Emptywheel’s Christmas Eve Mega Football Trash Talk

[Okay, for the most sacred honor and ritual, yes the meet and greet of Halas’ Bears and Lambeau’s Packers on the hallowed Tundra, I have cavalierly re-upped Trash Talk to the top of the totem pole pecking order until the conclusion of the sacred event]

Hey there Wheelies and Wheelettes, it’s Christmas Eve Day!! And that can mean only one thing; yep, Emptywheel’s Christmas Eve Mega Football Trash Talk!

Since the NFL decided to move all but one of its Christmas Day normal Sunday slate of games up a day to give most in the league Christmas off and with their families, we have a full schedule of games today. And, unless The Most Transparent President In The History Of The Universe decides to autopen the NDAA and spring the big kahuna of signing statements today, there is not a heck of a lot else going on. So, to the Game Cave Batman!

The biggest game of the weekend, by just a slight margin, is the battle of the New Yorks which, of course, takes place in New Jersey. Marcy and her family are already in a passionate discussion over whether this means Bad Eli Manning and Mistake Mark Sanchez share the same locker and pass notes to each other. This is a huge game though; the winner likely goes to the playoff, and the loser likely stays home. And it really is for bragging rights in New York City. It is a grudge match, and it does count. Big time; one of these teams is going to be eaten alive in the tabloids. I think it comes down to Eli versus Revis Island and Bart Scott and the Jet bruisers. If the Jets get hard pressure on Eli, Jets win; if not they don’t. No clue who comes out of this alive.

The other game nearly as big is Eagles and Cowboys. Iggles are starting to get healthy and gel, even if it is almost surely too late. They are technically still in the playoff hunt though, have pride on their mind and hate the Cowboys. So, another NFC East grudge match. DeMarco Murray is done for the year, and Felix Jones will play, but is hurting. Other than Jones, Dallas has Sammy Morris. If they do not generate a solid running game, Philly is gonna win this. Even though the game is in at Jerry’s House in Big D, I think the Iggles win it.

ATTENTION! Update: Oh my. My ears were hot, burning if you will, whilst I was away at brunch. I think I have discovered why! It doth seem I neglected to cover the big Kitties versus Bolts clash in Motown. I have thus shat upon both Marcy AND Randiego. Not good. so, here we go: Uh, the Bolts are visiting Matthew Stafford, Megatron and Suh, Suh, Suhshie at Ford Field. This is indeed a top shelf game; the Kitties have a ton of young, if somewhat undisciplined, talent trying to keep the ship righted and sailing for the playoffs after last week’s win over the Rayduhs. They need a win in their last two games to get there, but have to go to Lambeau next week. The Bolts are, improbably, making yet another save Norval’s ass surge in December. With the TeDonks getting circled up in Boofalo, the Chargers would be in the thick of the hunt in the AFC West with a win. A lot on the line, and two exciting offenses. That makes for a great game. Ryan Matthews is on a roll for the Chargers, but the Lions are down to a wounded Kevin Smith at running back. That is the difference. Kitties gonna have to win on the Tundra methinks.

It will not be on national TeeVee, but the Niners-Squawks game may turn out to be very good. Seattle has really come on hard down the stretch, and shockingly Tavaris Jackson is playing at a very high level lately. San Fran defense probably too tough, but this may approach a toss up since it is in the Emerald City. And, of course, we have another week of Tebowmania. This week, Baby Jesus and the Donkos visit the suddenly hapless Bills. Don’t think the wagons can get circled enough to stop the Tebow train, but Brian Dawkins is likely out, and he is the real glue for the Denver defense. That makes it a real ballgame; a toss-up if you will.

The other two first class matchups are on Sunday Night and Monday Night Football respectively. First up for SNF on NBC is the most famous rivalry in football history, yep it’s the Bears and Packers on the Frozen Tundra at Lambeau. Really, what more could a football fan want for Christmas than Bears/Packers on a winter night, with steam coming out of the facemasks like dragons, from the Shrine in titletown? If you look up football in the dictionary, that is what they got. I would say Da Bears might make this an upset if they had Cutler and Matt Forte, but they do not and I doubt the Cheese is going to sleep two weeks in a row. Not to say the Pack does not have issue though, their two most critical O-linemen are out, as is Greg Jennings. Still, hard to see GB losing this.

Lastly, the MNF game has some post Christmas firepower on tap for us. Dirty Birds at Saints in Nawlins. Matt Ryan and the Falcons need one more win to lock up a wildcard spot; the Saints are playing for a possible first round bye. And Drew Breeeeeees is closing in on Marino’s yardage record and Brady’s TD record for a season. That and home field will prove too much for the Falcons.

Let the games and Christmas cheer begin!

