Another NFL Open Thread

Steelers pretty much have the game in hand with 6 minutes left, and I have to say, I am really perplexed by the Bengals. I just don’t understand it. Their defense is not that bad. Their offense can run the ball, they have a solid QB, two marquee receivers, and they just don’t seem like a 2-11 team. Some teams are justifiably terrible, but I just don’t feel, looking at the Bengals, that they are as bad a team as their 2-11 record would suggest.

What gives? Or am I just wrong and they really are that bad?






173 replies
  1. 1
    cathyx says:

    If they aren’t winning games, then they are that bad.

  2. 2
    Maxwel says:

    That’s why they’re the Bungles.

  3. 3
    Snayke says:

    Carson Palmer is a mess. That’s the long and short of it.

  4. 4
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Coming in to today, the Bengals have scored 23 fewer points, and allowed 16 more, than the Lions. It doesn’t look like they are going to improve that differential any, even if the Lions once again find a way to lose.

    With 1:29 left, all we can ask is: will the Packers need a bad call to pull this out, or can they come from behind on their own?

  5. 5
    cermet says:

    I believe that when they added a “great” extra wide reciever, they basicly gave up one of the best running games in the AFC – result, 2-8 after sweaping the division the year before. That’s my $0.02.

  6. 6
    sherifffruitfly says:

    T.O. should just retire – his tank is empty.. He’s just embarrassing himself, being on the field with Ochocinco.

    And man that Stiller d is a bear. Good thing, because Stiller o can’t seem to seal the deal on drives very often.

  7. 7
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Washington blows the extra point to tie with .09 to go.

  8. 8
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Solid QB? Are you watching the same game everybody else is watching, Cole? Palmer has gone from suck to blow.

  9. 9
    PeggyAI says:

    It is a mystery indeed, but I am inclined to go with Snayke’s assessment. The most frustrating team ever.

  10. 10
    JenJen says:

    We really are that bad, because you’re only as good as your quarterback. Carson is driving me up a fucking tree. He’s lost his nerve (in a confidence-sense) or something, and seems to be throwing the ball without even thinking, really. He’s making horrible decisions out there, and he comes off a little panicky.

    Also, I’m in no position to give advice to the Stillers, but Polamalu deserves an ass-chewing, interception or no.

    ETA: Hey, I was watching the Bengals-Steelers, and a hockey game broke out!

  11. 11
    ChrisS says:

    It’s probably because they have a white head coach.

  12. 12
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    In other sporting news, a tragedy:

    White Person paddling a plastic kayak to benefit underpriviledged Central African villages consumed by crocodile.

    “He also had a fantastic social conscience. He was one of those people that would look after others not only in a physical sense but also nurture them spiritually and mentally.”

    Chomp.

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    @ChrisS: That is news to Marv Lewis.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    @JenJen: He’s never been the same since Kimo von Oelhoffen hurt his knee in the playoffs. He also seems to lack arm strength throwing to the sidelines. When they showed all the picks, most of them were to the sidelines where the route was undercut by the d.

    But he still is not terrible.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:

    They are jinxed. Look for a goat or something that didn’t get admitted to a game in 1983. Or a gypsy woman who didn’t get season tickets in 1971 and put a curse on them.

  17. 17
    Morbo says:

    Oh my, Oliver must be apoplectic.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @sherifffruitfly: TO has 5 more TD’s and about 250 more yards than Ochocinco this season.
    You watching the same game tape?

  19. 19
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole:

    He’s never been the same since Kimo von Oelhoffen hurt his knee in the playoffs.

    Truth, and it still hurts.

    He’s not terrible by any stretch, but his best days are behind him, and in fact, the entire team is getting a little long in the tooth. Also, Chad and TO? Less tweeting, more practice? Maybe?

    @Corner Stone: Or even the same NFL season? And you know, you hear this mis-perception a lot when it comes to TO. I don’t get it.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @S. cerevisiae: I hope Shanahan is finally exposed the way McDaniels was previously this season.
    Wait a second…ok, they’re both ok to criticize.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @fasteddie9318: That movie can never be quoted enough.

  22. 22
    Quiddity says:

    Detroit Lions win! I believe it’s their first in their division (NFL North) since October 2007. As a long-time and long-suffering fan, this is welcome news.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    Why doesn’t Obama simply issue an executive order making them the best team?

  24. 24
    sherifffruitfly says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Oh – ok – just a shitty game for TO this week. Thx for the correction.

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    And Chelski pisses away two more points as Drogba misses a late PK. Excellent!

  26. 26
    PanAmerican says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Or ownership has been, and continues to be, the problem.

  27. 27
    Ross Hershberger says:

    I have tomorrow off. It looks like I could drive downtown and see the Vikings/Giants free just for showing up at Ford Field.

    Yawn…

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    Curse of Marge Schott.

  29. 29
    StacyMN says:

    The footage of the Dome collapsing before the Vikings/Giants game will more likely be more entertaining then the actual Vikings/Giants game.

    Metrodome Collapse on YouTube

    Bonus points if you spot the poor dude running like mad to get off the field when the snow starts pouring in.

