by Ryan Meehan
Now that week twelve of the NFL season is over, I can’t help but think about a series of events that took place during the week which resulted in the Bills/Jets game being moved to Ford Field in Detroit. I find it fitting that this game likely won’t affect any sort of playoff seeding, because the situation was very serious and made me think about the way the NFL view its supposed invincibility. On Wednesday the Bills posted a want ad of sorts on their Twitter account, offering anybody who was willing to shovel some of the seven feet of snow that fell on the Buffalo area in the forty-eight hours leading up to the game ten dollars and hour and game tickets to get all of that white stuff out of the seating areas. The next day, finally the game was said to be called during the early afternoon hours. Then on Thursday afternoon, the NFL released a statement saying that the game would officially be played at Ford Field in Detroit.
By Wednesday morning, there should not have been any question that this game was to be moved. We discussed this on KUGR Friday Night, and although Neil pointed out that you can never quite prepare for a once-in-a-century disaster – I still don’t think that the Bills or the NFL should have ever attempted to tackle this snowstorm head on. I think it speaks to the arrogance of Roger Goddell, the owners, and the rest of the NFL that they would think they are invincible like this. They aren’t bigger than weather. And what was the Bills franchise thinking putting the citizens of that city at a safety risk by asking them to shovel out their stadium when the fucking mayor was telling everybody to stay home? Hopefully the people of Buffalo will be safe and the city will return to its day to day business shortly. The NFL was very busy elsewhere this weekend, so let’s take a look at what really happened during a very busy week twelve.
Raiders 24, Chiefs 20
I was wrong about this game, but at the same time feel a little bit relieved. While I whiffed on the pick like almost every other writer in this country, my thought on the Chiefs not being a team who can make a legitimate playoff run is now completely valid. They lost to a team in Oakland who has a lot of players who have already mailed the rest of the season, and in turn they probably lost a lot of confidence votes among people who are picking the Chiefs to be a 5 or 6 seed that will actually beat a team that’s won their division. So I’ll say this slowly one more time so that everybody can understand it: The Chiefs are not a legitimate threat. These are the remaining games on their schedule: The Broncos, Cardinals, the Raiders again (whom I thought wouldn’t be a problem but now I don’t know what to think) then the Steelers before they close their year out with the Chargers. So even if they do get into the postseason, I don’t see it being any more lengthy than last year’s visit because they’ll be beat up to all hell by the time they get there. Props to Oakland for coming out and making it happen, I have to be real with you – I didn’t think they’d win a game all year long.
Browns 26, Falcons 24
The Browns and the Falcons played a very tight game all the way through, and thankfully for Coach Ryan Cleveland was able to get out of there with a win. The Browns are now 7-4, but that’s going to be a tough division to win. And with the AFC West currently producing three teams 7-4 or better, it’s unlikely that whoever places second will actually get a Wild Card seed. The Browns are playing well, but I expected them to win this game by more than two freaking points. They’re going to need to step it up if they want to finish 10-6 or better – thankfully they have a pretty cake schedule from here on out. As for the Falcons, it’s hard for me to take any NFC South team serious. Good Lord that division is garbage.
Bears 21, Bucs 13
Chicago came out in the first half of this game and sucked eggs like were hanging out behind the dumpster of a Carl’s Jr. a half an hour after it had been announced that they weren’t serving breakfast anymore. People were all over Facebook blasting Jay Cutler, and rightfully so. After some encouragement regarding change of offensive direction Cutler finally had to admit that the only way they were going to sneak out of their own stadium with a W against one of the worst teams in the NFL would be to give it to Matt Forte and let him do all of the work. Even then (aside from the 2 touchdowns) he only gained 89 yards, and the Bears are still weak.
Bengals 22, Texans 13
I hate to sound like a broken record here, but let’s be honest…JJ Watt can not do all of this himself. Houston did not record a single sack in this game, so as you can imagine it was only fitting that they ended up a hair short of a possession that could tie the game. That’s all I really have to say about the Texans for a while…If you come to this site regularly you’ll know that I think they are extremely spotty, and until they can get some type of offensive game plan going that isn’t heavily dependent on Arian Foster they will be playing catch-up to Indy for a while. It isn’t like they didn’t have the opportunity for their defense to shine – the Bengals had the ball for ten second short of 40 minutes. Cincinnati seems like they are an 10-5-1 or 11-4-1 team this year that operates in streaks – They win two or three games in a row, then look horrible in bad losses. This is of course puts them right where they have been in the playoff race the past few years: In, but then quickly out.
