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NFL Week 13 Open Thread

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Above: The Patriots’ top receiving option this week.

There has been a general demand for NFL open threads this season. So OK. Will the Seahawks salvage their season by beating the Vikings on the road? Will Tom Brady be throwing to the ghost of Irving Fryar given that the team’s top 819 non-QB skill players are injured? What crazy things will Denverite say in the comments during the Broncos game? So much to follow this week.

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  • joe from Lowell

    The Patriots ought to start Jimmy Garappolo.

    1. Give Brady an extra bye week.

    2. Jimmy’s more familiar with the Patriots’ receiving options this week than Brady will ever be.

    3. It’s the Eagles.

    • To tell you the truth I wouldn’t mind seeing Troy out there. He wasn’t the greatest player ever, but he was the greatest Patriot. When the team was a totally dysfunctional mob of egomaniacs he was the one guy who kept his mouth shut and did his job. He was the solid base that they rebuilt on. And how cool is it to play both receiver and nickle back in the playoffs, and make a game saving strip-tackle?

    • Captain Oblivious

      2. Jimmy’s more familiar with the Patriots’ receiving options this week than Brady will ever be.

      Just put the whole damned practice squad out there.

      Oh wait…

    • Hogan

      3. It’s the Eagles.

      Hey! You can’t–oh right. Of course you can.

      • CrunchyFrog

        Ever heard of Oliver’s Woofing Therom?

        • Hogan

          I have not, and I thank you for the reference.

    • jeer9

      Well, that was one they really deserved to lose. They wrapped it up about as pretty as can be and put a big ribbon on it – and the Eagles still almost handed it back.

      On to Houston.

      • joe from Lowell

        What the hell was that?

        There were more bad special teams plays by New England in this game than in the previous 2-1/2 seasons.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Definitely a very weird game. Brady demonstrated his HoF credentials in that near-comeback, especially that play where he threw the potential sacker off of his back and almost made a completion.

          But it was against Chip Kelly. Mr Erratic himself. One week a shocking win, the next a stunning blowout loss. Have to give Kelly credit for a lot of unexpected stuff. Of course, he may lose to the worst team in the NFL next week, but you can’t count on his team not being ready to face yours.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Belichick hasn’t been on top of his game the last two weeks. I don’t understand how having a raw rookie return punts in the 4th quarter with a 2 TD lead in a snowstorm makes sense. The onside kick up 14 today isn’t as indefensibe, but it’s an odd choice for a big favorite at home. And as I say below I’m not sure what he and McDaniels were up to at the end of the first half.

          • CrunchyFrog

            The on-side kick is part of Belichick’s sadistic streak – he seemingly loves to bury and embarrass opponents. For those of us who aren’t NE fans, it’s great to see the occasional blowback as a result of it.

  • Fighting Words

    I do want to say that those old Patriots uniforms are really nice.

    • joe from Lowell

      I watched some of the worst football ever played take place in those uniforms.

      Dad would take me to a couple of games a year when he had season tickets (50 yard line! Fourth row from the top!) because you literally could not give away a ticket to watch the 1981 New England play the 1981 Baltimore Colts in December.

      I’d watch plays in which a runner would rush through a folding defense, run 70 yards, fumble the ball, and a db would pick it up, run 70 yards the other way, fumble, and the offense gets the ball back, first and ten. John Hannah on the sidelines, shaking his head.

      • CrunchyFrog

        I remember we called that the Marcus Allen bowl, assuming that the loser of that game would take Allen in the first round of the draft. In fact the teams took Kenneth Sims and Johnie Cooks as the first two picks – players who never made a pro bowl, and Allen fell to 10th.

      • efgoldman

        I watched some of the worst football ever played take place in those uniforms.

        That crappy old stadium, too, right?
        Gawd but they were awful. They weren’t even interesting enough to be laughable.
        And yeah, Ken “Game Day” Sims.

        • joe from Lowell

          Dad was so excited about Kenneth Sims when they drafted him.

