NFL Week 4: Fear and Loathing in Philly

Another week down, another day-ruining performance from Andy Reid. Thank god for the RedZone channel, otherwise I’d be forced to watch the Eagles’ weekly abortions in their entirety. Instead, I’m blessed with Scott Hanson, constant action and no commercials. The Red Zone is eight straight hours of pure, uncut, Colombian Bam-Bam of Football. Well, actually Andres Escobar is the Colombian Bam-Bam of Football, but the Red Zone is awesome. (Too soon? NOPE). These days, Scott is the only thing that keeps me from spending my Sundays mailing threatening letters made out of magazine clippings to Andy Reid’s house.  I think it’s only right that I name my first born child Scott Hanson Megatron Quadbox Crispino, regardless of gender.

This is the 2nd straight week that featured two teams storming back from a 20-point second half deficit and the second week in a row that Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson were on the business end of that comeback. Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Hasselbeck and Tom Brady are the quarterbacks in the league who have put up consistent numbers in all four games. Unsurprisingly, their teams are 17-3 combined. With all the weekly parity and up-and-coming teams, the playoff races should come down to which team can get consistent play from their quarterback. Look at the teams that have struggled so far- The Eagles, Falcons, Steelers and Jets are 7-9 thanks to inconsistent QB play, among other problems. Meanwhile, the four teams with new coaches this season- the 49ers, Browns, Panthers and Titans- are 9-7. The NFL- IT’S WEIRD!

Patriots 31, Raiders 19- Wes Welker is averaging 10 catches and 158 yards per game this year. The record for receptions in a season is 143 by Marvin Harrison, Welker is on pace for 160, 20 touchdowns and nearly 2,500 yards. Meanwhile Chad OchoCinco is on pace for 28 catches, 175 hours talking to himself on UStream and a midseason trade to the Vikings.  The Pats needed to stop Darren McFadden, so they turned to a different defensive look- using 5 down lineman to keep Run DMC in check. Besides a 40 yard run, McFadden had 10 carries for just 35 yards. That being said, this is how many yards thee Pats have conceded through the first four games of the season: 488, 470, 448, 504. Against the Dolphins, Chargers, Bills and Raiders. Next up is the Sanchize and his band of misfits, who managed just 150 total yards against the Ravens. Something’s gotta give, and that something is probably Rex Ryan’s heart after Sanchez overthrows a receiver for the 19th time.

Also, Richard Seymour is a maniac.


If you’re not a Boston fan, do yourself a favor today and read this article about how Boston is THE GREATEST TEAM EVAH. It’s like reading porn.

Chargers 26, Dolphins 16- Of Reggie Bush’s 27 carries going into Sunday, 17 went for three yards or less and two resulted in a fumble. Sunday he rushed 13 times for 50 yards. Excluding a 16 yard run in the first quarter, he had 12 for 34 and touched the ball just three times in the second half. How many Pizza Huts have been firebombed by disgruntled Dolphins fans and fantasy owners forced to watch their running back do stupid commercials while ruining their Sunday afternoon?  Has anyone in the advertising department at Pizza Hut actually watched the NFL in two years?  Jeb Bush would be a more likeable spokesman than Reggie Bush at this point.

We’re in the midst of a historical low point for pizza commercials right now. The Papa Johns guy is the creepiest human being on earth. Oh Papa’s in the house? Get out of there as fast as you can, that guy is going to murder you.  The face he makes in his commercials looks like he’s being held by terrorists and streaming live on al-Jazeera.

And I get that companies want to use their real employees to show how hard-working and likeable they are, but there’s a reason we use actors on TV. This is that reason. If you’re ordering from Dominos then sending encouraging responses to the people in the kitchen, you need a life and a new palate immediately. No one eats Dominos then feels good about themselves, and certainly not good enough to send a thank you note.  The average feedback that comes across their ticker is either “I’M HAMMERED TELL CHAZ BONO TO BRING ME MORE PIZZA” or “That pizza was wonderful, excellent work.  I’m telling you this because I’ve made poor lifestyle decisions and have no one else to talk to, but you already knew that since I just ordered a bread bowl for one.”