From Me, Marcy and Jim White, Merry Christmas to one an all, and thanks to one and all for your support and participation here at the Emptywheel blog. You are the best gifts of all.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
52 replies
  1. Jim White says:

    Fox goes all-in for Christmas. The timeout indicators on the score graphic for Jets-Jints are Christmas lights. I guess the lights will go out as the timeouts are used?

  2. Petrocelli says:

    Wishing you all Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays !

    Leaving an unlimited Pitcher of Chocolate Martini here for everyone … pls tell rotl !

  3. bmaz says:

    HOLY CRAPPPP, wide receiver Jerome Simpson of Bengals just did front flip over Cards defender at goal for TD and nailed it on his feet! You will be seeing this on play of the year reels.

  4. emptywheel says:

    Um, isn’t the Bolts Kitties sort of a game? Heck, I’m pretty sure the Bolts aren’t eliminated. And the Kitties need this win to shore up their playoff bid.

  5. scribe says:

    And Sanchez starts the half getting a three and out without moving a yard.

    Meanwhile, my Steelers are winning behind the immortal Charlie Batch, who was happy to stay the backup there rather than take a starting job elsewhere because the Stillers have a better chance of winning it all.

  6. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Yup. CBS’s second game. Mind you, I don’t think Comcast will let me see it while the Iggles are on (I’m in the Philly market right now). But my uncle has Red Zone, so I’ll just have to steal the remote and keep flipping to that.

  7. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Well, just think of the anti-Fumblematic drill Tomlin used with Mendenhall. He carries a football around in camp. If a defensive player can get the ball back to the defense’s meeting room, Mendenhall owes a couple hundred to the guy with the ball.

  8. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: I had checked NFL.com. Their “big play” banner was “47 pass play to Welker.” I go back a few minutes later, and the banner reads, “42 pass play to Welker.” I thought for a second it hadn’t reset. Only I realized they had scored in between.

  9. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Oh, hai there, he said sheepishly. Um, word on the street is the main post has been updated thusly:

    ATTENTION! Update: Oh my. My ears were hot, burning if you will, whilst I was away at brunch. I think I have discovered why! It doth seem I neglected to cover the big Kitties versus Bolts clash in Motown. I have thus shat upon both Marcy AND Randiego. Not good. so, here we go: Uh, the Bolts are visiting Matthew Stafford, Megatron and Suh, Suh, Suhshie at Ford Field. This is indeed a top shelf game; the Kitties have a ton of young, if somewhat undisciplined, talent trying to keep the ship righted and sailing for the playoffs after last week’s win over the Rayduhs. They need a win in their last two games to get there, but have to go to Lambeau next week. The Bolts are, improbably, making yet another save Norval’s ass surge in December. With the TeDonks getting circled up in Boofalo, the Chargers would be in the thick of the hunt in the AFC West with a win. A lot on the line, and two exciting offenses. That makes for a great game. Ryan Matthews is on a roll for the Chargers, but the Lions are down to a wounded Kevin Smith at running back. That is the difference. Kitties gonna have to win on the Tundra methinks.

  10. emptywheel says:

    No wonder bmaz neglected to mention the Kitties game. His Cardinals just got eliminated from playoffs.

  11. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: Good fucking gawd. Have you seen the play?? Fourth and whatever, 1 minute left, and Skelton throws a perfect pass to Early Doucet who is sprinting into the endzone with no defender within 15 yards and…..Doucet trips on his own feet and falls on his face with the ball landing just out of reach. The PAT would have tied a 2pt conversion won. Classic Cardinals. Guess Cinci had about four defenders on Spidey. Good call by the Bengals.

  12. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: You know, all those years where the Cardinals had losing seasons, they were often 6-10 or 7-9 and they lost a LOT of games they could have, and should have, won. They did not have all that bad of players a lot of the time. They were just the Cardinals. Owned by the Bidwells, and that is what they were. Losers.

    Still are.

  13. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: You can thank the Jints and, as the Patsies’ fans in my locale call him, “Dirty” Sanchez and his pick-o-matic passing arm for that.

    In the meantime, the Iggles, now with nothing but pride to play for given the Jints’ dismantling loudmouth Ryan (LardLad Chris Christie sitting in the owners’ box with Woody Johnson – nature revels in symmetry*), knocked Tony Romo out of the game after jumping out to a lead. “Throwing hand injury”, says Artie Lange’s victim. Romo punched an Iggles helmet with his follow-through.

    Whether it will be enough to keep Romo out, remains to be seen.


    * “Fat, loud and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

  14. bmaz says:

    “Fat, loud and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

    Yeah, but it is the Ryan way. We had Buddy here for a while; we know.

  15. Bay State Librul says:

    @scribe:

    Our Patsies know how to win in a cliff hanger?

    Ocho had his one and only reception, which means we can suffer through
    another week.

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    From our local rag the Herald. We got our bye, bye

    “The way it started out, this didn’t even seem a remote possibility. Except… they do play the second half.