          Yeah, Schaefer Stadium, with those aluminum benches. You’d bring your own stadium seat – Dad had the kind that clipped onto the bench, with the fold-up backrest.

          You’d stick your hands in the pockets of your rain slicker, but then they’d start to fill up with the 32.1 degree rainwater.

      • sherm

        My first year watching football was when they went 11-3 out of nowhere (back when that was rare) with Steve grogan, Sam the bam Cunningham, Russ Francis, Andy Johnson, and john Hannah. So, I always liked those old uniforms.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Yep. Its funny. Your game improved right about the time the uniforms changed I think. Coincidence?

      • hylen

        It was the Stupor Bowl. (cite)

    • Scott Lemieux

      Obama’s failure to pass legislation requiring that the Patriots wear the Pat Patriot uniform in every game is the reason I’m writing in Bernie in the general.

      • efgoldman

        Obama’s failure to pass legislation requiring that the Patriots wear the Pat Patriot uniform in every game is the reason I’m writing in Bernie in the general.

        Yeah, the Flying Elvis logo was apparently decided by a marketing committee of Power-point users at league HQ. The cartoonist who designed Pat Patriot won a contest and got $100 for it from the Pats in 1960. I don’t think he ever got another nickel.

        • joe from Lowell

          I always liked that the player depicted was an offensive lineman.

          • efgoldman

            I always liked that the player depicted was an offensive lineman.

            The last time they played this badly, especially on special teams, Pat Patriot was the logo.

            • joe from Lowell

              The best special teams play of the night was by Chris Maragos.

          • CrunchyFrog

            OK, I’m going to go against the grain and say I thought the old Pats logo sucked. Not that the new one is special, but seriously? A guy in a sorta-1770s outfit prepping to hike the ball?

            Also the old “NY” helmets, the “Cincinnati” helmets, and the helmets of the Cleveland Beiges. I mean Browns. Whatever pointless color they are trying to represent.

            • joe from Lowell

              The New York Giants should make a Shep Fairey Andre the Giant face their logo. Picture that on the side of a helmet!

  • Denverite

    1.) I don’t talk shit pregame for fear of jinxing the blue-and-orange.

    2.) I’m merely tipsy halfway into a second 9.3% abv double ipa and not shitfaced.

    3.) Odell’s double ipa is awesome.

    • CrunchyFrog

      I take it (1) is a new policy?

      (ducks)

      • efgoldman

        I take it (2) will be remedied before too long.

        • Denverite

          Nah, I actually ate today. Not gonna get too smashed. (Also, I was a bit embarrassed last Monday.)

          Incidentally, Jax Fish House’s $1.50 oyster special is awesome.

          • Captain Oblivious

            Are those real oysters or Rocky Mountain oysters?

            • Denverite

              Real, though not Gulf Coast.

              • Captain Oblivious

                So they’re not our BP Oil Spill Special Oysters.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  lol exactly my thought

              • wjts

                Atlantic oysters are vastly superior to those flavorless snotballs from the Gulf.

                • Denverite

                  disagree

                • efgoldman

                  disagree

                  What the hell would somebody thousands of miles from the nearest ocean know about seafood?

                • Denverite

                  Grew up on the Gulf. Prefer Gulf Coast oysters.

          • joe from Lowell

            Incidentally, Jax Fish House’s $1.50 oyster special is awesome.

            Ha ha ha.

            There’s a guy in Portland who outfitted a hotdog cart with a raw oyster bar. He was across the street from where they have the oysters.

            How do you think oysters travel to the front range?, anyway? Train, air freight, diesel truck, what? Hop over on their little oyster feet?

            • Denverite

              Dunno.

              Sushi Den flies their sushi in from Japan (http://sushiden.net/) on Fed Ex. With the time change, they get dinner in same day. It’s delicious.

            • Given that I can eat oysters grown underneath the joint in Rhode Island, I have a real hard time seeing eating them in Colorado under any circumstances.

            • efgoldman

              Hop over on their little oyster feet?

              Who’s to say no?

  • CrunchyFrog

    Back home this weekend. The last two weekends was in the SF bay and the broadcast games were limited to the two with the weak local teams. Unfortunately, not much better this week. In Colorado Springs we get Cleveland vs Cincy, i guess on the grounds that Bronco fans want to see Cincy since they are tied for the 2nd seed. Predictably one-sided. The Denver metro area gets Seattle and Minnesota – two teams in playoff spots with exciting players to watch. But no, I’m not going back to DirecTv so no Sunday ticket.

    • efgoldman

      In Colorado Springs we get Cleveland vs Cincy

      But why would anybody, including their relatives, want to see the Browns?

      • Captain Oblivious

        Here in beautiful New Port Richey, Florida, the 4:00 CBS game is Broncs @ Bolts. I expect the local TV ratings for that game to be ~0.

        But at least over on Fox, Bucs fans will have the pleasure of watching Cam Newton vivisect the Saints.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Well, the “logic” for that is that you’re in the Tampa Bay broadcast zone, so CBS can’t show an early game as it would conflict with the Bucs game. So they are stuck with either Denver/SD or KC/Oakland. Personally, if I have no rooting interest I’d choose KC/Oakland based on the teams being closer and Oakland having an emerging offense that can be exciting. OTOH, you can also see a young QB developing in the Denver game, so maybe a wash. I think they figure Denver has more market appeal based on recent success.

          • Captain Oblivious

            For either game, the local ratings will be ~0 except during commercials breaks for the ATL/NO game. Saints-hating is a popular local pastime and then there’s Cam Newton. CBS would make more money showing old CSI reruns.

            • Ahuitzotl

              what, and destroy their weeknight lineup?

    • Denverite

      I was wondering why Utah and big chunks of Colorado and Wyoming got that game.

      • Captain Oblivious

        Three words: No Fkn Logic.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Per the506.com (if you don’t check that web site out weekly during the NFL season, go there and find what you’ve been missing) originally all of Colorado was to get Cincy/Cleveland. The subsequent switch for Denver was probably caused by people who care complaining.

          There is this theory that fans in one city are more likely to watch a game involving a rival instead of a game between two really good teams. I don’t get it myself, but I think the NFL does it to promote the rivalries, although in the end the local stations can override the choice (which is why Dallas area folks rarely got to see Houston games, no matter how significant and no matter how weak the alternative game was, for over 10 years). Near the end of the season if you need another team to lose to help your team’s chances, then it makes some sense. But why would Denver fans care enough about Cincy at this point in the season to watch that mess?

          • Captain Oblivious

            The theory assumes that the outcome matters more to TV fans than the content. Which is patently ridiculous on the surface, but even more so when you consider that the real junkies all have Dish anyway or are down at the sports bar or over at their buddies’ man cave.

            Then again, I’m still trying to figure out why the NFL thinks pissing off people who can’t or won’t install an ugly-ass satellite dish is a good way to promote the sport.

            • Captain Oblivious

              ETA: To clarify, I’m saying “average” TV fan, who is mostly likely a casual but regular fan such as myself, and not someone who buys season tickets, owns eighteen jerseys, and paints her face in team colors every Sunday.

              [Yeah, I clicked the reply button instead of Edit … they need to be spaced farther apart]

            • CrunchyFrog

              This is the same organization that deludes itself that one day there will be a team in London, but the only way you can see the games is to pay for an extra subscription to Sky sports. They have become extremely short-sighted in their revenue-maximizing views.

              • Captain Oblivious

                I don’t see a team in London, and I’m not sure the NFL does either, but they obviously would like a league in Europe. I’m not sure why they want that either, as they don’t have enough quality players to keep both the NFL and CFL halfway interesting, let alone start a third major league and expect to field a watchable product. And American football runs up against soccer, which is a fall/winter sport over there.

