Can Somebody Please Make a Field Goal??? [TeeCoZee’s NFL Roundup 2010 Week 3]

When you fall deep into the lull of the NFL season, a fan starts to notice little quirks about the game. One man may spend a week paying attention to various crowd noises. Another may count how many cups of Gatorade they see head coaches sipping on intently. This week, I paid a lot of attention to all of the missed field goals that took place. I learned that there was a lot of them, and they all made the team collectively die a little bit inside. This is why for this week, I have started a tally on how many kickers broke the hearts of their families, teammates, and adoring fans.

Tennessee Titans 29, New York Giants 10

The Giants became masters of their own fuck-uppery...

Walking through SoHo in the sprinkling rain, we were approached by a sad looking drunk man. In the raspiest voice possible, he screams at me “The Giants are fucking losers!”. I yelled back “Of course they are! Didn’t you see the game last week?!?!” Obviously, he didn’t, and the dismal state of the New York Giants is making a lot of veins boil. But in reality, the Giants really didn’t play that bad: Eli threw for 386 yards, and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed a hearty 88 yards for one TD. Oh snap, did I mention that Eli threw 2 picks? Oh snap, did I also mention that Ahmad Bradshaw lost a pivotal fumble in the red zone? Oh snap, did I also mention that Eli couldn’t find the fucking end zone? Oh snap, I must’ve also had failed to mention that Bradshaw got flagged in the wrong end zone for a chop block that resulted in a safety. Yes ma’am, the Giants did a hell of a lot to fuck up their own fate. After the massacre last week, and the debacle of week 3, I am starting to feel really smart about becoming a Jets fan. On the Titan side of the ball, it felt like business as usual. The defense was constantly up for the stuffing, NOBODY WAS ABLE TO FUCKING STOP CHRIS JOHNSON BECAUSE NOBODY CAN FUCKING STOP CHRIS JOHNSON BECAUSE HE IS CHRIS JOHNSON AND HE CAN’T BE STOPPED, and Vince Young, well, Vince Young still sucks a big fat one. Field Goals missed: 2.

Cincinnati Bengals 20, Carolina Panthers 7

The Bengals continue their business in making me a sad little man inside. Yes, I realize that they are 2-1, and yes, I realize that I am a pessimist. Truth be told, they need to be dominating a hell of a lot more than they are. Given their talent, this game should have had a much wider gap. In the first half, Carson Palmer was pushing Ryan Leaf statistics, with a 22 QB rating [that’s not good]. It may have been wet out there, but some of the passes that he made were overtly idiotic. He finished 19/37, which given the caliber of the hype, lands in the ‘give me a fucking break’ territory. I find it hard to process the success of the receivers, as they didn’t have much at all to work with.  TO and Ocho got 4 catches each, which is acceptable due to the dumbfuckery that was going on. Cedric Benson is still, and will probably always be, a beast. He earns every damn yard and it shows. He was also responsible for both of the touchdowns. Cedric should not have to carry this team on his shoulders. Carson Palmer needs to either wake up and smell the talent, or step back and let someone else take the team all the way. He is the piece of the puzzle that got left in the rain and became warped; he has been with this team since they were a laughing stock, and although it’s nice to see him reap some benefits, he has to come to terms with the fact that he is part of the laughing stock.

Pittsburgh Steelers 38, Tamp Bay Buccaneers 13

I don't even think Charlie Batch knew that he still plays in the NFL...

Charlie Batch is the new Kurt Warner. After being ignored for a multiple number of years, he finally is in the spotlight, shining like a roman candle. While Kurt Warner’s story was a success story, I think anybody who knows anything about Charlie Batch knows that it will not end the same way. So let me correct myself: Charlie Batch is the next Doug Flutie. There, that feels much better. While Doug Flutie shared some good years of success in the NFL, he was ultimately flaky. This flakiness came in handy when wanting to make fun of his breakfast cereal, Flutie Flakes [which actually tasted pretty damn good if you were to ask an 11 year old version of myself]. Although I doubt Charlie O’s will ever become a viable part of a balanced breakfast, and once the DNA tests come back from the rape scene pointing the finger at Kerry Collins and Big Ben will be cleared to return to Pittsburgh guilt-free, Mr. Batch played a pretty decent game of football. He got picked off twice against a lenient Tampa Bay defense, but he still played an acceptable game. He only threw 3 incomplete passes. That’s pretty damn good. He threw 3 touchdowns. That’s also pretty damn good. He’s still rocking the goatee. That’s pretty damn fantastic! Rashaard Mendenhall is a bulldozer with cheetah adrenaline in it’s gas tank. He was the speed and the destroyer. 143 yards. Good for him. The Steelers are 3-0. Good for them. I still don’t care.

Oh, and whoops, the Bucs are 2-1. That’s the best record they’re going to see for the rest of the season. 

New England Patriots 38, Buffalo Bills 30

Contrary to what any honest man could have predicted, the Bills actually pretended to want to win this game. Rookie running back, CJ Spiller, got his first TD and then answered it with a beautiful 95 yard kick return for yet another TD. But the Patriots had to be the Patriots and rain on the mediocre parade. Randy Moss claimed weeks ago that this will be his last season in New England. Judging from the way the he has been playing, Tom Brady will miss him like the 49ers miss success. Their impeccable chemistry resulted in 2 TD connections, both of which are ones for the highlight reel. This highlight reel will be used 2 years from now as Tom Brady’s crysturbation material when the Moss-less Patriots go 6-10. Field goals missed: 1.

Baltimore Ravens 24, Cleveland Browns 17

The Ravens have an offense?!?!? Nooooooo....

The Ravens have an offense. At first, I thought I was having a strange nightmare, and halfway expected Bernie Kosar to come out and Last Boy Scout everybody into oblivion. The real truth behind this statement is that Joe Flacco has finally found a reliable receiver. His name is Anquan Boldin, and Baltimore is ecstatic to have him there, and for catching 142 yards and 3 TDs. He was also involved as QB in the Raven’s failed attempt at the Wildcat formation. The surprise offense can also be attributed to Cleveland’s bastardized rushing defense allowing Ray Rice to do bigger and better things. Despite this, the Browns almost actually won. Or at least the were close, which is close enough when you’re unfortunate enough to root for this rag-tag gang of assholes. Peyton Hillis is going to be grabbed by my fantasy team, as he rushed for 140 yards. I repeat, he rushed for 140 yards against the fun-vacuum Baltimore defense. This nobody wants to be a somebody, and I think it just might happen. Field goals missed: 1.

A 3-0 AFC West Team 31, San Francisco 49ers 10

Sunday morning, at precisely 11:20 AM, I ate a bowl of soup and continued my reading of “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen. The soup was a Sweet Shrimp Corn Chowder. I put a package of oyster crackers in, stirred, and waited for it to cool off. I read about 10 pages, and then decided to give the soup a try. It certainly was sweet, but it could’ve used more shrimp. It was an immaculate combination regardless. Some soup dripped on my cardigan. Relieved that it didn’t fall on the page, I wiped it up with a napkin, and the stain went away alright. Good soup. Better book. Field goals missed: 1.

Dallas Cowboys 27, Houston Texans 13

The Cowboys got their groove back, thanks to Roy Williams and his 2 touchdowns. Good for them. They still aren’t going to host their own Super Bowl. It’s just the way the world works. They are hard-wired for failure, and as long as Jerry Jones is at the helm, they will continue to fail. You don’t sell your soul to the devil and expect infinitely great results. These things just don’t happen. Matt Schaub was having an off day, throwing 2 interceptions. The NFL’s golden boy running back, Arian Foster, rushed for over 100 yards, but still lost a fumble. It would be safe to say that the Cowboys owe a lot of their first victory of the season to the great performance of their defense, most particularly DeMarcus Ware, who sacked Schaub 3 times and put consistent pressure on his young ass. Dallas fans can breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s still going to be a long, long season. And I’m still going to be marking out for the Texans for the rest of the season. If there’s any sleeper team in the NFL [that actually deserves to be a sleeper team], it’s the Houston Texans and their [on most days] explosive offensive assault. Because of the fact that I’m rooting for them, they will probably finish 8-8, just so the football gods can spite me again. Field goals missed: 1

Minnesota Vikings 24, Detroit Lions 10

For this game, and every other Lions game this season, I’m passing the pen off to my on-location columnist, Robert “Nasty” Antor, in a segment that is still for some reason being called “The Lions Den: With Old Uncle Nasty”. Take it away, unc:

For all you folks (idiotic Vikings fans) that still care, the old (by NFL quarterback standards old) gunslinger is still on the field trying to thread the needle like the stitching on a pair of Wrangler jeans. These people are most likely “pissing your pants happy” after Minnesota beat the Detroit Lions at the Metrodome on Sunday afternoon.

For all you folks (only die hard Lions fans) that still care about the remaining thirteen games of Detroit’s season I give you mad props…and YES I am one of those fans.

That being said, this one was hard(er) to watch.

Being a Lions fan, over the years, I have naturally come to despise Brett Favre. I believe it’s common for a fan not to like a player that dominates the team you’re rooting for during an extended period of time. However, during all those years I was forced to respect him for his talent on the field. And I did. His constant pep and charismatic smile. His southern drawl and simple upbringing. His commitment to sticking with one team, which is something that is a rarity in the today’s sports scene…

Then he squandered to play for the Jets, and then he jumped ship playing for the Vikings, hence rejoining Detroit’s division (and still beating the Lions).

The battle between the two winless NFC North teams was about as ugly as it gets for a divisional match up. Sean “Mitch”hill was once again given the opportunity to lead the ferocious Lions onto the field. He once again failed to look like an NFL quarterback. I guess he left his winning ways in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Brett Favre started AGAIN (insert ridiculous “games started“ record here). Guess who won? I’m really having a hard time writing about this game. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a struggling Lions team, who had a chance to win in both week one and week two, to take advantage of a struggling Vikings team who had not lived up to expectations since the start of the season. That was not the case. The Vikings did just enough to win. The Lions had just enough second stringers playing, and of course, poor officiating to lose. This game had way too many bizarre calls and overall disgustingness to really logically evaluate. Next week the Lions face replacement Brett Favre 2.0 A.K.A. “AIR”on Rodgers and the Green Bay Cheese Heads… Will Matt Stafford be ready to play? Probably not. Will the officiating be precise? Hell no. It’s the NFL in 2010.

Field goals missed: 1

Atlanta Falcons 27, New Orleans Saints 24 [OT]

When a kicker gets any positive recognition at all, it is because people deem him as a “hero”. Every NFL kicker wakes up each morning in hopes that soon he will be in the position to be that hero, and win the game in the nick of time, from an assumingly impossible distance to the uprights. The hero will not have to walk off the field, instead he will be carried, as the star QB sips on his lemon-lime Gatorade and thinks about how cool he is. New Orleans kicker, Garrett Hartley, is one of those heroes. After all, he kicked the game winning field goal that took his team into the Super Bowl. The world loved Garrett Hartley. And he didn’t stop there. At the end of a tiring shootout against the Falcons, he kicked the field goal that took the game into OT. The hero is the real deal, the king supreme. In the 2nd drive in OT, the Saints drive the ball deep into the red zone. This is Garrett’s chance to be the hero twice in one day. A 29 yard field goal might as well be an extra point. Any kicker that makes it in the NFL can do this blindfolded. The simplicity of what Mr. Hartley was given to do makes it pedestrian and wholly un-heroic. But he will win the hearts of a whole city all over again with this one simple field goal. One that has a perfect snap, a perfect hold, and is chipped by the side of poor Mr. Hartley’s foot, causing the trajectory of the ball to fly wildly to the left. Everything that Garrett Hartley has accomplished in a year has nulled in an instant. There will be no Gatorade sipping, but rather lemon-lime tears. Nobody will regard him as a hero, or even a player on the roster. Even cool Brees is not-so-cool. Even though the Saints should have played better in regulation, thus not putting the weight on Garrett’s shoulders, it is still so damn easy to blame the kicker. Every cab will ignore him when he tries to go back home. His kids won’t recognize his face. And tonight, when he lays down in bed and tries to give his wife the business, she will turn and give him a cold shoulder. Once she is sure he is asleep, she will touch herself and think about the prowess of Matt Bryant, and his amazing 48 yard field goal that ultimately won the game for the Falcons. Field goals missed: 1.

St Louis Rams 30, Washington Redskins 16

The Washington Redskins are supposed to be good but they played bad. The St Louis Rams were supposed to be bad but they played good. Me was very bored watching said game. Me still thinks that Sam Bradford is a douchebag. Stevie Jackson is now hurt, and Rams are probably fucked. Woe is them, and woe is me for having to watch way too much of this putrid game.

Philadelphia Eagles 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 3

Apparently, the NFL and their corporate sponsors do not like a good comeback story. Dog killer, Michael Vick, is back in the NFL in a big way, and it’s making everyone in the media ill-at-ease. So instead of actually talking about this game, here is my argument for Michael Vick:

I am not exactly sure what is more offensive: the fact that a man that had a gambling addiction [that harmed animals] got a second chance in the NFL and is thriving, or that Kevin Kolb is a worthless quarterback that [for reasons beyond my understanding] every analyst believes should be the starter in Philadelphia. Now, I know what they are trying to do. They are trying to make a role model out of every major NFL star. However, nobody should be naive enough to think that NFL players make good role models. On the field, they should be, but off the field is a different fucking story. When it comes to success, there are only 2 things that an NFL Superstar can do: get into a lot of trouble or sell his soul to a company. Both of these things are wrong. I think that Plaxico Burress going to a club with a handgun is just as bad as Troy Polamanu selling dandruff shampoo. Pacman Jones loving the strip clubs is just as embarrassing as Adrian Peterson loving sugar water and car insurance. Ben Roethlesberger is a rapist and the Manning brothers compete in cookie eating contests. NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE HEALTHY, FOLKS! Why exactly is the sports world so adamant about seeing Michael Vick fail? If they wanted to see him fail, why did they even let him back in the NFL? Nobody could’ve actually expected Vick to come back only to sit on the bench for the rest of his career. Michael Vick is a starting quarterback, and should always be a starting quarterback because he is one of the best quarterbacks of the past 2 decades. Okay, so Vick won’t be able to sling any merchandise with his newly revived glory. Does anybody actually think that Kolb would have been able to be a shadow of what vick can do for his team, and also be a positive role model? No, not at all. When it all boils down to it, Michael Vick is a changed man. One with a torrid past that he was able to do his time for and then get back on his feet. The was he plays on the field sh0uld make him function as a role model for anybody who’s inspiring to be a good and versatile quarterback. And hypothetically speaking, if the Eagles ever go to the Super Bowl, win it, and Michael Vick is announced the MVP, does anybody actually think that Disney will allow him to announce that he is going to go to one of their theme parks? Hell no! It will be a moment that changes everything. When Bob Costas asks Mr Vick what he’s going to do, he is going to say: “I’m going to go home, sit in a chair, and revel in what has been the greatest day of my life. Drink Gatorade.”

Indianapolis Colts 27, Denver Broncos 13

Every once in a while, I get some sort of sick joy out of rooting for a team that I usually despise. The Colts were the lesser of two evils in this game. It also helped that Austin Collie is on my fantasy squad, and he had the game of his career with a whopping 171 yards and 2 TDs. It was business as usualish for the team of cyborgs. However, they may not have won if it wasn’t the Bronco’s wild sense of fuck-uppery. In 5 trips to the red zone, they saw no results whatsoever. Which is kind of a damn shame, considering that Kyle Orton was playing out of character and had an amazing game. [476 yards, with 169 going to Brandon Lloyd, and 140 to Jabar Gaffney]. Once again, a team with a lot of potential falters to the Colt’s punishing defense. The world will turn with them.

Arizona Cardinals 24, Oakland Raiders 23

This game was like watching 2 obese guys fighting. Both teams were well matched in overall shitiness, and it was a battle to the teeth. As I watched the game, I wasn’t sure what was actually getting projected before my eyes. Although the game remained close, I didn’t get any sense that what I was watching was entertaining, or would ever be deemed as a good football game. Neither QB had a completion rating of over 50%. Darren McFadden had a good game, once again proving that he is a good player on a bad team [which is something that many running backs try to prove for the span of their careers]. In the end, it was the anti-hero Sebastian Janikowski that missed a 32 yard field goal to give the Cardinals the win. He is one that also used to be a hero, but that was a long, long time ago and he is still playing for a team that can only be described as “balls-dirty”. Field goals missed: 3–all by Mr. Janikowski.

