Best public urination: Chargers kicker Nick Novak unknowingly auditioned for his role in the next Depends commercial. His voiceover would sound something like this:
Nature called when the game was on the line, and all I had was a towel and a Dixie cup. Next time, I’ll be prepared. Next time, I’ll be wearing the most dependable, long-lasting adult diaper. I’ll feel safe and comfortable, and my public urination won’t be a two-man job.
Heaviest foot: Raiders punter Shane Lechler booted an 80-yard punt, which seems ridiculous, and it’s the kind of number that prompts searches in the NFL record books to see if Lechler is flirting with history.
He wasn’t even close thanks to Steve O’Neal, the former Jets punter who blasted one 98 yards in 1969.
Worst display of basic NFL rules comprehension: In a routine that’s such a formality that it’s on par with a police officer reading a criminal his rights, or a priest asking the bride and groom to say “I do,” NFL referees review the overtime rules before the start of each extra frame. The spiel is so basic that we all tune it out as white noise until the coin is in the air.
We won’t do that now thanks to Jeff Triplette, the referee in the Chargers-Broncos game who completely and painfully botched the NFL’s basic regular-season overtime rules before tossing the coin. In his rambling, awkward speech Triplette explained that both teams were guaranteed one possession. That’s wildly incorrect, and is in direct opposition to the premise of sudden death overtime, a term Triplette had uttered seconds earlier.
But what’s most entertaining is that initially after hearing Triplette’s flub, viewers widely assumed that he had mixed up the regular season and post-season overtime rules. Even that’s incorrect, because Triplette’s explanation was close to the recently-modified post-season overtime rules, but it was still a little off.
We could let this slide by as a simple mental gaff, and allow Triplette his right to make a mistake, even if it was a massive verbal fumble on national television. And we’d do that if this was the first time he’s been an incoherent mess while explaining a simple league rule.
But it wasn’t…
It doesn’t end there either.
Back in 2001 Triplette prematurely blew the play dead after a fake Peyton Manning spike, and the resulting confusion nearly cost the Colts a win. He was also on the throwing end of the flag that struck former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Orlando Brown in the eye.
In fairness, there’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for Triplette’s mistake today. Or maybe there’s even a supernatural one…
Worst management of a quarterback making his first career start: In Chicago’s seven games since Week 4, Matt Forte has averaged 21.6 carries per game, a transition to common sense football by offensive coordinator Mike Martz that kept Jay Cutler upright, and allowed Forte to rank in the top five in rushing yards.
So it’s baffling that today Martz completely abandoned that strategy while dealing with an inexperienced Caleb Hanie making his first-career NFL start. The Raiders wisely focused on the run, and forced Hanie to beat them through the air, which would be a fine excuse for Forte having a sub-par day by his standards.
It’s not, however, an acceptable excuse for not giving Forte an opportunity to develop a rhythm and properly support Hanie. In a close game Forte received only 12 carries, meaning Martz inexplicably reverted to his old form and nearly cut his primary running back’s workload in half, putting his offense’s fate in the hands of a quarterback who often looked lost and overwhelmed.
Quickest exit: In the early game awards we showed you the sparse turnout in St. Louis today, and what a 2-9 team looks like in the stands. Well, this is what a failed Dream Team looks like with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter when it’s getting manhandled by 18 points.
Least original chant: And this is what it sounds like when those fans are angry before they leave early to litter the mean streets of Philadelphia with their intoxicated rage.