Monday, November 30, 2009

AB4AR's Week 12 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 12 Recap

Green Bay 34 Detroit 12

In this year's example for why the NFL needs to remove the Lions from their yearly spot on the Thanksgiving schedule, the Pack absolutely demolished the hapless Cats.  Aaron Rodgers tuned the Detroit secondary up to the total of 348 yards and 3 TDs and Charles Woodson had another fantastic all-around game, punctuated by his 2 INTs.  If there was an NFL Heisman Award, Woodson would have to be considered a front runner, as evidenced by his endzone celebration.  Matt Stafford, only a week removed from the game of his young career, did all he could to steer the "crappy rookie QB" discussion from Mark Sanchez to himself by throwing 4 picks.

Dallas 24 Oakland 7

What the flu vaccine is the the flu, the Oakland Raiders defense is to struggling offenses.  Tony Romo threw for 309 yards and 2 TDs and Miles Austin racked up 6 of his 7 catches, 130 of his 145 yards, and his 1 TD in the first half of a game that was 3 times not as close as the final score indicated.  While Bruce Gradkowski did perform better than Jamarcus Russell would have, sideline cameras showed Russell constantly looking confused and disinterested on the sidelines with his hat pushed up above his ears.  The dude is so bad that he even sucks at standing on the sideline!!  Ryan Leaf, get ready to move out of the top floor of the "All-Time NFL First Round Draft Busts" Hotel.

Denver 26 NY Giants 6

The Broncos picked themselves up out of the grave like a backup dancer from the "Thriller" video as the Giants replaced them in the finale of the Thanksgiving blowout trifecta.  Eli looked lost trying to navigate Denver's D and now has a stress reaction to go with his plantar fascia-whatever-you-call-it.  Making matters worst, Brandon Jacobs has gone from the beast of RB beasts to that crappy kid in Pee Wee football who is forced to play RB when the #1 defense is scrimmaging the #2 offense in practice; he tip-toes parallel to the line and goes down easier than Alyssa Milano on a #3 National League starting pitcher (ZING!!)

Indianapolis 35 Houston 27

Talk about a collapse.  After being up 17-0 early and 20-7 at the half, the Texans imploded like the Cowboys' practice facility and all but killed their playoff hopes as they fell once again to Peyton 'N Friends.  Although you can't really blame Houston's secondary for playing a little passive in the second half after all the bogus pass interference calls against them on the Colts opening 3rd-quarter drive.  If running stride-for-stride with a guy is considered PI now, then I guess Champ Bailey and Darrelle Revis will have to retire.  Manning was his typical cool, calm self as he used his laser rocket arm to toss 3 TDs and keep the Colts unbeaten, locking up the division in the process.

Philadelphia 27 Washington 24

Donovan McNabb threw for 260 and a touch, but it was his leading the Eagles' late 4th-quarter drive that helped set them up for the eventual game-winning FG.  And he did it all without puking in the huddle!  Our little boy is finally growing up.  McNabb led the late drive without #1 WR DeSean Jackson, who left with a concussion.  RB Brian Westbrook immediately tried to console Jackson by telling him "it's okghgsk, yioufs haveothsl ts ijfghit rhtiur eit, andhgjet yuoisw wil hsiheb ok."  This just in, LeSean McCoy is good, I mean really good.  Hey everyone!!  Come see how good LeSean McCoy is!

NY Jets 17 Carolina 6

The Jets followed a winning formula to victory yesterday, ratcheting the offense back to a 3rd-grade level for Mark Sanchez and letting Jack Delhomme do what Jack Delhomme does best.  Sanchez was 13-17 for 154 yards and managed to not fuck anything up too bad while Delhomme tossed 4 INTs, one of which was returned for a touchdown.  Surprisingly, Carolina stuck with Delhomme as their running game was nowhere to be found.  If you can limit your turnovers and just wait for Delhomme to inevitably commit his 3-5 per game, you should have a good chance to win against the Panthers.

Seattle 27 St. Louis 17

Justin Forsett became the latest member of the "guys I should have picked up off the waiver wire" club as he broke loose for 130 yards rushing and 2 TDs on just 22 carries yesterday, leading the Seahawks to their first road win of the season against the Ewes.  The Rams were helped by the good Kyle Boller: 282 yards and 1 TD, but killed by the bad Kyle Boller: 2 INTs.  To celebrate their first road win of the year, the Seahawks all went out to Chuckie Cheese for pizza and Whack-A-Mole.

