by Ryan Meehan
In Week Thirteen, Detroit Lions defensive end Ndamokung Suh found a creative way to become part of the news cycle again early Saturday morning. At somewhere around 1:15 AM in Portland, Oregon Suh was driving his 1970 Chevrolet Coupe when he hit a curb, ran over a drinking fountain, killed three homeless people, and hit a pregnant deer before finally crashing his car into a tree. Of course I made part of that up, but the beginning of it was true and things like that happen to you if you’re an asshole. (Editor’s Note: As someone who has been an asshole for decades, I can verify that this is true.) Here’s the story if you’re interested: http://www.examiner.com/sports-celebrity-in-national/ndamukong-suh-of-the-detroit-lions-is-back-the-news
Now as for the football, in some cases we saw some great games in week thirteen. However, there were a few games that we could have done without. One of those games was the Thursday game so we’ll go ahead and start there:
Seahawks 31, Eagles 14
I am 100% convinced that a majority of the players on Philadelphia’s squad have given up completely. This starts with DeSean Jackson, who has the talent and skill set to be a perennial MVP candidate, but unfortunately also has the attitude of an eleven year old girl who just got her period for the first time. The sad part of all of this is that with such poor play in the NFC on Sunday, neither of these teams are mathematically eliminated yet. It’s a shame Seattle got out to such a bad start, because they are playing well as of late and if you’ve read any of my stuff this year I love the effort Marshawn Lynch is putting forward. As far as the Eagles go, at the moment the only one who does care seems to be…Vince Young. So Happy Holidays to Jeff Fisher in that regard.
Broncos 35, Vikings 32
Big props to the Denver defense for getting the job done here. I’m certain that somewhere in that stadium they could clearly see that Oakland was getting lit up by Miami and they finally stepped their game up and Andre Goodman had an interception late in the game that set the Tebow show up for another dramatic finale. Timmy threw for over 200 yards, and had a passer rating of 149.3 so he’s certainly showing everyone he’s not just a one trick pony. The only downside for the Broncos here is the fact that for the most part if you have a defense that’s as talented as Denver’s is, there’s no reason to give up 32 points to the Vikings, even if it is on the road.
49ers 26, Rams 0
Getting shut out is probably the most humiliating thing in sports unless you play soccer or hockey. And even then, it’s got to hurt pretty bad. The St. Louis Rams did everything wrong on Sunday and the scoreboard reflected their poor performance. I understand that the Rams are low on options when it comes to who they start at quarterback, but I’m not sure that AJ Feeley is mentally capable of watering a houseplant right now. The bad news for Frisco is that linebacker Patrick Willis was injured, which could be devastating if they pln to make a deep run into the playoffs. Frank Gore also became the 49ers franchise career rushing leader, surpassing Joe Perry. (The football player, not the angry looking dude from Aerosmith)
Patriots 31, Colts 24
The Patriots got way ahead in this game then they decided that they were far enough ahead that they didn’t need to wear themselves out, and that’s the ONLY reason the Colts scored 24 points here. They started that Dan Orlovksy clown that was a stud in the CFL, and although he had a pretty decent day (30-37 for 353) don’t let the numbers fool you, the Colts never had a chance in this game and that’s precisely why NBC flexed the Detroit-New Orleans game in its place. The Patriots have a very unique strategy. They pretty much go out there and just announce to the world that they have two tight ends who are the most talented in the game today, and then get those guys a combined total of 15 to 20 touches and that’s all they need to get out of there with the win.
Panthers 38, Buccaneers 19
This exactly the type of game the Panthers were expecting when they drafted Cam Newton. He threw for a touchdown, ran for three, and broke Steve Grogan’s record of number of rushing touchdown in a season by a quarterback. He’s still not putting up a lot of 300 yard performances, but remember they still employ the services of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams so there aren’t going to be a whole lot of situations next year where Cam Newton’s going to need to throw 50 times to win the game. What a disappointing finish to the season for Tampa. Everything looked so promising and everybody was mentioning that Josh Freeman was going to be the quarterback of the future, and then it all fell apart.
