Looks like I picked a bad week to quit sniffing glue.
Looks like I picked a good week to be traveling and miss two games though. It's been a bitterweet time for me since I've been away, like the episode where Kelly couldn't go the prom because her Dad lost his job, so Zack made a romantic candle-lit dinner for her in the backyard and was really sweet about the whole thing and got to third base. I'm just basing that on context clues from girls with names like Kapowski.
In my case the Denver/Cincy games coincided with a funeral and a birth within 3 days of one another, which put a lot of things into perspective. It's an interesting time of life, when generational transitions in your extended family come to the fore. It's also a time to creep your siblings out with subtle suggestions of reincarnation. For the more well-rounded relatives simply humming Lightning Crashes under your breath in the waiting room will do. For the more dense you can keep pointing out how she seems to look up when you say Grandma's name, almost as if she knows...
I did check out a few highlights and stats though, and from my careful scientific reconstruction I have concluded that we played like Star Wars kid in an Indonesian stick-fight. I'm picturing receivers dropping balls like phat beats and LenDale jack-hammer-footing his way into 9 man fronts, maybe a few dline getting pancaked such that their buttock depressions in the ground actually cause the tackle. I like to call these special times in a game Reynaldo Hill Moments, and we must have had plenty of them. They're similar to General Foods International Coffee Moments, only with fewer soccer moms reminiscing over french waiters and more yelling and flipping out. It's an unintended consequence of Pavlovian conditioning, but you can whisper Lamont Thompson in my dog's ear and he'll take out a police barrricade or a good sized toddler trying to get out of the room.
Makes you wonder what would have happened if we'd had the bye during Haynesworth's injury rather than back during the preseason. Makes you wonder what those women would do if they had a real cup of coffee. Or a surname like Jablonksi.
Celebrate the Reynaldo Hill moments of your life...
I did get to see the Texans game though, which was nice. Since my animosity towards Houston is slowly evaporating, I even dropped by their forums afterwards to get their take on things, which I found interesting in a "what in the hell is everyone talking about" sort of way. I feel like Jared Diamond piecing together Anasazi crop rituals from pottery shards reading one of their game threads. I'll translate as best I can. Apparently they lost because someone named DROB was unable to play, and JJ and Itchy Man are substandard athletes. In their own cultural parlance the latter is apparently a looser(sic). They are however encouraged by the play of THE DAYNE TRAIN and Super Mario Galaxy, but feel they were unable to get pressure on VY because, quote, their players don't want to badly enough. If they were simply mean spirited like our players, they could probably retaliate and hurt him. This is a greatly coveted event by Texan Fans, and the unwillingness on the part of their Dline to desire this outcome strongly enough is quite vexing for them.
Interestingly enough, they appear to have overlooked the logistical difficulty in pass protection created by moving a small third string rookie from left guard to right guard on the fly against one of the best pass rushes in the country when healthy, ascribing the predictable outcome to something they refer to as 'sip affiliation. WreKenCruTex has even posited in his seminal discussion on the topic that 'sip affiliation is endemic, a far more global threat to overcome than most suspect and on a much grander scale, and notes several obvious instances of complicity by CBS and The Refs. We see these references to mysticism and unseen forces often in primitive cultures, and it's a fascinating study once you start to break the codes. Too, note the continuing themes of naming running backs after trains, of bizarrely abbreviated nicknames in general, and the ascription of failure to a lack of burning desire. Fascinating stuff.
As for our end there's not much to say. Our pass rush isn't a different animal with Haynesworth in the game, it's an entirely different species. Maybe a different order or phylum or something, whichever one is bigger. Watch the play where Odom got to Schaub and note how many lineman are initially tied up with Albert on the play. He's flinging them around like hobbits off a cave troll. Or check out who gets blown up on the long run down to the goal line by Dayne. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we're a top ten defense with him and last years defense + some minor secondary upgrades without him. It's not even close. I'm trying to think of a cap hit too high to sign him back and frankly I'm not sure there is one. It was nice to see Griffin making plays, every snap he gets the learning curve is flattening out. Of course everyone noticed what happened the one play Harper was out. Giving a 7 yard cushion on 3rd and 3 makes about as much sense as JaMarcus Russell's wardrobe, but what can you do. It's a known quantity and not worth going into at any length.
On offense it seems like VY is getting more comfortable. This usually happens when coaches simplify the offense, as Norm is rumored to have done this week. Of course simplifying the offense is generally coachspeak for sticking with plays that actually work. Funny how that happens. In this paradigm, running LenDale into the teeth of the defense twice then asking Vince to convert third and long repeatedly would be considered complicating the offense. Rolling him out every now then to take a shot downfield when it isn't third and a mile would be a simplifying maneuver. Standing in the pocket and hitting someone with no separation and flippers for hands over and over would be complicated. Calling some designed runs to soften the rush? Simple. Thank you for simplifying the offense Norm, because it simply works. In this light I'd recommend Lindsey Lohan and Carrot Top be in charge of next week's offensive game plan. In fact, if you keep the Flowers for Algernon version of the playbook we might win the freaking Superbowl next year, and all you have to do is get out of your own way. Give in to the light side.
If Greg Davis can figure it out, trust me, literally anyone can. And I mean anyone.
All in all I think it was a fine sporting event. Everyone got what they wanted, the Titans got another win and the Texans got to see Mario sack Vince, which FarmerTexan pointed out totally justifies the pick. Totally. My real concern at this point is getting to that 11-5 mark I predicted in the preseason, and this three game slide business is bollocks, particulary when teams who beat you get promptly waxed by the Raiders. We're going to need to win out at this point, so keep your fingers crossed.
1. I'd give my left nut for a receiver named Johnson. Chad Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, I don't really care at this point. I'll wager Tank Johnson catches better than Mike Williams. God is punishing me for the Tyrannosaurus poll.
2. Studdard never had a chance. I hope he gets plugged into a decent scheme and gets a real shot, and I'll always root for the guy, but playing on that line is like wintering in Bastogne circa 1944.
3. VY's third down conversion to Moulds is the biggest play of the game for me. That's a throw we don't make at the beginning of this season, much less catch. We still have too many miscommunications and too many drops, but that was huge.
4. The Texans are the only team in the league I'd trade kickers with and not feel cheated. That kid is good.
5. Did anyone else see Billick kissing/taunting players last night? I know it's a different game but did anyone see that? The guy is certifiable. No wonder the players lose composure. You're the head coach of an NFL team for God's sake, not a carny working the tilt-a-whirl who got stiffed on tickets by a guy who made it over the chain link fence when you chased him down. I half expected to see the tongue between V split fingers move or a crotch grab. Just bizarre.
I'm a Quart-A-Back.