Best motorized sideline device: Later on this afternoon Matt Schaub is starring in the latest Life Alert commercial, and he also has the pole position tomorrow morning in the senior scooter circuit.
Best leisurely game of catch in the backfield: I’d love to embed the video of the Panthers getting creative, and offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski calling a play in which Cam Newton threw across the field to wide receiver Legedu Naanee, then Nanaee threw back to Newton, and Newton ran for 27 yards and nearly scored.
Yes, I’d love to do that, but NFL.com guards its video content like a dictator ruling over his feeble, weak masses, and the Internets failed us in the search for other free visual stimulation. So, please accept my apologies for making you expand energy for a mouse click to view Carolina’s game of backfield catch.
Worst injury luck in the history of organized sports: Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, and Tony Moeaki are long gone for Kansas City, and that was painful enough. Somehow after those injuries they managed to win three games in a row, and still maintain a respectable record despite the constantly booked training room.
Then Matt Cassel went down, prompting GM Scott Pioli to claim Kyle Orton off of waivers. So of course Orton dislocated his finger on his first throw as a Chief after he replaced Tyler Palko today due to his continued crappiness. That, friends, is how you spend $3 million.
Most believable fake Twitter account: At this point, it’s about moral victories for Palko. Every completed pass is an accomplishment, as is every safe handoff. Between Palko and Caleb Hanie, the Bears-Chiefs game was often painful when a quarterback was actually asked to execute a forward pass.
So yeah, at some point today Palko’s imaginary glass was half filled with imaginary liquid, and he was just proud to be accomplishing anything.
Most depleted team: The Chiefs received the worst injury luck in the history of sports award because of the sheer hilarity of their quarterback situation. But the Texans are making a strong and persistent bid to take over that title, with Brian Cushing going down in the first half of their win over Atlanta today with a knee injury before returning in the third quarter.
That was only a minor scare, and the even scarier minor scare came later when Andre Johnson injured his left hamstring, evening out his anatomical maladies after he recovered from an injury to his right hamstring earlier this year. His latest strain isn’t believed to be serious, but you have to wonder what the hell this team did to piss off the karma police.
Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart, and Mario Williams are done for the year, and Houston can barely make it through a week without the threat of another major injury.
Worst calendar neglect: It’s now the fourth day of December, meaning Movember was officially over four days ago. But the Broncos are apparently bigger than the calendar, and they won’t allow an arbitrary date to control their facial foliage.
Most absurd halftime stat: Christian Ponder is a rookie quarter who’s played like a rookie quarterback at times, and at times he’s also impressed. So he’s done exactly what should realistically be expected of a first-year signal caller, and the Vikings haven’t been shy about putting a heavy workload on his arm.
That’s been especially true over the last two weeks with Adrian Peterson out, and it reached absurd levels today. At halftime of Minnesota’s loss to Denver Ponder was on pace for 59 pass attempts after averaging 28.2 attempts per game this year. Ponder’s pace slowed in the second half, but he still established a career and season high with 47 attempts, easily passing his previous high of 34.
Most Tim Tebow halftime stat: Remember that crazy, wicked, and fun Naanee video that I made you click? Well, that pass meant that with the two games at halftime, Tim Tebow only had two more passing yards than Naanee.
That changed quickly in the second half as Tebow parted seas and defenders once again, which shows that yards can often be a poor stat to use while gauging a quarterback. It also shows that there’s actually a Tebow clone, with the real god-like figure showing up weekly in the second half.
Most indifferent fan base: On average there are nearly 16,000 empty seats at Sun Life Stadium in Miami for Dolphins home games, which is a reflection of the growing apathy during the Tony Sparano era despite more winning recently.
That number is meaningless, though, unless you can see it. And once you see it, you’ll want to look away pretty quickly.
Worst blatant overstatement: Needlessly applying a narrative to a dramatic situation that doesn’t need one is the most annoying habit of hack sports broadcasters.
I generally like Brian Billick’s work for Fox, and he was the analyst during the latest act of Tebow heroism this afternoon. And I clearly agree with Billick when he implied that winning a road game is a difficult task in the NFL.
But Brian, the legend of Tebow doesn’t need your help. Nobody likes overly-dramatized, and statistically incorrect statements, except maybe the legions of casual fans sitting at home who believe every word said by a former coach or player.
Tamest ejection: Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour has started to develop a bit of a Dennis Rodman reputation since he one-punched Ben Roethlisberger last year, dropping the Steelers quarterback to the ground and getting ejected immediately.
So maybe that’s why the officials today in Miami were so quick with the hook when Seymour slapped Dolphins tackle Richie Incognito. The slap was the kind of tame, aggressive contact seen frequently, especially in a blowout game with frustrations mounting. It was really just an innocent case of 300-pound boys being 300-pound boys, and Seymour became the scapegoat for a set of officials wanting to maintain control of a game that wasn’t really a game at all anymore.
The problem is it was Seymour’s second ejection in less than a year. He was fined $25,000 for the Big Ben knockdown, and a suspension could be forthcoming now while the Raiders are still trying to cling to their playoff lives, with the Broncos steaming ahead and taking over first in the AFC West.
The officials may have overreacted, but Seymour needs to be aware of his reputation and extract himself from situations that could lead to a quick and overzealous flag. He wasn’t, and instead he chose to be selfish, and in doing so he could strip his team of its best interior defender during a crucial Week 14 game.