaking in front of Harrison for the grab. It was a pretty easy call to make -- or, rather, it should have been -- but the the officials missed it.

Which brings up another subject. I think somebody should track interception stats so that we can know how many happen because the quarterback makes a bad decision or a lousy throw, and how many happen because the receiver bobbles the ball or misses a catchable pass, or because somebody interfers (as Mathis did) but doesn't get called for it, or because of a last-second Hail Mary pass, etc. Wouldn't that be interesting? I mean, let's say two QBs each have 16 interceptions on the season, but QB #1 only has five INTs that were entirely his fault while QB #2 has 11 that were his fault. That tells us something about each of those QBs, doesn't it?

My teams: I follow the Bears because I live in Chicago, the Colts because I grew up in Indiana, and the Saints because I love Drew Brees and the city of New Orleans. All three suffered heartbreaking losses. The Football Gods, they hate me. Now, futuremrsrickankiel is covering the NFC this week, but I still have to point out what I said about the Bears in our weekly picks: "I see Chicago coughing this one up in painful fashion, followed by three days worth of 'The Bears should have held on to Brian Griese' stories." Do I know my teams, or do I know my teams? (And yes, I know I blew the Colts pick, so don't bother to call me out on it. Meh.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Raiders coach
Oh, yeah. He loves it in Oakland...

Buffalo over Oakland: The Bills are living in a perfect world of rainbows and butterflys and sugarplumbs any many other gay-sounding-but-wonderful things. Trent Edwards may be the primary reason for the fruity goodness: Through two games, he's completed 71 percent of his passes for 454 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 107.7. This means that -- by the numbers -- he's one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. Who saw that coming? Now, all that being said, the 2-0 Bills certainly aren't great by any stretch of the imagination, but they're certainly better than an a Raiders team led by JaMarcus Russell, who was 6-of-17 for 55 yards last Sunday...against the defensive sieve known as the Kansas City Chiefs.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: No way. Buffalo's got to start sucking at some point (seriously, it's in Leviticus 14:2-4, I looked it up), and I say this is the weekend for it. THE RAIDERS HAVE NO USE FOR YOUR PUNY QUARTERBACKS. THEY HAVE DARREN MCFADDEN.

New England over Miami: Seriously, does anybody think that a team that can't run (2.6 yards per carry between their best two running backs) or throw (Chad Pennington, starting quarterback...'nuff said) is going to go into Foxborough and beat the Patriots? I don't care if the Pats are starting Matt Cassel or Miley Cyrus under center, the results would still be roughly the same. Except that the New England win would probably be accompanied by a delightful and heartwarming lip-synched song.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: WOOOO GO PATRIOTS! homerhomerhomerhomerhomer

Tennessee over Houston: Matt Schaub versus Kerry Collins...this is why I love the NFL! The only bright side I see for the Texans going into this game is that they had a full two weeks off to prepare for the beating they're going to take. Hey, have I mentioned that I picked up Chris Johnson off the waiver wire in both of my fantasy leagues? Well, I did. [Grins smugly]

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Kerry Collins playing well makes me really happy -- I love seeing athletes get second chances in life, you know? Although I must admit that Collins without the binge drinking and liberal use of racial slurs is about 87% less entertaining than the next leading brand.

Denver over New Orleans: Hmm. The Saints' defense gave up 20 points to the shuffling remains of Jeff Garcia and 24 points to the previously comatose Redskins offense. Oh, and hey, now they get to go to Denver and face the Jay Cutler cyborg and a red-hot Broncos receiving corps. I'm expecting a shootout in the first half followed by the Saints' patented second-half El Foldo...particularly since their running game is MIA, their best receiver is out, and offseason acquisition Jeremy Shockey is both ineffective and a big douchebag. Quote of the week: Cutler on his pass catchers: "There's a lot of dudes running free."

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Just for this game, I'm voting we refer to him as Jay "Rock You Like A Hurricane" Cutler.

Pittsburgh over Philadelphia: I honestly believe that the Steelers are the better team, but their 10-point effort against the Browns in Week 2 makes me a little nervous. Particularly since they're playing on the road against a sizzling Eagles offense. McNabb has been playing as well as he's ever played, and Brian Westbrook should give the Steelers' 3-4 defense fits. Oh, and Big Ben's shoulder, while not separated, is sure to be hurting. Yeah, you know, my gut is telling me to pick Philly and my brain is telling me to pick Pitt. I guess this game'll prove which body part I should be listening to.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Nope. Philly will walk away with this -- but take the over, because this is going to be a very high-scoring game.

