Last week in MMQB, Peter King put the St. Louis Rams in the running as being a team to watch in the NFC West. This week the Rams lost to the Jets at home. It's almost like Peter jumped the gun a little bit based on the Rams performance against the San Francisco 49ers. He would never do that. Fortunately, the national election is over, so maybe Peter won't give his political opinion any time soon. This week Peter talks Gronk, encourages Ben Roethlisberger to heal and tells us the riveting, tense story of him almost getting a parking ticket. It's like the sequel to "Argo."
Eleven main characters from an eventful Week 11 that had its share of drama.
Super duper! That's why I watch the NFL. Screw the competitive spirit of two teams playing a game at a high level, I watch the NFL to see if Jim Harbaugh will flip over a table in anger at something Joe Vitt said or if a comment Mike Mularky says to Bruce Arians gets totally misconstrued in a way to where it sounded like Mike Mularky didn't think Pete Carroll was a very good NFL head coach. I think Mike totally meant it the way he said, but Bruce still covered for him and I don't know why, especially since Pete totally helped Bruce get his job with the Colts, which Bruce will deny of course. Drrrrrrama!
1.Baltimore defensive keystone Terrell Suggs, who was supposed to be in his seventh month of rehab for an Achilles tear right now, prancing off Heinz Field,
BUT DID HE PRANCE LIKE A CHILD?
2. The Gronk, New England tight end Ron Gronkowski,
There's another Gronk brother? This one is named Ron? I'm guessing he has a mustache and enjoys karate flicks from a by-gone era.
Before you freak too freakishly, Patsland, you'll have Aaron Hernandez
and Visanthe Shiancoe this week to sub for Gronkle (the Gronk, Gronkle,
Gronkie ... all nicknames NFLNet's Ian Rapoport is trying to trademark
on Mr. Gronk). About 31 other teams in the league would kill for
Whatever. The Panthers don't want Aaron Hernandez. They already have one talented tight end they don't make it a priority to get the ball to. They don't need more talent on offense because it will only highlight the lack of a coherent offensive game plan.
5. Ben Roethlisberger and his dislocated first rib missed the
13-10 loss to Baltimore, and boy, was he missed. I'm not optimistic
about him returning soon, and neither is a leading thoracic surgeon.
I don't know why, but that sentence made me laugh. I'm not entirely sure the Broncos will win the Super and neither is a leading authority in the field of penile implants.
Who is this leading thoracic surgeon? Turns out it is McDreamy from "Grey's Anatomy," so fear not Steelers fans. We all know McDreamy is way off his game since the plane crash, so I fully expect Ben Roethlisberger to be back very soon.
6. The sixth playoff seed in the NFC. Look at the combatants for
it: Seattle, Tampa Bay and Minnesota, all 6-4, and a pair of 5-5s: New
Orleans (the Saints may not lose again this season) and Dallas.
I'm going on a limb and saying if the Saints don't lose again this season they will have the inside track on the #6 seed in the NFC.
10. Robert Griffin III just had a game for the ages. Anyone notice?
Not if you didn't Peter! We all know if you don't watch or pay attention to a game then that means no one else paid attention or watched that game either.
1. There is no best team in the NFL. I say it's New England, but
let's be honest: If the Patriots played Houston or Baltimore or Denver
tomorrow, how confident would you be? And the AFC is supposed to be the
weak conference this year -- remember that.
And the Rams are a sleeping giant in the NFC West. I've written it all down, don't worry.
Coaches have 45 active players each game. They don't have a "second
team'' of the point-after-try unit. The PAT is one of the most risk-free
plays in football. Rodney Harrison, the former Patriots safety now in
the NBC studio with me on Sunday nights, didn't get taken off the
kickoff team in routs.
I did not know this. Good job by Peter to tell his readers some important tidbit of information. Bad job for...well, a lot of other things.
Roethlisberger has no sense when he'll be able to return. But according
to Dr. Clark Fuller, the director of Thoracic Surgery at St. John's
Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., Roethlisberger has to be careful
about returning too soon because of damage it can do to nerves in the
right shoulder and arm, major blood vessels in the area, and, as
Roethlisberger admitted last week, the aorta around the heart.
(an angry mob with pitchforks scream) Ben Roethlisberger has no heart. He's a rapist!
