The NFL had its first early morning game as far as I can remember, and it was everything I thought it would be.
I woke up, replaced a beer for a cup of coffee, traded in pizza for eggs, skipped showering, and watched football for 14 hours straight. No wonder people on the West Coast are so laid back! You can do this every single Sunday, and get all of that sports aggression out in time for Monday. If the NFL sends a team to London for good, we can all do this 8 times a year, and the West Coast will be even better because they can watch football from 6am on!
Unfortunately, we are back to our regularly scheduled games in week 9 of asinine analysis.
Thursday, October 30
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
Thanks to the Atlanta Falcons falling apart earlier in the season than usual, this game between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers is the game to crown the leader in the NFC South!
Well, for the time being, anyway. Neither team has a winning record at the moment, and even this win, whichever team takes it, will only give them a .500 record. Maybe they’ll have a tie and screw with the standings even more. It’s like the NFC West of years past all over again, with teams having losing records and winning the division. Maybe this is the year that a 6-win team takes a division!
Sunday, November 2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cleveland Browns
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking less like an NFL team and more like the fantasy team for that guy that’s in last place in your league. Nothing seems to be going right, so everyone is on the trading block. Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Vincent Jackson, Mike Glennon if you even bothered picking him up, the entire defense. It’s as if Lovie Smith’s job as head coach is to prove that he needs to start from scratch.
Then again, starting from scratch over and over in the NFL isn’t always the best tactic. Just ask the Cleveland Browns, who have been trying to put together a winning team for years.
Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys
The Carson Palmer Revival seemed to be in full swing last week as he threw for over 300 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks. I was joking earlier about every quarterback needing a good neck injury to break out like Manning and now Palmer, but with the Cardinals on top of the NFC West, maybe we should start that sort of physical therapy. Matt Schaub would be a prime beneficiary.
Unfortunately for Tony Romo and his golf game, he is having issues with his back, which is not a helpful injury like with the neck. Joe Montana can attest to that.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Houston Texans
Let’s be clear. J.J. Watt has a Twitter account. I don’t say this because I want to call out J.J. Watt for calling out Zach Mettenberger for taking selfies. I say this because I really wish someone had tossed Watt a phone to really take a selfie of himself and Zach after sacking the rookie. It would have been hilarious on a scale reserved for Chad Johnson. But that’s not J.J. Watt’s way, which is why he is as respected as he is.
Will J.J. Watt pretend to stuff a dollar bill tip down LeSean McCoy’s jersey as a tip after tackling him behind the line of scrimmage? Here’s hoping.
New York Jets @ Kansas City Chiefs
Here we go again, Jets fans. We have one quarterback who must think he’s on the other team for half the game and another quarterback who hasn’t learned, in the 34 years he’s been on this planet, how to cradle a football in his right arm when he runs. The Jets should just complete the quarterback trifecta and pick up Matt Schaub from the Raiders.
For now, the Jets will be able to see Alex Smith in action, and learn that game management is just as important as physical prowess, especially when you don’t care about paying Dwayne Bowe to look pretty. Okay, a stud running back helps, too.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals
For a 1-7 team, the Jacksonville Jaguars are really looking like a future contender. They have great prospects at quarterback and wide receiver, but now even Denard Robinson is getting into the conversation after posting back-to-back 100 rushing yard games. On paper, this team should win the Super Bowl in about 5 years, hopefully before the team is shipped to London for good.
Then again, the Jaguars could end up like the Cincinnati Bengals: looking good on paper at all the important positions, but falling apart in the playoffs. At this point, even sniffing the playoffs should be considered a victory.
San Diego Chargers @ Miami Dolphins
There’s the Philip Rivers we all know and love. The Philip Rivers that yells at everyone: refs, rivals, teammates, coaches, it doesn’t matter. Philip Rivers was yelling so much that Peyton Manning must have felt left out, so he yelled at his stadium scoreboard operator.
I wonder what will happen if Rivers yells at Miami coach Joe Philbin. Maybe Philbin will sit down, tell Philip to sit on his knee, and share all his problems, which will just lead to more yelling and mockery by Rivers.
Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings
Did you see it? Colt McCoy’s now semi-legendary drive down the field in overtime to defeat the Dallas Cowboys on their home turf?
Okay, so it took him almost the whole game to get into any sort of rhythm, but it happened, so I was able to strut around all week with that “I told you so” look on my face that everyone hates.
Up against the Vikings with no RG3 in sight, I maybe be able to carry that look for 3 weeks in a row!
Over/Under on how many more weeks I will be unbearable talking about Colt McCoy: 1
St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
You win, Jeff Fisher. You have officially taken the Bill Belichick Award from Sean Payton this year with your continual movement of running backs. At least you didn’t lead us on about Sam Bradford’s availability. That would have been even more Belichick-ian than Bill Belichick himself.
Unfortunately for the Rams, it probably won’t matter what name is on the back of the jersey of the running back taking on the San Francisco 49ers line. Maybe if it said “Gore,” they would have half a chance.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
You’d think that, after calling out a scoreboard operator for making any sort of noise while he was on the field crushing the Chargers, Peyton Manning would win this week’s eye-roll award. Sorry, Manning haters, but Tom Brady trumped Peyton once again.
It’s not just that Tom Brady threw as many touchdowns as he had incomplete passes against the Bears. It’s not that he has possibly the worst facial hair growth since Keanu Reeves. It’s not even that he posed with his super-model wife Gisele Bundchen to celebrate 51 points.
It’s that he is Tom Brady, and no matter what weird things he happens to do, his life is still better than mine.
Oakland Raiders @ Seattle Seahawks
Poor Matt Schaub. He is probably the only player that hasn’t pulled off a gimmick play after the Rams tried that fake punt return. Instead of a fake punt return, Schaub tried a fake punt, which confused the Browns defense because, really, who is going to let Matt Schaub throw a ball anymore? Why not make him a punter?
What did Schaub do? He threw an interception. Big surprise.
Maybe Schaub will try to line up under center on the Seahawks side of the ball. Now that would be sneaky. He could throw an interception to his own team before Pete Carroll even knew what was happening.
Over/Under on Matt Schaub interceptions while sitting on the bench: 2
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The AFC North really has a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on with their quarterbacks. Take the Ravens and Steelers, for instance. In one game, Joe Flacco made us all yawn while piling up yards and making Steve Smith Sr. look good. The next, he’s putting up numbers that remind us of that 10-9 game against the New York Jets a few years ago.
Ben Roethlisberger works the same way. He’s been pedestrian for the whole season, and then puts up a historical 500 yard game that says, “Hey guys, I’m not terrible. I once won a couple of Super Bowls.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if this game was a 3-3 tie, or 193-133 offensive power surge.
Monday, November 3
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Giants
Andrew Luck threw an interception? And lost against the Pittsburgh Steelers? For shame. Andrew Luck isn’t allowed to do that. He’s the replacement to Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis Colts. He needs to get into the playoffs or Super Bowl before giving games away.
Now Andrew Luck travels to New York to take on Eli Manning and the Giants, just like Peyton had before him. Will Eli remember that his brother isn’t on this team anymore, and give him another call to meet up for dinner again on a Saturday night? We’ll have to wait and see.
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.