Steelers 45, Chiefs 7Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers proved their season isn't over yet with a commanding victory over Kansas City, taking a 31-0 lead into halftime. "Over? We were 1-3!" insisted Roethlisberger. "Christ! The season wasn't even a third of the way finished. Why do you media types have to get your panties all in a bunch over four friggin' games?"
Long after most fans had turned the channel to something more exciting, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson tackled Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on an interception return, dragging him to the turf by his hair. Instead of telling Polamalu to get a haircut or tuck his hair up under a skull cap, referees gave Johnson an unsportsmanlike conduct fifteen yard penalty for touching Polamalu's long, luxurious locks. Johnson later declared his intention to groom all his body hair until he looked like Cousin It, preventing anyone from ever tackling him again and allowing him to rush for 4000 yards next season.
Jets 20, Dolphins 17Miami's new quarterback led the team on two exciting touchdown drives in the final nine minutes and put Olindo Mare in position to kick a game-tying field goal. "Maybe if we didn't suck for the other 51 minutes, that would mean anything," said head coach Nick Saban.
Chargers 48, 49ers 19LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for four touchdowns, despite his team being in command of the game from about halfway through the second quarter. Most coaches would pull their star players when up by 22 points in the fourth quarter, but Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer took it upon himself to make sure Tomlinson would singlehandedly win fantasy football games around the world.
"Sure, the prudent thing would be to make sure the cornerstone of our team didn't get injured on some meaningless scoring drive when we'd already doubled up our opponent," Schottenheimer agreed, "but then I thought about all those idiots who drafted a lousy team, but were lucky enough to pick early and grab L.T., and I thought, 'Why not let those shortsighted fools a chance to crow for a change?'"
Broncos 13, Raiders 3Oakland remains winless after yet another debacle of a performance. Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer defeated the Raiders despite throwing for only 109 yards, or one yard for every time Al Michaels mentioned John Madden's induction to the NFL Hall of Fame as a former Raiders coach.
Earlier in the week, current Oakland coach Art Shell suspended receiver Jerry Porter for making negative comments about the team. The new look, more disciplined Raiders went on to commit 13 penalties that cost them 95 yards. Upon seeing Porter sitting home, collecting a paycheck, and not having to show up to get crushed every Sunday, Oakland wideout Randy Moss threw a temper tantrum, called quarterback Andrew Walter a "douche nozzle," and invited "everyone who has a bye next week" to his house for a pool party next Sunday.
Lions 20, Bills 17Detroit proved a series of metaphors correct--a broken clock is right twice a day, a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, the sun even shines on a dog's ass--with its first victory of the season, knocking off Buffalo, prompting the Bills' confidence to seriously be shaken to the core. "When something like this happens," frowned quarterback J.P. Losman, "you really question everything. What kind of a god would create a world in which anyone could lose to a train wreck like the Lions? I'm not sure I want to live in that world."
"This certainly hasn't been the start we'd envisioned," said coach Rod Marinelli regarding Detroit's five previous losses. "but this win is the beginning of a whole new season. As far as I'm concerned, we're 1-0 and starting fresh. Seriously, can we do that? That would be awesome if someone could go in and tinker with the standings."
Panthers 23, Ravens 21Steve McNair could only watch from the sidelines as his team dropped a second straight game. The Baltimore quarterback suffered a concussion in the first quarter, allowing the Ravens to blame back up Kyle Boller for the loss. "If we'd had McNair and his 67.0 QB rating in there, we might have had a shot," grumbled linebacker Ray Lewis. "Instead we had to rely on the young guy with the strongest arm in the league for whom we never got any kind of receiving help when he was a starter but still acted as though it was some big shocker when he didn't do very well."
Boller engineered an impressive comeback attempt, but Carolina wrapped up the victory with a 72-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith on the first play following Boller's first of two fourth quarter touchdowns. "When something like that happens, the blame falls squarely on the defensive backs," admitted Ravens safety Ed Reed. "I have to say we probably would have defended that pass if we weren't so distracted and crestfallen by the fact Kyle Boller was our quarterback. I'm not blaming Kyle for the loss, just saying if he hadn't been in there we probably would have won."
