The OCHO: Week 14
Christmas comes early
Ho ho ho. Happy Hanukah. Let’s do it. Eight things from the NFL weekend.
Surprising thing number 1: Cris Collinsworth’s brain stops functioning mid-broadcast.
I have literally nothing to add to this. This might be the dumbest comment I have ever heard on a broadcast, and that is a field so competitive, it makes the AFC wild card race look like the English Premier League.
Expected thing number 1: The Jaguars lose
As the weeks go by and every person on earth leaves the crumbling Jaguars bandwagon, which is now some boards being dragged on one remaining wheel-less axle, the stories that come out are just increasingly depressing. I can’t imagine being trapped in that situation. I have had bad jobs, and I know the feeling. You want to quit, but you are worried it will tarnish your resume. You want to report what is going on, but you are worried no one will believe you or care and you will be black balled. You want to confront the person, but you know that person won’t listen and will just make things worse for you. The Jaguars need to fire Meyer, but Shad Khan doesn’t want to give Meyer a golden parachute into the remainder of his retirement. So it’s just a stalemate. There is no longer any question whether this was a mistake. There is no longer a case to make that he can turn it around. There is only this. Does Meyer care more about his dignity or the cash? I know the answer, but does Jaguars ownership?
Surprising thing number 2: The best throw of the year
Look, I know Justin Herbert has a great arm. You probably know it too. But it should ALWAYS be surprising when someone can throw the ball 70 yards in the air to a perfectly-in-stride WR for a touchdown. We need to avoid getting jaded by stuff like this. LOOK AT THIS. This is the throw of the year, and I can’t imagine something better. He is even absorbing a huge hit to make the play. The Chargers still have flaws, but they have solved QB.
Expected thing number 2: A trip to the opponent’s logo is a wasted trip
The Las Vegas Smith-Schusters decided to fire up their .500 squad pregame in their matchup against the division leading Kansas City Chiefs. So they did what many a wayward soul has done before them. They went out to the other team’s logo and did a little dance, made a little love, and got down last… afternoon. They were completely out of the game about an hour later. Stop doing this. It does not make your team better. It is not some sort of tough guy move. It’s just cannon fodder for people who think “bulletin board material” is a real thing. Here’s a real thing. The Raiders stink. No amount of logo shenanigans will change that, so just stop it.
Surprising thing number 3: Matt Nagy is capable of fun
According to Matt Nagy, he was having fun at some point last night (this statement was made coming out of halftime, and this graphic was aired moments before the Bears gave up 2 TDs 30 seconds apart to ensure another loss. This is a surprise, because Matt Nagy strongly opposes fun in most of its forms. I put together a short list of things that I suspect Matt Nagy thinks are fun.
Calm, brief celebrations
When the other side of the highway has a traffic jam
pranks that physically harm someone
when someone gets excessive comeuppance for their disrespect, like death
a one game appearance in the playoffs
Sadly, I suspect Matt didn’t end up having a great night. In his defense, joy can be fleeting. Hopefully he finds happiness is his next job coaching Appalachian State.
Expected thing number 3: Toeing the line of decency
World renowned foot-fetishist Rex Ryan appeared on “Get Up”, “Cold Pizza”, “Shut Up”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or whatever it’s called now and finally leant some real expertise to the proceedings by analyzing Aaron Rodgers toe. This is probably the only clip from “It’s Morning Now” that I will probably see this week, and it made me genuinely laugh. I think more shows should have expert on extremely niche areas to come on and break them down. Like Mark Sanchez on turnovers, or Urban Meyer on leadership voids. You can’t pretend you don’t want to watch that. I could be the expert on double negatives.
Surprise thing number 4: Not every body switching movie is a comedy
It feels increasingly like the freaky Thursday night game between the Dolphins and the Ravens in week 10 might have also included some sort of magical body switching. Perhaps the Ravens stood on the Dolphins logo pregame and there was some sort of magical transformation of power. The Ravens season went sideways in that game, and hasn’t really recovered. Their two best players are out with injury (Marlon Humphrey and Lamar Jackson). Their offense has fallen off a cliff. Those games they were barely winning are now suddenly becoming losses. Meanwhile, the Dolphins haven’t lost since and are now just 1 game out of a playoff spot (along with basically every team in the NFL). The Dolphins are getting healthy at the right time, and with the right schedule. Suddenly, I can foresee a world where the Dolphins make the playoffs and the Ravens don’t. Why? Because the Dolphins have the Freaky Thursday tiebreaker.
Expected thing number 4: The Bills lose another 1 score game
Are you wondering why the Bills are so much worse than last year? It’s because they are 0-5 in one score games this year, after going 6-2 last year. One score games are notoriously fickle. Typically, they even out over time, unless you have an elite QB. Last year, the Bills did really well, and I think it was fair to expect they would remain on the positive end of the one score game ratio this year, given Josh Allen’s remarkable play. It hasn’t worked out that way. Despite Allen playing a very tough and strong game in the second half, the Bills still lost when the Bucs first drive in overtime ended with this pass that had echoes of the Demaryius Thomas touchdown from Tim Tebow in that first (and only) Tim Tebow playoff win that spawned a million hot Tebow takes. Last week, Demaryius Thomas passed away far too soon. I wanted to include a quick remembrance of him and his greatness, but it seems the Bucs beat me to it. May he rest in peace and may his family and friends find peace in this hard time.