Yet another week has passed in the sportsgasm that is the NFL season, and that means it is time for us to tell you some things you need to know without the self-serving spin those assbags at ESPN will never give you. We know this because if you think you can get real football information from guys like Chris Mortenson and Adam Schefter, you probably also don’t know that everything at Taco Bell is made of the same five elemental ingredients and that they all end up in the same place. Speaking of which…
1) The Cleveland Browns have already flushed the 2013 season.
This is just the Browns way of saying they have flushed on 2013 and are stocking up on picks for 2014. But that’s not always a bad thing. If you never flush your toilet, your house will become Calcutta in about a week. Cleveland has already had it’s river catch fire more than once; the last thing they need is cattle running loose in the streets trampling children with flies on their faces.
Don’t pay attention to the fact they beat the Vikings after trading their best offensive player and started a third-string quarterback who couldn’t make the roster with the Arizona Cardinals. Never mind the fact that how they ripped the guts out of Viking fans may be a hate crime in at least 23 states. What this all comes down to is the Browns are auditioning guys for draft day trades in 2014. Believe it or not, the Browns have some depth almost everywhere except the offensive “skill” positions. This team is young, and with the right number of draft picks and the right decisions using them, they could end up with more positional talent than a copy of the Kama Sutra.
For old guys like J-Dub, well…those guys long for the Sam Rutigliano-led Cleveland “Cardiac Kids” of the 1970’s, and curse the Browns inability to recover from Earnest Byner’s notorious fumble in the 1987 AFC Championship Game.
For the younger guys like Meehan, the good news is that by this time next year, half of the current Cleveland Browns will be working at the Quad Cities Mall with them, and you just know those guys will have some pretty cool stories to tell about the Hooters in Akron. Face it, when you live in Bettendorf, Iowa, Akron is the fucking “City of Lights.” However, the bad news is that there is every chance that this new management approach in Cleveland may be (to quote Roger Daltrey) just an exercise in “meet the new boss…same as the old boss.”
This is the part where we have to join in an ESPN-style speculation-fest as to what are the Browns planning to do with two first-round draft picks, one of which is as guaranteed to end up in the top three as it was that one of the “Saved by the Bell” girls was going to end up on a stripper pole. We don’t mean in the movies, either. Lark Voorhies, if you are reading this, please drop us a line…we’re concerned about you…really. In any event, it seems the pointy-heads at the World Wide Bottom Feeder seem to think this makes it metaphysical certainty that Johnny Football will be getting his mail in northeastern Ohio about ten months from now.
Sure, we understand Johnny Manziel is a nuclear-powered douche-nozzle, but he’s a 20-year old college kid who can get his little Aggie double-lollipopped by any two ESPN sideline reporters on demand, all while Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso wait in line for their turn. If that weren’t enough, a year from now he’s going to be living in a house with plumbed with hot and cold running money, and he will be around those Fox sideline reporters, who are far more willing to do anal than the Bristol girls are. Given all that, I’d expect him to be a complete dick.
However, a true test for the Browns (if they in fact intend to draft him) is can they get somebody who can sit down with Manziel and get through to him that making autograph signing gestures could end up about as well as
Joe Pesci’s affair with Sharon Stone in Casino. While he may not end up getting “Louisville Slugger” tattooed on his brain stem in a corn field in East Buttplug, Indiana, dudes in the NFL won’t take kindly to his sort of shit. If he runs his mouth next year like he has so far, he is going end up on the NFL injury report as “Concussion: Facemask Embedded in Sinus Cavity,” and it will have a frequency of occurrences somewhere between the number of chins present on Roseanne Barr and those listed in a Shanghai phone book.
Later in this piece, we will discuss the 1-2 team that will make the play-offs. Before you think we’ve gone even more batshit crazy than usual…we’re not going to talk about the Browns. Even after this win, saying the Browns are in the play-off picture is like saying that stupid “Don Jon” movie that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and SBM Doppelganger) is releasing this week will sweep the Oscars after he has a drunken Anti-Semitic tirade at a West Hollywood bus stop which is caught by TMZ’s finest. What…Mel Gibson’s lawyer is on line two for us?
