There was a time when the 4,000-yard passing season was special. In 2005, there were two of them—Tom Brady and Trent Green. In this pyrotechnic season in the NFL, 13 quarterbacks are on pace to throw for 4,000 yards.
The game is changing before our eyes. It has changed.
A few weeks ago I thought Peter allowed Bill Simmons to ghost write MMQB and this week it seems he is allowing Gregg Easterbrook to ghost write MMQB. NFL teams are scoring a lot of points and throwing for a lot of yardage. This isn't really news anymore.
On Sunday, for the first time in NFL history, four players threw for 400 yards or more on the same day. Tom Brady threw as many incompletions, five, as touchdown passes. Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck combined for 922 yards. The day, really, belonged to Roethlisberger. He has transitioned to a brand new wide-receiving corps in the last four years, all chosen in the middle to late rounds (Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant), and you can see how his comfort level increases with them weekly.
Well, he is a really good quarterback and the Steelers have traditionally (Linus Sweed aside) drafted good wide receivers for their offensive system. Good quarterback and good coaching makes good wide receivers. It's almost like there is a plan.
The Steelers have been alive since 1933,
They are an NFL team that has no beating heart and exists only as a business. They are not alive. Would Peter say that Microsoft has been "alive" for however many years? Would Peter refer to any other business or company as being "alive"? Probably not, and other companies also have human employees working for them just like the Steelers do.
We often forget Roethlisberger when we speak of the great passers in the game.
That's right, Peter was wrong so "we" forget about Roethlisberger when speaking of the great passers in the game. "We" are so stupid when "we" do things like this in the national NFL column "we" write every week.
He’s fearless in and out of the pocket, can make every throw, will always have a chip on his shoulder about being overlooked in the Brady-Manning-Rodgers-Brees conversation of the greats, and produces no matter who’s out on the flank for him.
Honestly, I think part of the reason for this is Roethlisberger's past issues that have resulted in this happening. Plus, he plays the quarterback position different from these other four guys, so he's not seen as being exactly the same by "us."
Pittsburgh has been looking for a bookend for Brown, and they may have found one. Or two. Bryant—a raw 6-4 kid from Clemson who played in the shadow of Sammy Watkins—and Wheaton had been non-factors much of the year until last week, but they combined for 10 catches, 139 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts. Brown is 26, Bryant 22 and Wheaton 23. They’re the future, and the future is now in a division that doesn’t have a dominant team.
Doesn't this feel like the typical Peter King overreaction to a fantastic game by an NFL team? Last week Peter didn't even have Pittsburgh in his Fine Fifteen, yet this week after a great game against the Colts he's talking about how the Steelers have a great receiving group for the future and could win the AFC North. Peter does this every week in MMQB. Whatever happens during that past weekend in the NFL, he overreacts to it. What was once a struggling Steelers team is now a team with one of the great passers in the game and two bookend receivers for Antonio Brown. The overreaction from week-to-week is always fun to read.
As was their quarterback. “A.B. [Brown] would say some things to me in the huddle about the kind of day I was having,” Roethlisberger said, “but I don’t know my stats. I never do. I’ve never been a stat guy. I’m just trying to make plays to help us win.”
Peter eats up this "humble quarterback who doesn't care about stats" shit, while Peter fawns and marvels over the statistics that quarterback has put up. The more humble a player tries to appear, the more Peter eats it up. Peter would retire and become the personal assistant for an NFL player who kneels before Peter and says he isn't very good at football, just wants his team to win, and he has no idea he even plays in the NFL because he doesn't own a television, a cell phone, nor has running water in his house, because all he cares about his playing football.
“Was this the best day you’ve ever had in the NFL, personally?” I asked.
“If you’re a numbers guy—and I’m not—I guess you’d say yes. But I still see two or three plays I left out on the field that bug me a little bit. I can make more plays.”
(Ben Roethlisberger) "I don't know my stats. I never do."
(Peter King) "Let's talk about those stats you don't know. Is this the best day you have had in the NFL, while keeping in mind you have won two Super Bowls which is probably something I should have thought of before asking the question but I won't because I don't give a fuck about asking questions and just want you to provide me with a quote to run in MMQB."
(Ben Roethlisberger) "If you base it on those stats I don't know, yes, this was my best day."
“Why does it have to stop here?” Roethlisberger said he told the team afterward. “Why can’t we keep doing this?”
