Necessary Roughness



Unnecessary Roughness with Lazarus A.D.'s Jeff Paulick

Another week of football, another week of amazing finishes and blowouts. Indy lost, the Packers won, and that seems to be the only constant this year. After starting the season strong, the Chiefs, Bills, and Bucs can’t seem to win anymore, all getting blown out on Sunday. But these are relatively young teams, and it takes getting through years like this one to gel. Pretty much every other game was a nail biter at the end, so let’s dissect.

The Vikings looked straight terrible against the Lions on Sunday. Rookie QB Christian Ponder threw three INT’s and lost a fumble, and he was ultimately pulled in the 3rd quarter for second year man Joe Webb. He led the Vikings back into the game by throwing two touchdowns, and almost won it on the final drive of the game. On the last play of the game, Webb was flushed out of the pocket and fumbled; the Lions scooped it up and the game was over. However, there was a blatant no-call — a facemask –which would have given the Vikes 1st and goal with no time left, but a game can’t end on a penalty. I would have loved to see them try one more play; the refs screwed them out of a win — more importantly a Lions loss — that shouldn’t have been missed.

Houston wrapped up their division this week for the first time ever. Congrats to them! This Texans team is good, and definitely the sleeper in the AFC. Third string rookie QB T.J. Yates is playing like a starter. He threw the game winning touchdown in the final minute. Not sure if he’s good enough to get ’em to the bowl, but then again why not? With all the talk about the Ravens, Steelers, and Pats, Houston doesn’t get enough credit. They are in the same position as everyone else for claiming the No. 1 seed.

Now lets get to the what will be the two most talked about games this week. Every week I’m going to start giving out a most valuable idiot award. Last week Dallas head coach Jason Garrett received the honor and this week Chicago running back Marion Barber gets it; hats off, man. The game was pretty lame until the 4th quarter, which of course in Denver only means its Tebow Time. The Bears were up 10-0 and it looked grim, but the Broncos scored a TD on a solid drive and only needed a field goal to tie with just over two minutes to play. As they’d used all of their timeouts, they had to attempt an onside kick. It was GORGEOUS, you couldn’t have asked for a better setup by kicker Matt Prater (who was the MVP for the week IMO). The Broncos couldn’t get a hold of the ball though as the Bears recovered with 2:08 left and no timeouts left for Denver. Because of the two minute warning, a first down would have sealed the game for Chicago. Run the ball 3 times and hope for the best. Worst case scenario you punt it back with barely 40 seconds left to go. INSTEAD, Marion Barber elected to run to the outside and get out of bounds, stopping the clock and giving the Broncos an extra 40 seconds to work a fucking miracle. It doesn’t matter if your offense struggles for 55 minutes, that’s the beauty of football, momentum shifts so quickly. And all of a sudden Tebow starts to look like Brady, drives them down the field in a little over a minute, gets them into Mile High Stadium field goal range, and Prater hits the game-tying 59 yard field goal. To overtime we go and the Bears win the toss. They start to drive and it looks like they are gonna win and everyone will forget that Barber almost lost it for them. But then, in field goal territory, HE FUMBLES and the Broncos recover. You know the rest: Denver drives down the field, sets up a 51 yard field goal, and wins the game in OT. Shit like that you just can’t explain. The Bears gave the game to Tebow and the Broncos and it only fuels the fire that is Tebowmania. Kids in peewee football leagues understand clock management; this grown man gets paid millions of dollars. If I were a Bears fan and I had a Barber jersey I would have burned it right then and there. Unacceptable. “Step into my office. Why? CUZ YOU’RE FUCKIN FIRED!!”

And finally onto Sunday Night Football. Everyone knew the Giants vs. Dallas matchup was gonna be a great game, and it was. There were like 57 lead changes and Eli played like his big brother, much as he’s done all year. The Giants scored a go-ahead touchdown with a little over three minutes to play, and even converted the 2 point attempt to bring the score to within 3 points. Dallas got the ball back, drove down the field, and set up what would be a game tying field goal with time expiring. This looked all too familiar for Jason Garrett and luckily he didn’t have any timeouts to ice his own kicker. But Giants head coach Tom Coughlin sure did!!! Dan Bailey hits the field goal to tie, but it doesn’t count because a time out was called just before. Round 2, here we go, just like last week, don’t blow it! Well, he didn’t blow it; HOWEVER, the Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul got a hand on it… NO GOOD! Dallas loses again. I like the players on Dallas but I hate Jerry Jones and the organization. Dallas is NOT America’s team, I’m sorry.

Three weeks left and its getting intense. That final game of the season, where everyone plays a division rival, is gonna look like a scene from 300. Just epic as fuck.

Oh yeah, Rams vs. Seahawks tonight. Go Tavaris Jackson!

– Jeff Paulick / Lazarus A.D.

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