  30. 30
    mr. whipple says:

    Looks like a snowy one in Chicago. A good time to start the gumbo.

  31. 31
    Bella Q says:

    They really are that bad. Mr. Q and I went to a local Italian joint for dinner Friday, spur of the moment, and they were busy. The manager apologized and said they were crowded, so we’d need to wait a few minutes for a table. So we sat next to the hostess stand, and the manager came over and said to Mr. Q, conspiratorially, “in about 2 minutes Carson Palmer’s gonna walk through the door with his brother, and the ladies are excited.”

    I took “ladies” to signify the young hostesses, since the wait staff is much older. Mr. Q, grinned and nodded then looked at me with a “WTF?” expression. At which point I advised him who that was. he had not a clue. I was so amused that the manager told the male half of the couple, playing the odds that it would be the correct half.

  32. 32
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Megan Bozek scores from the point at 3:14 of the overtime, and the Gophers sweep Ohio State. This team is on a roll, winning 8 of the last 10, including a split with #1 Wisconsin.

    The seniors have a total of 10 points, 4 from Emily West who is probably out for the year and redshirting. The freshmen have 20 goals and 46 assists. The WCHA is showing by far the greatest parity in its women’s hockey existence, but the same three teams are rising to the top again. We’re off until January now.

  33. 33
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Bella Q: The truly unfortunate thing is that, if Palmer had made a pass at the excited hostess, it almost certainly would have been picked off and returned for a touchdown.

  34. 34
    SmallAxe says:

    I think it’s a combination of the suck of Carson Palmer (he really hasn’t been the same since that injury) and the lack of commitment to a running game that used to work.

    Defense is good, Offense is all over the place and Carson isn’t the leader he used to be and seems to make rookie QB mistakes. He’s turning into Jim “Chrissie” Everet with the happy feet dance back there, it is sad to watch.

  35. 35

    @Ross Hershberger: Why would you do that to yourself?

    @StacyMN: Huh. Missed the guy on the field the first time I watched that. I watched again. Is it the shadowy moving figure in the back? This is certainly an interesting twist to the whole Vikings drama saga.

    Watching the Pats/Bears game. Go, Patriots, I guess. I gotta say, I love watching a snow game.

    Went on a chocolate run. It’s cold out there, folks.

    @ChrisS: Can you please keep that on the appropriate thread? Would that really be too much to ask?

  36. 36
    ChrisS says:

    @JenJen:
    Makes about as much sense as Cole’s last post about how the racist white progressives were conspiring to take away the black president from minorities and people should just shut up.

    That said, it’s pretty obvious I don’t pay much attention to head coaches in football. They don’t score fantasy points.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Haz tacos, Seahacks are tied and their defense is as effective as wet tissue it looks like. I think the only thing going for them today is the fact that they’re playing San Francisco. Otherwise it would be hopeless.

    Slightly OT: any over/unders on when Cam gives back his Heisman?

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @sherifffruitfly: IMO, TO has got a bad rap the last couple seasons.
    Watching limited action for Cincy this season, ISTM that Chad just can’t get open. But somehow TO still seems to.
    I’m a Texan fan and I love Andre Johnson. Dude’s really good. But “great” receivers get open when they have to, even under double coverage. To me, that is what separates “good” from “great”.
    Of course, I never held Don Beebe to this standard so I guess I should be quiet now.

  39. 39
    hildebrand says:

    Gah! Bloody Packers. Rodgers gets his head thunked, but good, and the rest of the team disappears. Swell.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Yutsano: MSNBC.com had a poll. I didn’t vote and didn’t view the results because it really doesn’t matter. Either the Heisman goes to the best player or it doesn’t. Bush was the best player and imo, he should have kept the trophy and said you want come and get it.

  41. 41
    J. Michael Neal says:

    They just showed a highlight from the KC @ San Diego game. What is that green stuff they are running around on out there? I’m looking at the ground outside, and there’s nothing green there. It’s not natural.

  42. 42

    @Yutsano: I got my choccies. It’s brisk out there. I almost had to roll up my window. Two years on the Cam question.

    Damn. Pats scored. I mean, YAY. I guess.

    @bk: I would say your Lions are better overall than my Vikings. And, I’m pulling that completely out of my ass.

  43. 43
    bk says:

    Lions could be 6-7 with a few better breaks (and a few less bad ref calls). But 3-10 gives them another top 3 or 4 draft pick; if Stafford doesn’t separate his shoulder more than two times next year, they could be good.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @StacyMN: I’d run like hell too. No telling how much that weighs.
    Probably hurt like a sumbitch.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    This may or may not be the appropriate time to mention that it’s a perfect beach day here in SoCal. Endless blue sky, temp in the 80s, gentle onshore breeze.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @hildebrand: They don’t really have much of a “team” without him. Decent to above avg Defense but nothing on the O side.

  47. 47
    Admiral_Komack says:

    RAIDERS LOSE!

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @burnspbesq: I live in GA, the wind is blown and the temp is falling and the power was out for over an hour, so yeah…not good timing.

