For his Sunday Night Football introduction during last night’s Chargers-Saints game, San Diego Saftety Atari Bigby announced to the world that he was a proud alumnus of the “University of JAH RASTAFARI”. Not exactly a shocking revelation considering Bigby’s long-flowing dreadlocks.
But looking at his eyes, there’s a pretty good chance Bigby had just partaken in some of said religion’s sacred herb before filming this … which I don’t suspect will go over too well with the Chargers’ top brass:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
The Oakland Raiders showed the world last night how important a long snapper can be to your team’s successes (or in this case, mind-numbing failures).
After their starting Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo left the game with a head injury, back up linebacker Travis Goethel stepped in and tried to fill his shoes … despite not having long snapped since high school. And almost instantly, Goethel proved that it’s a lot harder than it looks.
Goethel’s first snap attempt bounced back to Lechler, who couldn’t field it cleanly and got tackled in the backfield. The second snap was decent enough, but the punt got blocked by an untouched Charger defender (Lechler’s first blocked punt since 2006). Oakland actually got the third punt off (barely), but on the fourth attempt, Goethel apparently just stopped trying:
Terry Crews has built quite an acting career for himself, bursting onto the national stage with the bizarre/hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, which he then parlayed into a role in The Expendables and The Newsroom, among others.
And in case you weren’t aware, Crews also enjoyed a stint in the NFL before his inner thespian took over. As a defensive end out of Western Michigan, Crews was drafted in the 11th round of the 1991 draft by the Los Angeles Rams, and spent time with the Chargers, Redskins and Eagles before retiring in 1997. It was an utterly forgettable career, however, as he never recorded a regular season tackle … which helps to explain why there aren’t many highlights of Crews in action.
Well, we finally found one. This clip comes from the 1994 pre-season, during the American Bowl game in Berlin, Germany, while Crews was with San Diego. In it, Crews gets penalized for roughing the passer on Giants QB Dave Brown, and … well, that’s about it. It’s a fairly boring “highlight” (if you can call it that), but it at least gives us video evidence of Crews in an NFL uniform.
Pa pa pa pa POWER!
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Following this broach in etiquette, Novak went on to miss a 53-yard field goal attempt in overtime that would have won the game for his team. On the ensuing drive, Tim Tebow led the Broncos downfield for the game winning score … as we’ll be hearing about forever, as part of the ever-growing Tebow lore.
But nice effort holding up the towel there, equipment guy. You’re parents must be so proud.
With just over a minute to play in regulation during last night’s Chargers-Chiefs game, Philip Rivers apparently got a case of the Halloween spooks.
After rallying to tie the game at 20-20, Rivers had his team deep in Chiefs territory and was planning on taking a knee to set up a game-winning field goal attempt. But as the Chargers QB stepped under center for the routine snap, something strange happened:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
It’s finally Tim Tebow time in Denver.
The lightning rod quarterback started the 2nd half of today’s contest against the Chargers, leading the Broncos on a furious comeback attempt that only fell short when Tebow ran out of time on a last-second hail mary attempt.
Trailing by 13 points at the half, John Fox had seen enough of Kyle Orton (6/13, 34 yards, 1 INT) and decided to turn to Tebow to see if he could provide a much-needed spark for the Broncos. And the former Heisman Trophy winner was as advertised, running for one score and throwing for another as he rallied his team to within two points before missing on a wild 29-yard heave at the buzzer (VIDEO BELOW).
San Diego held on to win the game 29-24, but the Broncos may have finally turned the page on their quarterback controversy, and Tebow should be handed the reigns for the rest of the season. Tebow finished 4/10 for 79 yards and 1 TD passing, so he didn’t change anyone’s mind about his mediocre arm, but the guy is clearly a natural-born leader, gifted runner, and he has an innate ability to make things happen when the play breaks down around him. He added 38 yards and 1 rushing score on six attempts, many coming on designed QB draws.
And at 1-4 and heading into their bye week, Denver really doesn’t have anything to lose by going with and finding out whether Tebow can win in the NFL. And if not, they’ve got the pole position for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, so it’s really a win-win here for Denver.
WATCH TEBOW’S HAIL MARY ATTEMPT AFTER THE JUMP
From the “we couldn’t make this up if we tried” department, Mr. Perfect Tom Brady is getting a lot of flack today after encouraging Patriots fans to get drunk and loud for this Sunday’s Patriots-Chargers game. Brady was asked on Wednesday if he had a message for fans attending what some are calling an early preview of the AFC Championship game:
“Yeah, start drinking early,” Brady said with a snicker. “Get nice and rowdy. It’s a 4:15 game, a lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team.”
The Patriots PR team almost immediately attempted to clarify Brady’s statement, claiming that “He meant ‘stay hydrated, drink a lot of water’”, which approximately zero people believe.