Buccaneers 14, Bengals 13Tampa Bay bounced back from a heartrending last minute loss to New Orleans last weekend to deliver a heartrending last minute loss to Cincinnati on Michael Clayton's lunging touchdown catch on fourth down that just grazed the goal line. Clayton was initially declared down, causing the Bengals to celebrate, but the play was overturned and called a touchdown upon further review. "It was a matter of less than an inch," sniffled referee Mike Carey as he wiped away a tear. "To see that guy stretching out like that... never giving up... they were just like that little choo-choo train going 'I think I can, I think I can.' I had to give them the win no matter what the rules say."
The loss left Bengals fans in a clinical state of denial, unable to acknowledge the game was even being played. "I don't get these Volkswagen commercials," said one man whose face was painted orange with black stripes. "Is there really that much demand for a car that you can plug your electric guitar into? Oh, look, Jon Lovitz talking about Subway!"
Cowboys 34, Texans 6Just for a change of pace, Terrell Owens made headlines for doing something on the field instead of off it. Scoring three touchdowns, the Dallas receiver put himself in the media spotlight just days after head coach Bill Parcells declared he was done talking about Owens. In response to the monstrous performance, Parcells faked a coronary to avoid speaking to the press... at least, we hope he was faking.
Considering he has overcome a preseason hamstring injury, a broken hand, a failed suicide attempt, fines for being late to practice, and mean-spirited chants from Philadelphia fans intent on hurting his feelings, Owens declared himself in line for "comeback player of the year" honors. Barring that, he requested a Lifetime Movie of the Week deal.
Giants 27, Falcons 14New York upset Atlanta in more ways than one. Beside the upset victory, Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was unhappy about Giants quarterback Eli Manning's play. "What was all that 'throwing the ball to other players' stuff?" Vick ranted. "I don't think I saw him scramble around, tuck the ball, and take off running once the entire game!"
Further baffling to Vick was that when Manning dropped back to throw passes, his offensive line formed what Vick described as "a pocket" around Manning, blocking oncoming defenders from tackling--or "sacking"--the quarterback. Vick was not so lucky, getting "sacked" seven times. "I don't get it," Vick sighed. "Every time I'd try to do that throwing the ball thing, it was as though my offensive linemen expected me to just scramble around, abandon the play, and take off running, so they didn't put much effort into blocking. Where would they get that idea?"
Saints 27, Eagles 24A year ago, New Orleans didn't even have a home field; now, they just might have the greatest home field advantage in the NFL. For the second straight week, the Saints won a home game thanks to come-from-behind fourth quarter scoring that left their opponents awestruck.
"For starters," described Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb, "we're playing in a building where a year ago people were being raped and beaten nearly to death in a scene out of some post-apocalyptic movie, so that kind of makes it difficult to concentrate on completing a third-and-seven pass. On top of that, just when you're trying to engineer a critical, game-winning drive, you look into the stands and see some eight year old girl say, 'Looters raided my home, taking all our food and water. I was without my insulin for eight days and all I want is to see the Saints win this game.' What am I suppose to do then? Heave a bomb to Hank Baskett and destroy the kid?"
Seahawks 30, Rams 28Torry Holt's three touchdown catches weren't enough to guide St. Louis past division rival Seattle, the loss coming on a 53-yard field goal as time expired. "It's heartbreaking, don't get me wrong," grinned one Rams fan as he jumped up and down, pumping his fists while mourning the loss, "but I have Holt in my fantasy league, so it's not all bad. We get a point per 15 yards receiving and one for every reception, not to mention that last touchdown was over 50 yards. That's almost 40 points!"
Deion Branch, making his first start since being traded away from New England, caught two touchdowns of his own. "Deion is a decent player, but we don't regret trading him at all," nodded Patriots owner Robert Kraft, "not when we have great receiving talent like... uh--where's that roster?--Jabar Gaffney and... holy crap, Troy Brown is still playing?"
Titans 25, Redskins 22Rookie quarterback Vince Young notched his first NFL victory behind his best performance to date. The fact that his best performance to date consisted of just one touchdown and 13 completions on 25 passing attempts for 161 yards says more about his previous performances than his role in the victory. Much credit should be given to Travis Henry, whose 178 rushing yards and a touchdown will no doubt leave whomever in your fantasy league drafted him groaning about not starting him this week.
The Redskins were showered with a cacophony of boos from fans disappointed by their team's fourth loss in six games this season. "This is a unique problem," acknowledged Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. "Perhaps it can be solved by throwing more money at it."
Jake Bell is a former NBC sportscaster and head writer for Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge.