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 Sharapova makes more money than Serena. But can Sharapova claim to be one of Ndomukong Suh's (ceremonial) bosses?
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emptywheel RT @MichiganHist: In honor of Hazen Pingree's 175th birthday - posts this evening will be potato themed
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bmaz RT @countdowntof1: 6 days, 12 hours and 57 minutes until the Italian Grand Prix. #f1
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emptywheel @charlie_simpson I've never tried making any, but don't eat premade bc ick & spouse is abt out of his premade icks @laurenist @Dr_A_Erskine
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emptywheel @RhythmRuler At which point, if it were to happen, Denali would still be called Denali by everyone who mattered.
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emptywheel @revpaperboy Technically, Ireland has to take me. But in case I can't get there, you're my backup plan.
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emptywheel @laurenist Thanks. I'll try them (and it's even blueberry season here in blueberry country).
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emptywheel @laurenist Was *just* gonna go find a recipe for same. Will you share?
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emptywheel @revpaperboy Well, may be. But I've already figured out where I'm gonna sneak into Canada.
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emptywheel Canada's laughing at Scott Walker: "Build your wall moron, with a big gaping Keystone vulnerability in the middle."
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emptywheel President mandates that maps match reality in melting great white north. Wingnuts go apeshit.
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emptywheel I confess I've started to call the Texans "Pats South" in my head. Plus JJ Watt and Clowney, of course.
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