If I were an asshole who brought up past events that play no part in who Ben Roethlisberger is today then I would re-write this sentence as:
“Why does it have to stop here?” Roethlisberger said he told the girl in the bathroom with him. “Why can’t we keep doing this?”
But I won't do that, because I have family members who are Steelers fans and they are mean to me when I'm mean to them.
In a very strange Week 8, all things seem possible, particularly when you’ve got a great quarterback. Pittsburgh does, and he’s not going to let us ever forget it.
Yes, "we" know what a great quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is now that Peter has informed "us." If only "we" knew prior to Peter informing us of Roethlisberger's greatness. It just sucks that when Peter is wrong or not aware of something, "we" are all wrong or not aware of something.
John Brown has no business doing what he’s doing right now.
No business. None at all. Remember, Peter King has won awards for this type of writing. It's a low bar to clear apparently.
What an absolutely perfect match Brown is with Bruce Arians and his daring ways. Sunday was the first time America got to see it on the national stage, and it lifted the surprising Cardinals to a two-game lead over San Francisco and Seattle in the NFC West at the season’s midway point.
"We" didn't know the Cardinals would be this good! Peter didn't know, so "we" didn't know either.
I’ve told the story of Keim dealing the 20th pick in the draft to New Orleans for the 27th and 91st picks, selecting safety Deone Bucannon at 27 and hoping, praying that Brown would last until the 91st pick.
And because God not only cares about sports, but cares about sports so much that he paid special attention to the Cardinals' prayers being answered in order to help their team win more games, he granted this prayer.
“I remember telling them I’m a very hard worker,” Brown recalled Sunday night. “I told them, ‘I’ll get there and from the first day I’ll follow Larry [Fitzgerald] around and learn everything I have to learn to be a good player.’ I was convinced I could do it. It’s football. And I love football.”
It's pretty impressive, but are there wide receivers who meet with NFL teams and say, "Nah, I'm a lazy jerk who doesn't think he has anything else to learn. I'm not really going to work hard and will probably coast on the talent I perceive that I have. I don't even know who Larry Fitzgerald is." Are there players coming out of college who say this to NFL teams?
Clearly, Philadelphia wouldn’t have expected Palmer to go for it all there; the Eagles would be expecting Palmer to be thinking first down, and just move the sticks.
But that has never been Arians’ way.
“We had three [receivers] at eight yards for the first down,” Arians said later, “but when there’s a touchdown involved in the play, never pass it up. Don’t play scared; play smart.”
Mike Shula says, what about that play we ran a few plays ago? Should we run that one again? If not, which of the 7 plays that I like to run should we run in this situation?
And Palmer, who has learned to take shots even when logic tells him not to, threw a high-arcing bomb way downfield.
I'm just going to try and leave that comment out there since it was considered a compliment to Palmer. Just imagine if "Geno Smith" is inserted in there and then see how quickly this goes from a compliment to a criticism if the play didn't turn out to be a touchdown.
Watching it over his shoulder, Brown gathered it in … just barely, on the tips of both hands. “A Willie Mays catch over his shoulder,” said Arians, even though most of his players would have no idea what he’s talking about. They’re not versed in 1954 World Series history.
Yes, very few people are well-versed in 1954 World Series history like Peter King. I seriously doubt Peter could say who threw the pitch that ended up as a fly ball in Mays' glove without looking it up.
Now for the annual Seattle-at-Carolina game (even though they’re not in the same division) that sets offensive football back to the 1950s.
Then there were the locker-room questions, the ones about Russell Wilson’s leadership, about Marshawn Lynch being on his last legs and not in the team’s 2015 plans, about the hangover from Percy Harvin’s divisive presence. So I touched base with one of the team’s most prominent leaders, safety Earl Thomas, to get an idea of the pulse of the Seahawks.
“I’ve been so much in my zone,” he said, “that I haven’t really followed all that.”
You weren't in your zone when Kelvin Benjamin caught a long pass over you and Richard Sherman two days ago.
That's all I got to give since it was the sole offensive highlight I could point out. Let's move on to the question about whether Russell Wilson is "black enough." The world must know.
I asked him if he’d heard about the Bleacher Report piece that had a teammate saying Wilson wasn’t “black enough,” and about the Chris Mortensen report that Marshawn Lynch wouldn’t be back with the team in 2015.
“I didn’t know those things,” he said. Which puzzled me quite a bit.