  49. 49
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Don’t the Patriots realize it’s snowing and windy?

  50. 50

    They need to transition out of the Palmer era starting next year — the guy’s got as much left in him as Matt Hasselbeck, but at least Hasselbeck got to a Super Bowl back when he was good.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Feux toi aussi, monsieur. :)

    @Aaron S. Veenstra:

    the guy’s got as much left in him as Matt Hasselbeck

    And Carroll STILL hasn’t made any decent moves to try and replace Matty. I’m thinking Hasselbeck has pictures of someone somewhere and that’s how he’s keeping his job.

  52. 52

    @burnspbesq: Don’t care. As long as I have heat, my cats, and chocolate, I’m loving this weather.

    ETA Damn. Pats score again. I mean, yay.

    @Jewish Steel: I should be rejoicing, but I just can’t. I have an irrational hatred of the Pats.

    @Yutsano: You! For to plz check your email. kthxbai.

  53. 53
    Jewish Steel says:

    This Bears/Pats is shaping up too much like I feared.

  54. 54
    Stillwater says:

    What gives? Or am I just wrong and they really are that bad?

    Turnovers. Bad teams are negative, good teams are positive. All most of the other stuff is secondary.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Hmmm… They seem to like to play in the cold, ask Mark Sanchez.

  56. 56
    harleysa says:

    The bengals have two major problems

    1- Carson Palmer, he’s been in a downward spiral ever since the steelers crushed his knee. It was fine last year because of how reliant they were on the run game but this year its become obvious that he really only has about half a game of good football in him each week.

    2- Marvin Lewis, he’s an excellent judge of talent and very good at managing egos (the lack of a public meltdown is a testement to this especially considering the teams record and how many volitile personalities they have) but his play calling ranges from utterly predictable to bizzare and ineffective. The fact that they haven’t made more use of the run game should be proof enought that his skills at coach are lacking (I do think he would make a good GM though)

    It’s also been my personal belief that the Bengals have been laboring under the curse of Bo Jackson ever since they destroyed his carrer in the mid 90’s

  57. 57
    Jewish Steel says:

    Oh, and now its shaping up worse than I feared.

    @asiangrrlMN: Where will the Vikes play the Bears next week if the dome is still broke? Neutral territory? Lambeau field?

  58. 58
    JenJen says:

    @ChrisS:

    That said, it’s pretty obvious I don’t pay much attention to head coaches in football.

    Understatement-Win!

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I’m only gonna say this: I done told you not to look. My reply is more detailed. Go Seahacks.

  60. 60

    @Jewish Steel: This game is over. And, whyfore I gotta see Boehner blubbering on my teevee for the 60 minute ad? (I mute, so I have no idea about what he was blubbering).

    @Yutsano: Did not look. The cup runneth over.

    This game is brutal. At least I have Mike Carey to look at and listen to.

  61. 61
    Stillwater says:

    Football in December!! They’re all playoff games now,baby! Except for the hapless Donkies, struggling to get first down on Arizona. Aaarrrggghhh!

  62. 62
    You Don't Say says:

    Anyone see the 60 Minutes promo with a blubbering Boehner?

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Doug has a post about the new found Putin love among conservatives. The same group will probably drool about Boehner.

  64. 64
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: And as predicted, the Seachickens are losing fabulously.

    Spillover from that thread was inevitable, I guess. White privilege isn’t just for breakfast anymore. And that’s my last comment on the matter.

  65. 65
    Jewish Steel says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Boehner is a type I’m used to seeing from the Irish side of my family; the weepy drunk.

    Oh, god. Let this game end!

  66. 66

    @You Don’t Say: Yes. Made me VERY disgruntled, even with the mute on.

    @JPL: Yeah. I’m following that thread, too. But, tears are the very opposite of manly-man, I would think. Oh, right. Boehner is a Republican, so it’s OK.

    @Yutsano: How fabulously? Jazz hands fabulously? And, yeah. You are right, as usual.

    Jewish Steel, but why? Why is he weeping, and why do I have to see it on my teevee when I’m simply trying to watch a football game?

  67. 67
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @harleysa:

    The fact that they haven’t made more use of the run game should be proof enought that his skills at coach are lacking

    I know a bunch of people have agreed with you on this, but you don’t win in the NFL with a running game. A running game is, at best, complementary, and sometimes not really needed. The NFL is a passing league. To win, you have to pass the ball.

    Even the extent to which the run sets up the pass is overstated, and more often runs the other direction. If you can’t pass, you don’t win.

  68. 68
    Stillwater says:

    @Yutsano: White privilege isn’t just for breakfast anymore. And that’s my last comment on the matter.

    I agree. I’ve been avoiding those threads for fear of flaming the entitled racially based fee-fees of my white brethren. And that’s my last comment on the matter.

  69. 69
    JenJen says:

    @You Don’t Say: Oh yeah, and rather looking forward to seeing the whole weepy episode tonight, which looks like it belongs more on Bravo than CBS. Boehner is way more dramatic than any Real Housewife of Whereever.

    Look, I have nothing against men who cry, absolutely not. In fact, I prefer a man who is in touch with, and sometimes succumbs to, his emotions, at appropriate times. But a purported leader? And in public, under klieglights, at pretty inappropriate times (it’s not like this is London under the Blitz), and with alarming frequency? You’d think the Daddy Party would be pretty concerned about this dainty sally being third in line. I mean, c’mon, Nancy didn’t cry. Where is the outrage? ;-)

  70. 70
    edmund dantes says:

    For a California boy, Tom Brady seems to act like he grew up in the Artic, and this weather is actually what he prefers.

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @JenJen: IOKIYR… It’s the new manly thing.

  72. 72
    Stillwater says:

    3 Bronco turnovers in the first 20 minutes. What did I say about good teams and +/- on turnovers? Laughable. Horribly, distressingly, abysmally hilarious.

  73. 73
    4jkb4ia says:

    Jim Mora: “How about the Rams, a young team, 1-15 a year ago, and the poise they have shown…against the defending Super Bowl champions”

    And that was WITH various frustrated facial expressions by Sam Bradford. With Seattle currently getting slaughtered, this is a wonderful day.

    (Re thread below, John has my entire sympathy.)

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @JenJen: Italian grandmothers don’t cry. They do infinitely worse things than that, like guilt trip you for decades or smack you upside the ears. They really only cry at funerals. Though now this will be worth it to watch Nancy turn the Great Oompa Loompa into a quivering mass of goo.

    BTW the GOP laid out their agenda for 2011: all health care, all the time. My popcorn futures are gonna asplode.

  75. 75
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Bulldogs vs. Gophers are on and I get to see it! Go Dogs!

  76. 76

    Holy crap. This is a repeat of last week (Pats/Jets). Damn you, Steepman! ::shakes fist at Steeplejack:: You are causing the supposed good games to go sour!

    @JenJen: I agree with you (but I will not be watching). I don’t mind if a guy cries. But this kinda blubbering indicates something kinda wrong with him. And, you nailed it. If Nancy SMASH! burst into tears the way Boehner does, she would be hauled over the coals for it.

    @S. cerevisiae: What channel?

  77. 77
    4jkb4ia says:

    WTF happened now!? There is loud cheering.
    (Turnover for a touchdown)
    (Cannot leave this team alone for 30 seconds)

  78. 78
    J. Michael Neal says:

    The Bears playing the Red Elvises over the PA system. That gets a thumbs up.

  79. 79
    Jewish Steel says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    He doesn’t need a reason. John Boehner puts his big arm around you and as he leans in you are blinded by whiskey fumes, “I know we’ve had our differences…” his voice starts to crack here and he pauses, trying and failing to master himself. He goes on, “But I just want you to know that I’ve really come to respect and, yes, love you.”

    And then the waterworks start. Weepy drunk. You must not be much of a drinker yourself. Good on ya!

  80. 80
    Stillwater says:

    @efgoldman: What’s with all these “good” teams that don’t even give the Pats a fight? Are the Foxboros that good?

    Yes. They present a pick-your-poison situation for opposing defenses. And they’re good enough to exploit that at a rate high above normal NFL percentages.

  81. 81
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Fox Sports North.

    Go Gophs. Let’s see if we can get a WCHA rumble going in this thread.

  82. 82
    Smitty Werbenmanjensen says:

    The Bengals? They’re the Democratic Party of NFL football, able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the blink of an eye.

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    30-7 at the half. Sigh.

  84. 84

    @Jewish Steel: I am allergic to alky-hol. I can have one glass of hard liquor over an hour, but that’s about it. And, the few times I’ve gotten drunk, I did get affectionate/weepy.

    @Yutsano: Damn. That’s nearly as bad as the Pats/Chicago game. 27-0, Pats ball.

    @J. Michael Neal: Well, fuck. You’re talking cable. Go, Gophs!

    This game is a slaughter.

    ETA: Tom Brady did not get away with an interception because there was no fucking interception. Gah! I hate Phil Simms.

    Update Infinity: 34-0. Halftime. Wow.

  85. 85
    J sub D says:

    Detroit 7, Green Bay 3.

    Huh? The Lions had exactly zero passing yards at halftime.

  86. 86

    …they just don’t seem like a 2-11 team.

    When 25% of your schedule is playing two of the best defenses in the NFL, you have to have a spectacular offense.

    Welcome to the AFC North.

  87. 87
    edmund dantes says:

    Bears caught napping there.

  88. 88
    John Cole says:

    @ChrisS: That wasn’t what I said at all. Go read the damned update. It’s directed at folks like you.

    I’m telling you how some people feel, as I’ve gauged the comments and statements from a bunch of black readers for a while, and your response is to tell them to fuck off for feeling that way.

    Jesus. Have I ever told people to not criticize the President? It’s the tone and tenor of the criticism that has people irritated.

  89. 89
    Jewish Steel says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Aha! So you and Boehner are much of a muchness. I’m a quietly merry drunk myself.

    That is, I was before I got old and unable to bounce back from a hangover.