Clearly, alcohol is the fuel that NFL fans run on, and the majority of people planning to tailgate in Foxborough on Sunday weren’t going to do so in a sober fashion. But with the recent trend in fan-on-fan violence, this probably isn’t the best message to be sending to fans who haven’t exactly displayed a penchant for drinking responsibly, and enjoy starting fights with opposing fans.
So when a Chargers fan ends up getting shivved in the bathroom at Gillette Stadium by some hammered Pats fan because he’s wearing the wrong jersey, get ready for people to point the finger at Brady.
For picks 1-5, go here.
For picks 6-10, go here.
11. Houston Texans — J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: We get so many of these projections wrong. The “sure lock” winds up a flaming bust, and players we’re ignoring today — guys who won’t even be drafted — will light up the league. I believe we’ll look back on this 2011 NFL Draft five years from now and call J.J. Watt a top 5 pick. I loved his presence, intensity and motor at the combine. Wade Phillips‘ 3-4 defense is the perfect landing spot for Watt, and a good environment for this hard-working, self-made player. He worked himself onto Wisconsin’s roster, paying his own way at the start of his tenure — delivering Pizza Hut to save up dough. He’s no prima donna. He’s a coachable workhorse who did the requisite work at Wisconsin to make the switch from tight end to defensive lineman. Watt is the steal of this draft at No. 11. Sometime these midround picks are where you find the real gems — where less pressure is placed on the incoming player, as well. Houston and Watt are an excellent match.
12. Minnesota Vikings — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: The Vikings have been vocal about finding a quarterback in this draft. I see a potential trade up — or down — to get their guy. There was a time when it appeared Minnesota at No. 12 could snag Auburn’s Cam Newton, but the hype machine’s in full swing and I project him to go no less than No. 1 to the Carolina Panthers. He’s the type of passer that’s going to require time to develop, coming from a spread, and Leslie Frazier would love the challenge. There are other possibilities at quarterback for the Vikings — and all of them are better than Brett Favre right now, who’s back on his farm tilling soil. It’s time for a new start in Minnesota. In this mock, with no trades — and Jake Locker a reach — I project the Vikings to jump on Jones, who had an excellent combine and would be a good-value selection here. Sidney Rice could bolt via free agency, so Jones addresses a potential need as well. We all saw what happened to Percy Harvin when Rice was out of the offense — they need a No. 1 guy in there to give the passing game a shot.
Picks 13-20 after the jump.
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Note: For the teams from 32-17, I’ve tagged them with my BERSERKER NUMBER (B#). Ranging from 1 to 100, it rates a team’s ability to cause havoc for teams attempting a playoff run. Young, developing squads just beginning to show power (but stuck with losing records) are helped, in my rankings, by a high B#.
For the teams from 16-1, I’ve added my DESTINY SCORE (DS). Again, 1 to 100. Here, I’m attempting to weed out teams resembling, for instance, the 1988 Chicago Bears. Teams with towering regular season records that (we all know) will not get to — back to — the Super Bowl. Teams, well, missing something special.
My (totally subjective, imperfect) Week 13 Power Rankings:
32 Carolina Panthers (1-10) (B#4)
31 Arizona Cardinals (3-8) (B#8)
30 Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) (B#14)
29 San Francisco 49ers (4-7) (B#22)
28 Denver Broncos (3-8) (B#33)
27 Detroit Lions (2-9) (B#28)
26 Buffalo Bills (2-9) (B#68)
25 Dallas Cowboys (3-8) (B#41)
24 Minnesota Vikings (4-7) (B#42)
23 Oakland Raiders (5-6) (B#52)
22 Washington Redskins (5-6) (B#43)
21 Seattle Seahawks (5-6) (B#54)
20 Cleveland Browns (4-7) (B#73)
The San Diego Chargers took it to the Colts 36-14 last night, winning their fourth straight game and handing Indianapolis their worst home loss of the Manning era. The Chargers defense was the star of the show, picking off Peyton Manning FOUR times, including two that were returned for scores. After starting the year at 2-5, the Chargers have rebounded in a big way, and are serving notice to the rest of the AFC that they’re a force to be reckoned with coming down the stretch.
The very un-Peyton like performance was caused by the consistent pressure San Diego put on the normally unflappable QB all night long. In fact, during the game, Cris Collinsworth showed a series of highlights that saw Manning flinching before contact was even made by a defender (watch here). It was only the third time in his career that Manning has thrown 4 interceptions in a game, and he has now thrown 7 interceptions in the last two games, making it the worst stretch of his 13-year career. Could we finally be seeing that Peyton is actually human, or is this (more likely) just an aberration?
In case you missed it, the headline for this article is a tribute to one of the greatest comedic actors of our time, Leslie Nielsen, who passed away yesterday at the age of 84. His roles in Airplane and the Naked Gun series will never be forgotten … and to keep this somewhat sports related, we leave you Nielsen’s classic performance as an umpire in the Naked Gun:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP