- I haven't watched football for so long and I feel so out of the loop. I need someone to "We Didn't Start the Fire" the last 3 weeks of the NFL for me. I still pretty much only watched this weekend in a daze.
- It took Derek Carr some time to get started, but as the game went on, he figured out how to operate against that Denver D. Big win for the Raiders, and some great patience by Carr, who did not turn the ball over.
- Two big touchdowns by Ted Ginn. Granted, one came from a rather clear push-off, but still... Ted Ginn!
- Khalil Mack is justifying my stumping for him as the league's best OLB. 5 sacks and a ton of pressure against Denver. Quite frankly, I would argue he is the league's best defensive player. Watt and Aaron Donald are still beastly, but Mack is the guy I'd want to build a defense around.
- Tennessee's tackling effort on that Bilal Powell TD was atrocious.
- Alfred Morris with his first rushing touchdown of the year. I bet they were stoked at Buffalo Wings in Dubai.
- My MVP vote (were I to have one) remains with Carson Palmer. That is increasingly hard to hold to, given the performance of Cam Newton. But Arizona's passing production (8.1 net yards/attempt) is crazy - only two other teams have finished above that mark in the past decade.
- My PFF premium stats subscription finally ran out, and now I am rather pissed off. There's just no comparable outlet for the same quality advanced stats available to regular home users. It's rather despicable, in my opinion, that PFF built its reputation selling to bloggers and armchair GMs who sung their praises, only to pull the rug out from under these people and go STATS INC.
Apparently I do better when I'm out of the loop and have no idea what I'm doing.
- Atlanta at Jacksonville: This offseason, discussions will take place at the annual NFL Owner's Meeting to determine how to deal with the growing problem of BORTLESMANIA Denial. Bortles intends to keep throwing those do-nothing TD passes that has him 3rd in the league, behind only Brady and Palmer. He'll have plenty of opportunity against an Atlanta team that was overwhelmed by Ted Ginn a week ago. Jacksonville extends their winning streak as BORTLESMANIA worms its way into the hearts and minds of NFL fans.
- Carolina at NY Giants: Garion asked, so here we go. The Giants seem like the best chance of stopping the Panthers from a 16-0 record, and not just because of their history as undefeated killers (per Garion's quote: The 1934 Bears (13-0), 1998 Broncos (13-0), and 2007 Patriots (18-0) all fell to the Giants). After the Giants, the Panthers go on the road to Atlanta, then take on Tampa Bay at home (TB has potentially enough firepower to mount a threat, at least if it's an odd-numbered week, but the game is in Carolina). New York's 32nd ranked pass defense seems a liability, but the Panthers are only the 25th ranked passing offense, instead getting the job done with their 2nd ranked run offense (which of course includes plenty of Newton runs). One big help for the Giants: Jonathan Stewart remembered who he was, and will miss his first action of the year with a foot injury. But I've bet against the Panthers enough this year. I submit to 16-0. Carolina.
- Cincinnati at San Francisco: Andy Dalton is out. AJ McCarron makes his first professional start. Seeing how big of a day this is for McCarron, you have to figure his wife, Katherine Webb, will make the road trip. To Levi's Stadium. The same Levi's Stadium I will be at. With Katherine Webb. I should figure out where the traveling team's family usually sits because Katherine Webb will probably be there. Take it away, Brent Musberger!
Katherine Webb San Francisco probably doesn't win but I can't make that pick.
- Houston at Indianapolis: The AFC South race is heating up, with Houston and Indy clinging to a 1-game lead ahead of the surging BORTLESMANIAS. Houston will roll out TJ Yates, while the Colts still have Matt Hasselbeck in there, despite a minor rib injury that had been holding him out of practice. Vegas gives Indianapolis the narrowest of edges as the home team, and I'll take them as I am not feeling Yatesmania.
- Detroit at New Orleans: Not a lot of good things going on in this Monday Night battle between two used-to-be offensive powerhouses (though New Orleans is still 4th in total offense, but only 11th in offensive scoring). The Saints have lost 4 of their last 5, and having lost Mark Ingram for the rest of the season isn't helping (but their one win in those 5 games was last week against Tampa, but that's because it was an even numbered week). Detroit has been a turnover machine, 6th in the league in giveaway percentage. They're the league's 32nd ranked rushing attack, and their top 5 defense from a year ago has completely evaporated. Matt Stafford is about the only thing on the roster that hasn't dropped off sharply. And yet, they've won 3 of their last 5, including a road win in Green Bay, and a narrow home loss to the Pack. Still, I'll take New Orleans at home, but not really feeling great about it.
Week 14 Results
Mr E.B. Slugworth: 2-3
Rat Boy: 1-4
Tempest Blayze: 0-0
Flintheart Glomgold: 0-0
Season to Date
Mr E.B. Slugworth: 37-28
Rat Boy: 36-34
Tempest Blayze: 10-5
Flintheart Glomgold: 6-4