NFL Week 5 — Now With Conversation Tips

Here are some words about what happened in the NFL in Week 5. First, some ideas for those of you who want to be able to have brief conversations about the NFL but aren’t fans/don’t watch the games.

Things To Say:

“Crazy game Thursday night.” (The first half was so dull the announcers were watching baseball, whereas the second half both teams started actually scoring.)

“The Bears aren’t having a good season.” (They stink.)

“Tom Brady is back. Over 400 yards. They’re going to win another Super Bowl aren’t they?” (Tom Brady returned from his Deflategate suspension and promptly put up over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Patriots look very good.)

And now lots more words about every game:

Thursday 9/29

Arizona 33, 49ers 21: The first half was baaaaaad. 12 punts. Barely anything going on. I personally hate it when the announcers try to pump up what we’re all seeing by making it sound like more is happening on the field than actually is. In the first quarter, Phil Simms said 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert had such great arm strength he was throwing “fire” and that’s why 49ers receivers weren’t catching the ball. Um, really Phil? I don’t think that’s why. I got bored and shut off the game when Arizona was leading 14–7. Looking at the final score you can see that more stuff happened after that. Cardinals’ running back David Johnson is very good; he rushed for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. Backup quarterback Drew Stanton went 11 for 28 with 124 yards and 2 TDs. That’s not good at all, but it was good enough to win. The Cardinals went 13–3 last season. To do that this year they would have to win every single remaining game. That won’t happen. The 49ers stink and will continue to stink. Even Phil Simms agrees that the team should put in Colin Kaepernick, despite concerns about his “conditioning”. Whatever. If nothing else, putting him in will make some people in America lose their minds. But he’s definitely better than Blaine Gabbert.

Sunday Games, 10/9

Colts 29, Bears 23: Didn’t watch it. The Colts won a game. The Bears look lousy.

Titans 30, Dolphins 17: The Titans managed to win. The Dolphins aren’t good. Going forward, Tennessee is playing mostly teams with losing records (combined; it’s not a meaningful stat this early in the season but y’never know). Hypothetically the Titans could go on a winning streak. They have a good running game and Marcus Mariota has the potential to be a good quarterback. Supposedly he didn’t “trust his receivers” until this week. OK. This week he chucked three touchdowns and ran for another one. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill “may not survive the season” according to the announcers, because his offensive line is somewhat offensive.

Patriots 33, Browns 13: Tommy! Watch “Boston Accent” in honor of Brady’s return. So did we get it right? Did number 12 throw for 16 touchdowns? No, but he probably could have. Brady looked amazing right from the start and only confirmed what pretty much everyone has been saying, which is that he’s going to go nuts. Martellus Bennett caught 3 touchdowns (THREE!) despite being the number 2 Tight End; Rob Gronkowski is number 1. Gronkowski is huge. Bennett is actually a little bit bigger. The two of them are a killer combo, and they aren’t remotely the only two solid players on the Patriots. As for the Browns, they lost yet another starting quarterback. Pretty soon they’ll be calling me. Sorry guys. Not available. The Browns have yet to win a game and it wouldn’t shock me if they go 0–16. That said, they don’t give up. They’re trying. They simply don’t have a lot to work with. Main thing: Brady’s back. Tell a friend.
Aside: “The Simpsons” aired a great new episode on Sunday night about the “Boston Americans” football team, and the city of Boston itself. It was highly amusing.

Steelers 31, Jets 13: The score of this game is the one that is closest to a Rush album —3113. (Rush did 2112. Admit it, you knew that.) The Steelers have gone back to looking like an impressive football team, while the Jets have reverted to looking like crap on toast. If not for Brady’s big return, the story could easily be the 380 yards and 4 touchdowns that Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger put up against the J-E-T-S.

Lions 24, Eagles 23: Hey! The Lions won! The Eagles lost! Eagles QB Carson Wentz finally threw an interception! According to the announcers for this game, Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick is the best player ever to put on a helmet. I don’t know about that, but Riddick definitely had a good game, catching two of Matthew Stafford’s three touchdown passes.

Vikings 31, Texans 13: OK, I lied. Two games had a score that sounds like a Rush album. (Quick! Geddy Lee! Write a sequel to 2112!) The Vikings are now 5–0. What does this mean? It means they haven’t lost a game yet, something that very few people thought would happen after they lost first their starting quarterback and then star running back Adrian Peterson. The Texans are… the Texans. QB Brock Osweiler is Oswily. I’m going to keep making that joke until it catches on, or, failing that, even I get tired of it.

