by Ryan Meehan
Winter is here, and this weekend was a snowy one in the NFL. From Baltimore to Philly, it was a week that proves that if you won’t practice in the elements, they can turn on you. I don’t care what anybody says, playing in a domed stadium DOES mess with your head and with the Super Bowl being in a cold weather site this year and possibly beyond I can see some of the tougher head coaches in the league changing their paradise practicing environments. So get out that ice scraper, this is what went down in week fourteen.
Jaguars 27, Texans 20
Well, it finally happened. Gark Kubiak lost his job Friday morning as the Houston Texans fell to 2-11 after a season sweep by the once doormat Jacksonville Jaguars. How strange it is now that it’s the Texans who are now the doormat, and that team that you see on your schedule AND know you can win this game. Maurice Jones-Drew had a good night rushing for over a buck, but don’t kid yourself – this was bad television.
Bengals 42, Colts 28
It’s time that we realize something here: The Indianapolis Colts are the most bogus out of all the teams that will make the playoffs. They haven’t been able to put up a respectable showing since Reggie Wayne went down. Don’t get me wrong, Luck is still a good pocket passer and he will have better years ahead of him, but man…That team can’t do anything without Wayne to throw to. The Bengals are back in business in my eyes. They had a couple of off weeks, but now Dalton has them in the position to win big games.
Patriots 27, Browns 26
You could very easily make the argument that when it comes to who is most valuable to their team, Tom Brady walks away with that trophy. And since the most devastating loss of Peyton’s career was just a couple weeks back against the Brady bunch, it’s looking like he’ll always have Manning’s number. All that being said, the Patriots got the best of one of the all-time great bullshit soup pass interference calls at the end and it ended up being the difference. But they lost Rob Gronkowski to an injury, which is a sentence that I seem to find myself typing an awful lot.
Jets 37, Raiders 27
Okay, so props to the Jets for not giving up. That team’s had a whole lotta quit in them for some time now and I thought this would be more of that. But nothing about the way the Jets do business makes sense, so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that they put up 37 on a team like the Raiders.
Eagles 34, Lions 20
The Lions were in control of this division when we all woke up on Sunday. Now they are not. Giving up 220 plus yards on the ground is not exactly being in control of anything, and now I think we all know that this “NFC Least” stuff is nothing but a pile of jokes that we should be doing about the NFC North. But seriously, how good is Nick Foles? This guy has single handedly stolen Michael Vick’s job from him right after they went out and got a coach specifically for the reason of working with Vick. I’ve never seen anything like it before – It’s a true success story and the type of thing that every real football fan loves no matter who you are rooting for. The Eagles and the Cowboys just might be the most exciting race to the postseason in recent history. And I know that’s true, because I hate both of these teams with a passion and I’m loving the hell out of this. Oh, and by the way…LeSean McCoy? 217 yards with 2 TDs. Playoff teams have good running games, and that’s why the Eagles will be there.
Dolphins 34, Steelers 28
Thank God – Somebody finally shut the Steelers up. What I didn’t expect to see is that Miami would be the team to do it. The Fins are hanging onto playoff life by the skin of their teeth, and if Baltimore keeps winning is isn’t going to matter. To be brutally honest, I can’t stand either of these teams right now. The only guy I used to like is Tomlin, but after that recent sideline debacle I’m going to go ahead and stop rooting for him. I hate their douchebag frat-boy quarterback, and everybody that surrounds him. At least when they had Jerome Bettis he didn’t seem like a whiner. I just hate how everybody tells me I have to respect them because of their history. Their history can ram it – Terry Bradshaw is just a balder version of Larry the Cable Guy that got all of his rings when there was NOBODY in that conference. Hell, Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls in that era. Okay, I’m done now.
Buccaneers 27, Bills 6
I have to hand it to the Bucs, man. They fight like they mean it when we all know it’s too late for them to mean it. Schiano is still going to lose his job, but at least he’ll go down in a blaze of glory. (Think Young Guns II). As for the Bills, they haven’t finished a season with a winning record in ten years. So as “old-timey” as that ownership group is, maybe that organization needs to stop pretending that the grandpa angle is effective. They’ve been atrocious this season, and they are currently the most irrelevant team in the league. Unless of course you count Washington…
Chiefs 45, Redskins 10
In a saddening display of one again demonstrating to the world how poor they are at playing professional football, the Redskins went out and let the Chiefs do everything to them with the fish. They got mudsharked all afternoon long and now find themselves in the double digit loss column. The real story here is Jamaal Charles, who showed up wood like a mofo in this one. He rushed for 211 yards, but that doesn’t even do it justice. This game is why I wasn’t too worried about how the Chiefs were on a 3 game losing streak.
Ravens 29, Vikings 26
The Vikings seem to lose more close games than anyone, and the Ravens seem to win all of them. This also means that the Ravens are in the driver’s seat to win that last wild card birth, but if anybody can screw that up it’s them. This game had six fourth quarter lead changes, and the elements certainly had an effect on the outcome of the game. The Ravens pretty much control their own destiny as far as the playoffs go, which is pretty crazy when you consider that they average under 82 yards rushing per game.