Indianapolis over Jacksonville: Ah, how quickly things can change in the NFL. This was supposed to be an early-season battle between to Super Bowl contending juggernauts. Now, with all the injuries these teams are dealing with -- particularly on the offensive lines -- it'll probably be more like a slap-fight between two old men outside a Bingo parlor. Remember how shockingly average Tom Brady looked when his line couldn't protect him in the Super Bowl? The same is going to be said for Peyton Manning until Jeff Saturday and Tony Ugoh return to the Indianapolis lineup. Oh, and the Colts' best defensive player -- 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders -- is going to miss up to six weeks. But things are just a wee bit worse for the Jaguars, who couldn't stop or score against the Bills in a semi-critical game at home last week. Don't expect a lot of excitement, just an uninspiring Colts victory.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: The Jaguars are the new Bengals. Except that the Bengals are still the Bengals.

Baltimore over Cleveland: What can Brown do for you? Take a huge, steaming dump all over your fantasy roster. I bet you thought Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards were second round picks, didn't you? And Jamal Lewis? Coming off a contract year?! Suckers. Ravens rule the roost on this one.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Quoth the Raven: We shall score.

San Diego over New York: I remember a few years back when I tried to teach my grandpa how to send an email. The glazed eyes, the stunning lack of was beyond him the way that hot chicks hooking up with douchebags is beyond me. That's how Brett Favre looks learning a new offensive system. And by "new" I mean something other than "Brett Favre does whatever the hell Brett Favre wants." The bottom line is that, at the moment, the Jets simply aren't good enough offensively or defensively to travel to San Diego and upsend an angry, desperate Chargers team that was with about 20 seconds of being 2-0 this season. My spider-sense is tingling in that "Favre is going to throw three or four picks" kinda way.

futuremrsrickankiel sez: Ok. I'm one of the few people who doesn't hate Brett Favre -- truly, I do think he's an annoying, whiny attention whore, but I lovelovelove watching him play football, and I think he'll work more and more effectively with the Jets' wide receiver corps in each week this year. And yes, I'm reluctant to say that San Diego will go 0-3 to start the season, but their offense is very tepid and I'm genuinely not convinced they can beat the Jets. Ack, I don't know! Let's ask this guy:


Labels: ,

Atlanta over Kansas City. The Chiefs may honestly be starting Joakim Soria at quarterback this weekend -- hey, he's surely a better option than Tyler Thigpen. Ryan's due for another big game and the Falcons will have an easy win. Betting on the Atlanta Falcons: it feels better than you'd think!

Basketbawful says: Hmph. I see this as betting against Kansas City moreso than betting on the Falcons. It's called the lesser of two evils. Kind of like choosing between getting pelted to death by cabbage heads or being operated on by the cast of House. I'd choose the first option, by the way. Go Falcons!

Seattle over St. Louis. Poor Seattle's O-line has more holes in it than OJ's alibi after this past Sunday sent a fourth wide receiver packing to the IR. Thankfully, it seems that a benevolent God has smiled down on them from the heavens and sent them respite in the form of the oh-so-slutty Rams defense, which has already given up a total of 79 points on the season. The sack-happy Seattle D is going to make mincemeat (or perhaps some other kind of pie that doesn't suck) out of poor Marc Bulger, who's already been sacked 10 times on the year. Also sure to be winners this week: Julius Jones fantasy owners.

Basketbawful says: Man, I'm glad I picked Julius Jones off the waiver wire last week. If there are fewer than 27 sacks in this game, I'll be bitterly disappointed. Actually, this game is destined to be a bitter disappointment no matter how many sacks there are. Seattle all the way.

Chicago over Tampa Bay. Somewhere, at this very moment, Brian Urlacher is watching film of Brian Griese and licking his lips. I say Chicago's defense will make Tampa Bay's already shaky offense look foolish and the Bears roll to an easy victory despite the possible absence of Devin Hester. HE CAN'T TAKE CONTACT HE AIN'T DOING SHIT. Sorry, what?

Basketbawful says: I'm tempted to agree, but as a cynical always-ready-for-my-team-to-fail Bears fan, I see Chicago coughing this one up in painful fashion, followed by three days worth of "The Bears should have held on to Brian Griese" stories.

San Francisco over Detroit. Duh. Jon Kitna got a fortune in a fortune cookie the other day that said, "There will soon be many positive changes in your life." It lied, Jon. THE COOKIE LIED.

Basketbawful says: Huh, that's funny. I consulted my Magic 8-Ball about this game and it responded: "Take me out of your pants!" Ha, ha, Magic 8-Ball. Ha, ha. I'll take San Fran.

Green Bay over Dallas. Tony Romo's offense is always solid (well, when he's not throwing picks or fumbling in his own end zone), but the 'Boys D-line will have no answer for Green Bay's offense. Sorry, Dallas! Greg Jennings will have another huge game against a Dallas defense that wouldn't know a pass rush if it bit them in the ass, and the Packers will be 3-0. This message approved by the Packer Pope.

Basketbawful says: Let me put it this way. I don't really believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but I believe in Santa Claus more than the Easter Bunny, if that makes any sense. And, in this case, Romo is Santa Claus and Rodgers is the Easter Bunny. Dallas scores more points in this one.

New York over Cincinnati. FUCK YOU CINCINNATI WHY ARE YOU SO HARD TO SPELL?! I hate to say the Giants are going 3-0 this weekend, but, like... the Giants are going 3-0 this weekend. They're playing the Bengals. The Bengals have scored 17 points on the season so far.

Basketbawful says: Remember the bad milk analogy I made in this week's Powerless Rankings? Well, the Cincinatti milk has turned green and it has little black chunks in it. Eww. Man, remember when Palmer/Johnson was supposed to be the next Manning/Harrison. Giants roll.

Carolina over Minnesota. There are those who will call me foolish for picking the Panthers to win a third straight against the Vikings. Those people will owe me money come Monday. Jake Delhomme is no Peyton Manning, but I think he'll do just as good a job splitting the Vikings D to pull out a victory. Yes, Adrian Peterson will be awesome. No, he will not win his team the game. Be forewarned: if you watch this game, Steve Smith just might make you his bitch. Gus Frerotte? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Basketbawful says: Here's the saddest possible commentary I can make about the Vikings: They got about three times better when Brad Childress named Gus the starting QB. That...that can't be good. I'd be tempted to pick the Vikes, but Peterson is hurting. Carolina pulls it out again.

Arizona over Washington. Kurt Warner, baby! I see no reason why the Cards shouldn't stomp all over the Redskins en route to starting off the season 3-0. Worth tuning in just for the chance to catch Jim Zorn frantically texting Steve Largent for help at halftime.

Basketbawful says: I really, really, really want to root for Old Man Warner and the Cards in this one, but this being the first game they'll have to play against a real defense this season...I'm gonna have to go with the Redskins.

Labels: , ,

Yeah, we know. Runningbacks fumble. Wideouts drop balls. QBs make all sorts of screw-ups. However, we feel like the players get theirs, but the coaches often don't. We think it's time to correct that, so we created Coaching Coups -- the best and the worst of coaches' boners that just don't get enough credit. Well, now they do.

QBs are Exercises in Futility: Brad Childress is pulling Tavaris Jackson in favor of perennial whipping-boy and "veteran backup" Gus Frerotte. Childress defended his position with: "I'm always looking at what's giving us the best opportunity to win. If it's Tarvaris, it's Tarvaris. If it's Gus Frerotte, it's Gus Frerotte. J.D. Booty, it's J.D. Booty." Of course, if the best opportunity to win is to clone 37 Tonya Hardings and jack the other starters and respectable backups in the league, it's probably best not to mention that. Good call, Coach. Because a new QB with the same O-line and receiving core will instantly solve all of your problems. I'm prepared for a lot more of the same out of Minnesota this year: A predictable running game that results in a loss against respectable teams, with a frustrated defense calling it quits in week 10 of the season.

After Damon Huard joined the esteemed ranks of QBs that have suffered concussions, the Kansas City Chefs are now cookin' with Tyler Thigpen. Of course, no matter who does the cooking, nobody is serving up receptions in KC. Or touchdowns. Or wins.

Where are the Buccaneers? Under your Buckin Hat! But they still get the idea of pointless QBs. They're sticking with Brian Griese. Of course, they're winning, so everyone accepts that decision. But with the decrepit Jeff Garcia as your backup, it’s pretty much the missionaries' choice on this one.

starting qbs
Not pictured: Starting Quarterbacks.

The Optimist Award: Mike Holmgren. For coming back to work. With his entire wide receiving line injured, he got desperate and lined up backup QB Seneca Wallace as a receiver. The result? He ruptured his calf. Look Mike, the Seahawks already signed Jim Mora with a start date of 2009. Just show the owners the Aztec calendar and use the script that the writers of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gave you -- you should be able to convince them it's 2009 and not come back.

The Pessimist Award: Norv Turner. Not that he doesn't have good reason (warning: commentary by Tony Cornholer, but he really looks at the long view: "Anything that we talk about or anything that is discussed in terms of any of the rules or any of the calls, isn't going to change the outcome of that game," Turner said. "That game is going to be 39-38 forever." Of course, the way your team played for the other 58 minutes of the game has no effect on anything. But like any good coach, he can pass along his strongest attributes -- in this case to LT himself: "You know, so many people are affected by it. That's the thing that's most disappointing. Because it's not just us, it's our families, it's the fans." C'mon Ed. Make the call -- NFL families are depending on it!

Giving Credit: Where It’s Due? Obviously Redskins' rookie coach Jim Zorn is new. He still credits players with good decisions: When describing the pivotal play on the winning drive he said, "That was all Jason Campbell. I had nothing to do with that play." Of course, what you expect from a coach that literally trains his QBs with pillow fights.

Labels: , , , , , ,