This afternoon, Jacksonville welcomes the Jets to JagRag Stadium. And by the Jets, I mean their injured backup quarterback. Hometown Tebow adoration in Jacksonville is so extreme that the team has even gone so far as to remove its perma-tarp from the upper deck of their stadium, a place no spectator has ever before dared to dwell. Of course, the deity that Jaguars fans come to see is a game-time decision to even dress, let alone play. That should add a few layers of melancholy to a game that you’d have to be fairly masochistic to attempt to watch.
The highlight of the early afternoon slate takes place in the D.C. ‘burbs, where the Redskins welcome the Ravens. The sports dynamic between Baltimore and Washington is an interesting one. Natives of each city outwardly claim to hate the other one, but there’s been so much cross-pollination in their sports rooting interests over the years that no actual rivalry really exists. D.C. people were Orioles fans before the Nationals arrived. Baltimore people embraced the Capitals bandwagon once most D.C. finally realized it had a hockey team a few years ago. More than a few Redskins fans jumped ship to the Ravens rather than endure more bilking by Dan Snyder. John Harbaugh has even openly courted D.C. people to be Ravens fans. Seriously, D.C. and Baltimore, just make out already.
Anyway, Terrell Suggs might not play, either due to injury or because he can’t stop assaulting the mother of his kids. But apparently that’s not the real story, according to KSK whipping blob, Peter King.
Baltimore Ravens (9-3) at Washington Redskins (6-6)
You know what the saddest part of this game is? That Ray Lewis won’t be playing in it. Think about it. Ray Lewis is going to go down as a top 20 player of all time. Robert Griffin III is one of the most exciting rookies to enter the NFL — ever. And Lewis is one week away from a likely return after his torn arm muscle. I just wish we could have seen Lewis chase RGIII once in an NFL game. Not that it’d be a fair fight, but just so we could say: Hey, Ray Lewis played against Robert Griffin III.
Oh yes, it’s truly a disservice to this game that slow-as-f*ck Ray Lewis won’t have a chance to suck wind chugging 15 yards behind RGIII. Why even watch now?
That said, if Ray-Ray did play, I couldn’t blame RGIII is Lewis’ new murder mask did make the rookie phenom sh*t himself.
Speaking of death, there was more of that on Saturday. It’s starting to become a thing in the NFL, that Saturday death, like the pistol formation and the zone-read. There is a moment of silence planned at Paul Brown Stadium for the memory of former Cowboys practice squad player, Jerry Brown Jr., who died from injuries sustained in the vehicle Josh Brent flipped over a curb early yesterday morning. Brent faces an intoxication manslaughter charge. He might be going to jail for a while, but if it’s not the possible 20 years, he should be heartened that Donte Stallworth got another job this week, so don’t despair too much, Brent.
Your early game slate, as rated for potential watchability by KSK’s patented four- and sometimes five-star system:
St. Louis at Buffalo **
Atlanta at Carolina **
Dallas at Cincinnati ***
Kansas City at Cleveland *
Tennessee at Indianapolis **
New York Jets at Jacksonville *
Chicago at Minnesota **
San Diego at Pittsburgh **
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay **
Baltimore at Washington ***