NFL Week Four In Review, Matt Nathanson, Father Time And Gameplanning For DangeRuss
A famous bard once said “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” So this week is going to be a little bit of a smorgasbord with a bunch of football and some other stuff thrown in.
Let’s start with the greatest decision a person ever makes: the neck tattoo. In this case, it’s totally legit and probably will never lead to any ragrets.
The Eagles are just dominant! It’s like god is pulling that trophy away from those outreached hands.
On a positive note, Chip Kelly took all the blame for the poor start. As he should. It’s important for leaders to be leaders, you know? Like Matthew Stafford (#9) throwing this sick, bone-crunching block for Ameer Abdullah.
What a coward. That’s like the visual definition of coward. I can’t say I blame him. He knows he sucks. That’s something you can’t say about a lot of NFL players. They’re mostly these tweaked out Type A personalities who have always been the most amazing physical specimen that anyone around them knows and then they have to play against Kam Chancellor.
The biggest question on the minds of NFL scribes three weeks from now is going to be WHAT’S WRONG WITH CALVIN JOHNSON?
I’m telling you, something’s really wrong. I love Megatron. I like how he’s not that talky and just quietly goes about his business. I’ve been bummed to see him take so many hits over the years, but I think it’s finally caught up with him. I hope to god I’m wrong and he goes off this week, but right now, he’s not running deep, he’s playing kind of a possession receiver role and his hands look iffy. I never thought I’d say that. His hands look iffy. I feel like something didn’t heal right and he’s just broken.
Speaking of things that are broken, Justin Forsett.
Listen, I know he ran for a buck and a half last week, but that was all smoke and mirrors. I thought he’d have a drop off this season and he has. That’s why I mentioned for people to pick up Javorius Allen in fantasy — I should have clarified that he’s a slow burn. That’s my favorite thing in fantasy outside of a really good trade. Finding talent before anyone else does and patiently waiting for them to pop. For example, here’s a list of talent at every position that you could grab and stash on your fantasy team:
QB: Teddy Bridgewater - yes, he doesn’t throw enough with AP and a run first approach, but as AP wears down (and he will) Teddy will start to put the team on his back.
RB: Christine Michael - is he a hail mary? Yep. But I still think that if he gets his looks (and he’s already run with the 1’s in practice) he’ll be an absolute monster behind that Dallas line.
WR: Jamison Crowder - Nine targets in each of the last two weeks, plus he returns kicks if you get points for that. He’s talented. Things may get weird when Desean gets back but he’s earned the trust of his quarterback and the Washington staff.
TE: Crockett Gillmore - he’s faster than you think and has soft hands. Grab him before someone else does (he’s out with a calf injury right now)
So why am I so confident that Justin Forsett blows? Why am I so confident that Adrian Peterson will slow down? Why do I think that Marshawn Lynch is headed for the cliff? Simple. Over on Reddit one dude made a compilation of all the running back seasons since 1978 and this is what it looks like.
You cannot F with Father Time or Mother Nature.
But you can F with scout team players. Iiiiiiiiiiif yer a douche.
This week it was reported that Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a douche. Why? Because when scout team players - basically paid tackling dummies for NFL starters who are used as a filler team in the event of starter injuries - were told to go easy on Tannehill during practices and let him run his offense, they refused and began intercepting him and dominated the offense. Tannehill responded by getting angry, attacking several scout team players verbally, making fun of their weekly salary, and saying that one of them was the “Scout Team MVP.” It was further reported that his coach at the time told the players to ease up.
That coach is now an ex-coach, and anyone who follows football at any level will scratch their heads wondering why a professional starting NFL quarterback would ever need replacement level players to go easy on him. The juxtaposition floating around is that another starting NFL quarterback on a rival team actually PAYS scout team players if they can pick him off in practice. Seems like that’s a cultural difference that will show up on Sundays.
In his defense, Tannehill showed umbrage that anyone would dare suggest that he would mock anyone’s salary. The nerve! The rest of the demeaning things he said to fellow players?
Yeah, he didn’t refute those.
Incidentally, guess who’s in charge of that other quarterback? The one who pays scout team players if they pick him off? This kid:
Okay, so let’s take a quick look at the week that was:
Jets vs Dolphins
Todd Bowles is showing New York fans what a competent coach actually looks like and Chris Ivory is a goddamn battering ram. The Jets current MVP? Ik Enemkpali, for knocking out Geno Smith in the preseason.
Had he not, Bowles would have been forced to start Geno Smith and this season would have already looked like a dog pissing on a burning bag of Fritos. As for the Fins, well, I love me some Dan Campbell who’s a Parcells devotee, but is he a man from the wrong time forced to perform in a world he doesn’t understand? Is Dan Campbell Encino Man?
