In every contest, there must be winners, and there must be losers. It’s an irrefutable, scientific fact. Sometimes, it’s difficult to differentiate—there are levels of grey that force deep evaluation. Other times—this weekend, for example—it’s brilliantly obvious.
For no particular reason, let’s start by looking at the winners.
Tim Tebow/ Denver Fans/ Christianity
Look, I don’t know why people want Tebow to fall flat on his handsome face. Perhaps it’s his humble nature that people misconstrue as smugness. Maybe it’s because he seems to have some deep connection to God that most of us can only dream of. Regardless of reason, I don’t know that there’s a more unwarrantedly polarizing figure in the NFL. Some people—grandmothers, Coloradans, Floridians, preachers—love the ‘Bow. Others—NFL fans everywhere but Denver—detest him.
After months and months of clamoring, his pundits finally got their wish: Tebow got a start. And how’d he do? Well, he won. And despite a few missteps—more than one ugly pass, a fumble—he looked really pretty adequate doing it. He threw for 161 yards with two touchdowns. He rushed for 65. Most importantly, he didn’t throw an interception, he tied the game with a two point conversion, and he won it in overtime. On the road.
All of this being said, I’m still not sold. The Dolphins are a really bad team (I hope Andrew Luck likes aqua and orange) . His accuracy wasn’t great. He scrambled more than he needed to. But you’ve gotta hand it to him, he was really pretty, kind-of a little bit decent today.
Albert Pujols/ His Agent
Hey St. Louis: pay this guy whatever he wants. After Saturday night’s historic game (5 hits, 3 dingers, 6 RBI), Pujols further solidified himself as the greatest hitter in the game today. He can now officially hold the Cardinals (and whoever else wants to get in the mix) hostage this offseason when it comes to contract negotiations. $300,000,000 for 10 years? I don’t see why not. Given his historically above-average health, and his consistent production year in and year out, nobody’s better than the ‘Pu. (yeah, that felt as weird typing it as it did for you to read it. My apologies)
Matt Forte/ Londoners
Hey Chicago: pay this guy whatever he wants. Forte is a bad, bad man. In yesterday’s win in Merry Olde England, he treated a bunch of blokes (and probably a few birds, as well) to a dazzling show by running for 145 yards and scoring a TD against the Buccaneers. It’s nothing new. With slight exceptions, he’s been doing this all year long. In 2011, The Chicago Bears have amassed 2,362 yards of offense. Forte has had a hand in 1,091 of that. He is 46% of their offense. Incredible.
Oh, Tony G, you’ll always be the Chief of my heart… okay, so that was queer, but the fact remains: Gonzalez is (and has been for some time, to be fair) the greatest tight end in the history of the NFL. With his five catches against the Lions, he moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time receptions list. As a tight end. Amazing. And while he’ll never catch Jerry Rice, it’s still insanely impressive. We were lucky to see it up close for 12 years.
Kansas State Football
Although their blowout win came against a disgustingly terrible KU football team, Snyder’s boys continue to impress. They’re now 7-0, their best start since winning nine straight in 1999, and bowl eligible for the second straight year.
It takes a big man (or someone who knows you can’t hide from stuff you previously said on the internet) to admit when he was wrong. I totally misjudged this team. I get it, now. They’re really, really good. I absolutely cannot wait for next weekend’s showdown with Oklahoma, in Manhattan. It’s shaping up to be the highlight of the Big 12 season. Get your popcorn ready.
Lots of really, solid winning this weekend. But for every action, there’s an equal and opposite shitburger. So who lost?
The Detroit Lions
After their red-hot start, the Lions are starting to look a little more human, a little less cyborg. Two home losses—last week to an average 49ers team, and this week to a better (though still not great) Falcons team—and things start getting put into perspective. Other than a long TD catch by the ever-impressive Megatron, their offense struggled to get any sort of momentum going against an aggressive Atlanta defense. Oh, their special teams blew goat-ass as well and Mr. Glass limped off of the field with an apparent knee injury after failing to keep the drive alive with a little over a minute left. Matt Stafford’s health has been a career long concern, and they can’t win without him.
If he’s healthy next week—and I haven’t yet heard he won’t be—they’re likely to rebound against Denver. The rest of their schedule is far from cake, though. After the bye, they go to Chicago and New Orleans, and still play the Packers twice. Yikes.
Chris Johnson/ Chris Johnson Fantasy Football Owners
10 carries for 18 yards. There’s really not much more to say. They say he’s healthy. I’m confused.
Holy balls! Manchester United—who spent the first part of the English Premier League season stomping the crap out of their opponents—took a beating at the hands (well, feet, I suppose) of cross-town rival Manchester City. The 6-1 defeat was historically bad—like, REALLY historically bad. Man U hadn’t conceded six goals at home since 1930. They were unbeaten in 37 straight home games. So, yeah… historical. The loss dropped the Red Devils to second place, behind their aggressors, and caused manager Alex Ferguson to look despondent and say shit like, ‘blimey,‘ and ‘cheerio.’
Wow, Oakland’s Kyle Boller… just, wow. 7 of 14 for 61 yards? Three interceptions? You sir, are no NFL quarterback. Somebody tricked you, dude. Sorry.
(And just for good measure, it should be noted that “replacement” QB Carson Palmer threw three of his own—not as egregious because he’s, well, been out of the league for almost a year. He’ll likely get better. Boller will not).
And there it is. There were some notable misses in there—Tony Sparano and his lovable band of misfits, for one—but there’s a good chance we’ll be able to talk about the hapless Dolphins next week.
Oh, and for the love of Christ, please watch your balls around Minnesota’s Brian Robison.