  90. 90

    I’m really torn about watching that Bears game. On one hand, I love watching the bears get their asses handed to them. On the other, I’ve got a bunch of snow to shovel and don’t really enjoy looking at it on tv too.

  91. 91
    S. cerevisiae says:

    It certainly beats watching the Bears flounder in the snow. Dogs gotta pick it up!

    ETA: Crap!

  92. 92
    mr. whipple says:

    The Chicago Bears? More like chipmonks.

  93. 93
    Cat Lady says:

    I’ve got my Patriots footie pajamas on. Dayum, they’re scary good now.

  94. 94
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Gophs 1, Dawgs 0

    See, Duluth, that’s how you run a power play.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Stillwater says:

    4 Bronco turnovers? Why yes, why not. Then Cards fake feel goal and turn it into a TD. !! It’s their first TD in 9 quarters. Go Donkies!!

  97. 97
    J. Michael Neal says:

    The former professor I work with is a Packers fanatic. I have a meeting scheduled with him tomorrow. That should be fun.

  98. 98

    @Jewish Steel: Well, it’s like this. A little tipsy, and I just get sleepy/horny (sometimes, both). Very drunk (which has happened twice in my life), I either get ‘I love you man’ or sick to my stomach. As a result, I stick to my one drink and am fine with it.

    @mr. whipple: I’m not even sure chipmunks work. The Bears have rolled over in this one.

  99. 99

    Is there a bigger bunch of chumps in the league than the Broncos? The only saving grace about them is that Orton is their only decent player, which is why we haven’t been subjected to even more Tebowmania.

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @Jewish Steel: I no drink no more cuz I think it makes the FSM happier when I don’t. That wasn’t true in college however. And I am one of those lucky ducks that never got hangovers.

  101. 101
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Aaaaand the Gophs give it back in the last minute of the 1st. Good going, guys.

  102. 102
    Stillwater says:

    @efgoldman: Imagine if he’d hired Matt Millen instead of Belechik!

    De-troit!

    Belichik is a genius. He tailors his schemes to the talent available. He isn’t afraid to let pro-bowlers go. He picks up the forgotten and overlooked and turns them into stars.

    The guy is really amazing. Eg, the Woodhead pickup is just one example of many where he recognizes talent and finds a way to utilize it.

  103. 103
    Dino says:

    Mike Brown

  104. 104
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Can’t keep the FCC line down. 1-1 end of the first.

  105. 105
    burnspbesq says:

    @Aaron S. Veenstra:

    Is there a bigger bunch of chumps in the league than the Broncos?

    Yes. See Panthers, Carolina.

  106. 106

    …where he recognizes talent and finds a way to utilize it.

    Yeah, good videographers are such a rarity.

  107. 107
    Svensker says:

    Oy. Jets forgot how to play football.

  108. 108
    JPL says:

    @efgoldman: I still hate Miami for the pain that hey caused the Boston Patriots.

    @Cat Lady: I got my hoodie on and Miss Moxie has a Patriots collar.

    Edit..also,too. The Bears haven’t scored 33 points during a game all season so it appears unlikely they will the second half.
    also, too Svensker…Sanchez plays crappy in cold weather

  109. 109
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @S. cerevisiae: Looking forward to seeing your women down here in a month. I’d love to hand you a pair of 3-2 losses.

  110. 110
    JPL says:

    Why did CBS just change my game? Asses!!!!

  111. 111
    Stillwater says:

    @Aaron S. Veenstra: Is there a bigger bunch of chumps in the league than the Broncos?

    A collection of all the individual biggest chumps in the league? Maybe? Or is that still just the Broncos?

    If only Dumervil didn’t get hurt in the preseason…..

  112. 112
    debit says:

    @JPL: I thought perhaps I was losing my mind. I left the room with the Patriots and the Bears and came back to Miami and the Jets. What the hell happened?

  113. 113
    Yutsano says:

    @debit: The universe shifted around you. Or CBS did an instant Nielsen check and switched horses mid-stream.

  114. 114

    @debit: Switched game. Mercy rule. Bears getting shellacked.

    @JPL: Have you seen how horrible the game is?

  115. 115
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @J. Michael Neal: That will be a good series. You are right about the parity this year.

  116. 116
    mr. whipple says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Thank god. I went to the Aints game until you folks said something.

  117. 117
    Svensker says:

    @JPL:

    too Svensker…Sanchez plays crappy in cold weather

    Doesn’t explain everyone else’s penalties and receivers dropping the ball. This is a coaching issue.

  118. 118
    JPL says:

    @Svensker: Yeah.. Since CBS decided I could no longer watch the Patriots, I’m watching the Jets.

  119. 119
    Francis says:

    How many SoCal balloonjuicers are there, I wonder. There’s ABL, and burnspbesq (you wouldn’t be a lawyer by any chance?) and me. Any other active commenters in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?

    ps. John, if you’re reading this far down, how ’bout putting up an open thread on holiday food. I need help finding a good country ham, and I’d like to see how other people cook goose.

  120. 120
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’ve heard of these people who never get hangovers.

    Heaven forbid anything should befall you, but dibs on your superliver?

  121. 121
    Cacti says:

    Much as I loathe Tom Brady, he’s gotten his swagger back.

  122. 122

    @JPL:

    Sympathy? Pity? A composite of both? Cooked Bear, New England style, is just that.

    Blowouts and yawners today as I watch Jets and Fish attempt to play American-style football.

  123. 123
    Jewish Steel says:

    I continue to watch the Bears for the same reason that I flog myself through troll infested comment threads here and never hide anyone on fb no matter how irritating or trivial their posts are: I think I have a recessive Calvinist gene floating around in my DNA.

  124. 124

    @Francis:

    …I’d like to see how other people cook goose

    Mom would go for smaller birds and treat them like cornish hens.

  125. 125
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @S. cerevisiae: Having switched my primary allegiance to the women’s team, I have found that I still really, really hate North Dakota. Apparently the team does, too. We had a fight at the end of the Friday game when they were here. There’s extra bad blood thanks to the Lamerioux sisters.

  126. 126
    Knave says:

    I link to this guy so much I feel like he should be paying me:

    Advanced NFL Stats

    (Yeah, it says week 11, ignore that, the URL’s right.)

    The “GWP Wins and Luck” table is a measure of how well teams have performed versus how well they theoretically should have performed. Green means underperforming, a team is “better” than their record indicates.

    So, yes, the Bengals should have two or three more wins than they do, but they’d still suck at their “natural” 5-8.

    And the Falcons are a bunch of luckboxes who get every break and have no right to be at the top.

  127. 127
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    The Gophers are starting to fall apart. I think four consecutive periods of playing hard and well was as much as we hope for, given that that almost doubled how many we’ve had this year.

  128. 128
    S. cerevisiae says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal: Somehow that doesn’t surprise me a bit about North Dakota. I can’t wait to see the new rink, but it will be a while before I can get back there. The women have been consistently good every year, they have great coaching and recruiting.

  129. 129
    edmund dantes says:

    I can’t wait to see Notre Dame’s new hockey rink. There current one is a joke. I’ve seen ME high schools with better rinks then the Joyce Center.

  130. 130
    edmund dantes says:

    Garbage Time now. Patriots are just rushing the front line. Annoying to see, but you can’t blame them too much. Might as well let Chicago eat up some of the clock on offense. Plus gives you more time to hide Brady’s helmet so he can’t go back out there on offense.

  131. 131
    Robertdsc-iphone says:

    @Francis:
    I am. Been here all my 36 years.

    Go Pats!

  132. 132
    Yutsano says:

    40-20. Damn Seahacks.

  133. 133
    burnspbesq says:

    @edmund dantes:

    No league has more dumpy rinks than the ECAC. It’s absolutely scary that Union has one of the nicest buildings in the league.

  134. 134
    billgerat says:

    Thank God for some shots of Appleton Estate Reserve rum and coffee chaser. It’s the only thing making me feel good after watching the atrocity of the Seachickens.

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    For those able to watch the Bears/New England game, is Brady still playing?

  136. 136
    edmund dantes says:

    Brady is finally out of the game.

  137. 137
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @S. cerevisiae: See, I like UMD. It’s a fun rivalry, and I don’t like losing to them, but I can’t dislike them. I’m the same way about Wisconsin, but that’s probably from growing up in Ann Arbor, and so the Big 10 team I really hate is Michigan State*.

    The two WCHA teams I really loathe are North Dakota and St. Cloud State. The latter is because they have the whiniest fans in existence. UMD has something of an inferiority complex vis a vis the Big U, for perfectly understandable civic and academic reasons, but manages to handle it with a certain sense of humor**. The St. Cloud fans are just whiny.

    North Dakota is just a dirty hockey team. They were under Gasparino, and they are under Hakstol. There was that uncomfortable period in between, when Blais built teams that enjoyed watching play and had a hard time hating, but Hakstol restored the universe to its proper orbit.

    *I went to high school in the early 1980s, when Michigan was a bad, bad hockey team. They had unbelievable wars with State. They could have come in and beaten Michigan any way they wanted, and they chose to goon it up, though it didn’t take much to get Michigan to go right along with them. There was a lot of 3-on-3 hockey. There were times each team had more guys in the box than they had left on the bench.

    **With one exception. I find the way that Duluth fans treat local kids that come to play for the Gophers to be absolutely disgraceful. The two examples that come to mind are Stauber and Spehar.

    TIE GAME!!!!

  138. 138
    burnspbesq says:

    It’s a little strange to see four ECAC teams in the top 20.

    It’s even stranger that none of them is Cornell.

  139. 139
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @edmund dantes: The big CCHA schools have been upgrading facilities like crazy. Ohio State doesn’t play on a postage stamp any longer. Notre Dame has dumped a bunch of money in. I don’t think the smaller schools are going to be able to keep up. Miami is good, and will be fine until they have a down stretch. They might follow Lake State when that happens.

    And Penn State is adding hockey. Men’s and women’s. That means that not only do I get to laugh at my father that he doesn’t have a women’s team to root for, my sister (on the faculty at PSU) does, too.

  140. 140
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @burnspbesq: I’ll believe that they’re for real when I see it. I’m not a believer in ECAC teams at this point. Even Cornell, when I’ve seen them at the Frozen Four, aren’t that impressive.

  141. 141
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    Jacob Cepis is an annoying little fucker. Glad he’s on my team.

    Edit: Gophers with a 2-man advantage.

  142. 142
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    And they get nothing out of the power plays. You gotta get shots on net, guys.

  143. 143

    Palmer is barely a starting-quality NFL QB at this point (would’ve said he isn’t one, but then guys like Clausen, Anderson/Skelton/Hall, Fitzpatrick etc. are starters so…) and Mike Mayock pointed out in an NFL Net. breakdown the other day that he’s having trouble reading basic defenses. The running game from last year has vanished and the defense is mediocre.

    Football Outsiders’ advanced stats have them 22nd in the league in both overall offense and overall defense.

    http://footballoutsiders.com/d.....oa-ratings

    Same stats show Palmer is the 25th most effective QB in the league.

    http://footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb

    Long story short, Palmer is a bit worse than he was last year AND the Run game and D are significantly worse. They’ve underperformed by a game or two but they’re really, really bad.

  144. 144
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    Good going, Gardiner. Check a guy from behind with 7 minutes left in a tie game. Welcome to a 5 minute penalty.

  145. 145

    So Sanchez & Jets get a shot with 2 minutes and 1 time out, down by 4. And Jerry Jones ego is interviewed by 60 Minutes tonight. Too bad there’s no chance for OT.

    Waiting for the Eagles to kick the living snot out of the Cowboys at home while the outside temp continues its descent, the lake effect takes a deep breath and visits a snow day on the school system.

    ETA: And Jets totally self-destruct. No playoffs for you!

  146. 146
    S. cerevisiae says:

    C’mon Dogs! Set it up.

    ETA: This is going to give me heart failure.

  147. 147
    Steeplejack says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    My apologies to everyone. Second week in a row I specifically plan to watch a whole game and it goes ballistic again. Down here in NoVa they switched to the Dolphins-Jets just after halftime.

    I agree with Maxwel at the end of the other football thread: “I wouldn’t want to face the Bradynaut during the playoffs.” He is en fuego.

  148. 148
    burnspbesq says:

    On to the best Monday Night Football matchup of the season: Manchester United – Arsenal.

  149. 149
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @S. cerevisiae: They’re not calling a thing now. We just got away with a trip. You guys got away with a big time hook on our last rush.

    And we go to overtime. I’ll take a tie. Getting three points when the #2 ranked team comes to your building is pretty good.

  150. 150
    S. cerevisiae says:

    OT! The Dogs have been great in OT. Another 3-2 win?

  151. 151
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    The Gophers haven’t won a game in OT since that epic playoff series in Mankato three years ago. Of course, we don’t lose many of them, either.

  152. 152
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    I take it back. If give a guy a two-handed slash in the face, they will call a penalty. Come on, guys.

  153. 153
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Dumb penalty. OK I ‘ll take that tie now.

  154. 154
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    With two seconds left in OT, tripping someone on his way to the slot is a pretty good play.

  155. 155
    stuckinred says:

    The dogs are home and seem just fine.

  156. 156
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @efgoldman: Not quite a fight, technically, because I don’t think anyone dropped the gloves, but there were plenty of gloved punches thrown, and two players on each side got slashing majors and game misconducts.

  157. 157
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal says:

    @stuckinred: Yay!

    I was going to make a UMD joke, but thought it would be in poor taste. So, take note, it is possible for something to seem like it’s inappropriate for BJ.

  158. 158
    You Don't Say says:

    @JenJen: I’m with ya about that men that cry and I hesitate to make fun of any male who does, but Boehner is so blubbery. Makes me laugh. Can’t help it. And on 60 Minutes? Give me a break.

  159. 159
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    1. Chad is way overrated. Am I the only person who realizes this?

    2. The regression of Palmer, as noted above. I think it’s a shame that he’s fallen off so bad–he really could’ve been a top-level NFL QB, and he seemed poised to make that leap, but now, he just looks shook.

    3. The team isn’t a team. It’s a collection of individuals.

  160. 160
    burnspbesq says:

    @efgoldman:

    What do you know about hockey?

    Grew up in the Northeast. Lifelong Rangers fan. Undergrad degree from Union. I was there when they built the rink and the Ned Darkness-instigated academic scandal almost killed the program in its cradle. At our graduation, we booed the college president who brought Darkness into our midst.

  161. 161
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Being switched from the ballet of the Patriots to the legless ass-kicking contest of Dolphins-Jets was, um, jarring. It didn’t even look like suffocating defense, just two teams that didn’t have the slightest clue WTF they were doing or what else they might even try. Drop, flop, punt, series after series after series.

  162. 162
    burnspbesq says:

    @efgoldman:

    If I were sticking something up anyone’s ass, it would more likely be a lacrosse stick. Of all the sports I played growing up, lax was my fave.

