Week 15 Big Game NFL Trash Talk

Tough last couple of days; there are really no words that make the happenings in Newtown explainable. So, let’s put that aside for a bit and let loose with a little good old fashioned pro football trash talk. And the pros is all we got until the bowl games start up in earnest. The only thing I will note about the student athletes is that it turns out Rich Rodriquez can win bowl games if he is not at Michigan. Maybe it was the Wolvereenies and not Rich Rod after all (hey, they didn’t win squat for bowl games under Bo Merlot either).

There are a host of big games today. With a nod to Ms. Wheel, we start off with the Niners at the Pats. Save for the embarrassing tie the the Niners got with the Rams, both teams have equal records and only three losses each. The Pats have the all world offense, the Niners the equal on defense, right? Not so fast! New England has been rocking on D lately and SF has found a vertical passing game and big play potential with Colin Kaepernick at QB. With both defenses playing solid, it will come down to the offenses. The Pats, however, have ever more receiving woes. Gronk is still out, and now Donte’ Stallworth (ankle) and Julian Edelman (foot) are out on the IR too. The situation is so bleak they have resigned Deion Branch for like the 90th time. But Tom Brady could roll out of bed and find Branch, and I think he will do so enough today, along with Aaron Hernandez, to beat the Niners.

Second up to bat is the timeless grudge match. Packers. Bears. At Soldier Field. Packers and Bears is always must see football, no matter what. But real things are on the line today. The Pack are playing for the Norske Division title and possible first round playoff bye and the Bears are playing for their lives, a loss today and you can put a fork in them. Mr. Discount Doublecheck looks locked in and the Pack are on a late season roll much like their last SuperBowl year. But this game will be won on defense, and on D Urlacher is out for the Bears and Clay Matthews returns for the Cheese. And that will do it, the Pack wins their sixth straight against the Bears.

Hey, if it were not for my beloved Cheese, the second biggest game might have been the Donkos at the Ravens. Because it ought to be a real barnburner (picture Keith Jackson voice)! With Denver at 10-3 and Baltimore at 9-4, both appear playoff bound. But Peyton and the boys are going one direction, and the Ravens have lately been going the other. Interestingly, the Broncos habitually flounder against the Ravens, but Peyton is 8-0 against them in the last eight games. So, what will give? Well, Ray Lewis, who was thought to return this week, will not. Terrell Suggs is a Raven with a bad wing, but a new bride, and will give it a go. Me? I’m taking Peyton over Joe Flaccid. Question for y’all, is Peyton just comeback player of the year, or is he the MVP of the league? Or both?

The Colts at the Texans might qualify for big game status, but I have a sneaking feeling Houston will rebound from recent woes (read Brady and Bill Bel) and put them away at home in Houston. So, we move on to a surprise great game: Skins at the Brownies. Hey, don’t laugh; while RGIII has been getting the ink, Cleveland has turned themselves around and are playing solid football. As to RGIII, he won’t even be active today. Kirk Cousins (who OUGHT to be quarterbacking the Cardinals if they were not such terminal loser idiots) will get the start with Sexy Rexy Grossman backing him up. I like Cousins, and think he gets it done for the Skins today.

Giants at Falcons has to be on the list, although for some reason it doesn’t seem quite as interesting as the games above. Eli and the Gents, despite the lesser record, ought to be favored, but….Matty Ice and the Dirty Birds don’t lose much at home. Ryan has won 10 straight and 32 of 36 inside the home nest. Feel kind of queasy with this one, but I’ll take the Falcons.

The Bills are at home, but hard to believe they have enough wagons to circle Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and the Squawks. Seattle continues its playoff roll. The better question is what happens in St. Louis between the Rams and Vikes? St. Louis is better than you think at 6-6-1. The Vikings are riding the A Train almost exclusively at this point with Christian Ponder’s inconsistency becoming a weakness. This could be a really good game, and I rate it a toss up.

Nobody in the world gives a crap about the Lions at Cards, but I will be forced to see it anyway as it is the only late game on here. Bleech. Just put the Cards in prison with the Kittehs. The rest of the schedule for Week 15 is ho hum land, save for perhaps the Cowboys and Steelers. Both are banged up and having disappointing seasons. Big Ben, however, doesn’t usually have back to back bad games, I think he gets back on track and puts down the ‘Boys once and for all.

There is your rundown for today. Let’s have some fun and put aside the tragedy for just a little bit. Sheryl Crow can help us with that.

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.
33 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    You forgot the interesting detail that the NFC North, with (as of right now) two playoff teams, may break seemingly insurmountable records on the other two, Dickerson and Rice.

    Megatron’s chances are reason enough to tune into the Cards.

