Last week, we looked at some of the worst players in the NFL who either cost their team the game due to their crappy play or looked absolutely awful while winning (that’s two weeks for you now Mr. Vick).
Unfortunately, in this weeks installment, the Ryan Tannehills and Brandon Weedens of the world are nowhere to be seen. This is mainly due to their respective teams playing ultra-conservative football with their star rookie quarterbacks. In the case of Tannehill though, he actually looked pretty good as the Dolphins trounced the Raiders on Sunday. This week, again though, is quarterback heavy except for a certain running back that will remain to be seen. Come with me, on a magic carpet ride through the worst players of week two in the NFL.
1. Jay Cutler/Brandon Marshall – Whoa boy! These guys? Am I right or what? At the beginning of the year, newly acquired receiver Brandon Marshall said that he was glad to be back with his favorite quarterback – Marshall and Cutler played together in Denver until Cutler was traded. Cutler and Marshall sure had themselves a night. Any fantasy owners of these two probably sat at their T.V. screaming obscenity’s as Cutler continued all night to overthrow receivers and place the ball ever so gently in the hands of the other team. Cutler threw four absolutely atrocious interceptions while getting sacked seven times for a total loss of 52 yards. On the receiver side, Marshall caught two of the five targets he saw for 24 yards, including an overthrown ball by Cutler in the end zone. All in all it was a terribly pathetic game.
The worst part of it all was the almost, “rub his goddamn face in it,” kind of attitude Bears coach Lovie Smith had when Cutler threw his fourth interception. The interception was dropped on the ground by Tramon Williams, everyone at home and in the stadium could see it, and were waiting for Smith to throw the challenge flag. He didn’t. And it was just like when a neglectful step-father kicks his child to the ground and doesn’t help him up.
2. The Referees – Last night on Monday Night Football it took over an hour to get out of the first quarter. In that quarter, there was a 20 minute point where the Refs lost complete control of the game and an almost-bench-clearing brawl happened. During the post-game show, Steve Young made the point, that the players figured out the parameters in which they can go with these “substitute teachers” and now all they’re going to do is expose them. After the game he further elaborated on what he believes is going on with this officials’ lockout and created one of the more awkward and memorable moments on MNF.
“I can say this now, because it’s way past the league officials’ bedtime, but, they don’t care,” lamented Young with rebelious fashion, as Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer and Bill Polian looked on in horror. “The bottom line is that they don’t care. If they(NFL) cared they wouldn’t be putting Division III refs out there. It’s (NFL) a commodity and they don’t care. They don’t care about player safety.”
I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the fact that Young’s career was cut short after suffering his fourth concussion coming from a blindside blitz against Arizona in 1999, or maybe the fact that he spent a lot of his career taking huge hits, but Young makes a lot of sense.
The NFL has been preaching about safety and the idea of making football a less violent game for a solid four years now. For a sport that’s been around for over 100 years, it’s about goddamn time. I understand that people want to see the big hits and all that is reminiscent of the gladiator sports of yesteryear, that appeals to our reptilian brain. But that’s not us out there, we’re not the ones getting railed by a guy who weighs a solid 200-250 pounds of pure muscle and ass-whooping, they are. If the NFL really cared so much about safety they would do whatever they could to get the real officials back on the field.
It’s obvious though that getting the original and up-to-par officials that the NFL fans and players are used to is maybe like third or fourth on Roger Goodell’s to-do list. It’s probably fitted somewhere between swimming in a pool of money and trying to prove that he’s the supreme power in the NFL, as well as attempting to strip the manhood from Jonathan Vilma and the New Orleans Saints.
3. Peyton Manning – Wow! The golden boy himself. I can’t believe it Peyton. I was maybe hoping for a week six or week seven appearance from you, but week two? I’m shocked.
I like this new Peyton, it’s like having two Elis in the league. Peyton started the first quarter with three interceptions, much like how Eli threw three in the second quarter of his game against the Buccaneers, P. Manning’s turnovers allowed for 13 unanswered points from the Atlanta Falcons. Manning essentially threw his team out of the game early, then, in true Manning style, he slowly clawed his way back to within seven points. Eli did this same exact thing on Sunday, except he won and also passed for 510 yards and three touchdowns. Peyton did pass for 241 yards and a touchdown, but his three picks and three sacks for a total loss of 23 yards really killed the Broncos early. Hopefully Peyton can bounce back next week. If only so the Broncos don’t have to bring John Elway from out of his office and on to the field, because I have no idea who their backup is. Thank you to Eric from one of my fantasy leagues for that joke.
4. Chris Johnson – Moving up from the honorable mentions last week to a No. 4 spot this week, we ask the question, where did it all go wrong with “Mr. 2000” himself, Chris Johnson? It only seems like yesterday that he was holding out from a contract with the Tennessee Titans claiming to be the best at his position. After he received his six year $56-million deal, he rushed for a respectable 1,047 yards and four touchdowns. This year however, with 19 rushes in two games to his name, Johnson has had 21 yards rushing with no touchdowns. Yesterday, on eight carries, Johnson had 17 yards, Jake Locker, the Titans quarterback, ran the ball two times for a total of 21 yards. Things are looking extra grim in Tennessee, or it could be that the Chargers have a great run defense and that’s what stopped Johnson. Either way, Chris Johnson seems to be regressing, the only thing is, What’s causing it?
5. Michael Vick – Here we are again Mr. Vick, top-five, almost on the outside looking in except you did just crappy enough to sneak in for a second week. If this was NASCAR, you’d be a leader in the chase. This is not NASCAR though, this is “The Craptastic Player Power Rankings” this is nothing to be proud of.
Yet again, Vick was able to lead the Eagles to a last second touchdown that sealed a victory against an opponent that was far out of reach, Yet again Andy Reid’s job is still safe and yet again Philadelphia fans are being guided by false hope with the Eagles 2-0 record. Vick had a fumble and two interceptions, the fumble lead to seven points for Baltimore and a 14-7 lead. Late in the third he threw his second interception at a 17-17 tie. Baltimore went to a 20-17 lead on a field goal then a 23-17 lead on another. Things looked grim and it all looked like Vick’s fault. But Vick was not done, he drove down the field for 10 plays and 63 yards scoring a one-yard rushing touchdown and sealing a 24-23 win, more than likely he would’ve thrown an interception that close to the end zone which is why he rushed it. At least he had the wherewithal to realize his feet had to do the talking instead of his arm.
Honorble Mentions: Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco, Tom Brady (he really shit on my fantasy football bed and looked bad against the Cardinals. Maybe the ‘Cards’ are legit, or maybe Tom is finally slipping.), Darren McFadden, Carson Palmer, Blaine Gabbert, first-half Eli Manning, The Bears, Stephen Gostkowski, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, The Raiders, Jamaal Charles, Matthew Stafford.
Cameron Heffernan is a co-creator of HefferBrew and loves judging the crappiest of the crap in the NFL. He personally can’t wait for Tom Brady to make this list, but can because it will hurt his fantasy team. Reach him on Twitter at @karateparty1.