Have we really watched 14 weeks of football already? It seems like only yesterday that we were ready to crown Philip Rivers MVP and Roger Goodell Executive of the Year. Oh, how far we’ve come.
Once Aaron Rodgers lines up in the victory formation tonight against Atlanta, there will be just three weeks remaining in the regular season, which means that the playoff push has definitely begun. The Lions, Steelers and Seahawks all made solid statements on Sunday, while the Chiefs, Chargers and 49ers suffered serious setbacks.
In between, there were fights, flops and “fuck you’s” of the highest order. Yes, Week 14 was a wild one – so before we get to all the excitement that lies ahead, let’s look back at Sunday’s Winners and Losers.
Winner: Jeff ‘Troll So Hard’ Fisher
If there was an ESPY for “Troll of the Year,” Jeff Fisher would not only be nominated – he’d probably present the damn category. What, exactly did he do?
Instead of sending out the Rams usual captains for the pregame coin toss against Washington, he sent Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Zac Stacy, Stedman Bailey, Greg Robinson and Alec Ogletree – aka the six players the Rams acquired in the Robert Griffin III trade with the ‘Skins. Damn, that’s cold.
It was smart, salty and put a franchise to shame. To add insult to injury, the Rams shut out Washington 24-0, and the RG III era may be coming to a close in the nation’s capital. We’d feel sort for Daniel Snyder, but fuck that guy.
Loser: Ricardo Lockette
With this magnificent move from Ricardo Lockette and last week’s display from Odell Beckham Jr., it appears flopping has found its way to football! This is how bad things have gotten for the NFL this year: players are stealing the worst parts of other sports and implementing them into the game.
The only good thing about Lockette’s flop is that it could be mistaken for some sort of interpretive dance, since the Seattle WR initiated everything from the block in the back to actually pushing Philadelphia’s Cary Williams, who just stood there as Lockette fell to the ground. Bravo, Ricardo!
Winner: The Detroit Lions
Seattle’s coming on strong and the Packers continue to cruise, so let’s take a moment to discuss the Detroit Lions, the team nobody’s talking about.
It’s tough to decide how legitimate they actually given this up-and-down season. On the one hand, they’re 9-4 after doubling up the Bucs on Sunday. Matt Stafford threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns, Megatron was massive and their defense remained stout. Plus, they have killer celebration dances like Joseph Fauria’s spectacular twerking display or this Hadouken dance from Andre Fluellen.
On the other hand, the Lions only have two quality wins this season – over Green Bay and Miami. So are the Lions legit? Not clear. Though they’re legitimately entertaining.
Loser: Geno Smith
It took Geno Smith a total of six seconds to throw a pick-six on Sunday against the Vikings, and of course the Jets lost again, falling to 2-11 on the season.
The thing is, this wasn’t the Jets worst showing this season; they put up 410 yards of total offense (their second highest total of the season) and kept the game tight, losing 30-24 on a busted screen pass in overtime. But when your quarterback puts you in a hole on the first offensive play of the game, there’s only so much you can do. Hats off the Geno and the Jets for still finding ways to make a lost season entertaining as hell.
Winner: Killa Cam
Cam Newton was back to his old self on Sunday, and the Panthers sent the Saints to the crossroads beating with a 41-10 drubbing. Newton threw for 226 yards and three TDs, ran for 83 yards and a score and started an enormous end zone-brawl with his words. He also threw zero interceptions and wasn’t sacked once. This is Cam at his best – versatile, overly cocky and capable of causing massive chaos.
Loser: Fighting in the NFC South
The Saints and Panthers wanted to prove they were real badasses by partaking in a scuffle that resulted in all sorts of flags and even an ejection. Excuse me for rolling my eyes when I see these teams push and shove each other (with helmets on) as if they have any sort of pride in the logos they’re wearing.
After Newton’s touchdown dive made it 16-0, his celebration deeply offended the Saints – as linebacker Curtis Lofton said after the game, “I saw it as straight disrespect and I did what I thought I had to do.”
Here’s a wild idea, Curtis: Stop having meaningless fights and start playing competent football. Carolina has now pulled themselves into playoff contention at 4-8-1, the Saints sit at 5-8, and if the Packers defeat the Falcons tonight, then Atlanta will also be 5-8, meaning that the playoff representative from the NFC South will have no better than an 8-8 record. Cool “fight” though.
Loser: The San Francisco 49ers
For the first time since becoming head coach of the 49ers in 2011, Jim Harbaugh is in danger of missing the playoffs. It’s one thing to have the occasional lost season, but something seems amiss in San Francisco – as evidenced by Sunday’s befuddling loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Derek Carr took it to the vaunted 49ers defense, throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns, while Colin Kaepernick threw for only 174 and was intercepted twice. San Francisco has lost two straight (and even their previous wins against weaker teams weren’t all that impressive), leaving them two games out of the wild card with only three remaining. Couple that with all the rumors surrounding Harbaugh’s imminent departure, and let’s just say I’ve got a feeling the demand for khaki is about to plummet in San Francisco.