One of my favorite pastimes is watching bad movies. If it’s on cable and has one star, I’m in; Killer Clowns from Outer Space? Check. Where do I sign? Penitentiary II featuring Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson? Probably watched it 15 times. In fact, more that one later…
Most terrible movies work for me except for Hulk Hogan’s abomination, No Holds Barred, from 1989. Seriously, few things were as menacing as watching Hogan’s movie nemesis, Zeus. The bald head with a Z carved on the side the temple augmented by crossed eyes was overwhelming for me as a nine-year old. Then, Vince McMahon had the audacity to add him as a regular on WWE programming. Zeus was such an ugly guy that I swore off the WWE for seven months until he left.
Unfortunately, we’re getting to that point with numerous teams around the NFL. They are nearly to gruesome or boring to watch. After one of the worst slates of 1pm games in league history, it’s obvious that the number of bad teams is staggering. Let’s examine some of the weekend’s lowlights.
Carolina 20, Washington 17
Leading 7-0 in the second quarter and backed up at their own 3, Jason Campbell hands off wide to Clinton Portis, who promptly gets swallowed up in the endzone for a safety. Running wide on 2nd and 8 from your own three are we? For an encore, the Redskins blew a 17-2 lead and lost 20-17 to the previously winless Panthers.
By the way, Washington’s game versus Kansas City this week marks the sixth straight week the Redskins will play a winless team.
NY Giants 44, Oakland 7
JaMarcus Russell fumbled three times; adding to his resume for perhaps one of the worst seasons ever played by an NFL quarterback. He is having the reverse Brady/Marino year. Just when you think he can’t regress as a player, he proves us wrong. Even Giants backup quarterback David Carr got in on the fun by rushing for a 12 yard touchdown.
Of course, the proverbial cherry on top for the Raiders is the alleged assault charge looming over the head of Oakland coach Tom Cable for breaking the jaw of an assistant.
Cleveland 6, Buffalo 3
Almost seemingly upset at the notion of playing an exciting game a year ago in Buffalo, the Browns and Bills offered one of the decade’s biggest stink bombs. Not to be outdone by its 8-0 win over Buffalo in 2007, Cleveland defeated Buffalo last Sunday without scoring a touchdown.
When the victorious quarterback posted a 2 for 17 performance and a 15.1 quarterback rating, something is terribly wrong.
Dallas 26, K.C. 20 (OT)
Look, I like Miles Austin but he’s not THAT good. Austin ran up the best receiving day in Cowboys history during the Dallas’ 26-20 win in overtime. The Chiefs redefined bad tackling by missing two tackles on each of Austin’s two touchdown catches. Another dreadful defensive effort when in it mattered.
In other news, the Chiefs are on quietly on one of the worst runs in NFL history. According to the good folks at profootballreference.com, they have lost 28 of their last 30 games since they were 4-3 in 2007, which almost seems unfathomable.
Minnesota 38, St. Louis 10
Not to be outdone by Kansas City for worst team in Missouri, Minnesota dismantled St. Louis by four touchdowns. The winless Rams’ average margin of defeat is 22 points per game. As AC/DC would say, the Rams are a runaway train, running right off the track.
Sadly, that’s only the beginning. Tampa, Tennessee, and Jacksonville also got bombed by double digit scores. Seemingly, the NFL has become a league of good teams bludgeoning bad teams. The NFC East serves as living proof of the league’s imbalance.
Philadelphia’s three wins have come against Carolina, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, who have combined for one win. Meanwhile, division mate New York is 5-0, having crushed Oakland, Kansas City and Tampa Bay in its last three outings.
Dallas’ Tony Romo owns six touchdown passes this season. Five of those TD tosses came against the winless Chiefs and Bucs.
Translation: we’re living in a golden age for terrible teams. Instead of shying away from the ugliness of the NFL like I did with Zeus years ago, I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. I’m going to embrace these teams as if they are collectively the newest installment of the Penitentiary series. TMW will debut The Culverhouse Index, a power poll of the league’s worst teams. Without further ado, here we go.
- St. Louis (0-5): Making last year’s Lions look like the ’76 Raiders
- Kansas City (0-5): Man for man, barely better than St. Louis. Yet, they have the look of a college team at times.
- Oakland (1-4): When is someone in that organization going to understand that Russell is not the quarterback of the future? Is a 2-14 season going to be enough?
- Cleveland (1-4): They should give Sunday’s win back. Scoring a hearty 11 points per game. Somehow, that isn’t last in the league.
- Tampa Bay (0-5): A newbie at quarterback in Josh Johnson and one of the league’s worst pass defenses.
- Buffalo (1-4): They should receive two losses for losing to the Browns at home without allowing a touchdown.
- Detroit (1-4): Still not very good but they will at least fight teams now.
- Washington (2-3): Every game they play should end at 17-14. Football to sleep by.
