Everybody’s In First Place!

Football chic! Official Rival-ts babes Elizabeth Price and Amanda Fines at a game in Cincinnati

Football chic! Official Rival-ts babes Elizabeth Price and Amanda Fines at a game in Cincinnati

All of the friends I watch football with root for either the Redskins, 49ers, or Broncos, and all three are in first place. Everybody I know is happy this week!

The Broncos still have to show up in week 17 to secure a bye; no rest for Manning! The Redskins still need to beat Dallas to win the NFC East and have been flexed to the Sunday Night game (more on that below). For a list of all important week 17 games, check out Chase Stewart’s comprehensive list.

Official Rival-Ts siblings Elizabeth and Alex Price

Official Rival-Ts siblings Elizabeth and Alex Price

I found a new sports bar this week! There were good people, Redskins fans and otherwise, watching at the west side’s Meadow Muffins. I plan on going back next week. Today I also rocked a “Not a Steelers Fan” t-shirt by Rival-Ts.com. They are the real deal, everybody at the bar today wanted one. Everyone except the one Steelers fan, but even he had to smile when he saw it. Football fans who have a sense of humor are great, because football is funny sometimes. I laughed when a Broncos safety returned an INT for a touchdown, but when the replay showed the ball hitting the ground first everybody in the building went “Awww!”

The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t in first place, but their fans probably feel like they might as well be! They beat the Steelers today and won a spot for themselves in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

The Redskins won again today. They have a top-5 offense when RGIII is healthy. After seeing Kaepernick and the 49ers doing it, I realized that every team with a fast QB is copying the Redskins’ read-option. Maybe Cam Newton and the Panthers pioneered it last year, but they don’t use it anymore (which is one of the major reasons they regressed so badly this year) and it’s one of the staples of the Redskins offense. Bravo to the Shanahans for doing a superb job with the team this year.

Cool enough for grandma, cool enough for anyone.

Cool enough for grandma, cool enough for anyone.

Can’t say I was surprised about the Cowboys. They’ve been winning a lot of close games, and teams that win a lot of close games tend also to lose a lot of close games. Now according to the NFL tiebreaking rules, the Cowboys can still win the NFC East, by the slimmest of margins. It comes down to the 3rd tier of tiebreaker: Dallas is 8-4 (.666) against common opponents, Washington is 7-5 (.583). I think the Redskins are the better team, and they are playing at home so they should win, making the tiebreakers moot. Unfortunately, they are playing for the right to host (and probably lose to) the Seahawks in the wild card round.

Now if Minnesota loses to Green Bay and Chicago loses to Detroit, the ‘Skins can lose and still make it as a wild card. I have to think they have a better chance to win in Green Bay than they do to against Seattle at home, but I don’t trust the Lions to beat the Bears, and I’m rooting for the ‘Skins sweep the Cowboys anyway. Maybe Richard Sherman will be suspended and Brandon Browner will be rusty and unfocused.

The Broncos are a machine this year, even more so than the 1997-98 teams with John Elway. Remember before the season, when a considerable percentage of Broncos fans thought it was a mistake to sign Peyton Manning instead of Tim Tebow? You don’t hear about that too much anymore. Denver fans are getting to see what happens when you go from the very worst quarterback in the NFL to the very best one.

Tom Brady and the Patriots are the only team realistically between Denver and the super bowl. I’d give the Broncos a slight edge vs. the Pats in the AFC championship, but I wouldn’t put any money on it. FO’s numbers have the Broncos, Pats, 49ers, and Seahawks head and shoulders better than everybody else.

Seattle faced a minor crisis back in week 13: both of their starting cornerbacks–Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner–were suspended for four games after testing positive for adderall–although illegal in the NFL, it’s one of the official drugs of the Warren Peace NFL ReportMike Tanier wrote the best article about the issue of adderall in the NFL and I don’t have anything to add. Sherman and Browner were the strength of Seattle’s defense; Browner accepted his penalty and will take the last four regular season games off, but he’ll return for the playoffs. Sherman is appealing his suspension, so he’ll be available for the end of the regular season to help ensure the team makes it to the playoffs, but he’ll likely miss the post-season. That’s making the best of a bad situation.

San Francisco at Seattle tonight is going to be a hell of a game. If San Fran can somehow knock Seattle down to the 6th seed instead of the 5th, the Redskins wouldn’t have to face them in the wild card round. Then if Green Bay can somehow beat them, the ‘Skins could win once, travel to Atlanta and beat them, and face (probably) San Francisco in the NFL championship. It’s looking less and less likely.

