You Can’t Spell Upset Without An Asterick [TeeCoZee’s NFL Roundup 2012 Week 3]

When I looked at the schedule for week 3, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and groan. Nearly every game was a grotesque mis-match. It seemed all too predictable. So naturally, I made predictions, hoping to win a little bit of money. As it turns out, I only picked 3 winners. The week was filled to the brim with upset, whether they be heroic or unjust. It only goes to show that when the referee officiating a game was kicked out of the Lingerie Football League, anything is possible. And anything and everything happened.

Port Authority Giants 36, Carolina Panthers 7
Cam Newton needs to grow up. Sure, giving swirlies and wedgies in the locker room is totally cool and heightens morale, but there’s a time and place for anything. He may be Vince young, but he has to learn how to be a real leader. When you score your first touchdown and the point deficit is still 16 points, you do not celebrate. Nobody wants to see that when they’re already mad at you. Just hand the ball off to the official, go back to the sideline and further devise your plan to take care of business. And after you throw your third interception on 4th and goal, accept the reality that you are going to get pulled. Don’t cry or pout or give yourself a gatorade shower. Be a man, continue supporting your squad and learn from your mistakes. Cam Newton has so much potential that we all believed that it could not go to waste. It’s still not too late for him to become another statistic. We’ve seen this pattern many times before and if he doesn’t wise up, the cycle is going to happen all over again.

Cincinnati Bengals 38, Washington Redskins 31
AJ Green makes me feel funny where I pee. He’s got the goods. He knows what’s “up”. 183 yards on 7 catches? Good guh. That dude has the devil in him.

Arizona Cardinals 27, Philadelphia Eagles 6
I’ve imposed a lockout on myself. I feel that writing about 15 games per week is just too much and unless I get more guaranteed readers, I’m going to be instating scab writers to do the dirty work. My scab writer for this game knows more about the physics of pigskins than the game itself, but hey, at least he’s aware that the games happen. He is BfD’s NASA correspondent, Mike Lindsay:

Somehow, Kevin Kolb managed to get his so-so Cardinals another W-job: this time, over an otherwise superior species of bird. The tallying started when Jay Feely kicked the ball into the net from almost 43 meters, scoring 3 runs for the red team. (Any respectable goalie would have seen that coming, but then again, Feely does have a nice stroke.) The Cardinals would score three more aces before the 2 round bell, ending the first half 24 to love. The Eagles went back to their dugout room with their tails between their fat, feathery legs.

In the third inning though, the Eagle’s ball kicker managed to answer the onslaught by hitting 2 bulls-eyes, making it still not a game. In the meantime, Michael Vick apparently forgot how to shoot a 6-pointer. Pretty disappointing for a guy who fights dogs…

In the lack-luster fourth period, no one even managed to cross the finish line. Instead, Feely had to make another slapshot, this time from only 14.5 Smoots away.

Chicago Bears 23, St Louis Rams 6
It was a quiet Sunday night at Lil’ Uncle Jumbo’s Surf ‘N Turf Barn, just off of I-95, somewhere in the wasteland of the greater Chicagoland area. The bus unloaded a flurry of men of valor and hunger. Jay Cutler was relieved that the establishment didn’t have a set of stairs. Glasses clanked and the Gatorade was flowing freely. Brian Urlacher ordered the tuna, in hopes that it would be Chicken of the Sea on rye [he was never much of a Bumblebee person]. He would soon be disappointed. Brandon Marshall further eggs on punter, Adam Podlesh, to teach him how to properly throw a boomerang, under the assumption that every NFL punter is Australian. Robbie Gould orders his steak rare, quite loudly for that matter, trying to sound manly in front of his teammates. Charles Tillman and Devin Hester made yet another attempt to prank phone call Walter Payton, asking the person on the other line if “their Refrigerator Perry is running”. Lovie Smith, who sat at the head of the table, broke up all of the commotion. He raised his chalace of Gatorade in salute and congratulated them for being at the top of the NFC North once again. They hooted, they hollered, they hoorahed and nobody realized that the Vikings had won earlier. They also didn’t realize that the restaurant was closed. They also didn’t realize anything at all.

Jacksonville Jaguars 22, Indianapolis Colts 17
Blane Gabbert passed 10-21 for 155 yards, which is pretty awful. Before the last play, he was 9-20 for 75 yards, which is vomit-inducing. I knew it was going to happen, too. With 55 seconds left, Andrew Luck and the Colts finally got a lead of one point. It only seemed natural for Gabbert to display a random act of proficiency. This happens all too often with sub-par NFL QBs: they stink up the joint for 59 minutes and then have the one play that breaks it wide open. In these cases, it is always the receiver that should be credited, but the QB always takes it away. Just ask anybody that has ever caught a pass from Tebow, they will tell you the same thing. No matter what happens, the QB always gets laid. Truth.

Dallas Cowboys 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
The 6 train is for lazy asses. The stops are placed so close together that you might be able to jump from one platform to the other. The distance between Bleecker St and Astor Place is a mere few blocks. You have a station at 23rd st, with an entrance at 25th and then another station at 28th [then 33rd]. The 6 train was specifically designed to cater to the East Sider mentality: if it’s more than 5 blocks away, it’s not worth going to.

Buffalo Bills 24, Cleveland Browns 14
Here to discuss the bumblefuckedness of week 3 and the Buffalo Bills is the man who keeps a Bills money clip, Mr. D Millions. This is “Counting The Bills w/ D Millions”. D:

Week three of the 2012 NFL season will prove to be one of the most bizarre, controversial and frustrating in the history of the league. Its images, for better or worse, will on live on in infamy for years to come. This has to be one of the darkest weeks ever for NFL. Entering this season with the league’s referees in a bargaining dispute, we expected to see some botched calls, pissed off coaches, and incensed fans. However, probably very few expected the officials’ lockout to spiral into a black hole of bedlam only three weeks into the season. Certainly, this feels like rock bottom. The Packers have lost a game based on a bogus “simultaneous catch”, and Bill Belichick will be fined by the league for making contact with an official after losing to Baltimore by a questionable field goal at the end of regulation. I do believe that the most important common thread in these two events, and perhaps a partial explanation as to how they have attracted so much attention, is that they were both nationally televised prime-time games. Millions of people, not solely football fans, witnessed these events and immediately gained an intense understanding of the situation and its gravity.

I’ll touch on both (with brevity in mind), starting with Belichick’s episode. Now, love em or hate em (I’m with the latter), the Patriots of the last decade have been one of the more dominant and respectable teams in the NFL. Bill Belichick is perhaps the most even-keeled and stoic men you will ever see on a football field (or a hooded sweatshirt for that matter). His conduct at the end of Sunday night’s game was completely out of character and it appears that the pent up frustration of the game came to a boiling point at the end of regulation. For this, Belichick says he was only trying to get an explanation on the field goal. Upon replay, the ball appears to sail directly over the goal post and, therefore, constitutes a good kick- similar to a home run the hits the foul pole. After the kick, Belichick ran onto the field in an uproar, while the officials ran briskly toward the tunnel without acknowledging him. When the last referee passed him, Belichick grabbed the official’s arm in a final and desperate attempt to get their attention. Even though he has a near perfect record concerning his conduct with on-field officials, he will most likely receive a considerable fine for his actions. And though Belichick’s demeanor may have been a bit excessive, I do believe the regular officials would have handled the situation more professionally by at least giving a brief explanation before heading into the locker room. In any case, it is rare to see a field goal in which the ball clears the goals posts, so I feel that an explanation was warranted in this particular situation.

Now, as for the simultaneous catch… As I’m sure most are aware by now, this was an egregious call on the part of the on-field refs, as well as the officials in the booth who reviewed the play. I truly believe that there will be books written about this play because of the convolution, missteps, and storylines that lead to those events. It may be too soon to tell, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that play may be the most important of the 21st century thus far. Seriously. The play and call have (already) transcended football and now float in a sort of popular culture purgatory as we await a conclusion with the lockout and the fate of this NFL season. I mean, we have a presidential election in less than two months and the most important questions on the campaign train the last several days have been about football. Seriously, when has that ever happened? Everyone has an opinion about the referee situation and we can’t keep ourselves from talking about it.

BUT ANYWAY. Let’s talk about the Bills’ week in review.

Another dank afternoon in Cleveland resulted in a Buffalo win. Like the majority of Week 3 games in the NFL, it was not without its share of general sloppiness on both sides of the ball. I mean, it is the Bills and Browns, so that’s to be expected anyway. But there were also some bright spots in the game for both teams. At the very least, they both scored offensive touchdowns, which certainly hasn’t been an automatic in recent memory. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a big game, throwing for 3 touchdowns and 208 yards. He also had a fumble while in passing motion that resembled a 2nd grader whose hands are too small to hold a football, so it slips out when they bring the ball behind their head. It was funny, but only because they won. Chalk it up as a byproduct of the Cleveland dankness. C.J. Spiller also had a nice touchdown on a pass from Fitzpatrick. Spiller eventually left the game with what looked like a painful shoulder injury, but is expected to return in a couple weeks. As we all know, the best thing you can do is take this sort of thing in stride, try not to panic and move on. Yes, Spiller was the leading rusher in the NFL up until this point. No, he probably wouldn’t have been much longer, even without an injury, simply because he isn’t the type of back that can carry the ball 30 times a game- even though we would all love to see that. With Fred Jackson out and Spiller now gone, the Bills’ ground game looked gravely shallow as Tashard Choice entered the game. Despite this, Choice managed to have a great outing, running 91 yards on 20 carries, along with 2 catches for 8 yards. Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham (Rookie 3rd round pick, NC State) also recorded touchdowns from Fitzpatrick.

Fortunately, Fred Jackson (knee) returned to practice this week and is expected to play Sunday at home versus the Patriots. This duo of Jackson and Choice should be difficult for the Pats’ D to prepare against, and hopefully the Bills rushing game can catch them on their heels once or twice. I am looking at the game line for Sunday’ matchup, the Patriots right now are favored by 3.5. I’m not even going to try to touch that, but I think we should expect to see a close game with a very raucous Ralph Wilson Stadium.

On a disappointing, even shocking, side note this week the Bills released punter Brian Moorman. As a 12-year veteran with the team, Moorman served as one of the only consistently bright spots on the team’s roster. He was voted onto the Bills 50th Anniversary team, twice All-Pro and was even selected to the second squad of the NFL 2000s All Decade team. Moorman was picked up by the Cowboys(!) one day after being released, so at least we will see how much he has left in the tank.

Port Authority Jets 23, Miami Dolphins 20 [OT]
At halftime, Dan Carpenter combs his hair and strokes his mustache. On the other side of the locker room, Joe Philbin gives everyone a pep talk. They have a 10-3 lead over the division rival Jets. They’ve been looking good, but Joe still speaks with a stern cautionary tone. Dan Carpenter cannot hear any of this, as he is off in his own little world. A world where he is the man and he continues to groom while Kid Rock blasts through his headphones. Nobody notices that Dan is not present for the talk. Sure, he is respected. With a field goal ratio of over 80%, he is definitely an asset to the team. And with his stylish good looks, it’s not that they simply didn’t notice him. They all just kind of feel that he needs his own encouragement. After all, with their ho-hum slog of an offense, Dan is one of their highest earners. A true asset to the organization. If he wants to stray away from team activities, sure, let the man do what he wants. That’s when the trouble begins. Dan Carpenter needs an oil change. And he needs one right now. Sure, he can take it into a Pep Boys or Midas, but do they offer player discounts? Would they charge him more, knowing who he is or who he looks like? Maybe he can take it to the Cuban joint down the street from the stadium. But do those guys even do oil changes? Dan asks these questions to himself a million times over, and before he knows it, his missed field goal in overtime costs the Dolphins the game. He now has all the time in the world to make this important decision. He probably has his heart set on Pep Boys. He likes their style.

Minnesota Vikings 24, San Francisco 49ers 13
I don’t think anybody can come up with a logical theory as to how/why this game went down the way it did. The result is something that you normally see in the twilight stage of the season, when the fate of both teams have already been decided. But not now, not in week 3. Both teams played equally bleh, but the Vikings had more of an affinity towards taking care of business in the redzone. Truthfully, this is expected of the 49ers offense, leaving the real shame to rest on the defense. Christian Ponder is not THAT good. I don’t understand how the 49ers could be inept enough to allow him to scramble 23 yards for a touchdown. For a team that humiliated Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, this was an odd showcase of ineptitude. One that will easily be forgotten when the Niners finish up the season 13-3, warranting a first-round bye. Dudes have to lose sometime, I guess…

Kansas City Chiefs 27, New Orleans ‘Aints 24 [OT]
Hey, look! Another upset! Or is it? Jamaal Charles had one of those “hey look, I’m not a geezer anymore” games, something that if given to every veteran RB at the beginning of the season. It’s like a Get Out of Jail Free Card. Your legs just don’t run like they used to and every defense from Tampa to Arizona has figured out your running patterns. But for one game every season, you have permission to run wild like a rookie. Fantasy owners across the world will scramble to pick you up off the free agency wire and immediately drop you once the card is spent. The defense will not make any real efforts to tackle you and your teammates will show a display of great fanfare, pretending that you are and always have been the heart of the team. When the game ends, you can stare at Michelle Tafoya’s tits all you want while she interviews you. Just don’t remark that you want to kiss her. You will undoubtedly get the game ball and it will remain on your mantle for 43 years, collecting dust and dead flies. After the day is done, you will wake up with your beer belly and aching knees. Your soreness is a good excuse to get out of practice, which is fine. Old toys should only be used sparingly. For the rest of the season, you will see every 9 snaps, as you have to make way for the youngins. Next season, you’ll see only 12. They’ll lower your salary but still keep you on the team, just for the sake of you retiring as a franchise player. You will leave a legacy that only a few will remember. That’s the price you pay for playing the card. Accept it. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Tennessee Titans 44, Detroit Lions 41 [OT]
ANOTHER UPSET?!? Now I’ve seen everything! But you’re not going to find me bitching and moaning about this loss. This was by far the best game I had seen all season. In fact, I can think of 5 reasons that this one reigns supreme:

5) They scored a combined 85 points. In a week where both Aaron Rodgers and Philly Rivs failed to put any points on the board, Jake Locker and Matt Stafford Shaun Hill made it look all too easy.

4) Stafford left the game early and in result, the Lions played BETTER. Losing your starting QB during a game is usually a death warrant. At that point, they were down 41-27 with a shade over a minute left in regulation. The game was essentially over. It would have took the best case scenario for anything to develop. Shaun Hill made that happen, driving down the field twice with only 1 incompletion. That…ummm…doesn’t happen every day.

3) The Music City Miracle Pt Deux:

2) The Lions finally gave fresh-blooded RB, Mikel Leshoure, a chance. And he looked impressive as all hell. Rushing for 100 yards and a TD had everyone saying “Javvid Who?”. Seriously, what the hell is that guy’s last name? Totally forgot.

1) A hail mary pass that was not only caught, but caught fairly, without the evidence of any penalties:

With the last 30 minutes in consideration, this was probably the best game we will see all season. My repetitive words cannot do it justice. If you weren’t able to capture the pure magic and awesomeness, I implore you to find a way to do so. Download it on tenyardtorrents. Email me and I might give you my NFL GameRewind password. Check and see when they’re replaying it on NFL Network, then one hour before it starts, find a dark house with a satellite dish and break into it. Wrap your cut hand in a bandage, pop some corn and enjoy the shit out of it. You deserve it.

Atlanta Falcons 27, San Diego Chargers 3
I wasn’t expecting a close game, but come the fuggon! Where’s all the garbage points? After falling behind so early on, everyone knew that a comeback wasn’t in the cards. But only 3 points?!?!? This was their lowest scoring home game since 1999. And who was the QB back then? Ryan Leaf. He’s in jail now. You don’t want to go to jail. But in San Diego, it seems like a much more likely option than going to a Chargers game. Just watch the highlights, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

Just pitiful, Philly Rivs. Pitiful.

Houston Texans 31, Denver Broncos 25
Because I still don’t want to jinx the Texan’s season, I enlisted another scab writer. Here’s dice enthusiast, Joey Z:

Well the Houston & Denvers beat each other in a battle of the wits in the ring of the other night — !! The world of fashion society art collecting can’t do to the sports what the other sports did in the past. But we cannot discount the players of all the teams and the playing they did in that old game last night! Steeped in tradition, the sports of the day have been a big good time for most of the people who watch them most frequently. They are, to say, a bit of a thing to look forward to when watching the old boob box.

The first part of this thing started out just like usual. The players were out there, and man, were they doing it up. The way I figure, they had all just gone out there to compete in America’s favorite ritual. Houston started first, and, to the casual viewer, they did a great job. For the purposes of context, a lot of these guys have been around – during their younger years, they went to college. Later on, they joined up! And what a day it was.

But later on, something happened… the Denvers really took it back. They decided that what they’d agreed on earlier in the lockers was idealizing an all-too-realistic situation. And that’s when things REALLY changed!

