by Ryan Meehan

In week nine I thought there were some questionable pass interference calls.  The word “uncatchable” is very hard to define because it’s hard to assume that there is absolutely zero chance someone can come down with the football.  This “defenseless receiver” delegation is also puzzling to me:  All of them are wearing helmets, it’s literally impossible for them to be defenseless by definition.  I can remember when the Dallas Cowboys had Michael Irvin, that’s why they were such a big threat:  Because they had a guy who was willing to go across the middle.  Nowadays, it seems like the guy going across the middle is protected more than the wideouts who hide over by the sidelines.  I guess I’m just confused as to how certain judgment calls are made.  Let’s go over what went down in week nine. 

Giants 24, Patriots 20

I have to admit that the Giants stole this one.  Yes, Eli Manning put together a very special game that many Giants fans will remember for years to come.  But there were a couple of pass interference calls where the Patriots got hosed in the fourth quarter.  Let it also be known that the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Mario Manningham which allowed for the Patriots to get great field position on their last drive.  All he did was spin the ball out of his hands, I’ve seen guys do way worse than that this year and not get flagged.  Tom Brady looked very rattled in the first half of this game.  He was letting his emotions get the best of him on the sidelines after drives, something he rarely does.  Although Eli’s stats were not impressive, his clutchness was undeniable.  A classic for sure.  And I’ll say it once again…I don’t understand how Wes Welker has never been the NFL MVP. 
49ers 19, Redskins 11

The 49ers are for real.  They’re 7-1 and they are already five games up in their division.  I heard Tony Dungy say on the Dan Patrick show Monday that he thought the 49ers weren’t in the NFL’s elite class.  He may be right, but we’ll find out next week when they play the Giants.  Gore had 107 on 19 carries, and Alex Smith put up about average numbers yet again.  Regardless of whether the San Francisco is for real or not, we’re going to have to start discussing their defensive prowess somewhere along the line.  Patrick Willis forced a huge turnover in this one, and the 49ers pitched a lot of low scoring games during this run.  You may notice I didn’t mention the Redskins.  Fair is fair:  Washington looked great out of the box this year, and has since lost 5 straight.  See?  I did it!  I’m so proud of myself.

Cowboys 23, Seahawks 13

You can expect to hear analysts blowing smoke up the Cowboys’ asses all week after they beat yet another mediocre team.  I don’t understand why everyone feels the need to constantly be stroking Tony Romo’s ego.  He still hasn’t really ever done jack shit, and today was another average 19 for 31 performance after which everybody was pointing out that the Cowboys were “back on track”.  It continues to blow my mind how many people think that for whatever reason Dallas deserves to go to the playoffs every year regardless of their record.  For the sake of my buddy Donovan I tried desperately to come up with something fascinating to say about the Cowboys…And I got nothing.  The only thing I will say about Seattle is I feel bad for Marshawn Lynch…he’s having a great year but the Seahawks are awful. 

Broncos 38, Raiders 24

I will say this about Tim Tebow:  Every game, he makes about three or four throws that are perfect.  The plays go exactly as designed and he looks brilliant.  In this game, Tebow became the first player with 100+ rush yards, 2 touchdown passes, and zero interceptions since Michael Vick in November of 2004, back before he went to prison.  Carson Palmer threw three interceptions here, and it appears that a majority of the AFC West teams are fluttering.  (That’s putting it nicely)  If Denver hadn’t gotten off to such a shitty start, they might actually have a chance in this division.  But then again if I was a world famous actor, I wouldn’t be a sports blogger and writing this shit while I’m at work.  We all make mistakes. 

Bengals 24, Titans 17

I’m so glad that the Titans won AND the Texans lost.  Every Sunday that happens, we get a little closer to actually having a respectable team out of that division make the playoffs.  The Bengals are 6-2, but consider this:  All six of their wins have come against teams that collectively have 15 wins.  That’s an average of 2.5 wins per team.  So I’m not going to be shocked if they end up getting pounded by the Steelers and the Ravens, whom they play two times each in the next two months.  I can even see them finishing at exactly .500.  As for the Titans, they currently ARE .500 but there are still a lot of believers out there.  This guy is not one of them.  I’m not going to use this space to make fun of Matt Hasselbeck because Matt Hasselbeck makes fun of himself. 

Saints 27, Buccaneers 16

Josh Freeman played well at moments during this game but Tampa struggled big time in the red zone.  He only had one more incompletion than Brees and didn’t throw a pick, but every time they were deep in Saints territory they looked like they were playing uphill.  I like that the kid’s got guts, I like that he blocks, I like the overall fire that he possesses.  But he’s still making a lot of mistakes that young players are prone to making.  There was a scary moment in this one where Tracy Porter left on a stretcher with a neck injury, I sincerely hope he’s okay as that’s some serious shit.  The Saints had to have this one with as bunched up as the NFCS is this year and they got it.  This was another disappointing outing for Drew Brees as once again he failed to throw for a thousand yards. 

