Best imitation of a greeter in hell: Yep, we’re pretty sure this is the first face you see during your introduction to fiery depths down under.
Best somersaults: Cameras didn’t catch it, but shortly after this Devin Hester spun around with his head on a bat for one minute and tried to pin the tail on a donkey.
Most predictable fantasy headache: This is why Redsksins fans can’t have nice things, and why fantasy owners should treat a Mike Shanahan operated backfield like a two-faced cat. Just get the hell away.
Midway through the second quarter of their win over St. Louis the Redskins had 12 rushing attempts, and Tim Hightower had only six of them. A now healthy Ryan Torain had a 20-yard run to put Washington up 14-0. Initially it is was assumed that Hightower suffered an injury, but instead this was just a case of Shanahan being Shanahan, a head coach who treats running backs like a 12-year-old treats cereal. There’s always a flavor of the week, and being the starter in a Shanahan backfield often carries little meaning.
Shanahan later said that Hightower was “a little banged up,” which is coach-speak for playing the hot hand. To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this from a coaching perspective, and we should have seen this coming since Hightower averaged a very pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry through the first three weeks, and had only 41 yards on 14 carries last week against Dallas.
But this is discouraging in the world of fantasy football, where the clear-cut No. 1 running back has been a dying breed for several seasons. Hightower had just one carry in the second half and his eight total carries equaled Roy Helu’s workload, and Helu is usually third on Washington’s RB depth chart. Meanwhile, Torain had 125 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, prompting Redskins fans to already wonder about Hightower’s trade value. Say, do you need any special ointment for that rapid knee reflex syndrome?
Here’s today’s lesson kids: August all-stars are still just August all-stars. Hightower showed impressive burst and had 170 yards in limited preseason playing time, and now a primary offseason acquisition could lose his job at worst, and at best be mired in a platoon situation.
Unluckiest player: The Texans blocked a Steelers field goal on the final play of the first half and Johnathan Joseph returned it 61 yards for a touchdown. But a needless and senseless block in the back by Danieal Manning negated the score that would have led to a 17-0 lead, resulting in a potentially demoralizing play.
Then in the final minutes while trying to lead a game-tying drive from underneath his own goalposts Ben Roethlisberger forced an ill-advised pass into Joseph’s hands, and Joseph returned it for what should have been his second defensive touchdown of the game. But it was also negated by a roughing the passer penalty.
Neither play mattered, and the Texans won 17-10. But Joseph will now be eating magnificent steak dinners at least twice this week.
Best commercial: When we’re in the GLS worldwide headquarters on Sundays (Gagnon’s closet-sized condo), anything that’s not football is usually white noise. Sometimes there are girls here, and sometimes we know their names. Sometimes there are stragglers on the couch still sleeping off Saturday night. We also don’t always know their names.
But it takes a major non-football event on the television to distract us from our pigskin comas, and often it’s a moment of sporadic humor. Today it was this highly sexualized commercial that somehow made it past the FCC and/or CRTC…
Best screw you: Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz called seven straight runs during Chicago’s opening drive against Carolina, and then Jay Cutler followed that up with a designed run. This came after a week when Martz was widely criticized for the lack of a running game to alleviate the skull-bashing Cutler has taken that’s resulted in 19 sacks.
Martz then called hell and ordered another layer of ice.
He didn’t stop there, as Martz was clearly possessed by some run-obsessed demon. Forte had 119 yards over Chicago’s first three games, a stretch in which he ran the ball 35 times. He easily eclipsed one of those totals today while coming close to the other, finishing with 205 yards on 25 carries.
Best throwing face: Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made sure he was ready during warm-ups just in case Tony Romo’s ribs acted up and both Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee came down with chicken pox.
Worst belated wedding gift: In the second half of Dallas’ loss to Detroit Romo threw three interceptions, two of which were taken back for touchdowns. The first score came courtesy of Lions linebacker Bobby Carpenter, the former Cowboys first-round pick who was in Romo’s wedding party this past summer. Bobby, barbecue tongs would have been fine as a belated wedding gift.
But more importantly, why the hell were the Cowboys throwing so much with a 27-3 lead in the third quarter? We’re still waiting on that Felix Jones breakout, or at least a sustained one. Last week Jones had 115 rushing yards, and was one of the more reliable elements in a Cowboys offense that was sloppy during an overall sloppy win over Washington that became a field goal shootout.
But now if we exclude Jones’ Week 3 performance he has 126 yards on 42 carries over three games, and a rather putrid average of three yards per carry.
Worst Goldilocks: Somewhere in Kansas City this afternoon there’s a man who had one too many bubbly beverages, and suddenly his redhead cravings kicked in. Tomorrow he’ll be waking up next to this.
Testosterone is a dangerous thing.