                • Denverite

                  I bet there are two in Europe within the decade. Probably one in London and one in Germany, but maybe two in the UK.

                • efgoldman

                  but they obviously would like a league in Europe.

                  They had one, but it cut into their billions of profit so they shitcanned it.
                  It was also a training ground for zebras. Couldn’t use that now, could they?

                • CrunchyFrog

                  Denverite, on what basis do you see two NFL teams within a decade in Europe? Have you been there recently?

                  Yes, the NFL does fill up stadia regularly in the UK, but it makes only the tiniest of dents in local media coverage. There is a small but hardcore NFL fan base there, nothing more. Certainly not enough to sustain a full football season. And Germany? Look, I remember the Frankfurt Galaxy back when I lived in Frankfurt. Those were mostly cheap or free tickets sold to US servicemen.

        • CrunchyFrog

          So I just turned on the TV again to see what game they switched to for Colo Springs, now that Cincy is up 34-3 half way through the 4th, Cincy about to score again. Nope, still the same boring game. There are 4 games concurrently on this same network that are still within a score or tied – but no, we get to watch this (now 37-3).

  • efgoldman

    We’re getting Vikes/Seahawks for the early Fox game. I have no rooting interest whatsoever, but man the zebras are screwing the Vikings with a rusty chainsaw.

    • Juicy_Joel

      Yep the refs scored all 21 points in the first half. :rolleyes:

      • Captain Oblivious

        We’re getting Falcons @ Bucs, a game which could use some officiating controversy just to make it interesting.

        Currently 9-7 with 8:40 left in the 3rd. [yawn]

      • efgoldman

        Yep the refs scored all 21 points in the first half. :rolleyes:

        Well, no, but they just called offensive PI on a Minnesota receiver who was being held by the DB. Negated a completion.
        Yeah, they’re getting swacked. Seattle looks like they have their mojo back. But still….

        • Juicy_Joel

          If its the refs fault then maybe Peterson wont have to whip his toddler son’s testicles extra tonight

          • efgoldman

            If its the refs fault then maybe Peterson wont have to whip his toddler son’s testicles extra tonight

            :::rolls eyes:::
            OK, you hate the Vikings, I get that. As I said, no rooting interest whatsoever. They’re playing badly, ‘Hawks are playing well. But these offensive PI phantom calls are really getting out of hand.

        • Denverite

          Seattle looks like they have their mojo back. But still….

          Their playoff road looks like at NYG, at Arizona, at Carolina, NE/Cincy/Denver in the Super Bowl. That’s tough.

  • djw

    How the hell is this Vikings team 8-3?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Seems worth noting that going into the game the Seahawks were #5 in DVOA and the Vikings #13. The underlying quality of the teams is revealing itself.

      • efgoldman

        It’s always fun, in any sport, listening to the announcers in a blowout trying to keep it interesting.

        • efgoldman

          Aaaand….
          Fox just switched us from 28-0 Seattle-Minnesota to 13-13 49ers-Bears.

    • shah8

      missing every material defender in that game.

      • ColBatGuano

        Yeah, the combination of losing the entire middle of their defense and the refs sure didn’t help the Vikings in this game. Still, the Seattle defense looked markedly better in this game and the offensive line keeps improving. Three road playoff games is going to be tough to overcome.

        • efgoldman

          Still, the Seattle defense looked markedly better

          I was more impressed by the consistency of the offense.

  • keta

    Oof. Homan just missed a risky rub-draw for three and had to settle for one in the sixth so now trails Sweeting 5-4.

    What with the blow-outs in the nationally-televised NFL games, everyone’s switched to the Canada Cup women’s curling final, right?

    • efgoldman

      everyone’s switched to the Canada Cup women’s curling final, right?

      Well, I would, but my cable provider doesn’t have that channel. Anyway, I have some drying paint I can watch instead.

      • Captain Oblivious

        Or Tiger Woods’ vanity golf tournament over on NBC.

