Chargers 20, Seahawks 17
LaDainian Tomlinson, who single-handedly put half the teams playing for their fantasy league championships into the big game, did little to win them the title. For the first time since week five, Tomlinson was kept out of the end zone, though that didn't do much to help Seattle, which seemed to be going out of its way to miss the playoffs, losing its last three games, before accidentally clinching by virtue of a 49ers loss.
"I don't know what the big deal is," sighed quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who completed less than half his passes, threw for under 200 yards, and lost two interceptions on Sunday. "My high school coach always said, 'Winning is like a light bulb. You can just switch it on when you need it' regardless of how lazy you've been in the weeks leading up to the playoffs... or was that 'winning is not like a light bulb'? 'You can't just switch it on'? Now that I think about it, that probably makes more sense... Shit, I wish I'd paid closer attention!"
Packers 9, Vikings 7
CRACKED's plans to gloss over any games without playoff implications went out the window with Green Bay put itself in position to clinch a playoff spot next week with a win and a Giants loss. "Are you kidding me?" asked Brett Farve, who vaguely remembers throwing a touchdown at some point this season, though not recently. "I was all set to retire after next week. Now you're telling me I might have to come back for another game? Son of a—I have tickets to the touring
Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot empathized with Farve's dilemma. "It's a shame to let tickets like that go to waste. If only there was someone who loved touring Broadway productions and was on a team that defied all odds by actually being eliminated from the playoff picture in the piss-poor NFC, Brett could give those tickets to him." Smoot then sang three verses of "Shuffle Off to
Chiefs 20, Raiders 9
Kansas City honored owner Lamar Hunt's memory with a victory over Oakland, a memory they'd hoped to honor sooner but were unfortunate enough not to play anyone pathetic enough until now. Despite the long-standing bitter rivalry, the Raiders were happy to give the Chiefs the cheery send-off to their owner.
Ravens 31, Steelers 7
With Pittsburgh now the first defending Super Bowl champ to miss the playoffs since the 2002 Buccaneers, Iron City fans have to shift their focus to the Penguins—no, best not to do that. Well, there's always baseball's hot stove season. Look, the Pirates picked up journeyman catcher Einar Diaz to back up Ronny Paulino. Oh, and they signed a 38-year-old Japanese pitcher too. Christ, if the rest of the NFL took a good look at the sports scene in
Panthers 10, Falcons 3
The win leapfrogged
Bears 26, Lions 21
Rex Grossman was benched for the fourth quarter when
Head coach Lovie Smith insisted the decision to give back up quarterback Brian Griese some playing time was planned all week and not a desperate attempt to find a quarterback who won't choke away an embarrassing home loss to the pathetic Giants or Eagles come playoff time, urging fans not to "put two and two together."
Texans 27, Colts 24
Indianapolis heaved a sigh of relief after watching Ron Dayne run for over 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans' first ever victory over the Colts after going 0-9 in their previous meetings.
"The playoffs can be very stressful," explained defensive back Bob Sanders. "Can we win a championship? Do we have what it takes? All that messes with your mind and keeps you on edge all week. Thanks to this game, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that, no, we can't win a championship and, no, we don't have what it takes. Now we can go out there and blow an embarrassing first round loss to
Colts head coach Tony Dungy, however, had a different perspective. "Ron Dayne is a Heisman winner! Even Peyton Manning didn't win a Heisman! Clearly, this is an elite football player and the fact we held him to only 150 yards and two TDs is a testament to the resiliency of our defense." Dungy was then carried away by two
Broncos 24, Bengals 23
With a chance to tie things up after driving 83 yards and scoring a critical touchdown with 41 seconds remaining, Cincinnati, with a chance to lock up a playoff spot, saw its fortunes quickly reverse. A bad snap on the point-after kick left Denver up by one, and likely postseason-bound, while the Bengals will need help.
"What the fuck?" screamed Cincy coach Marvin Lewis, throwing his Playstation 3 controller across the room. "That is complete horseshit! That never happens in real life!" Unfortunately, as unlikely as the event may have been, veteran players of the yearly editions of Madden confirmed this was not at all out of the ordinary.
"I'd like to say I was surprised," shrugged Bengals receiver Chad Johnson, a spokesman who is featured in commercials for the video game, "but when you're playing against the computer in the fourth quarter, it cheats like a... a... what's something that cheats badly?" Johnson rejected teammate Chris Henry's suggestion of "an Atkin's dieter at Dunkin' Donuts," continuing, "Anyway, if it's not a bad snap, it's a fumble out the back of the end zone or an interception by a cornerback who was ten yards away from the play."
Patriots 24, Jaguars 21
Saints 30, Giants 7
Despite losing six of their last seven games, hovering a game below .500, never having a single snap in Saints territory on Sunday, and having their coach serenaded by a chorus of "Fire Coughlin!" more than once, the Giants are in control of their own playoff destiny. A win at
No joke here... except the ratings ABC and FOX will get for the NFC playoffs.
Buccaneers 22, Browns 7
With sophomore-slumping Cadillac Williams out, fullback Mike Alstott touched the ball more times Sunday than he has in just about every game since
Rumor also has it that the Buccaneers signed quarterback Chris Sims (not to be confused with CRACKED contributing editor Chris Simms) to a two-year contract extension. Neither of those facts are particularly interesting, but neither was this game.
Titans 30, Bills 29
Vince Young all but locked up rookie of the year honors, killing
"Jesus, why do you keep coming to me for sound bites whenever Young does something good?" groaned Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak. "We beat friggin'
Rams 37, Redskins 31 (F-OT)
While neither of these teams has much chance of making the playoffs—"much" being used instead of "any" solely because St. Louis hasn't been mathematically eliminated and is playing Minnesota next week, which is pretty much a win—key players on both sides understood the NFL playoffs are only one postseason to consider.
With the majority of fantasy league's playing their championship games, Ladell Betts and Steven Jackson both scored two touchdowns while Rams quarterback Marc Bulger threw four touchdown passes and racked up nearly 400 yards through the air. "Sure, the Lombardi Trophy is a noble goal each season," Bulger nodded, "but knowing I may have helped Greg lock up bragging rights in the 'Tom Brady Magical JoCk$tRaP!!!!!!' league brings a sense of accomplishment all its own."
Cardinals 26, 49ers 20
Cheers echoed through the
"What is he talking about?" denied Niners coach Mike Nolan. "We may have been mathematically still in the chase for a postseason berth, but we're hardly Super Bowl contenders. I mean, TV contracts require that the NFL provide six teams to play for the NFC title. The fact we hadn't been eliminated sooner was more a reflection on
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Jake Bell is a former NBC sportscaster and head writer for Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge.