The Week 12 weekend has come and gone and it’s safe to say that there are some definite trends taking shape in the NFL.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are QB gods. Odell Beckham Jr. continues to amaze. Tony Romo repeatedly comes through in the clutch. The NFC South will always find new ways to embarrass itself, the AFC North is eternally a crapshoot and the NFC West remains as unsettled as ever. Oh, and Mark Sanchez is finally a good quarterback.
OK, so not everything in the NFL is quite so cut-and-dry. In fact, there was plenty of weird shit happening this weekend – not to mention moments that made me drop my jaw in amazement, chuck my remote in frustration and maybe even shed a tear (it’s the radiator – the air’s so dry in here). What can I say? Week 12 has been a doozy. Let’s take a look at the Winners and Losers.
Winner: T.Y. Hilton
Who’s ready for some feels? T.Y. Hilton’s wife gave birth on Sunday and as sentimental as that sounds, it left fantasy owners screaming “But can he play?!?” Of course, a potential disaster was averted: After doctors confirmed that Hilton’s wife and new baby were both healthy, he suited up for Sunday’s game against the Jags.
After yesterday’s game, we learned very quickly that Hilton’s main source of fuel is pure emotion. The brand new father went for 122 yards and a touchdown, the latter of which resulted in the most adorable celebration of the year. Following the game, Hilton spoke about delivering a TD for his new baby girl, and let’s just say it was the kind of moment Roger Goodell has been praying for all season.
Loser: Mike Smith
As the coach of the 4-7 Falcons, Mike Smith was already a loser by default, but what he did on Sunday puts him in a class of his own. Now I swore I wouldn’t write about the god-awful NFC South this week, but this is just too much.
With Cleveland up 23-21 in the fourth, Brian Hoyer practically handed the game to the Falcons by throwing an interception (his third!) with less than three minutes left. Already at their own 45, all ATL had to do was get/stay within field-goal range and burn time off the clock. That’s it! Mike Smith got the first part right, by getting the ball to the Cleveland 35, but on 3rd-and-2 with less than a minute left, Smith called a fucking timeout and followed it up with a pass play before kicking a field goal – preserving about 44 seconds for the Browns to drive the ball and kick the game-winning field goal…which they did.
This caused the entire football community to let out the loudest “You’ve gotta be shitting me” ever recorded in human history. It was so bad that Disney villain Arthur Blank took it upon himself to sit front row during Smith’s postgame press conference. Even an Atlanta strip club called for the firing of Mike Smith.
The best part of this whole thing? If the Saints lose tomorrow night, the Falcons will still be in first place in the South, thanks to their Week 1 win over New Orleans. There is no god.
— Duffy on WCMF (@DuffyOnWCMF) November 23, 2014
Winner: Tony Romo (On National TV!)
Tony Romo – America’s number one target for public ridicule and master of the inopportune mistake – continues to exorcise his demons, coming through on the road, on national television, against a division rival. That’s like a trifecta of WTF.
The Giants took a 21-10 lead into the half, fell behind 24-21, then managed to fight their way back into the lead on a late TD pass from Eli Manning. But with three minutes left, Romo took charge, marching the Cowboys down the field and, thanks to some brilliant pass protection, found Dez Bryant in the back of the end zone to win the game. It was Romo’s third TD pass of the second half, and it kept Dalls in a first place tie atop the NFC East. Both teams meet on Thanksgiving, which certainly gives Tony another opportunity to stumble on a big stage…but this week, he’s a Winner.
Loser: The San Diego Unified School District
At first glance, it appears to be just another bad sign at a football game. But this sign is a special kind of bad – it’s what happens when an incomprehensible movie reference meets unforgivable spelling (and a toddler’s handwriting).
To recap: that’s not an Anchorman quote. The person who made this sign just assumes that’s what Ron Burgundy would say if he were at the game. He also assumes Burgundy can’t spell – which, OK, I’ll give them that one. Finally, as Seth Rosenthal points out, the man holding the sign is wearing a wedding ring, meaning he’s an adult. I’d expect better from a city named in honor of a whale’s vagina.
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) November 23, 2014
Loser: The Cardinals
Can we have the entire NFC West in the playoffs please? The Cards, 49ers and Seahawks could all do major damage if given a shot. Hell, even the Rams would cause a dent with their “giant killer” status, earned thanks to wins over the Broncos, Seahawks and Niners.
On Sunday, the Seahawks practically saved their season as they dominated the Cardinals, who were without Larry Fitzgerald and with Drew Stanton. It turns out Seattle is still capable of summoning that lockdown defense when necessary, holding Arizona to only 3 points. Meanwhile in San Francisco, the Niners barely squeaked by another bad team, this time being slightly less-shaky than the Washington Football Team. At this point, the Niners will take all the wins they can get – no matter how ugly they are.
Meanwhile, Arizona is a bad shape moving forward. With the Cards trying to hold on without Carson Palmer and the Seahawks and Niners coming on fast, this division is going to be a ton of fun down the stretch.
Winner: Odell Beckham Jr.
We have an immediacy problem in America. Everything has to be either the “Best” or “Worst” ever. It’s a real issue that must be addressed and eventually put to rest.
Having said that, this Odell Beckham Jr. catch really is the best catch – nay, moment – in human history. No exaggeration. The dude already endured a pass interference penalty and still caught the ball with three fingers while falling backwards. Unbelievable! That grab alone made the whole NFL season worth it. Almost. I see you ODB!