Rival-Ts.com

You know you want it!

  • Full disclosure: if you have a football-related product you want me to write about, send me a free one of it! Alex was smart and did just that. I was going to write about his shirt anyway though, because the logo cracks me up. The Steelers have too many fans across the country who don’t seem to have any particular reason to have picked the Steelers as their favorite team, some of whom couldn’t even tell you what state Pittsburgh is in. It’s in Delaware, right? Or was it in Iowa?

Correction: this article originally posted that the Redskins would beat the Cowboys in all tiebreaking scenarios; the Warren Peace NFL Report sincerely regrets the error. Also, early reports from Aaron Schatz indicate that Green Bay has moved up enough to join the Big 4 to make it the Big 5 teams going into week 17.

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Major Wright and Major Wrong

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) jumps past Chicago Bears strong safety Major Wright (21) Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

After the 49ers destroyed the Bears on week 11’s Monday night game, Grantland.com’s Bill Barnwell wrote “the 49ers produced several big plays against the Bears by exploiting safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright in coverage.” It must have taken NFL-level discipline and restraint to avoid making a pun on Major Wright’s–yes, that’s his real first name–first name.

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How Not to Use Your Challenge Flag

This photo has nothing to do with this article, but it looks awesome. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

For years, I complained that 49ers head coach Mike Singletary was the worst at his job in the NFL. In this I was vindicated, as Jim Harbaugh took over the 49ers, and with essentially the same players on the roster, led the team to the NFC championship and was only three points from the super bowl.

One of the worst coaches shaking hands with one of the best. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

This year, the worst coach in the NFL may be New Orleans’ Joe Vitt. Granted, Vitt shouldn’t be a head coach at all, and is only filling in for the wrongfully suspended Sean Payton. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–by suspending Payton, commissioner Roger Goodell is punishing the fans (of the Saints, and fans who just love good football), and punishing the NFL, which is nothing without it’s best players and coaches. I’m not sure how much of a role Vitt is playing, with Steve Spagnuolo running the defense and Drew Brees running the offense. But as the guy with the team’s challenge flags, Vitt looks utterly out of his depth.

On Sunday, Vitt challenged two calls, exemplifying how NOT to use the challenge flag. The first play was a second quarter run where the Saints running back was surrounded by what Mike Tanier calls “a mass of humanity.” It didn’t appear that the runner got the ball far enough for a first down, but even if he did, it would have been impossible to find a camera angle with a clean shot through the massive pile of bodies. There was no chance the call would be overturned: Vitt was just wishing it was a first down. Plays like that, where visual evidence is nonexistent, should never be challenged.

The second challenge came in the 4th quarter with the Saints down 31-21 and 7:50 on the clock. The call on the field was an incomplete pass, though replays showed clearly that Devery Henderson made the catch. The challenge changed a 3rd and 18 to a 3rd and 12, and left the Saints with no more challenges. The challenge gained the Saints nothing, they got a first down on a defensive holding penalty.

The bottom line is Joe Vitt doesn’t seem to be doing anything to put his team in a position to win.

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I <3 Football Video Speacial Part IV: Fan Generated Content

A couple of typical NFL fans, just hanging out

I’m not the only crazy football fan. I love that there are others out there who contribute to making the game interesting:

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I <3 Football Youtube Video Special Part III: Celebrations

Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens. I’m sad to say they did fine him again, and specifically for the poster asking them not to, no less.

The NFL essentially requires its players to at least attend college. Whether they take advantage of the opportunity and learn something or not is a different question, but having a chance is better than not having one.  Does that have anything to do with having the best and most creative celebrations in sports (or sometimes, the opposite thereof), even after killjoy Roger Goodell passed rules against them. You decide:

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I <3 Football Youtube Video Special Part II:Fat Guys Carrying the Ball

More of this below!

“The best play in football is when the fat guy gets the ball and runs with it!” is the top rated comment on this first video, with over 120 thumbs-up. This post includes more than 2,080 lbs of 100% pure fat dudes:

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Week 7 Picks

Come on, papa needs a new bag of drugs…

It’s week 7, and I think we have enough football behind us now to begin making bets against the spread.

UPDATE: Betting is hard. I went 2-2 on my “locks,” 4-3 overall. Maybe I’ll get better, or at least get lucky…

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