All in all, I think we all know the rest of the story. And boy, we’re we glad we tuned in. I’ll tell ya, I had a good time. When I’m out east next spring, I intend the see the Denvers as soon as I step off the plane.

In closing, I’m in this for the lifestyle, in addition to the great investment. Excelsior!

Oakland Raiders 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 31
I waited 3 and a half hours to see Richard Seymour punch Ben The Rothless Burger in the kisser one more time. Unfortunately, he roughed up some other guy. The whole game was much akin to a barroom brawl. After a few weeks with the scab refs, players have developed a Substitute Teacher Syndrome. Books are being set on fire and thrown all over the place. The refs were too scared to throw a flag at anything. It took almost 3 whole quarters for the Raiders to get a penalty. The Raiders usually get flagged for being the Raiders! Raiding is a 10 yard penalty these days. Or maybe it’s half the distance to the goal. Probably depends on where the raiding takes place. I didn’t write the rule book and neither did they.

Baltimore Ravens 31, New England Patriots 30
If I wanted to watch a bunch of dude viciously beating the shit out of each other, I would’ve watched the Oakland-Pittsburgh game. Oh wait, I did watch the Oakland-Pittsburgh game. It seems like every team in the AFC has bad blood to settle. A fight broke out after every single play. At one point, Deion Branch gave Ed Reed “The Harbaugh” [Handshake, followed by a slap. Coined by Jim Harbaugh last year]. Through all of the rioting and shenanigans and hooting and hollering, I think I somehow became a Ravens fan. I know, I almost admitted it last year but didn’t quite live up to it. But over the summer, I watched every episode of The Wire and now I have this fondness of Baltimore as a city. I figure that I might as well root for the teams that represent it. And Joe Flacco…well…Joe Flacco looked pretty damn good. He throws to Jacoby Jones now [which is a plus] and Torrey Smith was having his “My Family Member Just Died So Now I’m Going To Have The Game Of My Life” night. All in all, the Ravens proved to be a much superior team, because now they can make things happen on both sides of the ball. Kind of like how the Niners did last year. Maybe it’s a Harbaugh thing…

Seattle Seahawks 14, Green Bay Packers 12
Good goo. I was going to cover the ending of the game, as it was the only part worth noting, but…goo…no way. You all know how it ended. Even the stray cats on my block know what happened. If you don’t know what happened, pick up a newspaper. It’s all over the damned place. It’s already been written in history books, ready to be shipped to high schools nation-wide. So I’m going to go ahead and speak out for the minority:

THE SEAHAWKS DID NOT WIN THE GAME BECAUSE OF THE REFS. THEY WON BECAUSE THEY PLAYED A BETTER 60 MINUTES OF FOOTBALL.

It’s called an upset, folks. Obviously, the Seahawks are an inferior team, at least offensively. If everybody feels that the Packers were robbed out of a win, why won’t they consider the fact that it shouldn’t have come down to that play in the first place? Aaron Rodgers is supposed to be the second coming of CyboChrist, but why was he unable to even get a ball in the end zone? The Seahawks defense stuffed the shit out of him. Sacked him 8 times. If you want to blame anybody, you should blame the offensive line, not the refs. Rodgers spent the entire night running for his life and that is the true deciding factor of the game. If the Packers would have won the game 12-7, it would still be one of the most pitiful displays the franchise has put on in over a decade. And I agree, yes, the final play was an interception, but the fact that it came down to that play only signifies that the Packers are in deep trouble.

Now that it’s Thursday afternoon, I know for a fact that this roundup is already dated. I blame my work schedule. It’s really hard to get these things out of the gate when I work M-F. Some mornings, I’m just not feeling it and I’m hardly able to write most nights. This week has taught me the value of time-sensitive writing. The new episode of South Park aired Wednesday night and they had jokes about the Packers game written in. That’s how old of news it is. In fact, at the time of post, the referee lockout has officially ended. The zebras that we know and love and love to hate will be back starting tonight. The nightmare is over, folks. We can go home now.

In closing, when my cell phone was stolen in week 1, I had a minor cut on my elbow, which turned into a scab. Mere minutes after the officials came to agreement last night, I realized that there were only a few scabbed skin cells left. I immediately picked them off and flicked them into a corner. If that’s not deep enough, then you’re going to have to find a bigger pool.

-TeeCoZee

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