"This is not about being a tough guy,'' said Fuller, who has neither
examined Roethlisberger nor seen his X-rays or scans. So he made it
clear he was speaking generally about the dislocation of the first rib,
which is connected to the breast bone on one side and the spine on the
Great, this is one of those "I know nothing about this specific medical situation but I'm the only guy Peter King could get on the phone so I'm going to give my opinion as if it were specific to the situation when really it is a generalized statement based on what knowledge I have of the medical situation." These are always handy and ripe for some speculation. This doctor has enough information and knowledge to give an opinion, just not a 100% educated opinion.
Fuller said he thought Roethlisberger would miss a minimum of four
weeks. "I do remember their coach, Mike Tomlin, not allowing that safety
[Ryan Clark] to play in altitude in Denver because of his sickle-cell
disease,'' Fuller said. "That is a good sign, to me. I believe he won't
risk the health of Roethlisberger."
Now this doctor is an expert on the thought process of Mike Tomlin and how he handled the situation of "that safety," Ryan Clark. Got it. Clark missing one game and Roethlisberger missing four games is a completely different thing. If Roethlisberger says he can go and the Steelers doctors say he can go, I'm betting he goes ASAP. Of course, I know as much about the situation as this good doctor, so what do I know?...other than Byron Leftwich is a downgrade at quarterback and the Steelers want to be in the playoffs.
This is modern football at its Monopoly-money best: Justin Blackmon and
Johnson became the first two receivers in a game ever to each go over
200 yards. They combined for 21 catches and 509 yards, for a 24.2-yard
average reception. I'm incredulous just writing that sentence. Where
will it all end?
Where will all this pass-wacky offense end? I don't know, Gregg Easterbrook.
One other interesting note from Ellenbogen, the chairman of the
department of neurological surgery at the University of Washington
School of Medicine. He attended a FIFA-sponsored conference on head
trauma three weeks ago in Zurich and came away with respect for rules.
That's right: rules.
Okay, but do these "rules" even count?
"Rules count,'' he said.
Well then, I like rules.
We forget Freeman is 24 years old. He's six months younger than Ryan Tannehill.
No Peter, "we" haven't forgotten this. He's younger than Ryan Tannehill and five years younger than Brandon Weeden. This has all been kept in mind by us.
Well, I did the all-time stupid thing Saturday. Thought I was
direct-messaging agent David Canter on Twitter Saturday, asked him to
call me, and, much to my terror, found it went to all of my followers. I
bet it was up for six seconds before I took it down, but that was long
enough to enable quite a few loyal Peter Kingites (and gee, thanks,
Deadspin) to post the number all over the place.
Gosh, Deadspin. Don't you know Peter wants to use his fame and connections for only things that help him out, like getting a new contract when his contract with Sports Illustrated runs out in January of 2013? He doesn't want all this attention on him if it isn't going to be good attention. What is this world coming to when a person can't reap the rewards of fame without any of the hassles?
Phone calls received in the five hours between posting and canceling of the number: 373.
Text messages received in that time: 255.
text message, from the 773 (suburban Chicago) area code: "You -------
skunkheaded ------. Go ---- Favre. Have a nice day."
Love my fans!
That's probably a bit much to specifically text Peter in this manner, but Peter can be rest assured while thinking of that big pile of money Sports Illustrated or another sports site will back up to his apartment that the hatred will be worth it. People don't like you when you are in the public eye and write some mean shit about you, it's part of the deal.
Since their 1-3 start, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone 5-1 and
averaged 34 points a game in doing so. On the face of it Josh Freeman's
94.6 quarterback rating and 21-7 touchdown-to-interception differential
seem to indicate a substantial reason for the turnabout, but that would
be too simple; Freeman's season (and his performance here) has been far
more enigmatic than that.
The short game. He struggles on shorter throws. When he has to
read linebackers in coverage and when the space is condensed, his passer
rating drops from 125.6 on those deep throws to 86.2 on throws between
zero and nine yards. Compare this with Peyton Manning, who rates 95.8 on
deep throws but 115.9 on those same underneath passes.
BREAKING NEWS: Josh Freeman isn't a better quarterback than Peyton Manning.