      • keta

        Homan 7-6 in an extra end*. Sweeting seemed to crack a bit under the pressure in the last three ends.

        *Because I know you were anxious to know how it played out.

    • Scott Lemieux

      What with the blow-outs in the nationally-televised NFL games, everyone’s switched to the Canada Cup women’s curling final, right?

      What’s the different between the Canada Cup and the Scott’s tournament of Hearts?

      • keta

        SToH winners represent Canada in the World Championships.

        CC winners qualify for the Olympic Trials.

        Top rinks in Canada now play all manner of qualifiers, cash spiels, and Bog knows what else. The practical end result is a lot more top-tier curling is televised. Something to watch while the moose roast cooks, eh?

        • Scott Lemieux

          Back in my day, there was a simple Brier and Scott’s and THAT’S HOW WE LIKED IT GODDAMMIT.

          • keta

            I pine for those days. Every single phone conversation with my parents now features an excruciating end-by-end description of whatever bonspiel is/was on.

            I tried curling but once, and the major feature was that you could smoke and drink while playing. A perfect pastime, really, until they took that fun out of it.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I did it for a whole semester in high school, and really enjoyed it.

          • Denverite

            *smh at the fucking Canadians. And no, my spouse wasn’t born in Canada. Two miles is a world’s difference.*

          • Pseudonym

            Back in my day, there was a simple Brier and Scott’s and THAT’S HOW WE LIKED IT GODDAMMIT.

            I don’t know what those are, but assuming you’re referring to methods of wiping one’s ass I’ll take the latter over the former any day.

  • Scott Lemieux

    I have always thought the contract the Bills gave Charles Clay was sensible.

  • Thlayli

    And the Giants have blown yet another fourth-quarter lead.

    The Jets are now driving in OT.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Alas, I think this game will become the poster child for the JUST PUT POINTS ON THE BOARD in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE set, in part because people will forget Coughlin settling for the field goal in the first half.

      • sherm

        Gotta take the three at that point of the game. Especially with that makeshift offensive line.

    • sherm

      Leading in the final 2 minutes in 10 of 12 games -> 5-7

  • Pseudonym

    Is it possible to stream live NFL games? Has anyone tried?

    • Pseudonym

      (without having a cable or satellite TV subscription, I mean)

    • CrunchyFrog

      I recall there was such a service last year – I actually signed up for it when I was in the UK during a playoff weekend and couldn’t get access to Sky Sports or find a local bar showing NFL. Turned out it was blocked for the UK, but it was available for the US (they refunded my fee immediately when I called, to their credit).

    • Orphos

      NFL Game Pass allows people in the US to watch any game on Sunday after it’s concluded (after the last 4:00pm game is over). It’s about $100 a full season’s pass.

      I believe that the non-US NFL Game Pass allows people to outside the US to stream games live. https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/3gv6j9/nfl_game_pass_international_vs_us_pros_and_cons/

    • marduk

      Thanks to my local cable provider deciding to crash and burn throughout our metro area in the first half of the early games, I discovered thefeed2all.eu. I expect it’s not legal in many parts of the world and quality isn’t amazing but it does that thing.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Broncos just got a pay-back call from last week (I guess). Phantom OPI on DT on a huge 3rd down pass.

  • CrunchyFrog

    John Fox is still John Fox. It’s not his fault that his FG kicker – who historically is tremendously reliable, missed two FGs in the 4th, including a potential game winner at the end. But it is his fault that he plays for the tie. Except for that string of luck with Tebow in 2011, that strategy typically ends at 8-8. Well, they did end at 8-8 in 2011, but you get the point ….

    • Denverite

      Eh. Play for the tie at home, the win on the road. It’s trite, but it makes sense.

      • ASV

        It makes sense in baseball, where you figure to have a shot to win by manufacturing one run when you go to extra innings. Why would it make sense in football?

