Hello cyberfriends, welcome to Takeaways, the Monday column that gives you the main takeaway (football joke) from every game. It's like Monday Morning Quarterback with a word limit and without the upper middle class travel complaints. Anyway, here's the rundown from the week so far:
TAKEAWAY: You’re better off watching Parks & Recreation than Thursday Night Football this year.
This lady says it all:
At least give us a Packers game or something, NFL Network.
TAKEAWAY: Bills suck.
I get to cheer against the Bills because I went through a really nasty breakup with a Bills fan. And I have to say, it’s fantastic. Rooting against a team that is pathologically incapable of making a good decision means you have between nine and 13 great Sundays per year. So for all the single fellas out there, I recommend dating Bills, Browns and Cardinals fans. Even if they don’t dump you, it’s not like they’ll have high expectations for you while you're together.
TAKEAWAY: The Giants offensive line sucks.
You know that David Diehl is awful because a) his Pro Football Focus rating in 2011 was a staggering -48.1 and b) in spite of that, noted Babylon 5 fan and ersatz football watcher Gregg Easterbrook named him his 2011 MVP. The Giants inexplicably played Diehl instead of the competent Sean Locklear at right tackle this week and by the end of the game Bengals defenders were drawing straws to play on the strong side. Further proof that TMQ is a greater waste of space than that NHL arena in suburban Phoenix.
TAKEAWAY: Peyton Manning is still better than Cam Newton.
Can you imagine if Cam Newton had outplayed Peyton Manning? A certain segment of the population would have freaked out. "What if he were in a Buick Verano commercial? He’d listen to Un-American Hip Hop instead of Outlaw Country!"
TAKEAWAY: I still can’t tell if Christian Ponder is a franchise quarterback.
Christian Ponder is one of the most tentative quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. If he were in charge of the Romney campaign he would have spent heavily to shore up Georgia and Mississippi and forced the candidate to take bold stands against teenage alcoholism and the perverted arts.
TAKEAWAY: This game confirmed our belief that only one of these teams can make the playoffs.
The Ravens ran a fake field goal while up big on the Raiders. I imagine it’s because John Harbaugh likes to remind people that he used to be a special teams coordinator. Like how President Obama is always talking about how he was a community organizer. We get it man, you didn’t take the gilded path on the way to your current gig.
TAKEAWAY: These teams hate each other.
Saints-Falcons is secretly one of the better rivalries in the league. It doesn’t make the same conversation as Steelers-Ravens, Giants-Eagles or Patriots-Jets, but fans throw shade at each other all day on Twitter and the games get chippy toward the end. Too bad that Monday Night Football grabbed Steelers-Chiefs (the Haley Bowl, I guess) instead of this.
Buccaneers 34 – Chargers 24
TAKEAWAY: Movember Philip Rivers is just as maddening as September-October, December Philip Rivers
The Floatmaster General, per usual, looked very good when he was not throwing passes to guys on the other team. Otherwise, this was an uneventful Cities Where Fans Have Better Things To Do Bowl.
TAKEAWAY: Can’t predict ball.
Coming into this game, the Dolphins were the feisty overachievers and the Titans were the jokes whose Cryptkeeper owner was looking to clean house. Now Dolphins fans are acting like this:
This result flew in the face of what everyone thought about the teams. If you’re a curmudgeon you could say it’s why games aren’t played on paper. If you’re not, you could say it’s part of what makes football so much fun to watch. Inasmuch a blowout can be fun.
Cowboys 38 – Eagles 23
TAKEAWAY: Andy Reid is pretty much done.
The last public execution in the United States was a nightmare. The Kentucky county sheriff who was supposed to be in charge of it was a woman and she was pressured into letting a man perform the task for her. She ended up choosing a random Louisville police officer to do it and he showed up drunk to the execution. Meanwhile, a crowd of 16,000 showed up and its barbaric screams for blood were broadcast across the country. This is why you can’t count on Kentucky to do anything right, because Kentucky is America’s D student.
So we don’t get public executions any more. The closest we get is Nick Foles costing Andy Reid his job on national TV, and everyone without a 215 area code laughing at it.
Seahawks 28 – Jets 7
TAKEAWAY: The Seahawks' pass defense could be really good.
TAKEAWAY: Tie game!
Tie games are like unicorns, so you better enjoy one when you get one. Also, ties make those tiebreaker scenarios in December a little easier to figure out. The scenario to get the top seed in the NFC will be pretty clear by Week 15. Fuck yeah, tie game!
Texans 13, Bears 6
TAKEAWAY: Jay Cutler got knocked out, so get ready for pizza-stained sportswriters to question his toughness.
Remember the 2010 playoffs, when Cutler sprained his MCL, his coach refused to put him in the game and a lot of guys who wear khakis thought it gave them the right to question Cutler's toughness? Oh, ho ho, now that he's got a concussion, considered by many in the free buffet-press credential complex to be a "head owie," expect someone to really stick his foot in his mouth this week. If Jay Mariotti still had a job, he'd be my first guess as to who does it.
What to do when MNF sucks
TAKEAWAY: Monday Night Football is terrible this year, so here's a suggestion of what to do when it's on.
I recommend husband and wife duo John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey at the Cafe Carlyle tonight. Their soulful interpretations of jazz standards are sure to be more enjoyable than Steelers-Chiefs.