  163. 163
    urbanmeemaw says:

    The Bengals are cursed with bad karma due to that stadium deal and their evil owner. They lied to and are stealing from Hamilton County. Voters were so mad about the deal they voted out the Rethug commissioner who negotiated the deal and elected the first Democrat to the county commission in something like 30plus years. The Rethug has since been hired by Mike Brown, who just recently flipped the county the bird again when they approached him about rengotiating some aspects of the deal because we’re in such a budget crunch. Mike Brown is a horrible man who hates the fans (a season ticket holder since the franchise started was ejected from the stadium for holding up a t-shirt stating the offensive coordinator should be fired. The fan didn’t say a word or cause any disturbance – he just held up the t-shirt.) While I like Marvin and many of the players, I hope the Bengals organization reaps what it has sown 40 fold.

  164. 164
    Cat Lady says:

    @Francis:

    Cat Gentleman cooks goose every year for the English relatives. He makes a goose reduction and a pomegranate syrup with Madeira wine in it for a sauce. The guttural moans emanating from the table indicate pleasure. Caveat – it must be cooked outside on a spit on a grill. The entire neighborhood smells like goose, and the local indigenous fauna all make appearances. If possible, collect the fat. It’s all very Dickensian, in a good way.

  165. 165
    Cat Lady says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This. It’s not even the same game they’re playing. Like Steve Young said on PTI the other night, Brady must go home and say “is there another league I can play in? An intergalactic league somewhere? “

  166. 166
    2liberal says:

    @burnspbesq:

    i actually thought Jets-patriots was a pretty good matchup. I had the idea you were a jets fan, is that not so?

    If so then today is a good day to jump off the bandwagon, they lost to Miami.

    Memo to NYJ: Hey Rex, everyone enjoys your loud-mouthery. However, everyone also enjoys seeing you lose badly, and telling you to STFU !!

  167. 167
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Maybe this week Rex Ryan should bury his quarterback.

    This is Tom Brady’s league this year.

  168. 168
    Cat Lady says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus:

    Yeah. He and Belichick are on a mission, and together they’ve formed the tip of the spear. Football played like it should be is a beautiful thing to watch especially when it’s your team, and Brady is a focused freak now. Eye of the tiger, and all that.

  169. 169
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Francis: Goose. I did goose a few years ago, german style via Gourmet Magazine, and I’m doing it this year with chestnut stuffing to go with English pudding (pudding done and in basement keeping cool. It is a royal pain to find suet). Go to Epicurious. com and read the reviews to pick your technique for goose.

  170. 170
    blah blah blah says:

    well, the bengals aren’t 2-11 bad…
    but they are 5-8 bad…
    part of it is palmer, he’s just lost his touch, maybe if he had a better O-line he’d be doing better, but you could say that about almost anyone. One of his biggest problems, and it’s never brought up is that he almost never (really, never) looks at a second receiver. maybe that’s why they have never had a game when BOTH Chad and T.O had a big day, it might be one or the other, but never both…
    also the play calling is just horrible… you can blame Bob Bratkowski, who has no idea what he is doing. worse he has no idea how to use what he has to work with, which should be one of the most talented offensive teams in the league. you can tell this when the bengals are going no-huddle hurry up, it’s like a different almost competent team out there…

    say what you want about returning the bengals to a running team like last year, but Benson’s average is wildly inconsistent and he has as many fumbles as he has touchdowns and those fumbles (two of which were unforced, he just dropped it) you can’t run the ball if you are already down two touchdowns…
    bad play calling, bad execution, poor decision making… just bad bad bad…
    i’d blam Marvin Lewis, but i’m pretty convinced that Mike Brown could take Vince Lombardi and turn him into a losing coach. everything that man touches turns to shit…

  171. 171
    4jkb4ia says:

    NYT, referring to the Jets:

    “Next week, of course, their lackluster offense, consistent only in its inconsistency, will face only perhaps the best defense in the league.”

  172. 172
    Jager says:

    @Cat Lady:

    With 5:47 left in the Jets game, Fred Taylor checked in and Brady looked at him and said, “Freddie, let’s take it to the fucking house”!….I’d say he’s focused all right.

    Branch is playing like he never left!

    As a long suffering Pat’s fan, I’ve enjoyed the past 10 years, alot!

    I grew up in Grand Forks and was raised on UND Hockey. I loved the old WCHA, the weekend series with Minnesota, Denver, CC, Michigan, Michigan State, Tech…I go back so far I remember fat ass Mariuchi (sp?) coaching the Gophers!

    I always thought the old UND Winter Sports Building was the worst building in hockey, but it had the best ice. We played all our high school games on it, loved that big rink.

    I left ND and went to school in Boston, played club and adult hockey in Mass. My nieghbor here in So Cal plays hockey year round…I laced up and practiced with them, thought I was going to have a heart attack!

    BTW, the line of the day: “Somebody needs to call Chicago Child Protective Services and have the patriots arrested fro child abuse”

  173. 173

    @Jager: Played intermural hockey at MTU, start of 70s. Hell of a rink, outside was rough, ice gets hard at – 15 highs. First pair of hockey skates at age 5, never had figures on for more than 2 times, hated them, smashed face.

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