Patriots 34, Lions 9
The rest of the league needs to understand that the Patriots are now a serious threat to everybody. It seems like no matter what you throw at them, they have a way to counter it and make you look stupid. The Lions have now dropped two in a row (albeit to two of the best teams in the NFL) and with the Packers’ win today in Minnesota have now fallen out of first place. Their inability to make things happen on offense will likely be buried on Thanksgiving Day against a poor Bears defense, but it should be a concern heading into the thick of the postseason race. If you’re shocked that the Patriots snagged up LeGarrett Blount after such a public spat with Mike Tomlin, you haven’t learned anything about the way that franchise does business.
Packers 24, Vikings 21
In an old school battle true to NFC North (and in past years NFC Central) form, regardless of the records these two teams fought it out until the bitter end. The Packers are still very solid, and they can’t be expected to score 50 points every week. I just love Aaron’s attitude and approach to playing the game. If he was in the league fifty years ago, the guys back then would have respected the hell out of him. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to the Vikings roster after this season. I mean, it’ll be interesting to somebody. I’m not that guy, but he does exist.
Colts 23, Jaguars 3
The Colts covered, but did not score as many points at home against Jacksonville as a lot of people had expected. Their defense had to respond after getting clobbered at home last week against New England and letting a guy who had never set foot on an NFL field before run up almost 200 yards on them in their own building. This challenge would prove to be nearly as daunting, but their offense did struggle at times. Luck would be on his back with the ball in his hands five times by the time it was all over, and against the Jaguars that’s never a good sign. TY Hilton had a solid 122 on four catches, but the Colts fumbled a total of six times. Although they lost only three of them, there has to be a reason for concern in that camp. Right now they are going to have to go through New England or Denver to make a Super Bowl run and I don’t see it happening. Don’t kid yourself, this was a bad football game and hardly up to NFL standards.
Eagles 43, Titans 24
Philadelphia was expected to come out big in this one after an embarrassing loss in Green Bay where they came out and gave 53 points against the Packers. They would soon find out that Zack Mettenburger is hardly Aaron Rodgers, and that although they are still having issues on defense some of that can be remedied as long as they are able to rely on Mark Sanchez to put up the kind of numbers his did this afternoon. The Eagles had 26 first downs in this game, and Marco Sancho went 30 for 43. However he did throw two picks against a bad defense, so all is not totally well in Philly’s camp. If you take out the 53 yard run McCoy had, it was not a day worth noting for him. The Eagles play some spastic ass football, and if nothing else they are a blast to watch. You never quite know what’s going to happen with them, and that’s why I can’t wait to see what happens with them in the Wild Card round.
Chargers 27, Rams 24
San Diego took a huge step towards making their playoff case on Sunday with a win over the Rams – America’s new favorite trap team. They’re now 7-4, and hot off that hilarious Chiefs loss to the Raiders they are in pretty damn good shape in the AFC West. Rivers was 29 for 35, and you can’t really ask for a better set than that. Unfortunately for them, shit gets real after this game. They have Baltimore, New England, Denver, San Francisco, and Kansas City in their remaining five games. All five of those teams are jockeying for playoff seeds, so it’s highly unlikely the Chargers end up as a ten win team.
Seahawks 19, Cardinals 3
The Seahawks kicked a field goal on their opening drive, which would put them out ahead of a team they desperately could not fall behind if they wanted to win this game. I knew all week that there was no way that the Arizona Cardinals would win this game…there was just too much pressure on Seattle to win that game and the Cardinals machine is showing signs of weakening. Their offensive production has looked really poor over the last two contests, and they aren’t stopping everything that people throw at them which is how they got to 9 wins in the first place. I have more on this, but I’ll save it for the week thirteen preview piece.
Broncos 39, Dolphins 36
I do see some serious weaknesses in Denver’s defense. Giving up 36 at home to Miami is not a good sign, and even though they ran the football much better they are still light years away from what New England is doing to the rest of the league. The run game picking up was key here – I was starting to worry that it wasn’t going to ever really materialize and it would ruin the Broncos’ season. They were nine for 13 on third down, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the league average floats around 35% most of the year. I just can’t get over the fact that Denver had 201 yards rushing against the Miami Dolphins. If you told me that after last week’s game against the Rams I would have probably suggested you stop drinking windshield washer fluid. That’s insane.
