Emptywheel’s Pro Football Trash Talk – Week 15

Only one college game left before the endless series of bowl games starts up. The annual Army Navy game from Philadelphia. Both teams have among the best rushing offenses in the country, and among the most anemic passing offenses. Seems like a close match, but it’s not, Navy is the clearly better team, and they are favored. They should be, GO NAVY!

The pros, as the post title indicates, are into week 15 of the regular schedule. Already the Bolts have shocked the Donkos in Denver. Peyton seemed off and the Broncos never really got untracked. They abandoned Knowshon Moreno and the running game that has served them so well of late and really missed Wes Welker, who was out with a concussion. A bit about that. Much has been made about how the NFL treats it’s players with respect to concussions (and the lame settlement) but, really, the NFL teats its players like meat in pretty much every area of the body. Here is a great longform about just how true this is: My Injury File: How I Shot, Smoked, And Screwed My Way Through The NFL. It is blunt and gruesome.

Probably the best matchup on the Sunday slate is Pats at the Dolphins. Gronkowski is out again for the Pats, this time he is done for the season with an ACL/MCL injury. That hurts, because Gronk is not only Brady’s best receiver, but also draws tons of pressure off the other young kids at WR. Brady too appears to be a little banged up in the throwing shoulder and has been limited in use in practice, but no reason to believe he won’t be the same old Tom once the game starts. On paper, the Fish match up pretty well, and their defense is young and good. If the depleted Miami O-line can give Ryan Tannehill some time to throw, this could be an upset. But now that Brady and Belichick have home field in the playoffs in their hands, due to Denver’s Thursday night flop, I sure wouldn’t bet on it. Take the Pats.

Ravens at Detroit on Monday night also looks pretty interesting. The Lions are flaky and should be (and are) the favorite at home. But Baltimore has won four of their last five and are worried about their own playoff push. Maybe the Ravens’ secondary should not have pissed off Megatron. Still, Kitties better watch out, this game has upset alert written all over it. As does the Bears at the Brownies. Cutler returns for the Bears, though I would have left hot hand Josh McCown in were it me. The browns are better than their record. Hard to see the Packers coming out of Big D with a win over the ‘Boys. Actually might be possible for all three NFC North leaders to lose this week. And Dallas needs the win because the Eagles figure to dispatch the Vikings.

The last bit of real interest is to see just how crappy the game between the Redskins and Falcons is. These are surely the two biggest disappointments in the league this year, both teams are just a mess. Would be a hell of a sight if new Skins starting QB Kirk Cousins lights up Atlanta. And he just might. RG3 and 10 is not even the backup, instead he has been deactivated and Sexy Rex Grossman will be the backup.

Well, what else ya got to yammer about? Music by the incomparable Lou Rawls.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @adambonin Yeah. I bet @ddayen could invent some competition that would distinguish Spelling wasp from fruit fly.
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emptywheel @adambonin I'd say a POTUS debate but they'd look good by comparison, I guess.
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emptywheel @adambonin Why not make them face off in skills neither is good at, like all good reality shows?
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JimWhiteGNV Aaand there are now a ton of SD Police on motorcycles. Moving on to previously planned destination...
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JimWhiteGNV Previous tweet: this is a demonstration against Border Patrol violence.
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emptywheel How can something as cutthroat as the Spelling Bee end in a tie? It's not right.
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bmaz RT @PhoenixWomanMN: @bmaz And the media cheerfully went along with it.
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bmaz Status of GOP linchpins of BS well known 10-15 years ago: 1) Sadaam/Iraq had no threatening WMD's 2) Hastert was doing more than "wrasslin"
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bmaz Guess it's no surprise from a GOP party that cravenly puts up malignant actors such as Chris Christie + Joe Arpaio as having "family values"
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bmaz The Best of Times: When holier than thou GOP Congress went from Gingrich to Bob Livingston to Denny Hastert while demagoguing about Clinton
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bmaz @downwithtyranny @_ShannonINC Although, as true as that is, the sparseness of the original is also pretty endearing in a different way.
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