Steelers 35, Bengals 7
One of the things I think has been overlooked this year more than anything else is that the Steelers came very close to winning the Super Bowl last year. It was no fluke, they’re 9-3 now and look just as god as the other three teams in the AFC with the same record. The Steelers two biggest offensive weapons, Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace, each had two touchdowns so this game was sort of unwinnable for Cincinnati from the get-go. and it doesn’t get any easier here for the Bengals, who still have to play the Ravens and the Texans before the season ends. I think Andy Dalton is going to be a good quarterback in the NFL, but unfortunately for him because of the division he’s in he may never be a great one if he stays in Cincy. Pittsburgh, Houston, New England, and Baltimore are going to cause a massive clusterfuck once the AFC playoffs start.
Packers 38, Giants 35
This is going to sound weird since my team lost, but I thought that so far this was the game of the year in the NFL and there isn’t even a close second. It was neck and neck throughout the whole sixty minutes, went down to the last snap, and could have very easily gone into overtime. With three and a half minutes left, Eli Manning led the Giants on a marvelous drive down the field AND scored a two point conversion to tie the game at 35. The only problem is, they left Aaron Rodgers 58 second on the clock. Well, to make a long story short Rodgers made sure the Packers gained over 50 yards in thirteen seconds on two plays, and before you knew it they had ran the clock down to nothing setting up a perfect opportunity for Mason Crosby to kick the game winning field goal which he did. The pessimist Giants fan in me would say “How the hell does your defense throw in the towel like that when you know you can get a stop and have a fifty/fifty chance that you’ll get the ball in overtime?” but the optimist consummate NFL fan in me knows deep down inside that the real reason that all happened is because Aaron Rodgers really is that good. To do that so quick, in crunch time, and on the road? You have to respect that no matter who you root for.
Ravens 24, Browns 10
Ray Rice = 204 yards. That guy is crushing people’s dreams in the AFC North this year. Lardarius Webb returned a punt for a touchdown for Baltimore as well, and if they can keep their special teams going they could really make a Super Bowl run. They already own the tiebreaker over the Steelers, so even though you’re super tired of hearing the phrase “They control their own destiny” at this time of year, that’s exactly the predicament the Ravens find themselves in. The Browns are going to need a serious overhaul of all sorts this offseason. The worst thing that can happen to an NFL team is to be a losing team, and you could make the argument that’s exactly what the Browns are. The second worst thing that you can be is irrelevant, since so much of a franchise’s income is based on ticket sales, jersey revenue, and licensing in general. The Cleveland Browns are about as irrelevant as any other NFL franchise, save the Jaguars. And since it appears that the other three teams in that division are going to be much better than they are for the next five or six years, they’re really in trouble and it’s going to be a struggle to get free agents to want to come play there.
Dolphins 34, Raiders 14
Fuck the Raiders. Seriously. Much like I discussed about the Broncos earlier, the Raiders had to know that the Minnesota-Denver game could have gone either way and they still brought absolutely nothing to the table. The Raiders offensive gameplan probably didn’t sit too well with Carson Palmer, since for the most part it consisted of “don’t block for the guy unless you really want to”. Richard Seymour got ejected from this game for throwing a punch that he will likely get a one game suspension for, something the Raiders don’t exactly need at the moment with all of heaven rooting for them to blow that division so that Denver will win it. Amongst all of the shit teams in the NFL this year, you have to give the Dolphins props for not giving up and giving it their all when they don’t have a prayer at getting in. Especially that defense, as this was a shutout for the first two hours and ten minutes of the broadcast. Miami’s won four out of their last five.