  2. emptywheel says:

    Also, I hate to say I’m actually beginning to believe in the Pats again after years of doubting them. If they play D like they did last week, they’ll win this.

    I’m hoping, bc they’re not going to beat Peyton in Mile High twice this year, so they gotta stay even with him.

  3. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: AP is from another planet. Still, don’t think he is gonna catch Dickerson. Break 2,000 yes, but 2,105 may be a few yards too much. Love that Dickerson had the honesty to say hell no I don’t want Peterson to break my record.

    Do, however, think Megatron will catch up Jerry Rice.

  4. bmaz says:

    Oh, and bye the way, the Arizona Wildcats were double winners yesterday, basketball won too. Surprised I haven’t heard from Mr. White about the Gators’ misfortune down in the Old Pueblo.

  5. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: That’s my take too: AP just has too far to go to catch Dickerson, against some great run defenses.

    Here’s hoping Megatron salvages something of our season, anyway. Thus far the Madden curse seems not to have hurt him that much.

  6. Casual Observer says:

    Bradshaw not running for Giants today. Wilson had massive game but he’s still an unknown. Team remains frustratingly inconsistent. Wracked with worry.

  7. quebecois says:

    Not a fan of Crow and her music. She became famous on the shoulders of a man that was used by her and committed suicide. Then she married Lance “epossible” Armstrong and gave us too many conservative nuggets… I’d trickle down on her…

  8. angry bitter drunk says:

    @bmaz: Is Peyton Comeback Player of the Year and MVP? Hell, Adrian Peterson might be Manning’s principal competition in BOTH those categories.

    Even the argument (and I assume it will prevail) that Manning is on a better team, a Broncos team that’s better largely because of him, is countered somewhat by the fact that the Vikings are somehow 7-6 (with no discernible QB) after winning just three games last season.

    For comeback player, I think if you were ever going to have co-award winners, this would be the case. Interestingly, the award has been shared twice over the years.


    While that list encompasses some great stories (I’d forgotten Garrison Hearst had won twice), I’m not sure any of those guys accomplished what Peyton and AP have this season.

  9. angry bitter drunk says:

    @quebecois: Your comment reminds me of the time Crow performed “Soak Up the Sun” at halftime of the 2001 AFC Championship game, New England at Pittsburgh. Out of all the ill-fitting pairings of musicians and the NFL, I can’t think of anything worse than Crow doing that lame, lazy tune in front of thousands and thousands of intense “Stiller” fans.

    Almost needless to say, the Steelers lost that game…

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    The wheelhouse has exposed the Patsies fatal weakness. They can’t win in Denver.
    If the gods cooperate, they can still steal the home field advantage (Brady’s horseshoe)

  11. Peterr says:

    Da Bears missed Urlacher today. I missed the game myself, but reading the recaps was brutal.

    For the wildcard playoff race, the last two weeks will be very interesting. Da Bears have to face the Bidwells and the Kittehs, so they have a decent chance of winning both games. OTOH, the Vikings have the Texans and Cheeseheads – a much tougher road to hoe — and the Giants face the Iggles and the Ravens. All is not lost for Bears fans, but it sure would have been easier with a win today.

    This is the time of year when the “what if” scenarios bring amusement and frustration to Trash talkers everywhere.

  12. JohnLopresti says:

    Niners are doing alright in the first half. I believe, that Harbaugh’s experience with the Bears a few years might make him appreciate the quarterback, Kap, as a brave soul. Offense line is a difficult squad to coordinate; and the newness of Kap to the 9ers line probably is what has inspired so many quarterback runs for scores in recent games. It’s like the name of the racehorse from the late 1980s, called Montana-To-Rice, except when there is a run opening Kap sprints into the breach on a keeper option. A local columnist who is quite witty has been shadow coaching for the current coach and his assistants, and doing very well developing game plan strategies: Google for the sports column blog called CohnZohn on monday mornings for the 9ers most jocund news.

    I would repeat a joke about Patriot missles from the liberal press a few decades back, but shall prescind from the mundane. Enjoy this evening’s match. There are lots of similarities between the new metropolis San Francisco, and the colonial marvel which is Boston. And right about now Ankara is somewhat happy about the patriots nato just deployed.

  13. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: I blame Roger Goodell.

    He obviously is not pleased with his institution being trashed week after week around these parts, and mentioned his displeasure to the National Security Agency. As soon as he said “emptywheel,” the NSA folks nodded sagely and said “we’ll deal with this.”

  14. Peterr says:

    Not good news for fans of the Wolverineenies:

    Michigan has suspended three players, including starting cornerback J.T. Floyd and punter Will Hagerup, from the Outback Bowl against South Carolina for a violation of team rules. . .

