The State of the league: Week 10

First things first, an update on the Rams. I know. Can’t bury the lede. Since declaring three weeks ago that they would make the playoffs, they managed to lose a nail-biter to the Vikings and get embarrassed at home by Jay Cutler, following which Coach Fisher benched Nick Foles for Case Keenum going forward. Sigh, such are the realities of life on the Ram Tram. It’s pretty funny to see Foles benched and Sam Bradford injured in the same week. Earlier this week, I was somewhere that ESPN was playing (as I try not to watch ESPN programming at all costs because the network is garbage), and some NFL guys were debating the most influential offseason transaction. Someone picked the Foles/Bradford deal. I LOLed. How in the world, even before the benching and injury, could that trade be considered influential? They are complete and utter equals in terms of mediocrity. One has more pedigree, but he cancels it out with a greater knack of getting injured. Both, at the time, had led their teams to 4-4 records. If the trade hadn’t happened, both teams would still likely have been 4-4. Influential? My necktie.

Staying on the Rams, but not really – the Wes Welker signing. I can’t say I watched much of the St Louis – Chicago game; did Welker see a lot of action? We’re basically all in agreement here that watching him play football makes us legitimately uneasy, in the sense that we are more likely to see a player pass away on the field in Welker than anyone we can ever recall, right? That when Welker became a free agent and went unsigned, we could have sworn that all NFL teams had made a pact not to sign the guy because he refused to retire, but the next big hit to his head could result in something awfully dark, right? That its worth asking how a little guy who has absorbed that many brain scrambling hits, who has earned $40 million over his career, won’t just walk away? That its fair to ask, where is Mrs. Welker in all of this? Okay, just checking.

The AFC Outside of New England managed to look even worse in Week 10 as it has in the previous nine weeks, as Peyton Manning had quite possibly the worst game in the history of the forward pass, and the Bengals couldn’t score a touchdown at home versus the Texans. Andrew Luck is out 6 weeks with a lacerated kidney, not that his current form is anything to fear if you’re the Patriots. The only bad news out of New England continues to be on the injury front, although if I were a betting man I would wager that Edelman has no problem getting back for the playoffs. For as much as a broken foot can be considered lucky, they just experienced it, as it didn’t knock 11 out for the whole season.

As someone who continuously picked the Cowboys throughout the Weeden/Cassel experience, on the logic of “they can’t lose every single game in heartbreaking fashion,” I’m here to tell you that yes, they can. With a defense that is so much better than I thought they would be, a well rounded offense, a stable of hogs for an offensive line, and an extremely winnable division, 2015 Sans Romo will go down as a remarkable missed opportunity for Dallas. Seven straight losses (five by a TD or less) and they’re still only 2.5 games back. Win ONE of those games and they are a game back in the loss column. I’d venture to guess there aren’t many Romo doubter/haters remaining, as his value to the club has been made incredibly obvious this season.

Quick: how old is Tony Romo?

And quicker: How old is Carson Palmer?

If you said 35 for both men, you’d be right. Personally, when I was posed that question, I had Romo a solid three years younger than Palmer. Probably a combination of his delayed path to relevance, and his boyish charm, but Tony’s getting up there.

Fall Television Critiques: Thumbs Way Up on Season 2 of both The Affair and Fargo. I think I’ve rambled about Fargo in this space before, but if you haven’t seen Billy Bob’s brilliance in Season 1, go watch that too. But Season 2 is essentially unrelated from the first, aside from the “ooh yah” accents. Both shows I have no idea what is coming and I LOVE IT.

Maybe I am the last one to the party here, and if I am, thanks for having me. But if not – did you know that this dreaded screen

screen

becomes a game if you click the space bar (it was impossible to snip the screen before I died)? Life Hacks, nice to meet me.

game

 

Anti-Goodell Rant of the Week, which has DEFINITELY been discussed here before: The awful quality of the Thursday night games. I’m not going to get into how bad they are, like how one team always seems to have single digit points into the fourth quarter, not that points are necessary for a good time, but its a lack of offense more than a quality of defense, wait I’m doing it again. Sunday games in London. Forced, often bad teams, but we watch. And its common knowledge that the teams that play in London get a bye week following their trip. Since you need a week off to recover from jet lag, right? Are you SERIOUS, Roger? What type of braindead moron thinks that a week off following a trip to London is more important to player safety than granting the Thursday night teams a bye week prior to facing off in the middle of the week? Again, I’ve said this before, but if college has it figured out – that any Thursday game is preceded by a bye week – why can’t the NFL follow suit? And what would be the harm in the NFL adding a second bye week? You think the Patriots enjoyed resting up in Week 4 of a 17 week grind, now that they’re halfway through the season and their entire offense is dropping like flies? Probably not.

Week 11 Game of the Week: GB (6-3) @ Minnesota (7-2). A reeling Packers team goes to Minnesota with the division on the line. Minny travels to GB later in the year, but having a two game lead at this stage in the season would be more than Vikings fans could have ever imagined in the preseason.