As bad as things felt last Sunday after the losses by both the Buckeyes and Browns, this weekend was the quintessential 180 degree turnaround.
How many of you caught the shots of the Meeeeshigan fans in the stands after LLLLLLoyd and the boys laid a total egg once again? They kept showing one female student in the stands in near hysterical tears. She must have been a senior, depressed beyond reason that in her four years at scUM, she had never witnessed the blue cow hands win a game against the Scarlet and Gray.
And 26 hours later, we see Brian Billick crying almost as hard, as the Sports Gods finally throw us a bone. Two wins this year against the evil purple hoard, with the second one for all intents and purposes putting the final coffin nail into their season.
Four hours later, Pittspuke chokes against a one win team, leading to the best line of the week where Emmitt Smith calls them "the most overrated team in the NFL".
For one weekend...life was very, very good.The Immaculate Deflection
I must really thank the people at Empty Bank Stadium in Crackmore. First, they have what is probably the largest jumbo-tron in the NFL (they need it to fit Billick and Rayventhal Lewis and their monster egos into the same picture). Secondly, according to reports, the nerd in charge of all that technology kept showing Dawson's kick, making it pretty clear to everyone that it was good. (which may have explained why the Rat fans didn't go bottle-gate once the decision was announced...they already knew it was good).
Now we have been told ad naseum that field goals cannot be reviewed by instant replay (a rule that will probably be changed in the next two weeks), but you can't convince me that the one ref who thought the kick hit the crossbar didn't sneak a peak up at the screen and then came back to the rest of the crew saying "bail my ass out, brothers! Those crazy sonsofbitches in Cleveland may kill me after this!"
And as much as I hate everything Raven, I must give credit to 90% of their fans, as the vast majority have come right out and said that they didn't want to win a game if it was on an obviously blown call (give them 12 years of no team or a sucky team, and they might change that tune).
In any case, once the OT started, and the Browns won the coin flip, I had very little doubt that they would march down the field and score. The Ratbirds' just looked emotionally drained and resigned to defeat...just like when you think you've made that last alimony payment, and then you realize two weeks later that you miscounted, and have one more check to write.
Well...that's what it reminded ME of.Joshua Cribbs, Superstar, Would Like To Thank Brian Billick, Idiot
I can almost hear the Smirking Giant Forehead saying to his coaches, "Yeah...let's kick to Cribbs. He's no match for my Sooper Genius Giant Brain, and I will stop him just with the power of my mind! Bwha-ha-ha! All your bases are belong to me!"
Cribbs even came out himself and said that he was wondering what the hell they were smoking over there. But instead of squibbing the kick to Dinkins or some other upback, and giving Cleveland the ball on the 30 with 26 seconds left, Cribbs busts out to the 43 yard line, meaning that the Browns had time to get the measly 24 yards needed to set up the tying field goal, thanks to another unbelievable clutch throw and catch by Anderson and Edwards.
And then the moronic soon-to-be-ex-coach of the Rats KICKS TO HIM AGAIN IN OT!!
To which Cribbs says "thank you very much", and returns to the 41.
But you certainly can't credit the Ego-That-Ate-A-Smelly-Suburb-of-DC for all of Cribbs' success. 306 yards in returns and a forced fumble. Not. Too. Shabby.
The only blot on the day was him getting drug down by the dreadlocks. I used to hate it when that happened.
Mr. Cribbs? Honolulu on Line 2.Time for Some Adjustments, Chud
This week's game is going to be very interesting for one particular reason...to see if Chud's high powered offense has been figured out by other teams. This is the second straight week where teams have managed (for the most part) to shut down the vertical passing game, and for the second straight week, Anderson had problems accordingly, at least in the first and fourth quarters, including that horrific play where Overrated Obnoxious Jerk Rayventhal Lewis picked off a DA duck and took it to the house.
The Browns can't always rely on turnovers and Josh Cribbs to keep them in prime real estate for the start of drives.
Now it's quite possible that this is just an aberration caused by playing two very good defenses, both on the road. That's why I'm looking forward to this weekend, to see if the trends get reversed.
But once again, where the hell is Jerome Harrison? As dynamic as Chud's offenses can be, they simply have to find a way to get Harrison and especially Josh Cribbs more involved. I keep waiting for that handoff to an in-motion Cribbs to end up with the former QB tossing a long pass to a wide open Braylon...but maybe they're saving that for the playoffs.
