Necessary Roughness, Week 9: Halfway Hell!
Greeting fotball fans! I am here to redeem myself after last week’s column, which was the most horrible one in the history of this series. What can I say, it was a rough week. Luckily the tour has calmed down considerably and we have our original bus back, you know, the one with the awesome NFL package. So I was able to kick back and enjoy a full day of our favorite activity of organized chaos, catching all kinds of games, rocking out with the Red Zone (coolest invention ever), and enjoying the hell out of it every second of it. We are at the halfway point of the season and there are all kinds of teams in the race for those playoff spots, as well as a few teams whose seasons seem to be firmly in the shitter. The season is unfolding in all its glory and football fans are loving it. And I only have to write one more of these columns from the road, so I am super-stoked! OK, let’s get to the games.
Things got off to a bang on Thurday night with the Bengals going down in overtime to the Dolphins when Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton got driven back into the end zone for a safety, only the third time in N.F.L. history an overtime game has been decided in that manner. Still, the Bengals are atop their division at 6-3. There were two other games decided in OT over the weekend as well, as the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers came into the loudest stadium in the league and gave the Seahawks hell as they got up on them 21-0. But Russell Wilson served up the biggest comeback in franchise history and the Seahawks finally prevailed in OT, 27-24. Also triumphant were my beloved Skins, as RG III played with reckless abandon, aided by Pierre Garcon, who made clutch third-down catch after third-down catch. Questionable play-calling and a massive goal-line stand sent the game into OT where the Skins got the toss and never looked back, driving the length of the field for the game-winning touchdown. The Skins are at 3-5 and could be poised to make a run at it. Big rematches loom with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, both of whom were victorious on Sunday. Tony Romo led a gutsy come-from-behind win against the Minnesota Vikings 27-23, and the Eagles seem to have settled in behind Nick Foles who threw seven touchdown passes (tying an NFL record) in their 49-20 trouncing of the Oakland Raiders.
One of the most surprising teams of the year are the Carolina Panthers (beloved of Balsac, the Jaws of Death), who enjoyed their fourth blow-out victory in a row as they improved to 5-3 with a 34-10 blasting of Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons, whose much anticipated season is turning into a nightmare. Sorry Atlanta, at least GWAR played there the other day and totally crushed it. Kansas City remained unbeaten with a 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills and have to be considered a serious contender. Another surprising victory was the New York Jets and Geno Smith handling the New Orleans Saints, 26-20. Misery continued for the Steelers as Tom Brady and the Patriots put 55 points on them… more points than had ever been scored on the “Steel Curtain” in their long history. The Baltimore Ravens also continued to sink, falling to the Cleveland Browns 24-18. Maybe if Flacco wasn’t so busy counting all of that money! Tennessee beat the Rams, and a lot of teams had the weekend off. In fact, with the bye week it was the best weekend of the season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who couldn’t lose again. Monday night is shaping up to be a real battle in the NFC central, with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Chicago Bears in the only game of the weekend where both teams have winning records!
So here we are at the halfway point of the season and we are looking at a real dogfight. You can count on all the familiar faces to be coming to the ball, but there might be some new chicks to hit on. Can the Panthers keep improving? Can the Cowboys stay scrappy? And how about those Colts, who continued to make the Texans miserable with a 27-24 victory? Peyton is playing like a man possessed (by another man’s neck) and damned if RG III isn’t starting to play with some real fire. I love it, and I love me some fucking football.
Wow, that was actually kinda like a real sports column. I know I missed a ton so let’s hear about it. Let’s hear some predictions. Who is gonna be in the Championship matches? Who are our wildcards? And finally… who is gonna line up for the Super Bowl besides Bruno Mars? I am going out on a limb here… and saying it’s gonna be a New England vs. New Orleans Super Bowl. And the Saints are gonna take it!