Patriots 28, Bills 6After rolling over Buffalo with minimal effort, Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots called the Bills out to the 50-yard line for a big announcement. "We're so proud of you guys," Brady sniffled. "Who wants some ice cream?"
The Bills, who have lost seven of their last eight meetings with New England, were assured that no matter what the scoreboard said, they "were all winners!" "I kicked-ed a gold feel!" shouted Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell through a mouthful of vanilla soft serve. "Two! Two gold feels!"
"He means 'field goal,'" chuckled Brady, mussing Lindell's hair while smiling patronizingly. "You sure did, big guy! You sure did!"
Broncos 17, Browns 7Have you ever been dating someone and things just aren't working out, but there's no real reason you can point at and say, "That's where things have gone wrong?"
In fact, things might be going really well, which makes it that much more difficult to justify why you want to break up, both to the other person and to yourself. Even worse is when there's someone else you'd like to be dating who is available and who likes you, but you can't see until you're out of your current relationship. So you start putting yourself into positions that might lead to a legitimate break up excuse and, in at least part of your heart, you hope things go badly and start down that road to Splitsville.
Replace yourself with the Broncos and your significant other with Jake Plummer and you'll understand the situation in Denver.
Against the decidedly terrible Cleveland Browns, Plummer completed fewer than half his passes for barely 200 yards, could only muster the team to 17 points and tossed away two interceptions, one of which set up a touchdown that cost the defense its first road shut out in nearly a decade and a half. Meanwhile, Jay Cutler is sitting on the sidelines, ready to be the next quarterback of the future. But as long as the team keeps winning, there's no excuse to demote Plummer. "That's okay," said Cutler as he closed the door to coach Mike Shanahan's office, "I understand how important Jake is to this team and I'd never want to come between him and Denver." Moments later, Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lovers" could be heard through the closed door.
Jets 31, Lions 24Rookie running back Leon Washington, sharing duties with Kevan Barlow in New York's backfield, took advantage of the fact Barlow is terrible to burst into the spotlight. Running for 129 yards and two touchdowns, Washington guaranteed he'll be the subject of much water cooler talk and a fantasy waiver wire darling... until he gets just seven carries for twelve yards and a fumble next week.
Detroit fans tried to care about the Lions sixth loss, but failed for the most part. "When I heard they came close to winning late in the fourth quarter only to fall short of victory," described one fan, "I tried to pretend like I was shocked and disappointed, but I'm pretty sure no one bought it."
Packers 34, Dolphins 24Miami quarterback Joey Harrington set a team record for pass attempts, throwing the ball 62 times against Green Bay. If you're ever wondering whether your team is doing well or doing poorly in a football game, just ask, "Has our quarterback thrown the ball more than sixty times this game?" If the answer is yes, the odds strongly favor that things are going badly.
Likewise, if your team runs more than 80 plays in a game and only two of them go for touchdowns, as happened to the Fins, you're not going to be able to use "I'm watching the game" as an excuse to get out of yardwork for much longer.
Texans 27, Jaguars 7No one was more surprised by the Texans upset of Jacksonville than the Texans themselves. "My hat's off to the Jaguars," a downtrodden Gary Kubiak said. "They're a great team and they came in here to our house and took command. We still have a lot of pieces of the puzz--what? Oh, right! We won. Sorry, force of habit!"
Experts didn't give Houston a chance in the game considering Jacksonville was coming off a bye week that immediately followed a 41-0 thumping of the Jets. "In retrospect," agreed Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, "maybe we should have practiced or thought up a game plan during the past two weeks instead of spending our time off crank calling [Jets quarterback] Chad Pennington and doing shooters."
Buccaneers 23, Eagles 21Since beginning the season 0-4, Tampa Bay bounced back with its second straight win, courtesy of a 62-yard Matt Bryant field goal at time expired. "Even when we were struggling, I always said this was a good team and the wins would come," smiled Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden. "If we can just return two interceptions for touchdowns and kick the second longest field goal in NFL history every week, I like our chances."
Before Matt Bryant kicked the game winning longshot, holder Josh Bidwell told him to "just have fun." "I looked at him and said, 'You do remember we're playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, right?' Have fun? He's been playing for Gruden longer than I have. You'd think he'd understand fun isn't part of this team."