On the positive side, Jamal Lewis played like a man possessed. After two games of having an average Yard Per Carry down around the average GPA of a basketball player at the University of Cincinnati, Jamal punished his former team once again, gaining 92 yards on the ground and another 30 on check down passes. Don't underestimate the amount of wear and tear he put on the Ravens' defense, softening them up for those two last drives.
And as mentioned earlier, you've got to love how clutch Anderson can be when it's all on the line, and how he has three targets who continually amaze me on the catches they can make when an incompletion might cost them the ball game. As great as Winslow and Edwards are, don't overlook the incredible contributions from Joe Jurevicius. That 50 yard catch and run he had at the end of the first quarter was what got the Browns on track for the game.News Flash! Todd Grantham Receives Word of a Radical New Defensive Tactic Called...Blitzing!
It was so great to see actual pressure on a quarterback this week, especially when it comes against Kyle Boller, who has traditionally folded worse than origami when faced with it.
Five sacks?!? Unheard of. But faced with depleting forces due to injuries to Ted Washington and Shaun Smith, they had to come up with something.
At least most of the time. It seems like after having several successful efforts resulting in working hard for QB pressure, Grantham would let them off the hook and go back to his soft four man rush and Cover 2 defense. Which, I think when it comes to the Browns, means "let's cover 2 receivers, and let the other 3 run around to their hearts' content".
The loss of Eric Wright to a knee sprain is huge...and the prospect of the Browns' DBs trying to cover Andre Johnson this week scares me worse than my wife's insistence that I attend a Michael Buble concert with her.Emails. I Get Emails.
Since starting this column, I usually get three to five emails a week commenting on something or another I wrote. They have been predominately favorable, with only the occasional remarks about me being too negative, or having a potty mouth. What can I say? I went to the Quentin Tarantino School of Journalism.
However, after my piece last week where I made several nasty remarks about fat Theodore Chipmunk look-alike Ben Toothlessburger, there were some Inbreds over on one of the obscure Squealer boards that took offense to it.
So they got their Commodore 64s fired up and sent me numerous emails questioning pretty much every aspect of my life that their little under-educated minds could come up with...most with the incredibly clever subject line of "Ben Rules, You Suck".
Jim R., an interior decorator in Colorado, was especially indignant, warning me of how much Ben could kick my ass, and how I better watch my step. I'm glad he informed me of that, because up until that point, I was under the impression that I could beat the crap out of any professional football player. But maybe that was the Tequila talking.
In any case, it was mildly amusing and slightly creepy to see that I had my own little band of cyber stalkers. Picture those four geeks in the Alltel ads, only with mullets and a love of farm animals.
OK...I probably shouldn't be this nasty towards them. After all, how can you blame them for envying what we have. Indoor plumbing, dentistry, family trees that branch, and homes that don't have axles.
But in closing, I think the best words to use come from the brilliance that is "Monty Python and the Holy Grail",
"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries."
"Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."
I'm certain this is how Peter King and Dr. Z handle their abusive email.Blurbs from an ADHD Mind
~~ Did Kamerion Wimbley even play in this game? Not if you read the box score he didn't. When Simon Fraser can have four tackles, and you have NONE, you are officially in a sophomore slump.
~~ And I thought the Browns weren't very good on the road. The slobbering of the talking heads over the Steelers came to a quick and appreciated halt after they got their asses handed to them by the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS! They've also been beaten on the road by Arizona and Denver...three teams, none of whom have a winning record. Yeah, I bet Bill Belichick is quaking in his boots right about now.
~~ Depending on how the ownership of two crappy teams react in the off season, there is a possibility that on opening day 2008, Romeo Crennel will be the longest tenured head coach in the AFC North. The mind boggles.
~~ Brett Favre and Vinny Testeverde met on Sunday in the NFL's version of a George Foreman fight. I heard it was sponsored by Depends and Metamucil.
~~ Politicians are upset about a group of fans at Giants Stadium that like to shout at women to expose their breasts, and then throw beer bottles at them when they don't. And this tidbit about the behavior of New Jersey/New York residents surprises people? How?
~~ Please don't fire Brian Billick. The Ravens are set to implode, and I can't think of anyone that is the walking definition of schadenfreude more than that smug jerk.
~~ Welcome back, Ricky Williams! The sale of Doritos and Hostess Cupcakes just quadrupled in the Miami area.
~~ Goodbye, Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Jake Long, and most of all, LLLLLLoyd Carr. Believe me, you will be missed.