Giants 31, Cardinals 27- Eli Manning is like the teenage actor who grew up and made some really good movies but you just can’t ever take him seriously.  No matter how much they accomplish or how much they evolve and improve, you still only ever think of them as a bumbling, pubescent jester. Eli Manning is the Joseph GordonLevitt of the NFL.  I guess that would make Tom Coughlin some sort of Christopher Nolan-John Lithgow hybrid. God that’s creepy. Either way, like Gordon-Levitt, I probably shouldn’t frame everything he does within the context of his past since he’s clearly far better than that today, yet no matter how much success he has I can still only ever think about ten things I hate about him.

Either way, Eli’s been a microcosm for the Giants’ play over the past few seasons- ugly yet successful, consistently unreliable, yet reliably consistent. Case in point- Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Beanie Wells rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns and the Giants needed a gift-wrapped call in their favor to escape Glendale with a win. After four weeks the Giants find themselves atop the NFC East with the best quarterback and wide receiver in a division loaded with talent. Nevertheless, few outside the Tri-State area seem to consider them the favorite to win the division, or even finish second.

Falcons 30, Seahawks 28- The Falcons led 14-0, 24-7 and 27-14 yet the game still came down to a missed field goal by Steven Hauschka with nine seconds left.  Maybe the Falcons just aren’t that good. Roddy White is obviously an elite receiver, but Michael Turner and Matt Ryan are good, not great players.  Their defense just gave up 317 passing yards to Tavaris Jackson, weeks after giving up 30 to the Bears and 31 to the Eagles, who were missing Michael Vick for nearly a third of the game.  Fans and analysts across the country saw the Falcons as Super Bowl contenders after acquiring Ray Edwards and Julio Jones in the offseason, yet reality has been far less encouraging this season as they’re an injury and a missed field goal away from being 0-4 instead of 2-2 today. Their next six games are against the Packers, Panthers, Lions, Colts, Saints and Titans, so the ship needs to be righted quickly by Mike Smith or else the Falcons could find themselves at the bottom of the NFC.

Bears 34, Panthers 29- I wonder if the newspapers in Carolina just automatically have the default headline every Monday as “Newton’s Huge Game Not Enough in Panthers Loss”. Oh that’s right, there are no newspapers in North Carolina, my mistake. Despite playing at Soldier Field, Newton went off for 409 combined yards, 3 TDs, 1 turnover, no sacks and never once got hit (Are you reading this Michael Vick and Andy Reid?).  Jay Cutler was only sacked one time, but nevertheless threw for just 102 yards, no touchdowns and a pick despite the fact that Matt Forte was shredding the Carolina defense and forcing them to put more men in the box than Sasha Grey (AMIRIGHT?!).

Hey Carolina, WHAT ARE YOU DOING PUNTING TO DEVIN HESTER? It literally cost them the game, Besides Forte’s insane day (228 total yards) the only reason the Bears escaped with a win was their special teams. Hester had a 69-yard punt return TD and a 73-yard kickoff return in addition to a blocked field goal. Interestingly, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart got only 18 combined carries despite averaging over SEVEN yards per attempt. I get that Cam Newton is shredding secondaries and all, but the fact that that duo has yet to combine for 20 carries in a game this season is insane. Stevan Ridley BenJarvus VonSustrenGreenDavisEllis combined for 26 on Sunday and their quarterback is DREAMY, I mean GREAT.


Bengals 23, Bills 20- Hank Williams’ weekly Monday Night Football intro was pulled this week due to the comments Williams said on Fox News Sunday. Take it away ProFootballTalk:

“Williams said on Fox News Channel that House Speaker John Boehner should not have played golf with Obama because, “That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu. Not hardly. In the shape this country is in?”

When Brian Kilmeade of Fox News said he didn’t understand the analogy, Williams replied, “I’m glad you don’t brother, because a lot of people do. They’re the enemy . . . Obama! And Biden! Are you kidding? The Three Stooges.”

One, Obama and Biden are two people, not three. Two, Hitler died four years before Netanyahu was born.  Unless we’re talking about some time-travel or zombie scenario your analogy makes no sense. And three…fuck it, there is no three- why? Because that’s all you need to know. Hank Williams is too retarded to do basic counting or get a simple analogy right so his political commentary literally isn’t even worth the time it would take to critique it. If there’s a political lesson in Hank’s comments, it’s not a partisan critique; it’s that when people say inane shit about our politicians or country, we need to immediately disregard their opinion, take away their microphone and go one living our lives. When we want your opinion on anything but how rowdy all your friends are, we’ll fucking ask for it, Hank. In the mean time, FAITH HILL OWNS YOU. And finally, can we please just stop comparing people to Hitler?  Hey Obama’s Hitler! ZOMG George Bush is the new Hitler! No person on this planet, let alone in this country, has ever or will ever come close to being comparable to a man who committed some of the worst atrocities in human history. Unless that person’s name is Andy Reid, fuck that guy.

Titans 31, Browns 13- 60 Minutes commentator and America’s foremost enemy of innovation Andy Rooney finally retired this week and Holy Taco made a fantastic mashup of Rooney taken out of context, which I highly recommend:

In middle school, I did something called Forensics, which was essentially kids reciting monologues or debating or otherwise ensuring that their middle school career will be lonely and scarring. Anyway my teacher had me memorize one of Andy Rooney’s weekly complainfests for the main competition.  Really? Of all the speeches, articles, scripts and soliloquies on earth, my teacher chose to have a 10-year old recite the jaded rantings of an elderly curmudgeon to a room full of other 6th graders.  Unsurprisingly, I lost, gained no friends, lost many, and never spoke in public again. Fuck Andy Rooney.

Lions 34, Cowboys 30- LOLROMO. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett looks eerily similar to Bogs from The Shawshank Redemption.

“Two things never happened again after that day. Cowboys fans never trusted a fourth quarter lead in Romo’s hands again, and Jason Garrett never got free Black Eyed Peas tickets from Jerry Jones again.”

Two of Romo’s three picks were just horrific. On the first, he didn’t see linebacker Bobby Carpenter underneath at ALL and basically handed him six points. On the 2nd, if he had hit Jason Witten in stride on his post route it would have probably been a game-sealing touchdown; instead, he threw off his back foot and put the ball about five yards short and straight at the defender whom Witten had just blown by, because that’s what Tony Romo does.

Calvin Johnson became the first player in NFL history with two TD catches in four straight games to start year.  His first TD catch was just ridiculous as he out-jumped three Cowboys DBs on a Matt Stafford prayer and PUT THE WHOLE TEAM ON HIS BACK DOE!

Seeing as Johnson had just…done that, and that he’d scored seven times in three games  and that he’s 6’5”, how  in god’s name did the Cowboys leave him in one-on-one coverage on the goal-line against 5’10” Terence Newman?  Was there a single person in Jerry Jones’ Laugh Factory that didn’t see that play coming? A SINGLE PERSON? Said Johnson after the game,  “Once I saw that it was just me and Newman out there , I mean, we knew where the ball was going”. Yes, you knew where it was going, I knew where it was going, Terence Newman knew where it was going. Apparently Rob Ryan didn’t though. The worst part? The Cowboys actually had 12 men on the field on that play, only one of whom was covering Calvin Johnson. His nickname is fucking MEGATRON, you don’t send Shia LaBeouf out there to cover him one-on-one.

Hey, let’s play this week’s installment of Someone in the Media Actually Said This.  This week’s installment came from Chris Carter who, as always, actually said this during the offseason:

“Calvin Johnson, he’s very, very good at Madden and Tecmo Bowl or whatever they’re playing now.  But on film…he’s not to the point of these guys yet.” (“These guys” included Reggie Wayne, Roddy White and DeSean Jackson). When the point was made that Johnson had pretty bad quarterbacks throwing to him throughout his career Carter, ever the narcissist, said “I made eight Pro Bowls. I made it with five different quarterbacks. They weren’t always great. So I don’t want to hear the excuse that I’m not playing with a great quarterback…Right now you don’t have to double team him to take him out of the game.” Well, we found one person who agrees with Rob Ryan.

