by Ryan Meehan
Week fifteen began with a battle of two teams who started the season off awful and have finally started to come around: San Diego and San Francisco. The Chargers showed that when they want to be, they are an extremely focused and tight-knit unit. The 49ers showed that they are whiny, crying group of douchebags coached by a guy who wrote the book on being a whiny, crying douchebag in a group setting.
I’ve been a New York Giants fan for 25 years. In that quarter of a century, I’ve seen some of the most depressing losses and blown leads that a sports fan could ever imagine enduring. But I’ve never seen anything close to the choke job they pulled Sunday afternoon. The game was over.
They kept showing the clips of Tom Coughlin running on to the field and screaming at punter Matt Dodge. Which is a shame, because as far as footage goes I’d much rather see the video of when Coughlin took him into the storage room and slammed his head into a heater form 15 minutes because he’s such a goddamned bonehead. I don’t follow punters, but since it’s my team I’ve been aware of all the dumb shit Matt Dodge has done this year. But that one takes the cake. All on top of that, a poor special teams response to an onside kick that they had NO chance of recovering whatsoever just minutes earlier.
I’m sure I’ll be hearing from Eagles fans for years about this one. And although I can admit they showed an impeccable level of skill in the final eight minutes, the Giants poured gas on that game and lit it on fire. Nonetheless, the Eagles has a very strong showing in that second half. Their offense is electric, the only problem is that there have been a few instances (like the first half of this game) where they can’t find an outlet.
The Colts (8-6) looked in good form after they beat the Jaguars (8-6). I’ve heard some backlash against Jack Del Rio for going for it on that fourth down, but it was the right call and I would have done the same thing. It’s really funny that if that call would have worked people would be calling for him to leap over Raheem Morris for Coach of The Year honors, when he could have easily been fired this offseason in town where 70% of its residents don’t even realize they have a professional sports team.
NYJ / PIT: Any game that ends in a safety is awesome. The Jets finally regained the respect of those who were questioning them (including myself) when they sacked the Steelers at home. I’m not sure what to think of the Steelers, even at 10-4. They seem to have this “treading water” aspect about them. Their defense doesn’t scare me as much as it has in recent years, and while their running game has gotten better they still aren’t putting up a lot of points.
In another statement game for an AFC team, Batlimore (10-4) topped New Orleans (10-4) in a wild one, ending their 6 game winning streak. The Saints are very much an indoor team so this didn’t shock me a whole lot. Here’s a great reason to ignore the passer ratings: Joe Flacco went 10 for 20 and his PR was 112.9. Drew Brees? 29 for 46 and his was 91.5. He threw a pick, but who came up with this system? The biggest story of the game was Ray Rice, who can do the ground and pound thing just as good as any of the other backs that are making way more money than he is.
In the Monday night game, the Vikings got spanked after complaining all week about how they have to play one out of their eight home games outside. Even worse, Bears KR Devin Hester broke the record for most punt returns by anyone in NFL history. You know what I would have love to have heard an hour after this game was over? That Jay Cutler had texted pictures of HIS dick to Favre when they blew the game dead. I’d be the biggest Jay Cutler fan that you could find.
The Bengals (3-11) won 19-17 over Cleveland (5-9), and my news server is telling me that Terrell Owens is out for the year. That’s hilarious, because there isn’t jack shit left of Cincinnati’s season. He’ll play one more year and then it’s over.
The Cowboys (5-9) barely got the best of the Redskins (5-9). Rex Grossman started and threw an interception almost immediately. Who cares…? The Bills and the Dolphins played as well. And it’s not that I’m to lazy too check that score for you, it’s that I’m protecting you from hearing shit that your brain just does not have room for 4 days until Christmas. Carolina (2-12) finally got their second victory of the year against Arizona, but the real losers were the fans who had to pay for the tickets to see it.
DEN / OAK: I actually thought Tim Tebow played quite well. He made some very solid throws and I like how the coaching staff dropped him back in play action. You kind of have to throw a guy like that to the wolves because if you don’t, he’ll never learn. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders are a .500 football team again. Oakland (7-7) has this fullback by the name of Jacoby Ford bust one for 71 yards, something you don’t see a lot of from a guy at that position.
I lost a little bit of faith in New England this week, as a four point margin at home is a bit light when you consider they have a guy who won three Super Bowls up against some backup who might be a third or fourth stringer in another year in the NFL. Flynn blew it in the end, but the Patriots (12-2) should have never been in that position in the first place. They looked shaky on defense, and they’re no way that kid called that good of a game: Something else was definitely happening there.
Kansas City (9-5) defeated the Rams, which is funny because…
The Falcons (12-2) clobbered Seattle winning their eighth in a row, and that means both teams in first place in the NFC West are 6-8, and will not finish the year over .500. I’ve shared my opinion previously on this site about how much of a fucking disgrace this is for the NFL. In the standings below, note the area in boldface type. That’s what pisses me off so much.
The Buccaneers lost to Detroit, embarrassing in and of itself. Upon a closer glance, you start to look at their margin of victory over the year and see that 8-6 is about where they should be in that division AT BEST. Did you know there were zero turnovers by either team in this game? Tampa wins “Most Improved Player”, but I got that award in baseball in sixth grade and I never played baseball the rest of my life.
Here are the wild playoff seeds in both conferences at the moment:
1. New England (12-2)
2. Pittsburgh (10-4)
3. Kansas City (9-5)
4. Indianapolis (8-6)
5. Baltimore (10-4)
6. New York Jets (10-4)
1. Atlanta (12-2)
2. Philadelphia (10-4)
3. Chicago (9-5)
4. Seattle / St. Louis (6-8)
5. New Orleans (10-4)
6. New York (9-5)
See how incredibly unfair the four to six seeds are placed? It’s almost hard to believe.
Ranking a top five is a bit challenging right now…Those power rankings I don’t buy one bit, and there is still two weeks left. But if I had to do it it would look something like this:
1. Atlanta (12-2)
2. New England (12-2)
3. Philadelphia (10-4, but a very STRONG 10-4)
4. Pittsburgh (10-4)
5. Baltimore / New Orleans (10-4)
Let me explain why I think Atlanta is number one. First off, it’s very close. It could really go either way and the amount by which I think Atlanta would be ranked a sliver higher is razor thin. I think that although Brady might be one of the greatest QBs to ever live, right now the Falcons DO have a better running game than New England does. Now, the Pats may not need a running game to get to the Super Bowl, but with the way the AFC playoff picture looking the way it looks it probably wouldn’t hurt especially if they end up running into Pittsburgh or Baltimore. The Steelers own the tiebreaker in the AFC North. I like the Ravens as far as a team goes, but think that the Steelers do play better in the playoffs and have a better sense of balance about them. Also, notice the Colts are not on this list. That’s nice they have Austin Collie back, but that doesn’t put them up there in the top five. And even though everybody seems to feel like they owe the Colts an automatic playoff bid where the get to instantly just skip the first round, Indy’s window gets smaller and smaller every passing year. The Bears are not on this list either just yet, but they may be soon.
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