Cincinnati 16 Cleveland 7

The most un-entertaining game of the weekend ended in a much-needed win for the Bengals to keep their division lead intact.  Cleveland's hapless offensive performance (169 total yards) should guarantee Eric Mangini a spot in the NFL unemployment line in the off-season, and Brady Quinn's 100-yard performance combined with Charlie Weis' firing guarantees that as of right now, there is nothing good that came from Weis' tenure as head coach.  Larry Johnson, subbing for the still-injured Cedric Benson, ran for 107 yards on 22 carries, albeit an incredibly gay 107 yards.

Atlanta 20 Tampa Bay 17

Who needs Matt Ryan and Michael Turner when you've got Chris Redman, right?  After losing Ryan and Turner to injuries, the Falcons had to turn to Chris Redman (I know, I didn't think he was still in the league either) to lead them to victory, and lead he did.  Redman threw for 243 yards and 2 TDs in relief, including the game-winning TD pass to Roddy White as time expired.  Redman's heroics ruined a great day for Josh Freeman, who went 20-29 with 250 yards, 2 TDs, and an RBI single in the bottom of the 6th.

Buffalo 31 Miami 14

After stumbling threw the first 3 quarters, the Bills exploded for 24 points in the 4th quarter to beat Miami and deal a serious blow to their playoff hopes.  Terrell Owens put together his 2nd consecutive productive week for the first time in almost 3 seasons as he had 5 catches, 96 yards, and a TD.  Ricky Williams 115 yards and 1 TD wasn't enough to overcome Chad Henne's Delhomme-esque 3-INT performance that sealed the Dolphins' fate.

Tennessee 20 Arizona 17

Despite putting up 532 yards of total offense, the Titans needed every last second to defeat the Cardinals yesterday.  Chris Johnson had 154 yards and a TD on just 18 carries as he continued his march towards 2,000 yards, but it was Vince Young's 387 yards and game-winning TD pass with no time left that won it for Tennessee.  The pass by Young capped off a 99-yard drive in which he completed 3 4th down passes to keep the drive alive.  If Young keeps playing like this, I'm not going to be able to make any more suicide jokes.  Matt Leinart surprisingly didn't play awful, but just like in the National Championship Game a few years ago, was severely upstaged by VY.

San Francisco 20 Jacksonville 3

Alex Smith had a workman-like 232-yard, 2-TD performance to lead the '9ers, and while he didn't throw any picks, David Garrard's 2 lost fumbles hurt the Jags in their loss.  I've been preaching the power of the hyphenated-name duo all year and yesterday proved exactly why.  Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker combined for barely over 100 yards and 0 TDs.  Coincidence?  Not likely.

San Diego 43 Kansas City 14

If you're going to turn the ball over 4 times like the Chiefs did yesterday against a quality opponent, then you better be prepared to take a beating.  A beating was something that Phillip Rivers and company were only so happy to deliver as he threw for 317 yards and 2 TDs, both to Antonio Gates, who after toiling in the single-digit points scored dungeon for weeks, decided to break out for 7-118-2 on the day when I inexplicably leave him off my fantasy roster.  Damn you, Antonio Gates.  Damn you to Hell.

Minnesota 36 Chicago 10

Brett was Favre-tastic yesterday, throwing for 392 and 3 TDs, completing 6 passes each to Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, and Chester Taylor.  Harvin's first career 100-yard receiving game gets him closer to a potential Rookie of the Year Award, and another beatdown gets Lovie Smith one loss closer to joining Eric Mangini in the unemployment line.  Has anybody seen Matt Forte?  Seriously, what the fuck happened to that guy?  Is he alright?  Should we send somebody over to his house to check on him?  Maybe Jay Cutler could throw an errant pass through his window so we could get inside.

Baltimore 20 Pittsburgh 17 (OT)

In a game that lived up to its hard-hitting, defensive battle billing, the Ravens pulled out a much-needed overtime win to vault back into the last AFC playoff spot.  3rd-string QB Dennis Dixon actually did a couple things to help the Steelers win, scoring 2 TDs, and didn't do anything to make them lose, until that fateful pick in overtime.  Can't really blame the guy, though, since he would never have been in that position if Big Ben wasn't such a pussy.  Come on, dude, concussion my ass!  Rub some dirt on it and get out there.  I think I'm starting to develop a bit of a man crush on Ray Rice, and I am not ashamed of it.

MNF Prediction

New England 34 New Orleans 31

By the time this one is over, we'll be calling it the Game of the Year.  This baby will have everything: scoring, turnovers, big hits, gutsy calls, tons of made up adjectives and adverbs by Jaws and Gruden, and gallons of semen shot out of both of their cocks as they describe the QB play of Tom Brady and Drew Brees.  Bring your rain coat and goggles, Tirico, because you're in for a long night.  I don't know why, but something tells me New Orleans will need one timeout on their last drive of the game but won't have it, and that will end up costing them a chance at a game-tying FG.

