Our first weekend with real officials will surely be the most cleanly officiated weekend ever. A good thing too, because there are a host of divisional match ups this week that are always important for the playoff races. As opposed to any game involving a team from Seattle. On with the show. Check out our open thread here.

Carolina at Atlanta (FOX): Atlanta is one of three undefeated teams left. They've gotten fat on the AFC West and now get to play some divisional games. Everyone was so down on Cam Newton being so down after getting smoked by the Giants last week. This is the moralizing and self important media that drives normal people absolutely crazy. Guy loses and doesn't care, he's a bad guy—not a team player. Guy loses and cares too much, he's got to grow up if he wants to be a leader. How 'bout this, guys? The Carolina Panthers got embarrassed and Cam Newton was embarrassed about it. That seems pretty fucking normal to me.


New England at Buffalo (CBS): It's impossible for the Patriots to lose enough. They could lose to the Cleveland Browns 100-3 and I would still be left wanting more. But, $50,000 for Belichick grabbing an official was absurd. It was such a ridiculous and confusing end to the game and the official just blew right by him, what was he supposed to do? It was a madhouse. It's just another example of the NFL's obsessive need to save face. Anyway, now that I've almost puked from defending Belichick, let's talk about another big divisional game. It's very possible that at the end of the day we have a three-way tie atop the AFC "At Least We Aren't The Dolphins."

Minnesota at Detroit (FOX): It's always rough when you read sentences like this: "Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder has the Minnesota Vikings heading in the right direction and on the verge of matching their win total of last season." On the one hand, it is obviously a good thing, because: progress! On the other hand, what a terrible year last year must have been for you guys. The good news is that Christian Ponder is having a pretty good year so far and beat a San Francisco team people are lining up to suck off, so maybe even more progress!

San Diego at Kansas City (CBS): Maybe I'm biased against the West coast—actually, I am definitely biased against the West coast—but are people actually fans of the Chargers? I mean, how do you put up with Norv Turner? Can you imagine the biggest jerkoff in the biggest douchebag fraternity in the history of douchebags, jerkoffs and fraternities? That guy thinks Philip Rivers is an asshole. And we haven't even discussed the front office. The Chiefs on the other hand. Oh my, my, my, the Chiefs. They continue to do the New England Patriots, Jr. thing but with just very subtle differences. First, they actually seem to have a running back so that is actually an improvement. Way to go, Chiefs! Second, they have that Belichick tree coach/quarterback thing going on. Alas, it's Romeo Crennel and Matt Whatshisface, so....yeah.


Seattle at St. Louis (FOX): Let's talk for a minute about what a spectacular asshole Golden Tate was immediately following his "catch" for a "touchdown" giving Seattle its second "win" of the season. When asked about his obvious pass interference moments before the catch, he was defiant with his "I don't know what you're talking about." Man, no one's asking you to admit you did something hardly any ref—replacement or otherwise—would actually call in that situation, but you don't have to be a dick about it. Look at the guy on the other end of that play. Russell Wilson just had a shit-eating grin the whole time while deflecting the questions. That was way more palatable than your aggressive dismissal of a legitimate question and probably half the reason everyone not in Seattle hates your guts.

San Francisco at New York Jets (FOX): [Burst of carbonation from an ice cold and refreshing light beer can being opened.]
Disembodied voice of movie trailer guy: Team That Merely Looks Like A Good Team/Team That Actually Is a Good Team

Trey Wingo: OK, gang. We've got the New York Jets this week and this may be our toughest team to read yet. Let's hear what you, Mark Schlereth, have to say.
Mark Schlereth: Trey this is a tough one for me. When we talk about having success in NationalFootballLeague we talk about two things. Run-ning. The. Football. And stopping. The. Run. On defense. [Slowly touches desk with all fingertips of both hands] If you can do those two things—and hold. On. Totheball. You are going to be in a position. [five beats] To win football games. Rex Ryan's defense is Rex Ryan's defense, but can that offense hang on to the ball? Because when it gets to December and you're playing in that cold weather and that ball gets very slippery you're gonna need to pound that football.
Herm Edwards [confused looked at Stink, shakes it off.] WINGOOO! [claps hands together] You know I used to coach the New York Jets! We had some fine young men on that team—fiiiine young men. I look at this team now and I hear Rex say he wants to do what? He wants to grounanpound! That's what he says, Stink, right? He wants to ground and pound that football. But you've got to have the playyyyyyyyers, Stink! Gotta have 'em! Can't do it without 'em! [crosses arms, leans back and cocks head] I-I-Is Thomas Jones on this football team?? [darts forward toward Schlereth] I don't see Thomas Jones on this football team! Where's Thomas Jones?! Who's pounding? So you can say you're a ground and pound team but-but—we got a saying in the Edwards family, you can say it, but that don't okay it! [huge, self satisfied grin]
Trey Wingo: That's it for us.
[Burst of carbonation from an ice cold and refreshing light beer can being opened.]
Disembodied voice of movie trailer guy: Team That Merely Looks Like A Good Team/Team That Actually Is a Good Team

Tennessee at Houston (CBS): Houston is also in the shrinking undefeated club so it's only a matter of time before one of Schaub, Johnson or Foster suffers a hideous injury and is lost for the year. Or maybe all of them. Schaub is missing part of his ear, but he should be ok with that. It still seems impossible that he did not suffer a concussion on that hit, so that's something to keep an eye on. Johnson has been on the injury report with a sore groin so he'll likely spontaneously combust at some point this year. Arian Foster will in all likelihood suffocate under the weight of his own nonsensical quirkiness. But I have you in fantasy, Arian! I will not grudgingly say bad things about you because I am totally objectifying you and I hope that does not offend your sensibilities as "an aspiring human being." Get me lots of touchdownzz!!!

What You're Watching

Via The 506. CBS:


Top image by Jim Cooke