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To totally honest with you folks, I really didn’t want to watch this game. From time-to-time, this happens. Mainly it’s whenever the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Washington’s Football Team… and the Raiders are involved. And the latter? Well, I don’t really have a choice in the matter. You see, if you hadn’t heard, I’m quite the Chargers fan, and I’m already forced to watch the Raiders twice a year, as if that wasn’t suffering enough. Why would I expose myself to more of this so-called “suffering”? There’s already enough suffering in the world. But I sh*t you not, the Raiders were part of the best Thursday Night Football game this year… And to think, I thought the only highlight last night was going to be seeing Andy Reid waddle around in his full red walrus gear. I just want to say this before we get to the recap… for the entire week, if you live in the immediate Oakland and Alameda County area, my advice to you is to stay indoors and lock your doors. In celebration, Raiders fans will be tipping over cars, burning anything that’s flammable, climbing on anything more than 10 feet high… pretty much duplicating a riot-like atmosphere. I mean, yeah, you’re right, they were going to do that even if they lost, or, you know, here and there during the boring parts of the offseason, or, probably whenever they felt like it, but this is their first win of the year… THIS HAS MEANING!

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Well, that was certainly a Sunday worth remembering. Especially if you’re like me and reset the ole’ memory banks with copious amounts of bourbon throughout the day. You could say these Sunday notes aren’t just for you, but also myself… So here we are, together in this. And together, we saw some interesting things… the Bucs, the 1-8 Bucs (in case you were confused) destroyed Washington. For context, the Falcons destroyed the Bucs. And the Panthers almost beat the Falcons. So according to that, the Panthers would probably beat Washington by 200 points. In fact, with the Raiders only mustering 200 yards of total offense, I’m pretty sure if they faced off against Washington, both teams would find a way to lose. And let’s not forget the Lions having a throwback game to the Matt Millen Era. Peyton Manning thinking it’s the month of January (to be fair, the weather has me convinced of this.) Mark Sanchez returning to form. And then there’s this… the Cardinals are now 9-1. They are now three games ahead of Seattle and San Francisco, and one has to naturally wonder, how is this possible? My answer? Two quick touchdowns and leaning on your defense for three hours… this has been done before many times. So I’m just going to go ahead and write the Cardinals in as a playoff team. In permanent marker. And then prepare myself for the end of the world.

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DeMarco Murray is no longer on pace to break the single season record for rushing yards. He is, however, on pace to finish the season with 1,973 yards on the ground. To do so he will have to maintain his average of 123 yards per game. Dallas’s remaining opponents are NYG, PHI, CHI, PHI, IND and WAS. The only team that isn’t giving up at least 100 rushing yards per game in that list are the Colts who fall just below at 98.1 yards per game. The New York Football Giants are ranked the worst in the league giving up a league high 144.7 yards per game. These remaining teams combined are allowing 696.2 yards per game. That’s an average of 116 yards. I don’t see Murray maintaing the 123 yards per game pace, but I could definitely see him averaging 85. That would close him out for the season with 1743 yards which would be the 2nd most in a season in the last 5 years behind Adrian Peterson who racked up 2097 yards in 2012. His current pace has him at 390 carries for the season. That number concerns me…

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Well, that was interesting. But only if you’re a Packers fan. Ben Roethlisberger? This is Aaron Rodgers, and he just escalated the situation by scoring 6 touchdowns and NOT losing to the Jets. Which seems like an insurmountable escalation right there. If you missed it (you probably should have), the Bears once again confirmed that they are a terrible football team. If they didn’t come out after half-time, already losing 0-42, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. I doubt the Packers would have noticed, that’s for sure. But who doesn’t want to make history? So for the first time in 90 years, the Bears have now given up 50 plus points in consecutive games. And the funniest saddest realist part of all this? Oh yeah, that’s right, this is the Bears coming off a bye. Silly Jets fans, and you thought the 2015 first overall draft pick was yours for the taking…

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I mean, you do have the Arizona Cardinals with the best record in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins suddenly look like they can be competent for certain stretches of time. One of those times including a game against my Chargers. Both the Colts and Eagles (depending on Nick Foles’ status) seem competent enough to being contenders. Even the Steelers have figured a few things out behind Ben Roethlisberger treating the last two games like he met them in a dive bar bathroom. But I think it’s fair to say that the Broncos and Patriots, fulfilling a narrative wet dream on a continual basis, had to have been considered the two best teams. At least until the Patriots destroyed the Broncos yesterday afternoon. While I’m a constant palm-facer when it comes to Peyton Manning’s “cold-weather” narrative, it seems that his “can’t beat the Patriots” narrative may have something to it. Also, there are way too many narratives. Please no more narratives. That being said, despite having their own problems early in the season, the Patriots have seemingly maintained their status as one of the top teams in the NFL, if not the top team. Now that you’ve figured that part out, for the love of god, can you give the ball to Shane Vereen more? Is that too much to ask?

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The Stats Machine and I are still riding our Halloween highs. Pro tip: Don’t get low. Also, TSM would like to point out the following:

Based on average score per game, here are some lesser owned running backs in the top-25 TSM rankings. With an average score of 19.86 Jerick McKinnon is someone that should definitely own.I have him in both of my leagues. He is ranked ahead of the likes of Jamaal Charles (19.61), Eddie Lacy (18.41) and Lamar Miller (18.76). Ronnie Hillman comes in at number 18 with a score of 18.09 and is another guy TSM sees as a potential must own. The way he’s been running the ball and the way Montee “wasn’t running the” Ball makes me think Denver would be crazy to give the job back to Montee Ball-less. Other backs of note include Darren McFadden (17.26), Joique Bell (16.47), Shane Vereen (16.09) and Mark Ingram (15.33).

TSM would like you to keep Anquan Boldin (18.59) in mind when considering trades as a great player to try and get added into a deal. I doubt he’s available in your league, although it looks like he’s owned in only 76% of Yahoo! leagues. Right now he’s ranked ahead of Brandon Marshall (18.11), Roddy White (17.98) and Kelvin Benjamin (16.61). And as usual I’d like to give a shout out to my boy Andrew Hawkins (18.15).

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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 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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In a thrilling day of footballing, there were nine games decided by a touchdown or less, three games decided by a field goal or less, and two overtime victories. It was enough to make some teams (looking directly at you Jim Caldwell and the Lions) wonder why someone like Alex Henery, who single-handedly (or footedly? Is that a word?) lost the game against the Kyle Orton led Bills 17-14, (to what was a 58-yard field goal to Dan Carpenter) still holds a job in the NFL. Missing one field goal is okay. Missing two is unacceptable. Missing three in a game, one of which came with 51 seconds remaining… well… if anything, Henery should be immediately cut just for allowing the above photo to be a thing. Fun fact: If you look up the word “d*ckish” in the dictionary, you’ll find a smug Jim Schwartz smiling right back at you. And while you could easily see getting carried off the field after beating Detroit in the fifth week of the regular season as the most Buffalo thing ever (landing as a tie with eating and drinking too much before sobbing uncontrollably… or is that Cleveland?), apparently asking your team to do this in the preseason, as far back as OTA’s seems, I don’t know, spiteful? Smarmy? Maladjusted? Well, to be fair, with Schwartz, no one would ever see him being that kind of guy… But hey, some good came out of this. Kyle Orton threw for over 300+ yards with a touchdown against the number one ranked defense in the NFL, which is pretty good. And probably the eighth sign that the end of the world is here.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions

The latest reports coming out of Detroit are expressing caution… ever since the mayor signed a deal with the mega-corportaion Omni Consumer Products (OCP) to run and control the underfunded police force. Obviously, the city itself is on the verge of total collapse and anarchy, due to financial ruin and a high crime rate. To help combat this, OCP, in partnership with Hasbro, has created Megatron, a sentient robotic lifeform that has the ability to transform between his robot shape and that of a 29 year old, 6’5″, 236 lbs wide receiver, who, because of some sort of ankle circuitry malfunction, is questionable to fight against the ED-209 at OCP HQ to save the Detroit Police force, and also continue making Matt Stafford look like a good quarterback in this Sunday’s game against the Bills.

And that’s how you take Robocop, Transformers, the Detroit Lions, and Fantasy Football news, mix them together, and produce hot, edible nerd sauce for most meats and garnishes. Call me, ladies.

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Week 5 Rankings have been updated for today’s games. You can check them out here.

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