49ers 17, Redskins 13
An hour or so before this game started, NFL Czar was reporting that there was word Washington Redskins head coach considered benching Robert Griffin the Third* in favor of Colt McCoy if Griffin did not start to show some serious signs of improvement against San Francisco in this football game. Fine by me – I’m done with caring about Robert Griffin. It’s just not an interesting story anymore, and while the mobile quarterback thing is hot right now that kid’s got the legs of a ballerina. That just isn’t going to cut it in today’s NFL. For those of you who are wondering why I’m making such a big deal of this: The current situation is as follows: We’re talking about a high first round draft pick with what was supposed to be a very bright future getting benched by Jon Gruden’s little brother in lieu of a guy who he is not fond of in a season where it is too late for it to matter. Let that sink in for a second. The 49ers are still having issues that question their ability to put big scores on the board, as well as Kaepernick’s overall prowess as a leader. They’ve only scored more than 30 points once this year, and when they get into the postseason that’s not going to go over well when they get matched up with the Green Bays, Dallases and Philadelphias that will be lingering around when the NFC playoff picture takes shape.
* – (From this point forward you will not hear us list Robert Griffin the Third as RG3. He is no longer of a skill set which requires such a nickname, and will likely fade out quietly and retire in a nice home that Adidas essentially purchased for him. We all wish him the best of luck either playing for Jacksonville or holding a clipboard for any one of the other thirty-one teams which will cut him after the fourth week of next year’s preseason.)
Cowboys 31, Giants 28
While watching this game with my father, I had a revelation of sorts: Regular season NFL football is played in four months – September, October, November, and December. Statistically, Eli Manning tends to struggle in November more than the other three months. So while you’ve got that nugget of info in your brain, think about this for a second – Eli also statistically struggles in the third quarter as opposed to the other three. So regardless of all the injuries, all the structural problems that plague the Giants in the physical world…There is some kind of mental deficiency with what is going on between 50 and 75% of a said task.
I had a blast watching this game, even though I knew there was no way that the Giants could get into the playoffs even if they won. I love watching these games with my Dad…I mean, who else would criticize the Giants when they were up eleven and we were both sure that they were going to lose? I went over to my parents’ house to eat dinner at six-thirty, and told my Pops I would maybe watch the first quarter with him. Five hours later I was sitting there hanging on every single play like it was the end of the world, and that’s why NFL football is so great.
Oh yeah, this is probably the part of the article where I should discuss the O’Dell Beckham Jr. catch. You’ve probably seen it a million times already, so let me just say that in my opinion – Yes that is the greatest catch in NFL history.
Bills 38, Jets 3
As stated in the opening paragraph, this game was moved to Ford Field in Detroit to take place on Monday night at 7PM EST. The Jets got absolutely murdered by the Bills in every possible way, and finally you’re hearing that maybe this is moment where Rex Ryan’s time will finally run out. All truth be told – that’s a boring story. Don’t get me wrong, when it happens (And it WILL happen, that bus is just running late…) ESPN will run the shit out of that story and journalists everywhere will spend way more time than should be spent figuring out what he will do next…But seriously, who cares? I guess I’m not really invested in the idea that football can’t exist without Rex Ryan working. He’s not that good of a coach, people. GET OVER IT. The Bills are much better on defense than a lot of people give them credit for.
Ravens 34, Saints 27
The Saints had a drive at the beginning of this game that I think was a perfect example of how poor the NFC South really is: They had four chances to get in from the one and they couldn’t do it. They were awful on third down, and although Drew Brees has an infectious personality that stresses belief in the self you get this feeling that even he doesn’t believe what he’s saying in interviews anymore. Justin Forsett from the Baltimore Ravens had a huge night, and if they can exist without Ray Rice and be this successful maybe he’s too much of a hassle to bring back. New Orleans is now 3-3 at home, and that’s hardly playoff ball. It’s pathetic really, and it’s crazy to think that just a few short years ago they were almost invincible in that building and had essentially the same position players. Don’t let the score fool you here – Baltimore owned this game.
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.