So my football Sunday started out with a game that was about as appetizing as a Thanksgiving turkey full of snapping monkey heads: Colts versus Browns, where the two teams barely managed to combine for 400 total yards and zero offensive touchdowns, and Peyton Manning threw for a season-low 125 yards...only the 10th time in 172 career starts that he finished with under 150 yards. Manning also tossed a couple of picks and fumbled the ball on a QB sneak, thus costing the wild horses a chance to notch a TD at the end of the first half.
Fortunately for the Colts, it is nearly impossible to out-fail the Browns. Derek Anderson, forced back into service only because of Brady Quinn's season-ending finger injury (insert "Brady Quinn is a huge, flapping vagina" joke here), managed to not only out-suck Manning by throwing for a paltry 110 yards, getting sacked three times, and losing a fumble that was returned by Robert Mathis for Indy's game-winning touchdown, he also trumped Quinn by suffering his own season-ending injury: A sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee that was caused by the helmet of one of his own teammates on Cleveland's last drive of the game. Man. I'm starting to think that some Cleveland fan must have pooped on a Bible or something. At least that might explain why God hates the Browns so much.
Meanwhile, the Ravens were administering a mercy killing to the Sad Tigers, who managed only 6 first downs and 155 yards. Total. To add a little dash of lemon juice to the sucking chest wound that is Cincy's season, Mark Clayton -- a guy who came into the game with only 311 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season
-- burned them for 164 yards and 2 TDs, one on a diving, one-handed 70-yard catch and another on a gimmick play in which he completed a 32-yard pass to Derrick Mason. It was Clayton's first passing TD since high school. "Obviously, we're in a funk,” said Sad Tiger QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. "We have personnel that's better than these statistics." Uh, sure. Whatever you say, Ryan.
In St. Louis, the Dolphins received early Christmas gifts from Marc Bulger (3 INTs) and Rams coach Jim Haslett, who did in the fourth quarter what the 'Fins hadn't been able to do in the first three: Stop Stephen Jackson. Jackson -- who finished with 94 rushing yards on 21 attempts -- had only one carry in the final stanza because, in Haslett's words, he was "gassed and his leg was starting to bother him." Uh, yeah. Jackson called "bullshit" on that one after the game. Said Jax: "No, I wasn't gassed. It wasn't my conditioning. I wish he’d stop saying that." Ah, the Rams: They're just one big, happy, 2-10 family. (Memo to the other 31 NFL teams: There's a good chance Haslett will be available for next season. Please make all employment inquiries c/o The St. Louis Rams.)Uh, hey, that's your own...you know what? Never mind. Suck on.
On to San Diego, where the continually disappointing Chargers -- whom I actually heard referred to on sports radio last week as "The most potentially dangerous 4-7 team in NFL history" -- dumped another shovel full of dirt on the grave of their playoff hopes. Michael Turner, the Bolts' former backup RB, stomped all over his old team for 120 yards while, on the other side of the ball, LaDanian Tomlinson, finished with 24 yards on 14 carries...the second-lowest total of his eight-year career...the lowest being a 7-yard stinker at Philadelphia on October 23, 2005. (That primal scream you may have heard on Sunday came from the dying souls of LT fantasy owners everywhere.) Okay now, can we all agree that, at four games below .500, the Chargers aren't going to come back and challenge the Broncos for the division? Great. Let's move on.Not as sad as Sad Tiger...but close.
And in New England, a week's worth of "Maybe the Patriots don't need Tom Brady after all" stories were rendered obsolete by the utter destruction of Matt Cassel, who was beaten and battered into committing four of the Patriots' five second-half turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles), empowering the Steelers to outscore the home team 23-0 after halftime. So, in case any of you are still confused, Matt Cassel does not equal Matt Brady, mmmkay?Not pictured: Tom Brady.
The Jets, fresh off of big-time road wins in New England and Tennessee, returned home only to remind their fans that they are, indeed, who we thought they were by suffering a 17-point loss to the Jeckyll and Hyde Broncos. So much for all that "Maybe the Jets are the best team in the AFC" talk. (For the record, the talk should be about how lame and uninspiring the AFC is this season, such that any team on any given week can look like the best team in the conference.) Jay Cutler said "Fie! Fie, I tell you!" to the rain, throwing for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns while Rookie Peyton Hillis shredded New York's third-ranked rush defense for a career-high 129 yards and a TD. Said Jets running back Thomas Jones: "We just didn't show up like we were supposed to today." You said it, bro.Uh, Brett? Could you not daydream aboutre-retirement DURING the game please. Thanks.
Last week's 31-10 beatdown of the Broncos (in Denver, no less) was supposed to signal a new dawn for the hapless Raiders. Instead, it turned out to be nothing but the eye in the middle of the crapstorm that has been the 2008 Raider season. The Oakies lost 20-13 to the heretofore one-win Chiefs. And, fittingly enough, the winning margin was the result of a fumble on a faked field goal, which Maurice Leggett snapped up and returned 67 yards for a TD, ending Kansas City's seven-game losing streak. And as one losing streak ends, another begins...
And then there was Monday Night Football, a mighty faceoff between two teams that nobody wanted to watch. Suffice to say, one team won (the Texans) and one team lost (the Jaguars), but just as no one can hear you scream in space, nobody can feel me not giving a crap about this game. Fini.
Labels: AFC is the literal shit, Worst of the Weekend