“My reaction [to the Wilson story] is that it’s an insult to our race. And Russell is the ultimate competitor. He always works as hard as anyone, and he handles himself with poise. He represents our team and our organization very well. I don’t think there’s any problem with him in our locker room at all.”
For someone who said he didn't know those things, Earl Thomas sure seemed to be right on the nose in response to the Mike Freeman article that he didn't read or know anything about. Earl Thomas must just be really good at guessing what articles are about without actually reading them.
There are also problems down the road. If Lynch understands—and he certainly must have an inkling about it—that the Seahawks weren’t going to pay him the $6.5 million he is due in 2015, never mind a re-done contract, he’s going to be even more enigmatic than normal.
Oh, so I see. Now the story is sports media like Peter King are going to make Marshawn Lynch the bad guy since he liked Percy Harvin and dares to want a contract extension.
Lynch almost cost Seattle the game Sunday. A pass from Wilson went through his hands in the end zone just before the half, and instead of a touchdown, Carolina’s Josh Norman intercepted it. Seattle trailed 6-3 at halftime instead of going up 10-6. It was a stunning miss by the sure-handed Lynch, and Seattle was fortunate to overcome it.
There were like three or four sure touchdowns in that game that were dropped or not caught due to bad passes, but yeah, let's blame Marshawn Lynch for the Seahawks almost losing. Kelvin Benjamin dropped a touchdown in the end zone, Steve Schilling fumbled a snap that led to the Panthers recovering the fumble and Russell Wilson one-hopped a pass (I KNOW! He's not perfect! Who knew?) to a wide open tight end that would have been an easy touchdown. But yeah, let's blame Lynch for almost losing the game for the Seahawks since that's the way the narrative is going.
In the coming weeks, they’ll need Lynch, and it’ll be interesting to see if he throws all of himself into his work knowing his future with the team is very likely a short-term one.
There has to be a bad guy in this story and I guess since Lynch wants a new contract and liked Percy Harvin then he will be proclaimed the bad guy. The foil to Russell Wilson's good guy.
Peter then talks briefly about Brady and Manning facing each other. It's just a story that I've heard plenty about over the years. I'm interested in the game, not the lead up to the game.
The Jets have no choice: They have to start Michael Vick. Geno Smith has lost seven starts in a row. It’s a mercy-yanking—Rex Ryan has to give Vick his shot next Sunday at the Chiefs, and for several Sundays into the future.
Here's a great example of the overreactions from Peter King week-to-week. Two weeks ago in MMQB:
6. I think the best point made about Jets quarterback Geno Smith in the past week came from Jon Gruden, after Smith somehow got the time wrong and missed a meeting the night before the Week 5 31-0 debacle of a loss at San Diego. “You’re playing Philip Rivers, and then Peyton Manning and Tom Brady,” said Gruden, referring to Smith’s foes in Weeks 5-7. “Those guys don’t miss meetings. They run meetings.”
Welp, Smith is no good. He misses meetings and shouldn't (which is true) do this.
Last week in MMQB:
g. Geno Smith going toe to toe with Tom Brady. Smith provided a glimpse of what might be for the Jets. Now he’s got nine games to prove that was legitimate.
Geno Smith had a good game. Maybe he's legitimate and could be a starter for the Jets!
This week it's time to replace Geno Smith. I mention all of this because Peter seems to only react to what Smith has done that previous week and his take depends on what Smith did that week and only that week. Smith had a good game against the Patriots. Is this a sign of the future? One week later Peter wants Smith replaced with Vick.
As one of the nine voters on a subcommittee of the 46-member voting board for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I wanted to take a few sentences to explain what exactly happened last Wednesday in Washington when we met to select the first two nominees for the Hall in the new Contributors category. We selected former Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis GM Bill Polian and Ron Wolf, the longtime Raiders scout, Tampa Bay personnel executive and Green Bay GM.
Polian and Wolf will have to get 80 percent of the vote from the cull group when the Hall voters meet in Arizona to elect the Class of 2015 on Jan. 31, 2015. I love both picks. Franchise architects had always been forgotten before the Contributors category was established earlier this year. As I wrote the other day, Polian built two Super Bowl teams and got an expansion team good in near-record time.