- Carolina (1-3): They were fixing to get blown out at home and drop to 0-4. However, the Redskins gave them some much needed help.
- Tennessee (0-5): Not only did they lose their best defensive player (Albert Haynesworth) but they also lost their defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and replaced him with Chuck Cecil, who had never been a defensive coordinator before. Subsequently, they can’t get a pass rush and rank 31st in the league against the pass.
*The poll’s name honors former Tampa Bay Bucs owner, the late Hugh Culverhouse, who ran one of the worst teams in league history, the winless ’76 Bucs.
Ten Things We Learned in Week 5:
- Learn from the new Culverhouse Index: You are running a big risk on your fantasy rosters by using players from the aforementioned poll. Granted, Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson are amongst the backs that play for some of these dreadful teams. However, what good are these guys if their team is down by 20 every week?
- Tom Brady isn’t Tom Brady yet: Brady’s lifetime record versus Denver fell to 1-6 but perhaps the most alarming items from Sunday’s game were two missed pass plays for New England. Brady missed a touchdown pass to Randy Moss and then late in the fourth quarter missed on a seam pattern to Wes Welker that could have gone the distance. His timing is off considerably.
- Contract years are a big motivator: Cedric Benson busted through the Ravens defense for 120 yards and a score. He is the first running back to rush for 100 yards against Baltimore in three years. Benson just so happens to be in a contract year. All of a sudden, he is a respectable running back. Hmm…
- The Eagles regular season schedule begins on October 26: Philly has only played one quality opponent (New Orleans). The first somewhat respectable opponent for the Eagles will be Washington on the road, Monday night, October 26.
- Denver is for real….we think: Kyle Orton, Brandon Marshall and Knowshon Moreno helped carry Denver to victory over New England in overtime last week. Orton is a steady game-manager thus far; while Marshall is slowly emerging yet again; and Moreno is getting his sea legs in his rookie year.
- Keep your eye on Chad Henne: Everyone is raving about Henne’s performance from Monday night. He fits the Parcells criteria, which includes being a four year starter in college. His biggest asset perhaps is the wildcat which is slicing and dicing rush defenses again; making it all the more easier for him to throw over the top of defenses
- Teams are determined to let “Minnesota QB #4” beat them: Outside of playing Green Bay, the Vikings are another team that has played a lightweight schedule. With tough run matchups upcoming versus Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Minnesota QB #4 will be forced to use his aging but yet still effective arm to beat them. Thus far, he has been able to do it but it remains to be seen whether he can make it happen versus teams that will punch back.
- Dre Bly made a foolish mistake: After intercepting Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Bly went all Deion Sanders and started celebrating about 60 yards before scoring. Roddy White stripped Bly of the ball soon after, leading to the season’s most embarrassing play to date.
- The Eagles are loaded: Regardless of the competition, the Eagles are going to score points this season. Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are flyers on the outside; Brent Celek is in store for a career year; and LeSean McCoy looks like a budding mini-Westbrook. Even with Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook aging, it looks it will be sunny in Philadelphia for quite some time. Yes, I know. It was a lame reference to the television show.
- Keep your eye on Donovan McNabb and Eli Manning: McNabb returned from a rib injury; while Manning managed his plantar fasciitis. However, both teams were able to ease the quarterbacks into action versus two league’s doormats. As the season wears on, those injuries could be a problem. Adjust your fantasy rosters accordingly.
Week 6 BPITW Poll:
Last week’s rankings in parenthesis.
- Adrian Peterson (1) – Through five games, AP has seven touchdowns and is well on pace to top his career best of 12.
- Peyton Manning (2) – Easily the NFL’s MVP to date, playing the finest football of his career.
- Ronnie Brown (7) – This is not the Dolphins of 2008 but they are a scrappy bunch, led by Captain Wildcat himself.
- Reggie Wayne (5) – Attached at the hip with Manning, one of fantasy football’s best through the first quarter of the season.
- Andre Johnson (8) – He steamrolled Cardinal defenders a week ago; too bad his team can’t finish drives from the one yardline.
- Drew Brees (3) – The more Brees throws, the more it will help your fantasy team. The less Brees throws, the more it will help the Saints go deep into the playoffs.
- Maurice Jones-Drew (4) – Don’t make this man anger Jacksonville. He’s one of your few good players.
- Cedric Benson (N/A) – I’m stunned he is on this list.
- Steve “NYG” Smith (10) – The other Steve Smith is 49th in standard fantasy scoring; while this Smith is Eli’s go to guy.
- Ben Roethlisberger (9) – Hopefully he stays awake against Cleveland. They tend to be boring to play against.
Video of the Week:
As mentioned earlier, Penitentiary II is a brilliantly awful film but few things are as awesome as blaxploitation films. A new movie called Black Dynamite debuts this weekend and the trailer is pure gold.
And of course…Penitentiary II
Categories: Two Minute Warning