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Necessary Roughness, Week 11: Who’s Who and What’s What

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After last week’s dudfest at 1:00pm, this week’s slate of games turned out to be downright riveting! Let’s not waste any time whining about the commissioner or any such bullshit and talk about football for a change!

What the HELL is going on in the AFC West? This was, in my mind, the conference that was going to mow down the rest of the NFL this season. Yesterday the Chiefs lost to the Giants, the Broncos lost to the Bengals, the Chargers put up FIFTY FOUR POINTS, and the Raiders sunk to 4-6 on the season.

There’s not much you can do about a catch like the one Roger Lewis made in OT yesterday, except, ya know… not ending up in OT against the goddamn Giants. This was an obvious trap game for the Chiefs. Unless you’re the Patriots, heading halfway across the country to play a 1-8 team where everyone’s job is on the line can be a recipe for disaster and that’s exactly what happened to KC. Everyone seemed to shit the bed simultaneously. There was only one touchdown scored in the entire game, it came in the first quarter and the Giants missed the extra point. Forgive me for not watching this one super intently.

The Broncos were always going to have a tough road this season without a proven QB. But yesterday against the trash Bengals was ugly in a very mundane, understated way. The Bengals netted 190 total yards on offense, but Andy Dalton still managed to pass for three touchdowns. A Brock Osweiler pick, a CJ Andersen fumble and a missed field goal by Brandon McManus were just enough to give the Bengals what they needed to serve up the Broncs’ their sixth straight loss. Evidently that was also enough to get Broncos OC Mike McCoy fired.

Until yesterday, the Buffalo Bills were sitting in the second AFC wild card slot. Then in the middle of the week they benched Tyrod Taylor for… no apparent reason? I know Tyrod wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but when you’re 5-4, outplaying expectations and controlling your own destiny, surely you stick with the relatively hot hand, right? Not in Western NY. Nathan Peterman tossed five picks in the first half. In fairness, the first was a tipped ball and the third came on a sack (looked like a classic Eli move to be honest), but the other THREE were pretty badly missed/underthrown/overthrown balls. I still maintain the Chargers aren’t as bad as their record, but they shouldn’t be putting up 54 against anyone in the NFL. How can you possibly come back from this (and by you I mean Nathan Peterson AND the Buffalo Bills)?

I don’t have much to say about the Pats stomping on the Raiders except to ask what happened to the Raiders this season? They seem to have lost all the balls and swagger they had last year before Carr’s leg got snapped. The Patriots still have enough other weapons to make you forget about Brandin Cooks for juuuuust long enough for him to torch you once or twice per game:

The Saints are now about as terrifying as they have ever been in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era. What the hell? I thought they were gonna sleep through the season, got somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7 and ride out the rest of Payton’s and Brees’s careers on that lone Super Bowl victory. Here they are with eight straight wins including this week’s insane comeback against Washington. And they’re doing it with a punishing run game and a really good defense! Having Drew Brees throw for a million yards is like the cherry on top!

Dude, the Vikings are also scary! I still think the Rams could go on a run and just crash through the playoffs, but if they have to go through Minnesota or Philly, they’ve got much longer odds than they did a week ago. The Vikings have a solid QB in Case Keenum at the moment (what?!). Teddy is on the bench, but apparently just about ready to play again. And the offense and defense are both firing on all cylinders. The Vikings have had some insane ups and downs the last two seasons, but if anything it’s only made them stronger and more resilient to injuries blowing up their entire season.

The Saints would have to be the favorite coming out of the NFC if it wasn’t for the goddamn Eagles, who demolished the Cowboys last night. I’m not sure how different it would have been if Sean Lee, Tyron-

Fuck you, Skip. You have the second worst takes on the NFL this week, but it’s only by a very slim margin. Tyron Smith may have prevented a sack early or the fumble in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles secondary was LIGHTS OUT. Dak had all day in the second quarter and threw an ugly pick into double coverage. There’s nothing Tyron or Zeek could or would have done about that. And speaking of Zeek, it’s not like Alfred Morris is a shitty replacement. He had nowhere to run! Maybe he would have pushed for a few extra yards here and there, but there wasn’t any sort of push happening up front, whether it was behind Tyron Smith’s spot or otherwise. Sean Lee would have made the biggest difference in this one, but one guy cannot prevent 37 points.

Fantasy Pimp of the Week

Antonio Brown! Welcome back, AB! 144 yds, 3 TDs. Just when you thought Ju-ju Smith-Schuster was the shit, here comes the GOAT.

Some Random Thoughts

Skycam is the best cam. It really gives you an infinitely better idea of what these guys are seeing. The normal side-view is cool for seeing everything all at once, but this is better for understanding how plays develop and why guys make moves that look nonsensical from the side.

So close!

Glorious Leader decided to start beef with Beast Mode this morning. Of course, he was too dumb or chickenshit (or somehow both) to tag him. I can’t wait for this week’s takestorm.

If you don’t already, I highly suggest reading Drew Magary’s Dick Joke Jamboroo every Thursday. He’s always got something interesting to say in the preamble to the ‘game previews.’ This past week’s was no exception and sums up how I’m sure a lot of us feel about the constant controversies surrounding the league.

Song for Giants Fans

“Pretty Noose” by Soundgarden, my favorite SG song. I don’t like what the Giants have me swinging from. Tank or gtfo at this point.

If, for some reason, you want to keep this schizophrenic abomination of a playlist for yourself, you can find it on Spotify here.

I’m heading out on tour with The Number Twelve Looks Like You next month. We’re playing our now 12-year-old album Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear. in its entirety. Axl referred to it as “It is one exclamation point away from looking like a tweet from a certain used orange diaper currently passing itself off as a person.” Come hang and let’s try to forget about said diaper.

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