What have we learned - Week 16
Washington 10, Philadelphia 3. Just when you think Andy Reid has gotten his head out of his ass, the Eagles run the ball 16 times in a game in freezing weather where they weren't blown out. I didn't watch the entire game because it was so frustrating, but I couldn't believe why, after three weeks of great balance in the running and passing game, Reid seemed to give up on it early in this game. It wasn't as if Washington was blowing them away, and it wasn't even that they were running it poorly. They weren't running great, but it still wasn't awful. Why, Andy Reid, why????? Jesus. Now they need a lot of help to make the playoffs, from the Raiders, of all teams. Crap.
DeSean Jackson update! 1 rush for 7 yards; 2 catches for 14 yards; 1 punt return for 7 yards. Season totals: 0-1 passing, 1 interception; 62 catches for 866 yards and 2 touchdowns; 17 rushes for 95 yards; 48 punt returns for 416 yards.
Turnovers: Eagles 1, Washington 0. Turnovers = loss? The only turnover led to the only touchdown, so yes. 1-0.
Indianapolis 31, Jacksonville 24. Stupid Jacksonville. Hey, maybe you could try to force Manning to throw an interception! You think?
Turnovers: Jaguars 1, Colts 0. Turnovers = loss? I suppose. 2-0.
Baltimore 33, Dallas 24. Good to see the Cowboys go down, because it helped the Eagles, but more because I hate Dallas. It's also fun to see them get pounded. And Terrell Owens was a bit grumpy during and after the game, so that was cool. I didn't watch the game, but the late touchdown runs by the Ravens were pretty neat - two straight plays of 75+-yard runs, for the first time in NFL history.
Turnovers: Cowboys 2, Ravens 1. Turnovers = loss? So it seems, so it seems. 3-0.
Cincinnati 14, Cleveland 0. The Browns might actually be worse than the Lions, if that's possible. I mean, the Lions got smacked this past weekend, but they've been playing pretty hard. The Browns have just been lying down on the job for a long time. I mean, I can deal with losing to the Bengals, but to get shut out at home? Really? Man, just put Joshua Cribbs at quarterback and let him have some fun.
Turnovers: Browns 4, Bengals 1. Turnovers = loss? It certainly looks that way. 4-0.
New Orleans 42, Detroit 7. A lot of ESPNers were picking the Lions to win this game. I know picking games is essentially a coin flip, but here's a tip for you pundits: Detroit sucks. A LOT. Sure, they were within 14-7 at one point, but if everything doesn't go perfectly their way, they're not going to win. And then the Detroit columnist asked the coach if he wishes his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator (she married the one who works for the Lions). Everyone is dogpiling on Rob Parker, the columnist, which distracts from the fact that Rod Marinelli, should have fired his son-in-law a while ago. Of course, Marinelli shouldn't survive after next week, but who the hell knows what's going on with Detroit. Oh, and Drew Brees stayed in the game long after it was decided trying to rack up passing yards. He's 402 yards short of breaking Dan Marino's single-season passing total. Nice way to get it, Drew - chucking the ball all over the field against an 0-14 (soon to be 0-15) team.
Turnovers: Lions 2, Saints 1. Turnovers = loss? Jawohl! 5-0.
Tennessee 31, Pittsburgh 14. A bunch of pundits were saying that the Steelers would use the Titans' stomping on a "terrible towel" as motivation if and when the two teams play again in the playoffs. That always bothers me. Why would the Steelers need artificial motivation like that? Shouldn't the idea of winning a championship be motivation enough? If I'm a Titan and the only motivation the Steelers have is that a few players stomped on a piece of cloth, I'm thinking my team has already won the game. Sheesh. It was childish on the part of the two Titans, but if Pittsburgh needs that as motivation, they're in trouble.
Turnovers: Steelers 4, Titans 0. Turnovers = loss? Most definitely. 6-0.
Miami 38, Kansas City 31. This was probably the most entertaining game of the day, as the two teams went up and down the field but also made some crucial stops when it counted. Miami is actually fun to watch, because Tony Sparano doesn't care about being ridiculed for running ridiculous formations, he just cares about the results, and more often than not, his plays work. Meanwhile, Tyler Thigpen looked like a freakin' Pro Bowler. He was chucking the ball all over the place and even running like a young Donovan McNabb. He's a big dude, too, so it's impressive to see him rambling down the field. I don't know if this will last, but he looks like the real deal. So of course he went to Coastal Carolina - the cradle of quarterbacks!
Turnovers: Chiefs 4, Dolphins 2. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 7-0.
San Francisco 17, St. Louis 16. If you watched this game, even if you're a fan of one of the teams, you need help. Seriously. I did turn it on long enough to watch the Rams' last, futile drive, but I couldn't imagine watching more than a minute of game time of this. Yuck.
Turnovers: 49ers 4, Rams 1. Turnovers = loss? Playing at home and getting four turnovers, the Rams couldn't win. Sheesh. 7-1.
New England 47, Arizona 7. I was busy at 11 in the morning on Sunday, so I missed the first hour of NFL football, and when I got home, New England was already leading 28-0, so I didn't watch any of this game. I don't mind the fact that Arizona might have an 8-8 record and make the playoffs, but the fact that they get a home game is idiotic. I dearly hope a wildcard team comes in here and smacks them, because they look truly awful right now. Of course, the Cheaters might go 11-5 and miss the playoffs, so there is some justice in the world!
Turnovers: Cardinals 2, Cheaters 0. Turnovers = loss? Indeed. 8-1.
