The Decade Is Over, Wade Phillips. Go Home. [TeeCoZee’s NFL Roundup 2010 Week 9]
9 weeks is more than half of 17 weeks. You know what this means. Yes folks, the NFL regular season is now halfway over. And for all intents and purposes, it seems like it’s still just beginning. There are still numerous divisions that need to be figured out, and many teams below .500 that should be winning said division. In the past 9 weeks, we have all been shocked by teams like the Chiefs, Raiders, Bucs, Rams, and Ravens doing what they do worst: winning. The same can be said about other teams that used to dominate the NFL, as some are desperately done and some on a slow decline. This is only a sign of the times. The decade is truly over, and the NFL isn’t the same as it was last year.
Please note that I am going to cut back on the toilet humor this week, as this roundup will function as sort of a mid-season review. There’s going to be a lot more picking apart teams and their futures instead of making fun of their rapist quarterbacks. Onward.
Atlanta Dirty Birds 27, Tampa Bay Dirty Bastards 21
At the beginning of the season, who would’ve actually thought that this game would decide the top spot of the NFC South? Who would’ve thought that this would even be an interesting game at all? Who w0uld’ve thought that the Bucs would still even be a franchise? Well, reality is really fucking strange sometimes. For all intents and purposes, Josh Freeman is still a mediocre QB. But he is the least mediocre QB that Tampa Bay has had in just about a decade [if you really want to call Trent Dilfer un-mediocre. In that case, the Bucs haven’t ever had a good QB. Except for Steve Young. Who may or may not have ever seen a snap in a creamsicle uniform]. [Wikipedia confirms that Creamsicle Young did exist. He was 3-16 as a starter. 11 TDs, 26 INT and a 55% completion rating. MEDIOCRE.] Josh Freeman has led his gang of orphans to be disputedly “The Best Team In The NFC”. This is a term that I hear sportscasters say all the time, but they never have any reasons to these fishy rhymes. It seems painfully obvious from the get-go that Atlanta is a better team on all 3 sides of the ball. It was just a formality that they actually had to play a game to prove this fact. Michael “The Burner” Turner did a bunch of burning, turning, and Michaeling. Roddy White played like ass, but that was all compensated by Tony Gonzalez, who looked a lot like the fantasy team godsend that he was back in 2004. Tampa RB LaGarrette Blount, who most people remember for punching a chuckling meathead in a game vs Boise State circa 2009, was stopped to a meager 46 yards on 13 carries. He spent the last two games surprising the world with a combined 200 yards rushing, but I’m just more surprised that he was even allowed in the NFL. So the Falcons are sitting at the top of the NFC South, but I still haven’t heard word yet on if they stole the crown of “Best Team In The NFC”. I think that title may be reserved for teams in green uniforms…
Chicago Bears 22, 4 Straight Super Bowl Losses Were Still Super Bowl Appearances 19
The Buffalo Bills are the token sympathy story of the NFL this season. Every season, one of these teams suffer the same fate. They play their heart out, fighting in numerous games that they “should’ve won”. At this point, it doesn’t matter if they win a game or not. They will be known as the sympathy team, and that’s the way that history will be written. The Bills are getting so much sympathy, they played this game in Toronto, so they would know what it’s like to play a home game to a sold-out crowd. Either that or Torontoians are cursed by location to be Bills fans. I mean, if they go to the closest team to the west, it’d be the Lions, and who the fuck wants to root for them? Fact is, The Bills have a somewhat illustrious history, so Toronto loves the Bills. They’re still more fun to watch than any CFL team. There’s really not much to say about this game. The Bills outplayed Jay Cutler and company, but they made inopportune mistakes at inopportune times. This causes another loss. And if the Bear’s schedule remains this easy, they’ll actually finish the season above .500, which is a record they don’t deserve. With teams like the Jets, Patriots, Packers and Eagles on the forefront, this probably won’t happen. For Buffalo, the quest for victory continues. Next stop: Detroit. Oh shit….that’s not going to be good for anybody….
New Orleans Saints 34, Carolina Panthers 3
Somebody grab the bodybags. This game was needlessly brutal. The Panthers were planning on being humiliated from the start, but the Saints didn’t have to go out there and try to murder the entire team. When you’re 1-6 playing against a division rival and you lose your starting QB & star RB that’s holding the team together, you’re not going to have a good time. And it wasn’t a good time for anybody. I think even the Saints were bored in this one. In the first half, Carolina QB Matt Moore got laid out and replaced by a guy with an abnormally large forehead. He played so terribly that he was replaced by a dude named T. Pike (3rd QB). I shit you not. If you look at the game stats on nfl.com, he is actually credited as T. Pike (3rd QB). It was one of THOSE games. Also, Saints TE Jeremy Shockey got hurt, but few actually care. The Saints are still fine without him. In my honestly biased and humble opinion, Jeremy Shockey only has 2 modes: hurt and asshole. Saints QB Chase Daniel is credited on the statline for 0/0 for 0 yards. Garrett Hartley is back and kicking field goals. Fuck it. Let’s move on.
Fun Vacuums 26, Run Ricky Run 10
Tony Dungy is one ugly motherfucker. I admit to having nightmares about him. He has the frame of a skeleton. His eyes are so sunken that he could hold golf balls in them while standing up straight. He is undead personified. I was fucking delighted when he stopped coaching the Colts because I thought that meant his ugly mug would go hide under a rock somewhere. And now he is the face of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and life is even harder for me. He plays the token coach role that pops up on every network NFL highlight team. He is the worst out of all of them. [Steve Mariuchi may be dumb and ugly, but it’s a generic dumb and ugly that you can ignore] He may be the most intelligent, but it’s almost impossible for me to even grasp a single word he says because I’m spending the whole time gaping at his ugly face. I came to the conclusion last night that he looks a hell of a lot like Dhalsim from Street Fighter. A few may agree with me.
Cleveland Brooooowwwwwnnnnzzzzz 34, The Decade Is Over 14
What the hell is going on with the Cleveland Browns? It’s almost like…they’re playing real football. Bizarre, right? Colt McCoy may have a stupidassed name, but he only threw 5 incomplete passes and scrambled for a TD. Peyton Hillis rushed for a beastly 184 yards. He has rushed more yards in 8 games than any other Cleveland RB since 1968. The defense caused 3 turnovers. These are all signs of a moderately successful NFL team, and every Brown fan across the nation is excited as all hell. This doesn’t mean that they’re going to finish above .500, but shit man, it’s progress! As for the Patriots, there has been something terrible brewing for weeks now. The decade is over for this former dynasty. Even in games that they won, I have seen numerous signs of sluggishness. Tom Brady just isn’t working the magic like he used to. Their running game doesn’t dominate anything. Their defense is hardly holding things together. Even though they are 6-2, I’m still skeptical on whether or not they will make the playoffs. With the tough schedule ahead of them, they will easily get ousted by the Jets for the AFC East crown, and who the fuck knows what’s going to happen to them next season. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel like this loss may mark the start of their decline. And it’s going to be a long, long way down.
New York Football Jets 23, Detroit Lions 20 [OT]
In a perfect world, Matt Stafford would be made of flesh and bone instead of flesh and glass. Unfortunately, this world is imperfect. Mourning with me is my affiliate Robert Nastro, in his cryfest known as “The Lion’s Den w/ Ol’ Uncle Nasty”. Take it away, Robby:
“Those weren’t the same old Lions” – Rex Ryan following Detroit’s insanely frustrating loss to the New York Jets. Thanks Rex. Obviously these aren’t the same old Lions, which is what makes this loss one of the hardest to endure in quite some time. This one stung. This is a similar feeling to when someone snaps a wet towel and hits you in the tip of the penis or being a method actor performing a rape scene. The Jet’s might have the TV show but as Lions fans we all know “It’s a hard knocked life for us”…
As I sit in the Den, I feel a cool draft, and feel a subtle shiver as I begin to ponder what happened in Sunday’s meltdown. I know Halloween is long past, but as I stare off into space, eyes glazed over, I swear I see silhouette’s of Lion’s losing ghosts of the pasts, taunting me as I sip on coffee that has gone cold. The game started so beautifully. The Lions receive the ball first and then proceed to shove it down the throat of the Jet’s supposed juggernaut defense, scoring on a laser pass from Stafford to Pettigrew in the end zone. Fun fact: The most points scored on the Jet’s in the first quarter to this point of the season was three. Three TOTAL. It made me giggle like a school girl when they cut to Rex Ryan’s expression after the score. Little did I know he’d get the last laugh (and probably usually get’s the last slice of pizza). He’s fat.
After that opening triumphant drive both teams seemed to settle in and it was a defensive slugfest. The game took an interesting turn when Jason Hanson was injured on a field goal attempt. [Luckily, roughing the kicker was called, in one of the few calls that actually went to Detroit’s favor] This ultimately would result in the Lions 2nd touchdown, but wait, wait, Hanson was just hurt…who would kick the extra point for the Lions…?
That’s right people. What you may not know is the Suh played soccer as a young man, before becoming so big that football just made more sense. (Could you imagine Suh coming at you to do a slide tackle? Yikes.)
Although Suh’s form actually looked quite good he booted it straight into the goal post and Detroit did not convert on the extra point. Yes, this would come back to haunt them later.
Fast forward to around nine minutes to go in the 4th quarter. The Lion’s are up by ten and have the ball on the one yard line thanks to Alphonso Smith’s idea to try and run an interception out of the end zone. Then it happens. On 3rd down Matthew Stafford can’t find an open receiver so he decides to scramble but is immediately ankle tackled and falls to the turf. Naturally, what usually happens to football players A LOT when they are tackled, he lands on his shoulder. Naturally, Stafford gets hurt. It kills me to say that but it’s been said so many times already that it just feels right. Remember Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable? What did they call him? Something like the “Glass Man”… so does that make Mark Sanchez Bruce Willis’ character? Yuck.
In the end, the unthinkable happened. In a quick recap: Lion’s lead 20-10. Jet’s score. Cut lead to 3. Jet’s run out of timeouts. Lion’s need one first down to put the game out of reach. Drew Stanton passes on 4th down. This stops the clock. Jet’s get the ball back. Jet’s, with 4 seconds remaining kick game tying field goal. Overtime. Jet’s win coin toss. Sanchez hits Santonio Holmes for a huge gain. Jet’s kick game winning field goal. I vomit. Somewhere Wayne Fontes shed’s a tear. It gets all over his cocaine.
On a positive note, next week the Lion’s face the Buffal-0-8 Bills. Let’s hope the Lion’s plan on keeping them winless.
Thanks for stopping by the Den. Back to you Tee – “cuttin’ a rug” Cozy!
Other fun fact: The 2-6 Lions are still the 3rd highest scoring team in the NFC.
San Diego Superb Chargers 29, Houston Houstoners 23
This game is proof that Phillip Rivers deserves to be league MVP. History shows that when you take Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark away from Peyton Manning, he will fail. The same would happen if you take Lance Moore, Marques Colston and Robert Meachum away from Drew Brees. Do you really think Brett Favre could hold up if you take away Visanthe Shiancoe, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian? Fuck no. Well Phillip Rivers played a game without Antonio Gates, Legadu Naanee, and Malcolm Floyd. Without his weapons, anybody would assume that he wouldn’t know what to do. And what did he do? He made do. He made superstars out of backup TE Randy McMichael and rookie WR Seyi Ajirotutu [With a name like that, it seems like he’s made up. And Phillip Rivers may have actually made him up. That’s what he does. He builds receivers from scratch and forges them into warriors. It’s a hobby.] He is just that damn good. The Chargers are a team at the verge of being completely crippled. Now they are going into their bye week on a winning streak, and the hurt receivers have nothing but time to heal their wounds. And then at the end of the month, they’ll have Vincent Jackson [who is pure dynamite] all suited up and ready to go after a holdout that took too damn long. However, like any 3-5 team, they have their share of issues. For instance, their special teams deserves to die. This game started out with yet another cringeworthy blocked punt. That makes 5 blocked punts on the season. Norv Turner has publicly announced that there will be no more blocks this season. Hopefully this means that they’ll be spending the week off trying to solve this amateur problem. There’s also not much to say at all about their rushing game. Rookie Ryan Matthews left the game early with an injury, and Mike Tolbert, well, he’s Mike Tolbert. They definitely aren’t winning games on the ground. Luckily, the remainder of their schedule is blessed in regards to weather. They will only have to play out in the cold for their last 2 games, against the Bengals and Broncos [both of whom have become complete jokes]. All is looking up for San Diego, and I would say at this point the AFC West is still very up for grabs.
Brett Favre Circa 92, 94, 96, 97, and 09 27, University of Phoenix Online Cardinals 24 [OT]
Who doesn’t love a Brett Favre comeback? Hell, even I enjoy one every once in a while. Especially when it’s against a team that I could give 2 shits about. Sure, I was laughing my ass off when they were down by 14 with less than 5 minutes to play. Everybody was laughing! It was funny! But then it turns out that Mr. Favre still has some magic left in his lifeless body, so he orchestrated the impossible. Well, if you think about it, against a defense such as the Cardinals, it really isn’t magic at all. It’s pure reality. In the process, he somehow threw a career record of 446 yards. After being in the league for 10,000 years, it’s impressive to see that he’s still breaking his own records. It’s not-so-impressive that 446 is the best that he can absolutely do [Phillip Rivers throws 446 for breakfast], but that’s besides the point. The Vikings can now be referred to as a zombie team: one that is dead in the water with no playoff hopes at all, but still tends to play like masters of the universe every once in a while [See also: Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars]. I still hope Brad Childress gets fired for dropping Randy Moss on his head, but that’s only because I hate Brad Childress. In my mind, the Vikings are still one of the most hateable teams in the league. I hate them so much that I can’t even muster enough love to love to hate them. That’s pure hate right there. And it isn’t going to change for at least another decade or two.
New York Arena Football Giants 41, Seattle Supersonics 7
The Giants are one of the best teams that nobody ever talks about. Everybody’s busy muttering about the Eagles, Packers, Ravens, Steelers and Chiefs that they forget that the Giants are still on top of the NFC East. This is mainly because they win so goddamn effortlessly. They seriously make most of their opponents look like complete chumps. And they beat the Seahawks with their eyes closed, who have actually won 4 games already this year! Including one against my beloved Chargers! What gives? Why does every Giants game look like an arena football game? Is it really because Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Steve Smith form an unholy receiving alliance that automatically scoop up passes thrown lazily by Eli Manning? Is it really because Brandon Jacobs weakens em up and Ahmad Bradshaw knocks em down? Is it because their top-ranked defense [1st overall, 2nd in passing, 2nd in rushing] makes any and every opposing player shit their pants, call up the dude they screwed over in high school and tell him about how bad they still feel and how shitty life has been since that “terrible incident that nobody really wants to speak of”? Yes, yes, and fuck yes. And if I wasn’t such a mark-out for the Eagles, I would be happier than Jim McMahon on a golf course about my “home team” continuing to dominate week after week. But what can I say? I have a soft spot for the Eagles. And I hope they can take the G-Men down on November 21. And then take the division shortly after. I hope nobody in New York takes it personally, but fuck, I’m still pissed that Eli Manning was too much of a whiny bitch to wear a Charger’s uniform. And I will always hold that against him. No matter how much better Philly Rivs is and will always be…
Oakland Raiders 23, Holy Fuck I’m Talking Bout The Chiefs 20 [OT]
Hey! Check it out, guys! I’m about to jump a bandwagon! After being impressed for 3 weeks in a row, I am starting to take the Raiders as a serious team. At first it was their special teams that dismantled the Chargers. Then it was their defense that crippled & humiliated the Broncos. Now, the Raiders have swept the AFC West with a well-balanced team. Yes, I said it. A well balanced team. Like a team that could continue winning games. Like a team that I will root for endlessly for if the Chargers get any more games behind. It’s one thing that they have recently been unstoppable at home. The black hole is becoming one of the harder places for teams to go to, because of course, it’s been a long time since Raiders fans have had reasons to even show up. This win was also brought to you courtesy of Jacoby “Who the fuck is he and why isn’t he on my fantasy team? Fuck, better wake up early tomorrow and add him to my fantasy” Ford, who is a rookie that made every Raider fan or Chiefs hater cum in their pants. Oakland is stereotypically a place where receivers go to die [In Randy Moss’ case, go into a coma]. Now there’s an up and coming wide receiver that might actually lead the team to more victories? Nonsense! Darren McFadden is also, of course, becoming one of the elite running backs in the NFL, and I’m sure next year he’ll get all the recognition that’s coming to him. I’m just damn excited for the Raiders. So excited that I am finally able to talk about a game in which the Chiefs played in. So let’s talk about the Chiefs. I’m still waiting for them to start losing games and finish below .500. Every week, I look at the scoreboard and wonder if that day will ever come. They are the sleeper team of 2010, and they started their journey early by upsetting San Diego in week one. Since then, they have been considered a serious contender in the AFC, despite the fact that Matt Cassel is playing meh, and their defense still isn’t living up to their talent. They win games on the ground, with the terrifying rushing attack featuring Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles. It must be noted that the Chiefs have an extremely easy schedule, perhaps one of the easiest in the NFL right now. The whole goddamned year, they have/will have played against only 4 teams that are above .500 right now. [Raiders twice, Tennessee, and Indy – who they already lost to] It will be a terrible shame if they actually win the AFC West, but it is a reality that is possible. If only the Raiders and Chargers could join forces and take them down. By the way things are going in this crazy-assed league, any scenario is possible.
Philadelphia Eagles 26, The Decade Is Over 24
We’ve been all waiting a long time to see the Colts fail. For too long, Robomanning has been getting away with murder. The past decade has been a massacre, and nobody wanted to buy anything for any dollars when Robomanning would flawlessly throw to his Roboreceivers with infinite poise and less than infinite emotion. That decade is over, and we ca all breath a sigh of relief as it becomes more and more apparent that the Colts are a flawed team. As for Michael Vick and the Eagles, the gods are shining brightly down on them. The Eagles offense was explosive, unpredictable, and all-around entertaining as they tromped away at an early lead. The Colts burned back, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to hold the Eagles down. When it was all said and done, Vick had thrown for over 200 yards and rushed for over 70. If you look at it broadly, Vick rushed for more yards than most RBs across the league this week. He has finally found a home in Philadelphia, and all of the naysayers went into hiding. Give it two more years, and everyone will forget his horribly sordid past. The same happened for Ricky Williams, and the same will happen for the dog killer. That’s just the way the NFL works.
Green Bay Packers 45, The Century Is Over 7
I don’t think anybody would actually want to be Wade Phillips. Wade Phillips doesn’t even want to be Wade Phillips, and he’s the best at being Wade Phillips. His team simply does not care. Their spirit has been crushed for weeks, and with the absence of Tony Romo [and the ineptitude of Jon Kitna], they are playing for nothing. No pride, no glory, no pizza. The Cowboys are no longer a functioning team, and it showed terribly in this game. NBC would gratuitously air shots of their lifeless faces sitting on the sidelines. No room in their hearts to even drink a Gatorade. And as much as I hate the Cowboys, it feels like a goddamned shame. It’s a shame that they have been so hyped for so many years, but were never able to deliver. It’s a shame that their opportunities to deliver are over. It’s a shame that they’re not even trying to prove anything, they’re just lying down in the middle of the road waiting for the Mack truck to come roaring through. And most of all, it’s a goddamned shame that all of America was forced to watch them do this. Herein lies the real problem with the NFL scheduling process. It is too reliant on who they expect to be top-performing teams. Everybody expected something a little bit above business-as-usual in Dallas, ad because of that the Cowboys were scheduled for 5 prime-time games. That’s also not including the fact that they are the most popular team that plays on the west coast, so most 4:00 broadcasts will feature the Cowboys. Now they are 1-7, and nobody wants to watch them. Soon, the flex scheduling will kick in, and the prime time games will be decided by the actual potential game quality, but it has been miserable having the dismal Cowboys as the only watching option on a Sunday or Monday night. If it does anything, I guess it shows that the NFL is not fully rigged for ratings. If they wanted ratings, the Cowboys would be winning a lot more games, because history tells that is what America wants. Now that Wade Phillips has been promptly fired, we can only hope that the new coach can do something to spark some life into this morgue. Either that, or Jon Kitna will be having a lot of conversations with the man upstairs…and I’m not talking about Jerry Jones…or am I?
Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Cincinnati Bungles 21
I am so fucking done with rooting for the Bengals. I tried to care about this game, but in reality, I zoned the whole thing out while I was typing away at this roundup. The only time I actually stopped writing was at the end, when it looked like the Bengals were going to pull off a comeback upset whateverthefuckelseyouwanttocallit. But of course, they didn’t. And I could care less. If only the Steelers were a little less unstoppable…I might be able to sleep at night…
Well that just about wraps up this week. With 9 weeks down, it is still entirely impossible to even sketch out a playoff picture. But, it would probably be fruitful to call out my Divisional predictions, just to gauge how wrong I was at the end of the season. Here we go:
NFC East: Eagles
NFC North: Packers
NFC South: Falcons
NFC West: Rams [at 8-8]
Wild Cards: Giants and Saints
AFC East: Jets
AFC North: Steelers
AFC South: Titans
AFC West: Chargers [at 9-7]
Wild Cards: Chiefs and Ravens
Only time will tell how wrong I am. Tune in next week, when I’ll try to make this whole thing a little bit funnier, and hey, maybe it will actually be on a new website?