Every dog will have his day. And, apparently, so will every Jaguar and so will every Buccaneer.
This past weekend, the NFL's two "o-fer" teams (as in 0-for-8) each notched a victory, the Jags defeating division rival Tennessee and the Bucs holding off the distracted Dolphins on Monday night. The 2008 Detroit Lions, the only team in NFL history to go 0-16, can breathe a sigh of relief. Do they pop champagne corks for that sort of thing? Oh, maybe that's just when you go undefeated, not totally defeated. Either way, Detroit, no worries. Your legacy of losing continues to live in infamy.
It was a happy Sunday for the Jags, as they scored the most points they've scored in one game all season (29) and forced four Tennessee turnovers, which they converted into 17 points. In Tampa, the Bucs jumped out to an early lead, only to watch the Dolphins claw back on top in the fourth quarter. However, Tampa held on in the final 10 minutes, scoring a touchdown on an 80-yard drive to seal their first win.
The Dolphins really didn't help themselves any, racking up a massive - are you ready for this? - TWO YARDS RUSHING. Yes, two, as in one more than one. If a quarterback takes the snap and falls into the line of scrimmage about 10 times a game, he'd at least be able to amass 5 rushing yards. Did the Dolphins lose all sense of direction?
I think everyone in America who has been glued to this Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal wondered how the Dolphins would respond in their first game since the incident came out. Even if you've not been glued to it (although it's starting to get shoved down our gullets a bit at this point), you still are probably not surprised Miami lost the game. Despite all their cries of "we are focused on Tampa," sometimes it's nearly impossible to shield everything. And with this having been a Monday night contest, which by default always gets extra attention, it's actually surprising that Miami took the lead at any point. They certainly came out looking flat.
For the sake of letting the dead horse lay peacefully, I will refrain from passing judgment about the whole situation, other than to say the entire organization sounds like it could use some ethics classes from the ground up. Hey, isn't Tim Tebow a motivational speaker now? Maybe he could help the Dolphins find a happy place? Hopefully nobody steals his lunch money while he's visiting....
In other news:
-- Sibling rivalry NFL style.
For the first time since 2007, the Lions swept the Bears in their season series, winning Sunday 21-19 in Chicago. Bears WR Brandon Marshall, however, exhibited the textbook "sore loser syndrome" when he referred to the Lions as the "little brother who grew a little bit." He went on with some really bad analogies, comparing the Lions to a pesky little brother who always wants to come out and play with the big brother (the Bears), but because the little brother is so whiny and annoying, the big brother just wants him to go away. Marshall then added a dig at the city of Detroit by saying, "Sit in your little city.... Fix your financial problems and all of that." Classy! Marshall's classifying the Bears and Lions as big brother - little brother doesn't work for me. Yeah, maybe the whole fighting thing holds true, but aren't siblings supposed to be nurturing? I know nothing about this old school rivalry that seems like the Bears are trying to nurture the Lions. Especially when Marshall also claimed the Lions took some "borderline illegal" shots at their quarterbacks. Waaaah, waaaah, waaaah! Mommy, he stole my toy! Mommy, he hit me! Mommy, I wet my pants again! Someone should ask Brandon Marshall how sour those grapes taste that he's got stuffed in his mouth right about now? Sounds like someone's ready for a timeout!
-- Round and round the carousel goes, where it stops, nobody knows!
For the first time since, well, probably EVER (I may be slightly exaggerating here), the Green Bay Packers do not have a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback at the helm. From a franchise who was spoiled by QBs the likes of Bart Starr, Brett Favre and now Aaron Rodgers (they like the guys with double letters somewhere in his name) throughout their storied history, the quarterback carousel is now spinning in the Packers' back yard. With Rodgers out with a broken collarbone, Seneca Wallace started Sunday, only to leave the game with a groin injury. Scott Tolzien will start this Sunday's game against the Giants. Matt Flynn, veteran QB and former Packer, was signed by the team to provide a bit of depth until Rodgers returns. Maybe Green Bay can see if Brett Favre wants to come out of retirement? Although, let's not poke that sleeping lion, please. Just like Tebow, Favre is another character who is out of football and still gets more air time than some of the current players in the league.
-- Hail Marys. Not just for pre-game preparation anymore.
There's one basic rule to defending a Hail Mary pass at the end of a game: knock it down. So here's the situation. The Bengals find themselves with two seconds left at their own 49 yard line, down 10-17 to the home-standing Ravens. In desperation, Dalton heaves a long pass down field. The ball hits a pile of receivers and defenders .... KNOCK IT DOWN!! For the love of Baltimore, knock it down!!! But a Baltimore defender puts his arm up and the ball bounces up into the air and into the hands of Bengals receiver AJ Green. See, the key here is, instead of lobbing the ball up into the air like a volleyball, all the Ravens needed to do was ... say it with me, class ... KNOCK. IT. DOWN. Instead, the Ravens had to sweat through overtime and luckily pulled out a win. Cincinnati has now managed to lose their last two games in overtime. Now that's just unlucky. Almost as unlucky as falling victim to a Hail Mary pass . . . .
The monster match-up on the week 11 slate pits the only unbeaten team left, Kansas City, against division rival Denver, arguably the NFL's best team. These two heavyweights get to slug it out, and come back and do it again two weeks later - their next meeting is Dec. 1 in Kansas City. "He-who-must-not-be-named" will play for Denver, despite tweaking his high ankle sprain against the Chargers. Oh come on, did they really have to report he would play? He'd pretty much have to be a severed head to NOT play, and even then he'd probably still throw three touchdowns.
Other interesting games on the agenda this weekend include Washington at Philadelphia, San Francisco at New Orleans, and an intriguing Monday night inter-conference match-up between New England and Carolina. Dallas and St. Louis get the weekend off. Oh, and if the playoffs were to begin today, the New York Jets would have a wild card. Let THAT fuel your nightmares for a while!
Until next week, enjoy the games, my friends!