Worst apathy: This is St. Louis just prior to kickoff today, and this is what a 2-9 record looks like.
Don’t worry, St. Louis sports fans, spring training is only three months away.
Worst accomplishment: The Browns scored their first first quarter touchdown of the season today, and it’s Week 12. This proves two truths to be self-evident: the Browns can’t even fake being a decent NFL team, and they thoroughly enjoy making me awkwardly write the word “first” two times in a row.
Remarkably, the Browns were able to match this crappy first with another crappy achievement. Cedric Benson became the sixth running back to rush for at least 100 yards against Cleveland when he finished with 106 yards on 21 carries.
Worst attempt to field an offense: Meanwhile, in the land of misfit NFL teams, the Colts avoided finishing the month of November without an offensive touchdown when Donald Brown scored in the second quarter. But they still lost to maintain their goose egg in the win column and firm grip on Andrew Luck.
Best Oscar bid: We’re just a few months away from awards season in Hollywood, a time when Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson likely won’t be playing football. So he has other career aspirations in mind during his offseason down time, and today he made his demo tape for silver screen stuntman recruiters.
Or maybe Simpson has already booked a tryout with an Italian soccer team. Either way, he has a bright acting future ahead.
Best tip drill execution: One year ago, Brad Smith was a human gimmick with the Jets. He was primarily used as a kick returner and in New York’s wildcat formations.
Now he’s doing his part to make Antonio Cromartie look like a bumbling fool.
Best redemption: Three weeks ago a hobbled Beanie Wells was a massive disappointment against the league’s worst rushing defense, finishing with only 20 yards on 10 carries during a win over St. Louis. He exceeded that yardage total promptly in just a few carries today, running for 118 yards on nine carries in the first half during a rematch with the Rams.
Wells’ day was highlighted by runs of 53 and 71 yards, and he set a new Cardinals single-game rushing record by finishing with 228 yards on 27 carries. But a Beanie Wells rushing day isn’t complete without a muscle or bone malfunction, and true to form Wells left briefly in the fourth quarter with a knee injury that wasn’t serious.
Best touchdown celebration in the history of touchdown celebrations: Stevie Johnson had a stone, and he had a strong desire to kill multiple birds. He did so by first mocking Plaxico Burress during his first half touchdown celebration, and then crashing the jet usually piloted safely onto a landing strip by Santonio Holmes.
Most surprising ability to be appealing to the opposite sex: Forget the colorful and somewhat terrifying costumes worn be these Texans fans, attire which is standard for an NFL Sunday.
What’s amazing is that the guy on the right is married, an eternal bliss we can confirm because of his wedding ring. This finally proves that people who dress like demons from hell at football stadiums throughout America are actually real humans with real emotions, and they have the ability to love and be loved.
When you look at it like that, this is a moving, captivating, and inspirational picture.
Most unpredictable running back: This award in itself is quite predictable, but it’s also quite frustrating, especially for fantasy owners who’ve been forced to sit through Chris Johnson’s nightmare season.
I’ve often lamented Johnson’s lack of production in this space throughout the year, tipping my hand more than once as one of those Johnson owners who has to close his eyes and start the under-producing Titans running back each week.
But now we have no idea what to expect from Johnson. No idea whatsoever, and that may be even worse.
Johnson’s 190 yards on 23 carries today was the second best single-game output of his career, and it came during what has easily been his worst season, a year when prior to today he was averaging 35 yards per game fewer than last year. Now in two of his past three games Johnson’s capitalized on favorable matchups against Tampa Bay and Carolina for 320 rushing yards, and sandwiched in between those two games is a 13-yarder against Atlanta.
The real Johnson still hasn’t shown up, at least not consistently.
Best groin shot: Do not make Jared Allen angry, because an angry Jared Allen can significantly reduce your capacity to produce children. Yes, today we learned that when he’s asked to be an emergency long snapper, Allen is overcome with anger.
We’re positive that those two actions have a direct correlation.
Worst quarterback of the 2011 draft class: Is this hardware a little harsh and a little early for Blaine Gabbert? Sure, but we’ve used all the excuses about a lack of a supporting cast repeatedly now. Eventually a quarterback with sound fundamentals who was deemed worthy of occupying real estate in the top half of the first round in last spring’s draft needs to demonstrate an ability to use those fundamentals and make intelligent decisions.
Gabbert’s done exactly the opposite, and his poor field vision was glaring when he aimlessly and needlessly heaved a throw into double coverage deep downfield today that landed in the hands of Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph. Not every young, rookie quarterback is going to be an instant dynamo, and mistakes are often the best form of learning. But allowing those mistakes to mount can shatter confidence and be counter-productive, which is why Gabbert was yanked in favor of Luke McCown.
It seems like only a short time ago that the former Missouri standout was touted as the best pure passer in the 2011 draft. Now he’s dead last in yards per completion (5.3), he’s completing only 48.9 percent of his passes, and he’s still on pace to be the 2011 version of Jimmy Clausen.