Giants vs Bills
Let’s check the excuse jar….aaaaaaaand yep. We’re officially out of excuses for Rex Ryan. He’s just not a good coach. Defensive coordinator? Yes. Head coach? No.
Jags vs Colts
That game seems like weeks ago since the Colts played on Thursday night. The only thing that saves Chuck Pagano’s job is a Super Bowl and this team is a long way from that. Still, two division wins in four days is a plus, but you have to wonder just how nicked up Andrew Luck is, and should we be worried that a 40 year old ran the offense better than he did?
Chiefs vs Bengals
I’m starting to really believe in this Cincinnati team. They look like they’re executing everywhere and playing like professionals. Then I have to remind myself that Marvin Lewis is at the helm and will find a way to steer this ship into the rocks. Tomorrow’s game vs Seattle will be a real eye opener for both teams.
Washington Team vs Eagles
Well, count me as one of the ones that expected more. I came out of my main fantasy draft with no Eagles and I was like “fuuuuuuck!” and now I’m like “whew.” I still think they’ll turn it around. That’s the sweet delicious goodness of the Chip Kelly Kool-Ade.
As for the Washingtonians, man I love watching Chris Thompson. That kid is electric. He makes Alfred Morris look like a bulldozer. Could Jay Gruden actually be building a team that can actually win? Could the decision to start Kirk Cousins be a stability play that’s paying off? With young talent like Crowder and Thompson and Matt Jones on offense could this team actually make a run at the division? Tough to say with Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson out but they look decent to me and that defense is not too shabby if you pretend you don’t notice the secondary.
Raiders vs Bears
I still have a hard time believing that the Bears triumphed. Jay Cutler is a real hero. Still, there’s not a lot to like about being a Bears fan. This actually happened vs the Seahawks a couple of weeks ago
The Raiders? There’s a lot to like there, although I expect them to get their collective dicks pushed in by Denver this weekend.
Panthers vs Bucs
It doesn’t surprise me that Tampa Bay lost. I expect them to lose. What surprises me is that Carolina is undefeated. Cam Newton for MVP? I mean, how? Shit run game. Shit pass game. Kelvin Benjamin drinking peach schnapps on gameday. Your #1 receiver is fucking Ted Ginn! Even Ted Ginn’s mother doesn’t root for Ted Ginn. This team is winning through defense and shitty opponents and Cam Newton willing it. Bizarre.
Falcons vs. Texans
Thanks to Dan Quinn the Falcons are what everyone always thought they could be. Goddamn this season is a referendum on the horrible job by Mike Smith. This just outs him as a complete buffoon. It’s not like they had a huge influx of talent. They’re playing defense and they’re playing smart. I’ll say that the more I hear Roddy White “not complain” the more I dislike him. Sorry that it took so long to get Dan Quinn, but you need to have a big glass of shut the hell up, grandma. Just be quiet and enjoy the ride. This team has a shot for the first time in years.
Browns vs Chargers
I was pulling for the Browns. I’m always kind of pulling for the Browns, but man they are disappointing. Josh McCown is playing a solid brand of football but I refuse to waste my tears on them until they go into Baltimore and defeat the worst Ravens team in a decade. How about that Travis Benjamin?
As far as the Chargers go, maybe it’s just because I don’t like the organization much, or maybe it’s because Philip Rivers’ stupid face and personality and general affect and throwing style and how he calls out his receivers and how he acts like a spaz and how he thinks he’s god’s gift when he’s just this halfwit old testament turd is my kryptonite, but I don’t like this Chargers team. And the Antonio Gates vs Shannon Sharpe war of words is comical. Guess what Gates? I’ve always liked you more than Shannon Sharpe too, but if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime, fellah. Fantasy football owners of Keenan Allen are bracing for Gates’ target stealing impact.
Vikings vs Broncs
I’m allowed to say Broncs because I’m basically John Wayne after spending six days on a horse. I heart both of these teams. The Broncos because I have their defense in fantasy and I’ve been playing 20 years and only once before (two seasons ago with the Seahawks D) have I ever thought “I need some points. Let’s get my defense on the field.” It’s exhilarating what this defense is doing in fantasy and in real life. Just covering up so many problems for Peyton and that kind of fartfest of an offense. They need to use the Patriots model of the early nineties or Andy Reid’s Eagle model and start using the short passing game to backs in lieu of trying to run through non-existant holes from that crappy line.
The Vikings are another team I love. That defense is also playing strong. I love Teddy Bridgewater and Jerick McKinnon and Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson. I love me some Mike Zimmer and while I probably don’t share his politics I do share his love of a great coach/player bond, thinking defense first and ability to run the ball. He gets it, and this team is starting to.
Rams vs Cards
The Cardinals come crashing to earth once they play a good team, sixteen seconds after I write a Carson Palmer for Pope puff piece. Well sheeeeeeeeeeeiiiit. The Rams play teams in their division so hard. What’s the secret sauce to make them do that all the time? My guess is it’s three parts Todd Gurley, two parts Todd Gurley and one extra pinch of, um…Todd Gurley. He’s legit as fuuuuuuuck.
