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Let us pray.

The wait is finally over folks. Despite a shaky start by our lord and savior, Breesus Christ, the true nature of the Carolina Panthers took over the game and made sure that the Saints broke out of their four-game road losing streak, and they now have a strangle hold over the NFC South. With a 4-4 record. Sigh. Mark Ingram put in another solid night, rubbing it in for all of us who drafted him two years ago. Thanks man. Speaking of thanks, Cam Newton did a well enough job, but that’s with the context of being pretty terrible, so yeah. He did a great job of being terrible. True, he was under duress for most of the night, getting sacked four times, which forced two fumbles. And yes, the Carolina offensive line is just really offensive without three of it’s regular starters. Not to mention the receivers had their fair share of drops. But hey, always look on the bright side. It could be worse, ya know? You could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…

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After this week in the NFL, I feel like I might need to shed my old-school thinking that a quarterback is not worthy of a first-round draft pick in my fantasy football league. I always refuse to spend my first two picks on anything besides a running back or wide receiver (yes, I have never drafted Peyton.), but I always feel like I get a decent QB (usually Cam Newton and, you know, Cam Newton…) This week, I might adjust my mindset, especially after Newton’s week. Next year, you will see me spending my first round pick for Andrew Luck over LeSean McCoy every single time.

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While the game as a whole was a close scoring affair that went into overtime, looking at it from the micro view, the first half was entirely forgettable. In fact, I had a hard time not throwing an unsportsmanlike penalty flag having been forced to watch those two quarters. To put it succinctly, the Cowboys did practically everything wrong and were still only down by three. The game suddenly became entertaining in the second half, until Romo went down from a sack and headed back to the locker room until late in the fourth quarter. They said he passed through the stadium bar, so I’m assuming some shots were in order. For a while, it was Brandon Weeden facing off against Colt McCoy, and I had to Google to make sure I wasn’t watching a preseason game. Suffice it to say, McCoy found a way to win in overtime, because heart, or something, and while Romo returned to a standing ovation, begging for a Romonobyl so powerful, Godzilla would awaken, we were treated to a spinning incomplete pass to end the game on downs. Not exactly the aphrodisiac I was expecting. But with a surprising win, Washington finds itself 3-5 with a chance at 8-8, and if Romo’s back takes a turn for the worst, we now know how Dallas will finish 8-8, unfortunately leaving the suspense out how they were going to do it.

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In what was an embarrassing display of defense, especially for the Bears, or even the Buccaneers, the Patriots took advantage of the brand new and radical “Cover No one” formation, laying down a 51-spot on the scoreboard. Gronk smash is correct. Much had been publicized on Brandon Marshall’s “motivational speaking” tour after a Miami loss last week, “motivating” everyone from Jay Cutler to Robbie Gould.

‘We’ve got Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte. We’ve got a stud offensive line. We’ve got a great, great group of guys. And this is unacceptable. What did we put up, 14 points? Was it 14 points? That’s unacceptable.”

You see something missing there? People, who, perhaps are in charge of preventing another team from outscoring yours? Pray tell… So, we’ll probably get another week of Marc Trestman blaming (somewhat warranted), Brandon Marshall yelling (probably shouldn’t call it motivating anymore) and Jay Cutler outrage (because he gave up 51 points all by his lonesome). Unless, of course, the media will focus more on fact that the Patriots are now 6-2, in first place, and look every bit as dangerous as they used to. Sigh, that’s exactly what’s going to happen, isn’t it? Oh God damn it Bears, did you really have to let that happen?

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“I need a new helmet. OMAHA. Yeah, that’s right, my head’s growing at a rapid rate. OMAHA. ROMO. ELWAY. OMAHA. New helmet on one! SET. OMAHA.”

Well, it would be hard for me to analyze this game with an unbiased viewpoint, seeing as how I’m pretty obvious homer. But hey, at least I’m obvious. That being said, I’d have to say that Mike Carey and myself could have probably been best friends. Essentially every decision he called last night was the opposite of what the refs decided, because, let’s be honest here, the officiating was complete sh*t. A crucial special teams fumble by Denver was called back, even though replays clearly showed the ball moving before the player was down, allowing Petyon Manning to drive for a touchdown before the half. In the third quarter, a Philip Rivers interception that was caught on the ground, with movement, was not overturned. A crucial redzone interception by Eric Weddle was called back because of a defensive holding penalty, which, might I add, was way before the 5-yard mark. And then later, a Juwan Thompson touchdown was confirmed, even though he didn’t break the plane… so… whatever. I suppose things like this happen. At the very least, Ronnie Hillman was negated something like 80 fantasy points, and the Broncos seemed more interested in trolling fantasy players than by any other team I’d seen in recent memory. So even though Denver won, I’m pretty sure most of us lost. Including my liver. What can I say? Misery loves company…

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While it’s easy to say that this game didn’t end in a very competitive fashion, it would have been far easier to say that this game actually looked like another lackadaisical loss by the Steelers… well, up until three minutes before the half. Keep in mind that they had already gained only 50 yards in their first 21 plays and the Texans had a 13 point lead up until that point. And then…

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THERE WAS A FIREFIGHT

I’m not joking folks. In the final three minutes of the first half, there were two Texan turnovers and 24 Steeler points. I would recap what exactly happened here, but it require about 2500 words of nuance and waxing something poetic about a Steelers team that I just can’t bring myself to do. (Just to give you a taste, I haven’t seen an ambitious beginning turn into a bloody death since the Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago fight in Rocky IV. Nor have I seen such an explosion at Heinz Field since Bane showed up with a megaphone.) So look at it this way… if three minutes of profound competence was good enough for my date the other night, who am I to say that it isn’t good enough for the Steelers?

Note: Hey you guys. You want more balls? And by balls, I mean Razzballs? Of course you do. If life has taught me one thing, it’s that there are never enough balls. Don’t ask. So yeah, you need more balls, we got more balls. Razzball Fantasy Soccer has now officially become a thing. Go check it out if you like more balls. Or, I guess, if you like soccer.

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I thought trading away Percy Harvin was going to solve all your problems? Well, I guess trading away one of your best weapons doesn’t exactly solve terrible play-calling, subpar offensive line play, and very un-special teams play. So, despite the faulty narrative that I’m sure will be thrown about, here we are, CONDITION CRIMSON RED, also the color of Tom Coughlin’s face. As was alluded to early yesterday, imagining an outcome such as this was a fools errand, but it wouldn’t have been the craziest thing to think that the Rams could pull off the upset. And while it took wild and boner inducing events (which is also my pet name for your mom) to take place, the impossible was suddenly possible, and the 2013 Super Bowl champions are now 3-3. Said events (we’ll call them “Cialis”) included a hilarious punt return where Tavon Austin lined up on the left side of the field for the return, and acted like he was about to catch the ball, which drew in the entire Seahawks special teams unit, cameraman in full tow, and then this happened…

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Later in the game, with Seattle needing a big stop for another chance at the win, Tre Mason broke through for a first down on 3rd-and-1, icing the game right then and there, until he was stripped. The ball bounced forward, was covered by a Rams lineman, only to pop out again and be seemingly recovered by Seattle. Replays did show Richard Sherman on top of the ball for a moment, but “technically” there wasn’t enough to overturn the officials call which had rewarded the possession to the Rams. That’s two straight losses for Seattle, a team which is now sitting at .500 on the season. Look on the bright side Seahawks fans. After this third loss, the band wagon crowd should be displeased enough to go away. Not as effective as a meteor, but it’ll have to do.

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Hunh? Yeah, that was my exact reaction. And I would have typed this up sooner, but it’s Friday and my typing gets noticeably slower when there’s a drink in one hand, and a bottle in the other. But we all make sacrifices, especially for a story that will assuredly shock everyone… the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to trade Percy Harvin to the New York Jets for a 2015 conditional pick, which will range from a second-to-fourth round pick.

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An enthralling Thursday Night Football game? What is this dark wizardry you speak of? In a game that immediately started off with a Patriots touchdown in the first minute and a half, reminding us that it was, in fact, Thursday night, the Jets managed to respond with a scoring drive of their own. Sure, that drive and the next two successful ones all ended in field goals, but there was a level competency that I didn’t think the Jets were capable of. Of course, things fall apart, the center cannot hold, something-something, wax poetic, and the 27-25 Patriots led game came down to a field goal at the 58-yard line, which ended up being blocked. There were your usual Jets/Patriot hallmarks though, including such timeless moments as: Rex Ryan angry! Jets excruciating hard-earned first downs! Brady not getting called for intentional grounding, ever! (The one to Vereen and to Gronk, I was closer to the ball watching from home.) And of course a dirty below the knees hit on a quarterback not named Tom Brady that doesn’t get called! But that’s now two games in a row on Thursday that have been quite entertaining, perhaps teasing us for an even better match-up between the Chargers and Broncos next week. Which means it’ll probably suck.

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