Chiefs 22, Vikings 17- Here’s a headline that you don’t want to see in week 4 of the season- “Peterson Frustrated but Has No Regrets about Signing Deal”. And yes, FOX, that’s an actual headline. Things are BAD in Minnesota right now.

In an unrelated story, Wachovia just switched to Wells Fargo, where I have some of my student loans.  This is wildly depressing because when I go online to check my account balance, it says I have negative $87,563.74 Fuck you Wells Fargo. Here’s a hint, if my savings account says $0.00, and my checking account says $83.12, you can just end the transaction there. You don’t need to remind me that I’ll be paying for my stupid Political Science degree until I’m 90. Then again, I probably shouldn’t have foolishly believed that Political Science was the study of how to build a robot who could become president.

Redskins 17, Rams 10- Sam Bradford may have replaced Jay Cutler as quarterback most like to die on the field this season. Bradford averaged less than four yards per passing attempt, completed just 20 of his 43 passes and was sacked seven times. The Rams have their bye this week then play Clay Matthews and the Packers, DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys, then  the Saints, who are averaging over 4 sacks a game. Good luck, Sam.

Ryan Torain rose from the grave to rush for 135 yards and a TD on 19 carries. Prior to Sunday’s game, Torain had gotten exactly 0 carries. Smash cut to Mike Shanahan cackling to himself in front of a mirror right now screaming “NO ONE’S KNOW WHAT YOU’LL DO NEXT, YOU’RE A GENIUS, A MASTER OF UNPREDICTABILITY”, then brushing his teeth with a hair dryer.  Tune in next week when Shanahan signs Terrell Owens, plays him at tight end, makes him defensive coordinator at half time, then trades him during the fourth quarter.

49ers 24, Eagles 23- If you’re not an Eagles fan and/or don’t want to read 800 words on why they are horrible, feel free to just skip ahead.

Alex Smith went 9 for 9 for 179 yards and 2TDs in the 3rd quarter and threw for 279 total. You know what’s interesting about those two touchdowns? That ties his touchdown total for the entire season. He hadn’t even thrown for 200 yards in a game this year, and those games were against the Seahawks, Bengals and Cowboys. In total, the defense gave up 21 second-half points and 442 total yards to the 31st ranked offense in the league.

The Eagles invested $25 million dollars in their secondary this season, then entrusted their investment to a defensive coordinator with no experience coaching defense. This is a big reason why the Eagles have given up the most passing touchdowns in the league and find themselves ranked 32nd in defense according to Football Outsiders. The scheme, the personnel, the coaching- none of it fits:

Much has been made of the “Wide-9” formation employed by the defensive line, and the scheme itself is a good one. The problem is, to stop the run the Wide-9 is heavily reliant on strong, intuitive play from the linebackers since the D-ends are so far from the ball. Fortunately for the Eagles, they stocked their linebacking core with Moise Fokou, Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle and Jamar Cheney who are…awful, weak and inexperienced.   The end result is a defense that has surrendered 140 yards per game (30th in the NFL) against four teams with running backs that peaked two seasons ago.

For having all their talent at corner, the Eagles counterintuitively play an awful lot of zone and it subverts their playmakers’ ability to, well, make plays. Michael Lombardi of points out that when the opposition lines up with a slot receiver on the opposite side of Asomugha, he becomes a free safety in the middle of the field.  So the Eagles gave one of the two best man-to-man cover corners in the NFL $60 million to play safety and zone?  If a writer is recognizing that detail, does Juan Castillo somehow think that opposing teams won’t use that formation as often as possible? A remotely savvy offensive coordinator can force Asomugha to either play out of position or be rendered useless by running plays away from his zone. The same can be done against Asante Samuel- an absolutely horrific tackler can be forced to play safety and protect the middle of the field. Every single time.  Castillo is clearly overmatched and trying to run a system that doesn’t fit his personnel. Based on their offseason acquisitions of corners and pass-rushers, you could make a strong argument that going into the season no defense in the league was better positioned to protect fourth-quarter leads. Instead they’ve blown three, including a 20-point lead to the 2nd worst offense in the league and have been outscored 36-0 in the fourth quarter of their three losses.

LeSean McCoy, Ronnie Brown, Dion Lewis, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Steve Smith. The Eagles have hoarded open-field speedsters like they’re holding a track meet. They even brought 5’6” former Youtube sensation Noel Devine to training camp, just in case they didn’t have enough the NFL record for small fast guys. The result is an explosive offense that is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. That is, of course, except the Red Zone. The Eagles scored two TDs in SEVEN Red Zone appearences. That is a slight to the Red Zone and, ipso facto, to Scott Hanson and for that alone Andy Reid should be put to death.  When the field is short, the track meet becomes a bunch of guys trying to run sprints in an elevator. Opposing defenses are able to use that short field to their advantage- like a boxer closing the distance between themselves and the other fighter to make it impossible to find enough space deliver a knockout punch-because the Eagles don’t have the personnel or play-calling to be effective when in the red zone.

It also didn’t help things when Ronnie Brown decided to throw the ball while being tackled near the goal line in the 2nd quarter in what Deion Sanders called “one of the dumbest plays I’ve ever seen”.  Brown said after the game that the play was a run-pass option, which I suppose it was, in the sense that every play in the NFL is a run-pass option. But if that was in fact the case, WHY THE FUCK WAS IT A RUN-PASS OPTION? When, in NFL history, has a team run a dive play that featured a passing option? Man, if only the Eagles had someone who was fast and able to run the ball and also had a good arm.

(Rant over)

(scans Internet for something to cheer me up)


Saints 23, Jaguars 10- The Saints had 30 first downs and 503 yards of offense. How did they only score 23 points? Honestly, how don’t they score a touchdown on every drive with that offense?  While watching the game on Sunday, my friend Connor randomly proclaimed, “I hate the Jaguars so much; they bring nothing to the table.”  He’s not wrong.

The Saints are renaming their stadium the Mercedes-Benz Superdome…Because there’s nothing more fitting for the arena that housed thousands of Katrina victims six years ago than naming it after the most stereotypically rich white guy commodity on the planet. I guess it was between the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the iPad Arena and The House That Mumford & Sons Built.

Texans 17, Steelers 10- Rashard Mendenhall left the game with an injury, but not before taking 9 carries for just 25 yards. On the year, Mendenhall has yet to rush for more than 66 yards in a game and has scored just two TDs. With the exception of Mike Wallace, the Steelers offense has serious issues. They’ve scored just six touchdowns versus seven turnovers over the first quarter of the season. Their offensive line continued their horrid streak as they conceded gave up five sacks and eight QB hits against the Texans. Ben Roethlisberger, who already holds the ball for too long anyway, has been surrounded by an o-line who can’t block, receivers who can’t get separation, and a running back who averages three yards-per-carry and claims that his latest fumble was an inside job.

But the Steelers o-line problems have been well-documented; it’s their defensive line’s performance that should have the Yinzers alarmed.  The Texans dominated the line of scrimmage and had little trouble running the ball even without super-backup Ben Tate, who was injured early. They rushed for 178 yards and 5.42 yards per carry. Against the Steelers. Were it not for two TDs called back due to penalties, this game would have been a blow-out. Now, they could be without Roethlisberger, Mendenhall and James Harrison for next week’s matchup with the 3-1 Titans.

The Texans, on the other hand, are a late Saints’ touchdown away from being undefeated, despite Arian Foster’s three-game absence.  With the Steelers and Saints out of the way, the Texans should be considered the favorite in ten of their remaining twelve games. Were that to come to fruition, the Houston Texans would be 13-3 and the league would surely unanimously vote to let Peyton Manning use HGH, stem cells and whatever that stuff is that makes Bane freak out so that this never happens ever again.

Packers 49, Broncos 23- This game, which featured six touchdowns and a 134.5 QB rating from Aaron Rodgers, proved very little except that he is officially a bawse. Not to be confused with a “boss”. On the year, Rodgers has shredded defenses for 12 touchdowns and just two picks and he’s thrown just 38 incompletions all season. To give you some perspective, Drew Brees and Blaine Gabbert combined for 39 in Sunday’s Saints-Jaguars game alone, and Mark Sanchez threw 40 since you started this sentence.

