In case you're not familiar with the story of Jack Pinto, click on that link and get back to me when you're done crying your eyes out. It hits close to home for me because I was once a 6-year-old Giants fan in Connecticut. I just can't make sense of the tragedy or how football can help anyone. All I know is that I spent 10 hours yesterday watching football and forgetting about the real world's problems.
This was the third Sunday in a row that the NFL played against a backdrop of tragedy. So my Christmas wish this year is a simple one (also I'm not sure I get one because I'm Jewish): that next Sunday we don't need to watch football to forget, but that we need to watch it because it's the fantasy football championship.
TAKEAWAY: Good riddance, Thursday Night Football
The Bengals thrashing an underwhelming Eagles squad was the perfect denouement for Thursday Night Football. All year the games have been marred by sloppy play from poorly rested teams and paled in comparison to not only superior offerings on Sunday but the FX and NBC comedies that were on opposite the games. Good riddance.
Falcons 34, Giants 0
TAKEAWAY: The Falcons sure shut me up
All year I've been saying that the Falcons weren't good as their record because they piled up close (read: lucky) victories over bad teams. Welp, that's done after this beatdown. When I say that I've made every mistake that a 28-year-old man can make football prognostication is included in that category.
TAKEAWAY: The Bears' inability to sustain drives is concerning
The once 7-1 Bears looked hopeless trying to drive down the field yesterday. Jay Cutler looks rattled after a year of playing behind an offensive line held together by duct tape and WD-40. Though the Bears didn't look the worst this week of the teams in the NFC wildcard logjam (sup Giants) their offense really needs to pull it together if they want any hope of making the playoffs.
TAKEAWAY: Drafting Kirk Cousins was a bad idea
Process over results, people. The Redskins lucked into best case scenario territory with Cousins because they can flip him for a higher draft pick in the offseason. But the fact remains that a) Rex Grossman might have led the team to victory (stop laughing) and b) it's a bad idea to draft a second quarterback when you desperately need young talent in the secondary. Just because a bad move worked doesn't mean that it was the right decision, and I still doubt the Redskins front office will surround RG3 with enough talent to ever win a Super Bowl.
TAKEAWAY: Adrian Peterson is the best
I say it every week and every week it's true. Up top, Adrian:
TAKEAWAY: Chad Henne isn't bad, the Dolphins defense is just really good
Fret not, Jags fans who thought that Chad Henne was the answer for a solid two weeks. Anyone could lay an egg against this Dolphins defense that's secretly one of the better ones in the league (12th according to Football Outsiders). Considering that your best option in the draft is Mike Glennon (lolwut) you're best off riding with Chad Henne going forward.
Saints 41, Bucs 0
TAKEAWAY: Doug Martin is why you learn mean, median and mode
Doug Martin's mean rushing yards per game is 89. His median rushing yards per game is 72. More than half of his rushing yards came in just four games. The Muscle Hamster's had a nice year but he's not a reliable workhorse just yet. So congrats to LeGarrette Blount for somehow staying relevant.
TAKEAWAY: Replacing Cam Cameron with Jim Caldwell is not the answer
Pictured: Jim Caldwell yesterday
TAKEAWAY: Let's thank the Colts for making the Texans sweat a little bit
Seriously, by Week 3 it looked like the Texans would run through the AFC South like (checks simile list) Garfield through a plate of lasagna (throws out simile list because it was written by Rick Reilly). So kudos to the Colts for making this division look somewhat competitive and forcing the Texans to sweat a bit in Week 15.
TAKEAWAY: You're welcome, Canada
Congrats to the good people of Toronto for getting to see real football without rouges and teams that didn't borrow uniforms from the WAC. But we gave you the Bills because Western New York is practically part of Canada anyway and we didn't want to see this tire fire in person.
TAKEAWAY: Chip Kelly could do wonders with the Cardinals
He could make $5 million per to build an offense from scratch and a defense that's already set. The Lions actually outgained the Cardinals by more than 100 yards but the Cardinals had four takeaways (now is when you nudge your date because I said the name of the column) that led to three touchdowns. And even Darron Thomas would be an improvement over Ryan Lindley.
TAKEAWAY: Remember how Cam Newton was broken?
He's basically done the same as he did last year, statistically. Ignore the deep background stories about him pissing someone off at the Pro Bowl and recognize that he's the same player that he was last year, and that your use of a first-round pick on him in fantasy was not a waste.
TAKEAWAY: Ben Roethlisberger pulled a Neil O'Donnell
Apologies to the Steelers fans who had flashbacks to O'Donnell beelining footballs to Larry Brown in the Super Bowl. I'm sure Mike Tomczak would've kept things under control yesterday.
TAKEAWAY: Never watch a Chiefs game
At least when the Giants are bad they're entertainingly bad. My heart goes out to Chiefs fans who have to suffer through truly miserable games. As if real life doesn't have enough pathos, you have to put up with this? Nobody would blame you if you watched DVR'ed Jayhawks games instead.
TAKEAWAY: I wish Bob Costas had brushed some dirt off his shoulder
Seriously, two weeks ago people were pissed because he said that America has too many goddamn guns. If I were him I'd just say "toldja" and dropped the mic. Also this was a very entertaining game that was especially great because it ended with the Patriots losing. Everyone goes to work happy on Monday when the Patriots lose on Sunday.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD OF WATCHING MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL THIS WEEK
I'm actually glad Jets-Titans is on Monday Night Football this week. Whenever the Jets play a shitty game during the regular season that means CBS has to show it in NYC instead of a good game. But you'd be better served going holiday shopping this year. Courtesy of @BrodyLogan I found the perfect gift for my mom already. White ladies be drinking wine, yo.