Week 15 NFL Trash Talk: The Coming of Johnny Football

Late start on Trash this week as I was otherwise occupied and, well, with little college football, there was little action on Saturday. Navy beat Army for the 13th time in a row and Oregon’s Marcus Mariotta won the Heisman, as was expected.

But Sunday is another matter, as the NFL is really heating up. The Cardinals won a tough defensive slugfest in St. Louis against the Rams, but suffered yet another crushing injury as QB Drew Stanton suffered a sprained MCL and ACL. No one knows when, or even if, he can return. There is a big push to get Kurt Warner to come out of retirement to save the day. I, of course, am lobbying for the ‘Ole Geezer Gunslinger himself, Brett Favre. Good times.

I think the Steelers at Falcons may be a great game. Atlanta’s record sucks, but they are very much in the playoff hunt in the woeful NFC south. And they seem to be getting their groove back. The Steelers have been hot or cold lately, better stay hot or the Falcons will take them. The Pack is in Buffalo. If there is one team that won’t be freaked by cold and snow in the outdoors of Orchard Park, it is Green Bay. They are used to it. Patriots should take care of the Dolphins at Foxborough.

Broncos at Chargers is a critical game. Of course you have to pick the Donkos, and Las Vegas is. But the Chargers will be tough. The Vikings have been gelling of late and, were this game in Minnesota, I might be tempted to go with an upset over Detroit. In Detroit, however, have to ride with the Kittehs. Can the Niners get back on the winning track against the Squawks in Seattle? Nope. Cowboys at Eagles for SNF is arguably the game of the week. I rate it as a tossup, but think the eagles may wear out the Boys if Sanchez can play decent.

Now, I said Cowboys/Iggles was “arguably” the game of the week, and any other week it might be. But not this week. Oh no, this week THE game of the week is absolutely the Bengals at the Brownies. And the starting debut of one Mr. Football. Cleveland should have gone to Manziel last week. Brian Hoyer was just pitiful, and the Brown still only lost to the Colts by one point. There is no way Manziel would not have been better. But with the loss to the Colts, Cleveland is gasping, but still technically alive in the playoff hunt. America will be watching. And in a weird scheduling deal, a LOT of America will be watching because FOX, which normally runs NFC games, is broadcasting this strictly AFC matchup. Go Johnny Go, Johnny be good!

Christmas music by Dave Edmunds.

31 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Great musical choice. And 28 years old; I wonder if they’ll remember Johnny Football 28 years from now.

    I grew up with the Beach Boys version of Johnny B. Goode, since it was on the first album my older brother ever bought, Beach Boys Concert. And so I still think they’ve done the definitive version of the song, because I heard it so many times played by my favorite band before I ever heard either the original or another cover. Same, I guess with so many Peter Paul and Mary songs (50 years for them now, can you believe!)


  2. scribe says:

