Week 12 Overreactions
7 feet of snow? Are you freaking kidding me? That’s pretty much the theme of the week, a week that was certainly one of the most interesting one we’ve seen in some time. With winter threatening to take hold not only in the frozen “snow tundra” of Buffalo- but here in civilization as well- this week, we’ll journey through this week’s action with a winter theme.
And we start by sending the avalanche rescue team out to try and locate the frozen remains of the New York Jets. The Jets had at least three more days to prepare than their opponent, in the relocated match-up against the Bills. It appears that they could have used a few more. The Jets were terrible and there can be no mistaking the fact that they are very much looking forward to December 28th when they will get to spend some extra time with their holiday gifts. Let’s take a deeper look into the number from Monday night’s Debacle in Detroit. The running game was virtually non-existent, Chris Johnson rolled out of bed and stumbled his way to 40 team leading yards. Now we move onto the passing game; Mike Vick came out and proved to the Jets’ fanbase why he shouldn’t have been the starter from week 1, completing a blistering 37% (yes, I rounded up) of his passes, one to the other team, and an almost impossible rating of 27.5. Big Mike bowed out in the second half with an injured labia making way for Geno Smith to show us that he is still improving. Oh yeah, Percy “Gonna Be a Beast For the Jets” Harvin had one catch for two yards.
Next up, we move on to the team who’s playoff hopes just took a big shovelful of Rocky Mountain snow to the face; the Miami Dolphins. The Fins rolled into Denver feeling a mile high after notching a decisive win over the Bills last week. Ryan the Great opened up the game by slicing and dicing the hapless Broncos secondary and Peyton Manning had no answer for the Fins’ stifling defense. The Fins rode into halftime with the lead and even continued to apply pressure in the third quarter. Then the fourth quarter happened. With the weight of notching the biggest upset since the wildcat game in Foxboro hanging on his shoulders, alas Young Ryan couldn’t endure. His fourth quarter interception was a stark reminder to Dolphins fans that Dan Marino retired in 1999; maybe the next guy they draft will be the one that makes them forget. The defense, who’s exploits we’ve been hearing about for a few weeks now, turned out to be little more than average. I know, I know. There are going to be fans out there that think “only giving up 39 points to the Broncos” is some kind of achievement. To them I say, “It’s your acceptance of failure that is dragging this great nation down.” (well that and the entire state of Florida) The Fins are what we thought they were, a decent team that doesn’t have what it takes to close against good teams in November. Sorry, maybe next year.
Finally, we get to talk about a winner. The Bills emerged from their city’s brief transformation into the Hoth System riding snow mobiles to the airport (which for some reason I think is one of the coolest things ever) as a tougher, more “together” team. The Bills scoffed at those who thought their lack of practice time would be a hindrance. They rolled into Ralphie’s old city and honored their late, great owner by applying one of the biggest ass whippings they’ve ever applied on the Jets. I liked how the Bills did it; they kind of toyed with the Jets in the first half, taking an easy 10-3 lead into the half. Then the third quarter happened. Not being in a local market and not having DirectTV (I prefer FIOS to satellite), I was following the game on my phone through various apps. One of them was my fantasy football league where I entered Monday night with a 33 point lead and my opponent had Fed and the Bills’ Defense yet to play. I had been checking my score periodically and saw my lead hold through the first half. After making a bottle for the baby, I decided it was time to look again- I was losing by 12. Yup, I assume that’s pretty much how the Jets and their fans felt, “Yes, we’re holding on!” Then, “Oh that feels more right.” Way to go Bills, the Fins are floundering; this might yet just be your year…
And now sitting atop a snow pile the size of Mt. Washington and driving a plow through the slushy puddles in an effort to ensure that everyone else is cold and wet, we find the New England Patriots. The Pats lined up on Sunday to face a division leading team for the third straight week. And they destroyed a division leading opponent by 20+ for the third straight week. I mean no one really expected the Lions to really come into Foxboro and win, but I think some folks did expect them to be relatively competent. Matt Stafford looked a lot like a QB that should be playing for the Jets (although the Lions haven’t exactly set the bar for QBs too high themselves) with his historic 39% completion rate; a feat that has never before been accomplished by a QB with 40+ attempts in a game. Calvin Johnson was stifled all day, not by Revis which is understandable, but by Brandon Browner. The Patriots look as if they are the team to beat in the entire NFL right now and are doing their best to prove me (and just about every other person in Boston with some sort of “voice”) completely wrong for not blindly trusting Bill Belichick. Speaking of Belichick, I really do like it when he holds grudges and exacts his revenge is such a precise manner. 14 years previously, to the day, a skinny kid from Michigan was inserted into a lopsided 34-9 loss to the Lions for his first ever NFL action. Bill and Tom never forget.