OK, so anything is possible, but let’s not forget this win was against the Vikings, who got beat once again on a last-minute play because their defense couldn’t take a box of cookies away from a paraplegic Girl Scout.
2) So, about that “vaunted” Eagles offense…
Remember the first half of the Redskins game when Chip Kelly’s offense was going to redefine the NFL as we know it. The five halves of football they’ve played since then, not to mention their 1-2 record say “yeah, maybe not so much.”
The NFL’s love of a new trend may as well be summed up as if Miley Cyrus’ twerk-job had butt-dialed Carly Rae Jepsen – This is Crazy. It’s just like any other NFL fad…remember the “Wildcat?” Yeah, we thought so. These “flavor of the month” ideas never last. Remember how Tupac and Biggie Smalls were going to change the landscape of popular music as we know it? All they changed was the pH of the soil at Forest Lawn. Whatever you want to call them, “trends” or “fads” never last. For all the fawning we had to live through over that first half of Eagle football; the fact remains they’ve been as flat as old-school stove lid since then; the garbage-time performance of Michael Vick against the Chargers included. There’s no question the sports media blowholes really wanted you to believe that you could walk on that stream of bullshit they were spewing about the Eagles, stair-step up the clouds, join hands and sing a chorus of “Abraham, Martin, and John” all the way to a Philadelphia Super Bowl win after that opening Monday Night game. In fact, it won’t even get you an invite to Thanksgiving at J-Dub’s house (who is the world’s biggest non-battery throwing Eagles’ fan), where by November 25th, he is virtually guaranteed to have a full-on eagle stuffed with Stove Top and covered in that can-shaped red shit.
3) Do we need to remind you about that Kansas City Chiefs bandwagon?
Sure, they are 3-0. But those three wins have been against the Jacksonville Jaguars and two NFC East teams. Let’s also not forget that Meehan pointed out the mathematical improbability of the Chiefs going to the play-offs in our Week 1 piece. For the Chiefs to make the play-offs, all the following will have to happen:
- They have to beat the Broncos twice
- They have to beat the Colts in Week 16
- Three of the following teams have to not make the play-offs: Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals
Beating the Texans in Week 7 would really help, but it isn’t mandatory. The three bullet points are “musts,” and we really want you to tell us which three of those teams aren’t going to the play-offs, because that is the key to the math. There’s going to be four division winners, and two wild-cards. For the Chiefs to be a division winner, they will have to take out the Broncos. It could happen…after all, we might be able to make Coquille St. Jacques with Gorton’s fish sticks and Bisquick.
The Chiefs have the Giants next, which will keep the bandwagon rolling. Even in the unlikely event the Andy Reid Big Boys fall to the Eli-tard (who at this point is likely out to keep his realistic NFL relevance alive for this season), the Chiefs are just doing a “Can-Opener” off the diving board at a shitty hotel pool. Sure it’s fun, but, at the end of the day, you are just going back to your room and showering off the chlorine stench. This is why God made Motel 6, and this is why God gave you scabies for staying there.
4) The Chiefs aren’t the worst 3-0 team. That honor belongs to the…
5) On the flip side, the 1-2 team that will still make the playoffs is…
Look at the 0-3 teams in this league… you can write them all off right now. If you are a fan of one of these teams, set you alarm clock for 2014 and be done with it. The Jaguars have officially been eliminated for playoff contention until 2017, and as of this writing, they are looking to trade all of their 2018 picks to the Miami Marlins for the rights to Ozzie Guillen, who isn’t even in Florida anymore. We get that the Jaguars will set the standard for suckitude for quite some time, but let’s take a quick look at the teams who can call it a failed season right now.