Ah yes, the great Bill Polian that built an expansion franchise for success in record time by signing aging players at the expense of the long-term development of the team, then bailed once he realized shit was going downhill. Definitely a Hall of Fame move. Then he got a promotion, went to the Colts and built that team through the draft. But hey, he did something great one year for an expansion team and that's all that is remembered. Peter King won't ask questions like, "Was Polian's job to build a team that will win now and in the future or was Polian's job to build a team that will win now, get him a chance at a promotion and then use this promotion to bail and leave a mess in his wake?"
I'm fine with Polian being in the Hall of Fame. The whole "built an expansion team in record time" is a tricky issue though. I'm sure a bridge can be built very quickly, but if it breaks after three years should the architect receive an award for building the bridge?
How great was J.J. Watt laying the verbal wood to Tennessee quarterback Zach Mettenberger, after the rookie QB took a few look-at-me selfies? “This is the National Football League, not high school,” said Watt. “Welcome to the show.”
It wasn't great at all you dipshit. Mettenberger took a few selfies with his new haircut and J.J. Watt, who the media absolutely adores, acted immature in mocking those selfies. Mettenberger took selfies, who cares? Of course, this is J.J. Watt, who could NEVER be a hypocrite about taking look-at-me pictures, could he?
Having some fun with @ZooeyDeschanel at the #WHCD last night. pic.twitter.com/F148AKJmjq
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) May 4, 2014
Just talkin' sacks with @JJWatt... pic.twitter.com/mjSc1RYrlN
— Katie Aselton (@duplaselton) July 16, 2013
Watt doesn't do that.
Wisconsin folks asking where's the love for the Crew, you know better. #BrewCrew pic.twitter.com/OdIrhN8HYv
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) April 1, 2014
Because taking selfies is just so immature.
Ditched the treadmills, hit the Champs-Élysées. Morning jog with @DerekWatt34 @_TJWatt #ArcDeTriomphe #HiMom pic.twitter.com/U9CRgXlw23
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 9, 2014
He would NEVER take one.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 19, 2013
Mettenberger needs to stop being all "look at me" in pictures. It's not high school and no one wears letterman jackets in the NFL.
But of course Peter is tickled pink that J.J. Watt has appointed himself the guy who is in charge of making sure everyone knows what is the right and wrong thing to do off the football field. The NFL needs Watt as the Off-the-Field Behavior Police. Peter King loves himself some J.J. Watt too much to actually investigate any hypocrisy on Watt's part.
The Fine Fifteen
The Cowboys were #1 last week and had not played as Peter wrote MMQB. So naturally, they were moved out of the #1 spot. I mean, obviously.
1. Denver (6-1). Now comes the tough part of the schedule. Denver has one home game in the next 41 days. Six road, three home the rest of the season, and the first one’s a battle: next Sunday in Foxboro. Brady-Manning XVI (Brady 10, Manning 5) is Sunday in the late-afternoon window, and Manning enters this duel with the best chance to beat Brady in Foxboro in years.
2. Dallas (6-1). Not a lot of time to breathe easy after tonight’s game with Washington. Arizona comes to Texas next Sunday for the game of the week in the NFC.
This is much like how Peter had Kansas City ranked #1 in last year's Fine Fifteen, then moved them to #2 the week they were playing the Broncos because Peter thought the Broncos would win the game. The Chiefs were the best team in the NFL, until Peter decided they weren't because he thought the Broncos could beat the Chiefs head-to-head...which logically would have made the Broncos the #1 team in the Fine Fifteen even if the Chiefs and Broncos weren't playing that week, right?
3. Arizona (6-1). What a story these Cards are becoming. What a story John Brown is. And what a day Todd Bowles had, sending blitzers from everywhere.
Oh boy, how is Gregg Easterbrook going to make it seem like blitzing is a terrible idea this week? I know! He'll just ignore that the Cardinals succeeded by blitzing.
5. Philadelphia (5-2). If the field is 12 inches wider, Jordan Matthews catches that touchdown inbounds on the last play at Arizona and it’s the Eagles who leave the desert dancing.
But the field isn't 12 inches wider, plus he didn't have possession all the way to the ground so it was incomplete anyway.
8. Cincinnati (4-2-1). Not a very impressive win, all in all, but the Ravens can make a team play ugly. What’s good about this win for the Bengals is they’d been playing in quicksand all month (0-2-1) before Sunday, and sweeping the team that looked like the best in the division (23-16 in Week 1, 27-24 Sunday) puts Cincinnati in the driver’s seat to win the AFC North.
