With the holiday cheer infecting everyone, it’s time to forgive past wrongs and make honest assessments of our own mistakes. In that spirit, I apologize profusely to the Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler for the amount of sh*t I’ve thrown at them in these pages. I was highly dubious of their chances of success this season, but based on yesterday’s whooping of the Eagles, the Bears have emerged as one of the favorites in the NFC. While the reborn Bears defense had been carrying the load in games passed, this W was tied to the arm of Chicago’s franchise QB and maligned offensive guru Mike Martz. A combination of perfectly timed catch and run crossing routes by speedsters Johnny Knox and Devin Hester had the Eagles defense running scared.
The Eagles and Michael Vick made things interesting, rallying for three late scores, but curious game management by Andy Reid for the approximately 127th time left the Eagles with too much room to make up in too little time. Consider this critic silenced.
The Bears slipped into second place in the conference and first in the division thanks to Atlanta’s last second victory over Green Bay in the marquee matchup of Sunday. Tied at 10, a ballsy 4th and goal call by Mike Smith put the Dirty Birds up a touchdown late in the 4th. What followed was typical Green Bay: a brilliant spread no-huddle 4th quarter drive by Aaron Rodgers capped by an absolutely sensational pass on 4th and goal to tie the game with one minute left.
Unfortunately, the next minute was also typical Green Bay: a boneheaded special teams penalty giving Matty Ice and the Falcons the ball at mid-field. A few quick passes later and kicker Matt Bryant was in position to give Atlanta another home victory and clear control of their destiny in the NFC.
Sick of the mediocre play of their teams, the Titans and Texans decided to make a forary into boxing, featuring a heavyweight battle between Andre Johnson and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan’s always been known for his feisty competitiveness, which is a polite way of saying he’s a dirty player. On this afternoon, he either said something nasty to Johnson to provoke him, or he was just tired of watching Rusty Smith sink the Titans playoff hopes. The brawl ended with both players ejected and Johnson scoring a judges victory.
– The Bills continue to experiment in the most heartbreaking ways to lose games in overtime, this time against a lethargic Pittsburgh team. Steve Johnson played the chump this time, dropping a wide open pass most third-graders could pull down at recess. Rather than take the blame for his admitted mistake, Johnson turned his anger towards the real culprit, God…via Twitter.
– We interrupt this recap of Sunday’s games for a special rant by resident TSS Cowboys fan J. Tinsley:
I don’t want to take up too much time, so let’s get right down to it. Roy Williams, you sir, ruined my Thanksgiving. I’ve long since accepted our season tanked weeks ago, but damnit man, it’s all about playing spoiler now. Here we are on the brink of an impressive comeback and beating the defending Superbowl champs in our stadium and you even manage to reel off an impressive catch and run. All was well in good until you decided to let your manhood be taken away. You didn’t even fumble. The ball was taken out of your hand.
I’ve never been a fan of you on Dallas and even feel we overpaid for your services. You have proven to be as useful as an Enron-endorsed condom. Hopefully Jason Garrett has you carrying Dez Bryant’s shoulder pads for the remainder of your tenure in a Cowboys uniform.
Thanks, Pat. It’s all yours again.
– Don’t look now, but Dwayne Bowe is stealthily challenging Randy Moss’ 2007 record for receiving touchdowns in a season. Bowe hauled in 3 more touchdowns in the Chiefs’ blowout of Seattle, bringing his season total to 14 with five games remaining.
– The Giants pass rush kicked in after halftime to help spark a comeback win for New York over the Jaguars and pull them into a tie with the Eagles atop the NFC East.
– Baltimore, Miami and St. Louis kept their playoff hopes alive with convincing victories over other fellow contenders.