If I hear “I’m On One” on the radio again I’m going to drive to whatever Miami strip club/buffet DJ Khaled and Rick Ross are at and burn it down. That song is unbearably bad and features some of the worst lyrics ever recorded. Take Mr. Ross’s verse for example:

I’m burning purple flowers
I realize that this is a reference to marijuana, but that doesn’t make it not gay.
It’s burning my chest
I bury the most cash and burning the rest
You bury your cash? Well, Rick Ross and my grandparents have something in common after all! Now stop watching Glen Beck and put your money in a bank like a normal human being.
Walking on the clouds, suspended in thin air
Do ones beneath me recognize the red bottoms I wear

My guess is that they’re too distracted by the fact that there’s a 400-pound black man floating through the sky to take note of the color of your shoes. Just a hunch.
Burner in the belt
*Obligatory non sequitur gun reference*
Move the kids to the hills (BOSS)

Bend shawty on the sink, do it for the thrill
Kiss you on ya neck and tell ya everything is great
(Taken from the Milledgeville district attorney’s deposition of Ben Roethlisberger)
Even though I out on bond I might be facin’ 8’s
“Facin Eights- worst card game ever”
Still running with the same niggas til the death of me
Ever seen a million cash, gotta count it carefully
I thought you just said it was a million dollars, why are we counting it? Especially if you’re just going to bury it again?
Ever made love to the woman of your dreams
In a room full of money out in London and she screams
‘Baby, I could take it there’?
Absolutely not. Wait, was that a rhetorical question?
Call Marc Jacobs personally to make a pair
Rick Ross
– Yo Marc, it’s Rick, make a pair.
Marc Jacobs– A pair of what? How did you get this number?
Ross– .………bawse. (Hangs up phone)
So yeah, we on one
That’s all you had to say.

Ravens 34, Jets 17- Here’s the scoring breakdown from the Sunday night game:
Ravens Defense- 21
Ravens offense-13
Jets Special teams-  7,
Jets Defense- 7
Jets offense- 3.

What the hell was Sanchez looking at when Reed crushed him on the first play of the game? There’s a Hall of Fame safety standing at the line of scrimmage and minimal protection, why are you pump faking Mark?  Sanchez put on a clinic in having a complete inability to anticipate blitzes.  All three Ravens defensive touchdowns were scored because Sanchez didn’t see the blitz coming and turned the ball over.  Sometimes it really is as simple as recognizing a blitz and either changing the play or the protection scheme and Sanchez’s failure to do so cost his team at least 21 points in a game they lost by 17. Granted, the Jets offensive line was atrocious all night. Colin Baxter looked lost filling in for the injured Nick Mangold, though his blame for two fumbled snaps may have been overstated.  The Jets have real issues on offense. Rex Ryan preaches an ethos of “ground and pound” , but here’s the problem- their o-line goes from decent to brutal without Mangold and Shonn Greene is horrible. Every year, Greene is supposed to make the leap and outplay Ladanian Tomlinson, who’s like 65, and every year Greene leads the league in running into the pile, getting one yard then falling down.  Can we just all assume that, until proven otherwise, he sucks? Great. Can I get my second round fantasy pick back now?

You know who should replace Reggie Bush as the national Pizza Hut spokesman?

WHAT COMMAND. WHAT RANGE. Like Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia!

Finally, this week’s Horrible Fantasy Players Who Should Be Covered in Honey and Thrown into a Pit Filled with Ornery Bears:

Knowshon Moreno- 4 yards

LaDanian Tomlinson-  -3 yards rushing

Peyton Hillis- 46 yards

Mario Manningham- 10 yards

Mark Sanchez- 119 yards, 3 turnovers, -4 fantasy points

And this week’s Horrible Fantasy Overacheivers Who Inexplicably Ruined Your Sunday and Ipso Facto Your Entire Week:

Willis McGahee- 104 yards

Eric Decker- 56 yards, 2TDs

Beanie Wells- 138 yards, 3TDs

Pierre Garcon- 146 yards, 2 TDs


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