Sorry the column is late this week. For some reason after I entered my dotage, and my concussions started to fog my mind, I decided to go back to college. I spent this summer squinting at miserable sadists who have the nerve to call themselves ‘professors.’ And I got behind on my column.
This is it. The year I quit fantasy football forever because I can’t take anymore. The 49ers stopped running, The Cardinals stopped throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, five running backs pulled up lame, most of the TEs in the league aren’t getting the ball, and the Bengals are undefeated.
My implosion aside, the NFL had a great week of football.
As much as it pains me, I want to highlight the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before the season, someone asked me about Ben Roethlisberger, because we were discussing ‘elite’ quarterbacks. But any statistical argument about Big Ben is irrelevant because he has the single most important quality you need in a gunslinger.
Regular Ben doesn’t look like he could read a menu, much less a playbook, but when that play breaks down, he breaks two hundred tackles, throws across the field on his wrong foot and gets the ball into a two inch window in between three defenders with time running out and you can’t even get mad because this play happens all the time.
Also Pittsburgh was smart enough to pick up LeGarrette Blount. For some reason the league has completely undervalued Blount, despite a career rushing average of 4.7 yards a carry. I know he had a ‘slow’ 40 time of 4.59, but running with fresh legs in track shoes in no way approximates real speed. If you want to know how fast someone is going to be, put them in cleats, with 15 pounds of armor on grass.
It is worth nothing that Blount, at 250lbs had a better broad jump than Jacoby Ford, Riley Cooper, Ed Dickson, Antonio Brown, Jermaine Gresham, Brandon LaFell, Brandon Spikes, Earl Thomas, and Alterraun Verner, all of whom are much smaller than him. In the first ten yards, Blount clocks in at 1.58 seconds, faster than Von Miller, Justin Houston, and Aldon Smith. Blount’s speed might technically taper off after 20 yards but he’s hitting holes in the line very quickly and once he’s in the open, he doesn’t get caught a lot.
He got bounced from the Bucs because he wasn’t a ‘Schiano guy’ which is the highest compliment you can pay someone because Schiano is a coach with a career 79-88 record. You don’t want to be a Schiano guy. Then he tore it up for the Patriots in the playoffs and Bill Belichick turned him loose, because Belichick loves getting rid of talent for absolutely no reason. The Patriots lost Wes Welker, Blount and Logan Mankins, and suddenly Tom Brady is having the worst year ever, after having shed offensive talent every year since Randy Moss left. Good job, Coach Hoodie.
So it’s good to see him do well for somebody. Also James Harrison is coming back to the Steelers and he fits more to their identity. This could turn out well for them, because they haven’t looked particularly tough.
The Broncos were able to compete with the Seahawks this week, but in the end, it came down to coaching, and when it does the Broncos will never win, because Jon Fox and Jack del Rio can’t make quick adjustments. The Seahawks overtime drive was a thing of beauty, with Russell Wilson’s runs and short throws to backs simply destroying the Broncos defense.
There was no adjustment coming. The linebackers that were supposed to cover Wilson were too slow to get there, and del Rio didn’t pull anyone out of coverage even though he had extra defensive backs.
Dallas is showing a lot of heart this year, and I think they figured out that dominating the run game and winning time of possession is their key to winning this season.
Also, there was a gorgeous old school NFC East battle between the Redskins and the Eagles. I was interested in this matchup because Chip Kelly made a huge mistake and let DeSean Jackson go and got no value for him. He indicated that it would have no real effect on the offense, but LeSean McCoy is down to 2.7 yards a carry from last year’s 5.1, and his career average of 4.7. Hmm.
DeSean had a good day with a 117 yard and a great TD, but Chip Kelly is a really exciting coach, who might be the best at making adjustments in the NFL right now, and that was the difference in the game. But if you’re an Eagles fan, the fight was the best sign for your team imaginable.
Nick Foles threw what looked like an interception at the time, and he was trotting off-field when Redskins lineman Chris Baker absolutely levels him. Baker maintains that it was a legal hit, that he couldn’t distinguish the quarterback from any other player, that he was simply throwing a block on the play. But he ran behind Foles to give him the hit, meaning it wasn’t a split second decision. Foles had no intention of interfering with that play and shouldn’t have been within a mile of it. And I will tell you, after a whole game where you are fighting and clawing to get to the quarterback, you will use any excuse to hit him. It’s in a lineman’s DNA.
Baker goes to the sideline to celebrate the hit and Eagles left tackle Jason Peter savagely attack s him.
And that’s what should happen.
If your quarterback gets leveled by a cheap shot you want your offensive line to furious about it. If they indifferently step over the quarterback, you have a chemistry problem…and I’ve seen it happen.
And finally I have to end on Ray Lewis, who has no sense of irony. Commenting on Ray Rice he said that there were some things you don’t cover up, when of course, he obstructed justice on a murder, which is the most grievous charge there is.
But I do not believe that Ray Lewis stabbed anybody himself. I have solid reasons based on facts, but this is the Internet, so I went with the funniest.
Ray Lewis did not kill anyone because he was wearing a white suit.
That is the player suit. You have to have white shoes and a white shirt to go with it. You’re constantly paranoid about something getting on that suit because if you get a stain on an all-white suit, you immediately look like an idiot. If I was wearing a white suit, and Christina Hendricks wanted to ravish me on the spot, I’d say no because I’d be paranoid about something getting on my suit. If somebody wanted to fight, I would let it go. There is no insult you could say that would be so bad that I would risk ruining my suit, or scuffing my white gators.
You know why it’s such a big deal?
When you get a stain on your lapel in all white, it’s all anyone can see. You could be robbing a bank teller at gunpoint and they’re not going to be able to take their eyes off of the coffee stain on your chest. You look like an idiot with a stain in an all-white outfit, like you gave in to some baser instinct and ate a taco in the car.
Anyone that thinks that Ray Lewis was hanging out with eleven other guys, two of whom had knives they bought the day before, and that he decided to wade into the fight himself with his white suit on when he could have easily outsourced that beating is an absolute idiot.