KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 18: Tamba Hall #91 and Kendrick Lewis #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after a win against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Kansas CIty, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Packers 19-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
I've been waiting for the 49ers to have a "suck it" win for some time now. I thought they had it when they won on the road in Detroit, but the Lions aren't your traditional powerhouse team and they've struggled some after that loss. I then thought they had their "suck it" win when they beat the Giants, but the Giants had previously lost to the Seahawks and they've been really inconsistent. Now that they humiliated the Steelers on MNF, I feel like they finally got their "suck it" win.
Sure Ben Roethlisberger wasn't 100% and they didn't have cheap shot artist extraordinaire James Harrison, but the 49ers were without Patrick Willis and lost both Ted Ginn and Joe Staley before the end. And let's be honest, Frank Gore hasn't been at 100% for some time now. As for the whining I've been hearing from some Steelers fans about the chop block penalty and the penalty on the FG that allowed the 49ers to turn it into a TD, the 49ers had their own horrible chop block penalty called on them that killed a drive in Steelers territory.
So to all those critics who said the Steelers would crush the 49ers and to everyone who still says they're pretenders and have no chance in the playoffs against a real playoff team, Suck It!
Noooo! Khaaaaaan! Wait, that's not right. Bradeeeeeey! The Broncos offense flipped the script by playing well in the first quarter, putting up 16 points on their first three drives, but they got little going after that. Tom Brady shredded the Broncos usually stout defense for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns and the Patriots quieted the talk of making Tebow a Saint. After the game Bill Belichick went up to Tebow and said, "Tim, I am your father." To which Tebow replied, "Coming from a great coach like you, that's an honor." Seriously, the guy never seems to get upset at anything. He then jumped off a platform but luckily there was a slide at the bottom and after coming to a rest there was a conveniently placed hatch that just happened to open at that moment, because what duct system doesn't have oddly placed hatches that open on their own at random times making it much easier for someone to fall out the bottom of Cloud City so if needed, they could be more easily picked up by the Millenium Falcon? Yes, I referenced both Star Trek and Star Wars because I'm a geek and proud of it.
The rest of week 15 after the jump...
Well that settles it. If the Packers can't beat a team like the Chiefs who were 5-8 coming into the game and just fired their head coach, they're clearly playoff pretenders. Kyle Orton, who was cut by the Broncos, made his first start for the Chiefs throwing for 299 yards and led a Chiefs offense that had been averaging just 304 yards per game to 438 total yards. Meanwhile Ryan "Just because I like the boss it doesn't make me a" Succup made all 4 of his field goal attempts and has now made 21 in a row. Come on! If the Packers are going to give up 19 points to the NFL's 31st ranked scoring offense and only manage 14 points, while being completely shutout in the first half, to the NFL's 22nd ranked scoring defense, what are they going to do if they have to go against the NFL's 2nd ranked scoring offense (Saints) or the NFL's top ranked scoring defense(49ers)? It's obvious they won't stand a chance. And before I get any angry comments from Literal Larry, I don't have a sarcasm font.
For the first time in 14 years the Colts got a win from a quarterback not named Peyton Manning. Dan Orlovsky got his first win in his 10th NFL start and also avoided the distinction of becoming the only man in NFL history to play for two 0-16 teams. Not that he did a whole lot throwing for just 82 yards, but he did also throw a TD and Donald Brown gouged the Titans defense for 161 yards and a TD on just 16 carries. Throw in a Jacob Lacey 32-yard interception returned for a TD and you have the Colts first win in almost a year. Their last win came 50 weeks ago when they beat, yes you got it, the Titans. "We just weren't playing well at all," coach Mike Munchak said. "The intensity wasn't there at the start." Too bad for you it also wasn't there in the middle or at the end either. If the '72 Dolphins break out the champagne every year their streak stays intact, what do the '08 Lions drink to celebrate their streak remaining? Pabst Blue Ribbon?