        • Denverite

          Because the play where you play for a tie or not is usually a 50-50 proposition, and you have a >50% chance of winning in OT at home all things being equal.

          • ASV

            I can’t find data that covers both overall and overtime-only at the same time, but home teams win in the NFL overall 57.3% of the time, but win overtime games only 52.6% of the time. This makes sense, because overtime games are more likely than other games to be between evenly matched teams. Given there’s nothing structural about football that advantages the home team (such as batting order in baseball), that slight advantage over a large game sample (491 games) is almost certainly outweighed by in-game considerations — or to put it another way, all things are never equal, and if you trade a solid chance to win in regulation for a basically even chance of winning in OT (especially when you consider that playing for the tie doesn’t actually guarantee the tie, and you might miss the field goal), you’re making a mistake.

  • Orphos

    I’m honestly still surprised every time that Brady completes a pass to whatever studio audience member they’ve suited up for the week this year. Also… Keyshawn Martin? Seriously?

    • Orphos

      Also, I’d like to join all the whiney Patriots fans complaining about the lack of proper and consistent PI calls. Like, Gronk gets called for an elbow while the WRs (such as they are) get mugged on the regular. And don’t get me started on the holding…

      • CrunchyFrog

        Wow almost as bad as the Pats playoff games after the 2003-2004 seasons. Nothing like being allowed to tackle the receiver before the ball arrives.

      • joe from Lowell

        Gronk is definitely getting reputation calls at this point.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Could be. Irvin got the same near the end of his career. In both cases was probably unfair in his favor early on and unfair against him later.

          Both are/will be in the HoF.

  • Scott Lemieux

    I have no idea what the Patriots were doing at the end of the half. Try to score, OK, run out the clock, OK, but I don’t see the percentage of a couple runs into the line and then a short pass to potentially stop the clock. If you’re going to run it out run it out.

    • Denverite

      THESE ARE NOT THE DROIDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR

    • CrunchyFrog

      You’re crowing after one game. The D played very well, but SD was not playing as well as they started this season. I do appreciate that they did this minus 3 key starters (4 in the second half) but I am not going to get overly excited by a win over a 3-9 team.

      Edit: this was in reply to Denverite’s post below. First time using a tablèt interface.

  • timb

    How much is the gov paying for Fox’s over-the-top Pear Harbor thing?

    More to a point, any other nation in the world celebrate losses quite like the USA?

    • MaureenDowdsLudes

      The CSA.

  • Denverite

    MIC DROP

  • Denverite

    OH LOOMIS

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef2013

    Lemieux, can you explain to Loomis that -26.2% is a better defensive ranking than -25.9%? Also, what probably will happen when a team holds the #11 offensive DVOA team to 3 points and 272 yards?

    • Scott Lemieux

      You don’t count your money while you’re sitting at the table.

      • Denverite

        fair

  • Denverite

    Oh what a glorious day!

    • Defeating 3-9 teams is pretty amazing, yes.

  • Denverite

    The Patriots are currently the #3 seed in the AFC.

    • CrunchyFrog

      Oliver’s Woofing Therom.

      • Pseudonym

        Does this qualify as an example of Muphry’s Law?

  • Scott Lemieux

    I’d love to see Cam Newton play with two good wideouts sometime.

    • joe from Lowell

      Pats/Panthers Super Bowl: the No Receivers Bowl.

      MVP Scott Chandler. You heard it here first.

      • efgoldman

        Pats/Panthers Super Bowl

        I’d like to see them at least secure the bye, if not the top seed, first.
        They just threw another OPI flag at Gronk.

    • CrunchyFrog

      Cam really has been doing well this year. In fact, the Panthers are quickly becoming my backup-to-root-for-if-my-team-drops-out team. Look at Riviera’s background and Newton’s. Both put up with a lot of shit, yet hear they are, together.

      On top of it all, a Cam super bowl win would cause at least half of GOP sports fans’ head to explode. They’re still recovering from Russell Wilson’s win.

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