    The fact that this is the third time in his college career that Hagerup has been suspended does not bode well for his draft prospects. Also, it makes it clear that MI has no “three strikes” rules, at least as apply to Wolvereenies.

  15. bmaz says:

    @Peterr: When that comment actually posted, I tried to do another comment saying “SUCCESS!!!”. Damn blog demons ate my comment and ejected me for another hour. Gonna start taking this personally….

  16. Bob Schacht says:

    @emptywheel: Um, no, even though the Pats dormant offense finally woke up in the 4th quarter and tied the game. But then the Pats “D” collapsed, and gave away the game-winning points. And those of you who are moaning about Alex Smith, the deposed QB of the 49ers, well, Mr. K almost became a big league pitcher, with a 90 MPH fastball. Chris Collingsworth sez most good pro QBs, even those considered to have a “canon” for an arm, only throw around 50-60 mph. Well, Mr. K threw a fastball for one of the 49ers TDs that must have hurt the receivers hands even though wearing gloves. Those ain’t no catcher’s mitts they’re wearing.

    But I liked the way the Donkos dismantled the Ravings. Payton is in championship form. If I were any of the other top 4 teams, I would NOT want to meet the Donkos on the way to the Super bowl.

    The current generation of the best NFL QBs, since John Elway, have had reputations for rifle arms. Payton’s accuracy and smarts are back, but he can’t quite throw at the same velocity yet, if he ever will. Perhaps Mr. K is about to cause another update in QB velocity standards, and a new market for thicker gloves for receivers.

    But here’s something more interesting. This past weekend was also the NCAA championship tournament for Women’s Volleyball. Michigan had an unranked team, tied only for 6th place in the Big Ten, but then they made it to the Final Four! To get there, Michigan had to beat #2 Stanford, which was unheard of, except they did it. Then in the Semi-Final, the Wolverines beat #3 Texas in two sets, only to finally lose 3-2. Texas then went on to kick the ass of its opponent in the Final, winning in straight sets! I figure that made Michigan the second best team in the tournament! Go Blue!

    Bob in AZ

  17. Bay State Librul says:

    FOXBORO — It turned out to be the wildest comeback that never was – Boston Herald.

    What a pussy fan I am, I threw in the towel early in the 3rd Quarter.
    Fuck, I turned in my fandom. How can I redeem myself?

  18. JohnT says:

    Peterson entered the day with more rushing yards than 23 teams

    Fox Sports

    Peterson’s 1,313 yards over the last eight games is more than all but three other backs in the NFL have gained on the season.

    Peterson currently has six games this season where he has rushed for 150 yards or more. That’s one short of tying the NFL record in that category. . .Earl Campbell had seven such games for the Houston Oilers back in 1980.

    He put up his fourth career 200-yard game on Sunday (and his second in the last three weeks). The only players in the “Super Bowl era” that have more games of 200 yards or more rushing are O.J. Simpson (who had six) and Tiki Barber (who had five).

    Adrian Peterson is the fourth player in NFL history to rush for at least 8,500 yards and 75 touchdowns over the first six seasons of an NFL career, as he now has 8,564 yards and 75 touchdowns. The only other players in that club? Guys you might have heard of. . .Eric Dickerson (9,915 yards and 75 touchdowns), LaDainian Tomlinson (9,176 yards and 100 touchdowns), and Emmitt Smith (8,956 yards and 96 touchdowns).

    ESPN Sports and Information via The Daily Norseman

  19. JohnT says:

    We’ll debut the PetersonWatch at the end of Week 15, mostly because this is the first time when Adrian Peterson’s pursuit of Eric Dickerson’s NFL record for rushing yards in a season seemed a realistic possibility.

    Peterson’s 212-yard performance Sunday against the St. Louis Rams actually put him ahead of the 14-game pace Dickerson set in 1984, as the chart shows.

    Kevin Seifert

  20. JohnT says:



    Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has 120 receptions for 2,106 yards in his last 16 games. The 2,106 receiving yards are the most over any 16-game stretch since 1960. Johnson is currently 302 yards short of Jerry Rice’s single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards set in 1995.

    All Day

    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson averages more yards per rushing attempt (6.04) than Christian Ponder averages per pass attempt (5.99). This phenomenon has only happened five times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970

    Peterson has more rushing yards in the last seven games (1,101) than the Jacksonville Jaguars (1,068), Oakland Raiders (1,055), Dallas Cowboys (1,038) and Arizona Cardinals (1,021) have as a team this season

  21. emptywheel says:

    @JohnT: Yeah, after that atrocious game, Peterson is almost in better shape than Megatron. Plus, Megatron has to face the Falcons.

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