It’s Week 6 in the NFL season. What does this really mean, besides more football? Well, it probably means that you know if your team is any good. You may not know if they are going to the playoffs yet with a 3-2 record, but you probably have some faith that you didn’t have before. Just ask Texans and Giants fans. If you have one or zero wins so far, you’re probably scouting who will be available in next year’s draft, like Raiders fans or Jets fans.
But no matter how your team is doing, there is always something poke fun at. Here is this week’s asinine analysis.
Thursday, October 9
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
This story has been going on for years: the insane offense of the Colts up against the insane defense of the Texans. This matchup has gone through two Colts quarterbacks, three Texans quarterbacks, three Colts running backs and a pile of defensive players, and we are still left with an intense matchup.
Even better, the Texans actually have a winning record this season, which means that the AFC South is officially up for grabs again, to be lost by whichever team makes it to Denver in the playoffs. For now, let’s enjoy the first good matchup of Thursday night football.
Sunday, October 12
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
This game between the Jaguars and Titans appears as bad as the Colt-Texans game does good. Blake Bortles looks like a good rookie quarterback, but still a rookie quarterback. Charlie Whitehurst showed his true Clipboard Jesus strengths by throwing Hail Marys throughout the game last week.
Luckily, someone has to win this game and show the world that they are only the second worst team in the AFC North. Will it be the winless Jaguars, or the one-win Titans? Or will it end in a 6-6 tie? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.
Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Steve Smith news just keeps on coming. When he and his Ravens matched up against his former team, the Panthers, Smith told a camera that they [the Panthers] should mow his lawn. A week later, we hear a story about Smith helping a woman and her child pack up her car while in Charlotte this past summer. What other “honey do” list items will Steve Smith do, or have others’ do, before the season ends?
Maybe Smith will have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winterize his pool. Then again, with the Buccaneers getting back into a groove with Mike Glennon at quarterback, they may have Smith sweep the porch at Raymond James Stadium.
Denver Broncos @ New York Jets
Okay, everyone, you got your wish. The Jets put in Michael Vick at quarterback, and he didn’t break on the first play. He didn’t do much really, except make the longest Jets play of the game. And that was a pass interference, so I think it’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter who’s the quarterback. Considering the Jets receivers struggled to keep up with the Chargers’ defensive backs, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter who’s at receiver, either.
Now the Jets take on a team that has too much talent at the quarterback and receiver positions: the Denver Broncos. Demaryius Thomas just torched the Cardinals secondary, and Peyton Manning is a few touchdowns away from the NFL record. Looks like Jets fans will finally get to see the offense that want to see. It’ll just be in the wrong uniform.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
It seems that the Detroit Lions have had something missing this season. I couldn’t put my finger on it right away but, with the signing of former Broncos kicker Matt Prater, it finally dawned on me: the Detroit Lions have had no controversy all season. Ndamukong Suh hasn’t crushed anyone’s skull yet. Jim Caldwell is the polar opposite of Jim Schwartz in attitude. Even the city of Detroit has been off the radar in terms of bad news. Now they have Matt Prater, straight out of an AA meeting.
On the other hand, the worst controversy the Vikings used to have was how Christian Ponder was still considered their best quarterback. Lucky for them, they’ve been able to overshadow that issue with much larger controversies. The Adrian Peterson controversy is like five years of Lions controversies rolled into one.
Carolina Panthers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Okay, Bengals fans, enough is enough. Bengals players are tired of you changing your minds about the Bengals. When they do good, you cheer for them. When they do bad, or have their annual first round playoff loss, you criticize them. How dare you cheer louder during those excruciating losses!
I mean, look at Panthers fans. Their fans ignore them week in and week out no matter what the Panthers do. No cheers, no criticism. Fans leave the players alone so that they can do their job: playing football, for better or for worse. Beat the Bears? Who cares.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
It seems that Tom Brady isn’t dead yet, as the Patriots soundly beat down the Bengals last week. Brady still loves to get paid playing a game he loves. He loves the competition of the game. He also enjoys chugging beer faster than his offensive linemen, allegedly, but I don’t buy it. Unless it was beer-colored waters.
Meanwhile, Jim Schwartz did his best to hog all of the attention away from Kyle Orton’s chiseled mustache when he allegedly orchestrated Bills players to carry him off the field after beating the Detroit Lions. I shudder to think what would have been orchestrated if they lost. Probably something closer to a funeral procession.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
The countdown to Gordon time continues for the Cleveland Browns as Week 11 gets closer, but it seems that they’re doing just fine on their own. They don’t have a losing record right now, which is a success in itself, even if it’s only for a week.
Now they play against the Steelers. Something tells me Pittsburgh won’t let Brian Hoyer put up big numbers in the fourth quarter, no matter how old and ragged they are by then. James Harrison will make a fine-able hit before that happens.
Over/Under on unnecessary roughness penalties by James Harrison: 3
Green Bay Packers @ Miami Dolphins
Remind me never to ask Aaron Rodgers a stupid question about Olivia Munn, because it may just rile up the entire team in Green Bay. Last week, everything happened. Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown deep. Eddie Lacy ran the ball all over the place. Even the Packers defense got into the game, especially with their maligned run-stopping talents. It got to the point that the highlight of the Vikings was showing during the commercial break an old Fred Smoot interception where Smoot tried to do a Lambeau Leap and got pelted with beer.
The Dolphins survived their trip to London, and have had two weeks to get over the jet lag. Unfortunately, they may wish they had stayed in London if this game goes as expected.
San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Last week the Chargers handed out the first shutout of the season, blanking the New York Jets 31-0. Now they play the Oakland Raiders, who were beaten by the Jets, 19-14. Using this equation, I’m guessing the Chargers beat the Raiders by about 44-0.
Then again, it could be worse. Tony Sparano is wearing clear glasses these days, which means that he may be throwing up random, nonsensical hand signals to the Raiders on the field. That’s fine, because Dennis Allen was doing pretty much the same thing.
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons
As good as the Bears and Falcons are at throwing the ball, the matchup may have everything but. That’s because the run defense of both teams is about as effective as lining up sandbags at the line and hoping for the best. It doesn’t matter that everyone on the Falcons has a chance to be their starting running back. They’ll all put up 50 yards or so.
The good news for the Bears is that Jay Cutler can blame someone else when the game is over, since he probably won’t be called on to make another game-losing interception.
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks
With all the attitude the Cowboys and Seahawks have shown, this game looks less like a football game and more like an after-school special.
Tony Romo is having self-esteem issues as the Cowboys continue to run the ball. Coach Garrett is threatening to lighten the load of the team’s strength, DeMarco Murray. Jerry Jones is playing the part of the old patriarch who is slowly losing it.
Then we have the Seattle Seahawks with a former bully turned Mr. Nice Guy in Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman crying about people pulling his hair. By the end of this game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys defense, made up of loveable nerds, beat all odds and shut down the Seahawks offense to win the big game.
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals
Let it never be said that coach Jay Gruden isn’t serious. Never mind Washington’s game against Seattle where Gruden pretty much said that they would throw it down the field and see what happens (which worked quite a bit, actually). Detective Gruden is on the case to see if his players were too happy in the locker room after losing to Seattle. Smiles are not allowed.
The Cardinals have their own reasons not to be smiling, as they find themselves potentially starting third-string quarterback Logan Thomas, whose best pass was to his running back. Oh, and that amazing secondary the Cardinals have? Gave up over 200 yards to one receiver last week, so no smiles there, either.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
All of the stories about how bad the NFC East is apparently didn’t reach the ears of any of the teams as all but one of them has a winning record. The Eagles and Giants have been doing well, but for most of the wrong reasons.
That horrible defense of the Eagles? They almost won a game against the 49ers solely on touchdowns by their defense and special teams. That star running back, LeSean McCoy? All but forgotten. That confused Giants offense? Apparently the schemes of Bizarro Jon Gruden are working, since the Giants have put up huge numbers on offense these past few weeks.
So oddly enough, this matchup should be great, for all of the wrong reasons considering what we expected at the beginning of the season. And that is what makes the term “any given Sunday” ring so annoyingly true.
Monday, October 13
San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams
It seems that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is really adamant about showing how happy and supportive players are of him and each other in the locker room. He even engineered a photo shoot to show it. Okay, I don’t know that for sure, but the pictures look highly suspicious. It’s like the photo album of a highly dysfunctional family: the pictures look nice, but who knows what lurks under those smiles.
At least we know what lurks under Jeff Fisher’s mustache: forceful hope. And it’s working. Third-string quarterback, Austin Davis, has racked up more yardage than Sam Bradford has in many of his injury-prone years. The Rams only have one win, but they at least have lots and lots of points to go with all those losses.
Over/Under on photo ops where Harbaugh is holding hands with his players: 6
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.