- Minnesota Vikings – This team couldn’t beat a Brian Hoyer-led Browns team even after he gave them three interceptions. Next…
- Washington Redskins – The “Shanahan Effect” will be in full force by week 7. Get your bets in now as to who will be the scapegoat in D.C. Here’s the hard reality: the Redskins are toast because before last year, they were toast. It wasn’t until Robert Griffin III came into the picture in an unusually bad year for the NFC East that they appeared to be better , which was sheer default since every other team in that division laid on the floor so the Redskins could stomp on their heads.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The textbook definition of a dumpster fire. The players hate the coach. The coach hates the quarterback. SportsChump has season tickets. It’s all over but the firings in Tampa. Not only that, but the Bucs exemplify that sensationalist shit in sports journalism about shopworn terms on the express train to Overused City. Our new least favorite is the reference to the “Insert quarterback-name here” era. As you can tell, it is like a sledgehammer on our ball sacs every time we hear “the Josh Freeman era in Tampa is about to come to an end” because there never should have been a Josh Freeman era in the first fucking place. There should never be any false hope about this version Buccaneers to begin with, and speaking of hope…
- Pittsburgh Steelers – To quote George Carlin, “Fuck Hope.” There is no hope for the Steelers. The only thing worse from every possible angle than the Steelers is a porn star with misshapen tits and pimples on her ass. The Steelers are simply bad, and they are not going to get any better any time soon. This is yet another example of a team that forgot to plan for the future. While everybody was busy watching Ben Roethlisberger beat rape charges as often as he beat pass defenses, nobody bothered to notice this team was becoming a geriatric care unit. Last year, it was the Jets. Next year, it will be the Patriots. I really hope the new young powers in the NFL learn something from this before I’m making Colin “Catheter” Kaepernick jokes in ten years. Pittsburgh’s defense is the oldest in the NFL, and their offense is one of the least potent given they are piloted by a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. That’s a testament to how shitty Todd Haley’s offense is…arguably, that unit’s biggest achievement so far is a touchdown that was converted from a “roughing the kicker” penalty.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – There was actually a rally in Jacksonville this past week demanding the Jags sign Tim Tebow. This is exactly why this is the current team which will make Jsportsblogger’s list of all-time worst teams.
Having said that, we have to look at the 1-2 teams out there for the one that will still matter come January. Despite what you’ve seen from San Francisco in the past two weeks (the classic Ministry live record “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up” comes to mind), there’s really no doubting that team will be the San Francisco 49ers. Sure, they’ve lost two in a row, but those losses were to play-off caliber teams, and they have way too much talent not to rebound and really put the pedal to the metal “Smokey and the Bandit” style.
5A) Speaking of 0-3 teams, the New York Giants are so putrid they deserve their own section.
Don’t let the score of Sunday’s game against Carolina fool you. The Giants getting shut out and notching the worst loss in Tom Coughlin’s New York tenure doesn’t really do the “big picture” justice. That picture is one of the hundreds of thousands of big-screen TV’s that had beer bottles thrown through them across the greater New York/New Jersey area at the sight of the Giants’ epic collapse. This is exactly why we did a Tales of Sorrow and Depression episode for the New York Giants. At one point early 4th quarter, Meehan 64 turned to Meehan 33 and said “You think this is (offensive coordinator) Kevin Gilbride’s last year?” Then the bar got really silent.
That was until the some Lions fan single-handedly tried to break the noise record set by the Seahawks’ crowd last week. It got quiet again once this dude cacked his gall bladder onto the bar and all the Giants’ fans in the room realized that the Eli-tard had been benched in favor of Curtis Painter. Let that sink in for a moment…Curtis Fucking Painter.
Eli Manning has been (to put it quite gently) horrible this year. After the 36-31 loss to the Cowboys, Big Blue fans could at least say “Yeah, you know, we lost a close one, but…” Since then, the Giants have take two complete ass-hammerings, the Eli-tard has chucked a league-leading eight picks, and the team looks on the verge of a meltdown that will make Chernobyl look like a stale popcorn fart.
Consider this: Everything that we have said the first two weeks about how impotent the Steelers are could also apply to Big Blue. The Giants have a slightly better roster (especially at the receiver position), but that almost makes it worse. The fact they couldn’t even get a garbage-time touchdown against the sorry-ass Panthers may instill them with a sense of urgency. In fact, maybe it WAS for the better that they were shutout; maybe this is the wake-up call this team desperately needs.
