Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The PUP: Week 6
Summarizing Week 6 in 50 Words or Less:
Week 6 offered a bevy of lame match-ups, but nobody seemed to care with New England-Dallas on the schedule. What did we learn? The Cowboys are good, but the Patriots are great – maybe one of the greatest ever, if they can somehow maintain this pace for an entire season.
Musings and Observations:
● Vinny Testaverde led his undead army of lost souls to a win over Arizona. Actually, we’re not positive Vinny – or any of the Carolina Panthers, for that matter – are unholy warriors of the damned. But given that was, indeed, 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde not only playing but playing well, we can only assume.
● By the way, how do you feel if you’re David Carr? You just watched a 43-year-old guy who’s colorblind and was at home on the couch last week after taking his kids to school start in your place, make beautiful music with Steve Smith (who, in the past two weeks, you’d connected with nine times for a paltry 79 yards) and you’re the one with the bad back.
● Reggie Bush sure looked pissed after his first carry against Seattle on Sunday night, when he took the ball up the middle and raced 22 yards before running over a Seahawks defensive back. Perhaps he’s tired of hearing that he’s a bust and is incapable of carrying the load; replays revealed Bush’s furrowed brow and fiery eyes after that first scamper. Normally, the halfback stutters in the hole like a jogger trying to slam on the brakes after losing a contact lens. Against Seattle, Bush finally ran with some conviction.
● Is Marion Barber Will Ferrell? Think about it: everyone in their right mind believes Barber is a better back than Julius Jones. Scouts, general managers, armchair quarterbacks, Julius Jones’s grandmother.
What if, though, when thrust in the spotlight, Barber falters? Perhaps, the Cowboys staff knows something we don’t, and Barber, like Ferrell, is best utilized in small-but-brilliant bursts (Old School, Wedding Crashers, Saturday Night Live) versus being the center of attention for a couple of hours (Kicking and Screaming, Bewitched, Blades of Glory).
● Cool/high comedy moment-of-the-weekend you may not have noticed: Fred Taylor shaking it old school, exploding down the left sideline for a 76-yard gain against Houston. Taylor ran out of gas toward the end of the run and subsequently missed the rest of the series as training staff scrambled to find a defibrillator. Cameras actually caught the running back wheezing on the sidelines before he turned to a teammate and joked about throwing an asthma fit like Piggy from Lord of the Flies.
● Brad Childress needs to spend less time (presumably) feeding small children his penis and more time feeding Adrian Peterson the football. We know they’re trying to keep “AD” (All Day, Peterson prefers to be called) fresh and they don’t want him to get hurt and blah blah blah. It’s not really a concern, considering nobody can catch him.
● Jason Campbell has been getting his leg humped quite a bit lately, but we’re beginning to buy into the hype. He looked very poised against Green Bay, despite being terrorized by Aaron Kampman and his receivers doing their best Matt Jones impression.
● Things are going well for the Patriots when Bill Belichick can pay tribute to his father by getting one of his running backs, Kyle Eckel, who played at the school Belichick Sr. coached, into the end zone. And when said school is Navy. And when said running back is white.
Says frustrated Miami fan and SOJP intern Kev: “Next week [against the Dolphins] they’ll bring in a breast cancer survivor and let her plunge in from the one.”
● Before you get too excited for the Pats, bear in mind it’s a long season. Yes, they appear destined for greatness; presently, the offense is absolutely unstoppable. But they’ll need to maintain this pace and win a Super Bowl to be considered one of the five or six best teams of all-time, if not the greatest ever, as Cris Collinsworth (sort of) asserted on Sunday Night Football last week.
● Damn you, Madden curse. Damn you to hell.
Choke on Your Chicken Creole Stat of the Week (courtesy of SI.com’s Peter King):
Chicago’s Devin Hester has nine special-teams returns for touchdowns in 22 career games. The NFL’s all-time leader is Brian Mitchell, with 13 scores in 223 career games.
Kurt’s Krazy Komeback Watch:
Just one week after instituting the KKK Watch, Kurt Warner wrecks his elbow. Sigh.
Retro Unis of the Week:
The New York Jets, wearing old school New York Titans uniforms. Similar to the St. Louis Rams’ current incarnation, these sweaters were actually pretty solid, much better than the barf-on-cloth concept Philly wore earlier this year.
Heartfelt SOJP Apology of the Week:
You’ve been on our watch list for the “Honorary Jake Plummer Award for Inexplicable Stupidity/Being a Complete Bust or Letdown/General Incompetence” since Week 2. And frankly, well… we’re sorry. We know it wasn’t your fault, that it was that bastard, Norv Turner. So we just want you to know… (pausing, sighing deeply, taking swig from half-empty 26er of Wild Turkey)… we just want you to know we love you and we want you back.
Adrian Peterson means nothing to us, we’re just friends. We never stopped loving you. And if you can find it in your heart to somehow forgive us, well, maybe we can keep on being friends, at least. We can’t ask for anything more than that.
Week 6 Power Rankings:
1. New England Patriots: With 21 touchdown passes and two interceptions, Brady could probably go the rest of the season with 10 picks and no scores and still make the Pro Bowl
2. Indianapolis Colts: Bye week allows banged-up Colts to get healthy, Peyton Manning to film more commercials
3. Dallas Cowboys: Despite losing, nobody else deserves No. 3 right now
4. Pittsburgh Steelers: This week’s bout with desperate Denver should be interesting
5. Green Bay Packers: Barely held on versus Washington, but a win is a win
6. Jacksonville Jaguars: With Maurice Jones-Drew getting hot and the ‘D’ playing well, Jags look like a serious playoff threat
Suicide Watch: Whose fans are grabbing a toaster and hopping into the bathtub?
Miami Dolphins. All week, you prepared yourself for humiliation—Cleo Lemon is playing quarterback, yes, Cleo Lemon, the guy who is not Brady Quinn. Then, when Sunday rolls around, Lemon actually performs well, putting up four total touchdowns and 31 points… yet you still lose, thanks to a 41-point outburst by the Cleveland Browns, pushing your record to 0-6.
Remember when the Dolphins passed on Quinn for Ted Ginn Jr.? And the team tried stupidly defending the pick by noting how many games Devin Hester changed on special teams and Miami was looking for a similar edge? It actually isn’t a bad strategy at all, considering Hester continues tormenting coverage units… if Ted Ginn was anything like Devin Hester, of course (Devin Hester PR average: 19.4 – Ted Ginn PR average: 7.3).
Can you imagine if Miami ended up with the first-overall pick and passed on Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm for an offensive tackle? Hey, somebody has to protect Cleo Lemon’s blindside!
Honorary Jake Plummer Award for Inexplicable Stupidity/Being a Complete Bust or Letdown/General Incompetence Watch:
1. New Orleans Saints – season stats: 1-4
Can they make an improbable playoff run? Considering the franchise’s history, perhaps they’re only capable of winning when it’s considered a miracle.
2. Any team that kicks to Devin Hester – season stats: 23.6 yards per KR, 19.4 yards per PR, three return touchdowns
Can a kick returner win league MVP?
3. Travis Henry, Broncos running back – season stats: 498, one touchdown
Bye week gave him time to get healthy for his upcoming suspension.
4. Bears defense – seasons stats: 2-4 record, 361.3 yards per game, 24.8 points per game
Injuries are taking their toll, but when their pathetic offense puts up 31 points, the Bears must win.
5. Donovan McNabb – season stats: 1221 passing yards, six touchdowns, two interceptions
Individual numbers are respectable, but 2-3 Eagles are averaging just 20 points per game. Take away the 56-point explosion against the Lions and it’s just 11 points per game. And no, Donovan, we’re not saying this because you’re black.
Moving out: LaDainian Tomlinson, Aaron Schobel, Phillip Rivers
Each Friday, Kev the Intern makes (unintentionally bad) NFL picks. Those picks will be reviewed weekly in The PUP:
Philly (-3) at NYJ: The Intern rightfully admonishes Chad Pennington’s wet noodle arm, and even 130 rushing yards from Thomas Jones can’t save the Jets. Kev wins!
Tennessee (+3) at Tampa: On Friday, Kev said his gut told him “take the underdog!” Like the time he thought “that can’t be an Adam’s apple!” and brought a random home from the bar, his gut was terribly, terribly wrong. Kev loses!
St. Louis (+9.5) at Baltimore: Kev suggested “Brian Billick figuring out offense is like Helen Keller trying to figure her way out of a hedge maze” but didn’t account for Anne Sullivan (i.e. Matt Stover and his five field goals). Kev loses!
New Orleans (+6.5) at Seattle: Using “they’re due” logic, the Intern goes with New Orleans and picks correctly. Kev, also, was due. Kev wins!
New England (-5) at Dallas: Completely contradicting himself, the Intern says “New England will win, but Dallas will keep it close at home. The Pats pull away at the end, win and cover.” We suppose that still counts. Kev wins!
Season record: 3-2
Predictions for Week 6:
● Vinny Testaverde misses a week of practice with osteoporosis
● Miami, who always plays New England tough, suffers a 35-21 loss at the hands of the Patriots. The Dolphins celebrate their “shocking upset.” Somewhere, Don Shula cries.
● The New York Post reports Eric Mangini had been carrying Chad Pennington’s lovechild. When Mangini miscarries, he finally inserts Kellen Clemens into the starting lineup.