Page 1 of this MMQB had the Steelers and Ravens alongside the Ravens in the AFC North race. Now the Bengals are on the driver's seat on page 3 of MMQB. It's the NFL, things change quickly.
13. Seattle (4-3). Know why that game in Charlotte was such an important win for the defending champs? The Week 12 through 16 schedule for the Seahawks: Arizona, at San Francisco, at Philadelphia, San Francisco, at Arizona.
But when the Seahawks end the season at 11-5 will Peter say "we" counted them out? That's all I want to know.
14. Pittsburgh (5-3). You figure out the team that, in the past four weeks, has lost to Tampa Bay at home, struggled to beat the Jaguars on the road, got routed by the Browns in Cleveland, had the bizarre burst of points to beat Houston at home, and then blew up the Colts (who shut out Cincinnati last week) at Heinz Field on Sunday. You figure it out, because I can’t.
Peter wants us to figure out the Steelers, just like he wants someone else to figure out whether Roger Goodell lied about seeing the videotape of Ray Rice knocking his wife out in an elevator. Peter initially reported on that story and then got called out for bad sourcing, so he'll just give up doing his job regarding that Goodell story. Peter is sure someone else will figure it out at some point.
Offensive Player of the Week
Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh. A historic day for the Big One, and not just because he went 40 of 49 for 522 yards—the fourth-most prolific day for a quarterback in the 95-season history of the game—with six touchdowns, no interceptions. Historic, too, for its symmetry. Roethlisberger is now 100-50 in his regular-season professional career.
Yes, the day wasn't historic for Roethlisberger's historic performance, but historic because he now has career symmetry. Now THAT'S true history.
Anthony Barr, outside linebacker, Minnesota. On the first play of overtime in Tampa, Barr stripped fellow rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Bucs tight end, after a pass reception, recovered the fumble at the Tampa 27-yard line, and rumbled in for the winning touchdown.
Greg Schiano would never have allowed this to happen.
For the game, the precocious linebacker from UCLA had eight tackles, one sack and one pass defensed.
There it is! The word "precocious" makes a return in MMQB after a hibernation of many weeks. Anthony Barr is precocious because he's showing characteristics of a person much older than he really is. He's a rookie and he is tackling opposing players, recovering/creating fumbles, and getting sacks! No other rookie does this. How precocious of him! Peter is surprised Barr even knows what a football looks like.
“Not black enough? I don’t even know what that means. I think I’m an educated male trying to lead this team.”
—Seattle quarterback Russell after the 13-9 victory over Carolina. A Bleacher Report story last week said some veterans on the Seahawks didn’t consider Wilson “black enough.”
This is a good response to the story. I know what "not black enough" means in this frame of reference, so maybe Russell Wilson should get a little more educated about what that means.
“I take my job very seriously, and if I was a rookie quarterback named starter for the first time in the league, I feel like I’d be a little more focused than that. Maybe he’ll learn from it, maybe not.”
—Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, on the perceived pre-game flippancy of first-time starter Zach Mettenberger of the Titans.
Again, while I agree that Mettenberger needs to be more focused on his job, he took a couple pictures and posted them on Twitter. It's not a sin against football and J.J. Watt has plenty of instances on his Twitter account of him interacting and taking silly pictures during the NFL season. So he's a bit of a hypocrite who needs to worry less about looking at the Twitter account of others and more about continuing to dominate the next game. He's not the NFL Off-the-Field Behavior Police and it's not his job to teach other NFL players lessons about how to and not to act when preparing for a game. Don't be a douche.
Of course J.J. Watt fan-boy Peter King loves that Watt is policing other NFL players. Naturally. Peter loves policing how others live their lives as well. Watt is telling other NFL players to be more focused while Watt is cruising the Twitter account of other NFL players and shooting commercials in his spare time.
“Here’s the amazing thing about Peyton Manning: He’s an ascending player at the age of, what, 38 years old? I have never seen a great player on that level ascending at that age.”
—NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth, to me, on Saturday.
I have so much fun with quotes like this. Just insert "Barry Bonds" in there. Insert "Roger Clemens" in there. If a baseball player was ascending at the age of 38 then baseball media would have their pitchforks out ready to declare that player a PED user.
Eddie Vedder, playing a Pearl Jam concert in Milwaukee the other night, wore a Packers No. 10 jersey in honor of the current Packer who wears it—and who was in the middle of the mass of humanity on the floor of the Bradley Center for the show: backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
It’s possible, I suppose, that Vedder thinks Flynn is a Better Man than Aaron Rodgers, more Alive than Clay Matthews, and in Future Days will come off the bench, play like an Animal and lead the Pack Around The Bend to another title.