MNF Predictions for the season (winners): 9-3

Jeter Wins SI's Sportsman of the Year. (And It's About Damn Time)

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter has been selected Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, becoming the first member of the New York Yankees to win the award.

The magazine made the announcement Monday.

"It's unbelievable. It was completely unexpected. It came out of the blue," Jeter told The Associated Press during a break in the photo shoot. "When I heard it, what can you say? It's one of the greatest honors you can achieve in sports."

The 35-year-old Jeter is the first Bronx Bomber to be tapped for the award that has been given out since 1954. Swimmer Michael Phelps was last year's recipient.

"That's even harder considering all the great Yankee players that have played for this organization," said Jeter, standing under the banners depicting Yankees greats that hang in the Great Hall of the new stadium. "So I hope I've done them proud."

Sports Illustrated Group editor Terry McDonell certainly thinks he has.

"This verifies my idea that he is on the level of Ruth and Gehrig," McDonell said. "He's the greatest shortstop in the history of the game."

All business between the lines, Jeter has become one of the untarnished ambassadors in the steroids era of baseball through steady play and quiet leadership on and off the field.

"He's so classy," McDonell said. "He brings a dignity and elegance to the game."

Jeter's 2009 season was remarkable. He batted .334 with 18 homers and 66 RBIs with 30 steals to help lead the Yankees to their first World Series title in nine years -- a frustrating drought for the player who won four championships in his first five seasons.

And as calls swelled for Jeter to switch positions after his contract expires in 2010, the 10-time All-Star went out and had one of his best defensive seasons: He made a career-low eight errors in winning his fourth Gold Glove.

He also passed Yankees icon Lou Gehrig's club record for hits, won the Hank Aaron Award as the AL's top hitter, and was given the Roberto Clemente Award for excellence on and off the field.

The World Series victory might have been Jeter's most cherished accomplishment this year, but what clinched the sportsman award for him was his philanthropic work. Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation has doled out over $10 million in grants since 1996 to organizations that help keep young people away from alcohol and drugs.

"It's about the manner of the striving and the quality of the effort, too," McDonell said. "Off the field he has grown so much as a member of the community."

For Jeter, who only looks as far ahead as the next game, he's nowhere near the end of an illustrious career that could culminate with 4,000 hits.

"I'll take it one hit at a time. That's a long way in the future," said Jeter, who has 2,747 hits. "I'm going to play as long as I'm having fun. Right now I'm having a blast." (story courtesy of the AP)

Another day, another award for Derek Jeter. World Series champion? Yeah, sure. Whatever. Gold Glove? Meh. Silver Slugger Award? Yawn. Hank Aaron Award, Roberto Clemente Award, and now Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Reading through that glorious description of Jeter's season made me both a little misty and little aroused at the same time. For Yankee fans, reading a list of Jeter's accomplishments is like romance novels for middle-aged women and this was no exception. Not bad for an overrated, washed up player whose best years are behind him.

To be honest, I'm not surprised Jeter won the award. As this season has shown, his accomplishments both on and off the field are more than enough to declare him worthy. What does surprise me is that it took this long for him to finally win, and that no Yankee has ever won this award in the 50+ years that SI has been in existence? Here I thought the media had only developed their intense negative bias towards the Yankees in the last 5 years or so, and now it's clear that SI has had it out for the Bombers since their inception.

You're telling me guys like Roger Maris, Thurman Munson, and Mariano Rivera were never worthy of Sportsman of the Year? Michael Fucking Phelps won it last year and all the dude did was win some swim meets, stutter and stammer through interviews with his horse mouth, and take a few bong rips at a frat party. If Sports Illustrated cared even a little bit about being fair and having this award mean something, they will go back and not only award Roger, Thurm, and The Sandman an award for one of their past seasons, but also award Jeter the award for 1998, 1999, and 2003.

Now of course the critics will be coming out of the woodwork today and for the rest of the week pointing out that Jeter's OBP was the lowest of the last 5 winners of the Sportsman of the Year. And you can pretty much take it to the bank that some stat geek at ESPN has created a formula proving that Jeter's VORSOY (Value Over Replacement Sportsman of the Year) is the 3rd-lowest out of all AL shortstops. But the bottom line is Jeter continues to be among the best at what he does on and off the field and there is still an overwhelming majority of his critics and peers who recognize just how special an athlete he is. That universal respect is something that can't be quantified and it's that respect that holds more value than any ridiculous stat created just for the purpose of trying to make Jeter look like less than he is.

So congratulations, Captain. It's been a long time coming and when you add everything up from this past season, there really isn't anybody more deserving.