I have to admit, I just don't get Black Friday. Is it really worth all that hassle and loss of sleep just to save a few bucks? It reminds me of that time people in Cleveland waited over two hours in line for a 23 cent one topping pizza. Do they realize they can normally get it for $10 and even less with a coupon? Is it worth 2 hours of your life to save $10? That's not even minimum wage.
Then there are the stories that invariably come out when all the hoopla, yes hoopla, has died down. There's the story of the 61-year-old man who fell on the ground having heart problems, eventually dying, and how people simply stepped over him on their way to saving $5 on a magic bullet blender. Or the lady that pepper sprayed 20 people so she could get her discounted X-Box games that she could have got for the same price if she just waited until February. Hey, didn't I hear on Bill O'Reilly that pepper spray is essentially a food product anyways? Maybe they were just hungry after their long wait and she was trying to feed them.
But nothing was more surprising, and quite frankly shocking, than what happened in the game between the Chargers and Broncos. No, it wasn't another Tim Tebow led come from behind victory, it was when the cameras caught Chargers kicker Nick Novak urinating on the sidelines. Seriously, he was on one knee in a corner by the Gatorade with a trainer holding up a towel to hide him relieving himself.
In all honesty I could care less. I mean, what guy hasn't done something similar when they just had to go and there was no bathroom to be found? But did he have to do it by the Gatorade? Come on! Given there were players sitting on the bench only a few feet away and they seemed completely nonplussed, I'm guessing this sort of thing happens more than we realize. I can't wait to hear if Rodger Goodell hands down a fine on this one. Now on to the recap of week 12.
The Bills made a game of it but they couldn't overcome Mark Sanchez's career high 4 touchdown passes, including the game winning TD to Santonio Holmes with just over a minute remaining. "He's at his best," said Jets head coach Rex Ryan of Sanchez, "in big moments." And yes, he said that with a straight face. But the real story was how Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson did his best Plaxico Burress imitation pretending to shoot himself in the leg after scoring a TD in the 2nd quarter. "I've seen worse and I've heard worse," Burress said of Johnson's celebration. I hear you Plaxico. I remember the Icky Shuffle as well.
The rest of week 12's games after the jump...
So the Seahawks lost at home to, ha, ha, ha, wait hold on, ha, ha, ha. Let me just compose myself...OK. The Seahawks lost at home to, HA, HA, HA! Alright, deep breaths, maybe if I just say it really fast. The Seahawks lost at home to Rex Grossman, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA! Man, I haven't laughed that hard since I heard the Cardinals signed Kevin Kolb to a five year $63 million contract. Grossman threw for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also throwing his required 2 interceptions, and Roy Helu ran for 108 yards and his first NFL TD as the Seahawks blew a 17-7 4th quarter lead. "Those guys, they were talking like they were Super Bowl champions," Redskins TE Fred Davis said. "I'm looking at them like, ‘you guys almost have the same record as us.'" And now they do have the same record as you. Rex Grossman, HA, HA, HA!
The Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead, the Vikings fought back with touchdowns in the 3rd and 4th quarter before the Falcons scored a TD with a little over 6 minutes to play to seal the win. The Vikings did take the ensuing kickoff down to the Falcons 3-yard line but on 4th-and-goal from the 1 Toby Gerhart was stuffed for a loss. The Falcons then ran out the clock for a much needed win over the lowly Vikings. Of course the real question was why didn't the Vikings just take the chip shot FG since they were down by 10 and needed two scores to have any chance? "That's purely on me," said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier. "I let my emotions get the best of me." Then again, if they make the TD everyone would have been talking about what a gutsy call it was. I guess it's a fine line between insane and gutsy. Or is it that there's a fine line between psychotic and erotic. I can never keep it straight.
After failing to beat the big boys the last two weeks, the Bengals got a chance to get back in the win column against the JV team of the AFC North, the Browns. Too bad for the Bengals no one told the Browns they were supposed to roll over. The Browns jumped out to a 20-10 3rd quarter lead but Andy Dalton, who threw for 270 yards and a TD, led the Bengals to 13 unanswered points and a game winning FG with just 38 seconds to play. It also helped that rookie receiver A.J. Green was back in the lineup and finished with 110 yards, including an incredible 51-yard reception that set up the game winning FG. Unfortunately the game was far from sold out and had to be blacked out locally so hardly anyone saw it. So that begs the question, "If the Bengals beat the Browns and nobody in Cincinnati saw it, did they really win?"