Packers vs Niners
Well, I think everyone thought this would get out of control. In reality, the Niners defense has some pretty good tacklers on it. The problem for them is scheme and that the offense doesn’t score any…points. Yeah, that’s the word. Points. I believe it was the great Chicago Bears sage John Fox who once explained that one must actually score more than zero points to win a football game. The Niners got three! Is that good enough? No? Ah, crud. The truth is that while Jim Tomsula’s loyalty to Kaep is admirable, he needs to be taken round back of the barn and put out of his misery. Not literally, of course. But benched. Blaine Gabbert will absolutely see the field this season, of not through a benching then through the inevitable injury that’s coming. Kaepernick is just terrible in the most basic sense of the word. I used to say he was a complete fraud and I hated all that kissing his fucking bicep stuff. Now I just feel badly for the guy and I wish I wasn’t such a powerful necromancer who made all this happen with my scorn. I’m officially removing that jinx from Kaep and putting it on an equally insufferable dbag: Russell Wilson.
Cowboys vs Saints
This was like watching your kids JV football game. As a Brandin Cooks owner, obviously I’m thrilled, (gahhhhhh), but man there was some bad football in this game. People tell me there’s no data to suggest that Jon Randle will lose his job and I give you the color of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s face skin when Randle had the ball swatted out of his hand at the goal line. Yes, it counted as a touchdown, but Garrett looked like he was going to Tom Coughlin on the field. What a shitshow both of these teams are. The Saints look forward to a shootout of comparable crapfests vs the Eagles this week. And who do the Cowboys have?
Ah. Yeah, that’s not gonna end well.
Lions vs. Seahawks
Man, I hate the Seahawks. Or rather, I love the organization, the way they draft, the scouting department, the head coach and GM and owner. I love how the defense plays and I love each and every defensive player in a one-on-one interview because they’re smart and interesting and I like them very much. But I hate Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. Graham is a me-first dickface. Baldwin is the Freddie Mitchell of the league. He sucks. And Russell Wilson is like this predictable Houdini that makes me crazy! Crazy I tells you! Every play it’s like play action fake, Wilson drops back sixteen yards. Defenders inexplicably take bad angles on him and he escapes and hits receivers who have now come open because he’s had the ball for nine seconds or he runs for a first down and ducks out of bounds before anyone can get a lick on him. It’s INFURIATING to watch. And yes, he got sacked seven times and is leading the league in sacks but it should be more. He should be sacked on every play. I’ll tell you this: If I was a defensive coordinator I’d tell my guys to give up thirty yards in the first quarter because I’d say “I want you guys to break his asshole off. I don’t care if he has a foot out of bounds, this dude NEVER GETS HIT. You run up and piledrive him. I don’t care if you get a 15 yard penalty. Do it TWICE. Put a hurt on this dainty little teacup. Pick him up and body slam him into the aluminum bench. I won’t care. Do it two times. That should be enough.” And some of you are thinking, jeeeeeeesus christ, Lord Castleton is a cheap motherfucker. Fine. The rest of you are thinking, “that’s actually not a bad idea.” He doesn’t get hit enough. He’s a master of evasion. Someone needs to bring the pain. Someone has to put the fear of god in that bastard. (Because he’s really religious. Get it?) Anyway, no team seems to get more artificial wins than the Seahawks and somehow it never affects their “swag.” I don’t like it.
The Lions still have Jim Caldwell as their coach, right? Okay, so they can’t win. Did the blown call at the end of the game matter? Not really because their head coach is Jim Caldwell and he blows. And anyway, the ref clearly didn’t see the play, so it’s a moot point. If I’m a player/coach/owner and you cost me a game because you don’t know the rules when your JOB IS TO KNOW THE FUCKING RULES I’m showing up Monday on Park ave with some molotov cocktails and wearing that Neo outfit before he stormed the building and I’d be like “I’m gonna burn down the whole operation!” I mean, there are millions of dollars on the line. Playoff implications. Wait, is Jim Caldwell the coach still? Yeah? Okay forget that. They won’t make the playoffs anyway.
Who knows. Maybe they’ll surprise us. Maybe the Falcons will lose this week. Maybe people will sack DangeRuss more. I love being surprised.
On that not, I’ll leave you with a great surprise video. You’ve probably already seen it, but I love it. Here’s singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson. He played a couple of chords from ACDC’s Shook Me All Night Long and everyone just started singing it. It’s awesome. It’s the kind of team-first environment we’re seeing in places like Green Bay and New England and Cincinnati and Carolina and Atlanta. And it’s fun. It’s just some good old fashioned fun.
Have a great weekend! See y’all next week.