1. New England (7-3). No Gronk for a while, but I'd be surprised
if the Patriots don't score enough to beat the Jets Thanksgiving night.
This is a ridiculously explosive team, with a defense that played better
Sunday than it had in recent weeks. I had to think about the top of the
rankings for some time Sunday night, and the fact that no one can stop
the Patriots tipped the scales. In their last three games: nine takeaways, two defensive touchdowns (both Sunday), 47.0 points per game.
This is the same team that Peter is concerned in this very MMQB won't get a first round bye in the playoffs without Gronkowski, but he has them as the best team in the NFL without Gronkowski. I'm not saying Peter's power rankings have to make sense, but I tend to wonder about these small contradictions.
2. Houston (9-1). Now for the Three-Game Trip From Heck: at
Detroit (Thanksgiving afternoon), at Tennessee (Titans 10-4 in last 14
against Texans), at New England. AFC home-field in the playoffs on the
5. Atlanta (9-1). Sorry, Falcons fans. Just seeing too much out of this team, especially on offense, that I don't like the last couple of weeks.
Apparently the Texans giving up 37 points to the Jaguars at home doesn't concern Peter.
10. Pittsburgh (6-4). That was just plain weird, seeing
strong-armed (or so we thought) Byron Leftwich wind up, throw bombs
downfield, and have them flutter to earth three or five or eight yards
Yes, "we" did think this. You weren't wrong, Peter, because everyone thought Byron Leftwich had a strong arm. It must feel good to be rarely wrong because you KNOW everyone is thinking the same things you are thinking.
12. Seattle (6-4). On his bye Sunday, Russell Wilson went to
church and when he left, he told the minister, "Go Hawks!" He went
grocery shopping and told his checkout gal, "Go Hawks!'' He went to ...
You get the message. The guy ends most conversations -- with the media
and with real people -- with "Go Hawks!''
That doesn't sound annoying at all.
Offensive Players of the Week
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington. The best game of a precocious rookie season:
Precocious, dammit. It's a precocious season Robert Griffin is having. He doesn't even know what the fuck he is doing, it's so cute. He's like a child. Like a little baby playing football, shitting his pants in the middle of the game because he isn't potty-trained.
Defensive Players of the Week
John Abraham, DE, Atlanta.
One of these days -- I have no idea when -- he'll start playing like
his age, 34. He still sprints around end as though he's a decade
A decade younger? Like a child? That seals it, John Abraham is such a precocious little guy.
Von Miller, OLB, Denver. He could win this every week. Another
ridiculous game in the division-defining win over San Diego, with three
sacks and two forced fumbles. With 24.5 sacks in his first 25 NFL games,
he's approaching Lawrence Taylor/Derrick Thomas impact ... and he's
You know what I think Von Miller is? Take a guess, it's a hard one to guess. Making an impact at the age of 23 that's just so precocious of him. Von Miller plays football with a binky in his mouth and can't even eat without a bib. He's like a child. A child who Peter King just can't take his eyes off.
Goat of the Week
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis.
Come on, man. I know Peter hears the criticism that he has been fawning over Andrew Luck too much, so he takes any chance he can get to criticize Luck as if to show us he can be fair and balanced. I understand Luck threw three interceptions, but there are plenty of other goats on the Colts team and I think it is a bit unfair to name Andrew Luck the "Goat of the Week."
The mantra around the Colts all week, entering their game at explosive
New England, was they couldn't turn it over. Give the Patriots any
freebies, and the Colts had no shot. We can debate whether it really
would have mattered in New England's 59-24 win, but let's be honest
here: Luck handed it over four times, leading to 21 New England points.
Let's say he converts two of those four into Indy touchdowns. Is it so
far-fetched that the Colts would have been in the game late, say, behind
45-38 as the clock wound down
No, it isn't far-fetched, but it is very speculative. If Luck didn't throw those interceptions or fumble the ball, then the Colts may have scored a touchdown, or maybe not. Luck had a terrible game, but he's a rookie quarterback going on the road against the defending AFC Champions. He struggled and that makes him a "goat?" I think it is unfair and Peter is just coming down hard on Andrew Luck to make it seem like he doesn't always fawn over him. It's forced criticism, especially since there are probably 10 other players or coaches who would be better placed in this"goat" spot.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Three of them:
ONLY three? How did we get so lucky?
