That’s the only way to describe the NFL’s Week 11.
Eloquent it was not. With much of the league playing in the midst of stormy weather that was not only meteorological but metaphorical, playoff contenders stumbled, coaches grumbled, and the NFL tumbled its way through the most disjointed, disoriented week of the season. Perhaps it was merely the games in the New Haven television market, but Sunday’s games were some of the most disappointing I have ever seen.
First there were the Chiefs and the Bills, playing a game in which Drew Bledsoe spent so much time near the goal line without getting into the end zone it was like watching a bad movie about teen angst. Despite the Bills’ scoring inadequacies, the Chiefs needed a fourth-quarter comeback to win the game, a feat I only supported insofar as I hoped to see Dick Vermeil cry. Though they managed to earn the W this time, the game marked the second straight week Kansas City promised shootout and then put up nada.
Another game of supposed interest was Washington at New York. Yet instead of fiercely fighting for second place standing in the NFC East, the Giants and the Redskins collaborated in an ugly-fest that was so torturous to watch that even my roommate, the most faithful of Skins fans, could hardly bear it.
The two teams turned the ball over five times, but it should have been double that. The Redskins’ offense was dead in the water for the second straight week, bringing further questions concerning Steve Spurrier’s coaching ability. The Florida Gators may have run the fun ‘n’ gun, but Spurrier’s running the slop ‘n’ flop in our nation’s capital. The lone bright spot of the game was Giants’ tight end Jeremy Shockey, who made a mockery of himself by posturing like a pro-wrestler after each one of his 11 receptions.
Finally there were the Jets and Lions playing, well, like the Jets and Lions. Excuse my yawning. Chad Pennington improves every week, but I still can’t get excited about a win over Detroit. Joey Harrington may have given Detroit a spark, but he’s failed to light the kindling thus far.
All scores and (un-)highlights aside, a further pallor was cast on the week’s games when Tommy Maddox, the NFL’s latest born-again star, was taken off the field by an ambulance after suffering a neck injury against the Titans. Though certainly nowhere near as serious, the league’s star power lost further wattage when Donovan McNabb was lost for the rest of the regular season on account of a broken ankle. Of course, in typical McNabb style, he threw four touchdown passes after breaking it.
So helter-skelter has passed, and we as football fans are left to pick up the pieces. And though this tempestuous week may not have been fun to experience, its passing will help to clarify things as the NFL marches forward to the playoffs’ new day.
Random Thoughts: Week 11
Jacksonville 24, Houston 21: Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,
Tennessee 31, Pittsburgh 23: That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
Philadelphia 38, Arizona 14: How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
N.Y. Giants 19, Washington 17: Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
N.Y. Jets 31, Detroit 14: From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
Kansas City 17, Buffalo 16: Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
Indianapolis 20, Dallas 3: Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
Cleveland 27, Cincinnati: That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
Tampa Bay 23, Carolina 10: And show the heavens more just.
Denver 31, Seattle 9: King Lear. (III.iv.29-37)
Minnesota 31, Green Bay 21: For some reason, Brett Favre just doesn’t like domes.
San Diego 20, San Francisco 17: Sans an East Coast audience, the Chargers and 49ers played in one of the few good games yesterday.
Atlanta 24, New Orleans 17: Vick leaves a message: Falcons fighting for top spot in the South.
Miami 26, Baltimore 7: Miami, Lucas get back on track.
Monday Night Preview: Chicago at St. Louis
Unfortunately, this game does not bode much better than the other stinkers this week. The Bears are in the midst of a seven game losing streak, and don’t figure to break out of it against the resurgent Rams. St. Louis 31, Chicago 13.