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Necessary Roughness Week 11: Can the Giants Go 9-7?

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We’ve only got six more weeks of regular season football to watch. The playoff picture is becoming clearer at the tippy top and getting muddier by the week down at the bottom. The Bears, Saints and Rams have all started pulling away from the pack with the Saints all but securing a division win this week. Meanwhile, the NFC East is all of a sudden anyone’s to take, including my lowly Giants. The AFC South is similarly mixed up with the Colts starting to look like the team they were supposed be four years ago.

Giants 38 – Buccaneers 35: Damn, two in a row for the G-men! Yes, they were both against fellow basement dwelling shitshows, but the bye week brought some pretty big changes. Notably the addition of Jamon Brown to the offensive line and a renewed focus on running the ball. After week one it seemed obvious and elementary that Saquon Barkley needs the damn ball as often as possible, but for some reason he had yet to crack 20 rushes before last week’s win in San Fran. This week he broke out for 142 yards and 2 TDs on 27 rushes. LOOK AT HIS LEGS!

I think offensive-minded coaches out-coach themselves too often and that was definitely the case with Pat Shurmur in the first half of the season. You know your line sucks, and that Eli is shell-shocked from a half decade of abuse at the hands of said line… hand it to a playmaker and see what happens! Oh, but that’s what they EXPECT us to do! Well, yeah, but what other choice do you have?

What happens is he makes plays on his own and at the same time opens up opportunities for everyone else. The defense has to worry about Barkley so they can’t worry as much about OBJ, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard. Plus it’s TIRING defending the run. I had a conversation with my dad about how I would kill for an Alex Smith game-manager type at this point… just don’t fuck up and let the other guys do the work. Eli went 17/18 for 231 and 2 TDs. This was a peak Alex Smith stat line and I’m ecstatic.

How about that crazy-ass pick six to open the second half? I think the defense is still suspect despite having Fitzmagic cough up three INTs and we’ll really see what they’re made of down the stretch since they don’t have a single easy game coming up. The remaining schedule is at Eagles, vs Bears, at Washington, vs Titans, at Colts and vs Cowboys. It’s not totally crazy to see them snagging five of those and winning the division at 8-8. I mean if they take all three from the division rivals and win one other, they might win it at 7-9! Who am I kidding, they’ll win enough games to fuck up their draft position and do it all again next year.

Texans 23 – Washington 21: I mention this game mostly because the NFC East and AFC South are playing each other this year and this game had a lot of playoff implications. Poor Alex Smith… If you’re into body horror, go check out his leg snapping here. I’m sorry to reader Reaper. I told him they had the division locked up last week. Look at what I’ve wrought. Washington is up one game on the Cowboys, two on the Eagles and three on the Giants. Without a reliable QB, that lead might as well not exist. The Texans, for their part, stayed two games up on both the Titans and Colts, but with the Colts surging and the Titans liable to either beat the Patriots or lose to the Bills any given week, who the hell knows what’s gonna happen in the last six weeks. All I know for sure is that JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney both being healthy at the same time for the first time ever is scary for any offensive line they face.

Saints 48 – Eagles 7: This one was over before it even started. At the start of the season all my money was on the Rams being an unbeatable wrecking crew. They still are, but the Saints are on another level. All you need to know about their attitude right now is that they decided they weren’t good enough so they added Dez fucking Bryant as their number two receiver. When his Achilles instantly exploded, they went out and got Brandon Marshall. I know neither of those guys are what they once were, but how many weapons do you need? Drew Brees and Sean Payton apparently think the answer is “all of them.” The Eagles suck, Carson Wentz is overrated and Doug Pederson looks like he follows Jimmy Buffet on tour for the ENTIRE offseason.

Bears 25 – Vikings 20: Every week Jon Gruden looks dumber and dumber. I can’t wait to see what the Raiders blow their number one pick on next spring. In the meantime, Khalil Mack will continue to be the scariest person in the NFL.

The Bears have that perfect combination of a talented, brutal defense and a QB who is just good enough to make a really fun playoff run. Beating the Vikings helped them separate even further in the NFC North. With the Packers reeling, and a relatively winnable schedule ahead of them, it would take a minor meltdown to relinquish control of the division. I’m excited for Mitch Trubisky especially. Dude scrambles like Steve Young and throws haphazard passes like Brett Favre. My only gripe is why does everyone call him Mitchell? Mitch Trubisky sounds like suuuuuch a sweet football name, especially in the Midwest. Does it bother anyone else when someone you know as Mike decides he’s gonna be “Michael” from now on? Miss me with that shit, Mitch.

What’s up with Kirk Cousins sucking ass in primetime? Dude’s had a very good year, but every time they play at night he gets lit up!

Fantasy Pimp of the Week: Phillip Lindsay! This guy looks like he should be the singer in the fourth most popular jam band on a festival lineup, but here he is, grinding out yards and TDs every week for the Broncos this season.

Yeah man, I’ve heard of Twiddle.

Final Thoughts on the Week

  • Heartbreaker for the Jags. They could’ve almost turned this worthless season around by beating the Steelers, but they had to go and blow a 16 point lead. Shame.
  • This was the most satisfying play of the week in my opinion.

  • Jon Gruden fighting on the sideline with Derek Carr is not a good look. I wonder how Carr would look in Giants blue?
  • I’m ready for the Lamar Jackson era of Ravens football to begin. Drafting him was the best thing the Ravens could’ve possibly done. Except the one time he had a Fu Manchu, Joe Flacco is the most boring jackass in the NFL. The Ravens know this and have completely rebelled against their own type and gotten someone who may turn out to be the most exciting QB in the league one day.

The Number Twelve Looks Like You is heading out on tour in November with our buds Rolo Tomassi and Arsonists Get All The Girls. If anyone wants to watch football or play Magic: The Gathering at any of our dates get in touch! Check out the dates below and tell me how much we suck in the comments.

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