Sorry for the delay. My house was under siege by a bunch of candy-crazed goblins tonight, and all I had guarding it was Ikky Ekwonu. It's a wonder those little bastards didn't steal the furniture right off my porch.
GIF OF THE WEEK, PART 1
Well, whaddya know: The Panthers won a game! 1-16 is now within reach.
The "Panthers picked the wrong QB" haters have been mighty quiet this week, thank goodness
GIF OF THE WEEK, PART 2
Gaze into the eyes of the Pride of Shepherd University, Tyler Bagent, now QB1 for the Chicago Bears.
This is a man whose mouth says he's thrilled to be in the NFL but whose eyes say he has seen a world in which his QBR of 22.9 ranked ahead of only Jordan Love; Matthew Stafford, who played with only one thumb;
Desmond Ridder, who was (allegedly) concussed; and Jimmy G, whose 3.7 QBR suggests terminal brain damage.
GIF OF THE WEEK, PART 3
I lived in Houston during the tail end of the Oilers era and got to see a couple of games in the Astrodome. (You could actually smoke in the stadium in certain places; that's all I remember except that the Oilers lost and the place was incredibly dark.) Weird to see Oilers blue in Nashville, especially because if you drilled down into Nashville's bedrock you'd hit not oil but a gusher that produced endless permutations of country songs about ex-wives, dogs, pickup trucks and 'Murica.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Speaking of bad QB play, the Meadowlands Bowl was something.
* The Giants finished with NEGATIVE NINE passing yards. That's the fewest since 2000 (tying the Browns) and the first time a team had finished an OT game with negative passing yards.
* The Jets defense had a 95.8% defensive success rate against the Giants on pass plays. That's the best of the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).
* Conversely, the Jets' 4.2% success rates on passing plays was the worst since 2000, according to TruMedia (which is how far their data goes back). There are only nine other games since 2000 below 10%. (They include the Wind Bowl in 2021, when the Patriots ran it 46 times against the Bills; and the Blizzard Bowl in 2013, when LeSean McCoy and the Eagles ran over the Lions.)
* The Jets and Giants were a combined 4-for-34 on third down.
* The two teams combined for 24 punts (most since 2003); the 15 punts in the first half were the most since 2000.
* With 1:19 remaining, the Giants had a win probability of 99.9%.
RUNNER-UP STAT OF THE WEEK
Because the Ravens beat the Cardinals on Sunday, Ravens RG Kevin Zeitler became the 17th player since 1991 to start and beat all 32 NFL teams. The other 16 include Favre, Brady, Peyton Manning and Andrew Whitworth.
WEEK 9 SCHEDULE
Lots of good games this week!
Titans at Steelers (Prime)
** Der Delfin vs Der Häuptling ** in Frankfurt (NFL Network)
Vikings at Falcons
Seahawks at Ravens in the BIRD BOWL
Cardinals at Browns
Rams at Packers
Buccaneers at Texans
Commanders at Patriots
Bears at Saints
Colts at Panthers in the FRANK REICH BOWL
Giants at Raiders
** Cowboys at Eagles ** (GOTW)
*** Bills at Bengals *** (NBC)
Chargers at Jets (ABC, ESPN, ManningCast)
Bye: Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, Niners
Maps (on Wed.)