Broncos 16, Chargers 13
This game is going right into the video library of "How to be an uber-conservative coach in the NFL." If you have a 4th-and-1 near midfield in OT, punt it. If you have a 4th-and-.5 in OT from your own 40, punt it. If you have a 3rd-and-5 in long FG range in OT, run it and let your RB lose 4 yards. If you find the other team in FG range with just over a minute to play in OT, two timeouts, and the clock running, don't use a timeout giving your team a chance to win if they miss, wait until the play clock has almost run down and use a timeout to ice the kicker. You may not have any time left to try and win but it increases you chances of going away with a tie. Strangely, that last one happened with the Broncos on the verge of taking a delay of game penalty since they had no timeouts of their own and didn't look ready to kick the FG. Of course it didn't work and Matt Prater made the 37-yard FG giving the Broncos their 4th straight win, but they never would have had that chance had Novak not missed a 52-yard FG on the Chargers previous possession. Turns out, the Broncos might have Tebow to thank for that as well. Apparently he was on the sidelines praying during the kick. When asked if he was praying for a miss Tebow said, "I might have said that. Or maybe a block. Maybe all of it." Yes, famine, wars, social strife, disease, oppression, but God can't be bothered because he's too busy influencing the outcome of a football game. At this point I'm actually ready to believe that's true since divine intervention is about the only reason I can think of to explain how Tebow is 5-1 as a starter.
After losing all of their road games this season, the Panthers finally pulled one out. Of course it was against the hapless Colts but beggars can't be choosers. That is, of course, unless you're the naked cowboy and have your own official website. I guess that's when you can be choosey. All it takes is a gimmick. Cam Newton threw for 208 yards and became the first QB to run for 10 touchdowns in a season since Daunte Culpepper, but the Colts did have a chance to force OT late in the game. Twice they were driving for the tying TD in the final minutes but both times their drives ended with an interception in the end zone. "At least we put ourselves in position to win it in the 2nd half," said Curtis Painter who happened to be the one to kill both drives with his interceptions. "But we were in it. We had a shot at the end, just came up a little short." Yes Curtis, keep telling yourself that. You're not really 0-11. The trick is to remember there is no spoon.
This wasn't exactly an impressive dominating win, but considering the fashion the Cowboys have lost some of their games this season I'm sure they're more than happy to take it. The Dolphins defense intercepted Tony Romo twice and their offense, led by Matt Moore who threw for 288 yards and a TD, was able to drive on the Cowboy, but four of their five drives ended in short field goals of 28 yards or less. Their inability to end drives with touchdowns allowed the Cowboys to hang around and Romo was eventually able to lead them into position for the game winning 28-yard FG as time expired. "He just kind of kept hanging in there," coach Jason Garrett said of Romo. "I thought he moved in the pocket really well. In critical situations, he ... allowed us to make plays." I wonder what he was about to say when he paused? He didn't totally muck it up by throwing a third interception?
Cardinals 23, Rams 20
Once again John Skelton looked like complete crap throwing for only 114 yard and 2 interceptions on his way to a 30.0 passer rating, but he was bailed out by 228 rushing yards from Beanie Wells, who also scored a TD, and an 80-yard punt return for a TD by Patrick Peterson. It was Peterson's 4th punt return for a TD, tying an NFL record, and it makes you wonder why anyone would be stupid enough to punt to him in the first place, especially the Rams who lost earlier in the year thanks to a Peterson TD. When asked what he thought about the Rams punting to him Peterson said, "I was actually very, very surprised." He could probably have thrown in a few more "verys". Oh well, stupid is as stupid does and this is the Rams we're talking about.
The Texans might be two games in first place with five remaining but the football gods are doing their best to make sure they don't make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They lost their best defensive player for the year, Mario William, in week 5, their starting QB Matt Schaub for the year in week 11, their best receiver Andre Johnson for almost two months, and now it looks like they've lost their backup QB Matt Leinart as well. Maybe he who shall not be named will want to come out of retirement again. Yet despite it all they just keep on winning. Mainly because their defense has been so dominating. They held the Jaguars to only 255 yards and 6 points, with the Jags only TD coming from their defense on a 38-yard fumble return. The Jags also had a change at QB when they pulled rookie Blaine Gabbert in the 4th quarter in favor of Luke McCown. "A quarterback is only as good as the players around him," Maurice Jones-Drew said who provided most of the Jags offense with 166 yards from scrimmage. So that's what Rex Grossman's problem has been.