San Diego 41, Tampa 24. The good news for the Eagles is that Tampa is playing like they want a playoff spot even less than the Eagles do, so Philadelphia might have a chance this weekend. And then there's San Diego, who may have gotten their act together too late. They need to beat the Broncos next week, and perhaps the horrible, horrible call that jobbed them back in Week 2 against Denver won't hang like a stench over the season. We'll see.
Turnovers: Buccaneers 3, Chargers 0. Turnovers = loss? Sure! 9-1.
Seattle 13, New York Jets 3. Brett "Risen Christ" Favre: 21 touchdown passes, 19 interceptions. Chad Pennington: 17 touchdown passes, 7 interceptions, more yardage, higher rating. Do you think the Jets might be regretting jettisoning Pennington? Meanwhile, I know Shaun Ellis would be fined for chucking a huge block of snow into the fans, but damn, that was funny.
Turnovers: Jets 2, Seahawks 2. Turnovers = loss? No man can say!
Oakland 27, Houston 16. Everyone was talking about how the Texans had a chance to finish above .500 for the first time. Yeah, well, now they have a chance to finish at .500 for the first time. Playing on the road is tough in the NFL, especially when you (Houston) aren't that good to begin with. I mean, really good teams can go into Oakland and win, but mediocre ones probably find it a big more difficult. The Raiders, by the way, have to go to Tampa this week and beat the Bucs for the Eagles to have any hope for the postseason. Go, Raiders!
Turnovers: Texans 1, Raiders 1. Turnovers = loss? Another wash.
Buffalo 30, Denver 23. I guess I should have watched some of this game, right? Man, the Broncos are weird. Actually, so are the Bills.
Turnovers: Broncos 2, Bills 0. Turnovers = loss? Indubitably. 10-1.
Atlanta 24, Minnesota 17. If Matt Ryan doesn't win Rookie of the Year, they should stop giving the award. The Falcons are in the playoffs. Say it with me. The Falcons are in the playoffs. Wow.
Turnovers: Vikings 4, Falcons 0. Turnovers = loss? Don't turn the ball over, Minnesota!!!! 11-1.
New York Giants 34, Carolina 28. I didn't watch this game, but my dad did, and he can't figure out why everyone is suddenly praising the Giants again as the best team in the league. He said they were down until very late and then rallied, but for three quarters they were the worse team. It was a well-played game, as far as I can tell (no turnovers, for one), and it's not like the Giants proved that they were that much better than the Panthers. If they play again in the NFC Championship Game in New York, the Giants better watch out, because they might not get another comeback.
Turnovers: Panthers 0, Giants 0. Turnovers = loss? A total wash.
Chicago 20, Green Bay 17. I definitely wanted Da Bears to lose, because they would have been eliminated from the playoffs, and it looked like it would happen for a long time. How did Da Bears win this game? I watched most of it and I still don't know. Kyle Orton looked awful, the defense didn't look that great, but the Packers couldn't put it away, and Da Bears got a great spot on a fourth down run down at the goal line that led to their game-tying touchdown. Stupid Packers.
Turnovers: Packers 2, Da Bears 2. Turnovers = loss? A final wash.
And so, the record of teams that turn the ball over less than the other team is now 136-42-1. That's fairly definitive.
Tennessee: 17 turnovers, +14 margin, 13-2 record.
Miami: 12 turnovers, +14 margin, 10-5 record.
Indianapolis: 17 turnovers, +9 margin, 11-4 record.
Baltimore: 1 21 turnovers, +9 margin, 10-5 record.
New York Giants: 13 turnovers, +8 margin, 12-3 record.
Green Bay: 20 turnovers, +6 margin, 5-10 record.
Cleveland: 24 turnovers, +6 margin, 4-11 record.
Chicago: 26 turnovers, +5 margin, 9-6 record.
Kansas City: 24 turnovers, +5 margin, 2-13 record.
Carolina: 19 turnovers, +4 margin, 11-4 record.
Tampa: 25 turnovers, +4 margin, 9-6 record.
Pittsburgh: 23 turnovers, +3 margin, 11-4 record.
San Diego: 20 turnovers, +3 margin, 7-8 record.
New York Jets: 27 turnovers, +2 margin, 9-6 record.
New Orleans: 24 turnovers, +2 margin, 8-7 record.
Arizona: 28 turnovers, +1 margin, 8-7 record.
Oakland: 22 turnovers, +1 margin, 4-11 record.
Atlanta: 18 turnovers, +0 margin, 10-5 record.
New England: 21 turnovers, +0 margin, 10-5 record.
Washington: 17 turnovers, +0 margin, 8-7 record.
Philadelphia: 25 turnovers, -1 margin, 8-6-1 record.
Cincinnati: 26 turnovers, -1 margin, 3-11-1 record.
Jacksonville: 21 turnovers, -4 margin, 5-10 record.
Minnesota: 30 turnovers, -6 margin, 9-6 record.
Buffalo: 29 turnovers, -6 margin, 7-8 record.
Seattle: 24 turnovers, -6 margin, 4-11 record.
Dallas: 2 28 turnovers, -7 margin, 9-6 record.
Detroit: 27 turnovers, -8 margin, 0-15 record.
St. Louis: 31 turnovers, -9 margin, 2-13 record.
Houston: 31 turnovers, -12 margin, 7-8 record.
Denver: 28 turnovers, -15 margin, 8-7 record.
San Francisco: 34 turnovers, -17 margin, 6-9 record.
Next week: Will it be my last football post of the season? I fear so!