Seattle Seahawks 27, Sand Diego Fuck The Fucking Chargers 20

Before  go into the heartbreaking details of this game, let me first point out that Phillip Rivers broke the charger’s single-game passing record by throwing for 455 yards. It was an honorable moment for a great quarterback. There is also one important statistic that I MUST mention: In the second half, the Seattle Sehawks put 17 points on the board. They also gained a combined total of 17 yards on offense. So what exactly happened here? How can Phillip Rivers have the game of his life, and have the San Diego defense limit the Hawks to only 17 yards, and still lose the game? It was all because of this man:

Leon Fucking Washington. This is the man that tore my heart out Sunday evening. But he didn’t reach into my chest and just take it. On the opening kickoff of the 3rd Quarter, Leon Washington shoved his fist up my ass as he took the ball 102 yards from end zone to end zone. The chargers come back resiliently, and the fist is still producing discomfort, but it’s one I’m willing to overcome. With the game tied up at 20 with only so much time left, Leon Washington proceeds to extend his fist further into my body, grabbing my heart, and then pulling it out of my ass as he took yet another kickoff return back for a touchdown. After that, it was all history. Phillip Rivers, albeit being on cloud 9, did what he always does in this situation: choke. The way he is able to make it inot the red zone is like magic. With the score 27-20 and the clock ticking, he had not one, but two beautiful drives that both ended in 4th and goal failures.

And I have to realize that this is how every Chargers season starts. They have some heartbreaking losses, and eventually bounce back to become invincible all through November and December. This writer can only hope that history will repeat itself once again.

New York Jets  31, Miami Dolphins 23

There's just too many good things going on in this picture...

Both Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne are becoming comfortable in their own skin. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. This was one of those rare games that I actually rooted for both teams. I got exactly what I had hoped for, which was a fun, exciting, and wholly 2-sided game. LT seems like he is doing just fine for himself in New York, as he rushed for 70 yards and one TD. The real star of the game was Brandon Marshall, who is a player that I am excited to be able to root for. As a Bronco, I always saw him as an overrated priss, but now as a Dolphin, he’s the fucking Beastmaster! With 166 yards, he was all over that damn field. It may had been different with Darrelle Revis covering him the whole time, but I feel Antonio Cromarte is a fine replacement, and he still had many problems holding this maniac down. It was really fun watching my first Dolphins game of the season, as I realized why I root for them in the first place. It was nothing but good fast paced and innovative offense, and I wouldn’t want a game taking place on a Sunday night to be any bit different. On a side note: why is it that for eery week in the NFL season, there has to be a New York team playing in a prime-time slot? Field goals missed: 1.

Chicago Bears 20, Green Bay Packers 17

I was a little too excited for this game. I expected a little too much out of Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay offense. After watching this boring disaster, I still am hard-pressed to find any reason to believe that the Packers are a serious contender in the NFC. Okay, so Arron Rogers knows how to throw a pretty good bomb, but many NFL QBs can do that. I just don’t see that many special things about the Packers. Joe and I watched the game at Rudys, and as the second half started, we had both completely lost interest in the game. We both figured that it would be much better to catch a train ASAP before it severs off into a shuttle bus than to finish the game and spend more money on beer we didn’t need. I got home in the final moments of the game, as Robbie Gould kicked a game winning field goal. In the end, the Packers defeated themselves, with a team record 18 penalties for 152 yards. In any sense of the word, this did not feel like a remarkable game. Field goals missed: 2

In the end, there were 14 missed field goals across the league. That is 14 times that a player failed to do the one thing he was put here on this earth to do. But, like the obese man that lost the fight, they will all live to kick another day. Just like I, the lonely writer, will watch those kickers, so that I can have the ability to write another day.

And after only 3 weeks, there are 3 sole teams at 3-0. This may go down as the oddest season in NFL history, especially considering the looming strike…

-Tee co zEE