Rainy conditions made for a sloppy game as the Bucs and Titans took turns fumbling the ball 8 times, 6 of which were lost, and ultimately combined for 9 turnovers. The Bucs did take a 17-10 lead into the 4th but behind the 190 rushing yards of Chris Johnson, who finally had the big game the Titans were hoping for when they made him the highest paid RB in the league, the Titans were able to take the lead on a 4th down TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Damian Williams with 3:01 to play. Damian? Don't people watch "The Omen" anymore? Unhappy with the poor officiating and sloppy play, Bucs coach Raheem Morris said afterwards, "It is what it is." Wait, that's what he said after last week's game. I guess he's into stating the obvious.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team record 6 field goals, Shane Lechler's booming punts neutralized dynamic returner Devin Hester, and the Raiders defense intercepted backup QB Caleb Hanie 3 times to hold on for the win. "Those guys are game-changers," Carson Palmer said who finished with 301 yards passing but also had an interception and had trouble getting the ball in the end zone. "There's not many punter-kicker combinations in the league...there can't be a better one." Hey, what about David Akers and Andy Lee? That's right. The teams from the Bay Area may not have won a lot over the last decade before this season but at least we have great kickers.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 10-0 lead behind Vince Young who threw for a career high 400 yards but it wasn't nearly enough to keep pace with the Patriots offense and Tom Brady who threw for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Eagles fell to 1-5 at home this season and angry fans let their displeasure known when they began chanting in the second half, "Fire Andy!" Sure, fire a guy who's led your team to the playoffs 9 times over the last 12 years including the team's second Super Bowl appearance. Then again, what can you really expect from a fan base that threw snowballs at Santa Clause.
Remember in "The Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Indiana Jones gets into a fight with the German mechanic by the airplane? Jones gives him his best shot before getting the crap beat out of him, only getting saved because the airplane propeller chopped up the mechanic from behind. That was kind of like this game. The Lions outplayed the Packers in the first half giving them their best shot, but ultimately got the snot beat of them. And in this case there was no propeller to save them. Aaron Rodgers threw for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns, Matthew Stafford threw for 276 yards but also had 3 interceptions, and Ndamukong Suh got ejected for trying to catch his balance by stomping on Evan Dietrich-Smith's right arm. "I apologize to my teammates and my fans and my coaches for putting myself in a position to be misinterpreted and taken out of the game," Suh said. Misinterpreted? You repeatedly pushed Smith's face into the ground and then stomped on his arm. It was about as easy to interpret your intentions as it was to interpret Edward Norton when he curb stomped that guy in "American History X" (Just a warning, there's profanity in the link). And yes, that was my 3rd movie reference.
Tyler Palko grew up in Pennsylvania as a huge Steelers fan and even played his college ball at the University of Pittsburg. On Sunday night he showed his loyalty to the Steelers by making sure they were able to keep pace with the Ravens for first place in the AFC North. Palko managed only 167 passing yards and threw 3 interceptions, none of which were bigger than his last one which came at the end of the game after the Chiefs had driven to the Steelers 37-yard line. Not that it was all his fault since his intended target, Dwayne Bowe, made the executive decision of protecting his ribs instead of going for the ball. Now Palko will have to compete with newly acquired Kyle Orton to keep his job. "Tyler is the starter," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said, "but whatever positions we say, if someone gives us a better chance to win, that's the guideline we generally follow." Wait, that's the guideline you generally follow? What would be the exception? Is that kind of like the policy Penn St generally follows about not allowing known child molesters to hang around the team?
Now the Giants know how the occupy Wall Street protesters feel. Although, as we heard on The O'Reilly Factor, pepper spray is a food product so I don't know what everyone's getting all bent out of shape over. Then again, Tabasco sauce is also a food product and I don't think I'd want that sprayed in my eyes either. Drew Brees carved up the Giants secondary for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns and just generally made them look silly. "It's hard not to know when you're getting your butt whipped," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. Really, what more is there to say.
Ravens 16, 49ers 6