The Week in Worst: The penultimate crud-tacular

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl is set! Let's hope it's better than the Championship Games were!

Oh my goodness the 2012 football season is nearly over! That's probably for the best, since it's 2013 now. But still; wow, these last like 20 or whatever weeks of terrible football GIFs have just FLOWN by, haven't they? Ha ha I'm kidding; it feels like I've been doing this for a million years.

On Sunday, four teams squared off to decide the final participants in the Super Bowl. It took a pair of upsets, but the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will go to war in two weeks. It will literally be brother against brother, with no quarter asked and none given. Except for the rules and safety precautions and stuff. And it will be a football game, instead of war. But other than that: WAR.

There were only two games to pull things from this week! Luckily, there were several embarrassing moments. The Atlanta Falcons didn't have any terrible plays this week, but uh ... other stuff happened to them. So I guess they get a pass! Wheeeeeeee!

In-house announcement: there will be no Week in Worst until the Monday after the Super Bowl. It's for the best that way.

Here are the worst plays in the NFL for the week of Jan. 14-20.

Worst Missed Field Goal

Player: David Akers

Date: Jan. 20

Akers_medium

Here's the thing about David Akers: Every single time that Akers appears or is mentioned -- in any capacity, anywhere -- the only thing I can think of is Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero saying, "Hey, you wanna be a farmer? HERE'S A COUPLE OF ACHERS." It's possibly the worst one-liner in cinematic history, but it DOES feature someone getting punted so hard in the jibblies that they fly off-screen. So, win-win, I guess.

Anyway, David Akers' performance for the 49ers this season has been pretty much the football equivalent of that line, so I guess ... life imitates art?

Really, though, I just had to get that admission out of my head. AND INTO YOURS. GOOD LUCK NOT THINKING OF THAT FOREVER FROM NOW ON. WELCOME TO HELLLLLLLL.

Worst Pass(es)

Player: Tom Brady

Date: Jan. 20

OK, the thing you have to remember here is that Tom Brady made the below two passes on consecutive plays.

Bradypass1_medium

Bradypass2_medium

Either one on its own is probably not enough to take Worst Pass. Both of them back-to-back? Hey, welcome to the program, Tom! Tom Brady, everyone! He underthrows, he overthrows; the man can do it all. That's why he's the greatest quarterback of all time! To model for UGGs, I mean. Sorry, left that sentence half-finished at first. That's unlike me.

The best part of the second one is the two Ravens falling on top of one another at the goal line while tracking a ball that flew past the end zone.

Here, look:

Fall_medium

lol oh ravens

I recommend playing this video in a different tab while watching that last GIF over and over. It's transcendent.

Worst Fumble

Player: Michael Crabtree

Date: Jan. 20

Fumbletree_medium

We all really thought this play was the absolute end of the 49ers, didn't we? We thought the Falcons were Super Bowl bound and that the Niners would once again come just a hair's breadth from the Big Game. Instead, both sides can look at this GIF with new appreciation.

Everything about this image is an absolute delight. Dunta Robinson stripping the fall so hard that he goes flying off into space, hair flailing like he's at the Zion rave in The Matrix Reloaded. William Moore going for a tackle by just driving his head straight down into the ground. And Michael Crabtree in the middle of it all, looking like he's doing the Darth Vader "NOOOOOO" scream all the way down. This is why the GIF is the greatest art form of the 21st century. This, right here.

Worst Kick-Catch

Game: Patriots vs. Ravens

Date: Jan. 20

Kickcatch_medium

There are layers upon layers upon layers here, but it all hinges upon Tom Brady's target opting to kick at the incoming pass, rather than catch it with hands in the traditional fashion. After that, everything goes both willy-nilly and higgledy-piggledy, with players on both sides flying around all like OH GET IT HEY MAKE IT HAPPEN LOOSE BALL TIPPED BALL WHUP. There is plenty of disappointment and humiliation to go around on both sides.

Tip to aspiring receivers: don't kick a ball thrown at you. This advice does not apply to aspiring punters.

Worst Interception

Player: Tom Brady

Date: Jan. 20

Bradyint_medium

This was not the interception that sealed the fate of the New England Patriots, but it was the funniest interception that was thrown all week. Look at it go! But Dannell Ellerbe really does the heavy lifting here, putting the play over the top with his face-plant after the interception.

Don't believe me?

Computer: ZOOM IN. ENHANCE.

Bonk_medium

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

But if that grainy Zapruder-style footage doesn't do it for you, how about a glorious, majestic cinematic slow-mo shot?

Computer: engage.

Ellerbe_medium

Dang, this computer is pretty awesome. I didn't even know keyboard shortcuts could do that.

Worst Dropped Pass

Player: Aaron Hernandez

Date: Jan. 20

Hernandezdrop_medium

HEY WATCH ME BRO I'LL CATCH THIS ONE WITH ONE HAND I SWEAR BRO

HEY BRO I'M OPEN! BRO! BRO!

OVER HERE BRO I GOT IT

AW HELL YEAH WATCH ME CATCH THIS BAD BOY ONE-ARM-HAND-STYLE

hup

WHUP HUP WHOOAAAA

DANG ITTTTTTTTTTTTT

DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

y'threw that one too high bro dang

Worst Celebratory Dance

Coach: Mike Smith

Date: Jan. 20

Mikesmith_medium

Mike Smith doesn't know how to celebrate. He doesn't know what his hands should be doing when something good happens. It's OK; sometimes emotions are difficult. This is a safe place, Mike. We're all here for you. You have the whole offseason to work on upping your celebraish game. You'll get that eventually. We all believe in you.

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