That’s The End of this horrible note.
Oh God, Peter King is a Pearl Jam fan. Life is ruined for me now.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
Raining hard the other day on the East Coast.
That's how you know this story is going to be good. It starts with a weather update.
I had to go to Washington for a Hall of Fame meeting at a hotel right near Reagan Airport. I chose the train. Left New York at 2 p.m. Got a table/desk and worked all the way to Washington. Train was due into the Washington train station at 4:53. It arrived at 4:55. I walked to the Metro stop at Union Station in Washington and, after a change of trains, got to Crystal City and my hotel at 5:35.
The only thing less interesting than seeing pictures of a person's vacation is getting the play-by-play of a person's travel itinerary. No really Peter, how late was the train? Tell us! Your readers care! MMQB is about you, after all.
Meanwhile, a couple of the other voters got weather-delayed coming into town. It was foggy, windy and rainy.
Just another reason to love the train in the Northeast Corridor, which I do.
Until one day two teenagers are on the train reading iPads and commenting to each other loudly, and Peter can't focus because he is too busy staring intently at them, and he feels the need to be the Northeast Train Behavior Police by remarking in MMQB how loud these two teenagers were being. I think Peter King and J.J. Watt should just go around the country telling individuals how they should and should not behave in public.
TMI Tweet of the Week
If laying in bed in your underwear listening to a high school football game on a Friday night is wrong I don't want to be right
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) October 24, 2014
And because this Tweet was TMI, Peter just has to share it with as many people as possible. I have to say, the thought of Ross Tucker listening to a high school football game in his underwear feels pretty damn creepy to me. Don't Tweet about it or go put some pants on. Otherwise, somebody may get the wrong idea.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think this is what I liked about Week 8:
j. Louis Delmas’ long interception return—the kind of play Detroit never saw enough—for Miami. Brent Grimes also returned an interception for a touchdown in the same game.
But Blake Bortles had a great preseason! He was great in the preseason, there's no way he struggles in the regular season.
m. The rebound of Carolina’s defense, which had allowed 75 points in the previous two games.
It's not like they were playing an offensive juggernaut or anything like that. The Seahawks manage to win games despite having a distinct lack of great offensive weapons. It's fine to give the Panthers' defense credit, but understand the Seahawks aren't exactly trotting out a fantastic offense. They are middle-of-the-pack in yards per game and points per game.
2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 8:
What Peter liked about the Lions:
a. Detroit coach Jim Caldwell resting Calvin Johnson and his recovering ankle sprain. Johnson could have played Sunday in London, but he shouldn’t have—not with the bye coming up and the risk of Johnson re-injuring the ankle.
Now what he didn't like:
d. Whoa: the Lions’ inactives … starting running back (Reggie Bush), franchise receiver (Calvin Johnson), and the top three tight ends (Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron, Joe Fauria).
So I guess Peter likes that Calvin Johnson didn't play, but didn't like that Johnson was inactive? Maybe Peter doesn't like Johnson being too injured to play, but likes that he didn't play?
f. Matthew Stafford missing at least four receivers with low throws Sunday. He was just off his game.
And yet, Stafford wasn't off his game so much that he didn't throw for 325 yards without any of his top three tight ends, his best receiver, and his starting running back. I wonder if Peter thinks that Stafford was off his game because he had very few of his starting offensive weapons available to him? Nah, that couldn't be it.
g. The field at Wembley Stadium, slippery and slipshod, led to a Matthew Stafford interception when the receiver fell down on an incut. “The conditions of this field … were a factor on that interception,” Troy Aikman said, correctly, on FOX.
And despite the only interception he threw not being his fault as well, Peter still thinks Stafford was off. Again, it sounds like there are other factors that contributed to Stafford's performance.
q. How does a defense that reputable give up 37 points in one half of football? To paraphrase Tony Dungy, if Brandon Marshall thought last week was unacceptable, what’s he’s going to think this morning?
Great insight there from Tony Dungy. Maybe he can offer to mentor Brandon Marshall or the entire Chicago Bears defense.
4. I think that Roger Goodell and the Ravens are both wrong, in reference to neither talking to the NFL Players Association’s investigator into the Ray Rice flap (as the Associated Press reported over the weekend). This is supposed to be the most transparent of processes. I think Goodell should have been open with the press about what exactly Ray Rice said to him in the June 16 disciplinary hearing. I think he should be open with the NFL investigator. And I think he should be open with the NFLPA investigation. There should be nothing to hide, from anyone.
Gee Peter, why would Roger Goodell have something to hide though? I can't figure out why. I like Peter taking a hard line against Goodell here, just a couple of months after getting embarrassed by his "sources" who said Goodell saw the videotape and then Peter changing his story once Goodell claimed he had not seen the videotape. I can't figure out why there should be something to hide.
5. I think Shonn Greene channeled his inner Costanza Friday night. And it’s never good to fool around with handicapped parking spots.
Where is J.J. Watt at to teach Greene a lesson about parking in handicapped parking spots? Where's the NFL Off-the-Field Behavior Policeman when he's needed?
6. I think—and I know this is a week old, but I just love the inside-football nature of it, and wanted to share it with you—that the most interesting thing I learned about football in the past few days came from St. Louis punter Johnny Hekker. You recall the Rams’ special-teams-prompted win over Seattle eight days ago, with the Stedman Bailey 90-yard return for touchdown on the misdirection-punt-team play. But the derring-do fake punt with 2:55 left in the game was significantly more risky, and I loved it.
Then Peter spends two more paragraphs marveling over the gutsy play-call and how the Rams coaching staff had the balls to make this call and not give Hekker a lot of time to think about having to throw the football. It's a nice way of recalling a smart play by the Rams while also glossing over the Rams came off a great game against the Seahawks to lay up a turd against the Chiefs. Jeff Fisher taketh, Jeff Fisher taketh away. Peter preferth to focuseth on the gutsy nature of Jeff Fisher and not the fact Fisher took the Rams a step forward last week and then another step back this week.
7. I think we should all prepare for a week’s worth of Manning-Brady fodder, for this Sunday marks the 16th game matching the two greats. Peyton Manning is just 5-10 versus Tom Brady, and just 2-7 when the game happens in Foxboro.
Oh yes Peter, "we" should prepare for a week's worth of Manning-Brady fodder. Because Peter is just like his readers in that he can't control what Manning-Brady stuff gets written during the upcoming week. He's just along for the ride and certainly would never contribute to this fodder. I enjoy how Peter writes "we" should prepare for this fodder as if he is in no way responsible for contributing to this discussion of Manning and Brady. Peter has NO CONTROL over what gets written on THE MMQB about Manning and Brady over the upcoming week.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Peace be with you, Thomas Menino. The former Boston mayor, such a legend in one of the great American cities, is seriously ill with cancer. Everyone who lives in Boston, or has lived there, has a good Menino story, and mine is this: Soon after I moved to Boston in 2009 (lived there for two and a half years), I wrote about how depressing the littering was there. He saw me at a Little League game in my neighborhood, commented on what I’d written and wanted me to know they’d been working on it. Quite a guy.
Thomas Menino did what Peter King told him to do. What a peach of a guy! He followed Peter's directions so well. I'm sure J.J. Watt would approve.
f. I don’t know why he isn’t the manager of the Cubs already. Perfect spot for him. He’s a great thinker, and he’ll be good for National League baseball.
That sounds condescending as hell. What does "good for National League baseball" even mean? The National League hasn't had any issues winning World Series titles lately, but I do understand Peter is an American League snob.
i. Who’d have thought two of the top five candidates for MVP of the postseason (not just the World Series) would be relief pitchers who are not closers—Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants and Kelvin Herrera of the Royals?
"We" certainly didn't think this would happen. Only some guy in Kansas named Fred thought two of the top five candidates for MVP of the postseason (there is no such thing) would be relief pitchers who aren't closers. Of course, Fred from Kansas also likes National League baseball, so he's an idiot.
l. Coffeenerdness: Thanks for your hospitality this fall, Greenwich (Conn.) Starbucks. I’ve done quite a bit of writing there. Good atmosphere.
By "good atmosphere" I assume Peter means "the atmosphere of a coffee shop."
n. By the way, not all New Yorkers are cowering because of Ebola. In fact, I haven’t met one.
You haven't met a New Yorker? Don't you live in New York?
The Adieu Haiku
The Chicago Bears.
Looking a lot like the Jags.
Somewhere, Halas weeps.
Somewhere whoever is best known for writing haikus, well, he is weeping too.