What a week! We started with a holiday themed “showcase” of division rivals (and where are the “National Order of Color Blind College Students” to protest and demand that Roger resign?) and finished with one of the best played games of the year (with a fish sandwich in between). Let’s get right after it.
Our only loser of the week is the team that seems to be operating as smoothly as a Malaysian Airlines plane, the Jets. The Jets donned some of the more hideous uniforms in recent memory and sucked. The Jets opened up the scoring by kicking a field goal, and then they basically gave up. The offense looked awful and the defense was average at best. November Fitz arrived right on schedule to throw two awful interceptions at just the right moments and the kick return game was outstanding. Things don’t look good in New Jersey right now, it seems that now that teams have a half of a season’s worth of tape on Todd Bowles’ gameplans they might be getting exposed. Todd has his thumb in the dyke right now, Jets fans can only hope that the leak doesn’t grow…
On the winners…
The Dolphins are once again considered winners really only because Chi Kelly is a moron. I mean I can’t even mockingly call him a genius after he was out-witted by the Wall Starer Dan Campbell. The Fins came out playing some real “Camb-ball” in the first half, they started by having kickoff return “specialist” Damien Williams attempt to run a kick out of the endzone, only to change his tiny mind halfway through and run into his teammate, resulting in the Fins having the ball 1st and 10 on the three or so. Tanny promptly fumbled the ball out of the endzone resulting in the third straight game in which the Fins have fumbled the ball out of the endzone for a safety. Yeah, this is what passes for a “winner” in today’s NFL…The Fins kind of got it together for the rest of the game, at least Big Sue decided to play once the second quarter stared and he held the offense in the game until the end. The Fins were able to capitalize on a few good bounces and got the chance to kick a go ahead field goal in the 4th quarter. Then the magic happened, the Eagles, led by the one and only Mark Sanchez easily drive the ball right down into easy field goal position with a chance to take the lead. Chip, in all of his wisdom decided to put the ball in the hands of Sanchez who promptly did what mark Sanchez does and threw a game clinching interception to Reshad Jones (who by the way is a very bright spot on that Fins’ defense, I kind of feel bad for him to have to play there…). There you go, get your lube ready, the Fins are almost out of the basement.
Next up we have the Buffalo Bills and their Buffon of a coach. The NY Daily News (or maybe the Post) adequately titled the game, “Porky’s Revenge” as Rex (who’s waistline seems to be stretching a little since he got the land of chicken wings) returned to New Jersey to once again let the Jets and their fans down. He entered the game with a team that was in disarray; yes they had won their previous game, but many folks around the country were still laughing at the way the Bills players had been handling themselves this season; but he left as a conquering hero, giving the people of Buffalo their first winning record at week 10 of an NFL season since the year 2000. Rex got back to what made him good, he leaned on the running game and allowed his playmakers on defense to make plays. Watching the game as a neutral observer (well, I hate the Jets a little more…), it was clear from early on that the Bills were not going to lose this game and once Karlos tied former Patriots legend Robert Edwards’ record of scoring a TD in each of his first 7 NFL contests, I knew this game was a lock for the Bills. The AFC is bad this year, so hope and optimism still abounds.
And now for the class of the division, the New England Patriots. The Pats faced their nemesis in Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants and had to play the game of their lives to escape with a win and the AFC East’s weekend sweep of New Jersey. The game opened normal enough with the Pats taking their opening drive right down the field for a fairly easy TD, then the wheels came off. Devon McCourty showed why he’s such an important special teams guy with his textbook block on Malcom Butler, allowing Odell Beckham Jr to score the longest TD ever against a Bill Belichick coached team. Then Julian Edelman broke his foot and we were in for a game. For some reason, Coughlin really has Bill’s number (he was 4-1 against BB all time entering the game) and the once maligned Giants’ defense really did a good job of slowing the Pats down for most of the second and third quarters. Then thank god Kraft has some sort of weird cloning lab in the bowels of Gillette Stadium and he can reproduce Troy Brown/ Wes Welker type guys whenever they need a new one, Danny Amendola did his best Julian Edelman impersonation and returned a punt completely across the field to pick up some blocks and he would have scored had Duron Harmon not been playing for the Giants and tackled him inside the 10. Fortunately the Pats were able to hammer that one home and reduce the deficit. Then came the classic Pats Giants finish that we are all used to, the Pats scored a TD to go up by 8 in the 4th quarter, but the TD was called back on a hold (it was the right call) and Brady made a rare 4th quarter bad throw that was intercepted and the Pats came away with no points. The Giants drove the length of the field and thanks to another great play Malcom Butler and some poor clock management by the Giants the Pats were left with the ball on the 20 down by two with just under 2 minutes to play. Brady made another horrible throw on first down but luckily the Giants had a ‘Bama guy playing safety and he dropped an easy, game sealing interception. Then it got to 4th and 10, the Pats obviously picked it up with Danny once again imitating Julian perfectly. (speaking of perfect imitations, it only happened once in this game, but James White did line up at WR on 3rd down and ran a Dion Lewis-esque n cut for a first down, so all hope is not lost) the Pats calmly drove the ball down t field goal range, Danny once again making a heady play to get the ball right where it needed to be. You could tell the difference between the Patriots and most other NFL teams at the end of that drive, there was no panic, everyone knew just what they needed to do and when. The field goal team was ready and everyone was so calm, my wife even asked me, “What’s going on? Why are they not running? Do they not have enough time?”
No dear, they’re just good, so they don’t need to run around like chickens with their heads cut off and make this harder than it has to be.”
Gostkowski lined up, hummed a little tune to himself and easily booted a game winning 54 yd field goal (watch the tape, he gave a fist pump right after the ball left his foot).
It’s good to be great.