So many insane things happened in the NFL between Thanksgiving Day and this afternoon I had to scrap the usual fan-friendly format of listing but three things I take from this past week. Perhaps it was because of the Holiday. Perhaps it was because – for a change – every single game on Sunday seemed to come down to the end while I was watching NFL Red Zone and I started to seizure. Perhaps it was because my fantasy team currently features the “winning” combo of injury and incompetence.
In any event, let us begin…
1. Ndamukong Suh has been suspended for two games for conduct unbecoming a Defensive Lineman, which is pretty hard to pull off considering what goes on regularly in the trenches on each play. Pushing an opponent’s head into the turf at play’s end and then stomping upon him on National TV…on Thanksgiving Day… against the beloved Green Bay Packers…seems to qualify for a couple of Sundays off. Some “talking heads” were pushing for his employer, the Detroit Lions, to be the ones to take the lead on sitting him down. Yeah, that was going to happen. You have a key, valued employee with anger management issues who could wipe out the entire front office with his bare hands. Nooooo, you let the league be the bad guy on this one. You don’t want SUH mad at YOU…do YOU? The best part is the NFL just rolled out one of those “Play 60” commercials featuring the Lions and youth football players spending a day together. I can imagine him trying to tackle the little kids carrying the football while navigating the red cone obstacle drill. In his true Jekyll/Hyde manner, Ndamukong afterwards would then justify this action as trying to build up the little ones’ confidence…and apologizing for anyone misunderstanding his true intent.
2. Speaking of time off, the Jacksonville Jaguars 1,000 fans or so have crawled out from under the tarp covering most of their stadium and are currently celebrating the firing of Head Coach Jack Del Rio. Those fans have been begging for a change since the 5-11 effort back in 2008. Ultimately, Jack’s legacy will be his ability to “manage” the Quarterback position. He benched Mark Brunell for Byron Leftwich…in the media. He confirmed Leftwich was his starter four years later in the pre-season and then CUT him just before the season opener. He confirmed David Garrard was his starter this year and then CUT him just before the opener…literally as David was returning from the city’s “Welcome To The 2011 Jags Season” luncheon. You may recall I called for more tarp to be ordered at that point. Bottom line in J-Ville…blame it on Rio.
3. The Buffalo Bills tried valiantly to right their sinking season in Snoopy Stadium on Sunday but fell just short to the Jets. You surely heard the Bills’ Steve Johnson fell to the ground after scoring a TD, earning him much, much more than a 15-yard penalty. His celebration started with a “tribute” to New York Jets’ Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg (which Burress served 20 months in jail for). He then recreated the Jets’ Santonio Holmes “airplane celebration” and then “crashed his plane” into the end zone (which considering he was in New York at the time might not have been an image that city needed). Steve said he was sorry…eventually. Johnson apologized to everyone, which was a good idea from a football standpoint since the penalty helped the Jets win the game…also failing to secure a wide-open pass deep in New York territory in the final seconds. It was a good idea from a choreography standpoint since he “shot” himself in the wrong thigh. Steve blamed God for another one of his drops during his career. To my knowledge, he has not blamed God for his touchdown follies…yet.
4. A wideout that reminds many of Steve Johnson (both in style and maturity) is the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. DeSean sat out the final stages of his team being humbled at home by the New England Patriots. Because of his desire for a new contract…and the Eagles’ decision to wait and weigh that decision…the question has come up as to how hard he is playing. Considering his devastating concussion last season, it might have been understandable he would have taken care of himself on the field as best he could last year. However, if you want to earn a big-time, big-money contract it seems to this writer you would be going all out on and off the field this year. He was deactivated just a couple of weeks ago for missing multiple meetings…and it sure looked like the “alligator arms” appeared on a couple of potential catches Sunday. And believe me, we here in Philadelphia know when you aren’t going all out for the football and bailing on catches. Yes, looking at DeSean’s body of work this season – and especially on Sunday – his body appears to be short-arming possible receptions as he is not receptive to possibly re-injuring himself before his big pay day…which of course makes no sense because he’s doing more damage to his brand by not showing he’s fully recovered from the concussion…and fully engaged in winning football games for a struggling organization. Now that I think of it…maybe he’s still concussed to put forth such a flawed strategy towards a fat contract.
5. We almost had a concussion situation in Philly Sunday…on the Eagles’ sideline. Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and Defensive Line Coach Jim Washburn had to be separated from getting physical during the first half. They were seen coming onto the field for the second half having a highly animated disagreement, but at that point appeared to no longer be interested in actually punching each other out. The speculation is Washburn had enough of seeing Vince Young throwing the ball and not enough of LeSean McCoy running the ball. Considering that, a) the opponent was the Patriots and the most logical strategy for Philadelphia would be to control the football and, b) Washburn spent a lot of years with the Tennessee Titans watching Young sail balls over receivers’ heads there and, even with an early lead, the Eagles started throwing on every down. It clearly would have served the Eagles best to utilize the league’s top running back in McCoy to manage the clock and set out on sustained drives, keeping the ball away from a “man named Brady.” Young did nothing but strengthen his reputation as a “widow maker” by throwing balls just high enough for players to extend themselves fully in a vain attempt to bring his slings back to Earth. Jason Avant became his latest victim in the third quarter. Somehow, Avant managed to get up. At least he tried. (Reference DeSean Jackson above)
6. I have no earthly idea why the CBS cameras stayed on the shot of San Diego Chargers’ Kicker Nick Novak urinating on the sidelines for ten seconds. All I know is he played like crap in their overtime loss to the Denver Broncos, he’s on my fantasy team…and he really pissed me off.
7. And as for those Broncos…Tim Tebow continues to win. 5-1 overall as a starter. Denver is now squarely in the AFC West race having won four in a row. He obviously has a better relationship with God than Steve Johnson.
8. Just to show you what an insane week this was in the NFL…the Minnesota Vikings’ Percy Harvin ran back a kickoff across most of Atlanta…104 yards to be exact…and did not score. The longest non-scoring return in league history. It should be noted my wife picked up Harvin for her fantasy team this week and started him. According to the film “Alien”, “In space no one can hear you scream.” I wished I was in space during Harvin’s journey because I can still hear my wife’s screams as he got corralled short of the goal line. Fortunately, her team prevailed anyway. Percy’s team…not as lucky…losing to those Atlanta Falcons. Percy, next week I need you to have a big game on behalf of my wife. Are you and God getting along these days?
Do you have Tim Tebow’s cell number?