    Patriots 27, Dolphins 24

    QB Tom Brady went off in the second half, scoring two touchdowns and leading his offense back from being 17 down. He finished with 304 yards. WR Wes Welker, who had 138 yards receiving, had the key catch with a six-yarder to clinch the Patriots must-have first down late in the second half.

    The defense forced a fumble, picked off a pass, and held the Dolphins to seven points in the second half. Dolphins QB Matt Moore finished 17 of 33 for 294 yards, while Reggie Bush had 113 yards. WR Brandon Marshall had 156 yards receiving.

    In all, it was an uneven performance that still counts as a win. And with that, the Patriots earn another first-round bye in the playoffs just like last year”

  17. 4jkb4ia says:

    Congratulations EW and the Kitties.

    (Tim Tebow turned into a pumpkin and will have to play for a playoff spot next week? This is too good. If my husband doesn’t want to go riding around, I’ll even watch that. It almost redeemed an absolutely awful day. The Jets are going to need a lot of help. After this I am going to check the tiebreaker situation.)

  18. emptywheel says:

    @4jkb4ia: Kyle Orton has a shot at ruining his former team’s playoff chances, so Rosalind’s Raiders can go.

    Meanwhile, GO KITTIES!!

    I missed almost the entire game, cause I’m in the Philly TV market and my toobz were all crapping out. Mr. EW just saved me.

    And note, the Kitties finally figured out how to limit their penalties. 3-8.

  19. EC Thompson MD says:

    there’s been some great football today and some really awful football. The Dallas Cowboys managed to avoid a shutout by scoring with 7 seconds to go in the game. The Denver Broncos lay an egg in Buffalo with Tim Tebow throwing four interceptions and having a passer rating of 35.4. The Miami Dolphins jump out to a huge lead only to choke away in the second half. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rollover and play dead. Mark Sanchez proves, once again, that he is not a great quarterback. He might not even be a good quarterback. He basically wilts under the pressure and hands the Giants a huge victory. The San Diego Chargers who had been playing great football went into Detroit and simply laid an egg. The Detroit Lions simply pummeled them from the opening kickoff until the final whistle. You simply don’t know from one week to another who is going to win and who is going to lose.

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone.

  20. scribe says:

    @bmaz: It’s also the Christie way, which is why I noted the symmetry. I’m just waiting for the YouTubes to pop up to provide the final explanation why LardLad passed on the Fox nomination to the WH.

  21. 4jkb4ia says:

    My husband wanted to eat, and there were a couple of things going on around town. So I have just realized that I am so dumb that I forgot that I have to cheer for Tebow. The Broncos have the tiebreaker vs. the Jets.

    Also too, after this year Josh McDaniels should be blacklisted from the NFL. And the Rams are going to be able to get the best receiver in the draft and have another creampuff schedule. No more excuses! (Not unless everyone gets hurt again)

  22. 4jkb4ia says:

    @emptywheel:

    The way this is going, the Kitties may be the only team I have to cheer for this year.

    (No one wants John Cole to die of heart failure. That and cheering for the Stillers as a team you adopted are two different things.)

  23. 4jkb4ia says:

    I don’t actually have to cheer for Tebow. The Broncos and the Raiders are tied with the Jets and atop the division at 8-7. Both the Broncos and the Raiders have the tiebreaker vs. the Jets. So–
    The Jets have to win, against the Dolphins, who seem to be playing more inspired than usual. You knew that.
    At least one of the Broncos and the Raiders has to lose, and the other one gets the division so can’t take the Jets’ spot away.
    The Bengals have to lose. That’s very doable.
    The Titans have to lose because the way I understand it, they have the common-games tiebreaker. (Both teams beat Buffalo. The Titans beat both Baltimore and Denver, and the Jets lost to both. The Titans lost to Jacksonville, and the Jets beat them.) The Titans are playing Houston, which hasn’t looked sharp.

    Next week will be a nervewracking day.

  24. nomolos says:

    @Bay State Librul: Outasyncho is, in a word, crap.

    I understand that the Giants and the other NJ team played yesterday while a real football game was in progress. Even with a patched up secondary, ‘D’ line and ‘O’ line that Pats still get it done. No problem.

  25. Bob Schacht says:

    The Lions have roared, and are in the playoffs!!! Who knew?
    The Cardinals, however, once again played like crap for the first three quarters, and then mounted a mighty 4th quarter comeback that might have succeeded if the wide-open receiver hadn’t stumbled and fallen on his backside as Skelton’s potential game changer sailed overhead. What an ignominious season-ender!

    But the play of the week must have been the somersault at the goal line transporting the ball carrier over his intended tackler, landing upright on his feet in the endzone. Woulda been a perfect 10 point landing, but he had to steady himself with his finger tips as he landed, so we have to dock a point from his personal score.

    Bob in AZ

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