Now that was a wild weekend! We saw some games played in the freezing cold, blinding snow and even one ass whipping in 80 degree heat. There were crazy finishes all over the league including two in our own division. Now that is how football is supposed to be played. So, without further stalling here we go:
We start (as always) at the bottom and the bottom surely has fallen out of the Bills’ operation. Just a few short weeks ago many of us (and all of the Bills’ fans) thought the team was starting to show some promise and the schedule was lining up for a possible strong finish resulting in renewed hope and optimism in their fans. Then the Bills actually took the field. As if losing to the depleted (and downright terrible) Atlanta Falcons in another country was not enough, the Bills meandered down to Tampa last weekend and it appears that the lure of boats, sunshine and bikinis was too much for the boy from the frozen north to handle. The Bills didn’t show up. EJ was spectacular in his return to the Florida panhandle going 18-33 for 184 yards and four (count them FOUR) interceptions. So now after watching these last two games there is a real possibility the Bills lose out or at best win just one game (I’m now looking at week 17 in Foxboro being that one win). As seems to be the custom this time of year, the Bills and their fans can start looking at The Hair Helmet’s big board and planning for next year. Because as always: Just wait until next year, the Bills are going to be awesome.
Now that we’ve made it to the winners, things get tricky. But the performance that the Patriots put forth on Sunday was just reprehensible. Now most Pats fans (the rational ones at least) have long since realized that the 2013 version of the Pats is not going to blow anyone out. A.) They just now that good. And B.) They seem to love to play down to their competition. Tom Brady was as mediocre as mediocre can be in through the first two and a half quarters and surprisingly it was the defense that actually held the Pats in the game. The officiating in this game was as bad as we’ve seen all year. The Pats were screwed out of a fumble/ scoop and score on the first drive because the refs blew a play dead that was clearly not dead. Then we have the final 67 seconds or so of the game. The 15 yarder on the Browns on Minitron’s TD (where the Ladies man tried to assess the penalty on the extra point until he was told by someone on the sideline that the rule states the penalty is assessed on the kickoff) which was borderline at best. Pats get to do their onside kick basically from Cleveland territory (which was beautifully executed by the way). This leads to Brady only needing to complete one relatively short pass before airing the ball out to Josh Boyce (as pass he should have caught) and Boyce drawing what could easily be considered the worst PI call of the year- setting the Pats up at the one for an easy score (now, the call was horrible, but I do think that with the momentum swung the way it had, the Pats probably would have scored anyway). I say it every time one goes against the Pats and I will be consistent; I hate it when the refs are instrumental in the outcome of a game. Let the guys play.
You’ll notice that I’ve skirted around the elephant in the room, so here we go. With the news the Rob Gronkowski is once again on IR I will put a fork in the Patriot’s chances to win the Super Bowl. I also think that this could lead to the Pats slipping up at least once down the stretch (as I’ve noted with the Bills game), therefore landing them a home game in the wild card round of the playoffs where I think they would lose. Best case scenario for the Pats is now that they still get a buy and lose in the divisional round.
The Jets beat the Raiders. This is an accomplishment because if you’ve been reading this series of articles over the past few weeks you’ll know that I’ve already got the Jets at home in mom’s basement for the winter. Well not so fast my friend, Good Geno showed up and he actually threw a TD pass to one of his own teammates. I know the Raiders are currently led by “Pat McGroin” and are as disheveled a mess as they always are, but the Jets now have two more wins than I predicted and look as if they could get one or two more (which I love because all they are doing is hurting themselves). That’s all I’ve got on this because honestly, I didn’t watch one snap of this pig of a game.
Now for the wildest finish that the division saw this weekend (and that’s saying something seeing as the Pats came back from 12 down with 75 seconds to play). The Dolphins and Steelers played a fun one in the snow. The Fins, much like the Pats should have lost this game, but Tanny played like a real game manager and didn’t throw more interceptions than TDs (along with 20/33 and 200 yds) and made sure that he left his team in position to win after mounting a furious 4th quarter comeback. Even Lamar Miller posted a season high 20 yards rushing (along with 105 from Daniel Thomas). The game ended on what could go down as the wackiest play of the year. In a driving snowstorm the Steelers had one last shot to pull victory out of their asses decided to relive the Cal/ Stanford classic and were just about successful- if only Mike Tomlin was on that sideline, then maybe Antonio Brown would have not stepped on the boundary line and lost the game for his team. Now, if only Mike Wallace’s performance matched that Dumb and Dumber-esque suit he wore to the stadium in his return home, it would have been a perfect day for the Fins. They are holding serve and just one slip up from the Ravens could land them in the rarefied air of the playoffs.