Seahawks 38, Bears 14
When the Bears traded two first round picks, a third round pick, and Kyle Orton for Jay "I'm not a quitter" Cutler I thought they gave up way too much, but after watching them fall apart in their last four games I'm starting to realize why they gave up as much as they did. Just look at Caleb Hanie's stat line: 10/23, 111 yards, 1 TD, 3 interceptions (2 of which were returned for touchdowns). Do the Bears still feel like Donovan McNabb wouldn't have been an improvement? "When Jay went down, I thought we were missing a key piece on our football team," Lovie Smith said as he secretly stabbed needles into a voodoo doll of Chiefs GM Scott Pioli for grabbing Orton off waivers before them. "To go on a four-game losing streak, no, that wasn't part of my mindset." I wonder what his mindset wil be in regards to a 6-game losing streak.
The Rams honored former great Marshal Faulk at halftime, inducting him into the ring of fame, and half the people with tickets couldn't be bothered to show up. If the Jaguars move to L.A. maybe the Rams could move to Jacksonville. Andy Dalton struggled for much of the game but he did go over 3,000 passing yards on the season and A.J. Green caught 6 passes for 115 yards giving him over 1,000 on the year. As for the Rams, they started recently signed Kellen Clemens and he actually looked decent, completing 25 of his 36 pass attempts for 229 yards and a TD, making Lovie Smith wonder why the Bears didn't try to bring him in either. "I know all the offensive guys," Clemens said. "I literally have gone home at night and just looked at a roster because I think that's important from a leadership stand point." You looked at a roster? Wouldn't it have made more sense to go to learn about them on facebook?
Dolphins 30, Bills 23
Remember when the Bills were 5-2 and were looking to challenge in the AFC East since they'd already beaten the Patriots? How about when the Dolphins were 0-7, Reggie Bush made the comment they weren't a very good team, and their fans were holding up "Suck for Luck" signs? Now they're both 5-9. Matt Moore threw for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns, Bush ran circles around the Bills defense carrying the ball 25 times for 203 yards and a TD, and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions and still hasn't won since signing his big contract. Man, every week that just keeps on getting funnier. "It's like a tale of two seasons," Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay said. "I think we expected to win every time we stepped on the field. I don't think we expect to win now." Don't worry, no one else expects you to win now either.
Saints 42, Vikings 20
Can anyone slow down Drew Brees? On Sunday he completed 32 of his 40 passes for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns and now only needs 304 more yards to break Dan Marino's single season passing yards record. Anyone know where Tonya Harding got that guy who hit Nancy Kerrigan with a lead pipe in the knee? "I'd definitely vote him MVP, but I don't think what I say goes and I'm definitely biased, but he's not going to get it," Saints guard Carl Nicks said. "He might break the yardage record and Rodgers might break the touchdowns record. What do you value more?" Is that a rhetorical question? I think I can speak for most 49ers fans when I say yardage. Why would you want a TD when field goals make the game so much more interesting? Again Literal Larry, sarcasm font.
Redskins 23, Giants 10
Earlier in the year Giants safety Antrel Rolle said if the Giants and Redskins played 100 times they Giants would win 95 of them. He later amended that statement before the start of this game by saying they would actually win 99 of those games. Well the Giants and Redskins won't play 100 times this season but they did play twice and the Giants managed to go 0-2 in those games. I guess that means the Giants are poised to win the next 198 times they play. As usual Rex Grossman committed his required 2 turnovers but he was one upped in this one since Eli Manning threw 3 interceptions. Yet in spite of the loss they still control their own destiny. If they beat the Jets next week at home, sorry, on the road in their home stadium, and beat the Cowboys in week 17 they'll get the 4th seed in the playoffs. Of course this is nothing new for the Giants. For the last several years they've played great at the start of the season and then petered out at the end. They're like someone who just took a big bump of coke. They're all talkative and energetic but 45 minutes later they're moody and quiet and suddenly need to take yet another trip to the bathroom.