Redskins 16, Ravens 10: This one got interesting at the end. Baltimore was down by 6 and had a chance to win. Sadly, for them, they couldn’t complete a pass. Bummer. Washington squeaked by this time, remaining momentarily relevant in the NFC East.

Falcons 23, Broncos 16: The next time all the fantasy football experts say to bench a player, you might not want to do it. I mean, you MIGHT. But you also might not. Case in point: Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, who reportedly was going to play only limited snaps because he has the sickle cell trait and this game was in Denver, meaning high altitude and the potential to aggravate said trait. Coleman had a monster day. Good for him, unfortunate for me because he was on my bench. It is more important that he is healthy. I know this. It is still… (deep breath) It is what it is. This is out of my control. I made a decision and I whiningly stand by it.
Oh yeah, the game. Didn’t see it. The Broncos are no longer undefeated. They were playing with rookie QB Paxton Lynch because Trevor “it’s pronounced HOW?” Siemiam was injured. He’s expected to start Thursday because, like, Lynch didn’t play so good. Are the Falcons for real? In previous years they start out hot and then cool off. (Block that metaphor! Or is it a simile?) Translation: at first they play good. Then they play bad. They win games, then they lose games. Offensively Atlanta looks pretty damn good. Denver is supposed to have a championship caliber defense; they won the Super Bowl with it last year. This game, not so much.

Raiders 34, Chargers 31: Based on the score you would think this was an exciting game. Don’t be fooled. It was dull. Not as dull as some of the Thursday night games have been. Still dull. The Raiders could actually be a real team this year. They are winning close games, something good teams have to do. The Chargers on the other hand may actually be cursed by the Football Gods (who are TOTALLY REAL). Every week they lose another close game. Philip Rivers is a good quarterback, and the rest of the team isn’t horrible. They simply can’t win. Coaching? Could be. Bad luck? Somewhat. Payback for Philip Rivers being a dick to fans (can’t find the video but I saw it happen), aka Karma? Hm.

Cowboys 28, Bengals 14: FWIW it was 28–0 for most of the game. I’ve barely watched any Cowboys games so far this year, but the team is doing well. After the game it was reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said quarterback Tony Romo will get his job back once he’s healthy. This feels like a big fat stinking lie, since so far Dak Prescott has played very well. Some of that is due to rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot. But give credit where it’s due. Dallas has a love/hate relationship with Romo, who once played with a punctured lung and I wrote a song parody about it because I’m extremely amusing. I remember when he came out of nowhere and was named the starting quarterback of the Cowboys. He’s playing with house money. Nobody thought he was ever going to play, much less be good. And he HAS been good, just not in the playoffs. Again, only time will tell. As for the Bengals, sometimes they look good, sometimes not so good. I think they miss the two wide receivers they lost in free agency, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones Jr., both of whom are doing well with their new teams.

Bills 30, Rams 19: Yay! The Bills won again! Oh wait. I don’t care. Well, this time I did, because I picked up the Bills defense in fantasy and they came through. Back to reality: Bills QB Tyrod Taylor is better than people think. I’m not saying he’s a Hall of Famer or even that he’s a top 15 NFL quarterback. But he’s way better than Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer, Case Keenum, and many others. Case Keenum is the QB for the Rams, who lost and should continue to lose because Case Keenum. (No offense meant.)

Packers 23, Giants 16: Like a lot of other people I watched the Presidential Debate. (You may have heard there’s an election on.) I don’t know why the Giants lost this time but they did. Nice garbage time TD for Odell Beckham Jr., and according to Al and Chris OBJ didn’t get overly “emotional” this time. Since the Packers haven’t looked very good so far this year, I’m going to chalk this one up to the following: a) Aaron Rodgers is an all-time great quarterback who had a good day and b) the Giants might not be all that good this year. b) could be incorrect; maybe they just didn’t play very well. But the defense intercepted Rodgers twice and yet Big Blue didn’t score a touchdown until the final minutes. Not good.

Monday 10/10

Buccaneers , Panthers : This game is only relevant to me for fantasy football reasons, although I admit that I’m curious to see if Derek Anderson plays well with Cam Newton sitting out due to a concussion. I’ll update this post later.