Nov. 14. Step on the Hertz bus at O'Hare. Andy Williams and a chorus are warbling. "Ding dong, ding dong ... It's the most wonderful time of the year ... '' Christmas carols eight days before Thanksgiving. Why, America? Why?
It is official that Peter King is turning into Gregg Easterbrook before our very eyes. If you don't like the Christmas carols, ignore them. The world isn't yours for you to decide what music gets played on the radio and what music doesn't.
And this: There's a Starbucks in downtown Indy, on the circle
surrounding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and I pulled up behind an
Indianapolis police officer in front of it, put my flashers on, and ran
in to get coffee. On my way out, five minutes later, the officer rolls
down his window and says to me, "That your car?''
"Yes,'' I said.
"Need your driver's license,'' he said. "I can't believe you did that, right behind a cop. You parked in front of the hydrant.''
"Bitch, I'm Peter King. Haven't you read my columns? I'm better than you. Move away from me middle class human being. I'm Peter King and I needed coffee. I'm rich and feel like I can pretty much do or complain about whatever I want to. My need to get coffee was so urgent, I didn't feel the need to obey the law."
"My God, I never saw it,'' I said. "What an idiot I am."
Suuuuuure, Peter. You got that caffeine-craving and weren't thinking clearly. Stick to that story and you will go far.
He took my license, wrote out the ticket, handed it to me, and I
said, "Sorry.'' I got in the car, and as I got set to leave, the officer
got out of his car and gave me the stop sign, walking to the passenger
window. I rolled it down.
"Give me that ticket,'' he said. "You were just in there for a couple minutes.''
"No, I did it,'' I said. "It's OK. My fault.''
And I started to realize: This man is about to rip up a ticket, for whatever reason, and I'm trying to argue him out of it?
Perhaps you are trying to talk him out of it because you broke the law, no matter how ignorantly, and realize you are about to get a ticket ripped up because you are famous? Perhaps you realized this same fame you semi-complain about when your phone number was posted on the Internet just saved you money on a ticket?
Officer: "No, I'll take it. Just come back and see us. Say nice things about our city."
Me: "Hey, thanks a lot."
Say nice things about Indy, the greatest city on the face of the earth, kind sir? Sure thing!
This was Peter's not-so-subtle and not-so-humble reminder that he is famous and people know his name. He has many leather-bound books and his office smells of mahogany. It's very important to Peter that his readers know he got out of a ticket because of his celebrity. It's fairly infuriating that Peter passes this story along to his readers, mostly because I'm not sure the point of telling this story in MMQB other than to brag how he got out of a ticket because of his fame.
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 11:
d. Phil Dawson -- with his fifth 50-yard-plus field goal of the season
Sunday in Dallas -- now has a comfortable lead as the NFL's 2012 All-Pro
But what about Greg Zuerlein? He's precocious and has a cool nickname.
g. Arian Foster's in-traffic cuts. Things of beauty. How'd this man not get drafted?
If I remember correctly, it was because of injuries and the fact he didn't play well in his senior year.
I'm sorry, was Peter not looking for a real answer and wanted a cutesy, fun answer?
r. Just my imagination, or does Malcolm Jenkins make a huge defensive
play in every New Orleans game -- as he did with an interception
returned for TD in Oakland?
I'm pretty sure that is just your imagination.
2. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 11:
a. Announcers who say "Tanney-hill.'' There's no "y'' in the man's name. Short "e'' in Tannehill.
How dare you mess this man's name up? Ron Gronkowski and Peter King are horrified you can't get a player's name right.
f. The Arizona tackles. They're going to get people fired on that team.
But they do have Michael Floyd and that was an important draft pick for them, you know.
i. Armanti Edwards wide open on a corner route in the end zone for
Carolina. Cam Newton throwing it three yards over his head. There aren't
many times when a receiver's that open in the end zone, and when he is,
a good quarterback has to hit him.
