When you think of beneficiaries of sh*tty NFL rules, Tom Brady (thanks to the Tuck Rule) is the first to pop up. So when he found himself on the receiving end of an utterly bewildering penalty, it was difficult to feel bad for him.
Starting this season, it’s against the rules to push a teammate forward to block a kick, and with the game on the line with Nick Folk’s OT field goal attempt, that’s exactly what the Pats tried to do.
His kick went wide, and it seemed like the Pats would have another opportunity send Sexy Rexy that much closer to an offseason firing. But thanks to the flag, Folk had one more shot and sealed the deal. And since New England is obviously suffering from a terrible case of the injury bug, the result spoke far more for the Jets than the Patriots.
The Geno Smith-led Jets team is looking like a very legitimate playoff contender, and Rex Ryan may not be out the door just yet. Mark Sanchez has probably played his last snap with the NY, and even if Geno is never elite, he has some serious potential to anchor the offense and complement a very strong defensive unit.
And a product of the Patriots diaspora, for a few moments, Wes Welker looked like he was going lead the Broncos to a comeback win against the Colts, single-handedly. While I’m not a huge Broncos fan, I personally just wanted Peyton Manning to stick it to Jim Irsay for all the ungrateful sh*t talking and obvious provocation tactics the Colts owner tried to bait him with with throughout the week. But thanks to some very conservative play-calling by John Fox, Denver found themselves in the hole early on and tried to play catch-up for most of the game.
Just when things looked hopeless, Welker came in and caught everything Manning threw his way to bring the Broncos within a few yards of the endzone and potentially bring the game within 2 points. And that’s where sh*t went haywire. With 2 yards to go, Peyton audibled to a running play, in an attempt to catch Indy off guard, that resulted in Erik Walden stripping the ball from Ronnie Hillman, and an Antoine Bethea recovery to effectively ice the game. And thanks to the victory, the Colts have now beaten three elite teams in the 49ers, Seahawks, and Broncos.
But looking forward, having an L on their record, should help ease some pressure off of Denver come postseason time. Remember when Indy was 14-0 and Manning got benched, with Dungy saying the goal of the season isn’t to go 16-0? Those very statements then heaped so much pressure on the Colts to win it all and they were unable to do so, losing to the Saints in the Super Bowl. Now, none of those questions will linger, and the loss will help to keep the team grounded and motivated for each upcoming opponent. And not only that, but Peyton will be looking to knock out his former team in the playoffs, when it really counts. The Denver Broncos are still the scariest team in the AFC, and last night only served to motivate them even more.
— The Bengals improved to 4-2 after beating the Lions 27-24. But it also featured perhaps the game’s two best receivers regardless of position – Calvin Johnson and AJ Green. Both finished with 155 yards receiving and three total touchdowns. And Megatron got all disrespectful with Cincy’s secondary.
— Tampa Bay fell to 0-6 after a 31-23 loss to Atlanta. Matt Ryan was efficient going 20-26, 276 yards and three touchdowns. In other news, Greg Schiano is a “class act.” No way he makes it past this season with his current job title.
— Buffalo’s 3-4, but Buffalo’s also scrappy. When you’re scrappy, you’ll be in a lot of games. And when you’re in a lot of games, anything can happen.
— Dallas and Philadelphia have two of the most explosive offenses in football. So it only makes sense the game was 3-0 at the half. The Cowboys added two touchdowns in the second half to win 17-3 to take sole possession of first place in the weirdest division in all of football.
— Jay Cutler went down with an apparent groin injury. Josh McCown filled in admirably in the most back-and-forth game of the day. Unfortunately for the Bears, Robert Griffin III orchestrated a late fourth drive to put the Skins up for good 45-41. The real MVPs for Washington yesterday, however, was Roy Helu who bullied his way to three touchdowns and Jordan Reed who just signed Fred Davis’ pink slip out of town with nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.
— Check Chad Henne out throwing for 318 yards for the Jaguars. Too bad they still lost to the Chargers. Jacksonville’s almost halfway to infamy.
— All respect in the world for Jake Locker returning early from knee and hip injuries. The boost in morale wasn’t enough as the Niners pulled off an impressive road win 31-17 victory.
— Aaron Rodgers lost yet another receiver when Jermichael Finley went down following a scary helmet-to-helmet collision in the second half. He still tossed for three touchdowns in a 31-13 rout of the Browns.
— Fat Andy’s going crazy! Kansas City is 7-0 like we all predicted they would after a 17-16 victory over Houston. On a more serious note, send one up for Brian Cushing.
— It may have started out boring, but Pittsburgh/Baltimore ended just how it always does – with a last second field goal. This time, the Steelers walked away with the victory and perhaps some semblance of hope for an already turbulent season.
— On Thursday, Seattle continued to prove playing on the road is no longer a weakness by beating divisional foe Arizona 34-22. That’s scary as hell when you think about it.
— Carolina beat St. Louis 30-15, but the real story is Steve Smith and the words he had for Janoris Jenkins following the game:
No. What I don’t like is a young guy, comes in, obviously his first time ever using the internet and Google, and he Googles information about me, talks about my wife and stuff like that. That’s kind of some of the (B.S). I just don’t play with…
…That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t play them games. When you try to take it personal like that, I don’t have any great humbling things to say. So he can take his (butt) back to St. Louis and watch the (expletive) film because I don’t play them games. And if I see him in the streets I’m going to punch him in his (expletive) mouth.