    The more-accurate evaluation of the Coming of Johnny Football is found in this clip, beginning at about 0:40 and continuing through about 1:20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq8WdROWpAc
    I think he’ll work out about as well as did the person being discussed in the clip, i.e., not very well.
    Hoge, on ESPN, had what I think is the correct evaluation of Johnny: he’s not up to the complexity of the NFL game and doesn’t get the concept of passing the ball (can’t check down receivers), always plays “in a panic” and his first instinct to is to run – “that’s what he’s programmed to do”. “First round hype with sixth-round talent” and “whoever put a first-round tag on him in Cleveland should be fired.” I foresee the decision to start Manziel will serve him and the Brownies about as well as Snyder’s/Shanahan’s use of RG3 and last about as long. Two years ago, when the Redskins drafted RG3, the DC sports sections were awash in articles proclaiming Him the Second Coming and that Glory Days for the ‘skins had arrived and would stay (see the link above). He got pushed into the starting role about this time (maybe earlier – I’d have to go back and look to be sure and don’t have the time now) in the 2012 season and did pretty well at first. Then he took some wicked damage and hasn’t been the same since. Now there’s the expected “will he or won’t he” make it back talk, RG3 is shooting off his mouth and asserting a leadership role he, frankly, hasn’t earned, and talk coming out of the Washington locker room that he’s a nightmare as a teammate. RG3 was used by Snyder (ownership) about as well as a rented mule – slaveowners took better care of their slaves – and we all see how well that worked out. Snyder got plenty of press for his plaything team, the ‘skins are no better than before – the sump of the NFC East – and RG3’s knees are going on shot if not already there. What could have been a good-to-great career has been mutilated for Snyder’s ego.
    We’re seeing (and saw, earlier this year) the same coming out of Cleveland with Manziel. I expect his juvenile punkdom (thanks, Hoge!) will continue even after he gets laid out by some defenders. Character doesn’t change. He and his antics have succeeded in painting a big target on himself beyond the one quarterbacks ordinarily wear. But this comes with the added bonus (especially for us Stillers fans) that he’s already reputed to be a major ass as a teammate and therefore (logic tells us) his O-line may be less-than-fully motivated to protect this panicky running jerk. That, and his tendency to play the way he does means he and his O-line will not be fully coordinated, making him more likely to get laid out more often.
    I don’t mind that a bit. As one Stillers fan (not me) posted on a Browns fan site some time ago, when it comes to the Browns and their fans’ woes: “your pain nourishes me”. I see a holiday banquet coming.
    As to the Cards, I note that Tim Tebow is available, uninjured and keeping himself in shape. Make his phone ring, ownership!
    As to the Stillers-Falcons, I agree. I am worried about Ryan finding people deep. The deep ball has been the Stillers’ Achilles heel the last month and, frankly, I haven’t heard Troy’s #43 called much if at all during that time. The Pittsburgh corners are getting beat, I dunno where Polamalu is and teams are keying in on that. Kiesel wasn’t getting that much in the way of tackles and sacks but he was providing a strong prop (for lack of a better word) on his end of the line. This gave others the opening to get the tackles and sacks. Without Kiesel to button down his end of the D-line, the Stillers are quite a bit weaker. Harrison is not getting free nor are the other LBs. I thought this would have been exposed more last week but, frankly, I think the Bungles quit sometime after the half and mailed it in.
    As to Iggles-Owboys, I have been looking forward to this game since the schedule was announced months ago. The only thing which could make this more perfect would be snow in Philly, but we can’t have everything. Since, as you know, my litany of rooting interests goes “Steelers, Who’s playing Dallas?, Eagles, who’s playing the J-E-T-S?” I get a two-fer from this game. I don’t want to predict anything, but I think it entirely likely the Eagles win if, as noted above, they can keep the Owboys’ run game tangled up. And this, with Mark Sanchez – run out of town in NY for … ineptitude and eating too much sushi or something – running the offense. ESPN is saying as I write this that Jerry Jones has declared this a “playoff game” and that his pronouncement has “trickled down to the locker room”. I will reiterate my opinion on all things trickle-down – that’s a synonym for being pissed on. That would be more like Jerry.
    I have to go meet some commitments….

    • bloopie2 says:

      Good clip of Hillary. Of course, she is such a tool of power: “There really is no hope of change, don’t be fooled by anyone who tells you to hope for a better day.”

      Me, I’ll go with Andy’s letter to Red at the end of Shawshank – “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing.”

      So, go, Johnny, go!


      • cinnamonb says:

        “Good clip of Hillary’? I must have missed that – I finished reading the article and started reading the comments while it played.

        Anywho— Guess this is the same Dave Edmonds who did “I Hear You Knockin'”, right? And it was a cool musical/video choice.