Even then, that still doesn’t even begin to describe all the problems the Giants have. Tackling? That’s still an issue. Penalties? Yep, still got ’em. Turnovers? Good Heavenly Lord Our Father Almighty…the Giants have more turnovers than the bakery at a fucking Sam’s Club. We already mentioned Eli’s proclivity for giving the ball away like a bus station hooker gives away hand jobs. But the rest of the team isn’t any better. Together, when it comes to interceptions and fumbles, the Giants are somewhere between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inaugural season and the officials dying on the field because they laughed themselves into a brain aneurysm. It’s a comedy of errors, except it isn’t funny and using the term “errors” presumes this team isn’t a bigger collection of complete fuck-ups than the cast of Diff’rent Strokes. Nobody expected the guy who played Willis to be the only one left alive, and nobody expected the Giants to be this bad. Like we said, “errors” is an understatement, and as such, that would be treating this team with an amount of respect it has gone so far out of its way not to earn.
6) Ugly wins are still wins.
When it comes to wins and losses, a hole is a hole. What do we mean by that? Picture this – It’s 2:45 a.m. on a Saturday. There’s a bunch of people still at the bar and everyone is looking for someone to take home. Now, if the guys that were still out at that hour knew they would be getting graded in the morning based on what they were about to do, they would have a significantly different approach to what they are doing. But this test isn’t graded; it’s “Pass/Fail” and the criteria are exceptionally simple. Mix two parts alcohol, one part desperation, one part loneliness, stir until closing time, and voilá…some dude somewhere wakes up next to this on Sunday morning:
Now do you understand what we mean? There were so many games this weekend that defined the term “ugly,” but a win is a win. Teams need wins like guys in a bar need to get laid, and even if she looks like she belongs on that People of Wal-Mart webpage, well…that’s why God invented doggy-style and extra pillow cases.
The New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, and Chicago Bears are only three of many teams that notched ugly wins on Sunday. Nobody is getting docked for ugly wins as long as they’re wins. If any one of those teams wins the Super Bowl, they sure as shit aren’t going to say “We can’t accept the trophy because of that crap win in Week 3.”
Now, do ugly wins fuck with betting lines? Absolutely. Right now, there are odds-makers in Vegas chain-guzzling Maalox and ripping their hair out because nobody really knows if the Bears are really any good or if the 49ers are secretly shitty. Doubt that? The Jets are 2-1. The Bears are 3-0. Are either of those teams any good? Nobody fucking knows, just like no guy ever admits to the ugly chicks he’s fucked.
7) The undeserved scapegoat of the week.
This week, there’s so many from which to choose, but we really think it has to be Ben Roethlisberger. Frankly, we think it is pretty fucking admirable that he is taking the heat for the Steelers sorry-ass performance. Yeah, it is easy to point to his two interceptions and two fumbles as the cause of the loss, but like with the Giants, that is missing the “big picture.”
First of all, focusing on the turnovers completely ignores the fact that Roethlisberger threw for 406 yards and two touchdowns. It was because of Roethlisberger that the Steelers came back from a 24-3 first half deficit and at one point were only down by one score. The fact the Steelers ever even got that close was all because of “Big Ben.” Without him, the final score could easily have been much uglier than 40-23. Roethlisberger led the Steelers offense to out-gain the Bears in total yardage 459-258.
Then there is the small matter of what the Bears did with those turnovers. Sure, Major Wright’s 38-yard pick-six in the second quarter looked like a death blow, but Pittsburgh mounted their comeback attempt after that. Julius Pepper’s touchdown on the 4th-quarter fumble came after the game was already lost. The fact of the matter is the Bears offense hibernated after the first quarter, and as awful as the Steelers were, had their defense mounted any effort in the third quarter, they very easily could have found themselves leading this game.
But more importantly, let’s take a look at why Roethlisberger committed four turnovers. The simple fact of the matter is that he was running for his life for three hours on Sunday night. The Steelers offensive line might as well be five bottles of ketchup, which explains why Pittsburgh has absolutely no running game whatsoever. Take a look at Roethlisberger’s total yardage performance and compare it to the team as a whole. Add 7 rushing yards to “Big Ben’s” passing totals, and it becomes clear Roethlisberger IS the Steeler offense. He accounted for 413 of the Steelers’ total of 459. That’s 89.9% for those of you counting at home.
We’ve already made mention of how the Steelers are a geriatric care center. The dominant, playmaking defense is a memory. The punishing running game is gone. Roethlisberger is the only thing Pittsburgh has left from the Super Bowl years that isn’t a shadow of what it used to be.