Edwards wasn't in the end zone. He was on the sidelines short of the end zone. Newton threw one pass incomplete in the second half, which not shockingly since it doesn't fit his (seeming) agenda, Peter does not mention. Newton was all over the damn place in the first half and he struggles with accuracy because he's regressing, but Peter won't give him credit for the great third down throws he made to Steve Smith and Louis Murphy because that's now how Peter King works. Cam Newton once upon a time wouldn't give Peter King the time of day after Peter took a quote by Newton and gave it no context ("Icon...entertainer," that quote). This season Peter is getting his revenge by pointing out how poorly Newton has played whenever possible.
m. Onside kicks aren't supposed to travel 22 yards, Dan Bailey.
I'm just happy Peter King is here to snidely tell Dan Bailey these things.
p. Preview of what I won't like about Week 12? Panthers-Eagles. Monday
night. Combined record: 5-15. Start your Jon Gruden coaching rumors
If Carolina hires Jon Gruden to coach them, I will have a major problem on my hands. I don't like Gruden and I don't want him coaching my favorite NFL team.
6. I think Cam Newton is playing nothing like an entertainer or
an icon, though his defense didn't help him down the stretch in the loss
to Tampa Bay, allowing four long drives in the last 25 minutes of the
I was pretty entertained when Carolina had a 21-10 lead before the defense laid down. Not that Peter is stuck on that "Entertainer, icon..." comment since he just explicitly referred to it here. If you think that incident and Newton's refusal to give Peter the time of day doesn't in some way affect Peter's coverage of Newton then you are in some way naive.
9. I think, and I've got my NBC hat on here, you'll enjoy Cris
Collinsworth's idea on the Thursday night Pats-Jets game on NBC. John
Madden's going to introduce the game, focusing on his Thanksgiving
tradition of football, family and food, and NBC, which has a Thursday
night game for the next decade, will inaugurate the John Madden
Thanksgiving Player of the Game. Collinsworth's idea, executed by game
telecast director Drew Esocoff. I'm looking forward to seeing Madden's
ode to turkey and football.
That's not a bad idea, because the other day I was thinking the one thing not missing from the Thanksgiving Day football games was John Madden.
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
e. Great line: "I don't know who deserves more blame: Western
Carolina for taking the money, or Alabama for scheduling Western
Carolina." That's from NBC studio host Jimmy Roberts, showing highlights
of the game between national power Alabama and one of the worst teams
in the NCAA FCS, formerly NCAA I-AA, Western Carolina.
At the time
the highlights were shown, Alabama had possessed the ball five times
and had a 35-0 lead; the final score was 49-0. Roberts also had one of
the best stats I heard all weekend: In its last 27 games, Western
Carolina is 2-0 against 1,200-student Mars Hill (N.C.) and 0-25 against
all other teams. Western Carolina got a check for $475,000 for playing
the game Saturday.
In defense of Western Carolina, they aren't that smart of a school as a whole and they are used to losing. They continue to think a "rivalry" exists with Appalachian State when the two teams meet every year, but a "rivalry" would indicate one of those teams doesn't get its ass kicked every year. So in summary, Western Carolina is stupid and you can't blame them for being stupid. It's their nature. You can't prevent stupid.
g. Coffeenerdness: Woman in the Indianapolis Airport Friday, in front of
me in line at the Starbucks in the rotunda/lobby before the security
gates, was just finishing some kind of frappucino, a huge one, and got
to the front of the line. "Grande pumpkin spice latte, with four extra
shots.'' So ... you've finished a 16-ounce frap, loaded with caffeine,
and now you're getting a pumpkin drink, which normally has two shots of
espresso, and now you're getting six shots. Wow. I wonder if she's been
to sleep since.
Peter is way too concerned with what other people are doing while in public.
i. All this talk about Twinkies makes me want one. Like, now.
How precocious of you.
Now, for San Francisco 17, Chicago 13 tonight at Candlestick. It's likely I would have picked the 49ers if Jay Cutler were healthy as a mule.
If Cutler was as healthy as a donkey? Maybe Peter could pick the Bears, but if Cutler isn't as healthy as a mule or a pony, or anywhere lower than healthier as a sheep, then Peter will have to choose the 49ers to win the game.
The Adieu Haiku
So no more Twinkies.
No! Oh the humanity!
I'll miss Ding Dongs too.
At what point did Peter think, "All that is missing from MMQB is a short form example of Japanese poetry"? I need to know the thought process that went into using haikus at the end of every MMQB.