Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The PUP: Week 3

The PUP (Probably Unfit for Print) list is our weekly NFL report.

Summarizing Week 3 in 50 Words or Less:

Of the remaining undefeated teams, three look legitimately better than the rest of the league (New England, Indianapolis and Dallas). Among the winless squads, panic mode has set in for the Saints and Rams, while 0-3 Buffalo and Miami should have expected to be shitty.

Musings and observations:

• The Saints are officially a Category 5 disaster.

• Calvin Johnson’s freaky size and speed (6’5”, 236-lbs, 4.3 forty-yard dash) makes you wonder if he was exposed to the ooze that transformed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Justifiably so, many people were pretty hot and wet for the Lions receiver heading into this season. But what about Denver’s Brandon Marshall? The second-year beast had seven catches for 133 yards on Sunday and has a similar skill set to Johnson (6’4”, 230-lbs, very athletic). He may not be in Johnson’s Ninja Turtle class, but he’s at least Bebop and Rocksteady.

• What’s uglier? Kurt Warner’s short sleeve/gloves/puffy wrist bands combo or Brenda Warner?

• We know it was supposed to be a nice, cute throwback gimmick, but no one can deny how vomit-inducingly bad the Eagles' unis were on Sunday. We're talking Nashville Predators' third jersey territory. They look like they were borrowed from a crappy no-name West Coast college with a 5'8'' running back who dominates, gets taken late in the NFL draft and is CFL-bound within a year.

• Hey, Miami Dolphins? We don’t want to imply you’re pathetic or anything, but putting a 32-year-old defensive end at wide receiver/tight end like you did with Jason Taylor Sunday? Pathetic.

• Please don't be surprised that Larry Johnson has been Battlefield Earth-bad so far. There's no help around him, his line's craptastic and he reported to the team late. How bad are things? The Chiefs have scored 26 points in three games. On Sunday, the Eagles had 28 points three minutes into the second quarter.

• Once Brett Favre breaks Dan Marino’s touchdown record, what’s left in Marino’s Super Bowl-less life? His role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? His in-your-face tan? His terrifying spurts of rage?

• We’re officially considering changing our name to Spirit of Rex Grossman.

• Is this the year of the receiver or what? Check out these staggering numbers:

- players with 100 receiving yards or more in Week Three: 13
- players with 11 or more receptions in Week Three: 4
- receiving games of 140 yards or more this season: 14
- receivers games of 180 or more yards in Week Three: 3
- receiving games of 200 yards or more this season: 3
- Touchdowns scored by Joe Jurevicius: 2
- Touchdowns scored by Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson combined: 0

... Jesus.

• There's something eerily familiar happening in Green Bay. In recent years, when the Pack trailed late, we knew it was time for Favre to gun a ball into triple coverage for a game-ending pick. One of the best comeback quarterbacks in NFL history just didn’t have the discipline to do it anymore. This week, it felt different. For whatever reason, we suddenly had confidence in Favre. We almost knew he was going bring the Green Bay back; we could feel it. Whether or not they're a real 3-0, the Packers are at least giving us some nostalgic magic. Sweet.

• Is Scott Linehan a fraud? Wasn't he supposed to be an offensive genius? Yet when he calls plays, the Rams offence sputters. Maybe the offensive co-ordinator-to-head-coach conversion is a curse. Just ask Norv Turner and Mike Martz.

• How sore is Derek Anderson after crashing back to Earth? Did he lose consciousness on the descent? Is he bleeding internally?

• Just kidding, we know Brenda Warner is uglier.

Week 3 Power Rankings:

1. New England Patriots: Randy Moss metaphorically thrusting crotch at every sportswriter in America; defense ain’t bad either
2. Indianapolis Colts: Colts start NFL season 3-0, sun comes up
3. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Homo jokes losing effectiveness as QB’s play improves
4. Pittsburgh Steelers: Like the Grade 4 bully who was held back twice and makes name for himself beating up weaker competition (Browns, Bills, Niners), Pitt still deserves respect
5. Green Bay Packers: Favre playing like it’s 1997; trainers must check cabinets and ensure pain killers haven’t gone missing

Suicide Watch: whose fans are having an extra brat tonight hoping their inevitable heart attack comes early?

Buffalo Bills. Stud rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny was shut down for the season after breaking his arm. The 0-3 Bills have also lost starters Jason Webster (broken forearm), Ko Simpson (broken ankle), Keith Ellison (ankle sprain), Terrence McGee (bruised ribs) and J.P. Losman (incompetence sprained knee). At least you have all those AFC Championships! Woo! We’re no. 2! We’re no. 2!

Honourary Jake Plummer Award for Inexplicable Stupidity/Being a Complete Bust or Letdown/General Incompetence Watch:

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers running back – season stats: 57 carries, 130 yards, 2.3 avg.
We hate putting LT on this list but we can’t stop worrying the Madden curse is really his this year.

2. Sean Payton, Saints head coach – season stats: his supposed Super Bowl contender is 0-3
What the fuck, man?

3. Steven Jackson, Rams running back – season stats: 69 carries, 233 yards, 3.4 avg., no TDs
He teased us with a 100-yard effort before tearing his groin on Sunday.

4. Julius Peppers, Panthers defensive end – season stats: six tackles; zero sacks, interceptions or forced fumbles
Carolina is 2-1, no thanks to Peppers. He’s streakier than your windshield after one of those homeless guys squeegees it even though you waved him away from your car.

5. Shawne Merriman, Chargers linebacker – season stats: seven tackles, two sacks
Even his so-so numbers are deceiving. San Diego’s premier pass rusher did absolutely nothing against Green Bay (no tackles or sacks) as Brett Favre picked apart the secondary. Though Merriman did do some pretty fancy sack celebrating two weeks ago when New England was filling San Diego’s anus like a tank of gas. Show some class, would ya?

Moving out: Jason David, Bengals defense, O.J. Simpson

Predictions for Week 4:

• Larry Johnson finally explodes – off the field. After the Chargers hold him to 63 yards on 28 carries, LJ releases a rap song denouncing his offensive line and smashes Damon Huard in the eye with a ball-peen hammer.

• After Favre breaks Dan Marino’s all-time touchdown record with a 77-yard pass to Donald Driver and rushes to the endzone to celebrate, Ragnar the Viking will club the quarterback over the head with a large drumstick. The ensuing concussion puts Favre’s record consecutive-games streak in jeopardy, though he heroically returns for Week 5.

• Quarterback Matt Schaub will torch his former team when Houston visits Atlanta. Mike Vick will spin in his grave.


Kevin said...

A couple of things:

- Don't rip on my Dolphins. Just because they've mentioned having QB Cleo Lemon run down on kickoffs does not mean we're in a death spiral. Your coach admitting they got beat by a QB on one leg however.... (look those up Dolphins fans and try not to cry, I dare you)

- Merriman needs to find a way to "inject" some life into his game

- When you get beat out of a job by a former Dolphins starting QB, you know you're in trouble, Rexy. You don't see Fielder, Feeley, Frerotte, Mitchell or Rosenfels starting anywhere do you? Harrington dorsn't count bcs he's a default. Christ, thats a terrible list.

Anonymous said...

Packers in the Top 5?
You are kidding yourselves. The Packers are not even the class of the NFC. The only impressive win they have had was against a Chargers team that has seemingly lost itself thanks in large part to Norv Turner. Week 1 was a stolen win in all respects and week 2 featured a Giants squad that is nothing to brag about with a beaten up Eli Manning in the game. The Packers are that perfect team that people will marvel over for these next few weeks until everybody realizes come Week 11 that this is just another team in one of the worst divisions in football playing OK ball.

Anonymous said...

you're wrong, Johnny anonymous. Power rankings are only about relative strength - who's the strongest at this exact moment? We're not proclaiming the Pack the class of the NFC. But they're undefeated. How can you not put a 3-0 team high in the power rankings?

-- Larkin

Anonymous said...

The Titans are a team to watch this season. Gave Indy all they could handle, and Vince Young looks like he's matured a lot in one season.

Spirit of Jake Plummer said...

I agree about the Titans. I was reading a columnist the other day (Dan Banks, maybe?) who was saying VY looks like a guy who might never put up ridiculous stats (passing, at least) but always finds a way to win. Sure seems it's headed that way, yes?

Also, I still can't get over how fat LenDale looks, and this is AFTER he shed weight. Tell me he doesn't look like a short tight end (or mini-verison of Brandon Manumaleuna). Tell me!