Falcons 31, Colts 7

When I was compiling scores for this I had almost completely forgotten this game had even happened.  Rookie Julio Jones finally put up some decent numbers:  131 yards and 2 TDs on three catches .  It’s hard for me to judge the Falcons at this moment because so many different teams have beat up on Indianapolis.  The Colts may run the table in the reverse direction, and it wouldn’t shock me if they did.  I was a bit surprised Atlanta didn’t use Michael Turner more as he had less than 100 yards…maybe they figured early that they were going to have this one in the bag so they decided this wasn’t going to an event where he got more than twenty carries. 

Jets 27, Bills 11

Just when I thought the Jets would finally shut up, this happens.  Fucking Great.  They made a very impressive fourth down stop early and the Bills never really recovered.  It would unfair of me to discuss this AFC East showdown without mentioning that Plaxico Burress is playing quite well for a dude that is only a few years removed from shooting himself.  And you know he was raped in prison because when he got out, his agent Drew Rosenhaus jumped all over him and started humping his leg like a dog and Plax didn’t even care.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is a pretty tough cookie, but he looked very intimidated on Sunday.  And if the Bills can’t block things like that out, they won’t be very successful in the playoffs.  That’s of course assuming they can even get there in the first place.  Looks pretty shaky at the moment. 

Texans 30, Browns 12

Here’s the stat of the day:  Matt Schaub had only 119 yards and Houston still put up 30 points.  That’s very impressive, and it also shows once again just how important Arian Foster is to their offensive gameplan.  And Foster’s replacement when he was out with an injury, Ben Tate, racked up an additional 115 on only 15 carries.  It looks as if now that barring some kind of disaster, the Texans will see the postseason for the first time in franchise history.  It’s hard to tell their defense played well even though they only allowed 12 points, because Colt McCoy blows and his offensive coordinator didn’t trust him to put the ball in the air this week.  Humorous, because just a month ago he threw 60 passes in one game.  I don’t get the Browns, but in my defense I don’t really think the Browns get the Browns either. 

Cardinals 19, Rams 13

This game went into overtime?  Holy shit that’s funny.  To all my atheist friends, this is very serious reminder that there is a God, and every once in a while he’ll play a prank like this on humanity and it’s fucking hilarious.  “If you guys were stupid enough to pay for tickets I’m going to make you all stay longer…”  That’s a gem.  Patrick Peterson ended the suffering of thousands by returning a punt 99 yards for a touchdown to give the Cardinals the win.  That Skelton kid was okay but I don’t see Kevin Kolb losing his job anytime soon with all of that money they’ve got invested in him.  

Dolphins 31, Chiefs 3 

I have to admit I did not see this one coming.  Maybe I didn’t think about it very hard, but even if I would have I would never have expected this to be the week the Dolphins would come out and look better than a D2 NCAA squad.  This was a very disappointing showing for the Chiefs, they were on fire heading into this, heavily favored, and a lock in most gambling circles.  Cassell had 253 yards, but only went 20 for 39 against a Dolphins defense that up until today had been porous.  It’s a brainteaser for sure, but don’t expend too much energy worrying about it as it shouldn’t affect the playoff picture unless everyone in the AFC West is 7-8 or 8-7 the last week of the season.  Actually now that I think about that for a second, this one may really hurt in Kansas City come Week 17.  And I’m not going to sit here and drool over Matt Moore’s numbers because it’s only one week and I really, really don’t care about Miami. 

Packers 45, Chargers 38

Green Bay’s defensive problems are going to catch up with them at some point, it just wasn’t this week.  They had a couple defensive scores, but it just seems like teams are getting closer and closer to beating the Packers with each passing week.  That being said, Aaron Rodgers has been incredible this year.  People are saying he’s playing “inspired” football, but I would almost call it “possessed”.  He has this very evil quality about him that I like and a killer instinct that no other player in the game can match right now.  It’s almost sadistic, like the kid in grade school who would steal your basketball, only to apologize and agree to give it back but then run away with it again the second you approached him and reached for it.  Rodgers lets the opposition believe that they still have a chance to win, but then he goes down the field and scores 7 more points, all the while chewing six or seven minutes of clock in the process. 
Ravens 23, Steelers 20

I’ve never seen a stadium get so quiet so fast as Heinz Field did after that beauty of a 92 yard drive that Joe Flacco put together to win the game.  What a badass performance and career defining moment for him.  So the Ravens sweep the Steelers this year, giving them the head to head tiebreaker which is huge.  John Harbaugh sounded pumped after this game, so who knows maybe the Ravens are a dark horse after all.  For a game that was supposed to be such a gridiron battle, it was interesting to see that the leading rusher for either squad was Rashard Mendenhall with 53 yards.

Bears 30, Eagles 24

Wow this was a ballbuster.  The Bears looked really, really good at the start but then they lost momentum and I thought that for sure the Eagles had this one wrapped up.  Matt Forte had two fumbles and things were starting to look really scary.  But the Bears didn’t freak out and maintained their composure, and ended up winning.  The Eagles are now 3-5, and looking up at a .500 Cowboys team who faces the Bills next week.  Urlacher looked good in the second half, and Isreal Idonije made a dominant tackle on one of Philly’s last drives that let them know the Bears weren’t kidding. 

Injury Update:  Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin is going to miss 2-4 weeks so I’ll be continuing to monitor that situation, and it’s being reported that Colts tight end Dallas Clark is going to miss a significant amount of time which would be very important news in every year other than this one. 
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content. 

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