Hits and Shits--Week 2
Jacksonville/Pittsburgh had a lot of hype, considering it was the return of Big Ben Worthlessburger to the Pittsburgh backfield after an appendectomy. Granted, he wasnt 100% medically, what with missing a useless internal organ, but this is the same team that made Charlie Batch (which I almost mistyped as Charlie Biatch) look like an all pro. Surely given something to work with theyd look even better and demolish the whitest black starting quarterback in the NFL, right? I mean, Leftwich is practically a Bledsoe level statue, isnt he?
The Hot Shit: Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonvilles defense took up a call to arms and made this a statement game, completely shutting down Pittsburgh. The Steelers couldnt throw the ball, with Roethlisberger completing only 17 of 32 passes for 141 yards and 2 interceptions. The Steelers couldnt run the ball, with 26 rushing yards on 14 carries. What they could do is defend, and for almost three quarters, we had a tight, aggressive contest marked by big hits and great pressure for both defenses.
Going into the second half, one could tell the first team to blink would be the team to lose, and the Steelers blinked. You really cant blame them, either. Considering how bad their offense was, the Steelers defense never got a chance to catch their breath, and Jacksonville made just enough headway through the air and on the ground to get their big lineman some oxygen. No matter how good a unit the Steelers defense is (and theyre great), they cant make big plays when theyre gassed.
Cold, Frothy Diarrhea: DenverYes, the Broncos won the game, but lets look at the tale of the tape. The Chiefs are nursing injuries. Theyre down a starting quarterback. Their offensive line is a shambles without the presence of Willie Roaf. The defense has never been what you could call good despite every effort to make it good, and they lost their offensive coordinator Al Saunders in the off season. As for Denver? Well, they have Champ Bailey and John Lynch, they added a top notch #2/borderline #1 wideout in Javon Walker, and they have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Unfortunately, they have a head case under center. Listen, I like Jake Plummer, especially with his porn star mustache. I want him to succeed, unlike Jaime Sue. I dont hate the guy at all, but hes not emotionally prepared to lead an NFL team, and he probably never will be if he cant withstand the pressure of having a rookie waiting in the wings to take his job.
Say what you want about Drew Brees, but when Phillip Rivers was drafted, he stepped up his game in a big way. Coming off a career year in 2005, one would think the added motivation of Jay Cutler would spur Plummer on to even more achievement. One would be totally wrong, unfortunately for Mike Shanahan. All drafting Cutler did was shatter Jakes ego and make him a wreck, despite the fact that Cutler is probably a year or more away from being ready to start. This is no green rookie; this is a 10th-year NFL quarterback. You should not have to dumb your offense down for him to run it with a minimum of mistakes.
At least Kansas had an excuse for playing conservatively since Damon Huard (my favorite Huard brother) hasnt taken a starting snap in 6 years. The Broncos have no excuses. Get it together, or youll never make it off the shit list.
1. ManningsIn a week where 8 quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards and 6 quarterbacks broke 350, Peyton and Eli still managed to make everyone else look like crap. Little brother displayed a cool head and guided the Giants to a come from behind win over Philadelphia, with 371 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, including a game winner to Amani Toomer that caused some folks to speculate on his parentage, given the ice water level headedness of his play. Peyton did what Peyton does, showing Eli that the easiest way to win of all was to get ahead early and not let up, putting up 400 yards and 3 TDs on the blowful Texans. Sure you dont get the rub that comes from a last second victory, but you also spare the coach a major case of heart burn.
2. Rex GrossmanMr. Injury Reserve showed why Chicago drafted him in the first round in 2003, hanging a career high 4 TDs on the abysmal Lions. Granted, it WAS Detroit, but it was still impressive when you consider he doubled his career touchdown totals in one game.
3. The Atlanta OptionFinally, after 6 years of me wailing and gnashing my teeth, Atlantas abandoned their pathetic attempts at turning Michael Vick into a passing quarterback and adopted a professional version of the Delaware Wing T. Its a thing of beauty, folks, and I suggest we all shut up and enjoy the best option attack since Tom Osborne retired from Nebraska. For years, talking heads have maintained that the option wouldnt work in the pros, since the pros are so fast. Well, Ive called bullshit on that for many years, and until someone proves me wrong, I will continue to call it. Vick, Warrick Dunn, backup tailback Jerious Norwood, fullback Justin Griffith, and tight end Alge Crumpler make a fierce option team.
4. Brett FavreFor once, hes not on this list for sarcasm purposes. He earned it with 3 touchdowns and 340 yards against 1 interception, despite spending most of the game running for his life behind Green Bays makeshift offensive line and having no run support to speak of. Good for you, old man.
5. The Jacksonville DYou hit them in the mouth early and often, guys. An amazing game from a criminally underrated unit. It was just like a game out of the 40s, but in the best way possible. Let the media fellatio commence!
1. Kerry CollinsReally, this is more about the entire Titans organization than Kerry himself. But still, a 1.3 passer rating? 6/19 for 57 yards and 2 ints? I know you dont know the playbook or the players, and I know youve been out of the game for awhile, but theres no way you regressed that far. Even Michael Vick, who threw for under 100 yards, threw for more yards, more touchdowns, less interceptions, and a higher completion percentage! Andrew Walter outplayed you! LaDanian Tomlinson and Jerious Norwood had higher quarterback ratings last week.
2. Michael KoenenIf you miss four field goals from inside the 40, you deserve to lose your job to 46 year old Morten Anderson. Koenen has a huge leg, but trying to kick field goals, extra points, punt, and do kickoffs is too much for one guy, especially when this guy sprays his kicks like a drunk guy trying to pee into a bucket at his feet. I just hope Morten brings the no bar helmet back to the NFL with him.
3. The Tampa Bay BuccaneersBecause they were able to kick one field goal, they avoided being the dud team of the week for now. With no defense, no offense, a head coach on the hot seat, and a quarterback under fire, theyre one E.coli outbreak from achieving Total Futility. Time to bring back the Dreamsicle orange uniforms, so at least youll look good losing.
4. The Oakland RaidersThe only team to make Tampa Bay look good.
5. Chris GambleBy all means, lets throw a lateral across the field on a punt return when weve got momentum on our side and the lead in the fourth quarter! Coach Fox, youre a genius! What part of cornerback throwing the ball all the way across the field to a rookie cornerback sounded like a good idea? If the play cant be executed perfectly, then dont try the trickery. When the Vikings are mauling you, Chris, dont try to wing the ball with your little bird arm to a guy who isnt really paying attention. Who do you think you are, moron? Only Reggie Bush can play that ignorantly and still get away with it without a rightful lambasting.