Most appropriate ticker failure: The Redskins’ offense has been pathetic and embarrassing for much of this season. But surely they’re not so woeful that the league has invented a new Washington-specific one-point scoring play, right?
Reddest face: Jim Schwartz went absolutely bonkers after a botched call on what should have been a touchdown for Titus Young in the first half this afternoon during Detroit’s game against Green Bay. It was blatant blown call that would have been the difference in a game that ended in a 45-41 loss for the Lions, and it likely would have saved the Lions from the sixth seed in the NFC and a trip to New Orleans next weekend.
Schwartz couldn’t challenge the play because he had already used both of his challenges, so he was forced to do little more than flail his arms helplessly and break his headset. And he’s never passed on a chance to do that…
Here’s the play that made a habitually angry coach so angry. Note the position of Young’s feet, and their placement in the end zone with plenty of real estate to spare…
(pic via CJZero)
Worst kicker’s nightmare: The Bears blocked a 42-yard Ryan Longwell field goal in the second quarter of their game today against Minnesota, and it was their 23rd field goal block since 2004. That’s easily the most blocks during that seven-year stretch, with Chicago averaging 3.3 blocks per year.
Most in need of medical treatment: This man sat at Lambeau for the entire game, and he didn’t receive any medical attention for what’s clearly a severe case of frostbite. The NFL needs to do something about this.
Worst New Year’s Day hangover: The Packers were playing a meaningless game today. This was understood by everyone in attendance, especially Mike McCarthy, who benched Aaron Rodgers. But for those who believe in the concept of momentum, the fear in these games is that rust could begin to build on the finely-tuned football machine, leading to mental miscues in the playoffs by regular starters, and a wasted season. There’s also the concern that once momentum is halted by a crew of second teamers, it’s difficult to move forward forcefully again.
Green Bay didn’t have to wait three weeks to see that ugly development, because in the first two minutes of today’s game kick returner Pat Lee botched two kickoffs, including the opening kickoff. His second muff was exceptionally ugly/terrifying. Lee juggled the bouncing kickoff in the end zone, and it rolled forward onto the one-yard line. But he still picked it up and went to one knee.
The problem? Lee had lost the opportunity for a touchback once the ball was out of the end zone. The result was one of the most embarrassing safeties in recent memory, and yet somehow the Packers still led 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Best use of airspace: It’s the first day of the year 2012, but in this age of technological wizardry and gadgets that can be operated by a lizard, the flying sign has endured, and it’s still an effective and highly trusted form of communication.
Most petulant fool: Stevie Johnson is a fun, light-hearted dude, and any man who blames God for his failures while others excessively praise a high power will always have a place on my list of favorite players. However, amazingly he still hasn’t learned when it’s appropriate to have fun, and the proper actions that constitute fun on an NFL field.
Mimicking Plaxico Burress’ gun shot to his groin wasn’t fun earlier this year. It was moronic and offensive, and it was assumed that after the backlash he faced even Johnson’s stubborn and childish mind would have absorbed a lesson, and he wouldn’t violate the league’s celebration rules again.
He didn’t. His celebration today may have been harmless, and but it’s still illegal. Johnson is well aware of that fact by now, yet he still committed this act of premeditated stupidity after his first quarter touchdown catch against New England, and he was promptly benched.
(pic via Mike Tunison)