Broncos 51, Titans 28
Okay, so maybe Peyton IS the MVP. This game was every bit as ridiculous as the score would indicate. He’s just got so many weapons that he can use at any given time. And he does make those around him better. To that last point, look at Knoshawn Moreno’s stats before Peyton got there and look at them now. Sometimes you have to be surrounded by brilliance in order to succeed. The Broncos do look VERY good at the moment, but with the playoffs approaching these games against bowing pin opponents like the Titans are disappearing every week. They always say that they’re taking it one week at a time, but if you’re Denver you have to be looking ahead because that’s how this team will be judged. But as long as you’re doubling the other team when it comes to time of possession, you’ll be in the driver’s seat.
Cardinals 30, Rams 10
Carson Palmer continues to quietly pull wins out of his ass, and I think I’ve finally figured out why he’s been able to do so without a majority of the country noticing. When the Cardinals get into the red zone, they turn into a rushing team. They ignore what got them there and they get really conservative. So when you see that Arizona puts 30 points on the board, what you don’t see is a stat set like Peyton Manning has. And that’s why Carson and the gang have been able to fly under the radar in the manner that they have. This is a team that is a living example of why the current playoff system leaves good teams out. The Cardinals are a playoff team but they won’t make it, and that’s incredibly unfortunate because they deserve to.
Chargers 37, Giants 14
The Giants are my team, so when they get worked I have to own up. These guys just deserved to lose. When Tom Coughlin finally loses his job, it will be because of games like this. The Giants have given up now, and combined with the 0-6 start you could definitely see why Coughlin might be on the hot seat at season’s end. Now, personally I don’t believe that he will be. I could maybe see it being the case if one of these guys like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher were actively seeking work, but I don’t think Cowher wants to coach anymore unless he can get the Dallas job and unfortunately for us Gruden thinks he’s a good broadcaster so he isn’t going anywhere. I’m not going to talk about the 6-7 2013 San Diego Chargers because there’s nothing that says I have to.
49ers 19, Seahawks 17
We knew this game wasn’t going to be a shootout as both of these teams shine on defense, but the Niners put together a great drive at the end to wrap up this one. Frank Gore’s run was the breakout play of the game and the Niners are still in this thing. As for all of the people talking smack about the Seahawks’ inability to perform on the road, it’s important to remember that the only road game they have from here on out is the Super Bowl and it’s not too hard to find motivation for one of those. I’m so tired of that take, so if you’re still on it like I was ten weeks ago – get a new one. It’s just such a stock thing to say about a great team. They lost by 2 points to the team that almost won the Super Bowl last year. Get over yourselves.
Packers 22, Falcons 21
The Packers got a win on a day where they had to have it, and even though Rodgers did not start they still were able to hang on at the end here. They still suck rhino dong, but at least the zookeeper bothered to clean it first. I don’t really have a lot to say here, because both of these teams aren’t going anywhere. Although I bet the Falcons would love to move out of that sorry excuse for a domed stadium they play in. I can’t pretend I care about this for any longer.
Saints 31, Panthers 13
Drew Brees has these insane spurts from time to time where he’ll just take a whole quarter and fuck the other team’s world up. In this game, it was the second quarter and the Saints scored 21 points in that frame. Carolina looked like the same flat team that they were before the winning streak started, with no expectations at all. And to speak to that streak, I think that people are going to talk shit about the Panthers but let’s be honest – Those guys won consecutively for half of a seas0n. That’s pretty impressive and the type of achievement that reminds a group of guys they can do it again. As for the Saints, they still have the Seattle loss looming over their heads at the moment. They will meet again, and it won’t be in the SuperDome, and the results are going to be less than favorable for New Orleans fans.
Bears 45, Cowboys 28
This is what I want to know: If everybody is going to be constantly busting Peyton Manning’s balls at every turn for his poor performance in cold weather, don’t you think that we can sling some of that criticism in Tony Romo’s direction? I mean, if he has such problems in December and some of those are divisional games that means some of them are played on the road right? And Philly, Washington, and New Jersey aren’t exactly resort temperature locations, so what did Sports Illustrated put out a magazine cover a week and a half ago with this guy’s last name on the front demanding that he “deserves my respect”? I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why everyone is so hung up on this kid…yeah, he’s tough and can take a shot like no other but when it comes down to business the Cowboys probably aren’t going to make the postseason now.
Even though I don’t fancy Bears fans and their pompous attitude, one thing I am completely falling in love with is this Marc Trestman character’s ability to put together drives that just suck the other team’s soul out. There was yet another one of these in the third quarter that forced Dallas to run this bullshit hurry-up on the next drive that they are completely unfamiliar with. And the next thing you know, Chicago’s got the ball back and gets 7 more points on the board. Is there anybody else up there in Canada that does this? I hear there’s a small possibility the Redskins might be looking for a guy…
Bonus Comment of the Week
I’d like to go back to the Rob Gronkowski thing for a second. I just can’t understand how the biggest, toughest dude in the NFL seems to get hurt so much. Although I am far from what would ever be considered an athlete, I do know that they spend time teaching these guys how to avoid injuries – And that dude is seriously almost always hurt. Either he’s got the worst luck in the world, or he just doesn’t know how to put himself in the position to avoid those injuries. What sucks for New England is that they need him to win games like the Denver comeback. Without him, they have to scrape and scrape like they did in last year’s AFC Championship.
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