Stamford, CT: The “No Fun League” is at it again, relentless in its quest to piss me off. Sure, they took the shackles off and have allowed some fun celebrations, but there is still plenty of stupidity to go around.
Battle of the GOATs
Let’s start in Foxborough, where a couple of GOATs had a showdown. After a leisurely touchdown drive by Brady to start the game, the Packers realized a configuration of one linebacker and six defensive backs was the best way to slow down the Patriots’ offense. And it was working,. the Pats were forced to go run heavy. And to the horror of those of us with Tom Brady on our fantasy teams, the game was low scoring and close.
But then Jermaine Whitehead, the Packers DB listed at 5 foot 11, 195 pounds, was ejected for an open hand slap of the facemask of 6 foot 3, 300 pound lineman David Andrews.
Ticky Tack Slap
I get that the NFL is trying to protect the players and they have a no tolerance policy for head contact. But shouldn’t the refs be allowed a little leeway? Do we need key players ejected for little love slaps to to the helmet of a massive offsensive lineman from a guy getting outweighed by a Ronald Torreyes? I’m pretty sure Andrews was able to play on.
Down a DB, the Packers were forced to go back to the package that was so easily dismantled by Brady earlier in the game. Things opened up and the kill shot was a long TD pass to Josh Gordon. Thanks NFL, it was shaping up to be a good one.
And speaking of kill shots, I’m tired of watching NFL teams play it too conservatively when getting in position for a winning FG. This week’s loser was the Denver Broncos, who were down by two and had the ball on the Texans 37 with 50 seconds left and one timeout. Brandon McManus had a lifetime FG percentage of just over .500 from over 50 yards in his career and about 73% between 40 and 49 yards. Get him 10 or so more yards and their chance of winning goes from toss up to lean orange. That was a little Election Day humor for you.
But they threw a 5 yard pass to the TE, then wasted 30 seconds lining up for a one yard loss on a run by Phillip Lindsay. They took their last timeout and then McManus missed a 51 yard FG.
Why not hustle to the line after the completion and then spike it? Hit another short pass, then take your timeout if you don’t get out of bounds. If it’s not there, throw it away.
With a timeout, they could have still thrown to the middle of the field or even ran a draw. But the slow setup after the completion guaranteed a run play, which, like most of their running plays on the day, was stuffed. Why slow play it and settle for a 50 yard attempt?
I was complaining about this a few weeks ago in the Bears OT loss to Miami. I realize it’s a lot easier to play these situations aggressively when you have Tom Brady and not Case Keenum and Mitch Trubisky, but still. I’m tired of watching teams play scared.
Frat House Football
In contrast, we have the Canadian Football League. If you haven’t heard about Ottawa Redblacks (now) legendary offensive lineman Jon Gott, allow me to educate you. Gott ran into the crowd to celebrate a TD, grabbed a beer from his girlfriend and chugged it down with his helmet on. The overflow was getting sopped up by his scraggly, ZZ Top beard, and then he crushed the can on his helmet.
If you are like me, after your man boner receded, your first two questions were; how much was he fined and what the hell is a “redblack?” The answers are nothing and I have no idea. But if a guy can chug a beer during the game, penalty and fine free, well CFL, I’m on board.
After eight seconds of deliberation, I’d like to announce my support for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. I want to back Gott’s team, but I can’t get on board with a team named after two colors Brangelina’ed into one word. And I like the unnecessary of addition of “Cats” to the Hamilton team’s name. These are not just Tigers, they’re Tiger-Cats! Anyone want to do a CFL fantasy league next year?
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who does a mean white wine spritzer chug. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.