It’s probably not fair to go in on a team for a bad performance on a Thursday night. Thursday Night Football shouldn’t exist, there isn’t enough time for teams to recover from the previous week, and for the most part something is always off. It’s a game of bumper cars where everyone’s blindfolded. But still, the Ravens’ shitting a chicken to the Dolphins last night, 22-10, continues to be a familiar pattern for the AFC. Every time we think a team might be good, they’ll have a game or streak that deflates any belief in them like it had its skeleton torn out.
The Titans lost their best player, and if you want to put your chips on the square marked “Ryan Tannehill” then I have a bonfire you can toss your money into and save some time. The Chargers can’t stop a flu-ridden sloth. Josh Allen must be so angry that thanks to Aaron Rodgers everyone forgot he’s a mutton-headed chud, too. The Browns’ season will come down to Baker Mayfield making a throw, and he’ll throw it 85 MPH and over his target’s head by six feet. The Raiders actually got an upgrade at head coach by going from Jon Gruden to no one, but it won’t work. The Chiefs are dating Yoko Ono.
Yeah yeah, there are two divisions in the AFC where everyone is over .500. Full divisions. Doesn’t mean anything good. Just means everyone can beat everyone else, and no one stands out. I’ve seen this movie.
It used to be the NFC that did this. Every year they would barf up some hairball of a contender or two, they would get to the Super Bowl because everyone else just got a tad more lost on the highway there, and then Tom Brady would win. I know this because Eli Manning did it twice, and Eli Manning was the American cheese of quarterbacks, though he managed to somehow beat Brady.
But that’s what the AFC is sentencing us to again, except it could be worse. Sure, it could be Brady again, maybe even likely will be. We’re conditioned to it. Scarred, almost immune. Which means we could get some other documentary or special about him where he once again has nothing to say. But networks and media will always ignore that a player has the personality of matzoh if he’s always on the screen thanks to his success. No bigger example than Brady. And this is the better option. Future generations will be fascinated by our fascination with cracking some secret within Brady’s empty vessel, except obviously those future generations will be too busy searching for water.
Because the other possibility is Aaron Rodgers winning a second Super Bowl, with a pregame show and game coverage brought to you by Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, and Chris Collinsworth bleating about all the “adversity” that Rodgers had to overcome, even though it was all self-inflicted ignorance, selfishness, stupidity, and assholery. But no one who covers the NFL and fears its wrath will cover it or label it that way.
You’re already in for it now in the coming weeks. You know it, I know it. It’ll start as soon as he’s back on the field. “What a competitor he is to overcome being found out to be a dangerous idiot!” Imagine that building over the next three months.
And that’s what we’re going to get if the AFC doesn’t unfuck itself and produce an actual team worth a shit. They’re sentencing us to either of those two terrible outcomes. Maybe there’s no stopping it. Perhaps we’ve gone too far down the hill and are at too great of a speed.