Lions 28, Raiders 27
When the Raiders Aaron Curry returned a fumble 6 yards for a TD and a 27-14 lead with only 7:47 to play, it looked like it was going to be just another late season loss by the Lions. That's when Matthew Stafford, who threw for 391 yards and 4 touchdowns, took over. He led the Lions on two straight TD drives and gave them their first lead of the game when he found Calvin Johnson, who finished with 214 yards receiving, for a 6-yard TD with just 39 seconds to play. Sebastian Janikowski's 65-yard FG attempt was blocked on the final play by Ndamukong Suh who threw his helmet in the air and caught his balance by stomping on any Raiders player that was lying on the ground. "That's just the things that I expect out of myself," Suh said. "I can't do it by myself. I continue to have great players around me to have me make great plays, as well." Yes, I also do great things because the people around me make me do great things. I honestly read that several times and I'm still not totally sure what it says.
Jets 19, Eagles 45
Santonio Holmes scored a 25-yard TD, put his foot on top of the ball, flapped his arms like an Eagle, and was then flagged for excessive celebration. The Eagles meanwhile simply pointed at the scoreboard and said, "You do realize you're still being killed 28-10?" It's like gloating after winning a $50 pot in poker even though you're still down $1,000. Michael Vick threw for 274 yards and a TD, and LeSean McCoy ran for 102 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Eagles completely humiliated the Jets. And it's not always easy to humiliate grown men who run around the field pretending to be airplanes. As odd as it sounds, and in spite of all their struggles, the Eagles can still make the playoffs. If they beat the Cowboys and Redskins in their last two games, and the Giants lose to the Jets and beat the Cowboys, the Eagles will win the NFC East and host a playoff game. "It feels good to still have a chance to even be considered in the playoff race," Vick said. Huh? It feels good to have a chance to be considered? I'm sure that's what every football player dreams of, having a shot at having a shot at having a chance to make the playoffs.
The Browns took a 17-7 lead into the 4th quarter but aided by John Skelton's 313 passing yards, the Cardinals scored the last 13 points of the game, including the game winning FG in overtime after a 32-yard punt return by Patrick Peterson gave them the ball at the Browns 40-yard line. They've now won 6 of their last 7 games, with 3 of them coming in overtime, and are at .500 for the first time since week 2. It also means that they too can still make the playoffs. All they need to do is win their last two games against the Bengals and Seahawks, have the Lions lose their last two games against the Chargers and Packers, and have the Bears lose to either the Packers and Vikings. Actually, now that I'm looking at it, all they really need to do is win out and have the Lions lose to the Chargers and they're in, unless the Packers get upset again. Holy crap! And it turns out the same is true for the Seahawks. If they beat the 49ers...alright, they have no chance at making the playoffs.
Ravens 14, Chargers 34
Well it's December and that means the Chargers are almost impossible to beat. Phillip Rivers is looking more like himself of late as he threw for 270 yards and a TD while leading their offense to 4 touchdowns and 2 field goals in their first 7 offensive possessions. The Ravens only sack was wiped out because of a penalty and more importantly for the Chargers, Rivers didn't turn the ball over. Meanwhile Joe Flacco continued to be erratic, throwing for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns but also having 2 passes intercepted. The Chargers are kind of like some of the girls I've met in bars. The look really good but when I see them in the morning I start to wonder what was I thinking. Then I see them in the bar again a few weeks later and suddenly they're looking pretty good again. Too bad the Chargers need more than some makeup, a tight dress, and some curled hair to fix their problems.
Cowboys 31, Buccaneers 15
Tony Romo shredded the Bucs secondary for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Cowboys retook first place in the NFC East while the Bucs continue their tailspin, losing their 8th straight. The win gives the Cowboys some of their swagger back which means they're more than likely going to get crushed at home by the Eagles next week.
I'm running out of time so I'm going to have to do a quick twofer. I guess that's what happens when you wake up with a horrible hangover from celebrating so much and get a late start. The Falcons crushed the Jags all but locking up a playoff spot while the Jags proved they're the horrible team we all knew they were. Meanwhile T.J. Yates came back to earth for the Texans, throwing two interceptions, and the Texans defense finally got humbled giving up 28 points for the first time since week 6. You know, I've always wanted to do a twofer, but somehow in m y fantasy it was really a lot more exciting.
Steelers 3, 49ers 20
Once again, to all the 49ers haters out there, suck it!