    • bloopie2 says:

      The “next great thing” narrative is fun to think about and talk about, even if you don’t buy it 100%. Most of us read enough to take such with a grain of salt. There’s so much negative in my life and in most people’s lives as well — who needs the crap of those who would take away all hope? For example, the daily posts on this website about all the horrible things going on in the world are depressing as hell.
      Also, “Character doesn’t change” is bull; plenty of people (even NFL quarterbacks!) have changed enough over their lifetimes to make a difference in how they interact with those around them. Don’t rest your argument on that.
      P.S.: Have you guessed I’m a long-suffering Browns fan?

      • scribe says:

        You’re a Browns fan, your pain nourishes me.
        I think Mr. Hoge has been proven right, again. To be fair to Tebow, after Denver passed on his sanctimony Fat Rex screwed him royally and singlehandedly destroyed his remaining chances of a career. But, he got nowhere with Cheatin’ Bill even though Bill is noted for giving a good hard look at people who are football players. Tebow wanted to dictate and hadn’t earned that. It think it’s fair to say the league was close to figuring out Tebow, and he was done when Cheatin’ Bill cut him.
        My Stillers win. This Stillers fan smiles.

    • bmaz says:

      Hoge is a sourpuss jerk. Also, the man cannot tie a proper necktie knot to save his life. His “record of debunking” started with Tebow. Hoge was foaming at the mouth that Denver should never consider starting Tebow, who then promptly went 7-4 as a starter for the year, resurrected the Broncos’ season and led them to a playoff win over….who….oh yeah, Hoge’s vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers. As to Manziel, Hoge has not “debunked” diddly squat yet. Shouldn’t we at least let Mr. Football fail before writing his obituary and crowning the acerbic Hoge as a debunking genius?
      I have doubts too about Manziel. But it is certainly not because he is stupid and doesn’t understand the game. He has been a huge winner at every level to date. He is a rookie that will make rookie mistakes. But if he can grow and get to where the game slows down for him, he could very easily be a Russell Wilson type of NFL QB. He will have to learn to get down and not killed though, and that may be a problem for him. Time will tell, but give the guy a chance! I’m with Bloopie, the excitement for Cleveland is a good thing. Hoyer sure isn’t the answer, so why not give Manziel a shot? Tell you what, I would take Manziel on the Cards about now; he’s a better option than Ryan Lindley or Logan Thomas.
      Lastly, I think we MUST talk about Johnny Football in order to draw out the ever reclusive Gulf Coast Pirate!

  3. Jo6pac says:

    Go 9ers or better yet go 9er HC and OC anywhere but were they are now. harball has run it’s course and it’s time to move on to a OF coach that plays pure West Coast.

  4. What Constitution? says:

    Where’s Ryan Leaf when we need him? I’m not ready to consign Johnny B. Football to that dustbin quite yet — I am at least hoping for some dazzling displays until he takes that third hit and is down for the count. I’m looking for today to be dazzling and can wait for the coming disappointment. And then will come the comparisons of Johnny’s stable to the dating history of Derek Jeter, which Johnny is destined to lose, too, and not just because the field is less target-rich in Cleveburg.

    • bmaz says:

      Have you seen the list of Derek Jeter’s dates??? Uh, wow is all I can say. Maybe George Clooney has a comparable track record, or Pitt and DiCaprio, but I don’t know. Maybe not either. And, by all appearances, Jeter was a total gentleman to all. Manziel is not getting into that stratosphere.
      Manziel can play. And, unlike Tebow, he has a pretty good arm. Learning to read the defenses from the pocket, and not getting killed when he leaves the pocket, is going to be his problem. My guess is he doesn’t turn out to be any superstar in the NFL. But he might. He deserves a real chance at least. The Browns are not going to make the playoffs, but these are real games down the stretch and it will be interesting to see how he does.

      • dakine01 says:

        Manziel can play.

        Presumes facts not in evidence. Cin 20 Cleve 0 at the half. Manziel has 4 of 9 for 22 yards and 2 interceptions. Dalton hasn’t been much better but Cincy is getting some rushing and return yards to go with the defensive plays

        • Peterr says:

          Just saw the halftime clips of Johnny Football, and the two INTs struck me as typical rookie mistakes — pressing to make a play when no play was there to be made. I actually think this may be a good thing, in that I suspect he is actually listening to whomever has been whispering in his ear for months “you run when *I* tell you to run, and not when *you* want to run.” Yeah, he threw two picks on passes lots of rookies would have thrown. If he was torn between running and throwing on those two plays, I’d rather have him listen to his coaches and throw the picks.
          Meanwhile, the Chefs receivers are playing with mittens today. Alex Smith has been hitting them on the numbers, and far too many have bounced right off and into the turf. The penalties are hurting them too, though penalties in a Chefs-Rayduhs game are kind of like lights on a Christmas tree — a required part of the festivities.

        • dakine01 says:

          Yeah, the announcer (John Lynch?) was commenting on how Manziel should not have made those throws. I think he was non-committal about whether he thought Manziel could/would learn from the mistakes.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, okay, maybe fair enough:

          Manziel 4/9 22yards 2 interceptions

          Not so good. NOW maybe Mr. Can’t Tie a Tie Knot Hoge can crow.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    It would be nice if Manziel had an offensive line in front of him. That usually plays into a quarterback’s success.

  6. bmaz says:

    Let’s all sit back for a second and keep in mind that Manziel played a better game today than Aaron Rodgers.

  7. CTuttle says:

    *heh* Herreee’s Johnny…! ;-) Johnny Manziel’s first career start, in an image

    Aloha, bmaz, Marcy, and to the wrecking crew…! I’m concerned about Lemon-Sucky Face’s health after that block he threw…! Stoked to see my Donkos clinch the tough division…! Bieber looked sharp in the second half over the Fins, and Lynch was an absolute Beast in todays second half against the beleaguered 9ers…! Any chance Michigan could snag Harbaugh, Marcy…? ;-)

  8. cinnamonb says:

    Hi again. The more I thought, the more fun this thread sounded so I had to come back to join in. My first post was in response to bloopie2 but it didn’t show up where it was supposed to.

    Anyway, right now, my most favorite team is the Seahawks – R. Wilson and M. Lynch – go get ’em. I also like Peyton and the Broncos, Alex Smith and the Chiefs, and also M. Stafford and the Lions; oh and the Panthers and the Steelers are also cool. And I’m sorry I seem to know mostly quarterbacks. With only catching most teams only sporadically, it’s hard to learn all the players.

    Regarding Johnny football – I guess the jury’s still out, but really, Heisman winners have a VERY mixed record in the NFL. I scanned through the winners list and here are a few notables:

    Successes: Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Hershel Walker, Cam Netwon.

    Not so much: John Huarte —- I just had to include him. I’m dating myself I guess, but I remember him as he played in the first football game I ever watched – ND vs Mich. State.; Mike Rozier (my cousin taught him when he was in high school); Doug Flutie; and the infamous Mr. Tebow.

    Then there is the matter of Mr. Griffin III. Will he up his game or be a disappointment? Time will tell. It seems to me he really needs some serious coaching and mentoring.

    Anyway, talking football is fun, after all!

  9. JohnT says:

    whoever put a first-round tag on him in Cleveland should be fired.

    I’m sure you remember, but for those that don’t, the story was it was the owner after listening to a homeless guy
    Moving on …
    I’m starting to think Blair Walsh (Vikings kicker) has an undisclosed injury. And, this is probably politically incorrect, but Roger Goodell can go fornicate himself. I know Adrian Peterson was wrong, but I don’t know of any info that proves he’s a chronic and habitual abuser of anyone, let alone his kids. Anything I’ve ever heard of him until this one incident is that he’s been a model citizen. So what gives King Roger?
    And, oh yea, can’t find who wrote it now, but I agree with whoever suggested the Cards answer at QB
    Teeeeebow! ………………. lol

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