Week eight got off to a typical NFL start with another Thursday night dud between two teams entering with losing records and by game’s end, Americans were left wondering if there was an FBI connection between this nonsense and Hillary Clinton’s emails. If the NFL is concerned about viewership, they are not showing it because they’d find more people would sooner tune in to a replay of an actual game that mattered ten years ago than one that no one cares about today.
Was there anyone in this country who went to work last Friday and said, “How about that game last night?” If so, they were more likely to be talking about an NBA opener than what was shoved down our throats by Roger Goodell.
However, I must report on the game unless I want to lose all the credibility I have established this year for covering the NFL. Just remember, I am only the messenger. If you are going to shoot anyone, aim at about half the teams in the league.
Tennessee 36-Jacksonville 22
In perhaps the biggest move all year, the Jaguars came out dressed as the Jacksonville 5 and played a game of Thrillerless while the Tennessee Titans made a statement win and told the rest of their division they’d better step up their games if they are going to become mediocre. The game was decided when Jacksonville quarterback Billy Jean Bortles tossed a pick six to Titan Dirty Diana who moon walked his way to the end zone. Jacksonville may have trouble winning again this year as they lost both Tito and Jermaine to season ending singing lessons.
Washington 27-Cincinnati 27
I think it was Bo Schembechler who said about tie games, “What a waste of time.” Redskin and Bengal players were heard saying what a wasted trip. London fans were only heard demanding more Guinness for watching what their national past time has plenty of, games that end with no outcome. Penalty kicks look pretty good about now.
New York Jets 31-Cleveland 28
Don’’ think for a second the Jets showed grit for their second half comeback. You know inside the Browns locker room at halftime coaches reminded players how they were about to blow their shot at the top pick in next year’s draft if they continued to play great football. They even went so far as to urge players to lose one for the Gipper. Now Cleveland can rest knowing they will be able to celebrate with earnest an Indians World Series without feeling bummed out about a Browns victory.
Houston 20-Detroit 13
The Texans proved Brock Osweiler only sucks when he plays on the road, but put him on home soil and he ups his game to half-assed, which when you play the Lions is usually enough to win. Detroit fell to 4-4 which means my 49ers are actually four times worse than Detroit. Is that even possible?
Kansas City 30-Indianapolis 14
Normally when your starting quarterback exits the game with a concussion, it does not bode well for you, especially when it is early in the game like it was when Alex Smith was knocked out. Fortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs were playing the Indiancrapalloverus Dolts so they had nothing to worry about. Indy is another team that will win far more games this year than they would have in most any other year simply because there is a preponderance of awful teams currently playing in the NFL. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will likely end up in the playoffs.
Oakland 30-Tampa Bay 24 — Oakland Penalties 23
In the league’s first ever three way game, the Raiders pulled out an over time victory over the Buccaneers and continue to surprise many with another win. All was not lost as Tampa Bay managed to eek out a one point victory with their 24 points to the Raiders 23 penalties.
When asked to comment on the record number of flags tossed against Oakland, Roger Goodsell claimed there was some confusion among officials who thought it was actually part of the league’s celebration of flag day.
New Orleans 25-Seattle 20
The Seahawks proved they are just another average team when the officials don’’ bail them out with either a bad call or non-call. The Saints won a tight affair primarily because the Seahawks game plan centered around the officials helping them with the game’s outcome.
How bad was their planning? Well, when Earl Thomas ran up and hugged an official like he was hugging a teammate, instead of getting hugged in return, he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Is that anyway to treat a teammate?
New England 41-Buffalo 25
Those are tire marks on the backs of Bills uniforms and not new team colors. This was one of those games where the score is not indicative of just how dominant the Patriots were. At least this won’t happen next week because New England is off. Just what they need: more time to practice.
As for Buffalo, they are proof of how fast a team falls off when they lack depth. It’s even worse when that team is coached by Rex Ryan.
Carolina 30-Arizona 20
This game arm pitted two teams that have managed to find a way to drop from Super Bowl contenders at the start of the season to toilet bowl performers at the half way point. All players from either team can hope for in a game as meaningless as this is not to get hurt. All fans can hope for is a natural disaster causes the league to cancel the game.
Denver 27-San Diego 19
Not much to say about this game other than at least San Diego did not gag away a victory. The better team won and now San Diego fans can focus on whether or not to vote to approve of funding for a new stadium. Otherwise, the Los Angels Chargers will play next year and San Diego can go recruit Oakland. Oh, the horror!
Atlanta 33-Green Bay 32
Now this is how football is suppose to be. Both teams deserved to win and both teams could well meet again in January. The only troubling thing about this result is it was another loss to a team Green Bay has to be able to beat if it had hopes for home field advantage in the playoffs. Since this is no longer on the table, Green Bay needs to just find itself and finish the second half on a roll or there may not be any playoffs for them.
Dallas 29-Philladelphia 23
Could we have a great rivalry for years to come to replace the Tom vs Peyton show? It looks that way unless Jerry Jones decides to screw it up and place Tony Romo back in as his starting quarterback.
Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz are just rookies so time will tell. They both will have to grow as quarterbacks because next year the league will adjust to what they see from them on film this year. However, as an NFL fan, it is nice to think about the possibility.
Based on their first meeting in which the Cowboys managed to come from behind and win, this could be a great match up for many years to come. Now Dallas needs to decide what to do with Romo. The trade deadline is just around the corner. Would a decent team in need of a quarterback take a shot at trading for Romo? Would a young team like Miami want him for the short haul while they search for their next QB of the future? How about the Jets?
It all comes down to what Jerry Jones decides and that is anyone’s guess. Until then, enjoy what looks to be a great rivalry between two teams that should be good for several years.
Monday Night: Thank the gods for Halloween. Pray there is plenty of left over candy for you to enjoy a coma inducing sugar high because Monday’s game should stink worse than a teenage boy’s bedroom. If Congress had an ounce of decency, they would work together to place a halt on tonight’s sure fire stink fest.
Chicago has no business playing in prime time unless it is in the World Series. Now, with all of this said, watch Chicago make me look like a fool and win. But then that is about as likely as the Cubs ever making it to the World Series. It’s never going to happen.
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Editor’s note: The Chicago Cubs are in the World Series and play Game 6 tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, against the Cleveland Indians.
And the Chicago Bears pulled off an upset win over the Minnesota Vikings, 20-10. The Vikings obviously miss their star running back, Adrian Peterson, but it looks like Chicago has one: Jordan Howard, who ran for 157 yards. Topping it off Jay Cutler looked like a real NFL quarterback.
Photos by Claudia Gestro unless otherwise noted.
Top photo: Derek Carr of the Raiders (shown here in pre-game warmups) threw for 513 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His team was called for 23 penalties totaling 200 yards.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.