Chiefs 30, Chargers 27Remember last week when Kansas City got blown out by the Steelers and you threw up your hands and decided to unload Larry Johnson and/or Tony Gonzalez on whatever poor sap in your fantasy league would make you an offer? Apparently that was the wrong move. Johnson, who last week ran for just 26 yards and resorted to seven-year-old-girl-on-a-playground-style hairpulling, racked up 132 yards and two touchdowns while Gonzalez nearly doubled his receiving yardage total for the season in this one game.
"I'm not the kind of guy who comes to the media saying, 'I'm not getting the ball.' But hold up... I guess I am now," said Gonzalez. "You tricked me, media! Damn you!"
Falcons 41, Steelers 38 (OT)Two of the games top defenses butted heads and gave up a combined 872 yards and 79 points. Michael Vick answered critics of his passing skills by throwing a career high four touchdowns, twice as many as he'd ever thrown in an NFL game. "Seriously?" asked Vick's critics, "That guy got a $37 million signing bonus and he's never even had three touchdown passes in a game? So, am I supposed to be impressed that after six years in the league, Michael Vick has finally proven himself worthy of--for one day at least--being mentioned in the same breath as luminaries like Charlie Frye, Matt Hasselbeck and Damon Huard?"
As Vick led his team down the field and ultimately to victory in overtime, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could only watch from the sidelines nursing a sore neck and possible concussion from a helmet-to-helmet hit in the third quarter. "After the car accident and the emergency appendectomy, I figured this was over," Roethlisberger said of his preseason medical problems. "I never should have used that monkey's paw to wish I'd win the Super Bowl. The old man told me it was cursed!"
Raiders 22, Cardinals 9Raider Nation raised its collective fist in triumph, finally notching the first win of a dismal season. "Just win, baby!" shouted fans, repeating the long standing motto for Oakland football. In addition to the traditional mantra, however, many fans added, "I mean it. Just friggin' win! Do you know how much I paid for these damn tickets? And do you think it's comfortable to put on all this makeup and spiked shoulder pads and spend ten hours tailgating and hanging out at this piece-of-shit stadium? Dammit! I know I look like an idiot, but I do it because I lack a sense of belonging in other parts of my life and this gives me a chance to gain some acceptance, even if it's from strangers! Now get your heads out of your asses and just win, baby!"
Fortunately for those fans, Oakland was facing the Cardinals, who were fresh off surrendering a... I don't know... something like a 72-point lead to Chicago in the last four minutes of Monday Night Football. "It was a short week," explained coach Dennis Green. "If we'd had that extra day to prepare, I'm sure the outcome of this game would have been completely different. Yeah, short week... that'll do."
Colts 36, Redskins 22After last weeks inevitable loss, you can expect a visit, email, phone call, or some combination of the three from the jackass in your fantasy league who drafted Peyton Manning and a bunch of guys who suck. The Indianapolis quarterback made up for the stats he didn't get during last week's bye, throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns, simultaneously winning fantasy games around the world and moving into tenth place all time among NFL passers.
"I heard Michael Vick threw four touchdowns for the first time in his career," Manning smiled condescendingly. "That's cute. Good for him."
Vikings 31, Seattle 13The Chunky Soup curse struck early in the third quarter as Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson rolled into Matt Hasselbeck's leg, spraining the Seattle quarterback's knee and knocking him out of the game. The team is already missing reigning MVP Shaun Alexander, a victim of the Madden curse because he appears on the front of Madden 2007, due to a broken foot. "These players need to be more selective about the products they endorse," growled head coach Mike Holmgren. "Gatorade. Now there's a nice safe product. Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and Michael Jordan have endorsed Gatorade their entire careers and they never suffered any serious injuries!" When it was rumored receivers Deion Branch and Darrell Jackson might appear on the cover of an upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated, they were whisked away into protective custody.
Hasselbeck, who is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage to the knee, threw a can of Chunky Barbecue Burger Soup against the far wall of the locker room. "Damn you, Chunky Soup! How could you do this to me? I hate..." Picking up the can as it rolled back to his feet, Hasselback reconsidered and help the can up to his face, stroking it like a kitten. "Oh, I'm sorry. You know I can't stay mad at you!"
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Jake Bell is a former NBC sportscaster and head writer for Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge.