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.