Titans 23, Bills 17
Another big day for Chris Johnson: 153 yards. Tennessee has to be pissed though, because they keep posting these above average showings, and the Texans (who they are chasing in the AFC South race) continue to suffer all of these brutal injuries but keep winning. Fitzpatrick outgunned Matt Hasselbeck by doubling his passing yards, further proof that defense wins championships and a great running game will do you wonders. You know what they say: NO ONE circles the wagons like the Tennessee Titans. If you are a Bills fan feel free to get upset with me and send me hate mail, and when I go to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, I’ll put those same emails right next to all of Jim Kelly’s Super Bowl rings.
Jets 34, Redskins 19
Now these are the Washington Redskins I remember. I was getting worried there for a second that the team with the racist name was actually going to end up being the team that won their first three games before losing everything the next month and a half after that. Of course the bad news is now we have to listen to Rex Ryan talk all week about how the Jets are still in it and how they deserve to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Virtually anything about Rex Ryan that doesn’t involve him being impaled through his brown eye with a sword until he eventually bleeds to death out of his asscrack is nothing that I want to listen to. They are still in the race, but they’re the nine seed at the moment as they lose almost every tiebreaker with anybody else who has a 7-5 record. I did also want to give some Iowa love to Shonn Greene who had two rushing touchdowns at the end of the game to seal the deal, and a total of three on the day.
Chiefs 10, Bears 3
Man, Caleb Hanie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks…If I was a Bears fan, I’d walk right into that locker room and kick him in the back of the head. I’d plead guilty to doing it, and show up to my sentencing wearing a very, very nice suit. And when the judge gave my black ass a hundred years, I’d smile and thank him for his work. Thankfully I was not born a Bears fan so I get to stay out of prison, at least for the time being. In Hanie’s defense, that offensive line is pretty terrible though. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of room discussing the Kansas City Chiefs because that’s not what we do here, but I have to say I thought Dexter McCluster impressed the hell out of me. I like the way that kid finds the hole and instantly exploits it. His stats weren’t amazing by any stretch of imagination, but I really like the way he runs. I don’t have a whole lot of information on the Matt Forte injury but I’m sure that we’ll know more as the week progresses. There was a report Monday that Brett Favre said that if the Bears called he would consider the offer, but apparently they have no plans to make the call. (Thank God)
Texans 17, Falcons 10
Remember last week how I said the Falcons look amazing when they are firing on all cylinders? They didn’t seem to be firing on any during this one. The Texans sure have overcome a lot of adversity this year. And they may be facing more; as Andre Johnson may be seriously hurt again. The one thing I know for sure is that God is definitely not a Texans fan. They’ve struggled repeatedly since their inception and this year when they finally are in the position to make a playoff run, everyone and their grandmother gets hurt. Don’t get me wrong I love the guy, but the Houston Texans make the man upstairs look like a real puppy kicker. It looks like the Andre Johnson injury is his other hamstring (not the same one he injured earlier this year) and it isn’t serious, so we’re looking at maybe a few weeks but I would expect him to be back for the Titans-Texans game week seventeen. In the meantime, it looks like they are going to stick with T.J. Yates. What that basically means is Arian Foster is going to be getting the ball a lot more than usual, which is already a lot. Falcons still holding down the last Wild Card spot at the moment because of losses by Dallas, New York, and Detroit.
Cardinals 19, Cowboys 13
Hilarious. If you hate the Cowboys half as much as I do, you’re going to love this. For the most part, this game was unwatchable until the last ten seconds, but then things got really interesting. The Cowboys were set up for kicker Dan Bailey to kick a game winning 50 yard field goal. So he hits it, but for some reason Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had called a timeout so the play never happened. Essentially what he did was ice his own kicker. So Bailey goes back out there and not only is the kick wide left, it’s also short and the Cowboys are standing around wondering what just went down. Arizona wins the coin toss, and Kevin Kolb hits LaRod Stephens-Howling on a screen play, who finds a hole and runs 52 yards all the way to the endzone. Priceless. The Cowboys have some bad luck in that stadium since 2008, but sometimes that’s what makes the NFL great.
Saints 31, Lions 17
I honestly can’t think of any team in recent NFL history that’s as cocky as the Lions are. They could be down fifty points and they’d be out there doing some dance that Lil’ Jon has recently popularized. It’s unreal how full of them selves they are. And it’s not like they have any reason to be: After their 5-0 start, they’re 2-5, have had their best player suspended from the league for two games, and have looked like absolute shit during that entire period. It was another stock 342 yard passing performance for Drew Brees Sunday night, and I’d just like to say “good luck” to anyone who might have to play them in the Superdome wild card weekend. Bonus comment: Memo to every player in the National Football League: You CAN NOT touch a referee during a game and if you do so you will for sure get fifteen yards, possibly ejected, and maybe even a suspension. Really don’t know why this one is so hard to absorb.
Chargers 38, Jaguars 14
For everybody that thinks this makes everything better for San Diego, you’re wrong. This didn’t prove anything: It was a game where Jacksonville was obviously testing out their players to see who will be around next year and most of those guys were playing poorly. Now, if you need any proof that this was indeed the case, remember the botched snap on the field goal attempt. I missed most of the fourth quarter because my cat was peeing and at the time I had the desire to see some sort of effort put into something. Jon Gruden would not stop mentioning that the Jaguars should have taken Tebow a couple of years ago in the draft. He kept bringing up how he’d be like “a rockstar” down there because it was his hometown and so forth. Right, because I’m sure that wouldn’t mess with his head at all. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner are still huge boners.
AFC Playoff Picture:
1) Houston Texans (9-3)
2) New England Patriots (9-3)
3) Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
4) Denver Broncos (7-5)
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3)
6) Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
On the Bubble
7) Tennessee Titans (7-5)
8) Oakland Raiders (7-5)
9) New York Jets (7-5)
NFC Playoff Picture:
1) Green Bay Packers (12-0)
2) San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
3) New Orleans Saints (9-3)
4) Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
5) Chiacgo Bears (7-5)
6) Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
On the bubble:
7) Detroit Lions (7-5)
8) New York Giants (6-6)
Bonus Comment: At this moment, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady are all on pace to break Dan Marino’s single season passing record.
Bonus Comment Number Two: For a second during the Sunday Night matchup between the Lions and the Saints, I could have sworn I took my sleep medication early by mistake, dozed off, and briefly dreamed that NBC announced Madonna would be the halftime entertainment for Super Bowl Forty Six. But then they mentioned it again, and I checked the interwebs to see if it was for real and to my horror I confirmed that this was indeed the case. Aside from the fact that it’s been a substantial amount of time since Madonna put out a great record, I can’t believe how inaccurate the NFL is when it comes to nailing their target market. In other words, I know of no hardcore football fans that are going to be thrilled about this. And I don’t want to hear any of this noise about how “everybody watches the Super Bowl, not just football fans” because that’s a tired argument and it alerts us that every year the NFL bastardizes its product for one day just so nobody will feel left out, which we’d rather not admit.
It’s been my take (as I’m viewed as a bit of a Negative Nick) for many years that the idea of having a halftime show at the Super Bowl is awfully stupid. But this really should be the last year they do it. Seriously, all of the “legendary” artists have already done it, Michael Jackson’s dead, and music is in such a slump right now that there aren’t any current artists that really deserve the slot. It has to be done away with. I would honestly much rather watch some sort of a telethon that raises money for burn victims than watch Madonna lip sync her way through “Dress You Up” at 53. This is so far beyond being ridiculous it’s not even funny. And usually I have something humorous to say about stuff like this, but I’m at a loss for words here because I just find this disturbing more than anything else.
Thursday we’ll do picks and we’re bringing in some heat. We have a guest that is kind enough to donate his time and talent to FOH yet raw enough to rip some of these franchises a new asshole. He’s a published author and is much better at doing this than I am, and if his previous work is any indication of what he’s about to contribute, he’ll be fucking bringing it for sure. See you then…
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.